Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 100 San Antonio Spurs 126

Denver Nuggets 100 Final
Recap | Box Score
126 San Antonio Spurs
Danilo Gallinari, SF 29 MIN | 7-13 FG | 1-1 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 15 PTS | -2

It’s a shame Gallo’s best overall effort yet had to come in such a lousy game. Gallo was attacking early and looking to be aggressive while the rest of the team seem to lay down as quick as possible. This should be a normal so-so night for Gallo, not one of his best offensive outings of the year. Defensively, Gallo was the only starter to approach a respectable level of pride and effort so he gets a pass.

Kenneth Faried, SF 27 MIN | 5-8 FG | 4-6 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 14 PTS | -15

He got into foul trouble and really couldn’t get a hold on DeJuan Blair early. At some point the Nuggets will have to be competitive in a game without a double-double from their fourth scoring option. Faried had another efficient 14 points and has been the Nuggets’ best offensive player this season.

Kosta Koufos, C 19 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -21

Awful. There’s just no two ways about it. He got off to a horrendous start and played most of the first quarter anyway, setting the tone for Denver’s laughable paint defense the rest of the night. He was slow to loose balls and looked just plain out of it most of the night.

Ty Lawson, PG 35 MIN | 5-13 FG | 3-5 FT | 2 REB | 5 AST | 13 PTS | -29

Ty played 35 minutes again and scored this time, so if it’s progress you’re looking for there you go. Ty also had 5 turnovers, bricked his first two free throw attempts and just sort of padded his stats in garbage time while racking up a -29

Andre Iguodala, SG 28 MIN | 3-8 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 9 PTS | -13

A truly invisible game out of Iguodala, who was not looking to get involved on either end and grew increasingly disinterested as the beating got worse. Iguodala has to show more poise and leadership in difficult circumstances like tonight.

Jordan Hamilton, SF 15 MIN | 1-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 4 PTS | -10

Consider this grade an incomplete, because he played about 6 scoreless minutes in the first half before being benched and never returning again til extended garbage time. The Nuggets just can’t seem decide if they want to play him or not while they try to fix their rotation.

Corey Brewer, SF 28 MIN | 4-9 FG | 3-4 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 13 PTS | 0

Brew put up solid numbers but wasn’t able to hit his rhythm when the Nuggets could have made it a competitive contest. He gambles a ton on defense and his inability to stay solid on that end of the floor makes him difficult to play when the Nuggets need to catch up or protect a lead.

Timofey Mozgov, C 13 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -22

Mozgov came in early after Faried picked up two fouls. Physically he was moving around much better than we’ve seen since training camp started, but Denver’s defense did not improve with him on the floor. It’s really tough to blame Mozgov for not being all over it in his first meaningful game of the year, but the Nuggets’ frontcourt desperately needed him while Koufos struggled through his worst game yet.

JaVale McGee, C 20 MIN | 6-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | -1

If there’s a bright spot in these losses it’s JaVale’s improving play off the bench. The last few games he’s come into pretty horrible situations and been able to do some positive things. McGee’s earned his minutes and looks ready for a little more run with the Nuggets’ top lineups.

Andre Miller, PG 19 MIN | 1-2 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 4 PTS | -14

Let’s be honest, he doesn’t look very in shape yet and will throw up a dud every once in a while as he gets ready to play the season. After a poor start to the first half Miller saw essentially all of his minutes in garbage time.

Evan Fournier, SG 8 MIN | 4-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 10 PTS | -3

The Nuggets trailed by 20 most of the night but didn’t insert Fournier till midway through the fourth, where Evan proceeded to pour in 10 quick points in the only quarter Denver managed to win. Evan could get a chance to earn minutes going forward with the Nuggets lineup currently in a state of utter disarray.

One Thing We Saw

  1. It’s hard to learn anything about the Nuggets when they don’t show up and compete with a professional attitude. This is a game in which they got behind early and just decided to pack it in at the first sign of trouble. A bad team showed up to a play good one tonight and the Nuggets honestly didn’t look like they belonged on the same floor. It’s no longer a matter of lineups and potential with this team — it’s about survival. Two tough road games remain on this trip before the Nuggets return home against GSW the day after Thanksgiving.
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Charlie Yao

Managing Editor at Roundball Mining Company and writer since 2010. Unhealthily obsessed with Nuggets basketball since 2002. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram at the links on the left.
  • CJP32

    10 games in and one thing is pretty clear – Ty and Gallo are not the leaders of this team. They are overpaid, below average players

    The only guys who showed up were McGee, Brewer and Fournier.

