Rapid Reaction: New Orleans Hornets 94, Denver Nuggets 92

Denver Nuggets 92 Final

Recap | Box Score

94 New Orleans Hornets
Corey Brewer, SF 25 MIN | 0-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -18
As those who frequent this site know, we’re not prone to handing out Fs on the regular. You have to be bad to receive one and on Wednesday, that was certainly the case with Corey Brewer. In 25 minutes of action Brewer only recorded one rebound — that was it! No points, assists, blocks, steals — nothing. Brewer has proven to be a serviceable role player off the bench for short stretches, but after this performance, his starter days should probably be over. To cap off his rough night Brewer threw away the inbound pass to Jason Smith (who’s from Colorado by the way) that could have resulted with a game winning shot for the Nuggets.
Kenneth Faried, F 27 MIN | 5-8 FG | 3-7 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 13 PTS | -7
You have to credit Manimal for getting the Nuggets back in this game. Without him, the team likely would have lost by double digits. That’s sad. But it goes to show how valuable Faried is. The one area where he still needs to improve (besides perimeter defense) is rebounding. Yes, it sounds weird, but rebounding is Faried’s best strength and all too often he’s getting boxed out by more physical players. His positioning under the basket has to become better and it starts with getting more aggressive.
JaVale McGee, C 15 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | -12
His stat line is deceiving. McGee was close to awful on Wednesday. He was trying to dribble the ball up the floor like a point guard and finish in traffic like LeBron James. It’s fair to say that after seeing McGee’s Dr. Jekyll, we’re now seeing his Mr. Hyde, and it ain’t pretty.
Arron Afflalo, SG 40 MIN | 4-14 FG | 6-7 FT | 3 REB | 7 AST | 15 PTS | -5
Afflalo didn’t shoot well but he had a nice outing nonetheless. He tied his career high in assists, with seven, and made a few tough baskets when the Nuggets were in trouble. Unfortunately the thing that will stand out most with fans was the way he fell for a pretty mediocre pump-fake by Eric Gordon that ended up sealing the game for the Hornets.
Ty Lawson, PG 42 MIN | 7-15 FG | 6-7 FT | 1 REB | 6 AST | 22 PTS | -4
Lawson was a standout. On a night when many Nuggets couldn’t get their shot to fall, Lawson figured out a way to score and affect the game in other areas as well. He had a solid night all around — there’s just not much else to say. He’s clearly the Nuggets best player at the moment and as great as that is, it’s still a harsh reminder of how far this team has to go before it can contend for a title.
Al Harrington, PF 33 MIN | 6-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 14 PTS | +10
Many fans are roasting Big Al on Twitter. It seems nobody likes him these days. In my opinion he’s become a scapegoat for misplaced frustration. It’s not his fault he’s assigned to play out of position on a nightly basis. Sure, he takes a few bad shots — who doesn’t? He plays mediocre defense on a team that plays mediocre defense. What I like is his passion. This season has been a wash thus far, but Harrington is still out there bleeding blue and yellow, giving it his all. It was nice to see him stand up for his teammate by criticizing the referees when nobody else would. He also hit a clutch 3-pointer that gave the Nuggets a chance to steal a game they had no business winning in the first place.
Andre Miller, PG 21 MIN | 3-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 5 AST | 6 PTS | +6
This was not a typical Miller game. He was sprightly, especially on defense, and looked very focused from the get-go. He received a bogus Flagrant Two foul on Carl Landry who proceeded to pout with his head in his lap for about 20 minutes after contact ensued (which was likely the reason it stayed a Flagrant Two instead of a One). Aside from that blemish, Miller was enthusiastic and impressive, even though he still played one-on-one basketball for the most part.
Kosta Koufos, C 22 MIN | 3-4 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | +5
Why Koufos didn’t see more minutes is something that will never be answered and will die as one of the greatest Nuggets mysteries on the day of April 4, 2012. He was far and above the Nuggets best player for a large stretch of the first half, playing tough, inspired basketball when nobody else seemed to care. His post presence was much-needed, but more than anything his defense was a breath of fresh air that really shot some life into the Nuggets. He would have likely been a huge asset to have down the stretch, but… Karl benched him.
Jordan Hamilton, G 16 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 7 PTS | +15
Hamilton was one of the other “bright” storylines of the evening. He really made use of his time and finally broke out of his shell. Hamilton has to be more aggressive and less tentative. It’s nice to see he’s conscious about not making mistakes, but he needs to play free in order to truly maximize his talent. I know it might sound crazy, but there’s a good chance Hamilton is already one of the better players on this roster. Karl doesn’t like rookies and it’s too bad because if Hamilton had seen more time this year he might finally be comfortable enough to take over the game offensively when the Nuggets are struggling to put points on the board. With the way Brewer played, perhaps Hamilton is finally in line for the minutes he deserves.

