Rapid Reaction: Phoenix Suns 110, Denver Nuggets 100

Denver Nuggets 100 FinalRecap | Box Score 110 Phoenix Suns
Danilo Gallinari, SF 35 MIN | 6-16 FG | 1-2 FT | 9 REB | 3 AST | 15 PTS | +3

People say Gallo has his confidence back, but what they don’t understand is that it was never about confidence in the first place — it was about the types of shots he was taking. Does the fact that he’s made, what, one or two more shots with his feet right inside the 3-point arc change the fact that they aren’t good shots? Gallo actually had a pretty decent game, all things considered. But when you remember he’s an athletic 6-10 small forward who has unlimited range, excellent handles (for his size) and can get to the line with some of the best in the league — games like these can tend to seem pretty pedestrian.

Kenneth Faried, SF 30 MIN | 6-7 FG | 2-4 FT | 11 REB | 0 AST | 14 PTS | -10

I don’t know what Faried really could have done differently to get a higher grade. He let Markieff Morris score a bit too much, but that was kind of the story for the whole team tonight. Bottom line: Whenever Faried is in the game the Nuggets always play better, which makes his lengthy absence in the second quarter all the more head-scratching.

Kosta Koufos, C 17 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | +4

Koufos is still being wildly outproduced by McGee. That won’t change. Why? Because he’s simply not as good as McGee. End of story. It’s nice to see him playing such good interior defense though. That was a part of his game that was really lacking over the last several weeks. If he can continue making his presence known in the paint, his shortcomings will be much easier to swallow.

Ty Lawson, PG 35 MIN | 5-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 8 AST | 12 PTS | -4

Lawson was dominated by Dragic all night long. Dominated. He was awful in high pick-and-rolls (but so was the entire team) and as a result, Dragic shot 4-5 from deep, which was basically the different in the game scoring-wise. On offense, Lawson isn’t looking to be aggressive. It’s as if he’s all or nothing with getting the basket. Lawson has to expand his creativity when it comes to scoring AND distributing. He can’t get caught up in being just the speedy point guard. He’s way too talented to pigeonhole himself like that. Worst of all, his confidence appears to be rattled.

Andre Iguodala, SG 34 MIN | 6-8 FG | 2-4 FT | 9 REB | 5 AST | 17 PTS | -7

You can’t complain with how Iguodala has played over the last few games. He’s really taken our advice at RMC (not literally, of course) and become the No. 1 option on the team. He’s making difficult shots — which is exactly what you want to see from your best player — and is playing excellent defense too. Let’s just hope he doesn’t get pulled down into the funk that Lawson and Gallinari currently occupy.

Corey Brewer, SF 22 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 7 PTS | -8

Brewer was somewhat invisible. It’s games like these where the Nuggets really need him to step up on defense and ignite the team. His inconsistency perpetuates.

Timofey Mozgov, C 2 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -1


JaVale McGee, C 24 MIN | 8-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 16 PTS | -5

McGee had a really solid night offensively. He was efficient and slammed home a handful of different lob passes throughout the evening. But three boards from a 7-footer with the longest wingspan in the NBA won’t cut it. He also needs to stop biting on pump fakes from dudes like Scola and David Lee who can’t jump over a phone book.

Andre Miller, PG 26 MIN | 2-7 FG | 3-4 FT | 2 REB | 6 AST | 8 PTS | -17

Miller really didn’t get into his crafty, veteran groove tonight. He kind of dribbled aimlessly and lost the ball too much. The Suns didn’t let him post up or operate the way he likes to and as a result he became limited.

Wilson Chandler, SG 14 MIN | 3-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | -5

