Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 105, Phoenix Suns 99

Phoenix Suns 99 Final

Recap | Box Score

105 Denver Nuggets
Kenneth Faried, F 29 MIN | 4-10 FG | 4-7 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | +4Faried didn’t wow anybody with his stat line, but as always, his energy was infectious. Even on the sidelines Faried was jumping up and down, cheering on his teammates when everyone else remained seated. His intense play towards the end of the game really made a difference in which team came out with the “W.”
Jordan Hamilton, G 17 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 11 PTS | +6You really can’t give Hamilton anything other than an A. In only 17 minutes he managed to put his stamp on the game, scoring at will and rarely, if ever, making a bad decision. His feel for the game is something that resonates with me. Hamilton knows his place and appears to understand how to make an impact without sacrificing other aspects of his repertoire.
Kosta Koufos, C 18 MIN | 1-4 FG | 1-4 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | +16Koufos didn’t score much but his rebounds were huge. At one point the Pepsi Center crowd went crazy when he fought Gortat for a 50-50 board. In a tight game rebounds matter and if not for Koufos the Nuggets might not have had the extra possessions needed to seal the victory.
Arron Afflalo, SG 42 MIN | 11-19 FG | 3-3 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 30 PTS | +11What more can you say about Afflalo? He has truly been outstanding since starting the season off slow. His 30 points accounted for nearly one-third of the total Nuggets points accumulated, meanwhile he chipped in even further by snagging some rebounds and dishing out assists. The best thing about Afflalo on Friday: He shot efficiently from distance, going 5-9 from beyond the arc.
Ty Lawson, PG 34 MIN | 1-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 8 AST | 2 PTS | 0Ty certainly came down to Earth after averaging 18 points and seven assists over the last 10 games. He wasn’t as aggressive as we’ve seen recently, but his eight assists helped spread the concept of team basketball that was everywhere against the Suns.
Al Harrington, PF 29 MIN | 8-19 FG | 3-4 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 23 PTS | +7This was one of Al Harrington’s best games in a while. He scored in a multitude of different ways, going both inside and out, and hit countless big shots when the Nuggets were in need of a spark. Without Harrington’s offense, the Nuggets do not win this game.
Andre Miller, PG 33 MIN | 4-12 FG | 6-6 FT | 7 REB | 7 AST | 15 PTS | -6Somebody please tell me what has happened to Andre Miller. Over the last three games he’s made a conscious effort to actually play defense and it’s payed off enormously. His pressure on the ball throws a knot in the opponents offense, which makes his teammates’ lives much easier. Though he still goes one-on-one way too frequently, the fact is: Miller actually seems to care and it’s incredibly refreshing. This was without a doubt one of his best performances of the season.
Corey Brewer, SF 18 MIN | 0-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 2 PTS | +7Brewer was once again nowhere to be found. Instead of infecting the team with energy on defense and getting out on the fastbreak, he blended in, often times being more sluggish than energetic. Perhaps he’s in a slump. Either way, judging by his performance, starting Hamilton over Brewer was a great decision by Karl.
JaVale McGee, C 20 MIN | 3-7 FG | 1-5 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | -15I don’t know what the deal is with McGee. The first several games with the Nugget he was great; the last few he’s been one of the worst players on the floor. He’s slow getting up the court, makes bad decision on offense and doesn’t appear to be giving 100 percent all the time. Maybe his asthma prevents him from moving faster? Who knows at this point.

One Thing We Saw

  1. Just Do It: For me, only one thing was apparent on Friday, and that was how the Nuggets figured out a way to get a much-needed win. There were no excuses, there was no complaining — the team just got it done. Phoenix certainly stunned the Nuggets with their zone defensive scheme, but instead of collapsing the team fought through adversity for the first time in a while. Across the board, players stepped up. The Nuggets had excellent performances from many different people instead of just one. This was truly a team effort, full of movement, defense and passion that payed off in the form of a win. Now if we could just get the Nuggets to play like this every night…
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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.

Latest posts by Kalen Deremo (see all)

  • teejmcbride1

    This was a statement win. Everyone with the exception of McGee did their part. Ty had a tough game but in the forth was penetrating the zone and kicking out getting players more looks and understood that André had the hot hand in the forth. Faried again came up huge in the forth with a block to seal the game. If André had truly accepted his role on this team then the Nuggets can truly cause some craziness for teams in the playoffs.
    They have 11 games left
    6 one the road:

    5 at home:

    They have the ability to beat most of these teams and possibly get to a 5 seed and play the Clippers (or at this rate Memphis) in the first round. If André continues to buy into his role these Nuggets can contend with anyone, especially with Gallo getting back Monday. This could finally be the win that propels this Nuggets team up to their potential to play with and BEAT anyone on the court with them.

