Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 93, Houston Rockets 87

Denver Nuggets 93 Final Recap | Box Score 87 Houston Rockets
Danilo Gallinari, SF 41 MIN | 6-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 3 AST | 13 PTS | +8The only reason Gallo gets this grade is because he at least made himself useful on the glass. These are the types of games George Karl should make Gallo watch, then immediately waterboard him afterwards. All he did was jack up 3-pointers — all night long. He dribbled into multiple double teams and I can’t remember him driving aggressively to the basket once. He is so much more than just a long-distance shooter. Gallo has got to get back to driving the lane like he did at the beginning of last year when he was on pace to contend for an All-Star spot.
Kenneth Faried, SF 35 MIN | 7-14 FG | 2-7 FT | 16 REB | 0 AST | 16 PTS | -7Faried’s enthusiasm for the game is one of the biggest strengths this team has. Sixteen boards means 16 more possessions for the Nuggets, which they definitely needed. This was a vintage Manimal performance and one that essentially saved the team from notching yet another horrendous loss.
Kosta Koufos, C 21 MIN | 1-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | +17Koufos just isn’t a starter in the NBA. I don’t know why Karl thinks otherwise. He’s a decent backup center. That’s what he is. For some reason Karl has played him over 20 minutes in four of the five games this season. He’s just not athletic enough nor skilled enough to hang with other starting big men in this league. But, I have a feeling none of what I’m saying matters to Karl…
Ty Lawson, PG 38 MIN | 9-20 FG | 0-4 FT | 0 REB | 8 AST | 21 PTS | +7Lawson’s best game without a doubt. He was attacking, and when he attacks, good things happen. I thought maybe he was headed for a really special night early on but he mellowed out drastically in the second half.
Andre Iguodala, SG 38 MIN | 5-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 13 PTS | +3The stats don’t tell the entire story here. Iguodala had some huge buckets. He also had three steals and a block, which were a product of his excellent defense on James Harden throughout the night. He needs to stop dribbling into dead ends and try to score more himself, but otherwise, he’s doing a lot of little things right that are helping this team win.
Corey Brewer, SF 22 MIN | 4-9 FG | 4-4 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 14 PTS | +11You simply can’t say enough about what Corey Brewer did tonight. You look at it — 20 minutes is about the maximum amount of time he needs to see on a nightly basis. Play him more and he gets worn out. Limited minutes allow him to be effective. He’s at his best when he’s running around like a chicken with his head cut off, looking to stifle each and every member of the opposing team. His defense was flat out incredible. This is the Corey Brewer the Nuggets need on a consistent basis.
JaVale McGee, C 20 MIN | 5-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | -8McGee was awesome, yet again. Take a look though. He only played 20 minutes. Why in the hell would he only play that amount of time when he’s clearly been one of the best players on the team thus far? You tell me. It’s a mystery that’s locked deep inside Karl’s head and one we’ll never ever find the answer to. It frustrates me beyond belief. All we can hope for is that he keeps massively outplaying Koufos to the point where Karl has no choice but to succumb to the pressure put on him by the media and fans and admit he was wrong — just like he was with Faried last year.
Andre Miller, PG 24 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 5 AST | 0 PTS | -1I could care less about Miller’s points. Frankly, it wouldn’t bother me if he did this more often. When Miller distributes like he did tonight, the Nuggets are a totally different team. His renewed dedication to defense has not gone unoticed either. Miller has been one of the most valuable players on the roster this year and is acting like the true veteran this young team is in desperate need of.

A few things I noticed tonight:

First off, about this game — it was a win. That was all it is. Look at Houston. Outside of James Harden (who was horrendous tonight) they have a horrible team. Houston is not good. The Nuggets barely squeaked by and should have won by at least 10. It seems as though things are coming together, but until the Nuggets are well above .500 (which they should be already) I think it’s important to acknowledge this team’s shortcomings.

Iguodala is really impressive. I have to admit, I’m pleasantly surprised with his overall game. He fits this team perfectly. That said, he needs to be the No. 1 option on offense. He needs to have the ball in his hands more often. And most of all, he needs to start attacking the basket with some serious purpose. The Nuggets have needed a go-to scorer since Melo left. Part of the reason Iguodala was brought in was to be that guy. I’m not saying he should go out and start chucking, but it’s important that this team — as is the case with every team — has a echelon. Iguodala is at the top and he needs to show it. Right now it seems like every night this team has a different leading scorer. I think the Nuggets would benefit greatly if Iguodala led in this category on a more consistent basis.

