Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 123 Golden State Warriors 84

Golden State Warriors 84 Final
Recap | Box Score
123 Denver Nuggets
Kenneth Faried, F 24 MIN | 12-18 FG | 3-3 FT | 17 REB | 1 AST | 27 PTS | +33

Complete and utter domination. Faried set new career highs in points, rebounds, field goals made, and field goals attempted in just 24 minutes. He was outstanding in transition and a beast in the paint on both ends. Defensively, it was by far his finest performance to date. I get the sense Faried is seen as purely an energy guy by the coaching staff, but games like this are a reminder he’s a much more complete player than he’s given credit for.

Danilo Gallinari, SF 30 MIN | 4-11 FG | 5-6 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 15 PTS | +25

Gallo’s welcome return was well-received by the Nuggets new starting five. For the first time in weeks, the Nuggets started a lineup with chemistry and cohesion on both ends of the court. A lot of the credit must go to Gallo, who clearly isn’t in game shape yet managed to get the Nuggets playing the best team basketball we’ve seen in weeks.

Kosta Koufos, C 17 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | +28

Koufos is capable of putting up better numbers, but still played a fantastically solid game that helped the Nuggets open up with perhaps their best start all season. Nothing was wrong with Koufos’ game, but he was somewhat overshadowed by the stellar play of McGee and Faried.

Arron Afflalo, SG 36 MIN | 6-14 FG | 2-2 FT | 8 REB | 5 AST | 15 PTS | +33

I supposed this is now what a poor game out of Afflalo looks like. It’s a shame this season feels so short because if this is what we can expect when Afflalo doesn’t have it, he’s well on his way to becoming a special player. His leadership and team-oriented play were a welcome sight on a night he could not carry the offense like he has in the past couple of games.

Ty Lawson, PG 21 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 10 PTS | +31

I hate to be harsh, but once again I did not like the timid, passive style of play we saw out of Lawson against the Warriors. Lawson did not do anything wrong, but he should play better against a sad Warriors back court full of no-names. Ty has it in him to take over these games if he wants to and it’s personally disappointing that he doesn’t show more of a killer instinct or a drive to assert himself against lesser competition.

Al Harrington, PF 12 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | +5

Harrington didn’t play much, but he did his job admirably when he did. Al was once again flame throwing triples from long range and wasn’t needed for more than a few minutes after the bench essentially put the game away in the second quarter. Bad news just came out that Al has a torn meniscus and has been trying to play through it the past few games.

Andre Miller, PG 28 MIN | 2-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 12 AST | 6 PTS | +16

Once again, I just really like the maturity and professionalism Andre is now showing on a nightly basis. Why this was missing for first 80% of the season I have no idea, but in the past month or so Andre has been one of the steadiest guys on the team outside of Afflalo.

Corey Brewer, SF 22 MIN | 5-6 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 13 PTS | +5

Brewer still has a place in the Nuggets’ rotation and he found that niche tonight. Corey was solid in transition and at the very least, less of a black hole on offense. I think his leash with George Karl had gotten a little too long and Brewer became too content to step outside of what he’s supposed to do best. He did a lot of good things in garbage time, but questions remain about his decision making on offense.

Timofey Mozgov, C 7 MIN | 2-2 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | +4

Mozgov got an extended garbage time stint after playing himself out of the rotation entirely on the Nuggets’ recent east coast trip. He was part of a twin towers lineup with McGee and hopefully, the dose of playing time will light a fire under him to make himself a more useful option should the Nuggets need him down the line.

JaVale McGee, C 23 MIN | 5-10 FG | 3-8 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 13 PTS | +2

Patience is the key with McGee. Admittedly I was not a fan and frankly, never believed the Nene trade had anything to do with the merits of acquiring him. Honestly, after getting an extended glimpse at JaVale and everything that comes with him, I’m impressed. Sure, he can be frustrating on a team that can’t afford any more inconsistency. Even so, the physical tools and multi-faceted skills he shows warrant a more patient attitude. This is a work in progress that likely won’t be complete by the end of this season, and there’s still plenty of good to be found in that.

Julyan Stone, G 12 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 0 PTS | +7

He’s an exciting player, but all of his minutes came against the Warriors reserves with the Nuggets up by 30. Still, Julyan played with a lot of intensity and displayed a keen sense for utilizing his length and athleticism on defense.

Jordan Hamilton, G 8 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 4 PTS | +6

Jordan was another guy who saw garbage minutes and ran up the score on a team that had already given up. It was nice seeing him sky high for a dunk and have success after a a sub-par game as a starter in his previous outing.

Chris Andersen, C DNP COACH’S DECISION

Gone, but not forgotten. Obviously this grade is N/A because he didn’t sniff the court yet again. I don’t think this is it for Birdman in a Nuggets uniform, but it’s probably a sign he will not play for the rest of the year. It has to be frustrating for Bird to be cast aside and given the Renaldo Balkman treatment, but it’s also a strong indication this team is moving in a new direction and making tough sacrifices for the sake of developing talent.

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Charlie Yao

Contributor at Roundball Mining Company since 2010. Unhealthily obsessed with Nuggets basketball since 2002. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram at the links on the left.
  • ny nugs fan

    was pulling for the 40 burger

  • Kyle Obergfell

    OK…

    anyone want to say….

    “this team just isn’t that talented”??

    • Adam

      My grade for Faried an F! He was acting like he was an all star! He is a rookie! Oh yeah, he was a beast!

    • Ernie

      They played a crappy Golden State team whose ownership is making Jackson start 3 rookies because they want to lose in order to get a top 7 pick this year, playing without its two best players (Curry and Bogut) or a center and at home. Yes it was fun, but as the Wolf said in Pulp Fiction, “Let’s not go….each others…just yet”.

      • Kyle Obergfell

        they also waxed a team by 39..
        their season high

        Nuggets have now gone 18 games
        with only one two game win streak
        and with only one two game lose streak..
        otherwise…
        perfect W/L/W/L/W/L/W/L pattern.

        If you really really think you’ve got these
        guys all figured out..
        then you’re better than I am.

        They can beat the best teams in the East..
        hang with OKC, beat San Antonio..
        turnaround and lose to Kings, Warriors, Cavs, Raptonrs…

        It’s bullshit to say they aren’t talented.
        It’s easy to see they are undisciplined.

        Who does the blame for that fall on?

        • Ernie

          How come they are talented if they beat a crappy team by 39 but aren’t untalented when they lose to the same team by 15? Or lose by 20 to the Trailblazers, by 17 to the Timberwolves, by 19 to the Jazz or 17 to the Mavericks?

          My point is you are your overall record. This team is fighting for the 8th spot in the west. My guess is their talent is commensurate with that record, somewhere in the upper half to upper third but no more.

          • Kyle Obergfell

            talent and potential doesn’t always equal achievement.

            George Karl is just doing a shit job.

            It couldn’t be more obvious.

