The Nuggets have started their 3-game road trip with frustrating losses to Utah and Golden State in which they failed to close out games they had led by 15 or more points. The final leg of the trip doesn’t get any easier as they wind it up in Los Angeles to meet the Lakers for the first time since being eliminated in game seven of the first round of the playoffs last May. While much of the recent news regarding the Lakers has revolved around their struggles with injuries, chemistry and coaching, they remain a dangerous team loaded with All-Star talent.
To get a better informed insight about what to expect from the Lakers, Roundball Mining Company has exchanged questions and answers with Andy Kamenetzky (follow the Kamenetzky Brothers here on twitter) of the ESPN Los Angeles Lakers Index. If you’d like to see my replies to Andy’s questions, you can read them here. And without further ado, the following are his answers to our questions about the Lakers.
1. Nobody would have predicted, even taking Steve Nash’s injury into acount, that after acquiring Dwight Howard the Lakers would have a losing record 15 games into the season. Is this slow start something that will shake itself out after they adjust to Mike D’Antoni’s system, or do the problems run deeper than that?
Andy Kamenetzky: A little of both, I think. There’s no question the Lakers have flaws. The starting five is out of a video game, but is collectively old and in the case of Nash and Howard, dealing with the effects of recent injuries. The bench hasn’t rounded into reliable form. It wouldn’t kill them to add another shooter. But there’s also no question these struggles are also due in rather sizable part to the early season chaos (training camp injuries, the coaching carousel), a myriad of new faces, and Nash’s absence. It’s been extremely difficult for the Lakers to consistently form a cohesive unit on either side of the ball. Obviously, they’re not the first team in NBA history to deal with injuries and/or drama. There’s an onus on the Lakers to figure it out as best they can with the cards they’ve been dealt. Still, I figured it would take this process would take a couple of months under the best possible circumstances, and these have flirted with “worst possible” status.
2. Pau Gasol took a lot of heat after his performance in the Lakers’ loss to the Pacers, but D’Antoni came to his defense saying ” he’s a big part of what [the Lakers are] going to do.” How realistic is the prospect that he’ll be able to run in D’Antoni’s system and establish good chemistry with Dwight?
Andy Kamenetzky: I think it’s possible. Gasol isn’t a Utopian fit for D’Antoni — the coach has admitted as much — but we’re talking about one of the most creative offensive minds in basketball joining forces with one of the most multi-skilled players of his generation. I’d like to think the two can develop a positive, productive working relationship. I’ve often wondered if the template might be Boris Diaw’s role in Phoenix: A play-making big man who can create for others, work mismatches off the dribble, run the break off a rebound, etc. It’s not a true apples-to-apples comparison, as Diaw is a better outside shooter and was younger, but I do think there are legitimate commonalities. Plus, Howard is mobile enough to begin sequences in the high post, which will allow Gasol to at least begin some possessions in the mid or low post.
Then again, it’s not a perfect setup, which means Pau bears the responsibility to aggressively seek out a comfort zone, rather than wait for his coach to create it for him. Unfortunately, that kind of assertiveness isn’t Gasol’s strong suit. There’s also always a chance that with Kobe, Howard and eventually Nash alongside him, Pau simply won’t be given enough to do to truly flourish. But for the time being, I’m remaining positive that time, plus Nash’s presence, will eventually create a niche for Pau.
3. After landing three-time Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard, the Lakers are surprisingly just 18th in defensive efficiency. What do they need to do to improve defensively in general, and what approach should we expect to see them taking in defending the Nuggets in this game?
Andy Kamenetzky: Mostly, cohesion. It’s been a nutty two months, which has impeded the team’s ability to get on the same page defensively. This problem is only heightened by Dwight remaining a step or two slow. By his own admission, Howard’s not fully recovered from the back surgery, which prevents him from being the ultimate last line of defense we’ve grown accustomed to seeing. In the latest loss to Indiana, George Hill floated a game-winner off the backboard over Howard, who’d arrived a hair late to either successfully alter the shot or block it. Before the back injury, I’d have bet the house on Howard in that situation. He’s slowly rounding into form, but not yet “Dwight Howard” as we’ve come to know him.