The biggest thing that stood out to me this game was JaVale McGee, as it relates to Kosta Koufos, specifically. Koufos is not better than McGee in any way, shape or form. He’s not as gifted on offense. He’s not a better rebounder. He’s not a better defender. He’s not a better shot-blocker. He’s not even remotely close to matching McGee’s athleticism. And most importantly, above all else: He’s not even a better decision-maker than McGee!!!

I have no idea why McGee is being so limited right now, but the only thing I can think of is that Karl doesn’t like how careless McGee is with the ball at times — even though he’s a totally different player than he was in Washington and makes just as many boneheaded plays as the average NBA player. Here’s the thing though: Koufos, secretly, makes just as many mistakes as McGee does. He might even make more for all I know. McGee is more flashy. His mistakes tend to stand out. But watch Koufos. Look at all the passes he can’t handle. Look at his poor positioning that leads to easy baskets for the other team. Look at how many times he covers the wrong guy or goes for a block when he should stay home. Karl holds a double standard for many players, but this manifests itself most obviously in the current battle at the center position.

Just look at these numbers: Right now Koufos is averaging 25 minutes per game. His career minute-per game average is 11. That’s an increase of almost 15 minutes per game! And because of what, exactly? Why? Because he improved? Well, so did everyone else! Meanwhile, McGee is averaging 18 minutes per game. Yes, you heard that right — 18 minutes per game. That’s three LESS than his career average, and he already wasn’t playing that much before. And even though he’s seeing six minutes less court time per contest, McGee is still outperforming Koufos in a major way. McGee is averaging three more points per game than Koufos, almost a block more per game, more assists and TWO LESS fouls per game than Koufos is. He’s also shooting .567 percent from the field as apposed to Koufos’ moderate .500 and is the best free throw shooter on the team through five games at .857 percent compared to Koufos’ horrendous .429. Even more: McGee leads the Nuggets in points per 48 minutes with 27 per game and is second in rebounds per 48 behind only Faried who is ranked top 10 in the entire NBA. Speaking of which, McGee also ranks top five in the NBA in blocks per 48.

The point is: Why? That’s all I want to know. I respect George Karl’s decision to trot out whatever lineup he wants, just as long as I can understand why he’s doing it. Right now I have no clue in the world as to why McGee is being so limited with his court time. People say asthma, but why haven’t we heard that from George Karl? If it was asthma, I feel like we’d know by know. Plus, McGee has had asthma his whole life and saw plenty more minutes last year as a Nugget than he is now. Throughout his career McGee has seen many months where he’s averaged upwards of 25 minutes per game.

Koufos isn’t a better center than McGee. He doesn’t make better decisions. He doesn’t give the Nuggets a better chance to win. The NBA isn’t about playing favorites; it’s about putting the best players on the court that give your team the best opportunity to win. Until George Karl addresses why McGee isn’t playing more, I will continue to harp on this issue and question his judgement in the process.

  • Paul

    Iggy is showing his impact on the team by how well he shut down Harden tonight. Overall great team defense tonight. The Nuggets need to learn to close better, it shouldn’t have been close at the end.

    • ryanvdonk

      playing small ball to close it out was stupid, javale should have gone back in with 4 minutes to go, would have made it tough on the rockets to score.

  • Daniel Y

    Quality road win on the second night of a back to back. Iggy shut down James Harden, and thats pretty much all you need to do with this team. Still concerned about the amount of threes this team gives up because that really keeps the other team in the game. Also what is this world coming to when Javale Mcgee is our best FT shooter? He is now 8-9 on the year. Anyway, the Nuggets will continue to find their identity through hustle on defense and it showed tonight. The offense will come, but I am really impressed about how feisty their D is becoming with AI on the floor.

  • Andrew K

    I saw this Nuggets team building some chemistry. Most of us know the first 3 games are not indicative of this team’s potential. They won a game on the road against a sturdy opponent. That is not to be overlooked. Ty Lawson attacked at times, confounding the Houston announcers.