Three Things We Saw

  1. Microsoft: The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the term micromanagement: “to manage especially with excessive control or attention to details.” This word clearly does not exist George Karl’s vocabulary. After the 8:12 mark of the fourth quarter when he inserted Jordan Hamilton into the game (which I thought was a good move, but perplexing nonetheless), Karl made only two more substitutions: one for Kenneth Faried and one for Corey Brewer, who’s sole job was to inbound the ball — which he could not do and which ultimately sealed the win for the opponent. Meanwhile, Hornets head coach Monty Williams made seven different substitutions. One of those was inserting Jason Smith into the lineup at the same time Corey Brewer came in for the Nuggets. Smith went on to steal the failed inbound-pass attempt by Brewer which ended up being a microcosm of George Karl’s poor in-game micromanaging skills. And that my friends, is Nuggets Business 101: Why micromanagement wins games in the NBA.
  2. Rookie Retaliation: For the second time this year, two rookies have ended up being some of the best players on the floor for the Nuggets. Coincidentally (or not, depending on whether you’d like to acknowledge my sarcasm), both of these instances have come in games where Kenneth Faried and Jordan Hamilton have received extended minutes. So, let’s do some math here: Faried + Hamilton + extended minutes = … You guessed it… Success!!! What a shocker!!! Somebody please send George Karl a telegram because it’s the year 2012 and we’ve come to the conclusion that rookies actually can play basketball! (Remember, if you chose to accept the sarcasm, we’ll throw in an extra dose of facetiousness for free!!!)
  3. Mini-sting: Besides their general disposition towards the game of basketball, if you want to point to one thing that lost the Nuggets the game tonight, it was their pick-and-roll defense against New Orleans in the third quarter. The Hornets repeatedly went to this gameplan and the Nuggets repeatedly failed to adjust. Instead of positioning themselves to prevent getting screened in the first place, or even fighting around the screens, the Nuggets decided to lazily switch, leaving mismatches galore and an unorganized mire of dead bodies which New Orleans did not hesitate to walk (or shoot) across on their way to the basket. We talk all the time about the Nuggets fragility and their inability to handle adversity — well, we saw it again, and like always, it was just enough to knock the Nuggets down a spot in the Western Conference standings.
  • Dan

    That. Was. Disappointing.

    How many offensive rebounds did the nuggets give up in the last 3 minutes? How is that small ball going for you Karl?

    Also have to say they are playing such uninspired basketball. The hornets are a horrible team, they have no business losing to them. I think I’m officially done watching them for the season.

  • Samc

    Dumb. Shouldn’t have come to that. I believe I saw a tweet asking “how man 7 fters are on the bench” around the 4 min mark. So true. Got crushed inside

  • http://www.swag.com Gerardo

    George Karl loses another one.. That pass brewer messed up reminded me of the WCF… I hope theres a change at head coach next season… .. And Karl thinks the rookies are not ready to play they basically kept us in the game it just shows how much of an idiot Karl is…. This is the 7 or 8 game Geroge karl has lost this season and I hope the front office is taking notice…

  • Peter

    Just curious, I didn’t get to watch the game, I was using espn gamecast. Why was Jordan Hamilton, a rookie that hasn’t been getting any run all year, in the game in at the end? I know Gallo and Chandler are out, but do we really want to throw out a rookie with not much experience in that situation? Karl continues to confuse me this season.

    • Greg

      you gotta get him some experience sometime…he’s a solid player..was a beast here at UT…he’ll be a solid player in the NBA too, just needs some on-court experience…

    • DH

      I assume it was because Miller got ejected and Brewer was having a terrible game – 0 for 7, no points, 1 rebound, no assists, no steals, and no blocks. I guess GK felt like he had no other options.

      • DH

        In case my sarcasm didn’t come through… Obviously, he had other options. He could have tried (and it’s just a wacky thought) NOT playing 3 guards with no center. But we all know that wasn’t going to happen.

  • josh

    Big Al made the big three yes but he hurt the team with taking too many shots and had fouls down the stretch. Hamilton was playing well he was hustling, getting the boards and playing good d

  • Will

    To be fair to Karl, its hard not to play small ball with our centers. I don’t know why Anderson doesn’t play more though.

    • http://yahoo mile high

      Agree 100%. Let the birdman play! He can’t be worse than Moz and McGee. At least he plays like he cares. But you know what? Remember all the unfair and negative comments whenever the bird did get to play? If he plays, I think someone will find a way to criticize and call for both the birdman’s head as well as Karl’s.

  • DH

    This was New Orleans’ 6th win at home (vs. 21 losses). It was their 8th win against a Western Conference Team (vs. 29 losses). It was their second win against the Nuggets.

    We allowed 52% shooting, including 50% from the 3-point line. We did this with Jarrett Jack not playing.

    We were outrebounded by 9 against the 24th best rebounding team in the league.

    One of our “leaders” fouled a shooter with 2 seconds left in the game after leaving his feet on a pump fake.

    We could have gained ground on Memphis. And, as the scores stand while I’m writing this, we could have gained ground on the Clips and pulled further in front of Utah.

    I can’t imagine thinking of anything good to say after this, so I’ll just leave it at that.

  • Greg

    So, I’m totally convinced that this nugget team can play with anybody…Heat, Bulls, Thunder, Spurs, etc…I’m also convinced that they will continue to play to their opponent…which is a good characteristic to have, if they make the playoffs…though they may miss the playoffs because of it

    • DH

      I think the Nuggets have a lot of talent and have greatly underachieved. So I think they might be able to get their act together enough to at least make a series out of it against someone like the Clips (if we can somehow make the playoffs). But I think the Thunder would completely dismantle us (a sweep with something like a 15-18 point average margin of victory). Next year, I expect major improvement, though, depending on what moves the team makes in the offseason.

      I guess we’ll find out soon enough which one of us is right. We have 6 games left against playoff-bound teams (or 8 games if Phoenix works it’s way up). We’ll see if we can “play up” to the competition. We absolutely have to if we want to get to the postseason.

    • http://yahoo mile high

      What talent? Apart from Gallo, Ty and Faried, I don’t think we can call anyone else a top 15 player in his position! Nene might have been a top 15, or even 10, but our revered mgmt traded him away for a green bonehead and trashed our rotation in the process.

      Still, I think we can get into the playoffs. It will just be a bit nerve wrecking as we really are not an elite team although we all want to think so.

      • Frontrange

        I agree . .

