Recap: Philadelphia 76ers 84, Denver Nuggets 75

For the second game in a row our Rapid Reaction generator isn’t working for me. One of our writers might be able to get something up later, but in the meantime, here are some of the key things I noticed in the Nuggets season-opening loss to the Sixers…

— For as much grief as he gets, Ty Lawson sure finds a way to come through more often than not. During the first half, people were hitting me up on Twitter asking where he was and why he was playing so bad, yet he was the only Nugget who finished with more than 15 points. He also had five rebounds, seven assists and two steals. Ty did his job. It was the rest of the team that went AWOL.

— My old soccer coach used to always say, “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.” This phrase was exemplified by the Nuggets on Wednesday night. After a lackluster preseason wrought with turnovers and sloppy offense, it appeared the Nuggets thought they could just show up and win because of how talented they are. Well, in the NBA — and in any sport at any level — you will quickly realize just how erroneous this notion is once the clock starts ticking. The Nuggets got out-hustled most of the contest and while they were busy getting back into the flow of the NBA game, Philadelphia was already prepared before the it even started. This simple lack of preparation, execution and focus was the primary reason the Nuggets lost their season opener.

— If you want to point to another big reason why the Nuggets lost, look no further than Philadelphia’s stifling defense and cerebral gameplan. Coach Doug Collins simply outsmarted George Karl and the Nuggets for much of the game. Philly controlled the pace, played better defense and won nearly every single timeout, even when George Karl was the one who called it. Collins knew the Nuggets were only playing with one big man at a time. He knew the Nuggets wanted to attack the paint. And he knew that without Gallinari the Nuggets really didn’t have a 3-point threat on the floor for most of the game. So what did Collins do? He clogged the paint. And it worked like magic. I cannot tell you how many possessions the Nuggets had where Philadelphia simply contracted into the paint, which resulted in the Nuggets taking horrible shots, turning the ball over and being completely dumbfounded in general.

— My last big gripe of this game was the rotations. What the hell were those? Guys were moving in and out of the lineup so often, if you looked away you might have missed a substitution. I understand that in the early parts of the season you’re going to be experimenting with different rotations, but you have to have some kind of a foundation to start from. As much as I like Koufos, should he really have been playing 30 minutes, especially when Faried only saw 17? Why even start Jordan Hamilton if he’s only going to play 13 minutes the entire game, especially given how well he played throughout the preseason? But most importantly: How the hell does Fournier finish the game when he didn’t even see a minute of action before the fourth quarter??? This is a rookie we’re talking about! Remember — Karl HATES rookies! But now Fournier, of all people, is changing Karl’s entire disposition regarding his disdain for first-year players that he’s manifested his entire career? Sure, Fournier had a few good plays when he came in, but he also turned the ball over twice, got his shot blocked and missed a 3-pointer all in the final three minutes of the game! Karl was clearly using this contest as a template to mess with lineups, which should have been done in the preseason! Pretty inexcusable if you ask me.

Other things I noticed:

— Philly’s defense won this game — not the fact that the Nuggets couldn’t score; however, if Denver would have been able to match the Sixers’ effort on the defensive side of the ball, we would have had a totally different game as Philadelphia isn’t the most potent offensive team in the league either.

— Why can’t Koufos and McGee play together? I swear, Karl has something against big lineups. Without Bynum the Nuggets should have capitalized on Philly’s small lineup with Spencer Hawes being the only big body down low. Instead, the man with the mullet torched the Nuggets, and was perhaps the best player on either team Wednesday night.

— McGee’s paint presence cannot be overlooked. Yes, he makes the occasional bonehead play. Who doesn’t? He is nowhere near the player he was in Washington which is why I still don’t understand how his role is being limited. When he’s in the game, people think twice about entering the paint. His intimidation alone is worth 20 minutes per game.

— Lawson doesn’t need to be a scorer; he just needs to be aggressive. There’s a huge difference. In order for Lawson to take that next step, he needs to have a healthy combination of assertiveness and visionary passing skills. Lawson gets his assists, but it’s rare that he makes a Rondo-like pass. Moving forward it’s vital that he works on his distribution skills just as much as his penetration skills. If he combines the two, he’ll become a force to be reckoned with.

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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.

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  • Bob

    Despite everything that went wrong as you mentioned. The nuggets could have won the game if the refs simply called the game fairly. Nuggets had double the points in the paint, yet ended up taking half as many free throws. I don’t know what deal collins had with the refs, but they pushed and slapped and did whatever they wanted when we got inside and nothing was called. On the other hand ticky tacks and jumping into our guys was called on the other end.

    • ryanvdonk

      hawes got away with two goal tends as well, that one at the end of the third, and also another that hit the glass before he got to it.

      our spacing needs to be better on offense, even if we’re more free flow than most teams, there has to be room for ty and iggy to drive and see where the defense is collapsing from. not only will better spacing lead to more shots in the paint, it will also be easier for them to find wide open shooters on the perimeter.

    • asdqqq

      Salvatorre is far and away the most home biased ref in the league. So no surprise that the 76ers got some home cooking in this one.

    • Eddie

      Somewhere there is a barn with a broadside that stands unhit.

  • Legalize Denver Nuggets

    The 76s just had a better game plan and out worked us. Props to them- they could be pretty good this year. Being ever the optimist, here are a couple positives I took away from the game: 1. Although Igudola had a bad night overall, there were times where we could see his defensive impact. 2. Only God knows why GK threw in Fornier in crunch time, but that’s not Evan’s fault. He showed some nifty moves and some good awareness. Turn overs were killing us all night though, and I don’t have any inkling as to why GK thought Evan would do better than the starters against a 76s defense. 3. I’m not as big of a fan of Hamilton as many on this blog, but he is winning me over with his rebounding.