            • Ernie

              Nuggets are 31-26. They are 5-6 in games decided by 3 points or less. San Antonio is 5-4, Dallas is 6-7 and they have the best coaches. Miami is 5-1 and no one is impressed with Spoelstra. Players are what matters.

              FYI the record against teams .500 and above is 16-17, it’s not like this team only plays to the level of competition.

              • Kyle Obergfell

                Ernie…

                just look at who they’ve beaten and who they have lost to.

                It’s all a matter of motivation and execution..

                The talent and potential are obvious..
                no matter who they play.
                No matter who they play.
                it does not matter.
                they can beat the best and lose to the worst.

                I am wondering… and I can’t possibly think of any
                other scenario than what happened this year…
                what kind of proof would it take to convince anyone
                that the head coach is failing his team?

                I can’t think of a better example of never knowing
                what team is going to show up and either be
                brilliant or embarrassing..

                There the fact that they lead the NBA in scoring,
                assists and are 6th in rebounding.

                The 18 game straight patter of win then lose then win then lose then win then…
                ad infinitum…

                What would need to be more obvious that there is a coaching problem?
                I am really wanting to learn from all you guys trying to
                tell everyone that this team doesn’t have talent.
                That’s not what I am seeing at all.
                Help me with this..
                and you suck if you just give me a record..
                come on..
                if you really believe that..
                convince me.

              • joe

                I think one or more of the assistant coaches are week.

                But a healthy team can make them look better. Kinda line the first 20 games.

              • Ernie

                Coaching just isn’t a huge factor at the NBA level. What is a factor is having great talent that wants to be the best. And the great ones motivate others to show up every night, play great defense and by improve their skills in the summer. NBA players aren’t motivated by coaches, they are motivated by peers.

                I’m not in the locker room or near the team. But it seems to me this team lacks leadership from the players. The lack of star is having a negative effect, not because of any last minute strategies but because the team takes its cues from stars on how hard to work in practice and how fired up to play every night. The leader on this team appears to be Miller, watch Ty deflect to him every game when they are both in there. But Miller isn’t happy on the 2nd team and isn’t willing (or perhaps able) to play defense. And that is hurting the team.

                IMHO when Ty (perhaps too timid) or Faried (too young) or Gallo (too new last year, too injured this year) or AAA (guys don’t seem to respond to him) finally becomes a leader, and makes the leap on both leadership and to an all star level in skill then that’s when you will get a more consistant effort from this team. No speech or play from GK will change anything until that happens.

              • Ryan

                If that’s the case, why are we paying Karl so much money? If coaches really don’t matter, at least find someone who doesn’t destroy team morale with nonsensical rotations and an addiction to small ball. Karl gets paid millions and he thinks Al Harrington should be the biggest player on the court in crucial, late-game situations. Do you not see a problem with this?

              • Kyle Obergfell

                I guess D’Antoni got fired for no reason..
                Auerbach never did anything for the Celtics
                Phil Jackson lucked in to 11 championships
                (right place right time I’m sure)
                Larry Brown and Pat Riley..
                I’m sure anyone could have done it…

                Did you ever play basketball dude?

                The coach puts players in.
                He leaves them in or takes them out..
                in order to win the game.
                He calls plays to win the game
                He molds the entire strategies on offense
                and defense and clock management.
                The coach calls plays nearly every time
                the team has a time out.
                The coach is first hand in talent development
                and is the most responsible for overall team chemistry.

                And think about it.. your talking about millionaires
                in their 20s.. you don’t think there is a need to
                manage those egos and agendas?

                This is everything I’m against. The STAR mentality.
                It’s boring for one.. get the ball to Melo… wow.
                There are plenty of great players never getting a ring.

                This team was supposed to be all about TEAM.

                George Karl has not made that happen.
                Nuggets could run opponents ragged, especially at home..
                if the bench all contributed and the pace is kept up.
                We win in the paint, on the fast break, and by ball
                movement. The coach manages that.
                Calls time out when they are getting their ass kicked,
                replaces players when they are getting their ass kicked,
                and uses everyone as a cohesive whole.

                GK is calling small ball, continuing to do it even though
                players like Faried are showing immense capability..
                Players like Birdman have defensive intensity but don’t
                play.. and putting in players like Brewer and Mosgov
                long long long after they have done too much damage.

                Far and away..
                the disappointment of this year is more on GK
                than anyone this year.

              • Ernie

                Ryan,

                I see what you see and the small ball and lack of late game “plays” drive me just as crazy as you. But Kyle was referring to not understanding how the Nuggets can be great one night and lousy the next. And I think the fact that Miller and probably Harrington are the only leaders on the team is why it struggles and why those are the guys out there way too often.

                NBA coaches really just manage egos and playing time. Everything else is up to the players, and with the leaders of this team on the second team (and old and bad on defense) the dynamics of this team are messed up.

              • Ernie

                Kyle,

                I did play high school basketball, dude. Not sure that really matters. And if you read my thoughts, it was not that the team needed someone to just pass the ball to for isolations at the close of games. It was someone to lead the team.

                As for your coaches, Auerbach never won anything without Russell, the ultimate leader (11 championships in 13 years, 2 in college, never cared about taking the last shot). Jackson had Jordan and Kobe for all of his championships, again outstanding leaders and extremely hard workers. And best of all, D’Antoni was only successful when Steve Nash was leading his offense. 2 time MVP, but also a leader. Couldn’t do it with the Knicks because that team also has leadership issues.

              • Ernie

                Forgot to mention, for two of Russell’s championships in Boston HE WAS THE HEAD COACH!

                Riley had Magic, who won a champtionship previously with Paul freaking Westhead. Not exactly a coaching genius.

                Larry Brown had great leadership on his team in Detroit. On the NYK and Charlotte however…

    • joe

      The Nuggets look like a very talented team. I am ready to watch on Wednesday.

  • GK4Prez

    That was a fun game to watch, it would be nice if it ignites the team and they go on a winning streak.

    • Adam

      They gellin like a villain. This is justa taste of what we WILL be.

  • magster

    Unfortunately, everyone else we wanted to lose in the WC won tonight too.

  • Ryan

    This just proves that Karl needs to be fired. You can’t lose to the Golden State D-League Warriors by 15, then win by 39 the very next game. This type of inconsistency falls squarely on the coach, not having the team focused each and every game. By the way, we lost the season series to this team. Think about that for a second….

    • Kyle Obergfell

      they are wild.
      Out of control.
      untamed.
      undisciplined.
      unfocused.

      Wild Bipolar team.

      They could be more like tonight all the time…
      or last night all the time.

      If only there was a way that someone could come in
      and get the most out of them night by night..

      BTW… Faried got those 27 points and 17 rebounds in 24 minutes. Seven of those boards were on offense.

      Nene never had a game even close to that and he never will.

    • Charliemyboy

      Think about what you said. What was the difference in the two games?

