|Kenneth Faried, F 22 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | 0
Even in a pretty forgettable overall performance, Faried still produced four or five of the most memorable highlight plays of the night. While you can make a case Faried’s outstanding hustle and energy swung the game’s momentum in several critical moments, much of his 22-minute stint consisted of uninspiring filler. Faried can no longer afford to fade into the background as the role-playing energy guy chipping in 4 points and 4 boards in limited minutes. He needs to stay on the court and produce what’s expected of him, especially on the defensive end where Faried needs to develop some consistency.
|Danilo Gallinari, SF 34 MIN | 3-9 FG | 3-4 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 11 PTS | +12
The numbers paint a very misleading picture of how valuable Gallo was, especially in the second and third quarters where the Nuggets found themselves dangerously close to letting the Rockets seize total control. He didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, but Gallo’s passing, decision making, and excellent shot selection have had the Nuggets offense looking more and more like one of the most dangerous in the NBA.
|Kosta Koufos, C 14 MIN | 0-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | -3
Koufos has more or less been invisible since his move from the bench to the starting lineup. While Koufos has been far from bad, you can’t say he’s made the most of his new opportunity as his minutes have remained the same while his production has dipped across the board. I’ve noticed him struggling against the more physical bruisers down low and Sam Dalembert proved to be no exception.
|Arron Afflalo, SG 42 MIN | 10-16 FG | 5-6 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 26 PTS | +11
Another solid all-around effort out of Afflalo, who flat out carried the Nuggets through a trying first half. Afflalo was the one player who I thought embraced the challenge of winning this game and was completely unfazed by the pressure. It was business as usual for Arron, who has turned a rough start to the season into the best campaign of his young career.
|Ty Lawson, PG 36 MIN | 9-15 FG | 5-8 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 25 PTS | -12
Lawson really controlled the game down the stretch. It was far from pretty, but Ty got it done when it mattered most. We saw a much more balanced scoring attack out of Lawson along with a more aggressive attitude and an Afflalo-like approach in terms of effort. Lawson hit a huge three pointer down the stretch and also helped carry the offense with his penetration and ability to get to the line.
|Al Harrington, PF 28 MIN | 4-11 FG | 4-4 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 15 PTS | +7
After a quiet start to his night, Harrington came alive during a crucial third quarter stretch that culminated in the Nuggets taking their first honest lead of the game and eventually closing it out with a win. Torn menisucs and all, Harrington is proving he can still be a dangerous offensive threat off the bench. In many ways, Harrington’s shooting and scoring is what opens things up the Nuggets offense, which is heavily reliant on the bench.
|Andre Miller, PG 26 MIN | 2-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 13 AST | 4 PTS | +2
Lethargic is the only word to describe Andre Miller’s first-half performance. It was almost surreal seeing him carelessly throw away possessions and casually jog back up the floor in a game with so much at stake for both teams. Eventually, Miller got this act together and provided a steady hand of leadership down the stretch, but it has to be noted that Miller only showed up for the second half and was nowhere to be seen in the first.
|Corey Brewer, SF 18 MIN | 4-5 FG | 2-3 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | +8
It’s been tough for Brewer to find an appropriate role, as he was starting a good portion of the season for the injured Gallinari and never worked himself into a comfortable groove with the rest of his teammates. Brewer basically found the perfect role backing up Gallo, and turned in the finest 18 minutes of his Nuggets career,. Offensively, Brewer took a good balance of inside and outside shots and showed much better focus in terms of defending the perimeter.
|Timofey Mozgov, C 4 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | -7
The Nuggets were struggling to find answers for Sam Dalembert and Mozgov got a brief 4-minute opportunity in the second half. There wasn’t a lot to judge his performance by in four minutes, but it’s safe to say Mozgov didn’t particularly stand out.
|JaVale McGee, C 17 MIN | 4-5 FG | 1-4 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 9 PTS | -3
McGee once again stayed solid for the duration of his limited time on the floor. Without Marcus Camby available for much of the past two contests, Denver was able to get away playing heavy amounts of small ball and McGee hasn’t been relied on for much. JaVale continues to be a hard worker who shows flashes of tremendous athletic ability. It should be interesting to see how he is brought along as the playoffs draw near and the Nuggets face tougher competition inside.