|Danilo Gallinari, SF 32 MIN | 3-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 8 PTS | +3
His shot selection could be a lot better since returning from an ankle injury, but it’s just Gallo’s second game back. The zero free throw attempts is concerning but otherwise Gallo looks like he’s still rusty and working his way back. If he doesn’t figure it out offensively, Denver will struggle to keep up with the better teams in the league
|Kenneth Faried, SF 23 MIN | 7-10 FG | 1-3 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 15 PTS | +8
The Manimal looks to be back to his normal efficient self and chipped in an extremely energetic 23 minutes tonight. Defensively he struggled along with the rest of the bigs but his energy continues to have a profound effect on the rest of the team. Denver was quicker to every loose ball tonight tonight and a lot of that can be credited to the presence of Faried.
|Kosta Koufos, C 30 MIN | 7-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 14 PTS | 0
A poor second half and lackluster rebounding effort spoil an otherwise solid performance. He had three blocks but looked lost protecting the lane and limiting Detroit’s penetration. As a starter Koufos hasn’t had a bad game but the Nuggets lackluster defense has looked soft with him in the middle.
|Ty Lawson, PG 39 MIN | 3-8 FG | 8-10 FT | 4 REB | 9 AST | 15 PTS | +21
Ty seems to be settling down into a role nicely and for the first time was able to affect the game with his raw speed. Lawson needs to do a lot more offensively but the fact he earned ten three throws after shooting none if Miami is a huge improvement.
|Andre Iguodala, SG 36 MIN | 6-15 FG | 2-2 FT | 10 REB | 4 AST | 17 PTS | +6
Solid double double and all around production from Iguodala. Strangely, Denver has looked like a much better half-court team with Iguodala on the floor. While Gallo continues to provide unreliable scoring the Nuggets have relied on Iguodala’s willingness to take big shots.
|Corey Brewer, SF 20 MIN | 4-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 11 PTS | +5
He seems to be sticking in his newfound 3-and-D role with the Nuggets this season. Brewer dribbling still scares me and he isn’t a lockdown defender by any means, but as long as Brewer is hitting spot-up threes he’s very valuable. Fans of J-Ham might not want hear it, but Brewer’s strong play is the main reason he’s being squeezed out.
|JaVale McGee, C 18 MIN | 7-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 16 PTS | +9
Progress has been slow for JaVale. He had a great overall game outside of a mini blooper reel segment in the middle of the second quarter. Denver’s a different team with JaVale on the floor but he’s been unable to play a steady 20 minutes without mental mistakes and frustration piling up.
|Andre Miller, PG 26 MIN | 2-5 FG | 4-5 FT | 3 REB | 6 AST | 8 PTS | +1
As expected, Andre delivered some indifferent defense along with wizard-like passing and floor general skills. Solid game but at this point in his career, Miller can’t stay in front of the average guard who’s at least a decade younger than him.
|Wilson Chandler, SG 16 MIN | 2-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | +7
Liked his hustle, but he continues to force difficult shots and pass up good ones. I do consider this game progress for Chandler but he’s been tough to watch since attempting to return from hip surgery. Would like to see him be a lot more active on defense but we still don’t know what Chandler is able to provide yet.
Three Things We Saw
- Three point shooting kept the Nuggets afloat in this one, even though the Nuggets finished a paltry 30% on the night. Denver was hitting threes early and it gave them a cushion from Detroit runs long enough to hold out for the win. Denver continues to look like a bad shooting team while Lawson and Gallo are non-factors.
- Mozgov apparently blogged in Russian yesterday saying he would try to play fewer than ten minutes tonight. Mozgov didn’t see the floor as Koufos logged another healthy 30 minutes, but there’s a pretty good chance Timo could get some run in tomorrow’s back-to-back game at Houston.
- I hate to keep blaming the bigs, but the current rotation isn’t getting it done on defense. The Nuggets are soft inside but have been dominating the boards, with the hope being once the offense wakes up that rebounding advantage will turn into easy points. It’s harder to keep buying into that hope as opposing bigs continue to torch the Nuggets inside.