      • Kyle Obergfell

        this was not only different than the night before..
        it was one of the best of the year..

        but still..

        if pattern holds..
        they lose to Minnesota next
        (WLWLWLWLWLWL)

        I’m not about to say they have solved all their problems.

        But isn’t it obvious that this is a team without a sense of urgency and a team that all season long has had questionable heart, ridiculous lack of discipline, some degree of selfishness
        and laziness..

        The last things wrong are potential and ability.
        The first things wrong are leadership and purpose.
        Throw in an obvious case of curious personnel management
        and confusing lack of adjustment..

        We could do a lot better with a coach that had a clue.

        l

  • Adam

    Cryin Ryan this is what the team can, and will be. U are not a fan, you are a hater! Go ahead and be a Knicks fan, Melo and Smith are doin just fine on a weak east conference. You are either a team playa, or you are not. We won, have 9 games to go…. the future is sooooo bright, I gotta wear shades.

    • Ryan

      I’m sorry, I didn’t know expecting more than mediocrity made me a “hater”. I’ve been a Nuggets fan my whole life and I agree that the future is bright, I just wish we had a coach who could maximize our potential, not create a culture of low expectations

      • Adam

        “I just wish we had a coach who could maximize our potential.” Your quote. The Nuggets are the #1 team in matchup changes in the NBA. They are also the only team that has a winning record. Thank you for playing the if George Karl is a good coach game.

        • Adam

          *With as many change ups in the line.

          • chronosynchlastic Infundibula

            George is that you?

            • Barry

              Funny. Was thinking the same thing. Adam, GK needs to go. The nuggets have been underachieving since he got here and they will until he leaves. We have some nice pieces in place for the future, we just need a coach to maximize the efficiency of those pieces. I think GK has easily cost the nuggets between 5 and 10 games himself this year alone. We’d be sitting pretty in the hunt, full of confidence if we had won those games. Instead, we’re pretty close to being on the outside looking in.

              • Adam

                Sorry Barry I don’t agree. I, like other Nuggets fans saw what the Nuggets looked like in the 80’s – the late 90’s and you tell me who would have been a better coach than what we have now. Larry Brown won’t come back, Jackson wouldn’t even want to be here, and Pat is doing his thing in Miami. Mike D’Antoni? Please! Don’t make me laugh. We tried that, he got fired.

  • Tom

    This game says more about the Warriors than the Nuggets. What team wouldn’t have whipped them by 39 points? Oh, that’s right, they beat the Nuggets by 15 a couple nights ago. Hmm…

    In any case, even if you fire GK as you all seem to want to do, the Nuggets are not instantly going to turn into a championship contender. They need at least one franchise player to really be taken seriously. If only they could package some of their depth for a superstar, like trading Nene and Lawson for Deron Williams …. what? They already traded Nene for a back of chips? Nevermind. This team is going nowhere.

    • Adam

      Tom, are you a Lakers fan?

      • Adam

        Whatever… Kobe is getting old, and Bynum isn’t that smart.

      • Tom

        You just cut me real deep just now. You know that? I don’t think anyone has ever said such an insulting thing to me before.

        • Adam

          Well, you are apparently not a nuggets fan saying ” This team is going nowhere.” How is that being a fan? I thought maybe you might be a Lakers fan. My bad.

    • NuggFan forLife

      I think that insulting the Nuggets after a 15-point loss though accomplishing sweet revenge is a dodo-head kind of a statement. Yes, and you’re a dodo-head. The Nuggets played hard in this game willingly and PERSONALLY. That 15-point loss should have been a wakeup call.
      Also if you did notice it:
      The 39-point margin in favor of the Nuggets is more than the winning margins of the last two Warrior wins COMBINED.
      The margin was the most home-winning margin since the 29 against Sacramento.
      Faried woke up from an invisible game on Sunday with a monstrous effort against the same team that was supposedly whipped on the boards.
      I think the Nuggets noticed that. If a team put its third-string lineup on the court, the team usually lets the opposing team lessen the margin. Instead, the Nuggets kept on playing as if they were possessed. I think they finally realized they shouldn’t be beaten by bad teams.

      • ryanvdonk

        in fairness, our third team is probably our best rebounding and defensive unit with two 7 footer and hamilton in the game.

  • Adam

    Come on Charlie.. U are like Woody Paige, or Skip Bayless to me. When you are on, you are on… Let’s see the report card man.

  • Adam

    After that Charlie, what are you doing on Weds, or Thursdays? I need a pool player on our team, we are a rowdy bunch, but a close knit family.

  • Blair

    I had high hopes for McGee, whens he gonna step up and rebound like a normal 7 footer should? Wish he would just step up his whole game. Also, I’ve never seen him smile, once. Kinda creepy.

    • evan

      I wasn’t aware every 7footer in the league averaged close to 10 rbds.

  • Andrew

    Night and day from the last game. I wish this team wee not so Jeckyl and Hyde this year, but they are what they are.

    To the points made above:

    1) nobody is saying that Karl is the whole problem or that the Nuggets will be instant contenders if they replace Karl. What we are saying is that they have seen their ceiling with Karl. While he has a very good regular season record and a lot of wins, because he has historically been a mediocre, at best, playoff coach. People question his personnel decisions (like his dog house guys and his stubborn clinging to small ball when he has several serviceable bigs).
    2) The Nuggets have decent talent top to bottom but do not seem to have a guy that can put them over the top. Some people say superstar, I just think they are missing a leader – a guy that refuses to lose – for example a Chauncey Billips. It’s no mistake that one of the years C Bill was here was the Nuggets’ most successful under Karl.
    3) Despite the two items above, every fan (even the critics among us) can enjoy a good beat down like the one the Nuggets administered on Golden State tonight. I watched the whole thing and enjoyed every minute of it! For awhile, it was looking like the pasting they laid on the Hornets in the payoffs a few years back. Just awesome.

    • Adam

      “The Nuggets have decent talent top to bottom but do not seem to have a guy that can put them over the top.” Those guys are:Andre Miller, and AA.

      • Andrew

        Not sure I agree with you. I really like AAA and think he can be a key part of a championship team. However, I think Miller is too old and slow to play defense well enough to get the Nuggs over the top. In fact, if Stone got more playing time, I think he could develop into a better option than Miller. Just my opinion.

        • Adam

          Ask faried who hod favorite dish man is.

          • Adam

            *his

            • Barry

              Totally agree with Andrew here. Would love to see the nuggets start developing Stone. You don’t win games at the offensive end. You do it on defense. Andre Miller, although he manages to get a steal here or there, is constantly out of position on defense and plays absolutely no team defense. It might not matter when we play against the bottom feeders in the league but when the nuggets play against any decent teams, they take advantage of this.

              Also, I will be shocked if the nuggets bring back Dre next year because he still thinks he can start (maybe for the bobcats) so why not start developing Stone and Hamilton. It looks like these guys can play. They’re young, hungry and willing to play defense.

