|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!