  • Aaron

    That right there is Nuggets basketball. Controlled chaos. Manimal finally decided to play basketball this season along with Lawson. Here’s hoping we can keep it up. Back to back road games have not been our forte in the GK era, but we came out from the jump on this one.

    Also, everyone freaking out about Faried’s minutes last night owe GK an apology. There was a method to the madness, which was to play him alot tonight since WC was out. Good plan it seems. . .

  • Ban Johnson

    positives:
    AI’s defense is all-world and he’s working himself more into the glue guy role on offense. Just a rock-solid player — passing, rebounding…a little of everything along with excellent effort. In my opinion, he’s a no-brainer keeper for this team. A pro.
    Faried’s awesome effort and athleticism. He’s not a cerebral player, but how can you not love this guy?
    McGee and Brewer’s hot stretches off bench… Lawson’s efficiency

    Some chemistry seems to be developing as the rotation gets established. These 8 guys + Chandler and the occasional Mozgov should work pretty well. (Sucks for Hamilton.)

    negatives:
    Miller just simply isn’t athletic enough anymore to be getting as many minutes as he gets. I’d prefer if he played only those PG minutes Lawson sits and let Brewer take the SG backup minutes.

    McGee needs more minutes. He does some dumb things, but he’s a presence, he’s positive, and he plays hard. Scott Hasting’s comment about his “freaky athleticism” after he missed a shot above the ft line and then skied to pickup the miss made me smile.

  • Bob

    16 and 16 for faried! Send him to the all star game!

    • Woobly o Balls

      Hey if he played 35 mins a game like tonight all the time – he’d have a pretty good case

  • Stephen H

    AI’s defense and over all game is good, McGee should start and play more, Koufus less, Manimal, Lawson, and Miller are reliable and consisten, Gallo hasnt been on his game if he picks it up we will be dominate, and Brewer should be considered for sixth man of the year.

  • EvanDWoodruff

    Kalen… MCGEE HAS ASTHMA!

    • Ryan

      Asthma can typically be controlled by medication. Perhaps McGee has more severe asthma than most, but as long as he’s medicated correctly, it shouldn’t be that much of an issue.
      I’ve had asthma since the day I was born and was hospitalized for an asthma attack early on. With adequate medication, I ran varsity cross-country in high school. Surely the Nuggets, who employ the best of the best in terms of doctors/trainers, could find an ideal regimen to control his asthma if it really is a major issue. I agree with you, he looks gassed a lot, but that could be due to lack of conditioning, not necessarily asthma.

      • Thomas

        The question is how can you give such a big contract to a guy that may only be able to play stretches of games due to his medical condition. The worrisome part is that it seems to be worst than last year, he tires faster.

  • Andrew K

    And frankly to be honest, I thought Kosta played a heck a lot better than Andre Miller.

  • dd

    Koufos had the best +/- on the team, Mcgee had the worst. How do you account for that?

    • Ryan

      Plus/minus is an incredibly flawed stat that is greatly influenced by who you play with and who you’re playing against. No one would say Koufos had the best performance for the Nuggets tonight, would they?

      • Greco21

        Well if its a flawded stat watch the game again and see what happens with pick n roll, or team defense. When Kouf is out the defense collapsed big time… And team defense is not who is scoring, but which driving lanes are open.

        On the other hand Kouf has been terrible to finish through contact. I do not believe that is lack of athletisism but clearly lack of confidence and courage. Well he has to get over it soon, before his NBA career is completely over. Because that type of basketball will send you to the deepest last seat of the bench.

        PLAY WITHOUT SECOND THOUGHTS.

        On the other hand Manimal and McGee have great athletisism and are completely unconsious. They will just play as hard as they can. I get angry some times when they miss open guys because whenever the ball is in their hands all they think is finish.

        On the defensive end they just waste their talent. They hardly ever switch. I mean they are completely terrible at switiching. They rarely put a body on their guy because they always believe they are going to jump over them. THey would always prefer a highlight block rather than a shot alternation which would lead to a fast break.

        So the +/- says a lot… but is really easy to tune. So i agree with the grades handed because they send a message.

