Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 92 Indiana Pacers 89

Denver Nuggets 92 Final
Recap | Box Score
89 Indiana Pacers
Danilo Gallinari, SF 35 MIN | 2-10 FG | 4-5 FT | 7 REB | 8 AST | 9 PTS | +3

The shooting still isn’t there, but Gallo didn’t let it affect his aggressiveness everywhere else. He was solid on the boards from a big spot and showcased his ability to open up gaps with his passing, compiling a season-high 8 assists.

Kenneth Faried, SF 21 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -14

Faried is still young enough and raw enough to avoid the reputation of an awful defensive player. Nights like tonight, where he allowed David West a perfect 8-8 shooting in the first half, make you wonder just how long he’s got left.

Kosta Koufos, C 21 MIN | 5-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | -9

Overall a nice return performance for Koufos, whose efforts really limited Roy Hibbert’s impact on the offensive end.

Ty Lawson, PG 35 MIN | 1-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 2 PTS | -3

How many nightmare games is enough? This is the second time this season Ty has played over 35 minutes with zero free throw attempts while scoring fewer than 3 points total. It’s the sixth time in 20 games he’s failed to reach double-digit scoring in starters minutes.

Andre Iguodala, SG 37 MIN | 4-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 10 PTS | +1

Poor showing from an offensive standpoint, but this was one of the Nuggets better defensive efforts of the young season. Iguodala turned up the pressure in the second half, guarding a variety of players and playing a huge part in a defense that allowed just 39 second half points.

Jordan Hamilton, SF 8 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-1 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | +2

Wasn’t making shots, and while Hamilton’s minutes are suffering a bit from Brewer’s recent surge, I think his body language and energy level just haven’t been consistent all year. He needs to stick with it and understand taking a bad shot is likely to get him benched right now.

Corey Brewer, SF 28 MIN | 9-16 FG | 0-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 20 PTS | +5

Brewer’s put up some phenomenal efforts this season, to the point he’s becoming the focal point of the Nuggets’ bench. Brewer took 8 shots in the paint, 5 threes, and two 11-foot jumpers. That kind of shot selection is what Nuggets basketball is all about

JaVale McGee, C 30 MIN | 9-9 FG | 2-4 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 20 PTS | +17

Great game and even better was the personal growth and maturity on display in McGee’s first 30 minute effort of the year. He was running and finishing at a high level, shooting a perfect 9-for-9 while showing improved touch around the rim.

Andre Miller, PG 25 MIN | 6-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 4 REB | 8 AST | 15 PTS | +13

This guy has been moving at double speed since halftime of the Atlanta game. He either got a new pacemaker installed or is finally starting to hit his stride and understand that he needs to bring all-out energy to the game from the moment he comes in off the bench. Miller’s play was a big reason the Nuggets were able to close strong in a tight finish.

Three Things We Saw

  1. The Nuggets’ interior defense picked up a ton in this game. Credit Koufos’ return, a much more focused JaVale McGee and just a well prepared gameplan for keeping the Pacers’ bigs away from the basket and off the offensive glass.
  2. Defending the three remains a problem. Although the Pacers have the second least efficient offense in the league and have struggled to get it going from deep, they shot 10-23 from three, many of them wide open and uncontested. The Nuggets generally play decent defense inside the three-point line and thankfully, Indiana didn’t have the horses to hurt the Nuggets from outside all night. Against the better offenses in the league, the Nuggets will struggle if they don’t improve their perimeter defense.
  3. Although the Nuggets had yet another colossal failure to produce a shot attempt late in a close game, they only had 8 turnovers to Indiana’s 18. If the Nuggets can limit their turnovers, they can live with the inept free throw shooting and awful three-point percentages that have become mainstays of their new offense.
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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.
  • ryanvdonk

    george karl finally figured out he can take out mcgee in the 4th, give him some rest, AND THEN BRING HIM BACK IN!

    that only took 20 games

  • Andrew K

    Thank you Andre Miller for taking this game over at the end. Lawson sure as hell wasn’t going to do it.

  • googergieger

    Lawson and Iguodala had bad, bad games. Iguodala at least turned it around and played great defense throughout, though once or twice left a three point shooter wide open. Gallo’s shot wasn’t going in tonight, but I loved how he didn’t let that stop him from helping his team win. He almost had a triple double tonight and played fantastic defense. Javale McGee played huge for us tonight. Good defense. Not great, but good, and fantastic offense. Andre Miller came up big tonight for us, and if Lawson doesn’t show consistency, I hope Karl goes with Miller down the stretch. Brewer despite playing his risky defense, played good for us tonight. Loved his energy. Karl is killing Faried’s chances to average a double double or make the all star game. We were getting killed on the glass, so he decides to just leave him out most of the game? Kofous played solid. C+ which is where he tends to be on most nights. He still tries to get too fancy when the easy dunk is right there for him. Not a pretty or celebration worthy win for us, but a lot more positive than negative to take away from this one.

    • Charliemyboy

      Faried was out (-17) as West went 8 for 8. Faried can’t play good defense. He needs lessons from Iggy on footwork and positioning, or he should be sitting. Or have him and Gallo change positions all the way around. Koufos and McGee work well. Get the Frenchman in for Lawson when he’s so off. Breakout game for McGee.