As for the strategy against Denver, I think the first key is containing Ty Lawson as much as possible, which begins with the defense on ball (Darius Morris or Chris Duhon, unless D’Antoni opts for a defensive cross-match involving Kobe or Metta World Peace over stretches) and ends with Gasol and Howard protecting the rim against inevitable penetration from the speedster. The Lakers will also need to be diligent about getting back in transition, especially as a team that now looks to increase tempo. From there, I think it’s all about keeping Denver, and in particular, Kenneth Faried off the glass to prevent garbage buckets and second chance opportunities. JaVale McGee and Kosta Koufos are no slouches on the offensive glass, but Faried is just plain ridiculous (and very entertaining to watch play.) Gasol has struggled at times to keep a body on the Manimal, but needs to find a way to prevent the kid from running roughshod in the paint.
4. Steve Nash’s injury has obviously been a major disappointment and setback for the Lakers after assembling their four future Hall of Famers lineup. How big of an impact will he have in improving the team once he returns from injury?
Andy Kamenetzky: Assuming there aren’t any noticeable effects from the injury, I think Nash will have a pretty big impact. He knows D’Antoni’s system as well as the coach, and no player has ever run it more successfully. With Nash in the fold, the Lakers gain a true floor general, an outside shooting threat, and a player with an unbelievable ability to find teammates in the right spot in the right time. That can only help matters. He’s obviously not a magic bullet, and work will remain at hand after his return. Everyone, Nash included, will have to adjust for the umpeenth time this season. But I do think Nash can make a serious difference. Remember, he was imported from Phoenix well before D’Antoni was in the picture. There were holes to fix, regardless of the coach, and Nash theoretically addresses a lot of those gaps.
5. It seems that many in Lakers Nation are calling for a Gasol trade. But even if — contrary to D’Antoni’s statement — the Lakers did decide to put him on the block, could they get enough talent back in return that on the balance it would improve the team’s chances for a championship?
Andy Kamenetzky: Maybe. Even if Gasol’s trade value has plummeted to the point where he won’t fetch a player close to his caliber of talent — and unless Pau picks up his play, I suspect that will be the case — it’s debatable whether the Lakers even need another A-Lister. One could reasonably argue “Star Player X” swapped for Pau would in turn find himself similarly lacking opportunities, and therefore would be an equally uncomfortable fit. Thus, two or three role players (at least one of which can shoot) to bolster the bench and add depth might actually benefit the Lakers in a more tangible way. And that may be a realistic haul for Pau, even during a down season. The guy’s still a very good player, and we’re not far removed from the London games where he flourished as “el hombre” for Spain.
Update: Check out the 5-on-5 previewing the game on ESPN.com.
The Rapid Reaction recap generator is giving me problems… again; therefore, we’re just gonna have to do this one old-fashioned style.
The Denver Nuggets announced Wednesday that both Pete D’Alessandro and Mike Bratz have been promoted. D’Alessandro has now been named the Vice President of Basketball Operations (Ujiri is still the Executive Vice President) and Bratz, Director of Player Personnel. D’Alessandro has been with the Nuggets since 2010 when then-rookie general manager Masai Ujiri hired him as his top advisor. He is seen as one of the brightest “capologists” in the NBA and has often been considered a frontrunner for any and all available general manager positions that have become available in recent months. Bratz has been with the Nuggets since 2009 when he was hired as the team’s scouting director after spending the previous nine years with the Cleveland Cavaliers as Director of Basketball Operations and Player Personnel.
|Danilo Gallinari, SF 28 MIN | 4-10 FG | 2-3 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 12 PTS | -10
He’s apparently under the weather and still did plenty of great things on offense until the utter collapse in the second half. All things considered, Gallo put a nondescript, decent-enough role player type of performance when the Nuggets were looking for something more, especially after Iguodala’s ejection.
