Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 108 Chicago Bulls 91

Denver Nuggets 108 Final
Recap | Box Score
91 Chicago Bulls
Wilson Chandler, SF 35 MIN | 3-10 FG | 1-1 FT | 7 REB | 4 AST | 7 PTS | +19

Offensively, he was bad. Chandler made only three of his ten attempts and nearly all of them were incredibly difficult or ill advised shots. However within the scope of Chandler getting integrated into the flow of the lineups and the defense, tonight was a huge step forward. For the most part he was solid fighting around screens and keeping his man in front of him. Chandler was contesting shots and even came up with a nice weak-side block on a wide open Joakim Noah.

Kenneth Faried, F 19 MIN | 3-6 FG | 2-3 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 8 PTS | +7

Faried had an up and down night. He got off to a poor start defending Carlos Boozer but eventually picked up his energy and aggression as the game wore on. Faried’s perimeter defense remains a concern but he continued to a good job providing a physical post presence without fouling. Faried is coming around as a good power forward and a solid post defender, but he’s still searching for consistency in other areas to fill out his game.

JaVale McGee, C 24 MIN | 5-11 FG | 0-2 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | +13

McGee put up a solid stat line and fit in well with the starting lineup. His decision making and shot selection aren’t the greatest but he does find his way to a lot of hustle points. McGee is contributing solid all-around production in limited minutes which is all you can ask for only three games into his tenure with the Nuggets.

Arron Afflalo, SG 38 MIN | 8-12 FG | 4-4 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 22 PTS | +14

A great night for Afflalo, who not only produced at a high level but was also extremely vocal on the floor. Much like Lawson, Afflalo came out with a focus and determination we haven’t consistently seen out of him. Arron was rested and ready to go, but did a masterful job working off of his teammates and impacting the game in multiple ways. His energy was a key factor to winning this difficult game on the tail end of a back to back.

Ty Lawson, PG 37 MIN | 11-21 FG | 2-2 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 27 PTS | +11

Really, really good. I’m surprised Lawson had only two assists but this might have been the most aggressive I’ve seen him play all season. Even more impressive is the fact this came against a good defensive team. From the moment he entered the game, Lawson was a force on the court and made his presence felt.

Al Harrington, PF 29 MIN | 6-14 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 17 PTS | +10

Harrington got off to a quick start before his play trailed off late, but it still was probably one of his best overall efforts in weeks. He was extremely difficult for the Bulls bench to match up with and his jump-shooting was a key factor in opening the Nuggets’ attack.

Andre Miller, PG 29 MIN | 6-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 10 AST | 12 PTS | +5

Miller played great. This is the second game in a row his usual mopey attitude has been replaced with high energy play and enthusiasm. These past two games it seems like Miller has hit the fast forward button and he’s moving around with a lot more zip. More than anything, he’s showing a tremendous amount of effort.

Corey Brewer, SF 10 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 PTS | 0

Brewer was a non factor on the offensive end but his forgettable first half stint coincided with a run that erased the Nuggets early deficit. He needs to shoot less, defend more, and just work harder for his opportunities on the offensive end. Brewer ran around with a lot of energy but wasn’t particularly useful on the defensive end, where he needs to make his mark in order to stay on the floor

Timofey Mozgov, C 19 MIN | 2-3 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | +6

Mozgov’s defense was inconsistent, but he started the game well and helped stabilize a bench rotation that was solid all night. His production wavers too much from game to game, but when the Nuggets are moving the ball and scoring he’s a pretty reliable defensive presence down low. Mozgov has played poorly as of late and it’s nice to see him bounce back with a solid performance that earned him the right to close out the game.

Three Things We Saw

  1. Lay down the law: This could end up being a defining moment in Ty Lawson’s Nuggets career. With the Denver Nuggets teetering on the edge of becoming a full-blown lottery team, Lawson talked about accountability and predicted a statement a win before the game. I think the Nuggets know they are better than what they’ve shown so far, but they remain a team full of nice guys and good players who lack a true killer instinct. Losing usually begets frustration and selfishness, but it can also inspire and bring out the best in real winners. Lawson may not be a bonafide star, but he played like one tonight and perhaps he’ll get the message this team can only go as far as he’s willing to take them.
  2. Nuggets buy in: Offense may have won the game, but the defensive improvement is the real takeaway prize considering how poorly the Nuggets performed in their previous four games. The Nuggets were able to neutralize Chicago’s pick and roll by pressuring the ball and keeping Chicago’s guards out of the middle. The Bulls were completely perimeter-oriented as the Nuggets allowed only 24 points in the paint and 11 trips to the foul line. This is the first game in months the Nuggets have displayed a commitment to something other then pushing the pace. There was finally accountability and pride when it came to rotating, contesting shots and overall team defense.
  3. Guard play: The Nuggets found a nice balance tonight, going with a 9 man rotation and playing only three real guards – Andre Miller, Ty Lawson, and Arron Afflalo. They combined for 61 points and 16 assists, with all three looking at least 30 minutes and looking comfortable in their roles. When the Nuggets play bigger and crash the boards as they did tonight, they’re a much better team.
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Charlie Yao

Managing Editor at Roundball Mining Company and writer since 2010. Unhealthily obsessed with Nuggets basketball since 2002. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram at the links on the left.
  • lil rik

    this is such a strange season. ive become completely ambivalent.