    GK needs to change the starting 5, there was no energy when Faried collected his 2nd PF, with Denver down 9-5. Then what happened? A 24-10 Spurs run. I say bench Gallo and KK and start CBrew and McGee for defense and energy.

    Gallo looked good early but vanished in the 2nd half. Ty looks like a bad high school player. Iggy just doesn’t fit in – he doesn’t know his role. KK and Mozzy cannot catch the ball, and look clumsy.

    Our starting 5 had 15 TOs and were just awful.

    • Mark B

      I agree with this completely. Ty’s issues are all mental though. If he doesn’t have confidence he doesn’t have a game.

      Definitely want these line-up changes though. Brewer is probably not starting lineup worthy but its a better option until Gallo can get his head right.

      And from the start its been clear that JaVale should be starting. What the heck was the point of all this free throw work and Olajuwon training if we never get to see if its been worth it. KK can’t hold any decent centers jock sweat. He’s a breath catcher for McGee at best.

      Time to drop the pseudo-racist attitude George. Its no longer fair to say that how much money someone is earning doesn’t matter for your starting center but it somehow matters for your shooting guard. Gallo isn’t playing worth his 40 mil. McGee is. Period.

      • CJP32

        When I say start CBrew and McGee, I mean for small stretches – like 6 mins at a time. CBrew cause he’s more efficient in small doses, and McGee because of his asthma/conditioning.

        It could be the wake up call Gallo needs right now to get his head back into the team concept. Right now, he’s trying to get out of the funk he is in but doesn’t realise that by getting to the FT line the defense has to change and will open up for more outside shots and then the points will come. His last 5 games, he has just 11 FT attempts. He had more in his first game vs Orlando (14), so why has he changed his approach? Is he scared to draw contact? Is his ankle/knee worse than we think? Does he just wish to stand around hoping Ty will step up?

        For a guy who is earning 9.4 Million this year, he doesn’t deserve 35 mpg.

        Also, Chandler is done for the rest of the month – there are 7 games left, I say play JHam 10-15 mins and get him involved more, let him learn and make mistakes and then get his confidence up where he has the trust of GK.

        I would like to see mins for the next 7 games like:

        TY 34/Dre 14
        Iggy 34/Dre 8/JHam 6
        Gallo 20/CBrew 22/JHam 6
        Faried 36/Gallo 12
        KK 18/McGee 30

        Mozzy to play if injuries/foul trouble occurs.

  • branden

    We allow every team to light us up from 3 its CRAZY

  • http://yahoo.com prospector

    Start mcgee & faried, shorten the rotation… Our small ball line-up is killing us.. time to think trade for a true 3 point specialist…We need to determine if Jham can ever turn into a JR Smith type scorer.. If not then dump him… let Chandler rotate in line-up w/iggy & gallo minutes (not faried/Mcgee)….No TY & Andre miller on the floor at the same time… Come on… enough already….time to man up Karl..

  • http://yahoo.com prospector

    FYI: I still want to dump Chandler….

  • http://yahoo.com prospector

    Even though we lost 2 in a row without him….

  • http://Yahoo.com Nino harrell

    This is just frustrating. Nuggets just can’t get it together. Iguodala has not been the man we thought he will be for the team. Im starting to regret the trade that was made last offseason. We could have been a better team with al harrington and arron afflalo in the roster. Gallo hasn’t been doing well either. I say we trade him for josh smith or trade ty lawson for jrue holiday. Ty lawson is just not the player we think he is. These guys need to step it up or a blockbuster move shall be done!

    • SmokinNugs

      No AAA and Al would only add more to this horror. Also, Al isn’t healthy right now so this is a moot point. Can’t expect Iggy to gel after 10 games.

  • John

    Wow… this is just pathetic.

    Everyone keeps saying George Karl is a great coach, and I’ve been saying “Well he’s got over a thousand wins so he must be a great coach…” but this is getting ridiculous.

