Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 99, Charlotte Bobcats 88

Denver Nuggets 99 Final

Recap | Box Score

88 Charlotte Bobcats
Wilson Chandler, SF 19 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -6
Chandler continues to go MIA. While he plays good defense, he’s non-existent on offense. Chandler is without question one of the more talented player on the Nuggets roster but isn’t playing like it at the moment.
Kenneth Faried, F 27 MIN | 2-4 FG | 8-10 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | +4
Faried had a huge block in the second half as well some nice dunks throughout the entire game. The only area Faried really struggled in was close-out defense, where he drastically needs improvement.
JaVale McGee, C 22 MIN | 4-9 FG | 3-3 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 11 PTS | +6
McGee also had some incredible blocks but didn’t hit the glass with tenacity. Games in which he hauls in only three rebounds wont cut it. McGee is a legit 7-footer with a monstrous 7-foot-6 wingspan. There is no excuse not to rebound at a high rate.
Arron Afflalo, SG 40 MIN | 7-12 FG | 4-7 FT | 11 REB | 4 AST | 19 PTS | +12
Afflalo put up one of his most impressive stat lines all year. It’s great to see get numbers outside of just the scoring department as it shows he’s impacting the game in more than one way. Afflalo was also extremely aggressive and got to the line because of it.
Ty Lawson, PG 34 MIN | 5-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 10 AST | 14 PTS | +1
Ty’s numbers are deceiving. He passed the ball well but also turned it over seven times. He missed countless open 3-pointers and refused to attack the basket the way he’s capable of doing. But, numbers don’t lie, and at the end of the day he did finish with a respectable stat line.
Al Harrington, PF 32 MIN | 5-12 FG | 0-2 FT | 11 REB | 2 AST | 10 PTS | +4
Big Al had a pretty routine game. He scored and rebounded off the bench, and that was about it.
Andre Miller, PG 25 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 9 AST | 4 PTS | +13
This was refreshing. Andre Miller actually helped his team win rather than just going one-on-one on offense every time he received the ball. And believe it or not, he actually played pretty good defense! He attempted to block a few shots and took a charge as well. This is what the Nuggets need from Miller: defense and distribution. If he can do that, his grades will significantly improve.
Corey Brewer, SF 26 MIN | 7-11 FG | 3-3 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 17 PTS | +13
Brewer made some fantastic cuts to the basket and played with a tremendous amount of energy throughout the night. He finally figured out how to score, which largely revolved around just moving on offense. If would be excellent if he could continue this sort of play down the stretch.
Kosta Koufos, C 15 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | +8
After watching Mozgov recently, all I have to say is: Thank God for Koufos. He understands the game so much better and is always in the right position to make a play. He’s tough and gives it his all on defense. Koufos is just a better basketball player than Mozgov and unless he gets injured again, should be the backup center for the foreseeable future.

Three Things We Saw

  1. Catnip: It was a win, yes, but let’s keep in mind here: This is the Bobcats were talking about. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a professional sports team as bereft of talent as this team is. Who’s their best player? Corey Maggette? Gerald Henderson? Kemba Walker? For a large part of the night the Bobcats outplayed the Nuggets but ultimately lost because nobody on their roster is talented enough to string together a few daggers. If Denver had played this way against even a mediocre team, the result might have been different.
  2. Turnovers: The Nuggets had 25 of them. Again, Denver played sloppy for much of the evening. It was careless, disorganized basketball that probably should not have been rewarded with a win. Turnovers have been a problem for the Nuggets throughout the year. If they plan on making a run over the last 14 games of the regular season, they’ll need to take care of the ball.
  3. Run Like Hell: At the time of this recap the Nuggets sit in seventh place in the West and only two games back of the Clippers, who are the fourth seed in the West. Two measly games is the difference between facing the Spurs away from Denver in the first round or playing the Grizzlies at home. This is one of the main factors that makes the 2011-12 Nuggets so disappointing. If they just played like a winning basketball team — rather than a losing one — the Nuggets might very well be in third place in the West right now.
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Kalen Deremo

Kalen was born in Durango, CO, in 1988 and graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2013 with a degree in journalism. He's now an itinerant hoping to travel as much as possible before eventually succumbing to the "real world." Aside from writing Kalen likes movies, music, spicy food and the great outdoors. Edward Abbey is his current idol.
  • HD

    i think this may be the worst rapid reaction of the year. Have we lowered our standards for bigs so low that we give Koufous a B+. Please, he consistently blows layups, is slow, and although he does not get lost as often as mozgov, tonight he let his guy past him in more than 1 occasion. So if Mozgov isn’t playing well, Koufos isn’t serviceable, then why not talk about the Birdman? Whenever he has been available, as of late he has contributed. I think we need to continue evaluation our bigs so we do not need to ‘settle’ with their performances.

