When the Manimal devoured the Celtics on St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2012. The Boston Celtics at the Pepsi Center in Denver (with all too many traitorous green jerseys in attendance). The only matchup between the Nuggets and C’s in the lockout shortened season. And Denver jockeying for playoff positioning as the season drew closer to an end.

It was a huge game for the Nuggets. And despite the hype surrounding the St. Patty’s-Boston imagery, the most important symbolism of the game was when George Karl uncharacteristically entrusted a rookie, Kenneth Faried, to close out the final minutes of a closely contested contest.

And the Manimal delivered.  Scoring 18 points on perfect shooting, including five of five from the field and eight of eight from the line, Faried also grabbed 16 rebounds — 6 offensive — with a steal and a block on top. Beyond the stat line, he was the engine that fueled the team’s energy and drive with infectious, relentless effort. And he played a crucial role in earning the Nuggets victory.

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Joel is a long time Denver Nuggets (and Broncos) fan from Colorado who's been living in Japan since the mid-90s, and blogging about the Nuggets since 2008. You can contact and follow him on Twitter: @denbutsu.
  • Steve ross

    The manimal is gonna raise the bar this year and make it to all star weekend. He might even win a trophy in the dunk contest

    • Ryan W

      He has a ways to go to make the allstar game but I agree he is definitely going to allstar weekend. If he stays healthy he’s a lock for the rookie-sophomore game and is a strong candidate for the dunk contest.

  • Gerardo

    I was there, it was so awesome to see manimal beast it up! And that awesome pass from gallo. It was an awesome night at the Pepsi Center.

  • Thomas

    If Karl gives him the 35minutes he needs to be a game changer and he learns how to dominate on defense, this team can go places in a hurry.

    If We had Doc Rivers or Pop as coach, we probably could contend for a title this year. They would establish a rotation, create a defensive mindset and give the keys to the guys that can lead them there: Lawson and Faried.

  • SmokinNugs

    OH MAN! 2:37 that behind the back pass from Gallo. THAT’S why he starts and not Chandler. All these Nugs fans keep acting like Gallo has no game. Just not true!

    • Ban

      Gallo has crazy talent. If he can ever put together the elite volume 3-point shooting he showed with the Knicks (38% on 6 attempts per game! in 2009-10) with his ability to drive and draw fouls with the Nuggets, watch out! NEEDS TO STAY HEALTHY. Nuggets’ fans eager to dump him are on drugs.

      That’s what makes this Nuggets team so exciting. It has a bunch of guys who just seem ready to blow up if they put it all together: Lawson, Gallinari, Faried, McGee, even maybe Randolph… If even 2 of those guys make a big leap into all-star status, this team will be scary good.

      • Ban

        also, Gallinari just turned 24. Important to note… His best days should be ahead of him.

        • SmokinNugs

          Word on the street is 27 is around the golden age in the NBA. Jordan, Lebron, etc

    • Denver4ever

      I’m with you, man. Gallo has the skills to become a great player. I just don’t get it why some are givin’ up on him just because HE’S HURT FOR MOST OF THE SEASON.

      Which brings us to this point: Gallo should be durable so he cannot be expendable

  • ryanvdonk

    i think if ty can improve on finding his bigs while driving the paint in the half court (with manimal and farried he really only has to just lop it in their direction) then he will become an allstar level player. gonna love watching these guys this year, though i think loosing al could hurt more than people think, when given minutes in the low 20s he really helped spread the floor and always gave his all, it was when he was playing in the upper 20s and 30s that he dropped off, since he really couldn’t sustain over 10 minute stretches consistently.

    • corybyu

      I think you mean Manimal and McGee, and yeah hopefully they’ll be getting tons of lobs this year with an offseason to practice together! Yeah Harrington was a nice spark last year, but I think what we are gaining on the defensive end with Iguodala plus the extra athleticism to run the court should definitely make up for the loss. Plus Karl won’t be able to rely on his small ball 2 PG lineup as much, which should definitely help. Should be an exciting year to be a nuggets fan!

  • Michael (anotheraussienuggzfan)

    On an unrelated matter…didn’t the Nuggets have to extend an offer to Quincy Miller by some time in August to retain his rights? Or has this already happened and I missed the memo?

    • dynamo.joe

      I heard Scott Hastings say on the radio that the Nugs were gonna ship Quincy off to Europe for next season.

      I don’t know if that is official or a rumor and I don’t know what, if any effect it has on Quincy’s NBA rights.

  • bballin

    I was there for that game!! Waaaay to many celtic jersey’s in the crowd for sure, was actually pretty disappointed with it. But we were out playing them most of the game so it shut the C fans up lol. Manimal played like a BEAST!! That was the game also where Gallo had that wrap around pass on the baseline. Great great game!!

  • Evan Woodruff


    • https://twitter.com/denbutsu denbutsu

      Then by all means, please feel free to make your own video using the music of your choice.

  • Rockridge1

    Best Question Regarding The Celtics Game

    Why did Karl ever put Faried on the bench? Karl did the right thing to put Faried back in the game but why did he ever take him out? nuggets win by 20 if Faried was never taken from that game.

    Karl nearly lost that game!!

    • https://twitter.com/denbutsu denbutsu

      Yeah, he made a couple of sloppy plays that led to turnovers before Karl took him out in the 2nd, but then he started the 3rd and everything was going fine when Karl put Harrington in for him. And the offense actually sputtered somewhat after that change, which pretty much removes the main justification for doing that. Fortunately he got him back in for the end, though.