  • teejmcbride1

    And as always thanks for the Rapid Reaction, thought it was great tonight as it always is.

  • Landry

    It’s so awesome that the sun’s had to use two guys to box out Faried. I mean seriously every team is starting to lock in on him and he still produces. Hopefully he can get some offensive plays called because he’s got a nice little hook shot.
    Took a while but GK is finally going with him in crunch time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Andrew

    So, I owe Karl one tonight. Good move starting J Ham. Still unsure why he won’t play Birdman ever. Does anyone have the scoop on that? Also, I really like K2. He might not be the most talented big in the NBA, but he’s a gamer, and 8 boards in 18 minutes is pretty dang good.

  • GK4Prez

    The thing that impressed me the most about this game was the team only had 5 turnovers, that has to be a season best by a long shot.

    • teejmcbride1

      Its the franchise best actually. Good call too I forgot about that

      • Kyle Obergfell

        thanks for pointing that out
        good to appreciate that they”re cleaning up their act

  • CJP32

    Kalen, giving Brewer a D is a little unfair, he was a +16 up until middle of the 4th qtr. When he entered late in the 1st, Denver went on to outscore Phoenix 24-10, that doesn’t happen just by coincidence. Brewer only took 4 shots, and made good plays, hustled, did what GK wanted him to do. I agree that starting J Ham was the right move and maybe Brewer is in a little slump. His role has gone from garbage mins, to spark plug, to starter, to role player, back to spark plug – he’s never had a consistent role on this team due to injuries but I believe that he is still the one guy that try’s every night.

    • Kyle Obergfell

      I regret the day they put in +/- as an individual stat.

      It really is misleading.. it is somewhat reflective..
      and while everything on the floor has to do with
      teamwork… that one stat really is causing more
      harm than good.

      I very much like the stat in the group of five
      consideration. But it really does not belong
      to the player.. ESPN should eliminate it in the
      stat line.. Anyone on the court benefits when
      the momentum is clicking.. and that has as
      much to do with the other team’s five on the
      floor as much as it does with the five on the
      floor reflecting the individual stat.

      Do it right or do away with it I say.

      • Dubz

        Definitely agree. +/- should be taken with a grain of salt and should only be used if it confirms what you see on the court. I like Brewer, but he’s definitely in a slump and he wasn’t a major contributor towards the +16 or whatever it was. He plays great defense, but until he gets his confidence back with his 3 point shot, he’s kind of useless on offense. Countless times he was hesitant to shoo the 3 and disrupted the flow of the offense. JHAM will replace him in the rotation behind Gallo and Chandler if he’s not careful.

        • Kyle Obergfell

          thank you Dubz..

          I did think of one obvious example…

          Ben Gordon going 9 for 9 in three point land
          against us a few weeks back…

          A lot of worthless Pistons players got big
          time bonuses in the +/- line.. by just
          being on the court watching.. not unlike everyone
          in the stands and everyone seeing it on tv.
          just watching him drain 27 points from the arc.

          By the same token.. Nuggets forwards and
          centers were taking as much +/- line punishment as
          the guards that were supposed to be guarding him.

  • ryanvdonk

    hopefully this gives hamilton a little more leash so he can take the role that rudy has vacated with injury. he deserves to play, and may be the most natural scorer on this team (outside of maybe gallo). the biggest surprise has been his rebounding, he always gets in position to box out and grabs the board solidly, none of the volleyball BS.

  • Aaron

    Great Win Tonight, GK Actually Did a Pretty Good Job Tonight With Starting J Ham Over Brewer, Good Rotations, And Seemed To Care Tonight More Then Usual. Wish Birdman Would Play Tho, Hopefully Hes Not Dealing With Drugs Or Something Again Because I Think He Could Be a Legit Backup Center Somewhere in This League. J-Ham Looked Aorta Like J.R. But Not So Knuckleheaded. I’m Kinds Disappointed in McGee So Far, Starting To Wonder If We Could Have Gotten a Little Bit Better From That Trade With Nene. Brewer And Lawson Only Got 4 Points Combined Tonight For Some Odd Reason But Thought Those Were The Greatest 2 Point Games They’d Ever Had Before, Mainly Because They Had Great Energy And Plain Fantastic Defense. K2 Didnnt Score The Ball Like Most Center But Rebounded Better Then The Avg. Center. FINALLY!! Andre Seems To Actually Try To Run And Play Defense And More Importantly Played His Role PERFECTLY! Damnable Faried Man! Hes Gonna Be Star! He Gets 2 People Boxing Him Out And Still Jumps Seems To Be 50 Feet Higher And Snag The Ball Beautifully. Great Dunk’s Tonight Too! Last 2 But By Far Not The Least. Big Al And Triple A Afflalo Seemed To Hit Like EVERY Shot He Shot, He Was On Fire!! Big Al Shot A Little Bit More Then a Backup PF Should Shoot But He Kept Us In The Game. Cant Take That Away From Him. All In All Every1 Had a Decent All-Around-Game Tonight.