        • Mitch

          Faried and McGee have big highs (dunks and blocks) but also lots of errors on defense and offense. Koufos is not spectacular and could do better but he does provide steady play. There’s a need for both on this team. When Faried is playing well like tonight he’ll get his minutes. McGee is still very undisciplined and frequently out of position and provide a lift with his spectacular plays but he’ll be stuck in the “Chris Anderson” chaos role until he shows that he’s got it.

        • Bryan

          What are you talking about? The defense was garbage when Kofous was in there. Asik made him look stupid on more than one occasion.

          • Greco21

            It seems you were watching a different game.

            Scoring off pick n roll is not only the centers fault if he decides to heads out. Someone has to cover him. And the rotations early on have been terrible.

            Asik had his way only with hustle plays. One on one he had hard time.

            Nuggets bigs have been terrible on rotations overall.

            Faried is by far the worst rotating. He need to fix it soon.

    • waylon

      +/- is a team stat and this is why Kosta is playing a lot; his stats: +17,0,-7,+8,0…

      he had the best +/- against orlando, houston and philly, he was the best big against miami and well he got trashed by the detroit big men

      he is a good team player and does what is needed.

      now if we could just get gallo on board…..

  • CJP32

    Another great win, and stifling defense on the NBA scoring leader by Iggy, thats what we need from him every night. Harden had just 2 made FGs in the first half, and that was enough to secure the win.

    This rotation GK has seems to be set, with the exception of WC every 2nd game for now. But McGee, Brewer and Miller are playing great basketball. I cannot say enough about Brewers defense – he was everywhere and he’s making buckets.

    People have got to chill about McGees minutes, the guy has bad asthma, playing a b-2-b and still finding his feet. Like Brewer, McGee is effective is short spurts, play him more than 8 straight minutes and they start to make mistakes, I think GK is managing them both really well. KK is an ok starter for now, until Mozzy is healthy or McGee gets promoted. But why rush things anyway?

    The same cannot be said for Gallo – the guy needs to either stop shooting, or just put his hand up and say he’s not healthy. 2nd game in a row without a FT attempt shows that he’s just jacking outside shots – 6/31 now for an awful 19%.

    Faried has become the monster again like last year, last 3 games he has averaged – 17.6 pts and 12 rebs – and the energy is phenomenal!

    Ty is playing more consistently and looking to score and Iggy is the perfect compliment, although he needs to stop over dribbling and cut down his turnovers

    Lets beat the Jazz at home on Friday.

  • Rxmart2

    Once again McGee’s athleticism vs. Kosta’s fools people into thinking he’s the better center. KK’s game is ugly, but he’s the better center, and definitely better with the first unit.

    • Woobly o Balls

      Quit trolling me dawg

  • mitchell

    it seems to me like GK is waiting for mcgeezy to earn that starting spot. everyone assumed with his playoff performance and his contract and his work with the dream that he would show up and instantly be great.
    while he’s showed flashes, i think george wants a flat-out dominating performance before he will put mcgee in the starting lineup.

    also, i would love to anthony randolph in there with mcgee, miller, brewer and chandler.

    and free fournier! i thought he looked good in the opener, he deserves a few minutes. if he plays poorly stick him on the end of the bench.

    • FstbrkJM

      I agree with Mitchell.

      I think a second unit of McGee, Randolph, Chandler, Brewer, and Miller would be productive for a short amount of time (6-8 minutes at a time). However, GK has glued Randolph’s butt to the bench and went with Lawson, Miller, Brewer, Chandler, and McGee. I think GK needs to give Lawson some rest & go with a 10 player bench vs. 9 players.

      Also . . . Denver needs to figure out how they are going to play teams who hedge hard on pick & roll situations or we could end up with some frustrating nights. Detroit, who is still looking for its first win after losing to Sac, hedges hard & caused Denver some problems. Houston does not & we took advantage of it tonight. It won’t take long for teams to figure out that a hard hedge disrupts the Denver offensive flow (because we pause hold the ball too long) & then there will be plenty to complain about on this board.

  • Craig

    First of all, Gallinari should be waterboarded when he plays poorly? Really? Later this year am I going to read about how someone is trying to purposely lose games (like it was written about Al Harrington last season)? Let’s pump the brakes a little. Also, McGee hasn’t earned the starter spot yet? He isn’t consistent enough and still prone to bonehead mistakes. Everyone is excited about his potential but we shouldn’t really get on the George Karl sucks bandwagon 5 games into the season.