              • Adam

                Stone will get more playing time, as will Hamilton. Having said that, they are too new to put in a starting lineup.

              • Kyle Obergfell

                I was at the game the Nuggets broke the NBA record
                for points in the paint.

                Guess who had the most?

                Andre Miller.

                He may be old.. but shifty and quick as well.

    • Charliemyboy

      When healthy, how did Gallo compete with Melo? He’s 23! Watch him… much, much more than a scorer.

  • Raf

    I agree this was a great win. Gallinari can be that leader every one is asking for. Gallinari, Faried and Afflalo will be a great trio to build around. Ty can only join the list once he becomes an aggressive point guard night in night out. It seems like the three aforementioned know exactly what they have to do and have been doing it most of the season. Also once they do what they have to it usually leads to great team wins like this one.

    • Andrew

      Those three do seem to play well off of each other. Even though Gallo didn’t completely go off tonight, his mere presence seems to take some of the pressure off other guys. He is also better defensively, than he gets credit for. Like that play where he poked the ball away from the Warrior that appeared to be going in for an easy bucket. Ball bounced off the Warrior’s leg and resulted in a turnover.

      • Raf

        Yea I believe them three are the ultimate combination of defense, scoring, rebounding and passing. They feed of off each other extremely well with Gallinari being the primary ball handler.

      • Adam

        Good point Andrew. Gallo does play the D and that is what Karl preaches, th offense will feed off the D. If you want proff of that, rewind your dvr’s beacuse this game is showing what we are, and I like what I see.

    • Kalen

      Ty leads the team in points, assists and steals per game, won Western Conference Player of the Week not too long ago and has scored at least 20 points in six of his last 10 games (five of which he scored at least 25 points). I understand people’s frustration with his inconsistency, but on night when he’s not scoring he’s still dishing out assists. It’s tough to be aggressive with the diminutive frame Lawson has. It takes him twice the amount of effort, if not more, to score than it does with bigger guys. He can’t just shoot over a smaller defender or back somebody into the post. I think he probably has to pick and chose when he’s going to exert the effort needed to have a big scoring night and because of this, he simply can’t do it every time around.

      Give him a break. He was the Nuggets best player in the Playoffs last year, he’s been their best player this season and he’s coming on hot at the most opportune time. The NBA is littered with inconsistent players. In fact, consistency is actually more of a rare attribute than anything if you ask me. Plus, he’s still only in his first year as a starting point guard. If this is what he’s doing now, I can’t wait to see how good he’s going to be three years down the road.

      • Ryan

        I agree. Nuggets don’t need Ty to score 20 points a night, he just needs to realize when the team needs him to. The thing about Ty is that he creates a match-up problem for every single team in the league, no player can stay in front of him consistently. When he is the only true advantage the nuggets have, he needs to dominate, as he did in the win against San Antonio. Tonight, other players were dominating, so it was perfectly fine for him to just be a facilitator

    • SmokinNugs

      The beauty of Gallo is everyone knows he can shoot so they have to play honest defense on us. When we have Corey (can’t shoot), Rudy (hasn’t been shooting), and Andre (can’t shoot) out there, they realize our big threats are down low and defend accordingly. When Gallo is out there along with Ty or AAA, the defense has to spread to floor to cover everyone and that gives us a lot more opportunity offensively. Our bigs will have a lot more games like tonight when the paint isn’t jammed up.

      Oh and did I mention Gallo plays D on the other side of the ball too? People act like we need superstars, why when we have a bunch of mini stars!

  • CJP32

    Firstly, a 39 point win is still a win. But it was over the Warriors – this win means nothing if we now lose to Minnesota.

    Having Gallo back maybe inspired the guys. Faried went nuts, but lets see him do that for 2-3 straight games. Dre was awesome, Stone was great. Brewer found his stroke and everyone stepped up.

    But Bird still got a DNP – WTF is going on???

    • Adam

      With Gallo being back, only shows we can play the pick and roll. Gallo is like a pg/pf. If you know what I mean. How many assists did he have?

      • Andrew

        Good point. Gallo has 6 assists. Second only to Miller’s 12 on the night. Miller had a good game, too, but wasn’t he the one guarding Klay Thompson and Nate Robinson when they were hitting a combined 8-13 from 3 point land? Keep me honest, but I think a good portion of those were the result of Miller getting over late. That’s why I have concerns with Miller. Not his fault, he’s just slow.

        • Adam

          With the ally oop, Faried and McGee will florish. Trust me. You saw glimpse of it tonight. You will see soon why I think Miller is the team leader on this team.

  • Andrew

    I want to know what is going on with Bird, too. Is he hurt? Is he really in such disfavor with Karl that he won’t even get a sniff in a blowout? This is just so strange.

    • Adam

      Love Bird too, but if he isn’t doing well in practice… Well, it is survival of the fittest. Just win baby!

      • Andrew

        True. True. It just seems odd that he’s being singled out.

  • NuggFan forLife

    Better change Kenneth’s last name to “Fried” because he fried the WHOLE TEAM throughout the game. Yes, including you, Mr. David Lee!!! Yeah. But it’s still one game. Kenneth and the whole team must have that instinct to fry their next opponent, including their potential playoff opponent. I’m just really perplexed why did George Karl didn’t insert The Birdman all game.

  • Adam

    Btw, I just drank a 5th of Jack. Dare me to drive?

  • Adam

    Truth be told It was the smaller one from that.

  • Charlie

    My bad guys, I did the grades and typed out the blurbs for each player, and the thing I use to generate them failed me.

    I’ll have it up as soon as I can get it, which should be tomorrow at the latest. In the meantime, let’s just enjoy the beatdown.

    I don’t think I could have lived with myself knowing that the Nuggets got swept 3-0 in a season series to these Warriors.

    • ParkHillNative

      Meh, I vote you just give everybody an “A” for this one. JaVale, Brewer, everyone.

  • Jim

    Fun win. Lineups were better tonight. I thought dre and McGee on the floor together was tight. McGee and mosgov on the court at the same time was cool.

    I hope this game was the wake up call we need because the last games of the season look like a bitch. With okc, spurs or maybe even Memphis after that if we get lucky. I’m getting ready for hopefully a competitive one and done.

    But the d looked better and with gallo this team is very good. Brewer looked better. I thought mosgov moved better too.

  • highflyer55

    No bird again. Wtf?

  • JB

    That’s what they need to do against the Timberwolves on Wednesday. But can somebody with any inside knowledge at all tell me and others why Bird is never getting playing time? Hes better than Koufos (who is not that bad) and Mozgov.

  • Robert

    Charlie, about Nene, his career high was 28 and career high rebounds was 17. He never came close to doing it in the same game though. Go Nuggets!

    • Tom

      Well, there’s no guarantee that Faried will ever put up numbers like tonight ever again. It’s not like he’s been getting 20 and 10 every other night. And if he ever gets seriously injured and loses some of his raw athleticism, he might be fortunate to have Nene’s career.