        I mean I see NO, one of the worst teams in the league trotting out Chris Kaman, Trevor Ariza, Eric Gordon, and Carl Landry . . and I think that Kaman in the best center on either team. Gordon is the best SG on either team. Carl Landry is as good as any of our PF. Trevor Ariza is not significantly different from AAA / Chandler. I mean the only place we had a significant talent advantage was Ty and injured reserve.

        There isn’t a huge difference between a 5-10 team and 20-25 team in the NBA.

      • DH

        OK, you mentioned Gallo, Ty, and Faried. Here are my observations/opinions on some others…

        I know some people will blast me for this, but Al is probably a top 5 backup PF. He even gets mentioned in the sixth man of the year discussion (among all players, not just for his position).

        Chandler certainly has the ability to be a top 5 backup SF, although he hasn’t been playing like it.

        And because the center position is so weak in the NBA right now, the McGee we saw the first few games is probably a top 10 to 15 center. He is 5th among all players in field goal percentage. He is 10th among all players (and 6th among centers) in rebound rate per 48 minutes. He is 2nd in the NBA in blocks per game. Even subtracting for his defensive weaknesses and boneheaded plays, his talent/ability has to be considered among the upper half of starting NBA centers.

        Again, the center position in the NBA is sorely lacking, so Koufos is probably a top 10 backup C. Bird, and even a healthy Moz, are probably top 15.

        Andre Miller, when he’s engaged and not pouting, is probably a top 5 backup PG, and certainly top 10.

        Afflalo, as an all-around player, is talented. It’s hard to gauge where he fits within the league, but good teams sure wanted him as a free agent.

        Honestly, I think if this team could be coached to have a plan and know their roles, most of our players would suddenly look really good at what they do. I can’t help but think that someone like Gregg Popovich (or any other coach who finds a way to emphasize his players’ strengths and minimize their weaknesses) would have this team playing much better than they have been.

        Conversely, I think if GK had a team that relied on major contributions from guys like Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Matt Bonner, Gary Neal, Tiago Splitter, and Boris Diaw, to go with an aging (only playing 28 minutes/game) Tim Duncan and a constantly injured Manu Ginobili, that team would have been out of the playoff race long ago. And some people would be saying that the team didn’t have enough talent. Just my opinion.

        • Barry

          Totally agree with your last paragraph DH, I’ve personally thought for years if Popovich were the Nuggets coach, we’d have at least 1 title, potentially 2. (And it kills me to say that because I hate the Spurs and Pops but he’s a damn fine coach) Karl has consistently been a decent regular season coach but he’s like Donnie in The Big Lebowski come playoff time. “Donnie, you’re out of your element.”

          This year, he’s just been awful. Watching The Association (which is a cool show) seems like the team has tuned him out. I think its time for some younger blood to coach this young team. Somebody that’s got their finger of the pulse of today’s athletes. GK’s a dinosaur

  • NuggFan forLife

    I think the young guys haven’t adjusted to this schedule. This is not an ordinary schedule the Nuggets are experiencing all schedule, this is a very tough schedule that it takes real mental toughness to get through it.
    Or maybe it’s the coach. George Karl seems to have mastered pretending we’re a great team by beating best ones like the Heat and the Bulls just after losing to bad ones like New Orleans and Toronto. I just don’t know where this team is heading to. The only solution to this is a coaching change.

    • DH

      Unfortunately, the problem with that theory is that New Orleans is younger than we are, and they also have more players that are new to their team this year. Yet they managed to win (twice) against us with less talent.

  • Porter

    Kroenke and the asst. coach were on the Denver Official channel before the game and spoke specifically about the bench…. Kroenke spoke of how Bird sometimes didn’t play for a couple of games and on occasions had then come in and saved the game… Guess he and Karl have different opinions..

    • Andrew

      Interesting to hear. That adds fuel to my belief that Karl is gone after this season.

  • GK4Prez

    How is it that this team almost always comes out cold as hell after intermission? This is where the game was lost in my opinion. They quickly went from being up 1 at the break to being down 9 in 5 minutes time.

    I guess the lineup has a lot to do with it, Mcgee, Faried, and Brewer are offensive liabilities because none of them can create anything on offense. Mcgee really hasn’t been doing anything out there better than what Moz was doing in his 14 minutes of action, 8 points and 4 boards in limited minutes. In the same minutes, Moz was good for 7 and 5.

    I don’t care what big man you do it with GK, but let one of them go for 30 minutes or more, so they can get into the flow of a game. It is like if they mess up one or two times he immediately goes to his security blanket (Al Harrington).

    JHam played 100% better than Brewer did in this game. Brewer flat out sucked in all areas of the game from tip off to the final turnover.

    • Ryan

      Moz didn’t play, KK did and was actually pretty damn good in limited minutes. I’ll take 7pts, 5reb from my backup center in 14 minutes any day.

      • GK4Prez

        I know Moz didn’t play, I am just saying that he was putting up similar numbers to what Mcgee is currently putting up in the same role, and a lot of it has to do with neither guy getting enough time to get into the flow of a game.

        How many teams in this league have their bench playing more minutes than the starters? Al plays the most minutes at pf/c per game, dre plays starter minutes, and Koufos played more minutes than the starting center.

        • Andrew

          I did not watch the game tonight, but based on the relative production and +/-, Koufos should have taken even more minutes from McGee. It appears he stunk it up tonight. I agree with the other folks on here, as well, who wonder why Karl doesn’t put in Bird. At least he’ll give them some energy. There has to be something going on behind the scenes there. Maybe Bird has had a relapse into drugs or something. Or maybe he is being openly belligerent in practice. I don’t know, but there is no reason not to play him at all…ever.

        • Kyle Obergfell

          not enough time to get in the flow of the game…

          which is why Brewer got 25 minutes??

