|Danilo Gallinari, SF 29 MIN | 2-8 FG | 4-4 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 10 PTS | -3
The Clippers’ athletic wings did a good job keeping Gallo outside the lane. The Nuggets looked to get Andre Iguodala going early in this game and Gallo faded into the background a bit. Gallo’s unselfishness and above-average effort on defense are much appreciated, but he needs to be much more aggressive looking to score. As a scorer he looks ready to go, the Nuggets offense just hasn’t been able to establish any sort of flow.
|Kenneth Faried, SF 29 MIN | 3-6 FG | 1-4 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 7 PTS | -11
Bit of a disjointed game for the Manimal, who spent much of the night getting smoked by the supremely athletic Clipper bigs. He looks physically over-matched at times which is why important for the Nuggets to establish their size, which none of Denver’s seven-footers were able to do.
|Kosta Koufos, C 27 MIN | 4-8 FG | 4-6 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | -8
Tallied a double-double and generally showed why he’s the standout big of training camp — Koufos is dependable. His rebounding is steady and Koufos has been active in pick and roll coverages, but he does a poor job protecting the rim defensively. The effort is good but he must be more physical and forceful with his play.
|Ty Lawson, PG 26 MIN | 2-7 FG | 5-6 FT | 1 REB | 5 AST | 10 PTS | +1
He’s trying to run pick and roll offense, but you really wish Lawson would just go get to his spots and attack like Chris Paul does. Ty has yet to wow anyone in the preseason but he’s doing fine as a starting PG as the Nuggets struggle to figure out a good rotation.
|Andre Iguodala, SG 32 MIN | 4-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 7 AST | 11 PTS | +3
He had his shot going early and initiated a lot of quick, Nuggets-style offense. Defensively he was clearly frustrated by the Nuggets’ lack of communication against the pick and roll. Iguodala did what he could on Chris Paul while the Nuggets’ overall team defense continues to take steps backward.
|Corey Brewer, SF 25 MIN | 6-15 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 15 PTS | -10
Led the Nuggets in scoring again despite never really aiming for it. Brew was inefficient this game and a little too trigger-happy towards the end. Corey continues to be one of the few Nuggets who look comfortable in a role.
|Timofey Mozgov, C 6 MIN | 0-4 FG | 4-6 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -7
The Nuggets seem committed to playing Mozgov despite the fact Koufos has earned the starting nod and Anthony Randolph has looked pretty good. Mozgov continues to play in a weird, tacked-on spot in the rotation and has yet to establish himself on either end. It’s unclear if he’s a normal third center or still in the mix for regular center minutes.
|JaVale McGee, C 20 MIN | 6-9 FG | 1-6 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 13 PTS | -3
He finally produced, but JaVale looked soft and timid next to the wildly aggressive DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin. He needs to be more physical and provide a constant defensive presence at the rim. McGee was on and off in this contest but perhaps proved he’s finally getting comfortable with a bigger role.
|Andre Miller, PG 25 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 6 AST | 6 PTS | -17
Well, he doesn’t look to be in the best shape which we could have expected. Miller was able to produce efficiently and get up and down the floor without any issues. Miller will have to work his way into form during the season but he at least looks ready to start playing regular minutes.
|Jordan Hamilton, SG 8 MIN | 0-1 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -13
A mixed bag. He was a late addition to the rotation and wasn’t able to settle in. Hamilton looked out of control on a few drives but hasn’t necessarily had a meaningful role off the bench since the early preseason.
|Evan Fournier, SG 14 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | +8
Fournier saw a lot of minutes as the Clippers blew the game open and he showed some promising skills. He was active cutting and moving the ball quickly within the offense. Evan needs to be a lot more steady on defense but he’s a good fit next to Miller and Iguodala, where Fournier saw a lot of his minutes tonight.
Three Things We Saw
- The Nuggets bigs were soft at the rim and generally run right over by the Los Angeles Clippers. Both Koufos and Mozgov were disappointing in terms of stopping penetration or protecting the rim. JaVale McGee was marginally better but as a whole, the Nuggets bigs were the weakest point in Denver’s poor defensive performance.
- Karl has said he would like to start coaching games with urgency like regular season contests, but injuries have gotten in the way. Without Wilson Chandler, Karl seems reluctant to put Hamilton in a scoring role off the bench early. Karl also continues to look at Mozgov and Fournier without being able to decide what to do with them. Essentially, there’s still a lot up for grabs in the opening night rotation.
- Wilson Chandler had dental work but could be available to play in tomorrow’s game at Phoenix. Denver’s rotation will have a vastly different look if he’s presumably healthy and ready to play this season. Incorporating Chandler even into limited minutes with JaVale and Andre Miller off the bench is paramount to getting a sensible rotation going.