    • Kyle Obergfell

      I agree zoo much. The very least Bird can offer.. is nastiness. He’s a tough bastard that battles. That.. would be really refreshing.. after a whole GD season of seeing Mosgov and Nene get mowed down.. and never lose their starting status.

      George Karl’s Birdman issues.. are as much as anything.. why I am not happy with his coaching this year.

      I don’t think in this situation.. that Birdman is the one that needs to grow up.

    • allAround

      HD come on now it is clear that you just do not like Koufos and you are a fan of Moz .
      ——————————————————————————-
      I am hoping that Chandler will find his way to Offence , I think that his needs sometime to adjust again.

      Any news from Galo ??

    • NuggFan forLife

      HD, face it. Mozgov is just bigger than Koufos that’s why he gets more minutes. But Kosta is more talented than him. Mozgov will be better playing in Russia than the NBA if he just can’t adjust to the pace as fast as the Nuggets.

      • al68

        El sera mejor jugador en rusia porque el nivel de los jugadores de europa es mas bajo que en la nba.

      • Trip

        Mozgov is a better player away from the basket, he has a little better jump shot and sets better screens and moves without the ball. Koufos however is much more aware of whats going on at the rim and rebounds better and tips in misses on a regular basis, I think between them playing time should be dependent on who they would be matched up against.

      • HD

        Skill and Koufos don’t go together. He hustles, he’s coachable, he grabs boards, and can finish. SKill goes toward Mozgovs jump shot, and post moves.

        Right now Kosta is the better option because of how he is performing but something needs to be done so we don’t have to ‘settle’. In the past denver has had the best backup bigs in the game from Nene (cambys backup) to Birdman (nenes backup). We need consistency. Neither one of our 7 footers are giving us that.

  • Landry

    All I can say is at least Koufos can do a couple of putbacks a game. Like seriously is Mozzy made of stone??

    Finally I just don’t think our Bigs can rebound. Seriously, None of them do. GK make Faried the center at crunch time!!! At least he plays like he’s 7ft tall and gets a defensive rebound. I mean seriously how many second chance points do we give away with Moz, Koufos, Harrington, and McGee??

  • Porter

    HD… Amen and thank you for your astute observation and comment. Something is rotten in Denver. Took a couple of peaks at the game but interest is gone…. but I be watching for the Birdman to fly again

  • GK4Prez

    Either Koufos or Mozgov need to improve a lot over the summer. Take a look around the West, several teams are going to big front lines, so having a serviceable front court in Denver will be important in the not so distant future.

  • http://yahoo mile high

    Let’s face it. We have to stop misleading ourselves that this Nuggets team is a good basketball team that belongs to the upper echelon of the NBA. It is not! The absence of top players aside, the FO wants a young and inexperienced team and that is exactly what they’ve got now. With such a team, of course, turnovers and inconsistency come with the territory.

    It’s really amazing why people keep thinking so highly of Wilson Chandler. He is not even a starter for the inept Knicks before the Melo trade and his performance in last year’s playoff was pathetic. To trade Nene in order to be able to offer him a rich long term contract is illogical but I guess when one gets infatuated with the notion of younger is better, there is no return.

    Don’t get me wrong. I am a Nuggets fan and I dearly want them to do well. However, instead of berating the group, players and coaches included, we should appreciate that they are actually over-achieving. Rather than languishing in the cellar of the NBA, for them to be still chasing for a play-off spot this late in the season is trully amazing.

    I still hope and think that the Nuggets can get into the play-offs by the strength of their will and fighting spirit. Let’s get behind them and give them our full support.

    Go Nuggets!