          Mosgov is actually one of the main reasons GK sucks.
          Along with most of his personnel decisions..

          but hard to top Mozzy as starting center for a good
          4 months for boneheadedness..

          IDK what GK’s issues are… psychotic hallucinations..
          gambing debts.. a body underneath the floorboards..
          could be anything..

          LEAVING SUCK ASS PLAYERS IN TOO LONG IS A SYMPTOM.

          not a cure.

    • bdmacl

      Look at all the areas we typically fail, and tell me it isn’t due to coaching. To your point, how do you come out of halftime and not be fired up? Is the coach not coaching at the break (like how he stands on the floor and chats with his coaches during a TO, and not direct his team). The consistent inability to defend the three or Pick and Roll speaks to poor coaching. I can understand a player missing their assignment every now and then, but almost every time? Doesn’t anyone coach the players on how to play against those things? And according to “The Association” filming, we see that Karl doesn’t believe he has a contender yet. If he doesn’t believe his team can win it all with good effort, how does he convince his team that they are capable. Now I am all for being a realist, but part of being a coach is managing the psychological aspects of the team and a game.
      At this point in the season, my joy in watching the Nuggets is the hope that Karl will go away, and we get a truly young, defensive minded coach that can adequately develop AND use our new talent, as well as our existing talent. And hopefully a coach who can see what is happening to his team in a game, and adjust accordingly, and not be so stubborn as to think that other teams have to adjust to us EVERY TIME.

  • Ryan

    The Nuggets have lost TWICE this season to New Orleans. TWICE. The Hornets are a bunch of D-Leaguers, Cast-offs, and expiring contracts, yet have beaten the Nuggets TWICE. If this doesn’t get Karl fired, I don’t know what will….

  • Eddie

    A cross-court inbounds pass?

    A professional basketball player, that has been playing since he was a little kid, tries to inbound to the other side of the court?

    Al Chuckets just lost ANY credibility he ever had.

    Dismal failure.

    • GK4Prez

      It was Brewer that threw the pass not buckets. Brewer was trying to throw it to buckets, but he came up about 10 feet short of his target.

      • Andrew

        I did see that play. That was so atrocious. It was one of those plays that seemed to be in slow motion. You could see he was going to make the pass two seconds too late…and that the Hornet player was going to intercept the ball. All the while, I’m saying “NOOOOO!” at the screen.

        • ryanvdonk

          it was a poorly designed play, how about we run a screen for ty or something, since he should be getting the ball anyway. instead, everyone was just making random cuts and their defenders did their job and stuck to their men

  • Eddie

    Wrong player named, Same result. My hat is still frumpled from slinging it to the floor in disgust- the first time I have done that in recent memory.

    • Erlingur Gretar

      You watch basketball wearing a hat? Like a sir!

  • CJP32

    Whilst Brewer had an awful game, he’s not the reason why we lost. It takes a team to win, and this team came out flat again. That last play was drawn up by GK, not Brewer and he just followed the play. The Hornets defended well and got lucky. Time to move on and focus on the weekend.

    • GK4Prez

      Focus and this team don’t go hand in hand.

    • Charlie

      Got lucky? It was the Nuggets who were insanely lucky on that unforced turnover that led to Harrington’s bad, contested three that went in. Luck had absolutely nothing to do with it

    • Eddie

      “That last play was drawn up by GK”

      Are you sure Coach Karl designed a play to throw the ball across the court to a guy that was kinda but not really open with a bad guy poised to intercept the pass that Coach Karl drew up?

      Come on… It was a panicked decision by a player wilting under pressure.

      Rant On-

      Many of the guys here on the best NBA blog have been clamoring for Coach Karl’s head since the middle of the season.

      Few of them have suggested any replacements, just the usual, “KARL MUST GO HE IS STINKS”, etc.

      I will write it here, for all of the internets to record for all or eternity…

      This is not a good team.

      Two good players, several alright players, and the rest are stiffs or scrubs, depending on your hoops vernacular.

      Expecting a championship out of this crew is silly.

      End Rant—

      Although I do wonder why Coach Karl never mixes it up with KK, Bird, JVM lineup, just to see what happens.

      Especially against a poor team like NO.

      • Andrew

        Ernie, nobody expects a championship out of this crew. We just expect a consistent, professional effort. The Nuggets are not giving that this year. Also, people HAVE been making suggestions, and I just did again (see below). I also asked Kalen to post an article discussing potential replacements. I think that would be an interesting topic, and I think others who comment hear would have some interesting ideas and opinions.

        To that point, what do you think about potential replacements? Do you have any coaches that stick out in your mind as potentially great?

      • CJP32

        Everyone here has failed to mention the shooting foul Afflalo committed on Eric Gordon with 2.1 seconds left. Afflalo fell for a head fake by a 6’3 SG…and Afflalo is meant to be an elite defender?? Please….that play there cost us the game. Afflalo committed a stupid foul, Gordon calmly hit both FTs and a stupid in bound play was drawn up by GK. I have watched that last play over and over – Al sets a screen at the left base, rolls to his right and pops up at the three line up top. Meanwhile Ty runs up to the top and was open, that would have been the better option. If Ty had started up top and got open, he would have had 2 seconds to drive and shoot. I blame the Afflalo foul and the GK play.

        • DH

          Actually, I mentioned Afflalo’s foul. So did Kalen. It was particularly bad because he had played solid defense up to that point and was in good position. It’s unforgivable to leave your feet in that situation.

