Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 87 Los Angeles Lakers 96

Los Angeles Lakers 96 Final
Recap | Box Score
87 Denver Nuggets
Kenneth Faried, F 20 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -19 The Manimal was fantastic and helped allay my fears that he could not handle the Lakers size. He showed he is not afraid of anyone and will not back down from a challenge. In the fourth quarter Faried was completely overmatched by Gasol and had to be removed. Faried has a fantastic career ahead of him, but his lack of size is going to be an issue for Denver.
Danilo Gallinari, SF 26 MIN | 1-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 3 PTS | -12 I have been frustrated with Gallo all series long, earlier in the season he was very good at not forcing shots, since his return from his thumb injury he has been settling for jumpers off the dribble out of iso sets. He was awful from start to finish and MWP gets a lot of credit for that. I have no idea why Karl reinserted him in the game in the middle of the fourth as Gallo continued to be worthless. Hopefully this is a learning experience and a building block for Gallo to use as he matures and not a sign of what is to come in the future.
Timofey Mozgov, C 15 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -8 We got what we expected from Mozgov, solid D, and nothing else. He did his job, but it will be interesting to see what the Nuggets do with him this offseason. In the NFL you can stockpile defensive backs if you play in the same division as the Lions or Saints, in the NBA you cannot keep a player on your roster just because he can defend Andrew Bynum for a few minutes.
Arron Afflalo, SG 36 MIN | 6-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 15 PTS | -10 When the Lakers pushed their lead up to 9 in the second, it was Afflalo who led the charge back with four quick points, in the second half, he was nowhere to be found until he made a three with less than two minutes left to keep a sliver of hope alive. Afflalo played solid defense against Kobe, who was oddly passive, but Afflalo showed that despite the growth he made this season, he is still only a complimentary player on offense.
Ty Lawson, PG 42 MIN | 11-19 FG | 0-2 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 24 PTS | -6 Ty came out firing, but the Lakers began making him the focus of the defense, the Lakers bigs were more aggressive hedging and challenging him off screens and it made it difficult for him to get to the lane. When Denver was able to loosen up the game and run in the second half, Lawson had a great few minutes. When the game tightened up, LA got tougher on Ty again and he was not able to carry Denver to a win.
Al Harrington, PF 29 MIN | 9-18 FG | 3-3 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 24 PTS | +6 I felt bad for Harrington who had such a solid season that he was struggling due to injuries. He deserved better and finally was able to put his mark on a game scoring 24 points. Sadly, he was not able to hit a big shot when Denver needed it most not to mention his meager two rebounds in 29 minutes.
Andre Miller, PG 27 MIN | 1-10 FG | 1-1 FT | 11 REB | 8 AST | 3 PTS | +0 There are nights when you feel like Steve Blake and nights when your shot is just not falling. Miller could not find the net to save his life, but instead of becoming a non factor, like a person who loses one of their five senses, he augmented what he had to work with. Miller hit the boards and did his best to set up teammates. He made the best of a bad situation. As a Karl favorite I suspect Miller will be back, but if this is his last game as a Nugget, he went down swinging.
Corey Brewer, SF 13 MIN | 2-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | +1 You had a feeling after his unconscious shooting display in game six, he would be hard pressed to repeat that offensive output. With Denver struggling to score and Brewer having lost his hot hand Karl could not afford to keep him on the court. The one thing Brewer brings, energy, was not an issue for Denver tonight so his role was diminished.
JaVale McGee, C 32 MIN | 1-7 FG | 4-6 FT | 14 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | +3 Mcgee had to great games out of seven. That is either hope for the future or a sign of what he will always be. Nene drove Nuggets fans crazy with his inconsistency, and McGee is no remedy to that issue. Still, McGee showed improved post defense, rebounded the ball very well and his ability to block and alter shots is undeniable. On a night Denver needed to get some easy buckets around the rim, McGee was AWOL.

Three Things We Saw

  1. Before the season I predicted Denver would win 37 games and lose in the first round of the playoffs.  They won 38 games and pushed the Los Angeles Lakers to seven games in a playoff series where Denver could have folded on several occasions, but they kept fighting.  We will have plenty of time to digest the season in the next few weeks, but it seems to me that this young team is on the right track.
  2. Before the contest, I had the feeling that this game would be more about the Lakers than about the Nuggets.  How would they react to Kobe calling them out after game six?  Is Gasol going to be invested, or is he going to turn his back on the team that tried to trade him before the season?  Would Bynum be dominant or disenchanted?  Would Metta World Peace be effective?  The answer to all those questions all were the wrong answer for the Nuggets the Lakers played hard, they played with passion and they proved who was the best team.  Gasol played a fantastic game, he was far more aggressive in the paint than he had been in previous games.  Bynum played hard even though the Nuggets double teams continued to harass him into a difficult night.
  3. Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to read and comment on RMC.  You have helped make this the most enjoyable year yet and we are grateful to you that you all take the time our of your lives to spend with us.  We are grateful to all of you and will continue to do our best to keep giving you all a reason to keep coming back!
  • Billy

    We all knew this was coming. At least Denver won 3, right?

  • Whimanji

    tough one to swallow. if it was a blowout at least we knew we didnt have it on the big stage but we fought and had a lead early in the 4th just to go out in flames. The offensive rebounds killed us at the end and also Gallo really hurt us today with his play. we hve a great young team and hope this series can help us move forward in the next couple of years. It was a wild crazy season but every moment was great! Proud to be a Nuggets fan and will always bleed blue and yellow!………….GO NUGS!

  • al68

    Que pena, el miedo nos ha podido no hemos jugado rapido solo al final del 3º periodo. Miller no ha podido jugar al poste bajo como en otros partidos porque estaba MWP. Creo que era un dia para jugar menos con miller y mas con brewer, lo que no se puede hacer y no es por miedo es no presionar al base como otros dias y que tuvieran menos tiempo para hacer las jugadas.

    Para mi Mc gee no es un jugador dominante ni que marque diferencias hace un partido bueno y tres malos, espero que no se vuelvan locos por renovarle.