    I also just need to groan about how I thought the Nugs should have gotten to the line quite a bit more. Nobody really stepped it up (except arguable Ty, although I would have liked to see him get going earlier (There were many times when I groaned when Ty passed instead of shot. He is the most efficient scorer we have, esp with Gallo out)). Many of our turn overs and shots that got blocked came when our players were reluctant to take a shot and passed the ball to damn much. I think we need more refined offensive sets and rotations to get more of a pecking order among our players. I’m fine with many players sharing the scoring load, it just needs to be established who is going to take shots and when.

    Hope this game is a wake-up call!

    • http://yahoo mile high

      What did McGee did to deserve more playing time? Does somehow cotton-woolling our ingenious GM to overpay him with a big contract means that we need to overplay him too even when he clearly is not contributing positively? Look at his play and look at his plus-minus numbers …

  • Ban Johnson

    1. Andre Miller played 34 minutes. Faried and McGee combined played 35. That’s so George Karl, and it’s unacceptable, both short-term and long-term.

    And what did either Faried or McGee do to deserve the doghouse tonight?? Faried especially was playing his butt off, but then sat almost the entire 2nd half.

    2. Nuggets need Gallinari. It was obvious last season, after he went down with injury, and it’s obvious tonight. His size, shooting threat, ability to draw fouls, and passing somehow calm the whole offense down. +Nuggets just need the extra big-time scorer (in addition to Lawson). Hamilton is not ready to be a starter.

    3. Nuggets need to think about trading a wing, sooner rather than later. On a night without Gallo, Chandler played 20 minutes and Hamilton played 13. (Yes, see #1 again. Way too much Miller at SG. But there’s just not enough minutes to go around, even if Karl didn’t overplay Miller.)

    4. This Nuggets team doesn’t know how to play together yet. So sloppy. 20 turnovers and it seemed like 30. They played hard, tonight, though — that’s not nothing.

    5. Iguodala has to hit some shots.

    6. Karl overplayed Koufos too. 30 minutes… Koufos shouldn’t be a 30 minute guy…at least not when Faried and McGee are rotting on the bench.

    • LBJ

      Yes, 30 minutes is excessive for Koufos. However, McGee was horrible – couldn’t rebound, provided no offense.

      Chandler was a disaster – let’s get him on the block.

      • Young Pep Dash

        He is just coming back from hip surgery. I think you need to give him some time. His defense on stretch 4s could be one thing that is vital this year.

        People need to relax in terms of trades. See how things shake out first. I feel like if we wait a biggish name will come available. Package up two of the wings and say Koufos (whose value will go up) could bring us something pretty good. Patience though

    • http://yahoo mile high

      What did McGee did to deserve more playing time? Does somehow getting our ingenious GM to overpay him with a big contract means that we need to overplay him too even when he clearly is not contributing positively? Look at his play and look at his plus-minus numbers …

    • http://yahoo mile high

      What did McGee do to deserve more playing time? Does somehow getting our ingenious GM to overpay him with a big contract means that we need to overplay him too even when he clearly is not contributing positively? Look at his play and look at his plus-minus numbers …

  • John

    The Nuggets looked terrible tonight…

    The thing that keeps jumping out at me is that there seems to be no offense. I don’t mean that they are incapable of scoring, but they play every game like it is a pick up game at the local 24 Hour Fitness. They just wing it for the most part.

    The D still looks sloppy, and everyone looked slow. Passing and ball handling was at about a High School level, and shooting was pathetic.

    I’ll give Wilson Chandler a pass, since he obviously is still recovering and doesn’t have much lift. Fornier looked OK too, but everyone else gets poor marks in my books.

    There were a few good plays here and there, but for the most part the 76ers controlled the pace and flow of the game.

  • Jeff

    Wilson Chandler needs to get some more tattoos. He doesn’t have nearly enough. Ty Lawson is way too aggressive. Does Andre Iguodala ever pass? What a ball hog. And what’s with Corey Brewer being so out of shape? He makes Lamar Odom look skinny.

    Just kidding.

    I think this team will be alright but all the turnovers and sloppiness in the paint are hard to watch. I dunno if it was good defense or bad spacing but there were so many clustered up sloppy plays where nobody had any idea what was going on. I think they need to establish a bit of a heirarchy of who takes shots. Just a LITTLE heirarchy, because right now everybody is deferring to their teammates.

  • George Karl at it again

    Karl 75% of the time always gets out smarted by the opposing coach but today just wow. Why not go big and dominate the glass. And the one thing that bothered me was brewer playing 27 minutes and Jham, McGee and Faried all playing under 20 minutes. I just don’t get Karl..

    • Ban Johnson

      Karl prefers overachievers to talented guys who don’t have all the fundamentals yet. It’s the sort of player he was in his day, and so that’s how he coaches. It’s why Koufos and Miller played over 30 minutes each and Faried sat the whole 2nd half.

      It is NOT the winning recipe for this Nuggets team. Maybe he’s just not the right coach for this bunch. Time will tell.

      • Thomas

        We’ve seen this script before with Karl and there is absolutely no reason to hope for a different ending, unfortunately.

        Let’s see:
        – Play Andre Miller a lot CHECK
        – Play two-guard a lot CHECK
        – Play small when you have much better bigs CHECK
        – Name Andre Miller – and not Lawson – team captain CHECK
        – Give Faried very few minutes – CHECK
        – Give automatic play time to an European player (a rookie!), guy starts great but stays too long and makes mistakes CHECK
        – Zero minutes for Hamilton in 4th quarter – CHECK
        – Get outcoached once again – CHECK, CHECK, CHECK

        Just one game but the pattern is already there and I have zero hope that GK changes his ways. He is the wrong coach for our current situation – a team trying to take the next big step.