          As for the inbounds play, I can’t even comment. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

        • lil rik

          it reminds me of the OKC game when it was tied at the end of regulation and Ty had the ball at the top of the key, pump-faked, got his man in the air, and then tried to shoot AROUND him instead of drawing the easy contact! I just didn’t get that – one free throw would have won the game, but instead that play lost the game. And on the flip side, Afflalo goes for the head fake and loses that game. Everyone can criticize Karl all they want, and i’m not saying it isn’t deserved criticism, but at some point the players have to play and make the right decisions…

      • GK4Prez

        GK, said that the play was designed to go to Afflalo or Harrington with Ty being the decoy, so yes, the play was designed to go cross court to Harrington. Why he subbed out JHam for Brewer and then had Brewer to make the inbound pass is baffling. If you want to hear GK say it:

        http://altitudesports.typepad.com/jason_kosmicki/

        • bdmacl

          Anyone else remember our inability to inbound the ball in the closing minutes of a game costing us even more than this one did (at this point)? Don’t the coaches think that is an important aspect of the game to teach? Does any other team have as many problems with this as we do?

  • Rick

    This team continually underachieves and plays down to their competition way too often to even be considered a viable opponent in the playoffs, if they make it to the playoffs which I doubt. Why Ty does not shoot the ball more often, especially when the game is on the line completely baffles me. And why they have a small lineup that is getting out-rebounded at a critical juncture of the game is also an enigma. I think GK is ruining this team by not benching players who are clearly not contributing – to send a message at the very least. And the lineups he puts on the floor are laughable, especially when the game is on the line. This is ridiculous and losing to a team like this really pisses me off to no end. I’m sick of it and GK should be as well, but he’ll make more lame excuses and we’ll have to wait for next year and the same crap again if he’s still with the team. I’m done – did I mention it pisses me off? Thought so!

  • Dubz

    As much as I like Corey Brewer off the bench in short stints, he ABSOLUTELY will never be a starter in the NBA. Not at the SF, and not a SG. I’d much rather see JHAM start to be totally honest and have Brewer come off the bench. Even though these losses hurt, I don’t think they’re in vain. People must remember that when Gallo and Chandler get back (which is soon), this team will have some really interesting possibilities with their lineups. Whether or not GK will actually be intelligent enough to use them properly is a totally different subject, but maybe he will. Play Wilson and PF, and Gallo at SF, and go from there. We’ll see I guess. Just hope we get into the friggin playoffs.

    • Dubz

      I have to say I pretty much agree with all the assigned grades. I was just thinking, what if the crunch time lineup only consisted of guys who received “B-” or better in your post game assessment? Would have seemed like a very appropriate lineup to me. Actually, to everyone who watches the Nuggets besides their own friggin head coach. P.S.. Brewer definitely deserved the F and I definitely agree with you about Harrington. GK routinely over plays him and out of position, it’s not his fault. Should he shoot less? Absolutely. But most nights he’s the only guy who can create his own shot. Frustrating

  • Charlie

    The fully rested Nuggets can’t keep losing games like this.

    Injuries are a valid excuse, but not when you are playing basement dwellers like Toronto and New Orleans, who at this point have almost nothing to gain from winning.

    Really frustrating, really pathetic considering so much was at stake.

    • lil rik

      Succinct and accurate Charlie.

  • GK4Prez

    Why is it that when people call for GK’s head there is always a GK fan that pops up and says who are you going to replace him with, when did it become the job of the fan to find the replacement? I missed that memo.

    • Andrew

      Totally agree. Also, even though it is not our job to find a replacement, people have made suggestions. Here I will throw some names out right now:

      1) Mike Budenholzer (Spurs Assistant).
      2) Scott Skiles (Milwaukee HC, but supposedly interested in going elsewhere).
      3) Chauncey Billups. (Buy him from Clippers).
      4) Nate McMillan (not my first pick, but I remember someone else suggesting him).

      Seriously, there are a multitude of worthy candidates that are potentially better than Karl, and here is the bottom line: Even Karl is no longer as good as Karl used to be. I honestly think he has checked out. He does’t even seem to care anymore. Sorry, that’s the way I am seeing it. I might be wrong, but that is my opinion.

      Hey, Kalen, can you go ahead and have an article dedicated to making suggestions for possible head coaching replacements? That could be fun and interesting, especially since a lot of us are in the dark about the relative merits of other assistants around the league. I would love to hear other fans’ opinions on this.

      • Kalen

        I can do that. Yeah. But that’s gonna be something dedicated to the fans — all you guys who are more interested in it than RMC. I’m in total agreement with GK4Prez on this issue. It’s not not really the fans jurisdiction. The front office has way more knowledge of potential coaching candidates than I do. We can evaluate players because we watch them, but assistant coaches? That’s a bit more tough to gauge. But yeah, I’ll have some time tomorrow to throw something together.

        • GK4Prez

          This morning in the DP, in one of Hochman’s blogs/mailbags where he answers a few emails from the fans had a question asking about GK coaching the team next year. Basically, his response was………..YES…….GK will be the coach next year, management/ownership respect him and they are on board with what he is doing as the coach of this team.

          • Kalen

            Exactly. That’s kind of my point. Management is in love with the guy. He’s never been on the hot seat his entire career in Denver. I’m still gonna publish the article though since I’ve already done most of the work.

    • Kyle Obergfell

      There are so many reasons…
      that it’s over with GK.

      Things slipped away for good tonight.

      We saw precision execution in January.
      An NBA record points in the paint.

      We started the year emptying the bench
      as a game strategy.

      Faried.. who is without any doubt..
      the most pleasant surprise this year..

      Didn’t find his way in the mix until late February..
      WAY after 14-5.

      GK is no different than any coach in any level
      of sports that truly competes.

      He has lost the team.
      He has to go.

      • Kyle Obergfell

        GKforprez.. and wow! really Kalen???

