|Danilo Gallinari, SF 35 MIN | 6-11 FG | 6-6 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 19 PTS | +6
It wasn’t pretty, but Gallo put forth a pretty epic display of all-out effort when it mattered most. He finally got to the line in some huge moments and battled hard under the basket when he needed to. He played his most solid ball when the Nuggets needed it most and was huge on the defensive end against Kevin Love.
|Kenneth Faried, SF 35 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 14 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | +14
He fouled out and had 4 turnovers in a sloppy offensive showing, but the Manimal was relentless on the glass and forced the Timberwolves to adjust by pulling Nikola Pekovic out of the game. His hustle changes games in a pretty special way no matter what the stat sheet says.
|Kosta Koufos, C 23 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | +17
His ability to change and alter shots was a major reason why the Nuggets weren’t down 40 in a pretty awful first-half performance. Koufos got into it with Kevin Love in the second half and has really picked up his defense after a slow start to the season.
|Ty Lawson, PG 33 MIN | 5-12 FG | 6-8 FT | 2 REB | 9 AST | 18 PTS | 0
A C-minus effort through three quarters and an A through the most important one is what lands Lawson here. Ty hit shots and free throws when the Nuggets needed them, but came out dazed and confused for a good two and a half quarters to start the game. The good news is Lawson’s shooting is starting to come around.
|Andre Iguodala, SG 36 MIN | 7-16 FG | 1-1 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 18 PTS | +1
It’s really tough to grade Iguodala after two night and day halves like that. He looked like a completely different player following halftime and showcased a creative side to his offense we haven’t yet seen in him as a Nugget. Iguodala has been smooth and steady in every close game the Nuggets have been in, regardless of how well he’s played personally. It’s not necessarily conventional, but that is leadership.
|Jordan Hamilton, SF 19 MIN | 3-8 FG | 3-4 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | 0
Karl actually brought Hamilton off the bench early and stuck with him through a pretty dismal stretch in which the Nuggets couldn’t get anything right. Hamilton stayed with it and responded with a few timely threes and a smooth twelve points in his bench scoring role.
|Corey Brewer, SF 17 MIN | 3-6 FG | 1-1 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | +3
He did some admirable dirty work on cleanups and putbacks, but Brewer seems to have regressed after a hot shooting start and is unsurprisingly starting to come back down to earth. Brewer probably played a few too many minutes for how erratic his play been as of late.
|JaVale McGee, C 15 MIN | 2-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -13
Ugh. This was looking like the good old JaVale as he started things off with a near-airball 20 footer and a quick pull up jumper in transition. He eventually recovered to play some better basketball in the second half but not by much. This was a chance JaVale had to come in early and earn some trust but he wasn’t able to capitalize.
|Andre Miller, PG 27 MIN | 4-9 FG | 3-4 FT | 2 REB | 5 AST | 11 PTS | +7
He just Lebrons people in the fourth quarter out of nowhere. I have no idea how or why, but he can turn it on in a way no other Nuggets player seems to able to. Miller got some key runs going in the second half and was clutch with a few crafty and-ones over the Timberwolves defense
Three Things We Saw
- Something is clearly not right with Ty Lawson, but his second half may have been proof his abnormally poor play isn’t sustainable. Ty’s fighting his way through it and if he can just avoid losing total control of the game as much as he does, I have no doubt we’ll see a game-changing Ty Lawson on the floor much more frequently.
- The Nuggets finally made some shots in the second half and with credible shooting on the floor, showed how dangerous of an offense they can be. Denver can score in bunches with good spacing present as evidenced by a rare 30-point quarter to close the game. Regression to the mean feels nice.
- It’s still not great basketball, but the Nuggets have started to get into some semblance of rhythm and flow throughout two tough road games against quality teams. They are getting much better at filling in the gaps defensively and holding their own against absolutely brutal front lines in both Memphis and Minnesota. It wasn’t pretty, but you can’t help but come away pretty damn impressed.