    • Kalen

      The waterboard thing was a joke. As for McGee, read my statement above. He has proved he deserves to start. The numbers don’t lie.

      • dynamo.joe

        I actually believe Karl when he says he likes the dynamic between McGee and Old Andre and so he wants to have them come off the bench together. But that is still no reason for him not to get 30 mins.

  • Neal

    I had to watch the Houston broadcast because of League Pass/apple tv….This came from the Houston tv guys out of nowhere towards the end of the 3rd: “(white guy1) This has turned into a pretty good basketball game, it’s too bad the people in Denver are going to miss it…They passed that marijuana law last night and everybody’s asleep! (Laughs)…(white guy2) I guess they’re really big fans of Denver Nuggets!…(drexler) That’s brutal.”

    • GK4Prez

      Neal, yeah I heard that, and it made me laugh. Drexler really likes the Manimal’s game.

      Wait, the waterboarding thing was just a joke? I was on-board with the idea, he has to much talent to just sit behind the arc and hoist up bricks. If he keeps doing it, I would bench him and play JHam or the rookie, he will get the hint real quick with some tough love.

  • Woobly o Balls

    Look what happens when you play Faried big minutes – HE DELIVERS

    He never drops his intensity even when he is tired, he is just relentless!

    I wish George Karl would just capitulate and play Faried at least 30 mins a night consistently.

    And play McGee please! Even if he looks gassed, keep playing him until he gets fitter. Or just play him in smaller blocks more regularly.

    Please GK stop playing so much small ball! McGee and Faried epsecially are two of the better players on the team – play them.

    Dre and McGee obviously have great chemistry but this is where GK shows his short sightedness. If we are ever competing for a championship in the future, Lawson and Faried need to learn to play more with McGee. Dre won’t be around forever.

    • dynamo.joe

      You mis-punctuated that last sentence. Should have read:

      “Dre won’t be around forever?”

  • Woobly o Balls

    If GK wants to play so much small ball, we may as well trade McGee for Josh Smith, and play a starting lineup of
    Lawson, Iggy, Gallo, Faried and Smith lol

    I’m not saying we should do it but if GK is stubborn, we may as well play to what he likes

    • Woobly o Balls

      Or trade Gallo for Smith. Just put Dre at the top of the key and have Iggy, Smith, Faried and Mcgee to line up across the baseline for lobs

  • Aaron

    I Know We Won Tonight An All But Our Starting 5 Aren’t As Good As Most Teams Starting 5 Are. But Our Top 12 Are Way Better Then Any1 Else’s. (Excluding Mozgov, Stone And Quincy Miller) So Why Not Get All 12 To Play And Build Up That Chemistry A Little Before We Face Teams That Will Crush Us With Just An 8 Man Rotation?

    Anyone Head The Rumor About Hamilton Asking For a Trade? Just Kidding. Would Not Surprise Me One Bit if it Happened Tho.

  • Steven

    Kalen….harp on my brother….KK is at most a 10 minute player.

  • Jeff

    I disagree with the grades but agree with the assessment of Iguodala. He is clearly the most useful and skillful overall player on this roster, at this point in time at least.

    • Jeff

      Also, I don’t think McGee is in good enough shape to play 30 minutes a night especially on back to backs. And by shape I mean mentally and physically.

  • Tom

    This has already been mentioned, but Koufos has a much better +/- over these 5 games than McGee, +18 to -7. Heck, Koufos has the best +/- on the entire team! http://www.nba.com/statistics/plusminus/plusminus_sort.jsp?pcomb=1&season=22012&split=9&team=Nuggets

    Flawed stat? Maybe it would be misleading if he was a scrub getting garbage +/- numbers, but he’s the frickin’ starter! Three of the other starters are at the very bottom:
    Gallo -11
    Iggy -24
    Faried -30

    Bottom line: Koufos may not have sexy counting numbers, but the team plays better when he’s on the court than when he’s not.

    • Tom

      To continue with this +/- point:
      Faried at the very bottom with -30 is very telling. I don’t know if anybody’s noticed, but Faried has been getting severely dominated by other bigs. Spencer Hawes was getting “MVP” chants. Glen “Big Baby” Davis looked like the second coming of Dwight Howard. Chris Bosh looked like the reigning MVP. Greg Monroe was his dominating self, of course. And Patrick Peterson (Patrick Peterson for crying out loud!) was the best player on his team and finished with a +8 (to Faried’s -7).