    • dayv


      you stole the words right out of my mouth

      • http://twitter.com/chrisreinhard Chris

        I was ambivalent until I saw the division of playing time for last night’s game. Maybe I’m not as observant as I could be, but Chandler, AAA and Lawson played over 35 minutes apiece and the team (though battling a star-less Bulls squad) felt more balanced than they have in some time. Clearly, a sense of security and responsibility among the team’s best players resulted in more consistency and effectiveness in this game, and if that can be more of a norm than a quasi-strategic “mix it up” approach on the part of George Karl, maybe the Nuggets still have a chance to make something of this otherwise forgettable season.

        • Charliemyboy

          I’ve got them at 38-27 playing SA…losing in 5 games; what do you think?

  • Max Ireland

    As much as I’ve dogged on Andre lately I gotta give credit where credit is due.

    Nicely done tonight Andre Miller!

  • GK4Prez

    This team sucks. Once again, no tacos.

    • dayv

      i’m sure there’s a stat out there somewhere that shows they’ve earned more tacos than any other this year…

      • A_Roth

        I doubt they are the league leaders in tacos. Suns fan in Phoenix get free tacos whenever they score 99 points OR hold the opponent to 99 or less.

  • Landry

    Is it just me or does wilson chandler only make his difficult shots??? I mean anytime he has an open look it bricks but those impossible fall away jumpers, under pressure no less are just $$money$$ in the bank. I don’t get him..

  • Brett

    …and all of the sudden the Nuggets are one game behind the 4th seed in the West.

    This team has proven that it can beat anyone anywhere as it’s one of only three teams in the West with a winning road record.

    • Greg

      They’re pretty mediocre, as a whole…average on the road, average at home…comes down to defense…if there were even the 20th best team, defensively, they’d easily be top 4 team in the west

      • Avarice

        I agree about the defense. As of this morning, the Nuggets are 1st in Points, 1st in Assists, and 6th in Rebounds in the NBA. With a stat line like that, I expect them to be undefeated. So why are they a .500 team? They allow the 29th most points in the NBA. Of course, those stats don’t account for pace played. Still, I think it is indicative of a team that plays team offense, but not team defense.

  • Kyle Obergfell

    I am not surprised. Happy.. but not surprised.
    I know this is a good team.

    Team defense A+
    Lawson A+
    Miller A+
    Affalo A
    Harrington A
    McGee A
    Faried A
    Chandler A
    George Karl A

    Let’s hope this game is remembered for
    this team’s big turnaround!!

    • Ernie

      Not surprised? I’m shocked at this performance. Teams that go down 20 easily to Utah and Minnesota don’t beat Chicago on the road on the 2nd of a back to back, even without Rose. I thought this team had given up, or McGee brought some negative juju, or Gallo was far more important than we realize. So winning tonight by 17 was pretty surprising.

      • Kyle Obergfell

        you may not remember that this season has
        had it’s share of highlights..
        we beat the world champs to open the year,
        we beat Miami, we beat the Spurs, we won
        six tough games in a row on the road..
        and the first OKC game was down to the
        last seconds while we had 2 starters out.

        It’s easy to forget that when we lose to
        Cleveland and Sacramento..
        and give up an average of 117 points in
        the last three games.

        nope.. I’m not surprised.
        In fact.. that’s why I was so frustrated.

    • Avarice

      Too many A’s…

      • bobby

        Arron Agustin Afflalo

  • bosc0

    Did Ty (smallest on court?) just get the most boards?

    • Charlie

      There were a lot of tip outs and deflections that went to Ty. Nuggets length was really on display in this one. Although Ty is not a bad rebounder for his size

  • Ayo

    All of a sudden Karl organizes some great rotations out of nowhere. How did this happen? I can’t believe this is even the same team, what did we change?

    • finazzaus

      I think having Gallo and 2K out helps the rotations. The fit players know they are going to get playing time and GK doesnt have to try and find time for everyone. goes back to my point about maybe trading two of our good players for one really really good player.

      • Ryan

        Except for Andersen. He doesn’t get to play unless the sun rises in the west.

  • Adam

    Hey, I just spoke over the phone with George Karl he has a message to all those “nuggets fans” who wanted Karl fired. He said “They can suck my D.I.C.& !

    • Dubz

      That’s ridiculous. It was a FANTASTIC win, but we beat the Bulls without Rose. Not to mention the team actually played DEFENSE tonight!! What a concept! Either Karl decided to preach defense for the first time in his career or the players just decided to take it into their own hands.

    • Andrew

      Pretty sure Karl wouldn’t say that. I may not like his game management, but he is a class act.

  • Adam

    Oh, and Btw… To all those trade players girls and guys? The Nuggets now have the best lineup EVER! No need for trades, the trade deadline is over anyways.

    • Andrew

      True on the trade deadline. Not true on the best lineup ever.

  • Dubz

    I just hope this ends the “Lottery” talk that I’ve been hearing lately. This team should not tank, and if tonight is any indication, can make noise in the playoffs. I hope Karl takes notice and realizes that this team CAN be a scary defensive team. I have to give credit where credit is due, and Karl’s rotation was much improved tonight. When he went small, he’d include Mozgov and Ty seemed to play with much more assertiveness. Ty and Miller play their best when Miller is the “Ying” to Lawson’s “Yang”. This team will need some more time to blend together, but this was fun to watch. I watched the Bull’s broadcast and they had nothing but complimentary things to say about the Nuggets play tonight. Very impressive considering our performance yesterday. Very pleased.

