Nuggets vs. Thunder fan observations

The Nuggets fell to the Thunder 101-108 on Sunday and unfortunately none of our writers were able to view the game live. There is a chance a recap will be up later, however if there isn’t please feel free to leave your observations of the game in the comments section of this post. Thanks!

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Kalen Deremo

Kalen was born in Durango, CO, in 1988 and graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2013 with a degree in journalism. He's now an itinerant hoping to travel as much as possible before eventually succumbing to the "real world." Aside from writing Kalen likes movies, music, spicy food and the great outdoors. Edward Abbey is his current idol.

Latest posts by Kalen Deremo (see all)

  • Casey. Aurora, CO

    Couldn’t see the game live, but it seemed like Javale had a nice 2nd half, good to see Wilson Chandler make an impact with 5 points and 6 rebounds as well.

  • Wade

    I dont understand why altitude didn’t air this? they decided to air the worst college football game ever instead… any explanation?

  • CJP32

    I listened to the game. Seemed the starters came out flat, falling behind 17-8 (Ibaka did hit 2 threes). Ty was a distributor in the 1st half, then looked to score late. Gallo came out firing, started 1/5, then heated up.

    Iggy shot badly but rebounded, passed, defended well. Faried isint crashing the boards that well. Koufos was solid, but McGee looked good once Andre Miller was on the court. Corey Brewer has continued his hot shooting, and I don’t think its a fluke, 4th straight game he has played well.

    Wilson Chandler provided good rebounding and scored 2 baskets. Mozzy looks done, maybe GK has seen enough? I think JHam has worked his way out of the rotation? Andre Miller played too many minutes, the 2 PG lineup was back, and Dre got sloppy, but was key to the come back.

    OKC hit 15/32 threes – so our perimeter D was non-exitent.

    Judging from the 5 games now, its pretty clear that out bench rotation is Andre Miller, McGee, Brewer and Chandler.

    • Stephen Hernandez

      Great analysis agree completely and hope Karl will insert Randolph into Mozgov’s rotation spot.

      • CJP32

        I think AR and JHam will only see minutes when injuries occur, which is sad because they are good players, but GK will always go with the guys he can trust. There simply are not enough minutes to please everyone, guys have to earn their minutes and play hard every game. And whilst Brewer is playing well, he will still have to earn his minutes now that Wilson Chandler is back in the mix.

        Iggy could easily average a trip dub on this team, but I hope he finds his shooting touch soon – 32% from the field and 14% from 3PT land so far.

  • Stephen Hernandez

    And I agree completely shame the nuggets preseason games have not been aired on altitude.

  • John

    Good lord George Karl kills me.

    I know he is a great coach, but Good Lord.

    If someone is as cold as ice, doesn’t make a single shot the whole game, has the worst +/- on the team, is a defensive liability why would you not only keep him in, but keep him in out of position where his size also becomes a liability.

    Why in the world would anyone in their right mind play Andre Miller at the 2 late in the game, especially when you are behind and need stops. Play JHam for points or Brewer or Chandler for offense and defense.

    Had Karl made that one roster change the game would have been close, and OKC would’ve been forced to play Durant and Westbrook if they wanted the win.

    • Thomas

      First of all, GK is not a good coach – terrible in fact.

      Look no further than last night to find out what will happen this season, much like last season. Miller will play too much, people will talk BS that he makes Mcgee better (nonsense), that he is experienced, bla bla bla. Bottom line is that we will not make the move to the next level.

      I just can’t stand his coaching and his line-ups. Sure, it’s preseason, but you can see what’s coming: two PG line-ups, Miller 25 minutes per night, small ball, constant line-up changes, excuses, low expectations for road trips etc. If you think otherwise you are fooling yourself.

      To me, all of that just leads to wasting a great opportunity to form a heck of a team.

      Any to coach would give Ty and Iggy 35+ minuter per game together and sub Ty for Miller for the 13 or so minutes that remain (in the unfortunate absence of Stone) and put Hamilton in for Iggy, and once and for all discover what Hamilton can do over the course of a season.

      Miller is an unfortunate distraction. I will say that he can chew gum with his mouth open and play at the same time.

      And I haven’t even mentioned bringing back AC. What an idiotic move. Who is running the show here, Karl or Masai (and Josh)? Wake up guys and stop idolizing coach. Make the boldest and smartest move of all, fade Karl into the sunset. Trade Miller, trade AC, trade Gallo.

      • waylon

        Who are you??

        GK is one of the best coaches presently and in NBA history. His only black marks are on how he handles the ego’s of star players. You can write all you want on how you disagree with decisions he made after the games, but I don’t think you can write he is terrible.