    Lets Keep Pushing Our Selves Up The Standings!!

    • Aaron

      Sorry For All The Typos, My iPad Was Messing All The Words Up.

  • Dubz

    As ugly as it was, this was a huge win. If we lost consecutive games to the Hornets and Suns, this team could really be on the outside looking in on the playoffs. I have to say I was incredibly impressed with JHAM’s composure and sense of direction while on the floor. He really seems to know his role on a team full of players who don’t seem to know theirs. I have to say I’ve soured on McGee fairly quickly, I really don’t like the way the Nuggets play while he’s on the floor. While I’m still very much against Karl’s small ball to end games (the suns were out rebounding the Nuggs like crazy in the 4th), Faried seems to make up for the size in a lot of different ways. It’s crazy how many times someone has said that Faried played an ok game until the 4th, when he really turned it on and was the spark that lead to a win. What a quality to have.. Anyway, I seem to be the eternal optimist on this site, but I see bright things ahead for this team(this season and future). When Gallo and Chandler come back, with Afflalo playing the way he is and Lawson slashing to the hoop, this team will be just fine. Lets just hope they start playing better defense.

  • Lane

    Just read David Thorpe’s update on rookie rankings. He has Mr. Faried at a solid #2 on the year behind Kyrie Irving. What a steal for the Denver front office. The young Rodman comparisons are legit!

  • Lane

    I am glad we are getting the full story with McGee before the end of the year. My biggest fear was JaVale playing for a contract and duping the Nuggets into a long term deal for a guy who might never figure iT out. I love his upside but the FO should know now that he is a major risk. Here’s hoping he figures IT out and makes this a no brainer.

  • Lane

    If the Nugs are intent on getting a center to start not named Mozgov or Koufos(I think KK could be a solid starter) I would hope they would pursue every opportunity to grab Roy Hibbert, probably cost close to what McGee will cost.

  • Kyle Obergfell

    I think AAA needs an A+ here.

    He took over the game (and Harrington to)
    when we didn’t seem to have the intensity
    (yet again) anywhere else.

  • Kyle Obergfell

    That half court dish from Miller to Faried in this video at 1:35


    This is the kind of stuff that almost makes me want to
    get my hopes up again.

    That’s just pretty. And that’s the swagger we so
    desperately need back.

  • Porter

    Nuggets v Suns…. five players score A and one a B…. does this say that at the top of our game we can only beat Suns by five. How can this be?

    • Trip

      I think for now yes this is just about the best this team can be. We are missing our leading scorer, and a huge presence on the court, his back up which can also score and play good defense (in theory), and our Big guy is still trying to learn the system and get a feel for how Nugget basketball is played. So when you have good games from 5 players and bad games from others this is going to happen.

  • Trip

    Brewer was horrible for the second straight game, I know he has seen his minutes increase solely due to injuries and not his play, SO when Gallo and Chandler come back then Brewer will hopefully be back in his role as the Bench energy guy only coming in when the team is really lacking that edge. Unfortunately that also means that JHAm will also probably not see the court again until clean up minutes when both those two are healthy, which is a shame, because he is starting to break out a a little adding more to his game than just shooting the long ball.

    In my opinion until Chandler shows something impressive Hamilton should have his spot in the rotation (We all know GK likes to go small anyways) unless we have a reason to need Chandler to guard Durant or someone of his height/length.

    Just No More Brewer. The Collapse in the 4th qtr doesnt happen if we have somebody else in the game. He is an offensive Liability and just slaps at the ball and gets needless fouls called on him. The first think they teach you when you learn to play defense is to not slap down on the ball…

  • Landry

    players gk has a role defined for

    1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

    Playoff Line-up (Karl’s Brain Trust Lolz)
    Ty / Andre PG
    Faried / Harrington PF
    Gallo / J-Ham SF
    Afflalo / Hamilton SG
    Koufos / Birdman(Finally not hurt for playoffs) C

    Chandler’s injury may be a blessing for J-Ham cus Chandler is the frozen one in the playoffs for scoring =(