        • Neal

          Last year I was pumped to see what our Nuggets could do. This year, with our pick-up of Iggy and more time together, I should be even more excited but I am not. Why?…GK

          Ban Johnson- How much time do you need? Save for one year, that may have been more of Chauncey’s work, has GK ever changed?

  • Aaron

    McGee Cant Grab The Ball. Koufos Wont Be Agressive, Faried Does Nothing Sense League Took Notice, Gallo is ALWAYS Hurt, Chandler Cant Play Defense Or Shoot, Hamilton Chucks Up More Then Melo, Brewer Cant Dribble To Save His Life, Fournier Never Got a Chance Really at All, Miller Only Tries Against The 76ers, Lawson Only Shows Up When its To Late.

    Sure ALL of Those Players Have Good Things About Them But NONE of Them Showed Those Things Tonight.

    George Karl, He DOESN’T CARE Anymore, Never Calls Timeouts But When He Does, There Worthless Sense We Play Absloutly Awful After Timeouts. Has NO, NADA, ZIP, Energy Either, After The 76ers Called a Timeout He Was Sitting On The Bench! Not Even Saying Anything, Wanna Know Who Was in The Huddle Trying To Help Out? Melvin Hunt, Thank God He Has Energy And Effort Becuase George Karl Doesn’t. lastly He Has NO CLUE About Lineups! in The Preseason He FINALLY Had McGee And Koufos in At The Same Time For 3 And a Half Minutes. We Alowed No Offensive Rebounds And Had 11 Rebounds On Offense And Defense, Never Alowed The Other Team To Get The Ball in The Paint! But Karl WILL NOT Do That For Some Reason, i Dont Know Why Karl Even Wants To Coach Anymore, He Acts Like He’d Rather Go Watch A Movie Or Go Eat Cheesecake Or Anything Other Then Coach.

    Hopfully The 76ers Are a Quietly Stud Team, Also Lets Just Hope We Had A Flukey Offensive Night.

    if im Right About That Last Paragraph, Then Theres NOTHING To Be Worried About! Lets Hope Like CRAZY! That im Right Haha,

    Go Nuggets!!!

  • clive

    Koufos had a better +/- than Faried or McGee. Maybe that’s why Koufos was on the floor longer. That’s why Miller and Brewer got extended PT, and that’s why GK used Fournier.

    I see the logic in GK’s rotation, but it keeps the younger, more talented and athletic players from gaining experience and developing to their fullest potential. and I agree with most of you that GK should’ve used a big lineup. Good coaches work with the players they have.

  • http://Twitter Justin

    Why couldn’t Brewer finish a break away dunk? That Killed us, steal and slams are Momentum changers but every time it felt Brewer lost it or got it stipped. Why Is Chandler Playing PF? He doesn’t have the Strength or Style of a PF. AI seemed to be effected by the boo’s, he was trying to hard to make his own shot. Ty really picked it up in the 4thQ, which was good to see from our $12,000,000 man. Wow that was alot of zeros. Hopefully Karl can wake up and Prepare his team and put us in position to win.

  • GK4Prez

    There is no spacing on offense at all, I don’t know how many times the guy with the ball dribbled into a guy on his own team and clogged up an already clogged paint even more, but it happened a lot. Lawsome even dribbled into Mcgee on a fast break that Mcgee started, it should have ended with a Mcgee flush, but finished with a turnover instead.

    The missed Fournier 3 late in the 4th is on Ty Lawson, Fournier hit Lawson for an open 3 on the elbow, but Lawson passed it up.

    Brewer has to learn how to catch before he can finish, he had several turnovers tonight that should have been easy layups if he would just slow down a tad.

    I am not even going to start on Kazoofus, he is an adequate backup, but he is no starting center, and he never will be one.

    Faried got benched for taking two ill advised shots early in the 3rd quarter and never sniffed the court again. But, Brewer takes them repeatedly and gets rewarded with more minutes. It is a bad double standard, but it is a double standard that Nuggets fans should be accustomed to by now.

    I just want them to somehow wind up at 12-11ish after the first 23 games. If they can do that, they will still be on pace for a 50+ win season. 21-20 on the road, and 31-10 at home gets them to 52, and that is very doable.

    GK always says that the first 20 games are an extension of the preseason, so we should feel fortunate that most of the first 20 games are on the road. That is my optimistic outlook and at the moment it is all that I have.

    Afflalo is going to drop 30 on this team…lol

    • asdqqq

      The biggest thing that stood out to me was the spacing issue. You need 3 shooters out there for proper spacing, and we didn’t have that all night. Iggy needs to be one of those guys, but they were letting him have the 3 pointer and he wasn’t hitting it. Hamilton, Lawson, and Gallo are the only shooters on the team right now. We need Iggy, Brewer, and Fournier to step up. But even if all those guys do, its hard to keep 3 shooters out there when Miller can’t shoot. We really need a big guy who can shoot.

  • Ryan

    GK has always had a love affair with foreigners, even last season he gave significant PT to the dreadful Rudy Fernandez and stuck with Mozgov starting for far too long. That’s why Fournier will be the exception to GK’s “rookies are worthless” mindset. Why he was in the game in the fourth quarter, however, is beyond me.
    One thing that stuck out to me is terrible 3 point defense, an unfortunate carryover from last season. That and, well, they were dominated by Spencer Hawes. SPENCER HAWES!!!!

    • Young Pep Dash

      I think you are right

  • CJP32

    The 76ers just were ready and we were not. Its early so plenty of time to sort out the kinks.

    I think GK starting JHam was a mistake, Chandler would have been the better option (defensively), with Brewer playing 20-24 bench minutes.

    Andre Miller took 15 shots – thats not gonna win us games, plus he played too many minutes. Iggy needs to find ways to score, 5/13 FGs with just 3 FTAs isn’t gonna cut it.