    • Dubz

      P.S.. Wilson is obviously struggling to find his rhythm on offense having played in a terrible league all season. However, he clearly hasn’t lost his touch on the defensive side of the ball. He was giving Chicago fits all night within the paint and perimeter. Goes to show what he can bring to the table once his shot starts to go down.

    • Charlie

      Miller has just given better effort. He was setting screens, aggressively posting up, and moving without the ball to free up Lawson. It’s either the losing or something else that has clicked and brought out much more inspired play. I thought Miller was the player of the game and really made the lineups work.

  • jc

    Very pleased by the effort and hustle on both sides of the ball this game if denver can consistently put up this defensive effort they should climb back up in the standings

  • Porter

    Not seeing how 19.3 minutes with 5 points, 2 rebounds and 2 blocked shots equate to a score of B… and still Bird sits.

    didn’t see the game but guessing the players were following their shots tonight to try to pick up the rebounds.

    Bulls missing Rose……….

    • Charlie

      If you’re evaluating purely on production than Kendrick Perkins is the worst Center in the league and Reggie Evans would be the most coveted bench big in the league. To look at the role Mozgov plays and claim he’s a big problem is completely missing the point.

      • Kyle Obergfell

        really??? since when??

        OMG.. Mosgov played ok tonight…
        but come on..

        Charlie.. come on.

        • Kyle Obergfell

          you’re going to have to help me understand that one Charlie..

          Mosgov just gets owned.

          I don’t get his role. I am a much much bigger Koufos
          and Bird fan. All year.. all year.. all year.
          Mosgov has been getting used up like a ten dollar hooker.
          I saw him play better tonight, but he still got ran over.

          We have to hold everyone to the same standard.
          I don’t get how Mosgov has started more games than
          any other Center this year. If you count tonight..
          he’s had like two good games.

          Kendrick Perkins also benefits from two first team all stars
          and two forwards that out rebound him
          Perkins is one of the weakest bigs in the NBA.
          Quite possibly the worst.. and honestly I’d rather have
          Reggie Evans. When OKC fall short again this year..
          I promise you they will not put up with him anymore.

          his stat line is low for a reason.. he sucks.

          Look how the Grizzlies owned him last year.

          I do like the comparison though.
          If Mosgov grimaces and scowls a little more..
          they’re long lost brothers.

    • Ryan

      I would give Mozgov a D. Stupid fouls, hands of stone, and two steps behind the action all night. I’m glad Karl realized that McGee needs to start

  • Ernie

    What the $&@^ just happened? I was not looking forward to tonight and they put the best effort since the start of the year.

    McGee in the starting lineup makes so much more sense. I still don’t know why GK went small the last 5 minutes or had his traditional Miler and Harrington playing the final 18 minutes of the game.

  • melly

    Loved watching Lawson, Afflalo and Harrington raining down those 3’s. Great defense and teamwork tonight. This win surprised me in a good way :)

  • Andrew

    Great game by the Nuggets. Bird must be n Karl’s doghouse…bigtime. At least he started McGee and played Moz. Hope they can keep up the spirited play, and George can see his way to playing big more often.

    • Charlie

      When Karl coaches a big game against a tough opponent he tends to play a really short rotation. I wouldn’t say Bird is in the doghouse anymore than he normally is, it was a factor of both McGee and Mozgov being ahead of him for minutes.

  • Peter

    I hate to make a negative comment after such a great team win, but has anybody thought that maybe Andre Miller is finally playing well because he realizes that he’s in a contract year and moping around wont get any money? I guess it doesn’t really matter as long as he’s playing well for us. It’s just a shame that so many athletes are this selfish, I thought Dre would not care about money and just be trying to chase championships at this point in his career. Then again he’s never played on a really good team so maybe winning is not that important to him. Or you could just make the case that he never thought the Nuggets were good enough to contend in the first place and that’s why he wanted out if he’s not going to start.

    • Kyle Obergfell

      I would think possibly he took February off because he
      publicly admitted he was unhappy not starting.
      He might have wanted a trade.

      As far as just now playing well…
      It seems like everyone forgets the 14-5 run..
      he was very big in all that.. and was team MVP
      in a couple of games.. i

      Hard to tell.
      ALl is forgiven if he keeps playing like he did tonight.

  • CJP32

    Um Charlie, Corey Brewer didn’t shoot a single three pointer, let alone 3 in a row??? He missed a tip in and had two layups blocked (one was a hard foul that wasn’t called). He also played great defense and Denver went on a 12-2 run sparked by steals and running when he came into the game in the 1st quarter. I don’t think playing only 9 minutes warrants a D+.

    • Charlie

      Good point. I definitely misread Brewer’s stat line as I didn’t remember seeing him do much. I corrected the grade and the commentary.

  • Max Ireland

    Great road win on a back to back! What was the difference? REBOUNDS AND DEFENSE! Still don’t like the two PG thing we got going, but it worked tonight. The way I see it, if we can run two PG’s at the same time, why can’t we run two 7 footers at the same time? Or at least always have one on the floor. With 3 on the roster, and tonight showing what a positive impact rebounds can have, there’s no reason not to be using more size!

    • Charlie

      The two PG offense is more of a requirement if you want to get Miller involved. I’m normally not a fan of Miller playing big minutes but he does many things Ty doesn’t do and he still is capable of being a very good player. I thought Nuggets had a good balance tonight when they went small and were still able to defend

      • Max Ireland

        Despite how well Miller played tonight, I ask the question, do we really want to get him involved? And if so, why can’t Ty sit while Andre is out there and vice versa, you know like a normal team? I’m trying to think if I’ve ever seen the Lakers run Fischer and Blake (now Sessions and Blake) or if the Heat have ever run Norris and Chalmers. I know I’ve seen Shumpert and Lin at the same time, but Shump is more SG and frankly the Knicks record is worse than the Nuggets so if thats part of their game, it’s not working out any better.