      Folks, folks (especially Kalen), there is more to basketball than counting stats. Faried and McGee have great counting stats, but they’ve been getting flat-out dominated by opposing bigs. Every big that plays us looks like an all-star. Only Koufos has managed to hold his own, and that’s why he’s getting 24 minutes per game.

      • GZ

        I’m glad someone else has noticed this trend: the Nuggets are consistently getting killed by bigs with shooting range. I can’t help but wonder if Anthony Randolph (7′ and athletic) could be coached to find a niche as the the Nuggets’ defensive stopper versus players like Bosh, Hawes, or Patterson who pull McGee or K2 too far from the basket? I know he’s not that player now, but this may be his only hope to find court time. If not AR, could Gallo do it? Also, Gallo’s grade should correlate with how many free throws he takes in a game. When he’s attacking the basket aggressively like he did against Orlando, he’s a force. When he settles for jacking up 3s, he becomes a liability. Finally, it’s nice to see the Nuggets starting to increase their number of assists. There were a few beautiful plays in the half-court set: one where Lawson drove and then lobbed a perfect alley-oop to McGee from the free throw line a la Chris Paul, and another where AI hit a free-throw line jumper coming off an elbow screen like we used to run for Afflalo. It’s a refreshing change from spread the floor, take your defender one-on-one. I hope they can build upon as they get more accustomed to playing together.

  • Murguz

    Disagree: Iggy was not brought here to be that guy. He wasn’t go-to scorer in Philly and and won’t play such a role here as well.
    He brings that defensive mentality our Nuggets lack so much.
    Also want to add that McGee comes off the bench because he plays better with Miller. And I completely trust Karl, because I saw what our team was like when he was dealing with cancer.

  • http://yahoo mile high

    Kalen, this is one of the most prejudiced pieces I’ve ever read you wrote. This blind love for MaGee and hatred for Koufos is favoritism in itself. Man, just look at the plus-minus numbers. Koufos got +17 as a starter, how can that be bad!

    • Evan Woodruff

      Oh, I don’t know. Maybe because he’s playing with starters?!?!?

      • Ryan

        Agree with Evan. Maybe McGee’s plus/minus isn’t as good because he plays with Andre Miller, who can’t guard a statue. Plus minus is a TEAM stat, it depends upon who you’re playing with and who you’re playing against. Not sure what’s so complicated about this…

      • JetLife82

        Wait then why does Kouf typically have a higher +/- rating than the other 4 starters?

  • http://www.chazkemp.com Avarra

    I agree that GK may be just waiting for McGee to earn his spot. He may be basically telling him that just because you got a big contract, it doesn’t mean you automatically get to start. GK may also be thinking that until McGee becomes that starter, he’ll give Koufas some play just to see if he CAN be starter material.

    I agree with the grades. I thik theNuggets are still finding their identity as a team but their definitely on their way. Do you guys feel that they’ll have the kinks worked out by January?

  • Aaron

    This is the worst post game reaction I’ve ever read here. Kalen, . . GK did address the issue by saying that JaValle is still out of shape and can’t play for long stretched without getting burned out. He said that like 3 days ago. And, AI is not a featured offensive player (he wasn’t in Philly) but gets his points in transition and off of other players driving, etc. . . I’m looking forward to Ty Lawson throwing him wide open 3 ponit looks all season. This is an awful post, and I”m wondering if we were watching the same game.

    One more thing. . Houston is not a horrible team, with Lin and Harden, they are one of the best backcourts out there. . Lawson, Miller, and Iggy did an amazing job on defense tonight. Amazing. . Harden was leading the league in scoring.

    Wow. . what a weird reaction to this game??

    • Thomas

      At the very least it’s just too much to give Miller an A with his contribution to the game, 5 assists and five turnovers.

      It should be noted that GK went for the 2 PG line-up in the 3rd quarter and things got really bad in a hurry.

      Gallo had a key trey and a FT putback late, but he played awful most of the night. It was a perfect situation to put Jham in the game. Man it must suck to be in GK’s doghouse – once in it you are done unless someone gets hurt.

