|Kenneth Faried, F 36 MIN | 5-9 FG | 6-8 FT | 12 REB | 2 AST | 16 PTS | +9
Faried’s second consecutive double-double earns him a solid grade, but it’s worth mentioning he had 14 and 10 at halftime and shot 0-2 while grabbing only two rebounds in 17 second-half minutes. It’s nitpicking when your rookie power forward has a game like this, but Faried can work on being a steadier player for all 48 minutes. Thankfully, when rewarded with appropriate playing time like the 36 minutes he received tonight, there’s no way Faried doesn’t improve. Even when struggling, his effort never wavers and he finds a way to make winning plays.
|Danilo Gallinari, SF 35 MIN | 7-16 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 18 PTS | +6
Gallo made the biggest shots of the night, but took some poor ones and understandably struggled to find his rhythm only a few weeks removed from breaking his left thumb. Gallo’s playmaking and passing ability were superb, but he also had 5 fouls and really drifted in and out of the game defensively (to be fair, so did the rest of his teammates)
|Kosta Koufos, C 15 MIN | 3-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | +2
Koufos struggled defending Pekovic, but still managed another perfectly adequate performance in limited minutes. Koufos has improved his defense over the course of the season, but can be foul-prone and erratic in terms of his rebounding.
|Arron Afflalo, SG 37 MIN | 7-14 FG | 4-6 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 21 PTS | +5
Afflalo was the one player who was consistently good on offense. Without his timely shot-making in the third quarter, Denver might have fallen apart altogether. This was far from Afflalo’s best game defensively, but he’s been a steady contributor in one way or another just about every night.
|Ty Lawson, PG 35 MIN | 9-17 FG | 6-6 FT | 5 REB | 8 AST | 24 PTS | +11
This was a much more complete effort from Ty Lawson on both ends. He was aggressive and physical throughout. More importantly, he finally took advantage of a favorable matchup against Jose Barea and Malcolm Lee. Ty played with a lot of energy but also had a hand in allowing the offense to go stagnant and ultimately give up a 24-point lead to a Timberwolves team without any of their best players on the floor.
|Al Harrington, PF 22 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | -3
Harrington just didn’t have it tonight and was visibly struggling to keep up with the younger, more athletic Minnesota forwards. For the first time in very many games this season, Harrington sat out the final seven minutes of the fourth quarter. Big Al did make his threes in the first half and it is tough to evaluate him knowing he’s playing with a torn meniscus, even admitting it’s affecting his ability to defend and rebound.
|Andre Miller, PG 27 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 7 AST | 0 PTS | +6
Now there’s the Miller I know. While I gave Andre a ton of credit for his improved energy and effort over the past few weeks, you can’t help but notice he’s a guy who coasts through games and doesn’t play hard all the time. If you want an example, watch the entire fourth quarter. Defensively, he was Andre Miller. Offensively, his own ill-advised decision making led to string of frustrating plays that culminated in him moping around the court in all too familiar fashion.
|Corey Brewer, SF 16 MIN | 3-7 FG | 2-3 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 8 PTS | -10
Brewer continues to be one of the most frustrating players on the team. He’s constantly fighting the urge to get up 15 shots every game and on defense, where Brewer’s supposed to make his mark, all he does is wildly hawk the ball or flop in hopes of causing a turnover. Hopefully, someone can remind Brewer that a stop and a defensive rebound can be just as good as a forced turnover.
|JaVale McGee, C 17 MIN | 3-4 FG | 2-4 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | +4
McGee didn’t get a lot of rebounds, but he made all sorts of hustle plays that netted the Nuggets several extra possessions. In fact, McGee was playing with Manimal-like energy his entire 17-minute stint. He continues to be a big time presence in the paint and a promising team defender who can’t help but throw in two or three boneheaded mistakes every game. In terms of pure talent, I think he is one of the better players on the team and a potential game changer if he can find a way to settle down and fit in.
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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.