    Este 4-3 para mi no debe impedir hacer cambios importantes en el equipo creo que este año somos peores que el pasado y mas descompensado sin tiro exterior bueno, a ver si se desarrolla Hamilton, ademas tenemos 2 jugadores sobrevalorados que pueden hacer que el equipo empeore Gallo y Mc Gee, el año que viene ya se vera espero equivocarme pero si no con seguimos un SG o SF tirador no mejoraremos.

    No nos engañemos OKC del año pasado eran mucho mejor equipo que los Lakers de este año.

    Go nuggets!!!!!!

  • Darian

    I’m sorry to say but there is no reason to put any blame on the refs. We missed shot after shot after shot and then turned the ball over. We didnt rebound whatsoever in the fourth. Faried shouldnt have played one second in the fourth, the game was too physical for him and he had no chance against gasol… Dont even get me started on Gallo, tonight he took a major step away from being the star on the nuggets. How can you rely on a guy that cant show up in the biggest game of the season. This series also showed that we need to actually figure out how to use 2 big men at once. Very disappointing, this team had a lot of potential as we saw in game 5 and 6 but I guess its a lesson learned. Im excited for next year, lets get someone that can hit a wide open 3 constantly. Go Nuggs.

  • tanium

    All I can say is you don’t game plan for a 19 point performance by Steve Blake. Its rough thinking back on the game and seeing Gallo shoot the team in the foot with his terrible performance. We’re still a young team and this game provided everyone with crucial experience… its just tough knowing we had the game in a position to win, we just couldn’t execute. Ty had a great performance and looking to the future you can only have high hopes.

    • Charlie

      Agreed. The Nuggets are not a great team yet and all of their flaws were exposed at the wrong time. Andre Miller was so fantastic this series and I am NOT dogging him, but the truth is his offense has been very unreliable all year and that showed itself tonight. It only takes one game out of seven for Steve Blake to get hot and outplay him in order to Denver’s chances to be crushed. The margin for error is that small.

  • TJ McBride

    The Nuggets played a damn good series but ahh fuck it just doesnt feel good enough. i know that i was all about experience but this doesnt sit well with me. We had a chance and Ty had no 4th quarter points and we let games 2 and 3 get away from us. We should have had rest and been on our way to OKC. This is helpful in our younger players development and they showed heart but im far from content after tonight. We had a chance to win this series in 5 and we lost in 7. Tough to swallow.

  • David

    If Steve Blake and Metta World Peace beat you, well there really nothing you can do about that. The rebounding and inability to create good shots when it got tight hurt the Nuggets as usual, Faried got worked defensively by Pau, and Gallo had an awful game, but ultimately the better team won the series and the Nuggets gave it everything they had. This was a horrifically bad matchup for the Nuggs coming in and it took some great performances and LA mailing in a couple games to get this far, so going 7 was about as good a fight as you can ask for. Fun series and it looks like this team has a bright future.

    P.S. – Ty Lawson is awesome

  • Aaron

    Deja Vu

  • Frontrange

    Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers . . the Nuggets were perfect through six games (59 total) but in the end Game 7 TO was the reason we lost.

    Eventually, some role players will make shots – so can’t blame Blake. Eventually, a player as good as Pau will contribute. But you have to control what you can contral and we had 10 to many turnovers.

    Much funner season end than I expected 6 weeks ago (or in all fairness, even 6 days ago).

    Finally, almost winning (and feeling like they should have won) should give them the hunger to come back more focuses . . .this isn’t the same as going meekly into the night against the Jazz or the Clippers.

  • Chris

    Tough loss to stomach, sad to see this season come to an end. My couple of observations, Faried and McGee need to come off of screens hard, rolling to the basket and looking for a pass. Miller and Lawson, need to be looking for that for easy baskets toward the hoop. McGee looked disinterested on offense a lot, I think because he realized he wasn’t going to get setup much.

    Next, Gallinari looked slow ever since he came back from his most recent injury. I don’t think he could cut very well, he didn’t really look like he had good legs all series.

    I’m curious to see what McGee could do with an entire year of Karl and the Nuggets staff coaching him. He really needs to work on his rebound positioning, getting to his spot earlier and blocking out. I don’t think he will ever be much of a low post threat, but neither is Tyson Chandler and he is a very effective player.

    Oh and I don’t think Kobe was doing some sort of Mamba rope-a-dope, I think a few days of being sick had really gotten to him. I don’t think he good legs tonight, I thought it looked like he was really trying to avoid shooting. It looked to me like they were using him as a decoy the second half. The last 3 he made was just spite, he loves leaving his legacy on a game.

  • Jeff

    When we had Kenyon, Iverson, Chauncey, etc, each playoff exit was really disappointing because you just know those guys aint getting any younger. This year at least we know that most of the players we have should improve.

    Gallinari was disappointing, he should have tried to play off the ball more and try to draw some fouls. He played like he was dodging WOrld Peace as if he was afraid. I thought he would change it up and try to post up or something, but he kept dancing around trying to cross over.

    I hope the Nuggets dont throw a ton of money at McGee. I really want him on the team but hes not worth overpaying.

  • Sam Adhikari

    Can’t say enough about the heart and fight we showed tonight man. Ty Lawson won me over. Just when it looked like the game was going to get out of hands, he single-handedly brought Denver back with his speed. I know he’s not consistent every game but tonight, Ty Lawson gave his all. Proud of him.

    I thought the game changed when Karl brought back Gallo and Faried for McGee and Harrington. Gasol absolutely owned Faried. He finally realized Faried is much smaller than him. 23 points, 17 rebounds, 6 assits, 4 blocks. Just an unreal game by Pau Gasol. That sequence when Gasol got SIX offensive rebounds — I repeat, SIX OFFENSIVE REBOUNDS — in ONE possession changed momentum.

    Like, I’m not even mad at Faried, though. He’s a rookie that didn’t even start 40 games in the regular season, and we asked him to go against the most skilled big man in the league in a playoff series. He’s only a rookie. No reason to get mad at Faried. He’ll improve, Nuggets fans.