        If anyone knows a SUCCESSFUL team than runs two PGs at the same time at least once EVERY single game, please chime in for discussions sake. I don’t think any do and therefore I wish we didn’t.

        • Avarice

          I agree, I don’t like seeing 2 PG lineups. Ty Lawson is the future, he needs legit starter minutes with Miller coming in only when Ty is out. 2 PG’s means we are probably playing small ball, and I’m sick of it. I want a huge lineup when the game is on the line, not a speedy one. Rebounds make extra possessions, which is why Faried needs more minutes. He should be averaging 30+ a night at this point.

        • Charliemyboy

          George commented that he goes small when not having turnovers is the priority… end of games. Also, two pg’s permits Ty to be the shooting guard… eg., 27 points against Chicago… now, with Chand, Faried and JaVel, we can easily afford that….

  • Whimanji

    We r the most effective when we use size. Small ball will not work in a consistent basis. Use McGee and faried chandler afflalo with either Ty or dre is our best bet. Great desperate effort defensively and on the boards. This can maybe be our turnaround game and get a bit of a streak. I still don’t think GK should be off the hot seat tho.

  • tom

    We still gave up 13 of 20 threes… Perimeter needs to be improved. Good game by Karl although I don’t like miller playing 30minutes

    • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com Jeremy

      That is true, Denver did a much better job of challenging shots though. Some of those threes were simply great shots with a hand in their face whereas in the past several games there was nary a defender to be found.

      • Max Ireland

        I distinctly recall a Korver shot that was so contested I expected it to air ball, but he swished it of course. Still, improved perimeter defense but the double teaming still left holes from time to time. When will the Nuggets trust one another to play man to man defense without doubling. In the paint is one thing but at the top of the key on Boozer? Come on! If our lineup wasn’t always so small, it’s possible we wouldn’t feel like we needed to help so much. Just my .02

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com Jeremy

    I just finished off a Twitter session logging my disbelief in what I saw tonight. After two weeks of horrible defense, I was shocked to see Denver suddenly completely turn the tables and play an incredibly sound game defensively. They were aggressive and never once looked like they were taken by surprise by what their next rotation or help was.

    Offensively that was the best movement I have seen in a long time. They have shown good movement for short segments, but tonight was total team activity on offense for 48 minutes.

    An absolutely marvelous effort, it just cannot be for one night.

    Also, I was hoping to see Karl insert McGee into the starting lineup and was glad to see he did not wait any longer. I have been very impressed with McGee.

    For those calling for Karl’s head, it is pretty clear that he can only do so much, if the players do not go out, play hard and take pride in what happens. It is not like before the game he said, “Tonight how about you play defense and get back to moving on offense.” The fact they turned things around in one day without a practice shows how much is on the players to act on what they know when they are on the court.

    • GK4Prez

      I agree/disagree with you Jeremy. GK also made some adjustments that helped the team. He changed starting centers, shortened the rotation, which limited Brewer’s minutes. I think this was a really good move, and for much of the game he kept a 7 footer on the floor.

      • Max Ireland

        More height = more rebounds = more possessions

        When we don’t rebound we don’t win cause we take a lot of shots and don’t make them all!

  • Desean

    Afflalo emerging as a star on this team and those calling him overpaid need to rethink that notion, he’s improved so much offensively throughout the year it’s a joke and he’s doing it in the flow of the offense as well. He wants to take big shots and I think at the moment he is the closest thing to becoming Karl’s “leader”

    • Kyle Obergfell

      I will agree with you that there is nobody right now on the team
      that is more important as a leader. There is a difference between
      knowing somebody is talented and seeing them underperform,
      and there are also fan and media favorites… that make all-star
      games in all sports when they clearly don’t deserve to.

      Affalo is what I attribute last night to. Especially the leadership
      component. But I saw him (and so did RMC) fade in to the
      woodwork for the whole month of January.

      That won’t matter at all to me.. it’s now that counts more than

      we just need to hang on.. wait for Gallo who will be ready before
      the playoffs.. get our foot in the door..
      and be every teams nightmare.

    • Aaron

      You Guys Are So inconsistent About The Nuggtes. One Night its “FIRE KARL!!” “TRADE MILLER IMEDITLY!!” “AFFLALO IS THE WORST STARTER IN THE LEAGUE” WE WONT WIN WITH AFFLALO STARTIN!” ,,Next Nite its “Karl Isa Top 5 Coach!” ” Miller Was Amazing!!! Best Backup in The League!!” Now ” Afflalo is Emerging As a Star”

      Guys Pick A Side And Stay on it. No More Of That Kind Shit its Really Annoyinq.

      • Charliemyboy

        I’m with you Aaron; all things in moderation. It’s small improvements on track that get us there; not jumping to conclusions or be yo-yo-ish. I’m even ready to predict 38-27, losing in five games to SA, and being a finalist next year!

  • allAround

    With 4 nugs in a great night the win was close . I still beleive that our “bigs” have a lot of things to learn in D .

  • Thomas

    As great a win as this was, it was just one game.

    The game was won at the start of the second quarter, with Ty-AAA-Chandler-Faried-Mcgee on the court for a 10 point run. That’s the unit that has a chance to do something in the playoffs (if we get there).