Chandler finally did some positive things out there. He still looks like he’s lost half the time, but at least he’s starting to make some shots. It’s tough though. Chandler is a proven scorer in this league. He’s a guy who deserves at least 25 minutes per night. He just can’t be effective coming off the bench in such a limited capacity.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Defense wins… regular season games?: Sure, you can win championships playing defense, but did you know you can win many regular season games doing the same thing? Crazy, I know. On Monday the Suns played better defense and that’s why they won. They scored 110 points only because the Nuggets failed to come prepared with anything even resembling a defensive game-plan. The Suns were tougher, more physical and in the end much better at stopping their opponent from scoring — which was the biggest deciding factor in this game.
  2. Can’t win em all… but you can win a lot of em: Look, people are going to overact to this loss and that’s understandable. But in the grand scheme of things it’s only one game. Right? One game out of 81? Actually, that’s wrong — if only because, this is the Nuggets we’re talking about here. This team uses that excuse entirely too often. When you say “it’s only one game,” that’s a mulligan most teams use just a few times the whole season. But this casual, “bad loss” phenomena is one the Nuggets have become accustomed to over the years. The reality of the situation is: Every year in the NBA you only play a certain amount of games you should win. You HAVE to take advantage of those opportunities! If you don’t, you start digging yourself in a hole and soon you’re forced to win many more games against good teams than you ever should have to. If you’re the Lakers and have an arena filled with banners, this lackadaisical approach to the regular season can be overlooked. But when you’re the Nuggets, this is the difference between the eight seed and the sixth seed — and essentially a first-round exit or a chance to finally do something in the playoffs. Through eight games the Nuggets schedule really hasn’t been that bad yet they’ve already lost three games they probably should have won. Chalk it up as a slow start, but the Nuggets are already tampering with their luck.
  3. Depth Dilemma: As we’ve already mentioned numerous times before, depth seems to be more of a problem with this team than a solution. Karl just does not know how to handle it. His lineup to close the game was pretty frustrating with Gallinari playing center. You can’t really blame him too much though. He’s trying to manage with what he’s got. But 14 minutes for a guy as talented as Wilson Chandler just doesn’t work. Over the last five games or so, Karl has contracted his lineup and it really had a positive impact on the players. Guys need time to be effective. It’s common NBA knowledge. They need time to gel. I know it’s early, but I just see no way this team makes it past the trade deadline without making a pretty huge deal that would eliminate some of these issues.
  4. Just for the record: Prior to the game Denver Post writer Benjamin Hochman was on NBA TV and said the altitude does not affect McGee negatively like many have suggested. He even went so far as to say McGee is BETTER in Colorado than he was in Washington D.C. because of the elements in the air. So please, let’s put this one to rest. McGee is currently being underplayed for reasons other than his asthma. Let’s just hope that whatever it is doesn’t last much longer.
  5. Pay respect to the vets: No, I don’t mean Andre Miller. I’m talking about the men and women who defend not only the U.S., but every country in the world. We try to keep things strictly Nuggets related here, but every now and then we deviate from the Roundball Standard for reasons we like to think are important. I know we all go about life and thank our veterans from time to time for what they’ve done, but do you really think about what it is they do? I mean, really process it? Tonight, please do, and for a few moments realize just how inconsequential basketball is compared to the big picture.
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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.

Latest posts by Kalen Deremo (see all)

  • Jason

    George Karl f***ing us over with small ball in crunch time. No surprises here.

    • Thomas

      Tis is the time for management to think BIG and sit down with Phil Jackson. Not sure if he would do it, but if we open the wallet (doubtful) and convince him that we have what it takes (one player away), he may be interested after receiving the shaft from the Lakers.

      With Phil, our team makes the leap this organization is looking for – it places Denver as a top spot to go if you are an NBA player seeking a title.

      With GK, we are also rans. We are a racing team with an awesome car and an average driver. I want to find out how fast this “car” can go.

      No coach is irreplaceable. Wish GK well, tip his hat to him, offer him a front office position or something, but get him off the bench.

      Phil Jackson!

    • waylon

      I am done reading this blog. I tired of reading the same thing, Mcgee is the best big man and GK is a idoit for not playing him, for that matter keep repeating GK is just an idoit.

      Mcgee is not a good team guy. I don’t think he is blackhole or trying to show off, he just doesn’t seem to fit. That is why Kosta plays and starts, it is not always about who is a best athlete.


    Karl loses us another one just fire this overrated coach, I’m sick of his BS!!!

    FIRE GK!!!!

  • Brooke

    BUTTHOLE SMALL LINEUPS TO FINISH GAMES. I swear I will never understand why Karl does this.

  • http://@j_phil96 Justin Phillips

    Tonights reasons:
    1. We were leading by 10 then the suns went on a 12-2 run and Karl doesn’t call a timeout to slow things down.
    2. Andre Miller at 6’2 36years old Should not be playing SG! Put in Hamilton! J-Ham worked all offseason and so far its been for nothing.
    3. He sits on the Bench and Smirks the Entire game, he needs to be active and yelling tips.

    I could not care less how many all time wins he has, We’ve already given Karl to many years to get us a ring! The Nuggets have a chance to be something special, lets not waste it. #FireGeorgeKarl

  • KW

    What they said. What is Karl thinking?

  • Jason

    Replace George Karl with Phil Jackson!!

    • http://@j_phil96 Justin Phillips

      That would be Amazing, there’d be nothing Phil Jackson would want more is to Pass the Lakers and Win a championship!

  • ryanvdonk

    miller and ty can’t be in at the same time to end the game. it takes ty out of the game when miller is running the show and miller is worthless as a shooter when ty is at the helm. it works against backups in the middle of games because it creates lots of opportunities in transition. but when the game slows down it hinders the team on both ends (andre’s defense is bad enough without having to play out of position)…and i’m not even factoring in the huge hole on defense and rebounding left by only having one big in the game.

  • Andrew K

    I still endorse Karl.

    • http://@j_phil96 Justin Phillips


  • Andrew

    Karl drives me nuts. The infatuation with Miller has got to end.

  • Daniel Y

    Watching GK’s postgame interview right now, he is totally clueless. Rambling on about random things with no general train of thought. You know why they got extra possessions George? because you had a guy who is 6’8 playing center with two pg’s in to close the game. You are truly an idiot George Karl, a great guy and everything, but a bad coach. He just said”we have three centers” and “experimenting with rotations” well why don’t you play one of them jackass!!! How’s that for an experiment!! AHHH. He just doesn’t care, if he doesn’t care why are the players gonna care? Jordan Hamilton is just wasting away on the bench. Anthony Randolph? No how about the Injured Wilson Chandler playing PF instead, jacking up stupid shots. He needs to go. It’s obviously not too early to fire a head coach, ask the Lakers.