    • GK4Prez

      The details on Chandler’s contract were released today, and it isn’t bad at all. 31.6 million over 5 years, it breaks down to 5.5 this year and then, 5.9, 6.3, 6.7, and 7.1 over the 5 year span.

    • Landry

      Thank you!!!

      Seriously I think that our Front Office is over leaning on GK’s experience. I mean seriously we just gave him a bunch of pieces and expect him to fit them together. The only guys GK trust unconditionally are FREAKING Al Chucketts and journey man Andre Miller. We should just be happy not to be in the lottery after MELO. I mean how else is GK suppose to figure out what he has in the Playoffs???

      Experiments are neccesary and hopefully he REALIZES that Faried plays winning basketball by the end of the season!!!

  • Kyle Obergfell

    to help perspective..
    March is in the books.. we went 9-7
    February we were 5-10
    Jan we were 13-4
    Dec we were 2–2

    What is realistic for April’s 14 games?

    The return of Gallo.. our best offensive weapon..

    which will allow Lawson, Affalo and Miller to think
    more about guarding the perimeter.

    Little to no Mozzy.. that will help

    George Karl coaching to save his coaching life.

    A lot less small ball

    And a low seed playoff birth…6th, 7th or 8th.

    It ain’t over till the fat lady sings.
    We could very well be this years Grizzlies.
    There is still a chance to salvage a lot of good from this season.

  • evan

    9-7 in march is good. Nugs will go 10-5 and be 3rd or 4th mark my words

    • Will

      no.

    • aussienuggzfan

      no

    • Kalen

      I have to disagree. The Nuggets had a nine-game homestand they failed to capitalize on, during which they lost to the Cavs and BARELY squeaked by the Kings, Hawks and Pistons. March could have, and probably should have, seen the Nuggets finished with a losing record. April is much tougher. I think a good goal for this team is to finish above .500 by the end of the year.

      • Kyle Obergfell

        we are playoff bound Kalen…
        we are.

        Gallo coming back, Chandler finding a groove..
        Lawson and Affalo dependable
        Faried consistent and McGee a huge surprise.
        Miller playing good again.
        Harrington will be better with Gallo back as well,
        concentrated doses.
        Karl will swallow his pride and coach better.

        We are playoffs bound.

      • monimo

        Come on, Kalen. So you would be ok with the Nuggets going 6-8 in april and an overall 34-32 record? I dont think it would be enough for the playoffs. Some opponents will be in rest mode for the upcoming playoffs and the schedule is not so horrible. The 5th or 6th sead with with at least 37-29 should be the goal.

      • NuggFan forLife

        Come on Kalen, have you seen what’s similar in these players : Afflalo, Chandler, Nene (before he’s traded)? They all played NBA games after long layoffs. Afflalo has been playing great ball because he finally has his rhythm. When will you ever realize that Wil is just fresh from China. I never heard you saying about bad defense from him. For now, Wilson is still rusty, he hasn’t played well since last season. Better stay patient and think positive going forward.

  • Rick

    I think the talent on this team is okay, sure they can shore up some positions with some trades/draft (Bird, Miller, Moz, Fernandez). The main areas of emphasis they need to improve on for playoffs is perimeter defense, turnovers, free-throws. We are league-worst in 3 pointers allowed, 28th in turnovers, 22nd in FT %, which all contribute to giving the opponent unnecessary points and giving away easy points we should be putting on the scoreboard. Yes, we’re young but these are all correctable areas and not necessarily attributable to one person. They probably aren’t going to be fixed this year unless they can really focus on these problems come playoff time, but I don’t think our future looks that bad if they can fix those 3 things.

  • Evan S

    Nuggets need to land Spurs Mavs or Grizzlies in the first round to have a chance. Gotta avoid OKC Lakers and Clips.

    • Ernie

      Spurs would kill Nuggets. Mavs and Grizz likely as well. Only Lakers and Clips has this team looked any good against.

    • DH

      I guess I’m somewhere in between. I would like to face, in order…

      Clips
      Lakers
      Spurs
      Mavs (we don’t have an answer for Dirk)
      Grizz (they seem to have our number)
      OKC

      • Kyle Obergfell

        I don’t see OKC as the big bad wolf everyone makes them out to be.