    Such a pathetic display of basketball by Danilo Gallinari. He was dog shit tonight. World Peace embarrassed him. First of all, why is he dribbling the ball so much and going 1 on 1? He’s 6’10 for Christ sake. A 6’10 forward shouldn’t be dribbling the ball that much. Gallo needs to let the game come to him and not force things. 0 FT attempts for Gallo. He didn’t show up. Really, really, disappointed in him. This is not what you expect from the #1 option. I’m not even sure what’s Gallo’s strength. He is not a good 1 on 1 player. I feel like his game is just catch and shoot + attack the rim. His midrange is not good.

    I’m not sure how much Wilson Chandler would have helped. Our defense wasn’t the problem, offense was. I don’t think we really missed Wilson Chandler to be honest. Definitely missed Rudy Fernandez, though. Lack of 3 point shooting really hurt us. We couldn’t build the lead and put them away without any shooters.

    Overall, this was a great series. Didn’t think it would last long after watching game 1 but I am shocked we made it this far. Truly an amazing coaching job by Karl. Hats off to him.

    As for the future, I think we should resign JaVale McGee if we can get him for $10M or under. His potential is really high. With right coaching and mentality he can be a big factor.

    • Dubz

      I was fully with you until the Chandler comment. Chandler is a much better better overall player than Fernandez, and can hit the corner 3 as well as anyone in the league. Not to mention, he would have played some mins at the PF when Harrington was struggling and SF when Gallo was struggling. We absolutely could have used Chandler. I agree with McGee though, $10 mil is his absolute max, and maybe even too high to be honest. He has potential, but potential doesn’t earn you that kind of money. We’ll see.

      • Sam Adhikari

        You’re right. I just looked up Wilson Chandler’s 3 point percentage – he’s decent. Surely would have helped.

        • Kyle Obergfell

          I am actually with Sam and so few people..

          I want Rudy back..

          I think people just absolutely forget what he
          did to help in January and also that he was
          playing obviously in pain….

          he gets that back taken care of..
          I don’t like the possibility of what we
          could miss out on and pay for when
          we play against him..

          I am the last person that will bet against Rudy Fernandez.

          • al68

            Mucho mas necesario en esta eliminatoria era Rudy que Chandler y no por ser mejor jugador que creo que es Chandler sino por la capacidad de tiro exterior de Rudy que es mucho mayor que la de Chandler.

            Despues de verle comentando en 3 partido de la eliminatoria aqui en España me sorprenderia mucho que volviera aunque hablo muy bien de la organizacion los compañeros y el trato que habia recibido ademas de que va ha recibir la visita aqui en Madrid de dos preparadores de Denver este verano,y que la ciudad era mecho mejor y mas agradable que portland.

            Yo creo que volveria solo si le ofrecen 5 mill. por año.
            y despues de ver los contratos de chandler Gallo y Afflalo podria ser aunque en su puesto es mejor ver como evoluciona Hamilton.

          • Guy

            Neither Chandler or Rudy is the answer. Their both B or C players on a team with lots of B & C players. The Nuggets need to focus on getting a star that comands a doubleteam and isn’t 5’11″. The Lakers won because they have 3 players the Nuggets needed to double. Period. You can’t fault the Nuggets effort, they just lack championship talent. There’s a reason the Lakers have so many Rings.

    • chris

      Gallo’s midrange was the only offense he generated in this series, along with driving the ball. He couldnt hit a three, his stepback was great from games 4-6, the kid isnt ready to take over a team, but outside of game 7, he didnt have a terrible series.
      On top of that, just cuz he is 6-10 doesnt mean he cant dribble. They say he has unreal ballhandling skills, and he plays like a small forward, not a power forward. His post up skills arent the greatest, i think he is a better face up player. Gallo has the most complete game on this team, give him a year or two and he will be our best player

  • dunkman

    Giving Dre and Ty basically the same grade is a joke. Lawson brought this team back all by himself, scoring 11 in a row at one point. Saying his 24 was equal to a guy who scored 3, jacked up a bunch of shots, had a ton of TOs, and killed the flow numerous times is absurd. If Gallo doesn’t deserve an F then no player in the history of basketball ever has. Finally, yeah Al could not rebound with the Laker trees so active, but he played good D at times and carried the Nuggets offense at times when no one else could. Sometimes I read these and think they are dead on, and there’s times like this where I wonder if we watched the same game.

    Good season, I’m certainly excited about next year and love the character of these guys. Everyone showed up with great effort except Gallo, who honestly spent the game looking like he didn’t even want to be out there.

    I will say a word about the refs. They let everything go in the 4th, which is fine, I have no problem with it. It just happened to be very much to the Nuggets’ disadvantage. When they put Kobe on Ty and MWP on Dre, the obvious place to go was AA with Blake on him, but AA couldn’t get open. I watched him and Blake was constantly grabbing, holding, bumping…whatever he had to do to keep AA from getting open. With the Lakers size, strength, savvy, experience, a physical game was just not to the Nuggets advantage and they didn’t seem to be able to overcome.

  • Dubz

    I really have to say once we came back late in the 3rd, everything else was gravy. I’m thrilled Harrington had a great game (I don’t know how he got a “B-”, he was brilliant. I love Faried but Harrington was far better in this game) he deserved to finish the series strong after such a great season. Just wanted to say, we did everything we could. I knew that having our guards pinch on the bigs would kill us one of these games by leaving the corner 3′s wide open. Blake finally destroyed us tonight with those 3′s. Bound to happen. Keep an eye out for Chandler next year people, he has the ability to be better than Gallo. Go Nuggs.

    • Guy

      Both Chandler & Gallo should be trade bait. The Nuggets need to take some risks and get a real star. Don’t you get tired of first round exits?? The FO needs to find a player or 2 that can get us by OKC, LAL and the Spurs… in a 7 game series. Since we won’t get a major free agent and teams don’t trade stars that means taking some risks with the draft. I’d rather this team take some risks than end up like Atlanta (and the Nugs) every year, just a pretender.

  • Sam Adhikari

    Size is so crucial in the NBA. In clutch moments, Bynum and Gasol basically just boxed out and put their hands up to get tip ins. Easy baskets like that are so, so big. We had to work our asses off on offense while they just had their bigs at the right place at right time.