        • Thomas

          GK is a terrible coach in my view, what’s the problem with that? Enough GK loving, more objective analysis please.

      • Chris

        AC isnt even signed to a contract yet?? How could we trade him? Wake up

  • parkhill

    I know its preseason and Karl is likely trying to build chemistry but this game is indicative of his shortcomings. We had 3 players play over 30 minutes, 2 close to 40, 10 in total. OKC played 12, none over 30. We rode Gallo like the stud he isn’t. Hamilton and Randolph sit on the bench wondering what they did wrong.

    If you’re going to be a fast paced team, it starts by running 11 now. But then again I’m not one of the best regular season coaches in the history of the nba.

    • CJP32

      I agree 100%, and the fact that Gallo launched 13 threes says that GK is cool with it, yet his philosophy his drive to the rim, get FTs then shoot threes – so not sure what happened today.

      There is no reason why any Nugget player should be on the court for more than 30-32 minutes when we are 3 deep at each position, but its clear that some of these guys have not impressed GK this PS. And Andre Miller should be on the court with the 2nd Unit, not for long periods with Ty AND Iggy.

      • Evan Woodruff

        It’s preseason chill the f*ck out. He wasn’t trying to win as much as he was trying to see how combinations work together. The end of the game was a good time to experiment with Galo at the 5, or 4 or whatever. Galo played amazing, need to get off his back.

        • Thomas

          He will “try” to see combinations until April. If allowed, he will continue “trying” next season too.

          Many key players will get tired of this and will move on to places where they can play more.

  • plaidical

    eh, I’m not so worried about GK.

    If the nugs don’t win a playoff series this year I think he’s out. Massai doesn’t care about being loyal to him, he wants to win, and I think he knows he has made the moves to where there should be a visible improvement.

    • dynamo.joe

      Except it’s been said that Stan is the one making the decision to keep Karl, not Josh, not Masai. And ultimately it is Stan (or his wife) that writes the checks.

  • Matt

    I think that there is no reason to sit here and complain about all the stats an figures because this is just a PRESEASON game. In a couple of weeks this is going to mean absolutely nothing at all. Going undefeated in the preseason never won anybody a championship

    Now that I have said that, I can almost guarantee you that Karl very little interest if any at all in winning this game. I would much rather tell my players to play at about 75% and lose a preseason game then play 100%, win the game, and lose somebody to injury. It is completely useless to have someone injured because they were playing hard to win a preseason game.

    Karl is using the preseason to try out different personnel combinations. This is the time to experiment with the team you have, that way you don’t make the mistakes in the regular season.

    • Evan Woodruff

      Thank you.

  • johnnyd

    Anyone who has watched George Karl coach the Nuggets for what, the last ten or so should know he is evaluating players and player combinations and will continue to do so in the beginning of the regular season until he has enough information to get the most out of his team. He’s a great coach and if you don’t see that , you don’t know basketball. The Nuggets will be a tough match up for every team in the NBA this season and be seated in the top 4 at the end of the regular season. I don’t expect them to get knocked out in the first round, they are the deepest team in the NBA and that will pay dividends not just in the regular season, but in the playoffs as well. The Nuggets think outside the box , just because a team approaches the challenge of winning in the NBA from a different perspective than other teams doesn’t make them wrong. Time will prove that the Nuggets avant guarde approach to being competitive in the NBA will show that actually thinking about their approach to winning a championship with a small market franchise, instead of trying to carbon copy the heavily beaten path of success of major market teams,they’ve chosen their own direction that is truly a stroke of genus. I’m a bigger fan of the Nuggets now more than ever, love the smarts of the teams front office and head coach.

    • Andrew K

      I agree completely. Calling Karl a terrible coach is either an ignorant or idiotic statement in itself. I will be the first to admit that I did not like Karl or Miller last year. Since then I have realized that Karl is a genius, and if he had a team like OKC or Miami, he would make the finals every year. Miller can not be scrutinized by any regular stat. Karl said in an interview in the playoffs last year that Miller is one of the best point guards to ever play the game, simply because his assists always lead to high percentage layups or than jump shots. On a team like this, that is priceless.

      • dynamo.joe

        You are right, riding your 2 oldest players into the ground, especially when you have better players who need to gain experience sitting on the bench, defines great coaching.

        I actually didn’t mind that he played Andre Miller at the 2 last year, because once Rudy went down there wasn’t a lot left on the cupboard.

        But speaking of great coaching, Pop was smart enough to rest his older players so they had something left for the playoffs.