    • http://@j_phil96 Justin Phillips

      Well said.

  • josh

    I’ve always been a GK fan but he’s gotta play shooters in crunch time Gallo needs to be on the floor with Hamilton and Lawson who can create open looks for them, I will never understand why Hamilton isn’t used as a legitimate deep range threat off the bench 15 minutes a game is all I ask. The fastbreak is great and exciting but in the NBA to be consistent you need to be good in all aspects

  • Warner

    Having watched the Nuggets over the years (since George Karl arrived) I’ve been used to these types of games. The Nuggets seem to have a grip on the game until the second half of the 4th quarter when GK goes EXTREMELY small and squashes all momentum the team may have had. As whoever wrote the recap for the Warriors said, I’ll give credit to GK when credit is due and he coached a pretty good game against Golden State. He was able to play Faried at the C because GS was playing Carl Landry at the C position, so the size differential is negligible. Tonight however, Gortat played C throughout the 4th quarter, and Faried simply can’t guard a 7 footer. Not to mention, when GK adds Gallo at the 4, he’s putting in a player who isn’t a dominant rebounder. Frustrating to say the least, especially when McGee was playing very well and Koufos was playing solid defense. A few other observations:
    -Ty needs to get his head out of his butt right now. Yesterday. He can no longer be the future all star, he must be that guy NOW. No more disappearing for quarters on end, no more drifting in and out of the offensive sets, no more lost aggression after one or two frustrating plays.
    -I’m extremely pleased with Iguodala’s play, he’s a true jack of all trades and seems to be finding his role offensively with more ease than I expected, and I had very high expectations for him coming into this season.
    -McGee must play more. Period.
    -Faried is growing right before our very eyes. His energy is infectious. The sky is the limit for him.
    -Gallo is becoming more and more frustrating to watch. I’m starting to believe he’s not very coachable.
    -Finally, Chandler seemed to gain some quickness in the second half. I was pleased to see him aggressive and playing solid D. Gallo better be on watch for his job might be in danger if this keeps up. Mark my words.

    • ThomasDenverFan

      thank god some one else thinks ill wil will take gallo’s job when healthy it will happen

      • Warner

        Yea. I understand why many nuggets fans aren’t necessarily the biggest supporters of Chandler due to his small sample size and less than stellar play. However, when healthy (which I admit can be a big if) he has the ability to be one of the most versatile players in the entire NBA. I’m from NY so I watched a lot of Gallo and Chandler before the trade, and trust me many Knicks fans were more upset losing Chandler than Gallo. Anyway, if Chandler can get into shape, he can provide 16 pts, 6 rebs, 1blk/steal per game if given enough minutes off the bench. He’s far superior to Brewer offensively and is a much better rebounder (which is very important if GK continues to play small ball which he will). Chandler can play a major role in this teams success, so can Gallo. I love Gallo but he needs to pull it together and start attacking the basket and using the 3 ball as a complimentary piece to his game. Sorry for the rant, I’m just not in love with how the players on this team are getting used at the moment.

        • ThomasDenverFan

          no problems i just have been a fan of Ill Will i just like when he drive he can be very aggressive or very smooth with his touch at the rim. and he is much better at rebounding than C brew or gallo. and i think he has an edge on the defense as well. but i really think there is more than on player being used wrong on this team and a better coach is in need.

  • Mark from Charlotte

    I agree Daniel Y GK needs to be fired ASAP. Masji has given GK alot of talent on this roster. GK is overrated as a coach. GK plays alot of small ball at crunch time . This team has three seven foot guys, AR15, QMILLER, and HAMILTON on the bench. Give these guys a chance. Cut AMILLER can’t play defense. Hire NATE MCMILLIAN.

  • Jacob

    You guys are complaining about guys on the bench not playing, but list more guys than we can put on the floor. I mean I agree Hamilton needs more time, but we can only have 5 guys on the court at one time. There simply aren’t enough minutes to go around for Miller and Randolph to play and really not enough for Hamilton to get in that much. I do think Hamilton should take some of Gallinari’s minutes because Galinari just throws up shots and Miller should sit a little more, but other than that there aren’t any more minutes to go around. It’s simple: we have a roster that is good, but not quite great unless some guys really start to step up. So we will finish in the middle of the playoff pack maybe win a series, but ultimately the star loaded teams will beat us and there isn’t much Karl can do to change that.

    • ryanvdonk

      part of the problem is karl undermines our players with star potential.

      he sticks ty in with miller, which forces him to play the 2, something he lacks the size and knockdown shooting to do. with this ty’s personality flaws come in to play, when he’s not involved he loses focus, you see it when all the sudden he’s tossed the ball back after sitting in the corner for 5 minutes and he looks out of sync and unaggressive. also, ty is a little to unselfish to demand the ball when this happens, so it compounds the mistakes.

      he limits faried and mcgee’s minutes (though faried seems to be getting in his trust zone). if conditioning is mcgee’s problem, then the only way he will improve now is to play through it, not sit. or maybe just a short rest, catch his breath and back in.

      the only player karl has really given opportunity to make the leap consistently is gallo, who is trying but is more a 2nd or 3rd option than a first (aka detlef schrempf is his ceiling, not dirk)

      • Thomas

        Very good points. I agree, by giving space to Miller GK is seriously mishandling the development of Lawson. You can’t talk and blame Lawson for not making this team his by giving the keys to Miller at the end of games.