        Forget the Mosgov failure..
        Forget the Birdman benching..
        Forget the NBA’s worst 3 point defense..
        Forget the opponent’s career scoring highs for assorted
        career mediocre journeymen against us..
        Forget not playing Faried for months despite monstrous displays of talent…
        Forget losses to Sacramento, Cleveland, Toronto and New Orleans..

        this all you need to know..

        Corey Brewer played 25 minutes tonight.
        25 minutes tonight. Corey Brewer.

        The man was completely dying out there.
        He may have nightmares of tonight for the rest of his life.
        It really was that bad.

        But by far.. what was worse.. and finally too obvious to deny anymore..

        is that the coach left him in anyway.
        25 minutes. Tell me… who is that on?
        Who is supposed to make necessary adjustments
        for things like that?
        HOW DOES A TEAM FEEL ABOUT THAT?
        How much respect do you think is actually possible..
        after a team keeps seeing their coach do this to them?
        How do benched players without minutes feel about that?

        Not to mention what I am starting to think..
        near psychopathological team-splitting favoritism of some..
        and witch hunting treatment of other players.
        I actually thought I saw this very early in the season..
        but shook it off with the team winning..
        but now it seems maybe I actually did see that after all…

        Props for devils advocate or what ever..
        but really..

        it’s the same principle….
        leave a player in for 25 minutes despite obvious disaster..
        is completely on par with..
        leaving a coach in despite incrementally worsening implosions.
        it’s crazy. Some one has to start salvaging all the good
        things this team can still build on.

        How much more obvious does it need to get?

        If anyone can’t connect these dots by now..
        I can’t dream up what could be much worse
        than tonight before we need to finally think about
        a coaching change.

        GK owns a proud record.. Maybe HOF..
        but after tonight.. that’s a much harder sell…
        It’s sad to see this implosion.
        If for nothing else.. GK’s decaying legacy.

        If you really like the man.. wish him out.
        There’s still time left for some kind of dignity.

  • highflyer55

    Bird a DNP again.

    Wtf is going on??

    • Kyle Obergfell

      I think after the season is over..
      my hunch is that somewhere in late January..
      something went down.

      Birdman deserves so much better than this.
      Hell.. everyone does.

  • Aaron

    FIRE KARL FIRE KARL FIRE KARL FIRE KARL FIRE KARL FIRE KARL FIRE KARL FIRE KARL FIRE KARL FIRE KARL FIRE KARL FIRE KARL FIRE KARL!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m So Pissed Off Rite Now Man! Ive Never EVER Seen a Coach Screw Up a Team This Badly Before. Masai Should Walk Out Of The Pepsi Center Walk Up To a Random Person And Ask ” Do u Know What a Coach is????” If He Says Yes Then Hire Him imeditly!!!! Sick of This George Karl Shit.

  • aussienuggzfan

    AL BUCKETS NEEDS TO BE TRADED IN OFFSEASON, HE IS A CHUCKER WHO GETS TOO MUCH CREDIT FROM WRITERS ON THIS SITE

    btw its a shame karl didnt reward mozgov for wearing new orleans hornet aqua shoes with game time

  • aussienuggzfan

    shut the season down, play the rookies and get a lottery pick

  • ryanvdonk

    you seriously thought kosta was the best player on the nuggets tonight? you have to be kidding me, he was average at best. for all the good position he plays on defense, he also seems to have bricks attached to his feet, getting beat to loose balls and rebounds in his vicinity that he was actually closest to. also, he could have doubled his rebounding output had he gone up with both hands more often, instead of acting like a JV volleyball player (which often went to the hornets). i get so frustrated with how clumsy he is, and how often he opts for layups instead of dunks.

  • Trip

    Brewer should not have had the ball in his hands for that pass

  • Kyle Obergfell

    My faith is at an all time low now.

    I’m fed up .. probably thinking irrational..
    but I’m going to let it fly anyway.

    George Karl sucks at personnel management..
    and he’s flat freaking embarrassing himself at this point.

    It’s beyond any shadow of a doubt..
    that this very integral.. maybe most important..
    strategic skill is completely void.

    It’s been that way all year long folks.

    His gambling numbers are nearing about even
    with the house and trending down.

    THIS IS THE BEST BENCH IN THE NBA!!!!!

    And if you don’t consider the unceremonious
    dumping of Birdman.. you aren’t noticing that
    we are losing games when other options are
    there at the very least..
    It’s not like we have to play Corey Brewer for
    13 minutes despite clear disaster in motion.

    This season is screwed.

    I never thought George Karl lost that much so soon..
    but after tonight.. there’s no doubt in my mind that
    he’s lost it and it ain’t coming back.

    Thanks for the memories GK.
    Good luck with your new career.

  • ny nugs fan

    i have never seen an nba team miss out on so many easy rebounds, missed loose balls with several players just standing around… it’s not that we’re being out-hustled but more like nobody is even paying attention… nugs are walking in the dark without a flashlight

    • Jason

      Wait, but I thought we had a Karl type team – all hustle and grit!! I agree, the way they play, we have a team with average players that have to win by hustling, but they don’t do it! Maybe this is why so called experts say you need a superstar to win.

  • stevesf47

    That was awful. The players didnt play with much heart until the last few minutes.

    GK’s huge mistake was putting brewer back in. he was -18 in the game while hamilton was +15. DONT COACHES KNOW THOSE STATS IN GAME? he had to have known that brewer brought NOTHING tonight. btw, whatever happened to brewers corner 3? He was very consistent the first half of the season with that shot and now he can’t make it ever!

    This team cost me a directv remote last night. I slammed it on the floor after brewer threw that pass away. Yes, i was that frustrated. First time ever i’ve done that.

  • http://www.chazkemp.com Chaz

    I’ve been a big fan of GK for years – especially when he coached the Sonics. The Sonics’ defense was feared by everyone and if it wasn’t for Jordan’s Bulls, they would have easily won the championship.

