Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 131, Minnesota Timberwolves 102

Denver Nuggets 131 Final

Recap | Box Score

102 Minnesota Timberwolves
Kenneth Faried, F 32 MIN | 7-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 15 PTS | +11
Faried is improving every game. Against the Wolves he refrained from making “rookie” mistakes he often does. This isn’t to say he doesn’t still have a ways to go, but it’s certainly is nice seeing him begin to realize and understand different aspects of the NBA game, and just in time for the playoffs nonetheless.
Danilo Gallinari, SF 27 MIN | 5-7 FG | 7-8 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 17 PTS | +17
Gallinari needed a game like this. He’s been in a slump since coming back from injury and hasn’t seen his shot fall the way it was in the beginning of the year. If the Nuggets are to do damage in the playoffs Gallinari will have to be the type of threat he was against the Wolves, and then some.
Kosta Koufos, C 26 MIN | 3-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 11 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | +23
Koufos is one hell of a serviceable big man. He will fumble a pass and miss a routine shot here and there but does his job and does it well. He seems to be getting more comfortable in his role as the starting center and hopefully will bring some toughness to the Nuggets in the postseason.
Arron Afflalo, SG 30 MIN | 7-12 FG | 1-1 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 18 PTS | +13
Afflalo is the new Rip Hamilton in terms of his midrange game. It’s almost unbelievable how efficient he is in knocking down a wide variety of jump shots, including 3-pointers. Against the Wolves he hit numerous shots that kept the Nuggets lead steadily growing. If he keeps up this type of high-level play going in the postseason, it should be a delight to watch.
Ty Lawson, PG 25 MIN | 7-10 FG | 0-1 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 15 PTS | +28
Lawson had a great game all around. He shot efficiently from the field, had a few nice steals and penetrated with verve. Seeing the aggressive Ty Lawson was certainly nice this time of year.
Andre Miller, PG 21 MIN | 2-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 10 AST | 5 PTS | +10
Where has this Andre Miller been the whole year? When he’s distributing first, he’s an excellent asset for the Nuggets to have. There will be times when he’ll need to score but if he can be a distributor for the most part, the Nuggets as a whole will benefit greatly.
Corey Brewer, SF 28 MIN | 5-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 12 PTS | +19
In 28 minutes, 12 points doesn’t look like much, but Brewer was fantastic in terms of his energy. He got out on the fastbreak and had some nice plays across the board. This is the type of performance Brewer needs to turn in every night.
Timofey Mozgov, C 13 MIN | 7-8 FG | 1-1 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 15 PTS | 0
The same night I refer to Mozgov “maladroit” on Twitter, he has one of his best performances of the year. He missed only one shot and was all over the floor. He finished well around the rim and put back a few monster dunks. If he gets called upon in the playoffs hopefully he can play this good again.
JaVale McGee, C 18 MIN | 9-12 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 19 PTS | +17
This was probably McGee’s second best game as a Nugget. Once again he finished very strong around the rim and made virtually no mistakes. He’s already a totally different player than he was in Washington and is starting to show signs of becoming the player people thought he could be on draft night. This is excellent news for the Nuggets.
Julyan Stone, G 8 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 0 PTS | +2
Stone was impressive. He’s not the type of threat most point guards are on offense, but his intangibles and defensive prowess is promising.
Jordan Hamilton, G 12 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 8 PTS | +5
Had Hamilton been able to log around 20-25 minutes per game, there’s a good chance he would have made an All Rookie team of some sort. He’s got lots of talent, especially as a scorer, and it was on full display against the Wolves.

There’s not much left to say about this game. It was a complete blowout by the second quarter. The Nuggets did exactly what they needed to do in order to secure the sixth seed in the Western Conference Playoffs. They will face the Lakers in the first round, which is a decent matchup all things considered.

What is evident at this point is that the Nuggets are beginning to gel. They’ve hit another high point in the season and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Heading into the playoffs Nuggets fans have to feel good. It seems as if the team is thoroughly enjoying playing basketball right now and as a result, the fans are enjoying watching as well.

We’ll have much more coverage of the Nuggets over the weekend including video breakdowns and analysis so be sure to stay tuned!

  • tom

    Lakers come at me!

  • CJP32

    What a way for the Nuggets to finish their season – 4 straight wins and 11 of our last 15 games. 4 straight road wins to.

    GK has a solid 9 man rotation now, McGee playing really well, Brewer stepped up big defensively over the last 2 weeks, Dre and Al are always consistent. Need Ty, Afflalo and Gallo to be the scorers vs the Lakers, need Faried, KK, Mozzy to slow down Bynum/Gasol

    Gonna be a great series, I say if Denver can win one of the first 2 road games at LA, we have a great chance to beat them in 6.