        As far as identifying and developing talent goes, it’s safe to say that GK is among the worst coaches out there. If I were JHam, I would set my sights on packing my bags and going somewhere where he can at least have a shot – instead of being snubbed for a 19yr old frenchie.

        There are 3 things you need as a player to be on GK’s preferred status:
        1. Be European, preferably Spanish for his Madrid fix
        2. Avoid dreads, brush away the body tattoos
        3. Be old (better yet, a “veteran”)

    • SmokinNugs

      An NBA game is 48 minutes. Our starting point guard played 35 minutes meaning he sat for 13 minutes. Yet our backup point guard played 26 minutes which is twice as long as our starting point guard rested. If we played our back up point guard only when he was backing up the starter and not along side him, you could free up 13 minutes from that game for Jordan Hamilton.

      Seems pretty easy to me.

      • Thomas

        This is to simple and smart an argument for our coach to understand.

  • Stephen Hernandez

    Everyone agrees gk needs to go and I think next nugs home game if we can make it there we make signs saying exactly that

  • Finazz

    We are a worst overall team with W chandler getting minutes

  • Wally

    PLAY JHAM! Good lord karl sucks at evaluating talent, terrible lineups, and has his “favorites”. Andre Miller is amazing and I love him but when GK uses the 2 pg lineup it messes with his and tys game and makes them less effective. and again PLAY JHAM

  • CJP32

    It looked like the guys were tired and not up for the challenge, 5 games in 7 nights will do that. Still, we should not have lost to Phoenix.

    Gallo still taking contested jumpers and not getting to the FT line. Whats up with Ty??? McGee scored a bunch of dunks, but didn’t do much else.

    I’m not sure if Chandler playing is good or bad. He looked better tonight, but at what cost? Faried/Gallo and Brewer are going to lose minutes once he’s healthy and playing at a high level. One of the 3 wings has to go (WC, CBrew, Gallo) because GK cannot use them all at once or chop and change minutes between them. And that doesn’t even count JHam who is rotting on the bench.

    Not sure who’s going and when, but its gotta happen.

  • clive

    so you say that McGee is better than Koufos. but I always see Koufos with a postive +/- and McGee with a negative +/-. You know why? it’s because Koufos always does the little things that doesn’t show up on the stats that helps the team and McGee always does the opposite. For example, Koufos always boxes out his man so that the opposing team doesn’t get the rebound even if that means he doesn’t get the rebound. McGee always ball watches instead of boxing out. Koufos tips the ball out to his teammate if he can’t get the rebound. McGee doesn’t do that. Koufos tries to block shots in a way so that his team can get to it. McGee sends it into the stands. McGee plays good 1-on-1 defense and rotates. McGee always bites on pump fakes and overcomits from the weak side and leaves his man open. I can go on and on.

    McGee may be 10 times more athletic than Koufos. But until he can show me that he’s a basketball player and not just an athlete, I’d much rather Koufos play than McGee.

    • Greco21

      Well I agree that he did all the little things plus 2 blocks. If shot alternation was a stat then he could be more effective.

      On the other hand he lost some defensive rebounds from Gortat, he had to foul early open penetrations, he has to make cuts to the the basket to give his teamates options (McGee does that a lot) rather than sticking to the weak side…

      Koufos vs McGee is good challenge. It will make both of them better players.

      Karl should go Tall 4th Quarter. Size matters in BBall. Its better to loose TALL rather than loose small. I will not elaborate further but you have to risk NOW before playoffs are around the corner

    • Ryan

      It wouldn’t be a bad idea to play both at the same time. Only problem is that the idea would probably make GK’s mind explode…

  • Warner

    Moving Forward, out of 240 minutes, I think the minutes should roughly be allocated accordingly: (assuming Chandler healthy)

    C: Koufos 12-15, McGee 25-30, Faried 3-11
    Pf: Faried 27-30, Chandler 13-16, Koufos 2-8
    Sf: Gallo 30-32, Chandler 12-14, Brewer 2-6
    SG: Iguodala 33, Brewer 7-8, Hamilton 7-8
    Pg: Lawson 33, Miller 15

    I think on certain nights, Brewer should play all or most of Hamiton’s minutes(as he is now) when he’s doing his thing well and we all know what this is. However, when we need shooting and spacing, Hamilton should dip into Brewer’s minutes. Miller can also get some extra run at the SG, but only on occasion. I think a lot of us here agree that Ty is only a shell of himself when he and Miller are on the court together.

    • CJP32

      I agree with most of your minutes distribution, but a couple of things:

      Theres no way Miller plays just 15 mpg – GK is obsessed with him and stated at the beginning of the year that he will play 25 mpg.