    However, I suspect that this win masks the real problem we have: Karl and his “trust guys”.

    Immediately after we got that lead, Karl took out Faried and Mcgee for Harrington and Mozgov, and went 2-guard with Andre at PG. Faried never went back in and Harrington finished the game.

    It worked, at least based on this game.

    I think it won’t work. We won this game because of our hustle on the boards and points in the paint. Faried and Mcgee had 8 offensive boards in 43 minutes. Harrington and Moz had 2 in 50 minutes. Ty was aggressive and scored efficiently because he was the floor general.

    When we resort to Andre running the show under the 2-guard rotation and Harrington up front, we are mediocre and will have no shot whatsoever.

    With Ty at PG, AAA, Chandler, Faried and Mcgee, we have a unit that is offensively sound and even better on the defensive end. This unit will make mistakes but will get markedly better if they develop some chemistry.

    Based on yesterday’s game and the last 7 years of Karl, I suspect we will continue to see major minutes to the “trust guys” line-ups for the remainder of the season.

    I hope I am wrong. The good thing, if I’m wrong, is that most likely it will cost Karl his job.

    • Peter

      Great point, I really like that unit too from a defensive and rebounding standpoint. I’m still hoping that with McGee’s solid play and Mozgov’s ineptitude this season that Mozgov will fall out of the rotation all together. It probably wont happen, but I guess we still have to give him a chance to adjust to his new role. As someone mentioned a few days ago, maybe he will play better with the second unit and not feel as much pressure.

      • Max Ireland

        Agreed, I think K2 is a solid backup 7 footer and Moz can ride pine til someone gets hurt. He’s good size to have available and in practices, but unfortunately he just doesn’t seem to be fast enough/have good enough hands for the Nuggets offense. Too many bobbles!

    • Michael (anotheraussienuggzfan)

      The way Faried plays means he can’t stay on the court for extended periods of time as he gets too gassed, having asthma probably doesn’t help him with this either.
      The other issue is he is not big/strong enough yet to hold his own in the post against bigger guys which is where Al is good to replace him.

      Al better offensively, spaces the floor more with his outside shooting and at this point is better at defending in the post.

      Faried does need more minutes to continue to improve his game, but Karl is bringing him along slowly and not letting him burn himself out in one game only to be sluggish for the next on a long road trip.

  • Thomas

    I meant “start of the third quarter”.

  • italianintellecto

    yeah i agree 100% with the grade.

    chandler: today bad on offense, but tough on defense B

    faried: more active on help defense (but still bad) he can improve. But what difference in the will compared to nenè! when he will begin to make a fair defense, it will be every night an A.
    for this season a B, is what we expect.

    mcgee: yes, he command the defense, he makes the help defense, he blocks, and give us even something interesting on offense. BIG acquisition!

    afflalo: yep, the assasin (from the perimeter) is back!!! A
    he still lacks something on defense compared to the last regular-season, but it’s ok.

    ty: yep he is not the leader, gallo will be, but he must maintain this type of scorer 25pp5assist, or 13/15pp10assist.
    denver needs him so bad!
    today the work has done A+

    miller: he is the same,great on slow transition, heart breaking quarter-back on fast break points. and unlucky on defense.

    brewer: the hero of february, now has taken a little of break D

    timo: okkey if he start from the bench i can be on his side. not so bad on defense cmon!
    he is doing well. B (will be an A when he use that soft touch of him!! on offence)

  • al68

    Hoy me ha sorprendido el equipo, nunca pense que hicieramos tan buen partido en ataque y sobre todo en defensa que nos ha permitido meter varias canastas faciles.

    Sigo viendo grandes puntos debiles

    1º DEF de Miller
    2º Mozgov en un inutil, porque no juega algo Andersen?
    3º IQ cuando algo se complica, hoy hemos tenido la suerte de que el partido ha sido muy fácil y no nos han presionado nada.

    Ahora a seguir concentrados he intentar ganar a Toronto.

  • DH

    Well, that was fun. And a little frustrating. For people like me who have criticized the team and the coach, this game actually shows why we have done so. This is how this team can and should play. This is how Ty can and should perform. This is what Miller can and should do every night. This is how the team can and should play defense. This is how Karl can and should use the talent that he has. And so on.

    What has been so frustrating is the realization that this team can be so much better than it has been. And this game is proof of that. With that said, it wouldn’t surprise me if we now lay an egg at Toronto and/or Charlotte. Let’s hope that it doesn’t happen, and that last night’s game is the beginning of playing to our potential from here on out.

    Some observations…

    Big props to almost everyone, but especially Miller (yes, Miller), Ty, AAA, McGee, and Buckets (very active on the defensive end, too).

    I’m not nearly as hard on Moz as most people at this site, but he was soundly outplayed by Omer Asik. The dropoff when he went in for McGee was noticeable. I can’t imagine that JaVale wouldn’t be the starter from now on – unless there’s a particularly bad matchup for him. I’ve been waiting to see for myself on JM before judging him, and I’m impressed. Sure, he does some crazy things now and then. But most of the time, he’s a lot more sound than I thought he would be. And of course, there’s his athleticism and hustle, which can be game-changing.

    What was going on with Faried’s defense at the beginning of the game? He was roaming like Troy Polamalu in the Steelers secondary. He looked like a one-man zone. And he wasn’t guarding a scrub – he was guarding Carlos Boozer. Seriously, I want to know if Faried did that on his own or if it was somehow part of the defensive game plan. I love Faried, don’t get me wrong. But that was crazy.