    Also, such a different game by Kobe. We usually see him go hero mode in the 4th but tonight, he waited for the defense to come at him and passed every single time he was double teamed. I was just waiting and waiting for Kobe to shoot the Lakers out of the game but nope, it was a different Kobe tonight. He played like a teamplayer.

  • http://www.swag.com Gerardo

    Just a painful lost… It hurts more then the 09 lost to the lakers.. but Im
    still proud. I love this team.. we could have quit during game 5 but we didn’t we could have quit when we were down by 16 but we didnt. We kept fighting and that Is somethin the nuggets from the carmelo era wouldn’t have done.. look at game 6 in the WCF. Or game 6 vs Utah in 2010 we gave up.. but this time we went out swinging.. we fought and didn’t give up we scared them a couple of times.. I’m excited.. Ty Lawson showed us he’s the franchise player. McGee should come back but not at 14/ yr and Gallo played really bad and the jury is still out if he is the core of this team or if he’s just a role player.. Faried is ganna improve.. I’m just really excited this team could do some very special things in the future. I have faith.. and next year if we don’t win a series its just a failed season no more excuses we proved that we can win.

  • Sam Adhikari

    Ahh, just remembered Andre Miller will be an unrestricted free agent. Def. going to miss him if he leaves. He complements Ty Lawson so well.

  • ryanvdonk

    On the TNT postgame show, shaq said he was going to work with mcgee this summer…if that comes true and javale spends a month or two with the big fella, building strength and a post game (but have someone else for free throws), watch out. i don’t agree with your grade tonight, while he couldn’t get his offense rolling, javale did everything thing else, hit the glass on both sides, played good 1 on 1 defense, and was huge on help defense.

    ty is finally starting to get it this series that there is literally no one who can consistently stay in front of him in the NBA, when he attacks good things happen. the one thing he could improve on his drives is drawing the big to him and dumping/alley ooping the guy the defender slid from. he should watch some old tape of coach karls favorite player, gary payton, he would do this one pass that was almost like a hook shot that shawn kemp would slam home, it worked every time…maybe he could work with the glove in the offseason, couldn’t hurt, and help him on dealing when bigger defenders try to get physical.

  • NuggFan forLife

    I don’t think we had a bad series. Anybody outside Nuggets Nation seems to think this series win for the Lakers is unsurprising just becuase they are the Lakers but no, the Nuggets should have won Game 7 IF WORLD PEACE WAS SUSPENDED FOR ANOTHER GAME! Denver had a hard time to renovate their gameplan to stop the Lakers. The Nuggets have played Ebanks and Barnes at SF and all of a sudden World Peace would become a factor! This series win for the Lakers sucks but anyways, a great season for Denver!!! Love what the future holds now

  • Sam Adhikari

    Did this series ruin Denver’s future? McGee is gonna get Nene contract, or fairly close to it. What was the point of trading Nene again?

    I doubt McGee really becomes worth the contract he’ll get. We will overpay him.

    • Aaa

      Nene will be 30 going into next year and is injury prone. Javale will be 24 and not injury prone. This team is still a couple of years away from really contending. Thats why we made the trade

      • Kyle Obergfell

        wow…

        Nene.. just will never be the answer at Center anyway..
        I would have liked to see him at PF…
        but not Center.. we did great considering everything.

  • http://yahoo mile high

    Tks Jeremy for your great effort all season. Think about it. if it’s not because of Blake, we’d hv won, despite of Gallo’s woeful performance.

    Our team has heart and it has potential, just hope that they will not make anymore unnecessary personnel changes because the youngsters need a bit more time together to really learn the game and learn to grow together. OKC didn’t change its team for nearly 3 years before last and look what they have become.

  • http://none Charles

    Is it just me or does ty Lawson need to start demanding the ball more he’s almost unstoppable when he wants to be.

  • Ben

    Just wanted to say thank you to RMC for killing it this season…

  • Steve

    Well…hated to see it end this way. One of the things that really lifted my spirits was the way our young guys hung in there and played hard. This is not the Melo/JR pout and quit team. They could have rolled over down 16 in the 3rd but they battled back.

    As we look to the future…Here is what we should do/Wish list.

    Sign Javelle. He is going to be something special.

    Let Andre go. We can use that money to sign Javelle/Ty. He slows the game down too much and is not the answer. Remember…he is the one who laid down most of the season.

    Trade KK and Chandler Could be a PG/SG/Future #1

    Develop JHamm. He could be the shooter we so desperately need.

    Would love to see Steve Nash in Denver.

    And finally….

    Hope the situation with Bird is not bad. If he is innocent of everything, he could be a real compliment to Javelle.

    S

  • Aaa

    Have never been convinced by gallo. I think fans need to start thinking about him in a trade package then always resigning themselves to the idea that Wilson chandler needs to be traded.

  • Aaa

    Have never been convinced by gallo. I think fans need to start thinking about him in a trade package then always resigning themselves to the idea that Wilson chandler needs to be traded.

    Seriously every trade scenario y’all come up with involves a package revolving around chandler. For the money he is being paid he might be a better option than gallo.

  • GK4Prez

    I will let the front office worry about what guy to trade and what guy to keep. For the most part, I am very happy with what this team showed this year.

    Gallo had a bad game 7, but he also was playing close to an all-star level early in the season and then injuries got the best of him. I don’t know what to think of that because it seems like he always has some sort of an injury that delays his progress, but when he is healthy, he is a very good basketball player.

    Chandler actually has an even longer history of injuries, but his contract is for less money, so I am not sure who of the two you keep, if you keep both, or if you trade both. At any rate, they are both assets to use in a trade if the team decides to go that route.

    One thing is for certain, there will be some changes made to the roster between now and the tip off to start next season.

    But, right now I am proud of this group, they had a good run and played with heart.

  • Kyle Obergfell

    just a thought to chew on going in to offseason..

    Ty Lawson is the 2nd least paid player on the
    team… among all the game regulars both starting
    and on the bench..

    the least paid player??

    Kenneth Faired.