      Also, its going to be very hard for JHam to play at all (unless an injury occurs to a wing player).

      I would think mins will look like:

      C – KK – 14, McGee – 24, Faried – 10 (small ball)
      PF – Faried – 22, Gallo – 14, Chandler – 12
      SF – Gallo – 18, Chandler – 12, Brewer – 18
      SG – Iggy – 36, Dre – 12
      PG – Ty – 34, Dre – 14

      JHam would get mins once an injury occurs. KK could get more depending on match-up.

      I think the issue here is Wilson Chandler. He disrupts the chemistry we have. 1-3 when he plays, 3-1 when he doesn’t.

      I think if he were gone, then Gallo, Brewer and JHam would all have defined roles. Brewer had a great preseason and has played well so far. He is a cheaper version of Chandler – yes he’s not as offensively talented than Chandler, but he makes up for it elsewhere.

      I just think we would be better off without Chandler.

      • Warner

        I agree that’s how the minutes will be distributed. I just wish they were more like how I laid them out. One part I strongly disagree with however is the notion that Gallo should play more PF minutes than Chandler. Even though Gallo is taller, Chandler is the better defender against bigs.

  • ThomasDenverFan

    Thank you Kalen for the shout out to the military Vets i for one appreciate it and i know others that do what we do.so.that we will always have freedoms like basketball and other little things that make the US so great.

  • Rxmart2

    LOL Denver fans are becoming insufferable. Karl’s small ball lineups have consistently produced the best +- of them all, just look back at last year and the early part of this year (Christ doesn’t anyone remember what it did LAST GAME??!?!). The problem wasn’t really Karl, it was the fact that Phoenix ran INSANE on bad shots. I’ve been charting every game, every shot this season, and this one in Phoenix was an anomaly–they shot 60+ on contested 2s and 80+ (yes 80%) on CONTESTED 3’s. There simply is no defense for that.

    They actually defended the paint really well but struggled on the boards. This one I really put on a)variance and b) rebounding.

    That’s it. Move on. Those clamoring for Karl to be fired need to calm their ass down.

    • ryanvdonk

      i actually addressed this. small ball works better in the middle of the game. you get mismatches against some backup players and there are more opportunities in transition for both point guards to be active. it kills us at the end of games because the other team has more talented players in and the game is more half court oriented. now if one of our PGs could catch and shoot and play well off ball it would be fine, but neither ty or dre are good at either of these things (though it seems ty could be a passable shooter when he puts some arc in his shot, but is afraid to let it fly). also the size disadvantage (and speed in dre’s case) hurts us on defense as one of the two usually has to play a bigger SG.

  • Rxmart2

    And those saying Javale should be playing over Kosta, or Mozzy over Kosta, are you high? Why is it that Kosta is consistently the big with the higher +-, even though the starters have played their counterparts even? It’s because at this time, sorry to tell people, Javale sucks. Sure he puts up great stats, but there are things he does (leaving his man too early, goaltends, 3 second calls every game) that don’t show up in the stats. I think he can be a productive player, but for now all he’s doing is putting up empty stats.

  • Marc

    “When Faried is in the game the Nuggets ALWAYS play better”.

    Well Faried had the worst +/- on the team…

    You need to calm down when writing these things. Every single loss we’ve had you’ve fumed over Karl and his lineups. Despite all his energy, Faried is inexperienced and not a good 1-on-1 defender. JaVale is a great athlete but is just as inclined to play defense as JR Smith was. JR always got a ton of steals, and JaVale gets a ton of blocks, but looking outside of the statistics it’s clear to see that neither of them give a rats a** about that side of the floor.

    That’s why JaVale stays with the second team, because he’s a good help defender and can jump really high. Two things that mesh perfectly with Andre Miller’s game. If JaVale gave some more effort than maybe he would earn more playing time, but as it is Koufos does the little things that help a team win.

    You want proof? Just look at the +/- numbers.

    • Thomas

      No, wrong. Poor analysis.

      Faried got most of his bad +/- in the last minutes of the game, when we had no solid D center (KK) and played 2-PG, no defense GK madness.

      When Faried played in his natural position, SF, flanked by KK, he was solid and the starting 5 dominated the first quarter. Then came GK’s desire to switch everything and give the keys to Miller – from then on we made PHX look like a playoff team.

      Miller +/- was – 17 in 26 minutes. Enough said.

      • ryanvdonk

        i think you mean PF, SF is a wing player.

    • Kalen

      My questions is: Since when did plus-minus become the omnipotent stat of any argument? Our writers here have clearly outlined the difference between Koufos and McGee statistically over the last week and in almost every category McGee is superior. Plus-minus is a very flawed and misleading stat. It should be used in moderation. It’s not as much an individual achievement as it is a reflection of who you’re on the floor with. Koufos often plays with the starters, which is why he has a higher plus-minus. Conversely, McGee plays with the second unit for much of the time, which clearly isn’t as good. If you swapped McGee with Koufos in terms of the units they play with, do you honestly think McGee’s plus-minus would be lower? I highly doubt it.