|Kenneth Faried, SF 36 MIN | 8-12 FG | 5-6 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 21 PTS | +5
Another vintage ‘Manimal’ night from an energy standpoint, but we also saw another big front line post him up and shoot right over the top of the him. Defensively, Faried is solid but gives up too much size in matchups the Nuggets will continue to struggle with.
|Kosta Koufos, C 28 MIN | 3-4 FG | 1-3 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | +5
Too many huge plays out of the Jazz bigs in the second half. Koufos is solid and did plenty to get the Nuggets off to a promising start, but the story of the second half was the Nuggets inability to control the paint they way they did in the first half.
|Ty Lawson, PG 38 MIN | 7-17 FG | 2-4 FT | 5 REB | 9 AST | 16 PTS | -2
When Ty was aggressive, he got into the paint at will and came through with some crucial second-half drives to keep Denver afloat. Unfortunately, Ty continues to struggle on the court in a more featured role as he did tonight, failing to get the Nuggets a shot attempt with 3 seconds remaining and a chance to tie or take the lead.
|Andre Iguodala, SG 25 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-2 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 10 PTS | -3
From what I saw, his ejection made no sense. Yes, Iguodala was frustrated and clearly responding poorly to Utah’s pivotal third quarter run, but he showed no contempt or disrespect in what looked like routine mouthing off in a tightly contested game. I guess you have to expect more maturity out of a leader, but it’s really tough to say he legitimately did anything to deserve two technicals and an ejection after disagreeing with a call.
|Corey Brewer, SF 30 MIN | 4-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | +5
A solid thirty minutes for Brew even if it is way more than you’d expect to see him playing on this Nuggets team. He has embraced more of a scoring role this season and is working well off the bench with Andre Miller and McGee.
|Timofey Mozgov, C 7 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -5
Mozgov put in some solid first-half work but ended his night with little more than a few scrap minutes of action. Physically, he seems healthy but is clearly on the precipice of not playing whatsoever, having seen his role steadily reduced since arriving in Denver two years ago.
|JaVale McGee, C 20 MIN | 4-5 FG | 2-6 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | -7
It’s really a shame McGee was not able to stay on the court as he started out with one of his finest performances all season. JaVale looked dominant at times and utterly lost at others, but the bottom line is his own porous defense and emotional mood swings are the reasons he isn’t seeing more time.
|Andre Miller, PG 22 MIN | 2-7 FG | 4-6 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | +2
Andre is off to a slow start. Physically, he isn’t in shape for an NBA season but that’s nothing new as Miller is known to work himself up to speed throughout the early season. Fatigue looked like it was a factor for Miller, who has not looked great in his chances at extended minutes thus far.
|Evan Fournier, SG 7 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | 0
Fournier saw a surprise few minutes following Iguodala’s ejection before foul trouble and a close game led Karl in a different direction. He hit a three and looked fluid in Denver’s offense despite the Nuggets’ woeful second half performance.
|Danilo Gallinari, SF 26 MIN | 3-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 9 PTS | +17
This was not Gallo’s most glorious outing of the year but his aggressiveness was still on full display, which is what’s most important for him at this point in time.
|Kenneth Faried, SF 27 MIN | 7-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 12 REB | 0 AST | 14 PTS | +23
Faried was Faried. Because he plays with such a high level of energy on a nightly basis, games likes these where he’s doing virtually everything right are bound to come along. He started off scoring, then went to rebounding in the second half to finish with yet another double double.
|Kosta Koufos, C 21 MIN | 1-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 4 PTS | +34
The only stat that matters here: five blocks. Koufos isn’t a scoring or rebounding machine but his interior paint presence has continued to evolve in a major way. He’s now ranked 19th in blocks per 48 minutes in the NBA.
|Ty Lawson, PG 29 MIN | 8-10 FG | 1-1 FT | 1 REB | 6 AST | 17 PTS | +24
Lawson has finally strung together a few vintage performances. The main reason: aggressiveness. Lawson is looking for his shot; not avoiding it. He’s finding open spaces to penetrate then pull up for a mid-range jumper or kick to an open man. He’s utilizing his speed and not sulking when his shot gets blocked. If he continues with this type of play, the Nuggets are a totally different team.
