|Wilson Chandler, SF 33 MIN | 5-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 5 AST | 12 PTS | +4
Chandler cut down on the “difficult shots” he tends to fall in love with and got to the rack hastily. He also dished out five assists and made a few hustle plays. But Chandler needs to score more than 12 points per game for the Nuggets to have a shot at at winning.
|Kenneth Faried, F 30 MIN | 8-13 FG | 1-1 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 17 PTS | +6
In the first half Faried was underwhelming. He wasn’t doing anything well except drawing fouls, but as the game progressed he really turned up the heat. His energy in the second half was excellent and more importantly, honorable. In a game in which nobody seemed to care, Faried did, and that’s certainly one positive to take away from a negative day.
|Timofey Mozgov, C 6 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -2
It’s becoming more apparent that Mozgov simply isn’t up to par with the type of competition he sees on a nightly basis in the NBA. He’s perpetually slow to react, out of position and for the most part, maladroit. As someone on Twitter stated, if he played with the second unit perhaps his confidence would elevate. It’s clear at this point, he has no business being a starter especially with McGee now on the roster.
|Corey Brewer, SF 33 MIN | 2-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 7 PTS | -20
For the amount of minutes he received, there was no reason for Brewer to score only seven points and snag two rebounds. These types of performances have become a trend, unfortunately. Brewer is often effective in short bursts but can’t sustain a high level of play for an extended period of time. As a role player he’s excellent, but if he’s your starting shooting guard, you’re in trouble, as the Nuggets found out on Sunday.
|Ty Lawson, PG 37 MIN | 5-14 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 5 AST | 14 PTS | -7
Did Lawson finish with a bad stat line? Not at all. If this was a win he probably would have received a B. But that’s the problem: it wasn’t. Lawson is without question one of the better players on the Nuggets roster, if not the best. Yet for whatever reason he’s been invisible over the last several games. It’s clear that when Lawson goes, so do the Nuggets, and because he hasn’t been effective lately, neither has his team.
|Al Harrington, PF 25 MIN | 3-9 FG | 3-3 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 9 PTS | -18
This was one of Big Al’s worst games of the season. Nothing was going in and half the time he was busy committing terrible fouls rather than focusing on defense. It’s hard to look too far into his performance however, given that none of his teammates played that well either.
|Andre Miller, PG 25 MIN | 6-8 FG | 2-3 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 14 PTS | -19
Andre Miller did Andre Miller. And that’s all I have to say about that.
|Chris Andersen, C 5 MIN | 0-0 FG | 2-4 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -3
It’s beyond perplexing why Mozgov still plays more minutes than Birdman. Andersen knows the NBA game, has carved out a role and usually plays it well. His energy is something the Nuggets are in desperate need of right now yet Karl seems sold on a young, inexperienced center for reasons unknown.
|JaVale McGee, C 25 MIN | 6-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 11 REB | 1 AST | 13 PTS | -12
McGee was hands down the pleasant surprise of the day. His mistakes were nothing compared to his teammates, meanwhile he played twice as good as any of them. His interior defense was superb and his effort was top notch. If McGee continues to play this good, we’ll have to tip our hat to Masai Ujiri for a fantastic trade, yet again.
|Julyan Stone, G 4 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-1 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | +1
You know you’re in trouble when… your third-string point guard is the best defender on your entire team. Let that one slowly simmer for a moment. Julyan Stone cares about defense and actually wants to play it. So why can’t he get some run when what he does best is the Nuggets biggest need? He only played four minutes but for the type of defensive effort he displayed, he gets an A.
|Jordan Hamilton, G 17 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-2 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -15
Hamilton was a mixed deck of cards. He did some things well but also committed a few “rookie” mistakes. It’s hard to evaluate him in detail when he doesn’t get consistent playing time.
Normally we do the whole “Five Things We Saw” bit, and while it works, the problem we’ve discovered here lately is that there’s not five things we saw, or three or nine, but rather one thing: EVERYTHING!
Nothing is working with this team right now. We point to the perimeter defense, then the unnecessary doubling, then the turnovers, then the individual disappointments and yet it all amounts to what? That something needs to fixed? Well all be darned!!! The Denver Nuggets have problems! What do you know!?!
You want to know the real problem with this team (and might I add, the fans as well)? Nobody is seeing the big picture, and that’s that this season has been a complete, utter disaster. Sure, the Nuggets are still above .500 and in the hunt for the playoffs. But do you realize how ridiculously optimistic that is? Do you realize how low those standards are, when you look at your favorite team and say, “Well, as long as we’re barely hovering above .500 and in the chase for the playoffs, then I’m satisfied!” Who the hell are we, Cleveland Browns fans? This is a team that’s been loaded with talent for eight years now and yet only once has it realized its potential. This year, Nuggets brass managed to bring back Nene and Afflalo — against all odds; re-sign Gallinari and Wilson Chandler; trade for Andre Miller, Corey Brewer and Rudy Fernandez; draft Kenneth Faried and Jordan Hamilton; and yet here we are in the heart of the Western Conference Playoff race and the Nuggets look as disconsolate, despondent and dejected as a team who’s in the hunt for the No.1 pick in the Draft. HOW IN THE WORLD DOES THIS HAPPEN!?!?! HOW DID WE GET TO THIS POINT?!?!
Have injuries played a role in the Nuggets struggles? Sure. If you really want to find an excuse for why this team is losing, that’s a damn good one. But winners don’t make excuses. And excuses/injuries certainly don’t give you the right to play horrible, uninspired basketball.
The fans deserve better than this. If you take away one thing from this vitriolic rant, that should be it. The fans deserve better. This team has too much talent to be wasting our money and time like this. I may sound like a complainer, but guess what, I have ZERO problems with that because complaining is what loyal fans should do when they seem to care more about their favorite team than the coach and players do. I know this team is better than what’s currently showing on a nightly basis and as a fan, I’m going to voice my frustration as you all should too.
One last parting shot: Since the Nuggets started out the season 14-5 they’ve gone 12-18. Keep in mind, that’s with stealing a few victories against the Kings, Hawks and Pistons and doesn’t even including the rest of the upcoming road trip, which doesn’t look too promising.
So when does this stop? Do the Nuggets keep free falling in the standings while getting blown out a regular basis? At some point the bleeding must cease. Even if it’s just some good, passionate, heartfelt basketball and not wins — we as fans MUST see some life from this team moving forward. Either that, or someone needs to be held accountable.