      • Rxmart2

        Regularized Adjusted Plus Minus and Adjusted plus minus factors all of that in, and in my opinion is the least flawed stat of them all, especially compared to the bulk stats that you are using. Unfortunately you need a lot of data points to draw a firm conclusion and there will always be outliers, but in the case of Javale he’s been BAD for a long time now. For example look at his rebounding numbers–they look decent from a bulk stat standpoint, however for the past 3 years his teams have rebounded horribly when he’s on the court. Over a few games its happanstance, over years it’s not.

        He’s learning and I hope he gets better, but right now he’s not close to Kosta as an NBA center.

  • Rxmart2

    Yes this is a horrible writeup.

    Sorry but this is very results oriented thinking. The defense actually played pretty well with the exception of giving up way too many offensive boards. They only allowed 1 corner 3 point attempt, and it was a transition 3 to Beasley which was semi contested. They won the points in the paint battle by a pretty wide margin. Denver forced Phoenix into the worst shots in BBall, the long 2, but unfortunately Phoenix was a) hitting them at an alarming rate, along with contested 3’s and b) getting their ass beat on the boards.

    This was a variance loss unfortunately, but fans are going to clamor for someone’s head because Phoenix ran extremely hot on low percentage jumpers..


    • Thomas

      GK lover or GK himself

    • Ryan

      Your analysis has some strong points, but you overlook the fact that having a true center in the game would have eliminated second-chances for Phoenix. Faried cannot guard Gortat, needed more size/rebounding to close out the game

  • Finazz

    Trade W chandler. I’d trade him for a packet of chips and a coupon booklet

  • johnnyd

    I just think guys played like they were tired. Who can blame them after coming off of a 4 in 5 game stretch with the last one going into double OT. Lots of over reacting as usual on this blog.

  • airvaid

    If someone told me at the beginning of this 5 in 7 stretch that the Nuggets would go 4-1. I would take it immediately. It was a brutal run with three road trips and I think the team did well to pull out the four wins. I expected a 3-2 record for these 5 games. The team is looking good and doing well.

    People asking for George Karls head are crazy. The team started badly in the first two matches and has been very good since then. I don’t understand why people are looking to fire coaches and trade players this early in the season. It’s a process and people need to give it time.

    People need to remember this isn’t a roster loaded with All-stars and there isn’t exactly a queue of coaches like Phil Jackson, Jerry Sloan and Larry Brown waiting to take over from Karl. Karl has kept this team a playoff team after the Melo trade where most teams would have fallen apart.

    Karl kept this team a playoff team last year inspite of missing 3 players like K-Mart, JR and Chandler.
    Inspite of the ridiculous amount of injuries to Gallo, Rudy and Nene.
    Took the Lakers to 7 games without Rudy and Chandler and a half fit and rusty Gallinari.

    He can only play with the cards he’s dealt and the last couple of seasons, the cards have been bad. People need to stop losing their minds over the first two weeks of the season. There a lot of rounds to go and a lot of moves to be made.

    This team is still transitional as it’s making a playoff push while it’s main players are still developing. Lawson, Gallo, Faried, McGee are all good but still make mistakes. He can’t just yank them out on every mistake. This team is still young and learning while competing at the same time. Give Karl the credit he deserves.

    • Ryan

      George, stop defending yourself on this blog

  • Ban Johnson

    This wasn’t a fun game to watch. Combine a tired Denver team with Phoenix’s spread-out offense and hot-shooting and it was a pretty good recipe for a loss. Nuggets lacked clear identity or focus — Suns kind of took it to them.

    Andre Miller and Ty Lawson were quite bad — what does it take to earn a D around here? If Ty Lawson is going to be this sluggish, the Nuggets are no longer special. Period.

    The ultimate problem with Chandler may be that if you shoehorn him into the rotation, several guys aren’t getting enough minutes to be as effective as they might be: Faried, Gallo, Brewer. (If Brewer can be dynamite in just 15 to 18 minutes a game, it might work. He wasn’t tonight.)

    Nuggets have now lost 3 games they should have won. They’ve won 2 semi-tough road games — Houston and GS — which partially makes up for it…but should be 6-2 right now (or 5-3 at least). The West is murder this year. We all talk about playoffs as if it’s a given, but it’s not. Spurs, Thunder, Lakers, Grizz, Clips, Mavericks, Wolves, Jazz…that’s 8 teams right now that all expect to be in the playoffs too.

  • Charliemyboy

    Look at the stats; blocked out here in Reno… I see a game where we beat Phoenix in all areas, except free throws. %, 3’s all in our favor… free throws…

  • Charliemyboy

    wups… and turnovers… that’s it…

  • Misty

    Kalen –

    How fortunate for you that you apparently have no loved ones that suffer from Alzheimer’s.

    How insensitive of you to use such a horrible disease to describe someone’s level of play.

    I know you’re just an amateur blogger, but if you want to achieve any level of legitimacy you might want to think about showing some sense and compassion. That isn’t clever – just a reflection on your poor vocabulary and inexperience in life.