|Andre Iguodala, SG 31 MIN | 8-13 FG | 4-7 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 23 PTS | +29
Iguodala was on pace to score 30 in the first half before taking a back seat in the second. This is fine. His mindset on offense is all that matters. He is starting to develop into the “go-to” guy the Nuggets brought him to Denver to be. The value of his 3-point shot cannot be overlooked. When he’s hitting that — like he has been the last several games — the Nuggets offense has another much-needed dimension.
|Anthony Randolph, PF 7 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | -7
This was the first extended glimpse of Randolph that Nuggets fans were able to catch and it was pretty nice. He didn’t score but he played solid. It would be interesting to see what he could do with some more minutes as a backup power forward.
|Jordan Hamilton, SF 12 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 7 PTS | -4
Hamilton seems like the kind of guy who plays up to his level of competition. I swear, you could put him in the NBA finals and he’d average 18 per contest. Although he finished with a nice stat line, he took a few bad shots and made some questionable decisions — which he doesn’t do nearly as often as when he’s playing with the starting or second unit.
|Corey Brewer, SF 28 MIN | 3-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 8 PTS | -2
Brewer had a pretty mediocre game. He played with the “C” team for a while which is why he logged 28 minutes, but that still seems like too much. Brewer is best suited as a 20 minutes per night guy where his energy can really shine.
|Timofey Mozgov, C 16 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -12
It’s hard to make out what Karl uses Mozgov for. Is it just to combat other, less talented centers? Is it when he’s angry with McGee? Who knows. Mozgov still has hands made of concrete and hardly any polish on offense but his ability to run the floor and play defense holds some value.
|JaVale McGee, C 11 MIN | 3-8 FG | 2-3 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | -4
And then there’s the case of JaVale McGee. What a case it is. This was probably his worst game in terms of mistakes (you know, the ones he’s become famous for), yet he still finished with an impressive stat line in such a limited amount of time. At this point in his career it appears his size, length and athleticism are simply overriding his defects no matter how you slice it.
|Andre Miller, PG 21 MIN | 0-1 FG | 4-4 FT | 1 REB | 7 AST | 4 PTS | +1
Miller played good defense and distributed well. Again, this is what his role needs to be. He might be the best creator of his own offense on the entire team but the Nuggets don’t need that. Although his numbers are down, in my eyes Miller has been a much better, more team-oriented player throughout this season.
|Evan Fournier, SG 11 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -9
Fournier is so cerebral. He’s calculated. He makes a few “rookie” mistakes but that’s because he is one. You can tell his experience playing pro in France has really prepared him for the NBA. I would really like to see what he could do with 20 minutes per game for a week at some point in the season.
When JaVale McGee is on the court he uses a big chunk of Denver’s possessions. According to Basketball-Reference.com, among regular rotation players, he has the highest usage rate on the team at 23.9 percent. Despite this, he also has the third lowest assist rate at 3.6 percent. Kosta Koufos has the second lowest, 3.1 percent, and Kenneth Faried the lowest assist rate, 2.0 percent. Naturally, all three of the Nuggets’ main frontcourt players earn their keep around the rim, finishing plays and putting back offensive boards, the big difference between McGee and the other two is that he actually spends a significant amount of time with the ball in his hands.
Compare his usage rate with that of Koufos, lowest among rotation players at 12.4 percent, and Faried, third lowest at 18.6 percent. (A surprising side note here is that Andre Miller is second lowest with a 17.6 percent usage rate that’s very modest considering how much he handles the ball). In short, Kosta and Kenneth should be given a free pass for their low assist rates, because the vast majority of the time, when they get the ball, they’re right there at the rim, and the best thing to do is immediately put it in the basket.