    Ty needs to be aggressive from the first jump ball, not the 4th qtr.

    Kosta had to play 30 mins because McGee was rubbish, same as Brewer playing 27 mins, Chandler/JHam were ordinary. Brewer had 5 TOs but he is hitting threes at least, and grabbed 6 rebs.

    Not sure why Faried only played 17 mins? But the 3 guard lineup was on way too long, but we did have 7 players with 5 rebs or more which is positive.

    Fournier was the only player in the positive with a 5+, Brewer/Dre/KK each with a 0. Iggy was -19.

    I can guarantee that Wilson will miss the Orlando game, and suit up for Miami, so lets pray that Gallo is up to it and ready to go, we missed his versatility and scoring.

    • Ryan

      That’s the problem with a coach who thinks the first 20 games of the season are an extension of the preseason. Other teams don’t think that way, they realize that all wins count the same in the standings. That’s why we never get a top-4 seed. The 76ers being ready to play and the Nuggets acting like it’s the first pre-season game just exemplifies this. Rotations should be set, not in stone, but generally decided upon. There were just a bunch of mix and match lineups that made no sense strategically. Doug Collins took GK to the wood shed in this one

  • GK4Prez

    Jham played 13 minutes to Brew’s 27, Jham shot a better percentage, grabbed the same amount of boards, and had 2 more dimes in half the playing time. Jham isn’t the defender that Brew is, but he won’t get better riding the pine.

    I know GK cannot be happy with the team only getting to the line 11 times for the game, he likes to get to the line around 30 times per game. It is only one game, and even though it sucked, I am going to give the team a good 10 games before I start to lose it…lol

  • Roundball Bill

    The Nuggets offense was absolutely shut down by Philly’s defense. I hope they are embarrassed enough by their performance tonight that they will put in the effort to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

  • rog

    This game is why the Nuggets can’t get passed the 1st round of the playoffs, no half court offense. If the oppossing team clogs the paint we have no answer. There are no leaders! Nobody will step up and shoot so there’s too much passing and lots of turnovers.
    Did nobody see this in the pre-season games? The game was over before it started.

  • Young Pep Dash

    The rotations concerned me greatly.

    How can you just start Hamilton then not bring him back later in halves??

    How can you just stop playing Faried in a gritty game???? 17 minutes????

    How can you play a rookie just in the closing minutes and thats all???

    How can you continue to play large periods of 2 PGs where miller is ball dominant and lawson is just sitting in the corner???

    How can you play Koufos for 30 minutes when he was getting crushed by Spencer Hawes??

    And If I could say one thing to the Nuggets players…KEEP YOUR HANDS UP; EXPECT A PASS! So many times we would get into the lane and pass to brick hands and it wasn’t just the bigs.

    I also love Chandler’s defense and when he drives to the bucket but can he stop shooting the pullup! He is so athletic and silky, just keep driving Wilson!

    And Brewer…CALM DOWN A LITTLE! He kept running into traffic and throwing the ball away.

    I don’t want to overreact too much from one game, but the rotations are deplorable. I think Karl is a great coach but shouldn’t allowed to be in charge of rotations.

    • Aaron

      i Agree With Everything Yuhh Said, Exepet The Part About Hawes Crushing Koufos. Hawes Got 14 Points And 8 Rebounds? Koufos Had 8 Points And 6 Rebounds, Yeah Hawes Played Better But He Didn’t Have To Go Help Out His Teammates 24/7 Becuase They Couldn’t Stay in Front Of There Own Man!

      Everything Else Tho is 110% True Man,

      • Neal

        GK is not a great coach

  • Young Pep Dash

    McGee and Faried didn’t look great out there but not bad enough to be put in the dog house

    McGee – 4 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks in 18 mins

    Faried – 6 points, 7 rebounds in 17 minutes

    Then you look at Koufos – 6 points, 9 rebounds, 1 block in 30 minutes

    All got killed on D at times but I hardly see how Koufos deserved significantly more minutes.

    I’m really sick of Karl’s favoritism towards certain players including Miller.

    • ryanvdonk

      …mcgee seemed overanxious and it led to mistakes, but his effort is definitely there, just needs a little more control…even with that he was a huge factor in the paint on defense, makes other teams settle for jumpers or off balance attempts. from watching mcgee his still trying to figure out how to apply what he learned. a big thing would be a reminder to calm down, pay attention of positioning on offense, and don’t be afraid to throw it out and get a better spot. on defense, it’s pretty same, a focus on positioning would make rebounding even easier for him. while he does still make a lot of huge swats at some shot that he has no chance, he’s gotten better at staying grounded on fakes…can we hire the dream for the season?

    • charliemyboy

      What do you think? Koufos guarded their big guy; McGee couldn’t. Same with Faried. These bigs need serious defensive foot work training.

      • Ryan

        “Guarding” might be generous. Hawes was the best player on either team last night, not sure how effective Koufos was on defense

        • ryanvdonk

          neither did much one on one.

  • Chris

    This team is in trouble. Clearly Lawson can’t lead. Holliday is a horrible guard not even worth the Sixers trying to give him an extension clearly outplayed him handily. Lawson couldn’t guard him even if he was his shadow. Lawson was completely useless the whole game. Contributed nothing until the Sixers let up.
    This team has no leadership, Miller has always been below average at best, I mean I know you can’t shoot long range but really an airball from 15 feet. Pathetic

    Everyone says calm down its only one game, clearly is someone who has not watched more than one game this year. Whole preseason played like this. Karl has no idea how to rotate players. Tell me who is the go to Scorer on the floor when Miller, Hamilton, Brewer, Chandler, McGee is on the floor? And you wonder why they only scored 75 points. How about this lineup : Lawson, Miller, Brewer, Fournier, and Koufos??? Really Faried, Randolph, even McGee would have been better choices. Karl is such a horrible coach.

