|Danilo Gallinari, SF 35 MIN | 7-15 FG | 10-11 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 26 PTS | -5
Gallo becomes the first Nugget to score over 25 points this season — and it just so happens the Nuggets get a much-needed win. This is not a coincidence. Gallo finally drove to the hole and drew fouls. His game is so much more expansive than he has let on the last few weeks. This Gallo must show up more often for the Nuggets to reach their full potential.
|Kenneth Faried, SF 29 MIN | 5-10 FG | 3-4 FT | 13 REB | 0 AST | 13 PTS | -4
Faried struggled mightily against the much bulkier Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. He still has a hard time defending crafty post players and it showed tonight. Faried might never be an elite defender but he needs to continue adding muscle, especially on his lower body, to combat more physical power forwards like Randolph.
|Kosta Koufos, C 26 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 8 PTS | +2
I don’t know how Koufos ended up with nine boards but he did. This is a quality stat line from Koufos. He seems to be getting more and more comfortable with his role; however, 26 minutes is still to much time for him considering what he brings to the table.
|Ty Lawson, PG 34 MIN | 4-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 9 PTS | +4
Lawson started out aggressive — then he got his shot blocked, and that was all she wrote. Ty is clearly not a big fan of getting swatted. Once it happens he retreats to the perimeter like a scolded puppy. I understand not wanting to get swatted as often as he is but Ty can make up for it with his speed and shooting. Right now he’s not using either.
|Andre Iguodala, SG 35 MIN | 3-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 7 PTS | -1
Non existent. Iguodala was nowhere tonight. He played solid defense, but that’s to be expected. He can’t be this laid back. He’s way too important to the Nuggets overall success to be putting it in cruise control like this.
|Jordan Hamilton, SF 12 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | +3
Hard to make anything out of Hamilton’s performance. He’s still not getting enough time to really prove what he can do. He’s also being too timid. Hamilton has to let go and just play ball. Unfortunately by the time he figures this out there’s a really good chance he’ll be relegated to the bench once again to make room for Wilson Chandler.
|Corey Brewer, SF 19 MIN | 3-7 FG | 3-6 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | -1
Brewer was a key spark for the Nuggets on multiple different occasions. He was playing his patented lock-down defense for much of the night, however it was his offensive mindset that really stood out. He was on a mission to be aggressive and it payed off with a few huge buckets.
|Timofey Mozgov, C 2 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | 0
I don’t understand what the point is here. Two minutes? Could he even have done enough wrong to get yanked in such a short amount of time? What exactly was Karl looking for here?
|JaVale McGee, C 18 MIN | 7-12 FG | 1-3 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 15 PTS | +13
McGee was once again one of the best player on the floor. This is not an anomaly; it’s a trend. The numbers don’t lie and neither does his play. He is a flat-out monster presence in the paint and makes a world of difference when he’s in the game. And now, McGee is getting more comfortable on offense. He’s starting to make shots. He’s developing an offensive game — which of course makes his mere 18 minutes of playing time ALL THE MORE INEXPLICABLE!!! Seriously, what does this guy have to do to catch a break with Karl? It’s freaking ridiculous.
|Andre Miller, PG 30 MIN | 2-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 8 AST | 6 PTS | +14
This was not Miller’s best performance. He had a few good moves in the post but wasn’t very effective overall. His eight assists and three steals are respectable, however he made a couple bad turnovers too.
Three Things We Saw
- I guess if I was the only Nugget fan on planet Earth to feel somewhat jaded by this team, that probably wouldn’t surprise me. It was weird, watching the game. All I scribbled were negative adjectives the entire time. Several nights ago this team looked absolutely putrid. They played with much more energy tonight and came up with a big win; but I can’t seem to get over how many concerns this team still has right now. It’s shocking, quite frankly. Going into the season we had “analysts” picking the Nuggets to win the West. That right there tells you just how talented this team is on paper. But right now, the Nuggets still aren’t anywhere close to utilizing that talent to win games on a consistent basis. The fact is, this win was great, but who’s to say the Nuggets won’t come out in Minnesota and lay a total rotten egg? Count me in with the Skeptic Party for the time being.
- The Nuggets still do not take care of the ball. They are a terribly undisciplined team. This isn’t a player problem; it’s a coach problem. It’s just like their awful 3-point shooting last year. Karl needs to take responsibility in making sure the Nuggets start handling the ball with care. Coming into the game the Nuggets were .4 percent away from being tied with Houston for the league lead in turnovers. That’s atrocious. And inexcusable. You can’t win on a consistent basis when you’re constantly gift-wrapping extra possessions for the other team. If this problem continues, there is simply no way we should look at this team as a serious threat come playoff time.
- There is a humongous chasm between what the Nuggets CAN be, and who they are right now. Huge. This team is so talented from top to bottom. There is just no excuse for the Nuggets to be below .500 after 15 percent of the games this season have been played. I’m sure I sound like quite the Debbie Downer to those reeling from such an exciting game, but I’m not going to lie — this is absolutely the one aspect of this game that stood out most to me. For the first time all year we managed to catch a glimpse (sadly, that’s all it was) of this team having multiple guys playing at a high level for small stretches throughout the game — specifically McGee, Gallo, Faried and even Lawson in the first half. And that’s what makes the Nuggets so incredibly frustrating. We all know how good this team can be. The talent is simply undeniable. But for whatever reason this group is not collectively tapping its reserve to play fundamentally sound, crisp, defensive-minded basketball. I’m not biased. I’m not an apologist. I’m simply trying to understand the root of this team’s malfunctions right now. And from what I can tell, this is a team problem; therefore it’s the head coach’s responsibility to fix it. Karl has plenty of time (when has he not?) but to be brutally honest, for every day this team isn’t playing to its full potential — it’s somewhat of a waste. That’s just how good this team can be.