This is not always the case with JaVale, who handles the ball in the post much more than the other two. (more…)
|Danilo Gallinari, SF 35 MIN | 8-20 FG | 4-6 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 20 PTS | +6After a rocky start to the season, Gallinari has finally emerged as the consistent, reliable player the Nuggets need him to be. Although he went cold from the arc, going 0-5, the real story is that he continued his recent return to driving and attacking the rim. His two assists and six trips to the line belie how effective he was at getting into the paint and sharing the ball. And while David Lee did get the best of him at times, his defense overall was pretty solid in this game.|
|Kenneth Faried, SF 36 MIN | 4-8 FG | 1-5 FT | 11 REB | 1 AST | 9 PTS | +14It’s going to be difficult this season to say new, original things about how Faried played. His energy was, as usual, explosive and infectious, and his teammates always seem to ratchet up their play a notch when he’s on the court. He did struggle defensively at times, but he played tough and led the team in rebounds.|
|Kosta Koufos, C 19 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | +7Koufos was a bit of a mixed bag in this game. Early foul trouble sent him to the bench early in the first quarter, and in the third quarter he got downright abused by Carl Landry. Kosta simply couldn’t stop him from scoring around the rim, a fact which Golden State quickly recognized and exploited to its fullest. On the offensive end he was steady as usual, but also made little impact.|
|Ty Lawson, PG 37 MIN | 7-13 FG | 3-5 FT | 2 REB | 9 AST | 18 PTS | +8Lawson started off tentatively again. In the first half he dribbled around too much on the perimeter, hesitating too much to drive to the basket, and fearing too much to take wide open 3-pointers. But once again, he woke up midway through the third quarter to rediscover his aggressive streak, most especially at the defining stretch of the game, when the Nuggets opened the third quarter with a big run to convert a 6-point halftime deficit to a 9-point lead in just 4 1/2 minutes.|
|Andre Iguodala, SG 39 MIN | 11-19 FG | 4-6 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 29 PTS | +13The Rapid Reaction code doesn’t allow for it, which is the only reason Iguodala does not get the A+++. This was the game that seemed to truly signify: “Andre Iguodala is now officially a Denver Nugget.” His threes were falling, he made some great defensive plays, and threw in a couple highlight reel dunks for good measure. Above all, it looked like he really understood his role out there, and was having a fun time making the most of it. With both ‘Dala and Gallo at the top of their games, this will be a tough team to beat.|
|Jordan Hamilton, SF 5 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | -3The good news is that J-Ham shot 100% from the arc. The bad news is that it was only one shot, and that’s about all he did. He looked pretty lost defensively, and continues to make some rookie mistakes (which may be forgivable given that, having been benched all last season, this effectively is his first year). If he can’t start making a bigger and better impact when he gets chances, he’ll have a hard time earning the minutes we’re hoping he’ll eventually get.|
|Corey Brewer, SF 22 MIN | 4-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 9 PTS | +6Like Gallinari, Brewer went scoreless from the arc (0-3). After starting the season shooting so well, it’s hard to grade Brewer now. Is it “bad” that he’s regressing to his career mean? For the purposes of this game however, he had four steals and gave the Warriors some headaches with an energetic performance on both sides of the court, which is what Denver needed from him, and therefore what mattered most.|
|JaVale McGee, C 25 MIN | 2-7 FG | 2-4 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | +2McGee’s stat line doesn’t really tell the story of his game tonight. Yes, he missed a few careless shots from the post, as has become typical. But his three blocks and many more altered shots outweighed that. He was fed some big dunks, and got more pumped up than we’ve seen him all season. And most importantly, when Landry was scoring repeatedly on Koufos in the third quarter, helping the Warriors eat back into the lead the Nuggets had just regained, JaVale was sent in to stop the bleeding, and did a very effective job of shutting Landry’s one-man run down.|
|Andre Miller, PG 22 MIN | 2-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 6 PTS | +2Miller didn’t have a huge impact on this game, but the impact he had was positive. As usual, he found ways here and there to get a basket just when Denver needed one, but didn’t do much remarkable tonight. George Karl seemed dedicated in this game to keep Lawson on the floor, as Andre’s minutes were fewer than usual.|
|Danilo Gallinari, SF 35 MIN | 6-11 FG | 6-6 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 19 PTS | +6
It wasn’t pretty, but Gallo put forth a pretty epic display of all-out effort when it mattered most. He finally got to the line in some huge moments and battled hard under the basket when he needed to. He played his most solid ball when the Nuggets needed it most and was huge on the defensive end against Kevin Love.