    • FinazzAus

      Not totally true the two least paid are stone and Hamilton. But I get your point.

  • Michael (anotheraussienuggzfan)

    Well I guess we can take the playoff experience and learn from it with a young team.
    As others have already commented, OKC didn’t make many changes to their roster for a few years and developed their young guys and waited for them to mature. I’m fairly certain their first time in the playoffs resulted in a first round exit also, now people have been tipping them as the team to beat in the West if not the league all year.

    As for offseason moves, I’m not sure if Andre will be back, I’ve always liked him (although he was testing my faith early in the season), hopefully the progress the team made in the playoffs persuades him to stay for a reasonable price.
    McGee will be re-signed, the only reason he won’t be back is if he fails to negotiate and over values himself. I agree that 10 mil/yr is probably what the Nuggs would like to pay however history suggests that a 7 footer who is young and athletic may be hard to retain for less than 12 mil.
    Rudy, the forgotten man (at least until we couldn’t buy a 3 pointer). I don’t know if he will be back in the NBA next season, let alone with the Nuggets. He played some good games for us and seemed reasonably happy, however due to our logjam at the wing I don’t know if he will be brought back for anything other than trade bait (unless we move several of our other wings).
    Developing Faried and McGee will be high priorities, they both made strides this season and it will be interesting to see how they come back next season, hopefully both with left and right hooks and 10 foot jumpers.
    I would love to see J-Ham developed, he has a nice stroke and is unselfish/a good passer for a scorer and is pretty good on the boards, he just needs a bit more experience and development.
    I think our summer league team will be fun to watch: Stone, JHam and Faried running and gunning with whoever we pick up in the draft (assuming a combo gaurd or knock down 3 shooter).
    The future is bright, in Masai we trust!

    • al68

      Faried y Ham pueden desarrollarse , Mc gee creo que no es un problema de conocimiento del juego, puede ser el mayor error de Ujiri. Hay que guardar el dinero para alguna superestrella y para Lawson no para Javale.

      • Michael (anotheraussienuggzfan)

        McGee can develop too, just look at the growth since his arrival in Denver. With positive influences around him and a good development team, I think McGee will become solid, I’m not expecting him to be a dominant low post scorer, but I do expect him to be able to finish around the rim with both hands and hopefully knock down 8-10 foot jumpers.
        As for a superstar, I don’t see any sticking their hands up to come to Denver (or any other small market team for that matter) and with our committment to youth it just doesn’t match.

        • al68

          Durant juega en una ciudad pequeña, a Portland iban jugadores buenos, todo depende del proyecto deportivo si es bueno iran a denver estoy seguro, ojala tengas razon con Javale pero lo dudo, ya hablaremos dentro de 1 año.

          Rudy tiene un precontrato con el real madrid de 3 mill de euros sin impuestos igual a 5 mill €=6,5 dollars usa.

          • GK4Prez

            Rudy ha dicho que le gustaría quedarse en la NBA si el contrato es justo. No estoy seguro si va a tener nada que se acerque al salario que dijo que su equipo le dará euros, por lo que no podría estar de regreso el próximo año.

            Durant se quedó con Oklahoma City, ya que hubiera coincidido con un contrato a otro equipo le hubiera dado. Vamos a ver si dimite con ellos de nuevo una vez que este contrato es para arriba.

            • al68

              Un indicio que no es bueno es no haber estado con sus compañeros en PO porque la recuperacion la podia haber realizado en Denver igual que aqui en Madrid, ademas habiendole tratado tan bien el equipo espero que se lo recompense de alguna manera sobretodo sabiendo que lo peor que tenemos es el tiro de larga distancia y ficharle seria muy bueno por lo menos 2 años.

              Parece que con esta cirugia podrian desaparecer todos los problemas que arrastra desde la lesion de Ariza, si fuera asi es un jugador que vale mucho, podeis ver algun partido suyo en el Juventudde Badalona junto con Rubio y vereis lo bueno que era.

        • nich

          I’ve watched 90% of Javale’s games in his career.

          I really don’t see much growth with him to be honest.

          I just feel like people severely underrated him due to some dumb lowlights that blew up on the internet. He looked like pretty much the exact same player that he’s always looked like in every aspect of the game except that Karl smartly lets him get all his offense on hustle & broken plays. Javale could always look randomly spectacular in DC when they weren’t attempting to run the offense through him, and sometimes even then.

          To me it just seems like people saw more of Javale and realized he has better instincts and a better motor and effort level than his facial expressions and mental lapses indicate and since nobody watched Wizards games they’re just assuming that he became a different player since the trade deadline even if it isn’t true.

          As a Wizards fan, I was sad to see him go. I really wanted to see him on that QO season without Blatche & Young’s terrible attitudes (shockingly, everyone else on DC has a great attitude- those 3 guys made up about 90% of our boneheadedness)- as McGee seemed much more salvagable along with having astronomical upside.

          Also as a Wizards fan.. The subtraction of McGee made an immediate positive impact on our team, and the subsquent addition of Nene was just mindblowing. I know why you guys got sick of Nene, but holy crap it’s amazing how fast the culture seemed to change around here. You got the good McGee without the baggage, enjoy! I think this trade was great for both teams.

          • Jeff

            You’re totally right. I watched a few, maybe 4 or 5 of McGee’s games before Denver got him. And even on the Wizards it was clear he could blow up and get 15 rebounds, 5 blocks, 20 points, whatever. I don’t think he has changed or improved at all. He still doesn’t have a post game, just height, long arms, hustle, and some quick jumping ability. He gets some easy dunks off of Andre Miller and all of a sudden people are saying hes totally reinvented himself.

            • ryanvdonk

              skill wise there wasn’t much improvement, the strides he did make in denver were he focused much better, which allowed him to be a better team and individual defender as opposed to just looking for blocks, and he had way less mental lapses.

              • Jeff

                He still goaltended like crazy and took some wild shots. Not that I have a big problem with that, I like McGee. I’d rather him get 2 goaltends a game and try to block everything that comes near the basket then lay down and not even try like Nene would do sometimes. But 2 big games in a 7 game series doesn’t seem like a big improvement skillwise or mentally to me.