      • SmokinNugs

        I love how your what if scenario is Faried getting hurt and doing poorly like Nene.

        WHAT IF….

        You weren’t so negative and realized Faried is a rookie on his way UP.

        Faried is a beast, Nene isn’t. Get over it, he’s gone. Thank God

        • tron7

          I don’t understand why injury is not a valid concern with Faried. He relies pretty heavily on athleticism to succeed.

        • Adam

          True that SmokinNugs. I would take McGee over Nene right now as well. The fact of the matter is we have one of the best lineups ever.

        • Tom

          Nene was a higher draft pick than Faried and was considered to have a really high upside until he suffered injury after injury.

          I like Faried a lot, but he does rely heavily on his athleticism, and if he ever loses that, I’m not sure he has the necessary basketball skills to still be a great player. The NBA is littered throughout its history with freakishly athletic players that seemingly have all-star potential that suffer an injury and are a continual disappointment after that. Heck, just look at Antonio McDyess for a recent Nuggets example.

      • Ryan

        The thing is, if Faried had Nene’s body, he would put up Kevin Love-type numbers every night. Faried is undersized, but makes up for it with heart and hustle. Nene has all the physical gifts in the world, but has as much passion in him as a mannequin. Nene wanted to be the next Ronaldo, but he grew too big and instead will have to settle for a long and lucrative career in the NBA. Poor guy…

  • Kyle Obergfell

    play BIRDMAN!!!!!!

  • Porter

    OK… why does Karl not play Chris Anderson. Coaches Decision and it is obviously something blatant
    and I want to know what.

  • Prizzy

    Gallo makes Manimal and McGee exponentially better with his vision and passing. That was perhaps the most impressive thing I saw in the game next to our rook’s aforementioned dominance. He takes away from Ty’s dishes and the one thing I think that needs to gel is how Gallo and Ty play off each other in terms of initiating the offense. It’s been a really frustrating year but with performances like this I can give more patience to the process. This team reminds me a little bit of the 94 nuggets that beat Karl’s #1 seeded Sonics in the 1st round. Given that we tend to play to the level of our competition and our road record, we will be an extremely tough out for whomever we play.

  • Greco21

    My grades:

    Farried: A++ (shall not elaborate)

    Gallinari: A+ made everybody look so much better on half court offense. Better ball movement, better defense, better passing… He is the one.

    Koufos: C- Respect yourself. Involve more. Critisizing respecting his role on the team he deserves a better grade. But there will come times he will have to provide added value. Behave like a starter. Take the next step

    Afflalo: A- Its good to see that someone is grabing garbage rebounds. Everybody complains about rebounding. It is not only the centers. It is the perimeter too. Those 50-50 balls around the basket should be handled. Perfect execution on fast break, good passing.

    Ty Lawson: C- Two fouls so early? What if the game was critical? Were are the assists?

    On the other hand, good defense. He would deserve a better grade just because he controlled the pace of the game. That is a playmakers job. But it was well after Denver had a comfortable lead

    Andre Miller: A Past games has been sensetional. 12 assists with great efficiency on when to attack on his own. Great defense. Love it when he fouls instead of his center. That is team spirit. Masterfull at setting the pace.

    Al Harrington: B- Just for his stats (actually rebounds). He deserves an A for playing injured (?????). He has great BBall IQ.

    Correy Brewer: B+ Deserves it for coming of the bench. He is a perfect example of a bench player. He sucks for airballing 3s… Better on fast break.

    McGee: A+ I would give him a D- initially for his +2. But it is hard to keep up when you enter the game and the lead is well set or when you have to keep intensity in garbage time. The reason for the A+ is because he fought his way back to the game. He had 3 BA starting the game and a variety of goofy moves. He worked hard and flipped the script around. He displayed an array of post moves, energy and willingness. That was fantastic.

    JHam and JStone C for incomplete. Good basketball players. Need time on the floor and consistency. I love JHams rebounding ability apart from Offense awareness and IQ. JStone is a solid backup playmaker. He will involve others.

    Mozgov… D- Just for playing good. Man they need you to play well when its tough. Not garbage time. Where is the relaxed starter Mozgov? Went back to Russia? Cmon man… Do not make me change it to F

    • ryanvdonk

      why so hard on the moz? he’s been jerked around by the coach more than anyone, and you’re surprised he ended up playing tentative? he is still a work in progress, but has shown some glimpses that he can be a very solid starter. problem is, whenever he played bad, we would get yanked and never see the floor again that night. some players handle this better than others, he is not one of them.

      • Greco21

        Continuity and consistency are what you seek, not to say great improvement. If you put his Grades down from the beginning of the seazon you will see that the variance is really big. Unstable. He had a ton of chances starting most of the seazon. He is 25

        and everybody knows that he can be a great asset.

        Well just that. Come on man… display on court

  • GK4Prez

    Harrington deserves an A for playing through the injury that he has.

  • Thomas

    Now if only Andre Miller sat with his injuries we could see this team gel together as a functional unit, no two-guard line-up, no Al at center and taking most of the shots and playing no D, no small ball etc.

    Best of all would be no Karl. Even Van Gundy would be better.

    Keep Faried, Ty, AAA, Gallo, KK, JHam, Chandler, Brewer, Stone and another center that will stay for cheap. This core can be special with a coach that keeps rotations simple and preaches defense. Get rid of the rest.

    • Barry

      This makes way too much sense

  • Legalize Denver nuggets

    I dont care how easy this win was or wether it was about the warriors being bad vs us being good, the bottom line is we started playing team ball again and instilled confidence into guys who really needed it.
    Go nugs!

  • stevesf47

    i just hope we can go on a run and gain some confidence. We see the potential and maybe with a solid 7-3 finish to end the year, they will have the confidence to give OKC or SA or LA all they got in the 1st round. I’ll be very upset if we lose to Minny on Wed.

  • ParkHillNative

    Hey Charlie, just FYI you’ve got the explanation for Brewer’s grade pasted into the space for Mozgov.

  • tolberto

    I think having a very good backup point guard is something we should look for for the future too. Id love to have someone like Kirk Heinrick backing up Ty in the future. Some well rounded borderline B grade player.

  • Porter

    On many occasions Karl shot the Nuggets in the foot by not inserting Birdman and giving him a chance and a cheap shot giving him a grade on the last game when everyone else was put in… how does that make sense mean and cruel and shows Karl as a spiteful person…..

  • Charliemyboy

    Two things. Karl had them watch the previous game without him there, on Sunday. And two, Gallo was back. I think the latter may be huge. There is an air about him which lets the others play their best game w/o overreaching. We’ll see after the end of this week. Want to have fun watching Gallo or Farid guard that forward for Minn., and our two bigs play the Lakers’. Ha!

  • evan

    Nuggets finally looking like they did in the beginning of the year. Like I predicted, things are coming together.

    Lets go Nuggets!