    This was some of the worst D I’ve ever seen, the Spurs completely decimated with the pick and roll play… and there was absolutely no O.

    I saw a total of 3 plays actually called tonight. Everything else was just playground crap. Let’s just run around and see if we can get a shot… even our fast breaks lack any structure. We need a coach with a little structure, who emphasizes defense a little.

    Brewer needs to learn how to protect the ball when going up for a layup. I’ve seen him stripped of the ball at least 15 times this season.

    You know what… I’m sick of complaining. This team looks terrible. I only follow basketball, and now I don’t even feel like watching…

    • CJP32

      Protect the ball? Have you seen Mozzy or KK catch a pass this year? I haven’t. They are pathetic inside. At least Brewer makes an attempt to get to the rim and draw fouls.

  • Stephen Hernandez

    Lawson, McGee, and faried is a good three man lineup see Karl hope this is your last game as coach or hopefully makes you realize to play those three together finally like we all want. GEORGE MUST GO!

  • http://@j_phil96 Justin Phillips

    We all now we have good players. Our Coaching needs the improvement. You can’t blame Ty for not being a leader when Karl plays him at SG. 10 Games into the season, And we’re 4-6. Nuggets fans deserve more, a coaching change is long over do. Nuggets Nation please join me on Twitter using #FireGeorgeKarl.

  • DaveCh999

    This one was tough to watch..

    It seems through 10 games the Nuggets are living and dying with Faried’s energy. Bright side, Manimal looks like an all star, bad side, everything else.

    Gallo and Lawson showed they cannot carry the team on either end of the floor on a night in night out basis.

    GK wants to go with “the team without a star” a bold and interesting strategy but a team without a star does not mean a team without leaders. Iggy has to step up (earn that 14 mil a year) and prove he can be the guy to lead this team on both ends of the floor. A shake up in the starting lineup may be the solution to the Nuggets temporary problems and I would expect GK to shake things up at least with minute distribution the rest of this road trip

  • DJ


  • ionic66

    I was pleased that Lawson was attacking today. Agreed the overall performance was awful but at least Lawson attacked. Does anyone know why our perimeter defense has been so terrible these past few seasons.

    I know it’s early but I’m feeling a bit apprehensive

  • Jacob

    One of the problems that will plague the team this year is free throws. I believe on the telecast they showed our percentage is last in the NBA. Hate to break it to you guys, but that isn’t coaching. You can’t blame the coach for all of the easy shots and free throws missed. While the rotations are far from perfect that isn’t the problem now. Gallinari kills possessions with bad attempts (looked better tonight though) and we have to lead the league in missed layups. The only real rotation changes needed are more Hamilton at the expense of Miller/Gallinari and increase McGee’s usage a little more, but I’m not sure he has the stamina to be effective for regular starters minutes. Worth a shot though.

  • James

    REALLY kind grades for McGee, Brewer and Mozgov (and Koufus was a straight F). But really, team defense was the culprit. Poor rotations, movement, effort, everything. I swear, its like the Nuggets have never seen a pick and roll before. I said when Nene left, they’d miss the pick and roll defense (not some other stuff, but that for sure). And don’t get too high on Fournier – looked good, but garbage time means nothing.

    Too many problems to count, but man, I really miss Al H off the bench. They need to find something . . .

  • mike

    It’s too early in the season to make any long term thoughts. Still, It has been extremely disappointing. Defensively the switches are horrible. It constantly puts the team in bad situations with bigs on quicker wings/PG where they are able to get into the lane easily and creates issues for rebounding. If you want to do that the last 5 seconds of the clock I can see it, otherwise switches should be rare. Overall the defense has been slightly better and if they get back to getting to the FT line like crazy instead of Horribly it will probably become slightly more efficient as there will be less open court defense to play.

    Gallo and Lawson are shooting HORRIBLY. Im assuming Both will show increases, but Gallo has shown a deterioration over time. He may need to find a shot doctor. Lawson started last season with difficulties from 3-pt and was incredibly good after the all-star break so I think it is more likely that he rebounds eventually. His FT shooting has been bad too so that may be a sign that the shooting needs work though. Obviously, this creates issues with scoring, but also takes away shot fake and drive and first step/speed value as defenders can play off. Since they are the two guys who were supposed to be above 35% 3 point shooters on the team the spacing is bad too. This is compounded with the fact that NONE of their bigs can hit a shot beyond 8 feet (Mozgov is ok out to 12, but has issues on defense and mobility).