    • Ryan

      Lin is awful. He had a hot stretch on a Knicks team with no Melo/Amare and played well against mostly bad teams. By playing in New York, he got a lot of attention and duped Houston into giving him a nice contract. Very smart, you can tell he went to Harvard. If he did what he did last year in Sacramento, he would be a non-descript bench player playing for the minimum.

      • Misty

        Lin’s stats – first 3 games vs. this game:

        FG%: 39% vs. 22%
        3PT%: 33% vs. 0% (0/4)
        Boards: 5.7 vs. 5
        Assists: 7.3 vs. 6
        Points: 15.3 vs. 6

        So I’d disagree that he’s having a bad season. And I’d say that the Denver D shut him down in this game.

        • Ryan

          Are you saying 39% shooting is good? 33% from 3 is good? Not sure what you’re trying to prove…

  • xtal

    Karl is one of the best coaches in the league. Is it possible he knows something we don’t about basketball, or about managing young players?
    One thing that jumps to mind is Adelman last year with Ricky Rubio. Asked why he wasn’t starting the kid over Luke Ridnour early in the season, he said something to the effect of rookies have to earn their starts, you don’t just give it to them.
    Karl said Koufos had the best training camp. he’s going to keep his word about the best people in camp earning minutes. That’s what leaders do, they keep their word. He can’t just automatically give someone like McGee starter minutes right off the bat due to talent, the guy needs to be in an environment where he’s held accountable. it’s pretty much a guarantee that McGee will be playing far more minutes this season than Koufos, but it’s better long-term if McGee earns those minutes with consistency and sustained effort. I trust that Karl knows who the best players on his team are. He wants to keep his job, he’s making the best moves he can to ensure this team comes together the right way so it can make a playoff run.

  • http://yahoo.com prospector

    The reason we won at Houston was due to the fact that Wilson didn’t play.. Faried got 35 mins and played his back side off….. Is his defense perfect?? Not yet, but he makes up for it in his effort and passion… Whether its diving for lose balls, sprinting back on defense, key blocked shots Faried is definitely a guy you want on the floor for over 30 mins…
    BUT guess what???? Chandler is back for Utah… So that means Faried plays 22 to 23 mins, and Mcgee 18 mins and Faried is off the floor in the critical 4th qtr.. If that happens there is a good chance we get beat.. YO KARL, PLAY MCGEE 25 & FARIED 35 MINS!!!!!! It’s not rocket science… But a Karl doesn’t change his spots, and Chandler will take faried’s/mcgee’s mins .. Great job coach.. Yo Karl can you try to maybe win a time-out??? Naw that would actually require thought.. KARL PROVE ME WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Ryan

      Agree completely. Chandler seems to think he’s still playing in the Chinese Basketaball Association. Without rapid improvement in the next month or so, he will just drag the team down financially and with his play.

  • Z

    this game proves the Nuggets are great lol trade Chandler free him from this blog

  • GIANLUCA

    wHY YESTERDAY ,Gallo play bad and C+ …
    and todat 13 point , 10 rembound , 3 assist .. and 5-0 very important in the 4°quarter … C- ?????????????????????
    WHAT ?????? C- ?????

  • GIANLUCA

    The americans people , love Igoudala and Hate Danilo … for me the real leader of the Nuggets is Danilo , if the 3point is 35% he is an all-star

  • Nugznazty

    McGee is our best free throw shooter! KAZAAM!

  • http://yahoo.com prospector

    Thanks Ryan! Gianluca, I love Gallo. Once he fully recovers from the ankle injury, I think he’ll be back to his normal level of play. I love his passing.. He’s always making plays for Faried & KK (if he can catch them).. Gallo and Faried are my favorite players.

  • park hill

    Gallo made some big buckets. He knows driving to the hole just to get fouls isn’t worthy. Harden realized that in the first quarter. McGee wears out but could play more. Randolph and Mozzy not playing at all is odd. AR could of dealt with Patrick Patterson better than most. Iggy’s turnovers are annoying.

    I think we are learning that chemistry for a team that has no offensive sets takes time. Chemistry on the break is upsetting, its just basketball.

    At this pace, Ty, Miller, Iggy. Faried (?) and Brewer will be gassed at the end of the year. Karl has to find a way to get AR, Mozzy, J Ham and even Fournier in to spell more players. At least during back to backs. He’s inability to manage his deep teams is making me want to stop rooting for his teams.