  • Hawkeye-X

    Lakers without Artest. Nuggets in 5.

    And Artest has to sit out for 1 more game in the regular season.

  • jim

    i love this tightened rotation. they haven’t played bad basketball since that golden state loss. pretty sweet. gk even talked about having to play the bigs, including birdman against the lakers. i don’t think i could feel any better about this nuggets team than i do right now.

  • phibuffa

    Awesome. I questioned yesterday whether Karl could experiment with playing two 7 footers together today and…there you have it!

    What if Karl starts K2 and McGeezie against Bynum and Gasol? Possibility? Who would you rather see guarding who? I sort of like K2 on Bynum to keep him from pounding it down low (make Bynum shoot over the top) and McGeezie on Gasol, because I think he could really disrupt his finesse game. Could Brewer be effective on Kobe?

    Man, I am looking forward to this now that the Nugget bigs have really started to shine and get minutes. Anyone hear the time for the first game against the Fakers on Sunday? GO NUGGS!

    • CJP32

      I liked what KK/McGee produced in the 1st & 2nd Qtrs, then Mozzy played well in the 4th. I actually think that Faried could lose minutes this postseason because of his height. Birdman may even get quick minutes for defense and fouls.

      McGee on Gasol would work because of his length, and KK/Mozzy on Bynum.

      I think Afflalo/Brewer have the task of guarding Kobe, Brewer more so at the end of the 1st, beginning of the 2nd, end of the 3rd, beginning of the 4th. The dark horse is Sessions – Ty must keep him from penetrating and throwing lobs to the Bigs. Gallo MUST take advantage of his match up and be agressive.

  • phibuffa

    1:30 Mountain Time. ABC. Game on, Nuggets! Wreck LA!

  • Will

    rebounds matter. Koufas got 11 in 26 minutes – that’s pretty impressive.

    Why is Brewer’s rebounding rate half that of Lawson’s?? He’s almost a foot taller!!

    • CJP32

      Well Brewer’s job is to defend the opposing SG/PG and is usually at the top of the key ready to run when Denver crash the boards. The way he is utilised doesn’t allow him to grab rebounds, he is meant to sprint as soon as Denver get the ball. Thats why he scores a bunch of layups/dunks.

      • Will

        oh k. and its actually slightly higher..

  • magster

    Excited for your video breakdown and playoff preview.

    I have this odd feeling… where I think we might win 4 of the next 7 games… is this what people call optimism? I’m not used to it.

  • teejmcbride1

    This kind of momentum going into a series with a team that we know we can beat is a great feeling. with George Karls newly re-found passion and andre’s recent buy in to his role has really given the Nuggets a whole new look. this team that has won 11 of the past 15 with 4 straight wins and 4 straight road wins reminds me of when they started the season 14-5. the nuggets have shown they can beat the lakers in round 1 and cause havok in the post season. im optimistic about this post season and i think the nuggets could go much farther then most believe they can…

  • allAround

    Really nice performance by Mozz.

    It is devastating to see that we have capable 7 footers but our coaching staff leaving them out.

    Question for KK why not taking more shots he is arournd 60% really cool I would say .

    Wishes for next year : we mainly need 3 things
    1) new coach or Karl playing our bigs

    2) Miller out and a new tall PG focusing on defence and passing

    3) Farried stronger so as to be able to push and box out taller PFS and to become our man

    and we also DO NOT NEED one more thing NO MORE INJURIES

    OK lets go for playoffs now

    • magster

      McGee’s turnaround is related to coming off the bench with Miller. We may need Miller another season.

      • SmokinNugs

        I disagree. I think JaVale’s turnaround is a result of
        1. moving to a good team
        2. getting good coaching

        Combine those two and you get a JaVale that actually cares. When he was a Wizard he just tried to grab highlights and play selfishly so other teams could see he was a talent and trade him out of that hell hole!

  • ryanvdonk

    favorite play of the night for me was hamilton’s drive and dish to mozzy for a reverse jam, that was pure denver nuggets basketball.

  • heykyleinsf

    Ty Lawson, PG 25 MIN | 7-10 FG | 0-1 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 15 PTS | +28 ——– B+

    Arron Afflalo, SG 30 MIN | 7-12 FG | 1-1 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 18 PTS | +13 ——- A

    Wow. All season long. Affalo good. Lawson bad.

    whatever.