  • Ernie

    Another Faried article on Grantland. Those guys love him. http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/23727/we-see-you-kenneth-faried

    Especially liked the line about “It must be a living hell to be one of Masai Ujiri’s housepets…”

  • Hawkeye-X

    Good to see the Nuggets coexist for once.

    Fun to watch when they play good basketball.

    Let’s hope Al Bucket’s injury can heal fast or get to a point where he can continue to play hurt.

    He said he’s been playing on it for a few days.

  • Tom

    People wonder about GK’s rotations? If you look at advanced statistics, it’s not so complicated:
    http://www.82games.com/1112/1112DEN2.HTM

    The stats say Lawson-Miller-Gallinari-Harrington-Nene has been far and away the Nuggets best combo all season, which incidentally was GK’s crunch-time combo before Gallo (and Nene) got hurt and Nene was traded. If you take out Gallo and Nene, who do you replace them with? Looking at the next best combos, you see that Anderson and Brewer/Fernandez should be playing. Of course, Fernandez has been hurt much of the year and is done for the season. Anderson is in the doghouse and likely won’t play again this season. So now taking Anderson and Fernandez out of the equation, who do you play? I guess Afflalo or Faried since they’re both starters, but then you have a small-ball lineup of Lawson-Miller-Afflalo/Brewer-Faried-Harrington. Maybe you want to play Koufos, Mozgov, or McGee big crunch-time minutes? Well, without Gallo, Nene, and Fernandez, the best combo involving any of those center guys has been Lawson-Miller-Afflalo-Harrington-Koufos, which has actually been one of the worst lineups statistically for the Nuggets. For all of the worshiping of Faried and Afflalo lately, they’ve actually both been part of the worst lineups for the Nuggets this season, being outscored consistently.

    Basically, GK experiments with starting combos in the 1st-quarter, bench rotations in the 2nd-quarter, and then he tries to play his best 5-man combos at the ends of games. Could any of you guys do better? Go ahead and look at that link and tell me which player rotations make sense to you.

    • GK4Prez

      I think almost everyone that posts on here has looked at 82games.com a time or two. It isn’t the lineup he uses in the 4th that get people upset, it is how long he runs with certain people down the stretch. Harrington is the perfect example, he enters the game midway through the 3rd and he usually finishes the game and doesn’t even get subbed out for a breather during this time.

      Another thing to consider when looking at that chart is just how small the minute sample is for every group but the one listed on the top (135 minutes), the next lineup in court time is 57.6 minutes. A lot of this can be contributed to injuries, a trade, and a mid-season free agent signing.

      But, it also shows how seldom GK goes with something that works, he is constantly changing things up just to change things up. There is no consistency, which is naturally going to cause some issues.

      If you click over to team production by position.

      http://www.82games.com/1112/1112DEN5.HTM

      you get a better idea of where the team needs improvement, and while looking at this chart remember that it isn’t based upon an individual but everyone that plays the position, meaning that the 2 pg lineup does more harm than good because whatever pg is playing off the ball becomes an even bigger defensive liability to the team.

      Neither of the pg’s on the team getting minutes plays great d against other pg’s, so using both at the same time for half of a game to guard the opposing teams backcourt is going to cause problems for the Nuggets on D, and like the chart/stat shows, it does.

      • DH

        Great post, GK4Prez. You made a lot of the same points that I wanted to make, so I’ll try not to repeat everything you already said. But I will reiterate that this is the worst possible season to rely on 82games.com’s plus/minus stats with all of the turmoil the team has gone through and with the small sample sizes that resulted from that turmoil.

        What I would like to know is which lineups work specifically in crunch time, when the need for rebounding and defense are amplified. We can’t know that, though, because the sample size for having a true center on the floor at the end of games is almost non-existent. But I can go by what my eyeballs tell me. And that’s the fact that we get outrebounded and we don’t have enough of a deterrent in the defensive paint at the end of close games, in my opinion. Everyone seems to worry about how we will score in those situations. To me, it doesn’t matter as long as we can’t get a rebound or stop the other team from scoring.

        Another thing I would like to point out to Tom is that there is very little resemblance between how Faried and Afflalo were playing at the beginning of the season and how they are playing now. If 82games would break down their stats into first half of the season stats and second half of the season stats, I think there would be a big difference. I don’t “worship” either of them, but I do believe both Faried and Afflalo should be on the floor at the end of most close games.

      • Tom

        You kind of made my point for me. Small sample sizes and inconsistent lineups from week to week are a direct result of the hand the coach was dealt: injuries, trade, and mid-season signing. Given the limitations placed on the roster from week to week, I really wonder how people think they could do better, especially when you don’t even know what’s going on behind the scenes in the locker room (e.g. it seems that Bird probably had a fight with GK which has resulted in the elimination of his court-time).

        Regarding two PG lineups, I’m not going to say that production and/or PER don’t matter, but if your two PG lineup is consistently outperforming your other lineups in terms of +/-, it makes sense to keep going to it in crunch time. Sure, matchups matter, but at the end of the day, Miller is a savvy veteran that helps you more than he hurts you.

        Anyway, Faried and Afflalo are definitely performing better than at the beginning of the year, which is why both are seeing more minutes in crunch-time. But for those wondering why Faried wasn’t getting these minutes all year, all you have to do is look at the +/- of 5-man combos to figure out why.

        • DH

          Actually, I think you’re missing my point. How can you know that a two-PG lineup or a no-Center lineup consistently outperforms a more traditional lineup *in crunch time* when there isn’t enough of a sample size to know what a traditional lineup would do? I mean how often does Karl even try it?

          I acknowledge that GK’s unorthodox lineups can work at times during earlier portions of the game – especially against Eastern Conference teams (the only teams we’ve been successful against) who haven’t seen it as much as WC teams have. But the game changes down the stretch. It slows down. Defenses step up. Good teams execute better. Good coaches take advantage of matchups and run their best plays. That’s the part of the game where it seems to me that GK puts us in a position of having matchup problems and a rebounding disadvantage.

          I’m sure we’ll never agree on any of this. But I have to say one other thing. I take exception to your statement that I – and others – think we could do better. I think another coach could do better, not me. It’s no secret that Karl is unconventional. I mean he’s been doing this 2-PG thing going back to Anthony Carter, for example. He’s kind of like Don Nelson. He’s had success, but it’s generally accepted that he’s a little nuts. Most coaches wouldn’t even try some of the things that he does on a regular basis. Sometimes his nuttiness works. Sometimes it doesn’t. And this year it hasn’t – at all – in my most humble opinion.

  • J.J.

    Just read this excerpt at SI.com from Zach Lowe, and thought I’d comment, though I’m sure it’s off the subject of this thread: “the Nuggets miss Nene’s steady, two way play.” YES! Finally someone agrees with me!