    I see why Chandler takes so many tough shots now. It’s because he’s an awful passer. He’s almost better off forcing an off-balance, contested shot than passing. I’m just kidding, sort of. I like Wilson. But I have to give him a hard time for some ugly turnovers and some forced shots.

    Was it my imagination, or did we have a true center on the court for most of the game? I just have to make sure I didn’t dream that part.

    I have to temper my enthusiasm a little. Things always look good when shots are falling, and they were falling all night (although a big reason for that was the great ball movement). And Chicago looked like a team that had watched our recent game film and thought they would have no trouble coasting past us. I don’t think it was their best effort. And of course, Rose was missing. Still, it’s not the result that was most impressive. It’s the way we achieved that result. Again, we played the way we are capable of playing. Nice, nice job all around.

    • Avarice

      I would say the Nuggets generally have great ball movement- they are leading the NBA in assists after all.

      I agree, bigs need more minutes, we have so much height riding the bench…

      • DH

        True, but only 41 assists to 57 for the opposition in the last two ugly losses. So it’s nice to be back to doing what we do best – sharing the ball and creating easy opportunities.

  • jaybark7

    So I don’t think I’ve heard this mentioned yet. Last night Ty Lawson set a career high for FG attempts. It is the first time in his (NBA) life he has taken 20 or more FG.

    I love that he shoots a high percentage and is smart with the ball and doesn’t force it. But on this team there are games he NEEDS to be aggressive and he NEEDS to take shots. It isn’t an every night thing from him, but I am pumped that he attacked.

    Why on earth are people talking about “tanking” and being a lottery team when we are 1.5 games away from the 4 seed? I mean really?!?! What are you guys thinking?

    The team has been up and down for sure, but we are capable of playing with and beating any team in the league on any given night. So in a playoff race that is only 3 games between the 4 seed and the 10 why are we talking about throwing in the towel?

  • Ryan

    Nuggets play 3 of the worst teams in the league in their next 4 games. If they don’t go 3-1 or 4-0 on the rest of the road trip, I will consider it a failure…

    • jr15

      Playing a bad team…we will probably lose

  • Guy

    I like how everybody gets excited over one game. The Nuggets have only lost one game to the Eastern Conference this year (Cleveland) which tells me that maybe they don’t prepare for us. Unfortunately, we play in the West where we have a losing record against every current playoff team accept Houston (1-1). How many turning points have there been for Ty Lawson?? Remember how well Andre Miller played on the last Eastern road swing?? When they start playing like this against Memphis, Utah, Dallas, Minnie, OKC, LAC,…with consistancy I’ll be more impressed.
    Back in the mid-90’s the Nuggs had a similar team with Mutumbo, Ellis, Rogers, McDyess…lots of good players, no stars and after beating Seattle (and GK) they were supposed to be the next big thing. The folowing year they got swept by the Spurs and then didn’t make the playoffs until we got Melo. If we do start playing defense we’ve got a shot. But the question that needs to be asked is after we pay big contracts to Ty, Gallo, Chandler, AAA, McGee… where is the money going to come from for a real star (or 2) and how are we going to get one from the 6th, 7th or 8th seeds in the playoffs. Sometimes you need to take a step backwards to move forwards. Think about how different NBA history would be if David Robinson wouldn’t have been hurt all year the year they won the lottery and drafted Tim Duncan. Without Duncan the Spurs would have no titles.

    • Ernie

      I think people are more surprised by this game than excited. Getting blown out is a sign that the team quit on the coach or something. So beating Chicago at their place (even without Rose) was not expected. But no one seems to be calling for the WCF, as was done earlier this year.

    • DH

      More recent history had us being the next big thing after reaching the Western Conference Finals WITH the big star (Melo). Regardless, my problem with the theory that we should tank (if that’s what you’re proposing) is that I don’t see how we would do it even if we wanted to. How far do you think this team could fall even if we gave the rookies more time? Maybe we drop a few spots in the West and one or two more overall. Maybe. And that’s going to be the answer? Drafting around 8-12 instead of 15-18 for one year?

      Anyway, I don’t know how anyone gives up already on a team that is so young, has so many new parts, and has had as many key injuries as this one has. My concern isn’t that this team can’t go anywhere (especially in a year or two or three). It’s that we’ve underachieved, considering our talent level. The “excitement” from last night is from finally seeing the team do what it is capable of doing, even with all the youth, new faces, and injuries. Nobody said it’s guaranteed to continue. But we were reminded of the team’s potential.

      As for getting a star, you can put me in the camp that says we don’t need one. But if we did, there’s more than one way to go about it. The “tank and draft” way is incredibly risky. First, like I already said, I think we have too much talent to tank enough to make a huge difference. Also, there’s no guarantee that even the #1 overall draft pick would turn the franchise around. Not everyone’s a Duncan, LeBron (no longer a Cav, by the way), or Rose. There are Greg Odens (injuries), Kwame Browns (busts), and John Walls (good but not franchise changers). So how much could we count on a #4 or #7 or #10 to “save the franchise”? The Clippers and Warriors have a phenomenal history of drafting in the top 10, top 5, and #1 overall, and what has it gotten them? And shouldn’t Toronto, Washington, and Charlotte be juggernauts by now?

      I love that we are accumulating young talent. Either it pays off on the court, or we have great assets to use in a trade. That’s another way to get a star. I don’t buy that it’s impossible to get a star to come to Denver. Some particular stars, maybe. But no stars? There are those who want to win and they want to get paid. They don’t care what market it’s in.