    I agree with everyone here though… THAT GK is gone. It’s pretty obvious to me that he has lost his passion. He’s going through the motions and doesn’t seem to want to utilize his team’s advantages. These 3 things alone would be reason enough to start looking into replacements.

    Karl cannot motivate his players anymore. Either because he doesn’t know how or because they’ve stopped listening. Either way, that’s on the coach. I could go on and on – but I wouldn’t be saying anything that other folks here haven’t said already.

    As for replacements – I agree that you can probably grab an assistant coach from consistently great teams like the Spurs, Celtics or the Thunder. SVG is most likely gone from Orlando and he’d be a good coach for us I think and then there’s his brother Jeff Van Gundy, who was a really good coach in NY. There’s also a chance that we could lure Jerry Sloan as well. I’ll bet if we offered Phil Jackson 25 million dollars a year, he’d coach here.

    All that being said – I believe that George’s battle with cancer took a lot out of him and basketball is no longer his top priority. In fact, if they don’t fire him, he’d probably retire on his own after this season. He absolutely has the look of a man who no longer wants to be a coach.

    • stevesf47

      I disagree. I think GK still wants to coach for several more years. I also don’t think they will fire him. They will give him 1 more year with the excuse of a young team not having a full offseason to practice and get his schemes down.

      If we dont make playoffs or limp in, i think he should be fired especially after how we started the year. Lots of good coaches available this offseason. the Van Gundys would be a great hire, either one. I do not want Mcmillan or Sloan though. They both play slow half court offenses and i’d much rather bring in someone that likes to keep up the pace.

      • http://www.chazkemp.com Chaz

        I can respect your view – I’m really only going off of how he looks to me. So I guess we’ll see, but either way I no longer believe that he is a good fit for the Nuggets.

        You may be right about Jerry Sloan, but he’s such a good coach and he knows how to motivate his players…. He may be too old-school though.

  • Rick

    Coaches coach and players play and unfortunately, neither is happening this year. Karl cannot inspire this team to play hard night-in, night-out. Whatever the reason, he has lost something in the motivation department. Perhaps it’s the snubbing of rookies, the lack of ever playing a big lineup even though he has 3 7-footers, the lack of instilling defense, I could go on and on but the there’s lots of reasons this team just isn’t listening any more. I agree the players have to play too, but if the coach is a boneheaded stubborn ass for not playing the correct players at the right time, maybe they are thinking they can just show up for games and win. Nobody is kicking them in the ass it seems and there doesn’t seem to be any sense of emergency until the last 5 minutes of the game. We lost this game because no one had any heart to play and that, IMO is on the coach. This season is lost and hopefully so is the coach at the end of it.

  • Jason

    I hate to get on you Kalen about your write up, but you can’t have it both ways. First you say that Faried was the spark needed to get the Nugs back into the game late, and he most definitely was. Then you go on to say that Koufos was mysteriously benched late in the game. Well…he was benched for Faried!

    You don’t really think it would be a good idea to play Koufos/Faried in favor of Faried/Harrington down the stretch do you ? Especially with our offense struggling so much? We needed Al’s offense in the game. Al is not a SF, way too big for that. So Karl had a choice – Koufos or Faried. I think he made the right choice there.

    BTW…I am not defending Karl, Mr. ask for mediocrity receive mediocrity.

    My only fault with Karl’s rotations is that Brewer should not have received that much time. JHam should have played more.

    • Kalen

      During Denver’s run to close out the fourth quarter Harrington had three turnovers, three personal fouls, one technical foul and went 1-3 from the floor. The only shot he made came with 10 seconds left. Harrington did absolutely nothing but make life more difficult for the Nuggets when trying to mount that comeback. It was clear he wasn’t helping. My point was, why not insert Koufos with Al struggling and once you pull the game close and need a shot, then insert Al. It all goes back to micromanagement.

      • stevesf47

        well i will say this…a end of game lineup of Lawson AA Brewer Faried and KK will not win you the game lol. Talk about NO OFFENSE. If we put in KK, you need to put in Hamilton at least since he was showing he can knock down a shot. That’s at the very least. Im not a huge fan of Al…he either has a good game or a really bad one. He shoots us out of way too many games and turns the ball over a good bit trying to get at the rim. But with brewer playing at end of game with faried, you need another stretch player.

  • Thomas

    Guys that run this blog: stop trying to be political and stick it out there, if you really care about the nuggets – ask for GK to be fired. Sorry, but anything else is a waste of time for real fans.

    • Kalen

      I posted an article midway through the season on this issue. I’ve mentioned it essentially since I started writing here. Last season after the Nuggets got eliminated from the playoffs I said finding a new coach should be something they consider. You can really only go so far. If management is unwilling to make a coaching change, I’m not going to sit here and continue demanding they do.

      • Kyle Obergfell

        Kalen…

        that is so ridiculous.

        RIGHT NOW.. everyone is fed up.

        Mid season there was HUGE hope still.

        Hell for that matter..
        there was a decent amount the day before yesterday..

        NO loss just amplified suspicions and doubts..
        above and beyond any previous point..

        Things caved in.. and there’s no hope for pulling
        a string of games out of his ass..
        this whole season.. a certain tolerance of growing pains..

        But at this point.. and with the collective things adding up..

        I’m not so sure you really do know what is going on
        in the front office…

        I’ve never given up hope on GK until now..
        and the sentiment has never been stronger across the board..

        Counting yourself and GK4Prez…
        I think that makes all of two people that
        don’t wan’t GK to be history.

        After last night.. things changed permanently.
        The Nuggets could not afford that one..
        even making the playoffs..
        this team is damaged goods psychologically..