    I realize talking about this now does no good, but I hated the trade before, and now I really hate it. I realize money was involved, but JAVALE McGEE?? The last thing the Nuggets needed was a wildly inconsistent, fundamentally and mentally challenged player. I foresee no improvement, and an inevitable attitude problem. I hope they send him packing after this year.

    Too many people looked at what Nene should be, rather than what he was, which was a above-average, not great, consistent player. Decent scoring and rebounding, very good passing and pick-and-roll defense, good on the break. All correct, right? Soft and frustrating, yes, but a good overall player. Overpaid, but he knew Karl’s system, and more importantly, his place in it, which I think was HUGE for team chemistry. With a healthy Nene (another issue, I know), and Chandler, I think they are that 14-5 team, not the chumps that lose to the Warriors and Hornets.

    Whether the foregoing is true or not, I know, I gotta get over it, but I wanted to get that off my chest. I realize they were long-shots for a championship even with him, but the team was much better and more fun to watch. I think Kroenke and Ujiri were too caught up in their relative success with the Anthony trade, and got trade-happy.

    And I’d love to hear comment on this – Does anyone see any real chance that McGee turns into anything more than the Birdman – a shot-blocking sideshow with a worse attitude?

  • DH

    I don’t think this is the kind of response you want, but here goes…

    I agree with most of your analysis on Nene as a player. But I have to say that part of the “consistency” of Nene was the fact that you could count on him to be inconsistent. In other words, he seemed to disappear for large parts of almost every game. Regardless, he was overall a solid player in almost every aspect of the game. It’s too bad that both he and the market determined that he should get more money than he was really worth. And that does matter.

    In my opinion, here’s what happened: The Nuggets rolled the dice on him, knowing that his market value was high and that he could be traded if it didn’t work out – and if they didn’t wait until that value dropped. I think that they signed him hoping that he would step up in a big way with a move to power forward (where he always said he wanted to be) and with the knowledge that this was now his team (his and Ty’s) if he wanted it to be. But he remained the same Nene on the court. And, even more damaging, he once again had injury and fitness issues. At one point, Karl said that he didn’t expect Nene to be at full health and fitness for the rest of the season. For someone going through a routine injury, that was one heck of a statement. I’m not sure what that says about Nene, but it’s not good.

    Anyway, the Nuggets had to look at the fact that it wasn’t panning out the way they had hoped. And they had to consider his age and injury history, along with the length of his contract. And they had to take into account that his trade value would probably only go down. And they had to assess what they could do with his salary if he were traded (e.g. signing Chandler and eventually extending Ty). And they had to decide how far this team could go in the future, considering all of the above. So, in my opinion, they didn’t make a panic trade, as some have suggested. They were decisive, and they gave the team options and flexibility for the future. I think they did the right thing.

    As for McGee, I think it’s a gigantic mistake to look at this as a McGee for Nene trade. So much more than McGee was involved in this. At a minimum, you could look at this as a Nene for McGee/Chandler/Lawson-extension trade. Or, maybe McGee will be gone after this year. In that case, I expect “Masai the Miracle Man” to make excellent use of the salary cap space that becomes available. After all, he hasn’t done much wrong up to this point.

    And to answer your question, yes, I expect McGee to be much more than Birdman – although it’s entirely possible he’ll never be better than Nene. But he’s young and his ceiling is undeniably very high. It’s unfortunate that he’s not under contract for one more year. It would be interesting to see what a full year of offseason, preseason, practices, and games with a winning team would do for him – without having to pay big bucks to find out.

  • Tom

    GK today talking about injuries now that Harrington has a torn meniscus: “Injuries are a difficult area for any coach. It becomes very frustrating when we’ve had a lot of them,” Karl said. “I get kind of annoyed because I listen to all these other games and everybody talks about their injuries. It seems like (broadcasters) never talk about our injuries.

    “I don’t think we’re underachieving this year. I think we’re overachieving.”

    • DH

      I just have to point out the obvious here. Tom Thibodeau and the Bulls live by a “no excuses” policy, and they have done quite well while the reigning league MVP – and the focal point of everything they try to do on the offensive end – has been out with injuries.

      And I just hate the fact that GK thinks we are overachieving. In fact, I think it’s a big part of the reason why we are underachieving. I wish he would set his expectations higher.

      • Andrew

        Agree. The best coaches have “no excuses” approaches. Even if he thinks the Nugget are overachieving, that is just something a coach should not say. It smacks of complacency and mediocrity, and it is a bad example for a coach to set. He should be saying something like, “While I am proud of my guys for playing through the injuries, that is not an excuse for poor play and losses to teams we should be beating. This is an opportunity for the younger players to step up and prove their worth in the NBA. They should be hungry, prepared and ready to meet that challenge. As for the veterans who are not injured, they need to show better leadership and the will and resolve to preservere even if we are shorthanded. There is only one question before each and every game. Are we going t find a way to win, or are we going to find a way to lose?”

      • Tom

        They lost Rose? We lost Melo. Rose is better than Melo, but both players are a tad over-rated. A lot of analytics guys thought that Rose shouldn’t have even been in the top 3 in MVP voting last year. Anyway, it’s absurd to complain about GK’s rotations given the amount of injuries and say that he shouldn’t use that as an excuse. That’s just a really sloppy way to evaluate any employee in any organization. “Oh, you missed work because your wife was giving birth? Sorry, no excuses!” It’s just really incredibly dumb. I understand the macho attitude that you should be able to overcome anything and everything, but in practice that’s just not possible. Sure, give that idea face-time for motivational purposes, but don’t come down hard on guys for things beyond their control. (And this is coming from a guy who’s a military veteran).

        • DH

          Tom, I will take responsibility for not making my point a little more clear. Andrew probably said it better than I did. Yes, of course it makes a difference if you have injuries, roster turnover, etc. Nobody is claiming it doesn’t. But you never hear the best coaches using it as an excuse, in any sport. And those same coaches don’t let their players use it as an excuse, either. In football, they say “next man up”. In other words, if someone goes down, the next guy needs to step in and do the job. It’s an attitude that the team is going to overcome whatever it has to. And the coaches and players with that attitude always seem to be the most successful. It’s not “macho”. It’s just playing the hand you’re dealt like everyone in every walk of life has to do.

          Regardless of the above, the main point is that I absolutely, positively don’t think the injuries and such were significant enough to justify just how poorly the team has played for much of the season. Obviously, you do. So we will never agree on that. I don’t think this team, even under the circumstances, should have lost to Golden State twice, Toronto, New Orleans twice, etc. I don’t think this team should have allowed so many leads to slip away, lost so many games down the stretch, lost so many home games, had such a dismal record against Western Conference teams, and gone over a month with only one 2-game winning streak while battling for a playoff spot. I think this team, injuries and all, should be in the mix for the 3rd seed in the WC. I think we have underachieved. If you don’t agree, that’s fine.