              • Michael (anotheraussienuggzfan)

                How many big games did Bynum and Gasol have in the series? People are talking about consistency with our guys, but have a look at the ‘All Stars’ they were up against and compare the stats over the series, I think our guys did pretty well considering we were up against 3 All Stars for the first 6 games and 4 in the last game, how many All Stars do we have on the nuggets again?

  • AllAround

    Thanks for the company you did a nice work in this blog analyzing individual performance .

  • GK4Prez

    How about doing a pregame thread for games next season? Or would that be too much of a hassle?

  • HD

    Why this site is so unfair to mozgov I will never know. But it is worth stating that his defense isn’t only good on bynum. He also ended up guarding Gasol in the series. Also how can a big who can use both hands and knock down the midrange jumper bad offensively? I wish someone would explain to me why he gets so much love @ DenverStiffs and is hated @ Roundballminingcompany? Honestly guys it is evident Koufos is not even close to the talent level of Mozgov. Once he works on his hands in the offseason he will be a force to be reckoned with.

  • Underdogs need adaptive coaching

    George, your team had a very worthy performance this year and the future looks very bright for deeper playoff runs because our post players have the talent offensively and defensively to impact the game that accelerates our run and attack engine. Your next task as the head coach is to secure Andre Miller’s commitment in continuing his career with the Nuggets because the development of a balanced backcourt/frontcourt attack is the only way the Nuggets will contend for a championship. The Nuggets have excellent chemistry…just remember that your concept of the “teamness” that it takes to win most evolve along the road to a championship with them.

  • Irritated Fan

    I don’t know about everyone else, but i would love to see a “reaction” by roundball grading the whole nugget roster on their play this season, with a detailed analysis. And perhaps potential signings, trade scenarios, or draft projections!

    • GK4Prez

      It would be nice to have a draft thread on here. I am sure they will do something like that once the mourning period of another first round exit wears off.

  • ny nugs fan

    in game 6 the nugs had brewer picking up blake in the backcourt, making him work to get upcourt and burning clock, so lakers had a hard time gettin in their half court sets and had to speed up the thought process took a few bad shots… for some reason last night we got away from that… not saying it wouldve mattered but i’m sure blake was comfortable taking those shots with brewer getting a hand up; its all good we still had a chance to win and probably shouldve…

    lets win the division next year!!!

  • Aaron

    Thanks for a great year guys!

    Regardless of his resurgence against the Lakers, Andre needs to go. . anyone read his interview in the Post today? We need a big guard who is defense-first. He can play alongside Ty, and then we can either start to give Julyan some minutes, or run Gallo at a point forward like SJax in Golden St. did for a few years.

    We don’t need wholesale changes on this team, we just need to be sold out on the “play fast/defense” method which means limit Big Al and get rid of Andre. I know they were great against the Lakers but 1) If we would’ve taken care of business against the dregs of the league, we wouldn’t have even been playing the Lakers. 2) Al’s point would’ve been covered elsewhere and we needed a post backup who wasn’t a defensive and rebounding liability. Great respect to those two for an awesome series, but let’s go get Josh Smith and clean out the logjam at Center.

  • F

    best year yet

  • DAN

    Thanks for all the work. It was a great year. Here’s to upside and a great future!

  • Andrew

    I am ambivalent about keeping Miller, though I did not mind this quote at all, “I want to be on a team that’s going to compete for a championship, and not use youth as a crutch or inexperience as a crutch,” Miller said.

    Amen. I loved the Nuggets’ heart and effort, but I think most of us are tired of the almost/wait til next year seasons. Time for these guys to play like champions and win it all.

    That said, I think it would be crazy to not re-sign McGee. He single-handedly kept the Nuggets in the series with a few monster games.
    I personally think they need McGee, Moz and Koufos. The page seems to have been turned on Birdman, so they might as well jettison him.

    It will be interesting to see who the Nuggets pick up in the draft. They should not overreach, but I think everyone agrees they need someone who can hit a consistent three.

    Talk to you all closer to the draft.

    THANKS RMC!!!

    • al68

      Miller ha tenido partidos muy malos y una actitud en muchos partidos muy deficiente mucho mas grave cuando hablamos de un lider veterano con experiencia que tiene que dar ejemplo a los jovenes, para mi no hay que ni intentar resign.

      Para Javale no daba mas de 8 mill e intentaria fichar a Gordon un gran tirador y jugador que puede marcar diferencias.

      Fichar un PG suplente como Jack o Bayless para jugar 18-20 min y con buen tiro.

      • Andrew

        al68, my Spanish is rusty, so let me know if this is understandable!

        Yo veo sus puntos, pero pienso que Miller (o otro PG que quien trabaja el “half court offense”) es mas importante que un otro PG que juega rápido. Pienso que Stone puede ver bueno para juega rápido, si es necesito.

        Tambien, daba 10 mil or un poco mas, porque los jugadores grande son difícil a discobrir.

  • steve

    Thanks for a great season all!!!

    Some thoughts on roster turnover…

    Amnesty Birdman is a good start. No reason to keep a vet like him on the roster since he doesnt play especially after some possible legal trouble. Him and Al are basically the only candidates for it since all others have been extended. Al’s last 2 years aren’t fully guarenteed and he was a great 6th man this year so we should definitely keep him around.

    Im very torn on Andre Miller. He played extremely well down the stretch. Some of you say we need a defensive minded PG BUT this team also needs veterans and offense off the bench as well. Miller took over some games for us on the offensive end. Just imagine what those games would have been like without Dre and a more D guy. I dont care for Miller that much but i was impressed with his play down the stretch and part of me thinks we should bring him back another year if it’s cheap.

    I think we should release Rudy F of course.

    Mcgee is an obvious re-sign if it’s under 10 mill which it should be. No one in their right mind should give him more with how inconsistant he is. He fits our scheme perfect and GK has done wonders with him already. I’m hoping for a 8ish mill per year deal like Deandre Jordan got.

    Keep Mozgov for another season unless you decide to get a legit C in FA or draft. Ive seen improvement and if he can add 20 lbs this offseason and continue to work on his shots, he could be a nice piece. What is there to lose unless you get a good deal in a trade and not just for a 2nd rd pick.