|Kenneth Faried, SF 35 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 14 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | +14
He fouled out and had 4 turnovers in a sloppy offensive showing, but the Manimal was relentless on the glass and forced the Timberwolves to adjust by pulling Nikola Pekovic out of the game. His hustle changes games in a pretty special way no matter what the stat sheet says.
|Kosta Koufos, C 23 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | +17
His ability to change and alter shots was a major reason why the Nuggets weren’t down 40 in a pretty awful first-half performance. Koufos got into it with Kevin Love in the second half and has really picked up his defense after a slow start to the season.
|Ty Lawson, PG 33 MIN | 5-12 FG | 6-8 FT | 2 REB | 9 AST | 18 PTS | 0
A C-minus effort through three quarters and an A through the most important one is what lands Lawson here. Ty hit shots and free throws when the Nuggets needed them, but came out dazed and confused for a good two and a half quarters to start the game. The good news is Lawson’s shooting is starting to come around.
|Andre Iguodala, SG 36 MIN | 7-16 FG | 1-1 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 18 PTS | +1
It’s really tough to grade Iguodala after two night and day halves like that. He looked like a completely different player following halftime and showcased a creative side to his offense we haven’t yet seen in him as a Nugget. Iguodala has been smooth and steady in every close game the Nuggets have been in, regardless of how well he’s played personally. It’s not necessarily conventional, but that is leadership.
|Jordan Hamilton, SF 19 MIN | 3-8 FG | 3-4 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | 0
Karl actually brought Hamilton off the bench early and stuck with him through a pretty dismal stretch in which the Nuggets couldn’t get anything right. Hamilton stayed with it and responded with a few timely threes and a smooth twelve points in his bench scoring role.
|Corey Brewer, SF 17 MIN | 3-6 FG | 1-1 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | +3
He did some admirable dirty work on cleanups and putbacks, but Brewer seems to have regressed after a hot shooting start and is unsurprisingly starting to come back down to earth. Brewer probably played a few too many minutes for how erratic his play been as of late.
|JaVale McGee, C 15 MIN | 2-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -13
Ugh. This was looking like the good old JaVale as he started things off with a near-airball 20 footer and a quick pull up jumper in transition. He eventually recovered to play some better basketball in the second half but not by much. This was a chance JaVale had to come in early and earn some trust but he wasn’t able to capitalize.
|Andre Miller, PG 27 MIN | 4-9 FG | 3-4 FT | 2 REB | 5 AST | 11 PTS | +7
He just Lebrons people in the fourth quarter out of nowhere. I have no idea how or why, but he can turn it on in a way no other Nuggets player seems to able to. Miller got some key runs going in the second half and was clutch with a few crafty and-ones over the Timberwolves defense
Coming into the season Nuggets fans had enormous hopes for Ty Lawson. He averaged career highs across the board in his first (kind of) full year as a starter. Then in the playoffs against the Lakers he took his game to the next level, averaging 19 points and six assists per game. After receiving a $48 million extension just prior to the 2012-13 season, it seemed the groundwork had been laid for Lawson to finally emerge as the team’s clear-cut best player. But 11 games into the season, it’s become apparent that Lawson still has other things on his mind. (more…)
Ten days ago, Danilo Gallinari’s 21 point outing versus Golden State, including some big plays down the stretch, was the difference maker in the Nuggets’ victory. At that time it was his best game of the season. And on its heels we explored the possibility that it might mark the beginning of a turnaround to what had up to that point been a fairly dreadful season for the Rooster.
With last night’s win at Memphis, Denver now has played ten games in the 2012-13 season. This is a small sample size to be sure, but nonetheless it may provide at least enough information to sketch a rough outline of Gallo’s current trajectory. (more…)