        George Karl’s ineptitude has passed the point of
        any hope that he can reel it back in.

        Benching Mosgov was a sign of hope.

        Not benching Brewer was a sign of hopelessness.

        • lil rik

          And Kyle Obergfell, have you actually READ anything that Kalen has written instead of just skimming posts so that you can ultimately spout your long-winded replies that nobody else has the time or interest to read?

          Kalen stated, explicity, in an earlier post that he doesnt even presume to understand what is going on in the front office:

          Quote – “The front office has way more knowledge of potential coaching candidates than I do. We can evaluate players because we watch them, but assistant coaches? ”

          And evidently you have not been reading this blog for very long because Kalen has been suggesting a change in the head coach position for longer than anyone on here!

          If you are going to spout your opinions off, at least take the time to read other people’s first so that you understand what they’re saying before you unduly criticize them!

          Duh!

    • lil rik

      Thomas,

      Get over yourself and get some new material. We get it, you want Karl fired – most people do at this point, DUH. If you READ some of the blogs you would see that Kalen has been suggesting that for a LONG time. We did not know, however, that it was the writers of this Blog’s responsibility to begin a campaing to fire George Karl. But what do I know? I must not be a “Real” fan like you. Just keep on complaining in EVERY post you write about just how terrible George Karl is – because it hasn’t gotten old quite yet – nobody hears you. We’re all blind and deaf.

      Have you considered calling Ujiri or Josh Kroenke with your suggestion? I’m SURE they’ll answer…

  • Rick

    Somebody started a petition for GK to be fired which I signed – maybe that will have some impact. I don’t know who that was going to be sent to, does anybody else know?

  • http://espn Gary

    Hahaha…this is a joke….is GK still the coach of this team, that’s another friggin misfortune.
    Forget about seeding, anybody you even suggests this is a play-off team should head to the doc. right now. This team is an embarrassment…from coaching to players. Any team which can afford to lose twice to the Hornets in the same season, lose to the raptors and barely get past the B’Cats is borderline amateur league. There should be a 5 game penalty just for loosing to the Raps & Hornets a week apart. I really hope the pathetic Jazz or someone makes a run and puts the Nuggets out of their misery and avoid national humiliation in the post-season.
    Can’t beleive GK is still the coach…wow!!

    • Josh

      I think it will be the suns that make the run to put the Nuggets out of their misery as you put it, the Suns will win tomorrow and knock us out of the 8th

    • Josh

      It really is physically draining/depressing to follow and root for this team when they put out an effort like last night, lose to the god awful hornets twice, the Cavs, the Raptors and even more upsetting, the blowout losses that have become routine and all too familiar like the ones to Dallas at home with Gallo healthy.

  • Porter

    Unbelievable how the excitement and finesse after Melo turned to despair and helter skelter player rotation.

    • stevesf47

      agreed Porter. We were so excited after the run late last season. Even losing to OKC in the 1st rd. We played them till the last minute in every game but 1. Heck, we should have pulled off game 1 but that non goaltending call killed us.

      Now look at us. Pathetic. When this team gives us hope, they tear it away the very next game. So inconsistant. It starts with coaching and it’s obvious he can’t get the most out of these players every game.

  • bdmacl

    Does everyone else just feel frustration because we do see a team with such great potential that has won against every elite team except OKC this year, and we played them pretty close until the coach reared his ugly head. If they played the whole year like they have since the allstar break, I could accept the “new and mediocre team” concept.

  • italianintellecto

    ty lawson (ahead of gk) is the real problem:
    again a bad play making, and a bad defense.

    thats the point: without some help ty cant develop things.

    im very disappointed.

    i hope that the new line-up is:

    leader: gallo

    responsible of the pace: ty

    co-leader: chandler

    helping point: aaa fom the bench.(till his defence is truly reliable, thas not the present )

    centre: koufus (ornamental)

    pf: faried.

    as the duo gallo-aaa has failed.

    my last and most enduring (from Ny time) hope is

    gallo-chandler…..chandler CAN and MUST improve!!!

  • italianintellecto

    and please chandler stop the old rivalry with gallo! i recommend you two play together!!!!

    i remember the magical alchemy you 2 someetimes created!!! please i want it now!!!

  • Josh

    I replied to another comment but i’ll say this again
    It really is physically draining/depressing to follow and root for this team when they put out an effort like last night, lose to the god awful hornets twice, the Cavs, the Raptors and even more upsetting, the blowout losses that have become routine and all too familiar like the ones to Dallas at home with Gallo healthy. I have a feeling the Suns game tomorrow will get ugly in a hurry and stay ugly till the end of the 4th.

  • Whimanji

    With a underachieving season we are still in the thick of things. If we just had a coach that can use what we have we could hve been in the top 4 in the west. I hve said it for years now that GK has to go. He is a good regular season coach but one of the worst playoff coaches we have in the association. Even if we make the playoffs we will get hammered in the first round.

  • Charliemyboy

    With age comes wisdom and understanding. Not reactionary thoughts. But for the fact that we lost by two, that hatchet is flailing. If we had won all the negative comments would have been worth 0. So let’s get a grip on the facts instead of running into our closets and pouting. Young team=inconsistancy; injuries=inconsistancy; Karl-#6 winner of all time, staying with the Nuggets whether others like it or not, and challanged with this years problems. Synopsis: one more year to sort out effectiveness. If healthy and given time, who can the current team not beat?

  • Ryan

    Are we sure GK is really even alive anymore? Before we keep calling for his head, let’s make sure there isn’t a “Weekend at Bernie’s” thing going on here. It might not make sense, as a corpse would probably make better substitutions/rotations than what happened in this game…