      The other route is to trade young assets for picks if it looks like the team has hit a ceiling that they’ll never get past (which we won’t know for at least a couple of years). With the right maneuvers, we could still end up with a lottery pick or two, but also have a decent team before it comes to that.

      Sorry for the long reply. I’m really responding to everyone who has posted comments similar to yours.

  • KW

    A couple thoughts…

    McGee is no more boneheaded than any other current member of our Denver Nuggets. Is it worse to fail on a windmill dunk or penetrate the lane and then throw the ball out of bounds (as I saw Manimal do last night)? Or fumble the ball off a knee out of bounds from the top of the key (as ‘Dre has done recently)?

    My frustration with this game is that it does us NO GOOD to win a game like this with ‘Dre going off. He’s not going to be around next year. I would rather lose and see more Jham and Jstone. I like ‘Dre’s game (when he wants to play) but we’re winning battles and losing the war. I also don’t really care about the playoffs this year.

    Third, I wonder how Nene did in the fourth qtr last night when the Wiz gave up a lead to the Pistons?

  • Kyle Obergfell


    why didn’t Lawson get an A+?

    I am just wondering what he didn’t do
    that Affalo did to get A+…

    Again.. I want to see the same standard.
    AAA might of deserved an A+…
    but still..I don’t understand why he did and Lawson didn’t…

    I thought Lawson showed the leadership from
    the bold “statement win” prediction and the passion
    he played with.

    AAA was jacked up in a good way as well..
    he’s emerging big time in the clutch..
    I just think it was a minor slight on Ty..
    I don’t know what else you could want for than that.

    • DH

      Not trying to speak for Charlie, but maybe it was due to the Bulls’ unheralded point guards going off on us a little? Just a guess.

      • Kyle Obergfell

        well it’s a good guess.. but.. the idea just doesn’t
        fly with me.

        You can’t tell me that Ty didn’t play defense..
        he had 9 rebounds and 2 steals..

        And if 17 points and 14 points is “going off”
        what’s 45 points then?

        • Kyle Obergfell

          not to mention.. the Bulls only had 19 SG minutes.
          They went with Korver, who hit 4-4 on 3’s

          I love AAA.
          Hard to believe it.. but I do.

          I think that the Broncos season had me sick of
          Skip Bayless and all these fans protecting, defending
          and sanctifying Tebow.. while everyone around him
          was a loser.

          AAA gets a little bit of that as well..
          So when I’m rough on him.. it’s because it
          seems so many other people Tebow him..
          if that makes any sense.
          The math never adds up for me,
          and we got rid of Melo.
          I’ve always romanticized the Nugs for having a
          true team after Melo.
          Not giving up on that dream.

          That’s why I keep saying.. be fair to everyone,
          same standard across the board.

          Ty deserves A+
          not that AAA doesn’t..
          but I sure as hell ain’t going to agree
          AAA deserves it more than Ty after that game.

          This is a lot of what I’ve been talking about
          the entire time.

        • DH

          I think you missed the point. “Going off a little” is a combined 31 points and 7 of 11 on threes from the point guard position from two backups. Enough to account for the difference between an A and an A+, maybe (not sure why are we even discussing such a small difference in the first place). But Charlie can tell you what he was thinking.

          Anyway, if Ty was hurt and Miller and Stone combined for 31, I’d say they went off a little. And if the backup PGs for Chicago had gone for 45 as you suggested, I’d say they completely went off, went nuclear, embarrassed Ty, or something like that. In that case, it wouldn’t go from an A+ to an A. It would be much worse than that. Hope that clears things up.

          • Kyle Obergfell

            I’m sorry but it doesn’t make sense.

            For one.. it’s assumed that Ty was the reason..
            they “go off” for a combined 31 (which is two
            baskets more than Ty’s total.)

            not only did Ty not guard them both the entire
            time.. (impossible because he wasn’t in all the
            time and both PG were in at the same time)

            but some of this is on AAA and Miller.

            But you forgot Korver…who functionally played
            PG and SG although a SF… he hit 4/4 on his threes..
            and he had 5 assists. the Bulls only SG had only
            19 minutes.

            And again.. 9 rebounds. I don’t know about you..
            but any F or C that gets 27 pts and 9 rebounds
            would get an A+… why wouldn’t a PG?

  • Guy

    I’m not saying we should tank the season. I’m just saying don’t get too excited. Remember we beat the Spurs a few weeks ago on the road and then proceded to come home and go 5-4 on a homestand that we should have gone at least 7-2. We very easily could have gone 3-6. A lot of the same excuses (youth, injuries, need more time together…) were made during the mid-90’s about a Nuggets team that never really amounted to much. I hope the players continue to give the kind of effort they gave last night but in the end I just don’t think this current team will win more than 55% of their games.
    You are right, the lottery is a bit of a crap shoot but it is our best opportunity to get a true star for teams don’t trade stars unless they are forced to. Kevin Love is not getting traded to the Nuggets nor Kevin Durrant, Russell Westbrooke or Dwight Howard…unless THEY want to be traded here. I hope I am wrong but history shows that a team needs at least one star just to make the finals let alone win. Even the Pistons had allstars in C-Bill, Rip Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace and Ben Wallace. They were also the best defensive team in the Eastern Conference, something we are not.
    I do, for the first time in the 25 years of following this team, have confidence in the FO in making trades and picking draft picks and I don’t think they have grossly overpaid (see Kenyon Martin) any of their current players. But in my opinion this team is still a work in progress and that’s why I not that excited.