    Iguodala and Brewer need to look to get to the rim and create contact (they have been getting to the lane and then jumping AWAY from contact). As anyone who reads hollinger knows the nuggets have gone from 3rd best at getting to the line to 3rd worst. Their pace is down some as well. They have really only looked to be competing hard in about half their games at this point.

  • Woobly o Balls

    Faried actually didn’t play horribly, but by his high standards, he looked really flat. He wasn’t hustling as much as he usually does. And unfortunately at the moment, this team is nothing without him bringing his A game.

    I still think this team needs to make a trade soon.

  • DAN

    Just pathetic.

  • dynamo.joe

    The Nuggets have talent and it will show up at some point. Be patient.

    My question is ‘how far in the dog house is Ayn Rand’? Is he in Birdman deep already?

    • John

      Someone wrote that he had a twisted/sprained ankle… so maybe he is not that deep in the hole.

  • BBheart

    I’t clear if management has half a brain cell.. fir Coach Carl, he hasn’t won anything in Denver or in general. Come on doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see for one no chemistry, another 1st round exit if they don’t make some major moves starting with the coach!

  • Young_Guru

    General Negative Grumblings About the Nuggets
    A. Ty Lawson is not aggressive. he needs to get in the lane EXPECTING and THINKING about scoring. instead he
    goes in knowing he is going to pass and the defenders catch on as well. His assists will go up with his scoring
    as it will drag more double teams through the game.
    B. Stop playing the twin towers center look George, its stupid. Its especially stupid when you play it with your team in come back mode.
    C. Nobody can shoot the 3 yet George Karl insists on not playing a potentially great 3 point shooter in Jordan Hamilton. Every team has a sharp shooter, and Jordan Hamilton can be that coming off the bench for the Nuggets. I think he is also probably a better defensive rebounder than Chandler.
    D. George Karl needs to develop a consistent rotation and he needs to use at least ten men. This is not asking a lot for any NBA team, let alone with a bench as talented as the Nuggets’. I can’t stress the consistent part enough though, it has to be aggrevating for Javale McGee to have to suddenly share minutes with Timofey Mozgov
    E. In regards to A, this is not just Ty’s fault. George deserves a share of the blame for abandoning his half court offense. The Nuggets occasionally run a pick and roll, but it is almost exclusively clumsy.
    F.The Nuggets need to spend some time learning how to defend the pick and roll. Screens absoutely kill us.
    G. I don’t know if the statistics back me, but are we not getting picked apart by the 3 ball again? And call me crazy but did we not just land an all-star that is supposed to be one of the very best at defending the perimeter? And call me a nutso conspiracy theorist, but is this not a direct result of the insane amount of help defense George tries to employ? I counted at least 5 times where there were 4 Nuggets pulling off their man to help in the middle of the paint only to watch someone shoot an open 3.
    H. Another observation where I don’t know if I’m completely accurate but: it seems George is playing 8-9 men every night… How is this possible when our bench is as deep as it is? Why not play 10? Its not like any one player is playing exceptionally well… Except for Farried of course.
    I. Wilson “Chuck it in the air” Chandler… No offensive game besides a turn around jumper (that is really quite ugly). I know he is billed as a good defender but even in that regard I see nothing more than length. His positioning sucks and he’s not even a good rebounder. As a 1 on 1 defender he is pretty solid, but that doesn’t really fit George’s uhh… “scheme” (if he has ever heard of such a thing).
    Conclusion: This all seems very fixable but I don’t think George is the person to do it. I’ve always stood by George but he is doing things this year no one can defend.

    • SmokinNugs

      I don’t know how you can knock the “twin centers” look when small ball has killed us all year. I wish we’d play all three 7 footers at times.