      • Thomas

        “I didn’t like GK last year but suddenly I realized he is a genius.” Oh my, what we have here, a converted GK lover on the basis of zero supporting evidence.

        Only an idiot would observe the same pattern develop every season with GK and expect a different move and outcome moving forward.

        Had Nene not been traded, Faried would still be a bench player.

        “Miller can’t be scrutinized by any statistic”? Oh, yes he can. His defense and his outside shot are liabilities, his PER is worse than Kemba Walker or JJ Barea. Why do you think everyone shoots lights out against us?

        What about GK (and Miller’s) playoff futility record, doesn’t that count? Sure, if he coached OKC he would take them to the finals, any coach would. What he certainly wouldn’t do is take them over the hump and win it all.

        Popovich is miles ahead of GK. Doc Rivers is miles ahead of GK. Those are excellent coaches. GK is not only mediocre, he is stubborn.

        I hope I am wrong, but I’ve seen too much of Karl to believe there is a spitting chance he will quit his evil tendencies.

        • Andrew K

          Yes. While the Nuggets were in amidst of injuries during that brutal March stretch last year, I conceded to my emotions and blamed their struggle on the first available thing: George Karl. However, I started to pay close attention to his decisions on the court. His adaptation to this team after it lost Carmelo is phenomenal. You would be ignorant if you looked over the situation and thought otherwise. In terms of Miller, its blatantly obvious his game is not fueled off statistics. That is what I meant, faggot. His smart and decisions cannot be measured by any stat. He has been endorsed openly by George Karl. He is digressing and soon will be more of a liability than an asset in many ways, but I can not deny that I was wrong when I thought he was worthless.

          • JEDean

            Karl’s system of run and attack the rim promotes injuries. it’s why the sun’s always had injuries, it’s why we always have injuries. half court teams have it easier on their bodies in the reg season. gk want’s to win his way, which has basically never been done before. not just a superstarless team, but an uptempo one at that. give gk this year, if we don’t get past the 1st and go to 6 or 7 games in the 2nd, he’s got to go.

          • Thomas

            Go back to the hole where you came from, turd.

            If you can’t comment intelligently about basketball and resort to offending other posters, you really should seek help.

          • nugswin

            Very nice, respectful response. Way to keep the level of discourse high!

            Ignore Andrew K /mental note

  • Frank

    Well said Johhny D. Love the way this team is put together.

    I think we’ll rival the Suns scoring circa 07-08 this year, in the neighborhood of 110 ppg.

    I like others would rather Andre Miller played only the backup pg minutes and give the backup sg minutes to Fournier/JHam/Brewer. We have a lotta good wings we should be using them not playing a pg at the 2.

    Also, I would really not like to see Koufos starting for us, the Lakers series last year turned me off to him. I much prefer Mozgov as a backup to McGee.

    Besides those few rotation concerns, I couldn’t be more excited for this season. If nba 2k13 is any indication, this team is going to be quite overwhelming on offense. Crunch time lineup of Lawson, Iggy, Chandler, Gallo, McGee is terrorizing xbox live!

  • slugdugg

    The problem is that GK’s system is “dumb”. Meaning the drive and dish game works well, but it doesn’t adapt well to game changes. The frenetic pace of the drive and dish and 1:1 play is successful, but there are times when the “system” needs to adapt and doesn’t. The Nuggets dont exploit matchups well… the system doesn’t promote it. If you are Ty Lawson and you end up on the perimeter with a big on you then great, you have a matchup you can exploit… but the problem is that GKs system doesnt focus on creating that scenario, thus every big just slips screens rather than picking the defender down into the paint so that Ty has a mismatch and the Nuggets big has a mouse in the house. It is maddening.

    Not only that but the system doesn’t promote getting the ball to hot players. How many times do teams keep running the same play over and over until we prove we can stop it. David Lee just did it in the Warriors game. He didn’t *really* have a very good game… but he scored 8 points on back to back to back possessions where they felt like they had Manimal on his heals so they just kept going to it. The Nuggets never do this.

    The “dumbness” of the system is what kills us in the playoffs, when so much game-planning goes into every matchup. Not only does the pace slow down (which is a killer for us) but because the system doesn’t make adjustments easily I think it’s hard for us to win many series.

    GK may be a great coach for the regular season, but I for one feel like we are selling our souls to the devil – the system that works for the season falls apart in the playoffs.

  • parkhill

    Although I gave Karl the benefit of the doubt in my original comment, I can no longer after all the Karlites came to his defense.