    Brewer is back 1 more year and hopefully they bring back Stone as well as a 3rd pg.

    As for the draft:

    Honestly i think we should move Wilson Chandler. I just dont feel like he fits that well and is needed. We have Al and Brewer who can play the wings and are effective. Chandler just doenst seem engaged at all since he joined the Nugs. I propose trading him to the Houston Rockets for the 14th pick and another addition protected future 1st. I believe the Rockets would do this. They have plenty of cap room next year and own both 14 and 16th picks. Chandler is a great compliment at SF next to kevin martin who doesnt play D at all.

    We would use that pick on Arnett Moutrie PF/C. Hes a great athlete and runs the floor well so fits our system. He can play INSIDE and out which is also a need. He’s not a great shot blocker but pretty good defender with some awesome rebound skill. He’s 6’11 225. He’s the last big man piece of the puzzle. since he can play and guard the 4 or 5 we can have size to match up with anyone including LA.

    With the 22nd pick, PG Tony Wroten. If this did happen, i’d want to let go of Dre. Wroten is 6’5. He’s a tweener only because he can be a ball hawg at times. He has great PG instincts especially passing the ball but likes to keep it to himself more often which causes some turnovers. He’d be a nice compliment to Ty though due to his size. He’s not an outside shooter and not sure he ever will be. But he’s a pretty good defender when he wants to be and can push the tempo and get to the rim at will.

    If it were up to me and pieces fell the right way…

    PG- Lawson, Wroten, Stone
    SG- Afflalo, Hamilton
    SF- Gallo, Brewer
    PF- Faried, Al Harrington, Moultrie
    C- Mcgee, Mozgov, Koufos

    This gives us 2 spots remaining for 2nd rd pick or FA.

    I’d realistically want another outside shooter at the wing.

    • FinazzAus

      Really good points Steve. I have basicully the sane thoughts. Just a few comment and suggestions but.
      Stone is contracted for next year, I have beleive all season long that miller would leave for a starting spot on another team. I also think our FO had this in mind when trading for him. But his strong post season play and the fact he has never got our of the first round in a playoff series might temp him to stay.

      The McGee situation is a tricky one. Like miller I think the FO was looking for a salary dump when doing that trade. And worst getting McGee cheap (5-6mill) but his strong postseason play and notable improvement since the trade would have the FO really thinking. Keep in mind we need to keep enought space for Lawson after next season.

      The next thing I would do only happens mainly if we retain McGee. I would amnesty Harrington. He has more money owning to him and we could easley kick Anderson to someone because his price is fairly low.

      I totally 100% agree about moving chandler. And I hope the FO sign him with that in mind. We can not have both chandler and gallo on the same team and still win. I would trade chandler and our first round pick (20th) for Toronto first round pick. In exchange for Amir johnson and there first round pick. Then pick up jermery lamb a 6’5 SG. He has good D and can hit the jumper with ease (we really need a jump shooter to back up AAA, reminds me of a D Wade is some aspects). Johnson is a Harrington type player who is younger and can back up faired nicely. Tornoto would take this because they love chandler, we’re trying to shop Johnson and have struggle to sign players long term (chandler is signed up)

      Lawson. Stone
      AAA. Lamb. Hamliton
      Gallo. Brewer
      Faired. Johnson. 2nd round pick
      McGee. Mozgov. KK

      Fanandez is gone unless we get stuck with him (his restricted)

      • stevesf47

        Finazz…I definitely wouldnt mind landing Lamb because youre right, we need that scoring SG off the bench that can create for himself and Lamb can do that. He’s a perfect 6th man for us. One thing i dont like about your trade is landing Amir Johnson. He has 3 years left at 6-7 per year. That’s a good penny for someone like him IMO. I would much rather go with Ed Davis. Toronto can take on the salary, they have plenty of room.

        And youre right about Rudy. We may have to keep him. I dont think anyone would give him 3.1 or a long term deal. He will stick unless he decides to go overseas.

        I just think landing another young big like Moutrie who with some added weight can guard any PF/C in the league will be a much better addition. I think finding a scoring 2 guard is a little easier to do and we can address that in FA. We have some cap room to sign someone to a 1 year deal worth 5-7 mill if we would trade chandler and not take all the salary back. I honestly think a guy like Carlos Delfino would be perfect. He can play 2 or 3 off the bench and is a great 3 pt shooter. he can handle the ball well and runs floor well.

        • Andrew

          Steve and Finazz, I love both of your suggestions and the reasoning behind them. I’m split, though. I would rather have Moutrie than Johnson, and I would rather have Lamb than Wroten. It would scare men to have Faried at PF, with no one but Johnson and a 2nd pick to back him up. Also, I saw Wroten a few times this year in PAC games and he seems not only selfish but sloppy. Not sure if the stats bear this out, but I came away unimpressed. Just my opinion. He could end up being great…but UW really shrank in big games, and I thought that was at least in part due to Wroten.

          • steve

            Totally agree about Wroten Andrew. BUT, everything i read says he has the highest ceiling out of any PG in this draft but fell down the boards due to exactly what you just stated. His team collapsed and he was a sloppy ball hawg at times. But this is a reason why i want to bring back Andre Miller one more year. Wroten will sit and watch and learn for a season before he really gets any playing time. Hopefully, he can work on his sloppy play realizing he can’t continue his ways if he wants to be successful. Wroten showed alot of skill though. He’s fantastic in transition and when he does pass, is very good. He has the skill, just needs the coaching.

  • Avarice

    I’ve been too angry to read anything on the game till now. Go thunder!

  • nugzin2040

    I actually thought Faried played ok in the 4th. Yeah, there was that terrible sequence where Gasol got 3 offensive boards and got 2 points. But that aside, Gasol only got one more basket while Faried was in the game and that was after a McGee block that he tipped in.

    Faried made a few mistakes, but they were rookie mistakes imo and not really due to his size, or Pau. Overall, considering everything I thought Faried played well in the series. Know it wasn’t just him against Gasol all of the time… but their overall numbers aren’t that different really.