      • ThomasDenverFan

        i would like to.see Anthony randolph and mcgee together on the floor

  • Young_Guru

    Also, George needs to stop treating Hamilton like a rookie. I get it, he made a few mistakes and went scoreless in his first 6 minutes but let the dude play. Or at least if you’re going to bench him, bench Ty Lawson for scoring 0 points against the Heat. You can’t just tease a player with playing time, it screws with his confidence. This is especially true for someone trying to crack a roster. Grr, the more I type the more I want George Karl gone…

    • SmokinNugs

      Han’t made any more mistakes than Andre Miller and tonight is the first time Andre hasn’t gotten more than 20 minutes. It’s unfortunate JHam couldn’t make more of his opportunity like Fournier did.

  • Peter

    Very disappointing start to the season to say the least. I was expecting us to contend for the 3 seed this year with Memphis and the L.A. Clips. How foolish. Those teams have big guys with a pulse,(Faried is not a big, he puts up numbers but anybody getting dominated by Dejuan Blair is not taking you to the ship) multiple all stars and actually play defense. At this rate we will be lucky to even make the playoffs. The main problem I see with this team besides the fact that we sometimes show up with no energy/hustle/attitude/give a grap(which is usually the first sign of a bad team) is that there is no pecking order on this team. Gallo has obviously tried to step up and be the man. I can’t fault him for trying, but the worst thing a basketball player can do is play way beyond his limitations. Gallo was the central part of the Melo deal, but he was much better in New York, getting set up by Felton and running alongside Amare. Ty Lawson’s contract is ridiculous, I don’t have a solution, but he should be a back up point guard in the NBA. He’s a good change of pace guard off the bench, but when teams game plan for him it’s all over. And Iggy, well he’s played solid. He’s a good defender, he’s good at a lot of things actually, but I’m an avid NBA follower and Andre Iguodala has never been and never will be a franchise cornerstone. Why do you think Philly was trying to trade him for 2 years?

  • johnnyd

    Great expectations, clearly something that weighs heavily on the Nuggets players. It’s all in their heads and it’s all on the players. When they start having fun playing the game, they’ll start playing like the Denver Nuggets. Odd that one of the most laid back states in the country with legalized marijuana has the most up tight team in the NBA. Sounds like they need some “special ingredient” brownies. LOL

  • jacob i

    they won’t fire Karl cause of the Cancer he got they feel bad

  • RyanAM

    I’m not sure what the Nuggets are trying to do differently here early in the season. Its seems that running and passing the ball is not it. Last season we were tops in the league in assists. Its clear that GK is trying to make this team play differently and the players are confused at this point. I think that’s why Try and Gallinari are off the to slow starts. I honestly think they look better than last season when they don’t allow 120 points to the other team. I think they want Ty to be like Parker and I’m not sire that’s his game.

  • brosif

    Here is what we need to work on: Half court offence. Sounds strange right? No. We always get stuck in half court situations and because Karl doesn’t make the team practice it we end up blowing all those possessions with excessive passing and then throwing up a shot at the buzzer. The only players that seem to mildly understand a half court offence are Miller, Faried and Hamilton (maybe a few others) but we can’t look like a bunch of fools if we don’t get a fast break. This isn’t acceptable.

  • Aaron

    Unbelieveable. Just Pathetic…

  • Woobly o Balls

    Alec Burks is apparently available for trade! Get it done Masai!

    • ThomasDenverFan

      i would love to have Burkes back in Colorado would be great to have him on the team and i think we could trade for him cheap. He was a great guard in CU.

  • BBheart

    How about bring in Phil Jackson to coach… he has CO connections come on Masai, It’s clear a great coach makes all the difference. Just look at Greg Popovich. For the love off the game. It’s clear The nugs have way to much talent to be playing the way they have, and like others have said you have to give some of these younger players a chance. Look Mcgee is eager, and has the skills to back it up, but coming off the bench isn’t helping his confidence.

  • Andrew K

    The Nuggets need to take a deep breath and play calm minded. Therefore, I believe the best remedy for this team would be to contract a virus in every player, so that they can step back and see a broader perspective of who they are.

    • Andrew K

      I’m not kidding. If every player got sick, it might be for the collective good.

  • Nugznazty

    This team has turned to garbage on the play of Ty Lawson. We can weather a few bad nights of Galo shooting as he does everything else pretty well. We built this team around Ty and he has regressed significantly.