          The other thing that I haven’t been able to get across is that the injuries and new/young players don’t explain everything that Karl does that I disagree with. Most of what he does follows his pattern from previous years. For example, he’s not playing a 2-PG lineup because of this year’s circumstances or plus/minus stats. He’s done it for years. He did it with Felton. He did it with Anthony Carter. He even did it with Earl Boykins. It’s just what he does. He loves small ball. He thinks it gives us an advantage. I think it puts us at a disadvantage. I don’t see other top coaches doing it on a regular basis (or ever, in some cases), so I don’t think my opinion is without merit. You think his philosophies are fine and they don’t have anything to do with why we haven’t been better. That’s fine, but I don’t agree.

          As for Chicago and Rose, I used them as just one example. New York is without Amare and their starting PG, and they changed coaches mid-season. They’re doing great lately. New Orleans traded Chris Paul and changed over their roster to a far greater degree than we did, and they beat us twice – once by 13 in Denver and once without their starting PG. The Lakers just crushed San Antonio in SA without Kobe. Don’t get hung up on my examples. You can look all over the league and find teams that have persevered through tough circumstances – some worse than what the Nuggets have gone through.

          By the way, I don’t get your point on Rose. Do you think it matters if he’s “only” the 4th or 5th or 8th most important player to his team in the league? And I don’t know why you are comparing Melo to Rose. We didn’t lose Melo. We traded him and got back Gallo, Chandler, Felton (now Miller), and Moz. Chicago didn’t get to add players when Rose was injured.

          Last thing… I mentioned this in another post, but I wish I could say that Karl is doing a great job. My favorite sports team is not the Nuggets (they’re my second favorite). It’s the North Carolina Tarheels. Since Karl is from UNC, I would love to be able to say he’s the greatest NBA coach ever – just like I want Ty and Felton to be the two best PG’s in the league. But I’m not going to say he’s doing great when, clearly, I don’t think he is. He does some things very well, no doubt. But he does some things that drive me crazy, and he’s doing more of that than usual this year.

          • Tom

            1. A lot of guys are playing through injuries. It’s not just an injury here or there, it’s practically the entire team that is fighting through injuries. Lawson, Afflalo, Gallo, Nene, Mozgov (the entire starting lineup at the start of the season for those who are paying attention), Fernandez, Harrington, and Chandler have all missed time, many of them significant time, due to injury. And you know what? A lot of them are still injured and playing through it. On top of that, we’re playing three rookies significant minutes, none of which were drafted in the lottery or otherwise expected to contribute much of anything this year. And even given all of that, the Nuggets are in the playoffs! Should they really be ahead of the Clippers with CP3 and Griffin, or the Lakers with Bynum, Gasol, Kobe, and MWP, or Memphis with Gasol, Gay, Allen, Z-Bo, and Conley, or Dallas with Dirk, Kidd, Marion, and Terry (and Odom and VC if they actually decided to play)? The Nuggets aren’t even the most disappointing team currently in the playoffs in the WC!!!
            You think they should be a 3rd-seed, really?? Even in spite of all of the above??? That, good sir, is called delusional. The Nuggets are basically where they should be, ahead of Utah, Phoenix, and Portland, tied with Dallas and Houston, and behind Memphis and both LAs. I mean, you could make a case for the Clippers being lower since they have an awful coach and not great talent behind CP3 and Griffin, but then again, CP3 and Griffin are two of the greatest players in the game today.

            2. PG is just a title. It doesn’t really mean anything if the player is not bringing the ball up the court or calling the offense. Having 2 PGs on the court also doesn’t mean anything. Basically, GK just wants to put his two best play-makers/passers in the game at the guard position during crunch-time. Does he do that while sacrificing defense? AC was a pretty good on-ball defender. Same with C-Bill. Andre Miller is okay at this stage of his career; not great, but not completely awful either. You could say that these older guards get schooled by quick guards off the dribble, but almost everyone does, so that’s not really a negative in my book. More importantly, though, when Afflalo was playing like the worst player on the team, you couldn’t count on him in crunch-time for offense or defense, so what other option did GK have? The rookie Stone who was so highly regarded he wasn’t even drafted? I’ll give you a second to look up all of the undrafted rookies to ever make a significant impact in the NBA.

            3. Regarding small-ball, GK wants the team to play at a fast pace. The bigger players just don’t have the conditioning for that. Koufos and Mozgov simply can’t run up and down the court for more than 15-20 minutes a game. Those are big dudes who aren’t in good enough shape. When GK had Nene at C, he didn’t have to worry about it so much because Nene was a former soccer player who could run all day. The other thing GK likes in his lineup is great passers and play-makers, and again, Nene is far superior to Koufos and Mozgov in that regard. Nene fits GK’s (current) style perfectly at the Center position. Now, you could say that GK should adapt to the players he has on the roster right now, slow the pace down and do more half-court sets, but I imagine he thinks that the only advantage he has with the roster is athleticism, and so that’s why he wants them to push the pace. If you’re going to criticize GK, I think it’s valid to point to this focus on fast pace as a possibly bad strategy. And the rotations would be completely different if he switched to a slower-paced strategy.

            4. Your anecdotes of team X beating team Y are just that, anecdotes; it happens every year to every team that they lose games to inferior opponents, even multiple times. Pointing to those games as “evidence” of bad coaching completely ignores the fact that every team has NBA talent that is capable of getting hot and having a great game to beat a better team. No conclusions should be drawn from these “team X beat team Y” games. None. A better measure of team quality and future success is average game margin, and the Nuggets actually aren’t doing too bad in that regard. Is +1.9 underachieving? Given perfect health, maybe, but not given the hand they’ve been dealt this year.

            5. My point about Rose is that he’s highly over-rated, similar to Melo. Maybe the two circumstances aren’t very analogous, but the Nuggets didn’t really miss Melo last year, and the Bulls haven’t really missed Rose this year. Again, it’s another anecdote, and arguing with anecdotes is pointless.

            6. When I look at GK’s coaching, I see a masterful job of turning other team’s refuse into a cohesive, well-tuned unit. Afflalo was dumped on the Nuggets for a 2nd-rounder. Portland couldn’t wait to trade Miller and a pick for Felton. Fernandez and Brewer have been cast off by several teams. Nobody wanted Bird. Nobody matched our offer of the veteran’s mid-level exception for Harrington. Koufos has been bouncing around for a while now. Stone was undrafted. Faried and Lawson were drafted out of the lottery and pushed for hard by GK. Look at all of the players GK has coached in his career, and almost invariably, they all play above expectations under GK and then disappoint when they leave GK. Why anybody thinks this collection of discarded players is better than all but three teams in the WC is beyond me.

  • Ackermann

    UP Down UP Down UP Down, Injury bad-Coaching Injury Bad-Coaching…….Beat the best loss to the worst……….. Sounds like young talented”immature” team they never go far in playoffs but could up set some one………. just Maybe for one series!
    HAHA it is what it is,

    Wish more of u blogers played higher level of ball then High school b4 u think u know how to run a team or coach ;)