  • Trevor

    I hope when Mozgov gets back he can prove he deserves minutes over Koufos. Mozgov plays a lot bigger and is way more athletic than Koufos, they are both pretty bad around the rim but I think Mozgov is just a better defensive and offensive player overall. The only thing Koufos has on him is he is a much better rebounder.

    • dynamo.joe

      I think you maybe confused about the definitions of one or more of the following words: athletic, defense, Koufos, Mozgov.

  • Nugget fan from Brazil

    I think the issue isn’t between JaVail and Koufus, I think the issue is at point and the combinations aren’t adding up to a perfect starting unit. In many ways Andre is better than Lawson, not faster but just better as a true point. His chemistry with JaVail is what makes JaVail thrive with him on the court. Maybe the answer is start Andre with JaVail, we haven’t even seen this option yet…even in preseason. I love Lawson but the best Nuggets year we the year Lawson was coming off the bench and Chauncey was running the offense. Andre Miller is just that guy, and he know it. Last year he didn’t give a damn about the team until the end of the year when he wanted to make sure he’d go to the playoffs. This year he wants it bad so let him go for it. Let he lead. Let him take us to our first NBA championship. We have nothing to lose, we haven’t any executives for this year. Let Andre do his job and there won’t be a team in the NBA that can stop the Nuggets.

    • park hill

      Well said, Ty is leading because his stock says so. He probably wouldn’t mind coming off the bench. Miller is better to set a tone and then catch some rest on the bench. Start both of them with McGee and Faried, come out hard but yet sensible. A bench of Gallo, KK, Mozzy, AR, Brewer and Iggy. Izzy or Ty starting is a toss up, that could depend on the game.

      Karl is old school, he doesn’t mix it up like that. I can’t imagine how NBA coaches must sacrifice winning for team building. I know what it looks like.

      • park hill

        I meant to name Chandler as the starter on this team. He needs the confidence boost, not Ty or Gallo.

  • KW

    A few things came to me during this game.

    I don’t like Lawson’s game. I like him and I don’t want to see him go but I don’t really like his game. Inconsistent and sometimes lacking hustle. For a bit I thought he had taken it upon himself to embarrass Lin and the Rockets but then he let up. I wish he would bring an assassins mindset every night. I also see him throw bad passes, I think he finds the right guy, he just has a hard time hitting him in the hands, in step, in the spot. Just my opinion.

    PER is flawed. Kouf isn’t better than AI, he plays with starters. That’s it.

    The Rockets are terrible. We should have blown them out.

    • Ryan

      Agree. Lawson has a weird tendency to take his foot of the gas and lose his edge rather than be aggressive the entire game. Also, the Rockets do suck. The only way they can win is if Harden goes crazy and scores 40 pts.

  • Nugnugz

    I heartily disagree with your comment that Gallo is so much more than an outside shooter. I disagree because in order for him to actually be an outside shooter, he’d have to actually shoot well from the outside.

  • Mark from Charlotte

    GK needs to play AR15 a few minutes. He can deal with most of the centers in the league. Jefferson of UTAH will take advantage of KK on friday.

  • Young_Guru

    Am I the only one who think Igoudala shouldn’t be our go to scorer? He’s best doing what he did against Houston: rebounding, defense, assists, and making great plays in transition for easy points. Also, and this is irrelevant to this game, but is Wilson Chandler overrated? He chucks up some pretty atrocious turn around fade away jumpers (I think that’s the only shot he has). I know his praise has been defensively, but even there I don’t see much more than length. I think you could make a case that Gallo has been better defensively this year.

    • dynamo.joe

      In a word? Yes.

      Chandler is very athletic, even by NBA standards. That fools alot of people into believing he is a great basketball player.

      As a 1-1 defender his athletic ability allows him to stay in front of whoever he is guarding, excepting a few guys who are even more athletic (e.g. Lebron, etc). But he doesn’t seem to understand positioning or defensive schemes or help defense.

      He can get to the rim and finish there, but he doesn’t like to do so. Maybe he thinks he takes too much punishment when he goes into the paint? And yes, he is in love with the fade away jumper that he can’t hit.

      In short he is a superior athlete who makes bad basketball decisions.