    First off, if you think running Ty, Iggy and Gallo over 30 minutes in a preseason game is not trying to win or all about tweaking lineups than your a Karlite.

    Scotty Brooks does preseason right, they beat us with the second string and gave valuable minutes to players they may need to call on later. Exactly what we’d like to see for J-Ham and Randolph.

    If you can’t run more than ten guys in a preseason game, how can you do it during the playoffs. Hence, Karl is a great “regular” season coach. His inability to run the majority of his team is an issue he even admits to. I saw this with the 09 team that had Balkman. Bird got all of the minutes and Balkman was as instrumental to that team regarding hustle and defense as Bird and Dante Jones was.

    Its happening all over again with Gallo and likely AI. Brewer, J-Ham, Chandler and Randolph will not get the run needed for us to even execute our own style of play.

  • JetLife82

    I would like to see Brewer start at SG with Koufos and Mozgov at the PF and C positions. For the next preseason game that is… And I also think Karl should play Quincy some minutes and give a bit more run to Uzoh and Carter who have actually played alright so far. It’s only preseason so might as well experiment.

  • Evan Woodruff

    I’m going to stop coming to this site if every comment discussion turns into a Karl hate-fest.

    • parkhill

      Its not about hate, its about reality.

  • Tom

    The anti-Karl stuff amuses me. It’s like people think the Nuggets should beat OKC in their house, nevermind the fact that their top 8 are hands-down better than Denver’s top 8. Sure, Denver’s 9-15 players are better than every other team’s 9-15 players, but so what? GK is obviously a terrible coach because he can’t win it all with a bunch of no-name scrubs? The Karl haters crack me up *smh*.

    • JEDean

      what are you talking about dude? a bunch of no name scrubs? he played iggy, lawson, gallo, faried, mcgee, koufus, brewer, basically our whole rotation. the look up GK’s regular season record then look up his playoff record.

  • Mark from Charlotte

    Nugget fans think positive,they have a good team. They will have a good season this year.This team can make the western conference finals this year.

  • OriginalJakeSauce

    Quincy Miller and his lack of minutes bothers me. Not seeing multiple 7 footers on the deck at the same time scares me. I do see GK as a top 5-10 coach in this league, but I hate how he hates young players. He is so loose with a green light for guys like Gallo and Andre24, and so tight on guys that need to build confidence that it shoots us in the foot. I’ve watched him draw up lots of very clever schemes, and I’ve heard him saying the right things to obstinant players. I think the injuries killed us last year. This year if we can find homecourt for one or two series, I think we have enough to beat anyone in 7 games. But I think GK is gonna have to tighten up on Chandler and Gallo, and let loose on a few of the young guns to get there. Anthony Randolph’s blocks and his smooth jumper might have been better served on the floor against the thunder… he’s just one of the dudes who needs some extra leash. George has shown the ability to work deep teams to high performance, but I don’t think he’s had a squad as deep in similar strengths as this one, nor do I remember him having a team so deep in 7’ers. If we don’t make the second round this year, we will have a new coach next year.

  • Z

    Simple the Nuggets have to choose who goes and who stays
    A.I. or Gallo or Chandler 2 of the 3 has to be traded
    1 of the Centers has to be traded Moz,McGee or Koufus
    or its time for GK to go

    • nugswin

      Why is this true? Have you not been following the Denver plan? The idea is to have top 10 players at all positions and their backups. The Iggy, Gallo, Chandler combo is a laudable effort to live up to that standard. So is the Moz, KK, McGee, Randolph group. We don’t have to trade anybody.

  • nugswin

    The whole minutes arguments in this thread crack me up. Almost every coach plays top rotation guys starters minutes at least once before the season starts. But it’s not always in the same game and doesn’t necessarily happen when the other coach chooses to do the same for some of his guys, so it can look weird.

    We don’t know what the plan is internally. Wait until the regular season to start making definitive, blanket statements about personnel decisions etc.

  • Joe m

    If you want to bash GK go and root for someone like the Lakers.

    • Ryan

      Yeah, if you don’t blindly love your coach who hates young players, lets veteran slugs like Miller play with no effort or intensity whatsoever on defense, repeatedly fails in the playoffs, and can’t make in-game adjustments, you’re not a true Nuggets fan!!!!

      What’s wrong with you man?

  • SmokinNugs

    It’s preseason folks, lets all just settle down. Perhaps we can withhold the observations until the season actually begins? Almost seems silly to point out we’re 3-1 in all this angst! Did we really expect to go undefeated in the preseason? (would we even want to?)

    • Ryan

      3-2. Preseason doesn’t matter though, not concerned at all about W-L record