    • Kalen

      My grandfather died of Alzheimer’s. I saw him during his latter days. It wasn’t pretty. So yes, I have been affected. You’re correct, it probably was a poor choice of words. Sometimes when you’re in a hurry to write things you don’t have time to double check. I apologize.

      • KW

        I’m currently dealing w my moms decline. I didn’t even notice your comment. I really enjoy your writing and I think you take a lot of flack. Keep it up.

      • Misty

        Classy response, Kalen.

        Thank you.

  • michael

    I think people on this board are missing the boat.Its not George Karls fault ty lawson plays and pouts like a 5 year old at times .Ty played 38 minutes last night and didnt do anything but play terrible defense and look lost on offense.Ty is the point guard of the team and needs to start acting like it or the nuggets need to trade him for a point guard who wants to be a leader and run are offense.Im sick and tired of waiting for ty to arrive.Hes been in the league 4 years .I think it may be time to move on from ty lawson.So before you blame george for his 2 point guard lineups…….Understand why he has two point guards out there.Its because Ty lawson is playing like crap.

    • Ban Johnson

      Karl will have 2 pgs out there no matter how well Ty Lawson is playing.

      He just loves Andre Miller, no matter how well Miller is playing.

  • slugdugg

    I don’t know why people are complaining about GK’s love for using Andre Miller too much in this game. He should have ditched Ty completely and used only Andre Miller, and put someone like Brewer in the game to give us a better chance at getting some stops. There was a PG who looked like a top ten point guard in the game, but he didn’t play for the Nuggets.

  • bayesk

    I for one think Jerry Sloan could pull this team together best out of all the coaches without teams out there.

  • Legalize Denver nuggets

    Unless Ty steps up soon, he’s gonna find his ass in a mid season trade a la nene. That’s a depressing thought. Step up Ty!

  • michael gray

    I think that he should allocate the minutes more like:
    Andre Iguodala – 35
    Ty Lawson – 35
    Kenneth Faried – 32
    Danilo Gallinari – 32
    Kosta Koufos – 15
    Javale McGee – 30
    Corey Brewer – 15
    Andre Miller – 20
    Wilson Chandler – 20
    Anthony Randolph – 7
    Timofey Mozgov – 3

    Just in order to maximize efficiency.

  • Montrose_Fan

    I think GK uses his small ball lineup entirely too much, true. And he over uses Miller as well. But until Ty shows the consistency of Miller that is what we will see. Miller NEVER quits trying to play HIS game, Ty does, after being stopped twice.

    Also, I saw no mention on the board of the Nuggets horrendous shooting. If I coach against them I dare them to beat me from outside, which they cannot do. Do we even have anyone who can shoot a mid-range jumper?

    Next, our PNR defense is atrocious! Our bigs refuse to step out and opposing point guards penetrate and eat us alive! Or, alternatively, our guards refuse to fight through screens and we get buried by the likes of Goran Dragic.

    Finally, 5 games in 7 nights, 4 on the road, Wah! You are getting paid millions of dollars to play a game. If you truly want to contend you better bring it every night, that’s what champions do.

    • Rxmart2

      Yeah the PnR defense was bad, and most of it was on Javale unfortunately. Kosta is actually a very good PnR defender, and it’s no surprise that Phoenix wasn’t getting many points when he was in the lineup.

      Unfortuantely the offense was sputtering with Kosta, so I can see why they didn’t put him back in. Ty/Kosta is their best 1/5 combo, but when Ty isn’t playing Kosta is less effective. It was a tough problem to have last night.

    • KW

      Miller was terrible on D for most of last season.

    • KW

      Who are you? I’m in Montrose also.

  • http://espn Gary

    The way I see it this team is built to be the 6-8th seed in the west and than exit in the first round for perpetuity. There are more than one reasons for this obviously:
    1. Top of the heap right now has to be coaching. GK is the Andy Reid of NBA..running on fumes and legacy than creativity, adjustments and wins on the court/field. As good as Ujirri and the FO has been in making smart moves, being shrude evaluators of talent and making the most of a mid market budget, don’t think they have the marbles to releive GK of his duties right now. Someone has to bell the cat eventually, but it might be too late to salvage this season. I’ve been up and down on how I feel bout Karl over the last few seasons, but think he’s reached the edge of the cliff now…and I don’t see him being able to bounce back…which means going any further than the first round..if that. He is who we thought he was.
    2. This is a compilation of average to some very good talent, but there is nothing clearly superior about this team which can take it over the hump. A lot of pieces in any combination have to fall into place any given night for them to get a W. For such a team to be successfull you need great mental toughness and upper tier coaching all round. We know the coaching is lacking and the mental toughness (or lack of) is routinely on display in close games. Ironically their physically most gifted and mentally strongest player might be a second year player in Faried, but his game is not there yet and he still needs too much maturity and work on the cerebral part of the game to be able to carry this lot to the hill top. He’s a great piece to build around, but short term gratification will need to be sacrificed and that could be a tough pill to swallow for some. I am okay with taking a step back short term, provided they have a plan and are willing to shed ties with coaches and players they might value right now. I trust Ujjiri, but doubt the level to which he can call the shots if it comes down to it.
    3. Phil Jackson ain’t coming here, so think we need to drop that like yesterdays laudry. I am skeptical, but heck it might even work if he actually came here, however, I don’t see MJ, Kobe or Howard on the roster. As good a cook PJ is, he’s also a lot about the ingrediants and this kicthen’s pantry don’t have a lot of high priced items from the bakery section of the local grocery store.