        Kendrick Perkins is a huge liability for him..
        McGee finally gives us defense and nastiness.

        It’s a different set this time around.

        If you remember recently…
        our liability has been the perimeter.. not the paint.

        we should be able to tighten both up.

        I think we will again be the team nobody wants to face.

        The next two weeks will tell a lot.

    • Ricardo

      I would like the nuggets to face the Clips in the first-round. I think the nuggets could match-up well with them, especially now that they have a good defensive front-court in Faried and McGee.

  • Ernie

    I know this abbreviated season was supposed to be one where Denver benefitted from being deep and young, so that the schedule helped and the Nuggets could finish in the top 4. But the schedule has also made it so that there is no practicing, no learning and so when teams are thrown together no cohesiveness.

    In January the teams that were young and deep did really well (Denver, Portland, Clippers, 76ers) but it seems that has reversed lately and it is the experienced teams that are finishing strong (Spurs, Mavs, Celtics).

    The lack of practice time has retarded the Nuggets growth, and this has shown up mostly on defense (specifically perimeter defense). I’m wondering if next year things will be better, especially if they hire a new defensive coach like Boston used to have with Thibidou.

  • Tony

    How about the Nuggets miss the playoffs, get into the lottery and select Jared Sullinger. He could eventually take over Harrington’s rotation and give the Nuggets a true scoring threat in the post. I think the Nuggs would get about the same defense from him as Al.

    • Ernie

      Sullenger plays same position as Faried and is also undersized. They need a strong backup PG that can defend and make reliable 3’s. I’d prefer Marshall from UNC (led NCAA in assists) or a different shooter like Lamb from UConn.

      • Ernie

        Or Rivers from Duke.

      • Tony

        With the guard spot so cluttered right now, do they really need to get another one? Harrington’s aging pretty quickly now, and with Birdman in the position he is, eventually they will need to groom a backup for Faried.

        • Ernie

          Miller is leaving and they really don’t have a 2 guard besides AAA or a PG they will play (apparently no confidence in Stone). Rudy is a playmaker but no defense and an unreliable shot coming off back surgery. Brewer and Chandler are really small forwards that have trouble defending the 2 guards and don’t make 3’s consistently enough.

          I just don’t see Sullinger being a starter in the league. Undersized and less athletic, not really a shooter or passer to turn him into Kevin Love.

          • DH

            You forgot JHam. If the Nuggets draft another shooter, he would probably ride the pine like Hamilton did, and JHam himself might or might not get playing time. I think if the Nuggets decide they really need a shooter (and I agree they do), they might try to find a proven veteran through free agency or trade, rather than spending a draft pick there and ignoring other needs.

            • Ernie

              I did forget about JHam, you are right. I still would like a backup PG that can direct and make 3’s. Marshall from UNC is listed as the 17th best prospect on ESPN last time I saw it.

        • DH

          The point guard position is not cluttered. It will be Ty and Stone – that’s it. Miller won’t be back.

          But Lamb is a shooting guard, and Rivers probably will be, too. And yes, we have plenty of wing players, so PF and PG are much bigger needs.

          I’m a big Kendall Marshall fan, but he will probably be long gone before the Nuggets pick, even if we were to miss the playoffs.

          • Tony

            I’m not sold yet on Miller being gone. The thing is, he wants to go take over another teams PG spot and be the man. But which team needs him to do that next year and be willing to commit to his age? Just because he thinks that can be the case doesn’t mean teams are going to go for that. He may get out on the market and realize that his best scenario is to stay where he is, Karl loves him. His best hope is that Deron Williams goes to the Mavs and he can then step into New Jersey. Maybe a spot opens up at Phoenix, assuming nash goes elsewhere but does he really fit there?

            • DH

              Yes, Karl loves him. But does the Front Office? He doesn’t fit with the youth movement – or with the desire of the FO to save some money for extending Ty’s contract. I would be shocked if he’s back next year.

            • GK4Prez

              The Nets are a possibility if DWill heads to Dallas, the Kings might be another option.

      • al68

        necesitamos una estrella(gordon?)buen tirador, no una superestrella y un buen entrenador de defensa.