    • Herman VanNess

      Holiday is not horrible. Actually a decent young PG that did get extended 4 yrs, 41mil.

      As for the Nuggets. They looked horrible. The offense looked like a bad pick up game. Ridiculously poor spacing, over passing, over dribbling, absolutely no semblance of an offense. They looked much better with the shortened training camp last year. After watching the Celtics vs Heat game Tuesday, this game looked like a different sport.

      It’s WAY too early but, my friends in Philly described Iguodala’s game exactly the way he played in this game. Poor shooter that refuses to use his athleticism to get to the bucket and draw contact to get to the free throw line.

      Again, WAY too early but, Portland and Utah don’t look shabby. Anyone thinking the Nuggets are assured top 2 in the Northwest may want to reconsider.

  • Chris

    Clearly everyone has over valued the Nuggets no leadership, no shooting (please Gallo cant shoot), no defense, no half court offense. Same old Karl Nuggets vastly over rated

  • Josh

    Don’t understand why the Nuggs never picked up a shooter this off season. Gallo and Hamilton are the best shooters on this team. I’d like to see Randolph be an athletic stretch 4. And why was Fournier playing? I understand he made some nice buckets but I’m surprised Karl put a rookie in our opener who wasn’t a lottery.

  • Evan Woodruff

    I feel like you should remind us that this is only the first game. you often brought us down to real when we over estimated the nuggets, but you need to bring us up as well because personally, I’m so pissed about this loss. they looked horrible horrible horrible. I part of me wants to give up on the nuggets all ready and the entire nba. The other part is accepting the fact that I’m just gunna have to be a fan of a crappy team.

    Remind me it’s not this bad. please.

    • Aaron

      its Not That Bad…We’ll Make it To The Playoffs Atleast, But Obviously Loose in The First Round..

  • Josh

    George Karl has to have some secret plan because he’s been a coach for so long. How is it that every fan can criticize his line ups and minutes but he still has a head coach job? Yes it is frustrating when we don’t see Koufus and Mcgee on at the same time. Or when Faried gets limited minutes and miller gets too many. Or when he refuses to put a better player in the starting line up so he doesn’t mess the flow of the second unit. Heck, even that he doesn’t seem to create great offensive plays. But Karl continually gets a team into the playoffs. It can be argued that he has been blessed with talent. But it really does seem like he doesn’t coach to Nuggets to their potential

  • JD

    all of you are too rash. this is the first game on the road. get over the fact that we lost our first game on the road. the 76ers are a good team and played well but let’s be honest. we shot horribly tonight. iggy won’t be that awful every game and ty will be more aggresive. this team needs a few games but we will pick it up quick. you guys are over reacting and will all be singing the nuggs praises come december. karl is not the ideal coach no shit. his playoff record speaks for itself. but still, we are a much better team than we played tonight.

  • Delano O Hara

    Guys it’s the first game of the season on the road…
    I’ve never seen us be that bad offensively or miss that many open threes since… That says it all we’re going to win in Orlando and if we manage to win against Miami I’ll give the team a pass for this one. 8)
    But never judge a player or coach on a season opener or based on preseason, we still can have an amazing season.
    I think we’ll win more games than the lakers this week so I’m chill.

    But what’s really not working is the switching which leads to poor match ups us not being able to properly protect the paint and at one point somebody always looses his man for an open three pointer, please Karl fix this!

    • Zack

      No one is judging the coach based solely on this game and preseason. Karl has been coaching for a long time, and for years now he has used Andre Miller in way too many minutes as a 2 guard (clearly Dre is a backup PG with spot minutes at the 2 in 2 PG lineups). GK won’t ever get that.

      He likes hustle players like Brewer (who I like) but then doesn’t like hustle players like Faried?? It makes no sense. Faried should certainly be playing in the 25-30 minute range. He should never play less than 24 minutes in my opinion.

      Come on, something has got to give this year. Either Karl needs to get a handle on the rotation or Masai needs to find a different coach.

  • Tommy

    Karl needs to smarten up and use his rotations properly. 30mins for miller is a fail, Karl needs to get over his love for him. Faried and McGee should be getting 25 min at least as well. It is only first game but it’s just a continuation of last year for Karl. We have the team but Karl doesn’t know how to fricken use them

  • johnnyd

    From the comments here and the article itself you would think few of you have ever seen G. Karl coach a game early in the season. I don’t get upset anymore with his bizzarre rotations or strange substitutions the first 8-10 games or how many it takes for him to learn what he is trying to figure out with each and every player. It’s all done with purpose, tonight a couple of things he saw was how JHam reacted to a starter role and how sturdy EFornier ( the only player in the + , a +5 in the +/- stat)would finish int the 4th quarter. There’s plenty more to it than that , I assure you, yea of little faith. GK is a very cerebral coach, he wants to know how each will react to difference situations, who can lead and who must follow. Some things you just can’t learn in the preseason, only when the real bullets are flying do you have any chance to get real information on the mental makeup of your players.

    With such high expectations for this Nuggets team I expected there would be some bumps in the road early in the season. The players who have been here have always gone into the games as underdogs. Maybe it is best that they perofrmed poorly the first game of the season, a change of mind set is in order. They have gone from a team that nobody expects much out of to a team expected to be very good. Teams will be gunning for them and they have to have the mind set to compliment that. When that change happens, not only will they be a mentally stronger team in the regular season than the Nuggets team with the underdog mentality, they will be mentally stronger for that deep playoff run we have all been waiting for. I’m not going to try and predict how many games it will take before we see these Nuggets perform as advertised. As I’ve stated before, it’s a matter of time. As a fan, it’s difficult to be patient but chastising the coach and players for losing the first game of the season is rediculous. The future is bright for this team. It’s going to be a great season to be a fan of the Denver Nuggets.