    Losing this game last night might not be the end of the road this year and chances are we will go on a win streak here and there and end up being a top 6 team in the conference; but if the goal is to win a championship , IMO we are just spinning our wheels eventually.

    C’mon Ujjiri / Kroenke light us some hope here…

  • Z

    Chandler is on a min count! 20 per night wont be fully healthy until Jan at the latest Nuggets brass want him to play so he does but please trade him

  • Z

    the Double PG line up to close the game is trash

  • Rxmart2

    Yet the double PG lineup has been the most effective lineup we’ve had since last season. People are obsessed with size over skill.

    Keep trying.

    • Warner

      While I believe the 2 pg lineup is extremely effective at times, GK runs it into the ground. I believe Andre Miller has an important role on this team but he’s an atrocious and I mean atrocious defender. When he’s trying to guard SG’s, he might as well not be on the floor. The two PG lineup is great to keep the opposing team on its toes, but when it’s used for the entire 4th quarter it really loses its effectiveness, especially when the rest of the lineup is undersized as well.

      • DH

        Speaking of Miller’s defense, Zach Lowe has an article on Grantland.com where he mentions it as one of the 10 things that have stood out to him in the NBA this season…

        “9. The Hiding of Jamal Crawford and Andre Miller

        Next time you watch a Clippers or Nuggets game, try following which player each one of these guys is guarding. It’s a fun exercise. Both teams will slide them around to the weakest perimeter player available, though Miller will make things more complicated for you by switching on almost every off-ball and on-ball screen.”

        Yes, I would say that the combination of not being able to guard your position and also switching at the drop of a hat is probably not good. Couple that with Ty being a below-average defender and it’s trouble all around on that end of the court when they play together. I will say, though, that Miller’s effort has been much better this year – for whatever it’s worth.

  • http://yahoo.com prospector

    As I said on the previous post, CHANDLER = LOSS.. He plays too small for Power Forward. He’s like a big Andre Miller that can’t pass or post up (ok maybe Andre Miller was a bad comparison). The fact that Karl will leave take Faried completely out of the game kills our momentum…. Faried and Mccgee were going off yesterday, and Karl killed their efforts by shutting them down on the bench like scrubs… We need to dump Chandler and Mozzy for draft picks. We need no more depth.. Karl thinks he is in the NHL with his freakin shift changes.. Yo Karl, Basketball is easy.. You play the best 5 players the MAJORITY of the minutes, and sub a couple of guys in and out.. You don’t go little league hockey and take all 5 ( 4 of 5 ) starters out of game at any point during a game unless it’s like a 30 point blowout.. Einsteins definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.. George Karl is insane ( to go along w/stupid), and I for one am gettting sick of it… I get most NBA coaches stink but there has to be someone out there with a brain????????? Masai please trade our dead weight away and save George Karl from himself.

  • JP

    15 TO’s vs 6, 3 of which were in the last 2 minutes. Your always going to lose when that is the case.

    Does anyone have the stats on the Suns shooting in the second half? They couldn’t miss!

    • GK4Prez

      JP is right, those turnovers were the Nuggets doom, the Suns finished up with 18 more fga in a tight game in large part because of them, and in the critical stage of the game on the offensive boards, but we know why they were getting 2nd chances in the 4th quarter.

  • KW

    Suns roughed us up. We didn’t respond. Ty took some abuse and quit. Kenneth was taking abuse when the refs were distracted. GK should have taken a T to protect him. No rebounders in the final Q lost the game. GK gave up, wanted to head home. I’d love to see him fired.

    • GK4Prez

      Lawsome is making things harder on himself by passing up his open looks from behind the arc, the defense is going to continue to play off of him and take away his driving lanes until he pulls the trigger on his 3 ball. He also has a bad tendency to pick his dribble up when a big hedges on him off of the pick and slip (I wish I could say pick and roll, but the Nuggets don’t really set solid screens).

      • KW

        Why can’t they set solid screens? I don’t get it.

        • GK4Prez

          It is the system, screens take more time than a pick and slip.

  • ryanvdonk

    one thing i’d like to add, the nuggets play very bad defense on any kind of screen. i notice this seems to by ty’s biggest issue on defense. straight 1 on 1 he actually has improved, but when a screen comes he and the whole team have struggled. first, because of his size he cant fight through screens very effectively, essentially leaving him a step behind like 2/3 of the time. Secondly, and perhaps the bigger issue is the majority of our players don’t seem to hedge off the guy with the ball, instead they always come off the screen free with a direct path to the lane. if we could improve this it forces the ball handler to redirect around the 2nd defender and gives our on ball guy a chance to catch up. the only player who i have seen properly hedge is kosta.

  • Z

    Yes Chandler is the Nuggets SOLE problem lol trade him please!!!!!!! for his sake and this Blog

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