    • Ricardo

      The nuggets are going to need a point guard to back-up Lawson, more than a power forward and a shooting guard. I think they should go for Kendall Marshall, he’s a good defender and a great passer.

  • al68

    Algo no va bien cuando en la posicion de center nos conformamos con que koufos no nos haga perder partidos, como nos lo hace Modgov.

    Ahora que esta lesionado Rudy los tiros estupidos y fuera de lugar los hace Chandler, alguien le deberia de decir que no es Kobe.

    Parece que Miller esta mas motivado e implicado con el equipo.

    Por primera vez en mucho tiempo Brewer juega con logica haciendo cortes hacia canasta y buscando espacios una pena que no meta los open shots de 3 puntos.

    Empiezo a comprender porque Washington dejo irse a Mcgee creo que no es capaz de hacer un puzzle de 5 piezas.

    Que bonito es ver jugadores comprometidos y luchadores como Najera.

    GK saca algo a Birdman!!!!!!!

  • GK4Prez

    Sullinger would be nice, the Nuggets lack a guy that can play with his back to the basket. However, I would rather see this squad make the playoffs.

    • Tony

      This is the first time that I have ever said this, but the Lakers are the team that I would want the Nuggets to face in the playoffs out of all of the teams that they could potentially play. Getting a little gun shy after all of the first round exits. If the team that beat Chicago at home shows up then game on, but if the team that allowed the Raptors to light it up shows, its a rough ride.

  • Tony

    Wanted to mention that we as Nuggets fan got to see Tall Ball last night for a small stretch in the second. McGee and Koufos were on the court together. KK came up with a big block while they were on the court together. Could this be the start of something new?

  • dynamo.joe

    There are what, like two guards in most of the top 20 rankings of players in the draft this year? I don’t think we will wind up with a guard.

    In this ‘historically deep’ draft almost everyone is a under-sized center or power forward. So that is probably what we will get.

    If one of the rooks next year shows they can play, we probably see bird or harrington get amnesthetized.

    As for what the nuggets will do at pg, they will extend lawson, bring back stone on another 1 yr contract, and I’m assuming that AC will be available.

    • Jake

      AC as in air conditioning to the playoff nuggets? As in you’re thinking that Masai would let george bring him back? As in that dude isn’t retired yet?

      I would rather AC Green than Anthony Carter. He singlehandedly kept us from a sniff at a championship. He isn’t welcome here. If I see him on the street I will boo him.

      Are you NUTS?

    • DH

      Stone is on a 2-year contract. He’s locked up for next year. But if Karl has any say in the matter (and I’m not sure he does), he will have a fit if his backup PG is a second-year player whom he barely let see the floor this year. He’s going to want a vet, I’m sure. Fortunately, that vet won’t be AC.

      • dynamo.joe

        OK, the AC thing was my version of trolling, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see some one of that caliber as 3rd pg next year. Someone GK would describe as a ‘wily vet’.

  • Jake

    If the nuggets are healthy, I don’t care who we play in the playoffs, we can flat beat any one on any court on any night. …. if George opens the rotation and gets 10 guys in. Remember when we played 10-12 guys in january? Remember when no one had an answer for the nuggets, and even charles barkley was on board? Remember when we were all thinking that this team was sensationally good?

    George quit on getting everyone the ball, we become a team without an identity. I hate the word, but the “teamness” we had going was amazing, we had 7 guys in double digits every night. I understand injuries slimmed our roster and clipped some rhythm, and that we have new faces too. I get how those things are off-putting. I don’t get AAA at small forward. I do get wilson chandler at the 2 though. Can’t wait to see Gallo JaVale and Kenny on the court at one time. Andre Miller could even get away with playing the 2 in limited time there…

    How fast and dangerous is
    Lawson
    Chandler
    Gallo
    Faried
    McGee
    ????

    And if the offensive production and closeout D isn’t cracking, bring in aaron “elbow” afflalo for Faried.

    I’m still really really impressed with our lineup. I just don’t know if the driver of the bus is watching the road.