    • Ban Johnson

      If the point is to see how guys will respond in certain situations, why play Andre Miller 34 minutes? If there’s a known quantity on this roster, it’s certainly him.

      I’m sure some of what you’re saying is true, but sitting Faried the whole 2nd half doesn’t make a whole lot of sense under your theory either.

      It should be a hugely entertaining season. I’m with you there. But this team goes as far in the next few years as its best (and, yeah, highest-priced) talent takes it…Miller, Fournier, and Koufos aren’t the best talent.

      • johnnyd

        How they gonna find out who play well with Andre Miller if he’s not on the court?

    • Herman VanNess

      I don’t believe George Karl is a very cerebral coach at all. None of the top tier coaches fear a George Karl coached team. Period. If Karl were a football coach he’d be Andy Reid. A good coach but, not to be confused with Bill Belichick. I think Karl’s biggest problem is HE believes he is a cerebral coach. He thinks he’s way smarter than he is.

  • Louie

    Hey I’m a Sixers fan, but I’m shocked at the hate coach Karl is taking. I’d rather have him than doug any day of the week.

    The reason he didn’t play both big man at the same time is because the Sixers would have picked up the pace and hit three’s like nothing else. Also, Mcgee doesn’t play a lot of minutes because he’s an idiot. Karl is right to not give him minutes unless he wises up. Miller usually burns the Sixers, hence the large amount of minutes. If I were you, I would appreciate the coach you have. Doug is the type of coach who doesn’t discipline players he likes and crowding the bench with starters who are bound to complain.

    • Zack

      I agree with you about the 2 big lineup to a certain extent. It’s tough to play 2 seven footers (unless one is Pau Gasol) against a team that’s going to play small.

      McGee makes some mistakes, but he is infinitely more talented than Kufous. While I love KK, McGee should be playing more than 17 or 18 minutes in a game.

      Andre Miller should not be playing over 30 minutes per game. Period. I HATE the 2 PG lineup that gets used too often. Every once in awhile is fine, but GK loves it way too much.

  • slugdugg

    I am not a GK fan. But I think the players are at fault in this one. I would have put Faried and McGee on the bench for the entire second half as well… and I would have put Ty there too. I dont care that in the end he had the highest scoring on the Nuggets side… he didnt push the pace and he didnt get his teammates involved. He was horrible.

    • Zack

      So you would put arguably the best 3 players on the team (Lawson, Faried, McGee) for the entire second half? That’s why you are not an NBA coach.

      Karl screwed up only playing Faried as little as he did. Faried needs a good 25 minutes of his energy style play.

      But yes the players need to play better, period.

      • Zack

        When I said “arguably the best 3 players”, obviously I meant 3 of the 4 best (including Iguodala, with Gallo being injured).

        • slugdugg

          My point was, why leave a guy like Faried in the game when he was playing so poorly? If we have a deep bench and our starters aren’t playing well, give someone else a chance to go off. I think it should send a message to guys like Faried and McGee as well… the message that they need to focus on doing what the team needs from them. Their liability on defense was the major issue.

          • Kane

            How was Faried playing poorly? His first Q was quiet, but in the second he got on a roll with 3 stuffs, an offensive board and a few on the defensive end.

            He is the kind of player that can swing the momentum of a game quickly, the kind of guy that gives our team second looks.. and with the way we were shooting, we sure as hell need them

  • park hill

    McGee is spectating too much, he needs to hustle and be involved in every rebound. Pure hustle will limit his thought process.

    Chandler is soft, I know he may be still sore but its hard to continually root for him. It’s like the Gallo hype takes his confidence instead of providing motivation.

    Iggy started well and flat out disappeared. I’m confused by his lack of heart, he didn’t look like an Olympian or someone pleased with his new team.

    Amazing how Gallo is hurt and things go to hell. Hate to say it but that is what white hype will do to a team. At least we had another Euro come in and try to save the day.

    Not sure what Fareed did to get the ax. He was too amped but for him to sit out the second half is frustrating. I think Karl has an issue with dreads. See Balkman.

    Anthony Randolph might as well grow dreads. He can score, rebound and defend. Mozy is out and he gets no run?

    Ty can’t wait until the fourth, he needs to develop that Chauncey Billups game barometer. Fouls didn’t help and Jrue is a solid quick defender.

    I think Karl would be on cloud nine coaching in Europe, just a thought. This Iggy trade may signal a split with him and Masai. He knows this is a long year and still seemed to be in preseason mode.

    With this early schedule they could be in a serious hole. The WC is better than it has been in years. Hunker down for a possibly tough year gents.

  • Trevor

    I felt sorry for Iguodala

  • EMF

    Tough, tough game to watch. The lack of cohesion and glue players is obvious. We will not have too many terrible offensive showings like we did tonight, but it was disheartening to see such poor play from a talented team. Chandler, Miller, Mcgee were all very poor. I’m on the fence with the GK battering; I didn’t like what I saw, but then again, so many Nugs players were playing awful basketball last night that he put out a lineup at the end that he thought would atleast try to play smart, focused, and aggressive.