    • DH

      Guy, I see what you’re saying. And I’m not too excited. But I do see promise in this young team. Anyway, good discussion.

    • dynamo.joe

      Currently, we have what most people think is the 2nd best rookie from last years draft and 3rd best rookie of the season. And many people, especially around here, would say that he’s better than the other 2, he just didn’t get the playing time rubio and kyrie got.

      We did not pick him up in the lottery.

      Every year people who are paid millions of dollars to “know basketball” select players who will never play more than a handful of meaningful NBA games.

      Every year dozens of people who are paid millions of dollars to “know basketball” skip over players who will make multiple all-star games or even re-energize the fanbase of an entire continent.

      It happens every year. And it’s my main objection to those who advocate tanking.

      What the Nuggets need to do is create an organization that is capable of recognizing and developing young talent.

      Many here seem to believe they have at least half of that.

      • dynamo.joe

        I don’t know if anyone does this, but here is an idea I’ve had for a while now.

        All the sorts of stats that teams use to evaluate college players and free agents, should also be used to evaluate the scouting staff.

        Maybe everyone already does this.

        Simple example: have your scouts rank the top ten college guys at each position. Then compare the rankings to the production in the NBA for years 1-4.

        If the consensus of your scouts is that player X is the 8th best point guard this year and that projects to a couple years in the D-league and maybe a couple of 10 day contracts due to injury before he gives up on bball. But, one of your scouts has him ranked as the 3rd best pg projecting to 15 minutes a night and player X turns into Jeremy Lin, you move that scout up the organization. Well, if he can do that sort of thing consistently.

  • Landry

    Does anyone really know what were going to do with two legit SF when Gallo comes back? I mean come playoff time we GK will tighten the line-up and go with his “trust” guys. Sadly I think this leaves out the Rookie as the Manimal loses his PT.

    Personally I feel Gallo fits better with the second unit. I mean Chandler is better at defense while Gallo helps our offense. Chandler in only 3 games has shown to be more suffocating on D w/ his sheer athletic ability.

    Looking at our second unit I feel we need another knock down shooter which is not Chandler. I mean really are we going to stop anybody with Miller and Mozgov protecting the paint?? Instead we should outscore them like we always do, I mean look this second units bench potential.

    Miller PG
    Brewer SG
    Gallo SF
    Harrington PF
    Mozgov C

    I mean who better fits better w/ a shot creator like miller. I’ve only seen Chandler make contested shots since his stint in China. Meanwhile Gallo is $$ on Open looks. Finally Brewer runs the lane so well we can limit his ineffective jump shots with someone like Gallo.

    Finally I think Chandler frees up the lane for Lawsome at the beginnings of Games. His uncanny ability to hit hard shots in more demoralizing and forces his man to stick with him too. Additionally his 1 on 1 iso is top notch and he brings the dimension that Gallo lacks.

    Finally I think the GK factor will make our crunch time line-up look like this.

    Lawson PG
    Affalo SG
    Gallo SF
    Chandler PF
    McBeast C

    I mean how else would a GK team treat a rookie come playoff time??

    Sadly I think Faried is our Clutchest big but I don’t think GK agrees. Additionally Harrington can finally get rest and not play freaking 35 mins a game.

    • DH

      In a perfect world (my opinion), come playoff time, GK would shorten the rotation and go bigger instead of smaller. Personally, I would start…

      PG = Lawson
      SG = Afflalo
      SF = Gallo
      PF = Manimal
      C = McGee

      Then I would have Chandler backing up both Gallo and AAA, unless a particularly bad matchup kept Chandler from being able to play shooting guard. In other words, I would have a 3-man rotation on the wings, which would leave Brewer out. (People can feel free to bash me now for thinking Chandler can play the “2”. I can take it.)

      Miller would spell Lawson, like a normal backup PG.

      Harrington would split time with Faried, depending on the needs (offense, rebounding, etc.) at the time.

      Moz or Koufos would spell McGee.

      The crunch-time lineup would be the same as the starting lineup, unless we needed Harrington for offense or to spread the floor.

      I think you make a great argument for starting Chandler, but I just couldn’t do it. Chandler makes a great bench guy because of his versatility. More importantly, I have a hard time picturing Gallo being as effective in a bench role. But that’s just my opinion.

      • Landry

        I agree with you about Gallo not being good in a bench role. Haven’t seen Gallo have real competition until now so we won’t know until he comes back. Additionally I don’t think i’ve ever seen GK do something logical in my opinion, I mean seriously Gallo at center?? I pray that your line-up is the one we play cause I haven’t seen him play all the starters together at crunch time. He seems to like the hot hand and that hurts our defense along with continuity w/ Faried and McGee.

  • Nuggz35

    Having gone to the game last night, I really dont know what to say. I have never ever seen us play at THAT high of a pace. We somehow all of a sudden knew exactly what rotations to make, how to get by screens and how to rebound. Usually (since I play college bball) I find my self saying, “I could play in this game,” but last night we played so fast I couldnt believe how rapidly we played. I go to school in Chicago and get to see every Bulls game, and although they didnt have D Rose, they still know how to play defense and still beat up on teams without him. We straight embarrassed the Bulls tonight. I talked with Koz after the game and he agreed that if we played like this every game, we’d be incredible.

  • bayesk

    Larry Brown wants to coach again…