  • Tony

    When looking back at the January team vs todays team, one of the big things that the January team had was GK’s trust. He is so big on the whole trust thing. Now GK has trust in Miller and Harrington and recently said that they win games so that is why they are in the lineup at crunch time. In January he had Nene, Gallo, Miller, AAA, Harrington, Lawson, Fernandez, Bird and a little bit of Brewer which he trusted all those guys. Now is faced with playing McGee, Moz, KK, Chandler (I doubt he has GK’s 100% trust just yet), and a lot of Brewer. I don’t think Gk is sold on the team and once the playoffs are here, I don’t see him getting bold with his lineups, I see him getting more limited.

    With the amount of time that it took Gallo to get back to basketball form after his ankle injury, I’m worried about him coming back from his current injury. GK will not be afraid to have him sit even in the playoffs if he feels like he is not in form. Karl loves Harrington and will not hold him out for a not 100% Gallo.

    • Trip

      There is a huge difference between an ankle injury and an off hand injury. First of all with an ankle injury there is little to no activity you can do while it is healing, and running is completely out of the picture for a while. With it only being the thumb on his non shooting hand he still can condition, and more importantly he can go through an almost non hindered shooting motion. I think his on court recovery will be much quicker this time.

  • DH

    Off the subject but… Did anyone else see the ESPN crawl that said Rudy had successful back surgery and could be back for the playoffs? That’s just astounding to me. Anyway, I wish him a speedy recovery. Glad to hear it went well.

  • stevesf47

    Sullinger or marshall would be fantastic. I just dont think either will he on board. Wroten might be the best pg in draft just really raw. Id like him late teens which is prob where we are at. This draft is nice tho. We will get somebody solid. Id love to trade up. Maybe our 1st and mozgov to move up around 10 to get a guy we really want like marshall or sullinger.

  • Adam

    First off, I am glad to see very little (if any) comments about firing our coach GK. Look at how many games this coach has won. Karl and lawson both played with the tar heels. Larry Brown also knows Karl real well. Larry Brown was also a head coach of the nuggs.

    Karl has the best lineup in my opion, the best nuggets roster ever! Let me repeat…. Ever!

    Let’s start off with my new dawg #34 Javale McGee! I saw a comment that we traded away Nene for Chandler. That is partly true, we also landed 24 year Javale McGee as well. Back to McGee, this kid is the player I wanted Nene to be. He blocks shots, and slams that ball to the rack. I loved Nene, and still do as a person, and I wish him well in D.C. Both teams got a good trade. McGee has had his share of mistakes in life as I am sure we all have. This is redemption time for him! He is ready to play in the playoffs!

    AA is now getting into the grove and playing the way we know him.
    Chandler is a bad mo fo. Love him back and great timing when we miss galo.

    Miller is playing hot with an injury to boot. Great team leader.
    Kenneth Faried Need I say more? The guy can rebound , and needs some work on defense, but I would take Faried out this draft class as the best rookie.

    Ty Lawson is looking more and more aggresive when he has the ball. He is shooting more and that is wonderfull to see. He sometimes too much of an unselfish player.

    Al Harrington Didn’t like him last year, love him this year. The guy flat out works his ass off.

    Corey Brewer A pickup from the Mavs with nothing in return on our part. Got him at a bargain. Just looking at him, he loves this team coached by Karl. He values his minutes, and is a team player. He has been missing his three’s as of late, but I am sure he will be out of his slomp soon.
    Kosta Koufos over Moz anyday. That isn’t to say I don’t like Moz, but I like Kosta better as a bench player. He works hard on the floor. Is aggresive to the rack, rebounds, and plays good D.

    My prediction on the Orlando and Denver game on Sunday? The Nuggs are going to kick the living SH$T! outta Howard and company. I love our biggs, against theirs.

  • Trip

    Chandler is not living up to that contract that he received. He does play pretty good defense on a team that drastically needs help in that category, but his offense has been horrendous. He takes too many shots, and until he develops a better game with his back to the basket needs to stay away from that 10 foot post up that he does so often.

    Also it is very frustrating when Harrington or Brewer are having poor shooting nights and just stand behind the 3 point line and jack up long jumpers to try to heat themselves up. Brewer did a fantastic job this game of not doing that so much, making good cuts and scoring around the basket. On nights like this harrington should stick to his dribble drive on a clumsy big guy, or post up in that 10 foot spot on the baseline.

  • stevesf47

    booo no write-up for Magic game? :(