  • Ryan

    Off-topic, but if Chandler doesn’t show some signs of life in the first few months this season, we may be stuck with a bad contract. He looked dreadful, but hopefully he’s just rusty.
    GK getting outcoached is like the sun rising in the east, it always happens, Nuggets just have to overcome his incompetence

  • Z

    Chandler’s on a min count not fully healthy
    A.I. didnt play well and once again Gallo the savior is out Ty turned it on late but the sixers shot great from 3 all in all its 1 game

  • Z

    GK has had talent cant be the players every year he’s the only person still in Denver!!! Melo/NeNe/Swish/A.I. the real A.I. Billups and only 1 conf Finals!!!! major talent i see whats going on in Denver and with this blog

  • Z

    Make a Trade!!! Package Chandler and Miller and Kufus and make a run at P. Gasol of the Lakers

  • al68

    I see a team that does not know what plays are not sought in attack advantage first come to play a 1×1 that usually ends in turnover.
    Karl’s face is a poem I think you realize you have a lot of players with very low IQ Mcgee Chandler Brewer, and that’s a problem why try to put some sanity taking longer to KK and Miller are players serious know staying in the countryside.
    I was very surprised to see Fournier in the fourth quarter but did very well and showed a lot more basketball to know that players like Faried Mcgee Hamilton all with many more to my athletic abilities and worst players.
    I do not know what you see in some very bad Iggy attacker in the 5 on 5, and far to gain advantage in the 1×1.
    I want to change much because for me the worst of a bad game like yesterday is the face of disappointment of GK in the 1st season game.
    We need much more condinacion in defense and move the ball more on offense, but we need a player who can read the game better than Lawson.
    This year we launched still 3 points worse than last year and so it is very easy to defend.
    Tomorrow is another day and see if we beat Orlando.
    Used google traslate.

    • dynamo.joe

      I don’t know if you meant to say “George Karl’s face is a poem,” but if you did, I love it.

      • blue

        He used google translate, so I don’t think he meant it.

        • al68

          “tu cara es un poema”.-is a saying in Spanish that means that fully represent the face disappointment and frustration of the person.

  • Jeremy

    Gasol isn’t the answer, we already have two or three point forward type guys on the team, and if we traded Miller we wouldn’t have a backup pg.

    I will say though, Batman, PLEASE get us a shooter. That was terrible. The same problem everyone and their mother knew we had and we did nothing to address it. If we don’t have good outside shooting, it defeats the whole purpose of our dribble- drive offense, because just like every year for the past 5,000,000… teams will just pack the paint against us and dare us to shoot come playoff time. I know people like C Brew and so do I, but he has the least upside of any of our wings, and he pisses me off every time he fumbles the ball off his leg going up to finish. I don’t know what works salary wise, but package him, Moz, and a second rounder to someone for a sniper. JJ Reddick? Where’s Kapono at?

    Anyway, it’s just one game, one terribly awful game, but one thing’s clear: we need a shooter. Now.

    • dynamo.joe

      Mike Dunleavy?

  • James

    To echo Louie and agree with SlugDugg, I’m always amazed by the excessive love for Faried on this board, and the hate for Karl. Faried and McGee were awful last night – Koufus was marginally better, but I totally get why he yanked those guys. Both are insanely athletic, and hustle, but they survive almost entirely on that alone. You have to play smart, too.

    I really do like Faried, but just don’t see where major minutes with him are warranted. He’s an energy, fast-break guy, off the bench. His offensive game is so limited (other than fast break or put-back dunks), that other teams can easily cover him with just about anybody in the half-court offense. He has virtually no shooting touch (witness the horrible jumper and the 4-ft hook that hit only the backboard to start the second half), and makes it easy for other teams to clog the middle, because they don’t have to guard him past about 10 ft. And, big guys (and almost every 4 he plays against is bigger than he is) who are fundamentally sound and willing to work hard against his athleticism can really negate his rebounding. Plus, he is ofter too small to guard opposing 4’s, and his defensive footwork is lacking.

    He’s great on the break, and when the team needs a lift and/or is playing against a lazy/unfocused team, but too many minutes for him will really hurt their offense in a half court game. Ever since his breakout second half last year, I see this blog love (potential all-star, starter, 35 min. per game), and wonder what I am missing. I think we will never be our best with him getting those minutes. Teach McGee the fundamentals and make him rebound, and he’ll get enough to cover for those Faried would get, if they use someone else at the 4 (though I don’t quite yet know who that would be).

    Now, all that said, there are a lot of nights it won’t matter, once they get their offense going. I really think they’s win 52-53 games this year – too much talent not to.

    As for Karl, what, would we win 55 instead of 53 with someone else? I seem to recall Dantley came in a few years back and we barely won anything. Granted, that was a weird circumstance, and Dantley may not be anyone’s answer, but Karl is getting all, or nearly all he can out of these guys on a season-long basis. You know, some nights it’s just the players – they shot abysmally last night, couldn’t hold on to the ball, and played really hard for about half the game. Those nights you lose, and I don’t blame the coach (mostly for the horrible shooting).

    • Jeff

      I have to disagree with your assessment of Faried, sure he’s somewhat limited but he’s not a disaster on offense. He did pretty well on Garnett last year on St Patricks Day, a 7 footer.

  • Mark from Charlotte

    Can someone tell me why Andre Miller is on this team.The man cannot shoot outside, no defensive skills, and cannot run the court. CUT MILLER ASAP. KK IS TERRIBLE. GK needs to play AR15 and Mcgee together.

  • Jeff

    Keep this in mind, I got this quote from the Lakers blog, but it can be applied to the Nuggets as well. “The 2006-07 Dallas Mavericks came out of the gate 0-4, losing their second game by 31 points. When the season was over, they’d logged more regular-season wins than any team since the late-era Bulls dynasty. Health and durability are legitimate concerns for the Lakers, but you can’t declare a roster fatally flawed or a system completely unsalvageable after 96 minutes.”