    Maybe I’m a complete Faried homer here, but I honestly think overall he outplayed Pau.

    • GK4Prez

      I agree with you, he averaged a double double in this series against what is probably the best front court in the league, not to shabby for a rook.

      Unless the Nuggets have a guy targeted in the lottery of this draft, I see no reason to trade Chandler and the 20th pick to move up. He really has only played in a handful of games for the Nuggets and I think he is just as good as any of the wings that will be taken 8th or later in this draft. His contract isn’t bad at all, so trading him just to trade him doesn’t make much sense to me.

      The Nuggets are a very young team now, so at some point in time, they need to add another savvy vet or two. Someone posted the Dre quote/comment from the article on him in the DP. I like Dre, but I took offense to that quote because the guy has never been out of the first round and he provided nothing offensively in game 7 of this series. If he is resigned, it prevents the Nuggets from using money in other areas or in a big trade if one were to come along.

      I know a move or two will likely be made and probably does need to be made, there are just too many players at every position with similar skill sets on this roster to keep everyone happy, so something will/should be done to clean some of the logjams up.

      Something else to consider before trading Chandler and a pick just to move up in this draft. I don’t think Gerald Wallace will opt out of his final year, Batum will likely be matched if he gets an offer from another team, and after those two guys, the list isn’t very impressive at the SF position, so he might be worth more to some team that is looking to improve at this position, but has more established players at other positions.

      This is just an example: Chandler for Jarret Jack, the money almost matches, Jack expires after next year, and he would be a decent backup to Lawsome, which would allow the Nuggets to let Dre walk. The Hornets will also have two lottery picks, so maybe a deal like this could be expanded and the Nuggets could still move up in the draft. Chandler and the 20th to the Raptors for filler and the 8th isn’t the only deal that is out there to be had.

      Randy Foye (free agent) would also be a decent backup for Lawsome. I doubt if the Clippers will try to bring him back with CP3, MoWill, and Bledsoe on that team.

      http://www.hoopsworld.com/2012-nba-free-agents

  • al68

    Una reflexion porque los equipos de nba no firman acuerdos con clubes europeos para desarrollar jugadores ya que ahora hay muchos que pasan a profesionales con 19 años y despues estan 1 año o mas en el banquillo rompiendo asi su progresion en lugar de mandarlos a la NBDL mucho menos competitiva, sería una como una universidad pero cobrando dinero que es por lo que todos los jugadores pasan tan pronto a la NBA.

    Por ejemplo Stone hubiera aprendido mucho mas jugando este año en un equipo italiano español o griego que jugando los minutos de la basura en Denver lo mismo pasaría con Hamilton ademas tendrian mas conocimiento del juego y madurarian más rápido.

    Solo es una sugerencia no se si existen acuerdos entre FIBA y NBA que lo prohiban aunque creo que no.

  • J.J.

    I agree with the Gallo should get an F comments. He was horrible on Saturday. That said, I really like him in general, and think he can and will be a consistent star (not a super star) in the league (think Joe Johnson, Luol Deng level). A guy you can count on for 18-20 pts and 7-8 rebounds (and many assists).

    He struggled after the sprained ankle and thumb injuries, for sure. Part of that is the Nuggets not getting him the ball in the right place, something I think they struggled with after the Nene trade. For all Nene’s faults, he was an excellent post passer, and he and Gallinari had a good chemistry on kick-outs and some other things. Mozgov and McGee are nowhere near Nene’s level as passers. Without that, Karl has got to figure out a way to get him the ball off screens, moving to the hoop, and on kick outs. That’s a hugely underrated skill in a big man – if Bynum could have ever figured out how to pass out of a double team, the Lakers would have beaten us in five, even with LA’s crappy outside shooting.

    And please, please, please do not pay McGee $10M per year, much less $13-14M, for multiple years. He definitely showed flashes, has huge potential, and changed his attitude since he’s been here, but that’s not $10M per year. I still worry about the attitude, and improvement – he has almost no shooting touch around the basket, and I don’t see that changing. And without that, I see even more inconsistency than we had from Nene. If it’s a 4-5 year deal, then $6-7M. If 2-3 (which I favor), then MAYBE $8-10M. Don’t give him the “albatross” contract -it would hurt too much in the future if he doesn’t pan out.

  • Andrew

    Whatever Masai and Lil Kroenk do, I have trust in them after what they have done so far. I do think the Nuggets should be looking for cold blooded winners at this point.

    PG – Lawson, Stone and either Miller or “to be named veteran PG”
    SG – AAA, Brewer, J Ham and/or “veteran shooter”.
    SF – Gallo, and “veteran shooter”.
    PF – Faried, Harrington and “veteran, wide bodied PF who can bang the crap out of someone like Gasol and not give up half a foot in height”.
    C – McGee, Moz, KK (Because of possibility of injury, you can never have too many Centers and all three of these guys are better true Centers than Denver has had in awhile. Keep them all).

    Trade Chandler and Rudy, amnesty Bird and replace them with cold blooded shooters at the SF and SG positions and a banger at PF. I wish we had a better bead on JHam and Stone…

  • FinazzAus

    I hope the faired works on this mid range jump shot in the off season. I know that’s not this game but if he can develop that then he can spread the floor alot better and then suddenly his high doesn’t become a Hugh factor in a negative way for us. But in saying all of that he did a great job guarding a guy 5″ taller then him.
    GET THE MID RANGER GOING AND HE WILL BE A SUPERSTAR

    • steve

      totally agree Finazz. We saw glimpses of it late in season that he can hit it at times. He’ll only improve with better touch. Faried will be a double double machine. MACHINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://espn Gary

    We need a pure shooter one way or the other. We always get burnt by a second tier guy every year in one series,,, Blake, Harden last year. But we never ever have any shooter who can consistently make those jumpers when the paint is clogged. AAA, Gallo & Al are all streaky and Lawson will just never have that confidence IMO. Need a Novak kinda guy on the outside, who’s not a hogger but makes it count everytime he takes a shot. Without that aspect, we’ll always be one-dimensional and not really elite at even that thing.