  • Guy

    This season could get ugly and quickly. The only guaranteed win I see in November is the home game against Detroit. The Nuggets 2 best shooters play for Orlando and they weren’t replaced. The Nuggets offense won’t work without shooters so we either have to develope JHam or make a trade to get one. Philly makes you play ugly basketball so last nights loss wouldn’t be that big of a concern if we didn’t play the same way the last few games of the preseason. We have too many players and not enough minutes. This isn’t a hockey team where you make line changes every 30 seconds, players need minutes to get into the flow of the game. If we keep losing like this all of these players could poison the locker room and doom the season.
    There’s no guarantee that we even make the playoffs if we dig ourselves a huge hole early in the season. It’s very early but this seasons starting to remind me of 1995. Lots of hype with very little to show for it accept a lot of big contracts.

  • Aaron

    Did We Cut Stone?

    • dynamo.joe

      He was there. New haircut tho, so maybe you didn’t recognize him if you saw him. Also, out with a hip injury. Last I heard they were talking about a January return to the lineup.

  • JetLife82

    Here’s my 2 cents if I may. Just some things to think about…

    What about starting the game big, then bringing the more talented unit off the bench to play against the oppositions bench/semi-fatigued starters. However unconventional this may sound I believe it’s worth trying. By “starting big” I’m talking about a starting 5 of Iggy/Fournier, Gallo, Randolph, Koufos and Moz. Then get the speedsters in after 5 or 6 minutes to kill the other team.

    And what’s up with playing small in crunch-time? Moz and Randolph would be good to have on the court in close games, rather than Brewer at PF or whatever we saw against the Sixers. A big body down low and a more skilled big man who can rebound, block shots and defend the stretch 4, so that we do not get buried by above-average scrubs like Spencer Hawes. And it’s not like they’re going to be running the offense anyway..

    Faried and McGee are not looking good at the moment. They still need to earn their minutes; I honestly don’t blame Karl for their lack of PT in this game. I do believe they will get it together soon, maybe they just need nights like this – where they ride the bench for extended periods – as motivation to work harder.

    Anyway the season still has a long way to go, as does the team. Someone is bound to step up as the man. We will see.

  • park hill

    Nice look at the big picture Jeff.

    Jeremy, I’m not sure a sniper who can’t run and defend is worth the mix up. Chandler and Iggy were scared to shoot and J-Ham was sucked into that GK starter with no minutes vortex. We need to play our scorers, and “gasp” run plays for the scorers when things get tough. I’m primarily talking about Randolph, Ty and yes I consider KK and McGee scorers. How difficult is it to run a few plays in grind out games like last night. Miller calls his own # all the time, let’s call a few other #’s.

    All you guys who can’t stand the GK criticism are the same kind of cats who couldn’t stomach Shanahan complaints. You guys think history is made by the man and not the people. How many years do we have to hear about the depth of this squad that gets no where?

    This year is different though, I’m realizing this team is no more deep or talented than Utah or many teams. Definitely not as deep as the likes of the Clippers. Karl will earn his money this year. I wish him the best, and hope his health stays good more than anything. He seems to be more laid back than usual, maybe its all for the best this early on–in more ways than one.

  • Henry

    League Pass viewing last night revealed our Nuggets to be among the least prepared to start the regular season. I was shocked at the contrast between Denver and most of the rest of the teams I watched, and that includes plenty of last night’s losers.

    Even my girlfriend, who is not an astute critic of the game (nothing to do with gender, just the way it is), remarked unprompted that the Nuggets looked like a team that could easily miss the playoffs. She was comparing them to Clippers, Grizzlies, Blazers, Lakers (yeah, ugly), Bulls, Kings, Rockets, Pistons, Pacers and Raptors.

    Add the good teams who we didn’t see last night, and we’re in some trouble. Nuggets had neither the team play nor the individual horses to stay with the new-look, Bynum-less Sixers. Sure, we were missing Gallo, but come the fuck on, that was just plain terrible.

    I was hoping to reserve judgment on Karl and his bizarre rotations, not to mention the strange approach to (not) scoring the ball in the half-court, for at least 15 games. But this travesty last night destroyed my resolve.

    Please blow it up. Fire Karl and make a trade or two to get some seasoned, athletic players who can compete in the NBA when the going gets rough, which it will in most every game. Yes, this paragraph is a joke, since no such thing will happen. We’re stuck with Karl until he retires, and it cannot come one millisecond too soon.

  • Hitzy

    Have fun with Iguodala’s missed shots Denver.

  • asdqqq

    On the plus side, the Nuggets are third in the league in defensive efficiency!

    • GK4Prez

      Flip that coin over and they come up tails in offensive efficiency….lol

  • Evan Woodruff

    Nuggets played good defense. Their shot wasn’t falling. Philly was able to pack the paint. Since their shot didn’t fall the were able to pack the paint. If the shots fell then that would open up the paint, as well as getting the points from the shots falling obv.

    Wait till they hit their shots, AND they hold teams to 85 pts.

  • Mark from Charlotte

    The Nuggets need to trade/cut Miller and KK ASAP.

    • ThomasDenverFan

      for who? who exactly
      could we possibly get for those two

  • matthewam

    ALL don’t worry this team is bound to have some bumps early on. Although I agree Mcgee should play more he needs the game and coaching for his development. This team is scary to all others trust me but remember the trade left us with a new roster and team chemistry doesn’t come right away. Although i will guarantee that our chemistry comes before the Lakers we have a young core and honestly added to it get ready for Orlando it will be a different team go Nuggets !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh and we will beat the heat despite there supposed glory team!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ENK

    wtf is goin on with the nuggets? why do they look so dreadful they were supposed to be better than ever. its like they knew they were supposed to be good so they dont actually work and grind it out in the games untill the end when they realize theyre gonna lose. its not just gonna just happen they gotta make it happen. mcgee looks like garbage, and this is coming from some one who has a lot of hope in the kid. i just watched the magic game and all i can say is, we better get better otherwise i cant see this team even making the playoffs with the way theyre currently lazing along.