      • googergieger

        Faried got into quick foul trouble again and West finished the half with Gallo and then Kofous on him. West bullied Kofous, and even shot some tough shots over Gallo. For the most part Gallo played smart on him and went for the ball denial route. Something Faried could learn as well, but again, don’t blame West’s game on Faried alone. He probably guarded him the least ammount out of anyone that ended up on him.

        • Charliemyboy

          I love Faried. The point is, he’s small for a power forward and gets abused. Why can’t he and Gallo switch? Why can’t Iggy show him exterior footwork? Tall PF’s give him problems which offset his incredible board work.

          • googergieger

            No, PF’s that can knockdown outside shots give him problems. Which is a good reason him and Gallo should switch, however the problem there is most Small Forwards can shoot too. Really Karl just needs to know what teams he is playing against and who should defend who. Instead of telling his team to go out there and wing it.

  • Ban Johnson

    Have to credit this one to McGee, Brewer, and Miller, with some crucial glue play from Gallinari.

    Much needed win against a good, equally desperate team in a tough arena.

    Why the Nuggets can’t all play well in the same game is one of those mysteries….If they ever do, good God this team has potential.

    McGee’s talent is jaw-dropping. I’d still trade him straight up for Roy Hibbert.

  • Aaron

    Idk Who Bashed My Last Comment On The Last Game But I Rest My Case Again. Lawson Faded Away Big Time in a Clutch Situation. Otherwise Tho. Great Game, I Was On The Edge Of My Seat The Whole Game Man! Glad We Finally Came Away With a Tough Road Game.

    Go Nuggets!

  • Ckwizard

    I only watched the second half, but the the defense was against really good. Brewer played with more control on defense this game. Both Igoudala and Brewer gave up Points though by leaving their men by sagging to far into the key. I am impressed with the defense the last two games. I am seeing a big improvement in defense over the last few games.

  • Jacob

    Amazing how much better our defensive rebounding is when Mozgov sits. In the game he plays we give up 19 offensive boards, when Kouf plays only 9.

  • Ernie

    Are we still mad at Masai for allowing the Lakers to have Dwight Howard? Just checking.

    I know they didn’t call defensive 3 seconds on Hibbert enough, but I was amazed the Nugs won this game. They couldn’t get to the rim without getting blocked, couldn’t shoot from distance, Ty was awful, Gallo and AI couldn’t shoot and Koufos (the king of the +/-) had a negative -9 +/-. Any win on the road is good so not complaining, just not sure how they really did it.

    Also I love the reviews Charlie. But McGee did have that behind the back dribble to a half court lob pass that ended up 10 rows deep so I wasn’t as impressed with his maturity.

    • googergieger

      McGee goes perfect from the field, decent at the line, plays solid defense, and while never having real control of the ball, stumbles, and loses the ball on an attempted pass. And the last part of that is what you focus on?


      • Ernie

        I was watching the Indiana telecast. Quinn Buckner predicted McGee would do that pass seconds before it happened and was laughing.

        So yes, I thought it was odd calling that a “mature” game for McGee. I also don’t think 2-4 is decent at the line. I guess my standards are higher than yours.

        • googergieger

          Great, what did he say when he went coast to coast before and layed the ball in? Again, he was falling almost the whole way and then threw it out. He did everything else right. Two out of four is very decent at the line, considering it is a small sample and he has been one of our more consistent free throw shooters. Despite his size. He has put the work in and it has shown. Give the guy his much earned props. Or don’t and criticize the guy for one mistake, when he is one of the main reasons we won.


          • Ernie

            I have no interest in saying McGee was bad, he wasn’t. He was great last night. I just thought mature was not the word I would use. For some reason you can’t handle that.

            But your insistence of 2 for 4 at the line as being descent is strange. 50% from the line is not good for a night. This team makes more than 1 point per possession, so anyone going 50% is bad for the team at the line. If it’s too small a sample size for you than it doesn’t deserve a comment. But decent is by definition better than bad. In the NBA 70% is decent, 80% is good, 85%+ is great.

            As for McGee being our more consistent free throw shooters, that statement is more incorrect unless you mean consistently worse than the team. The Nuggets are shooting 67.8% for the year, McGee is shooting 62.5%. And the team is the worst in the league at FT%, so even being in line would be unimpressive. If you can’t admit these ideas of yours are wrong then give me some stats better than mine.


            • googergieger

              Alright, your argument on him not being mature is one play. Someone said mature. You said, “BUT LOOK AT THIS ONE PLAY”. Pretty much your argument against someone saying he showed signs of maturity in the one game?

              Moving on from that. Lawson for his career is a pretty good free throw shooter, and this year it is down something fierce. McGee has been decent most of the year, and despite his one or two games that brought that percentage down, I still say he is consistent at the line. At least this year. But fine, two out of four isn’t good or consistent or decent for the one game. I’ll give you that. Now what else can you do besides focus on semantics when someone shoots your asinine logic down? Say McGee still isn’t anything close to mature and wasn’t at all mature in the one game because of the one play?


              • Ernie

                I’m missing the point because I made one observation about McGee not being mature just yet because he made a typically crazy play in the game and you took it to mean I denigrated his entire evening. I’ll respond in a way you can understand.

                As for McGee at the line, he was a 66% FT shooter his rookie year, 63.8% his second year, below 50% last year and now back at 62.5% which you attribute to hard work. If you mean consistent to say that he’s a low 60’s FT most of the time, then yes. If you mean that’s in any way decent or that this year show’s how much he has worked to improve then I would call that logic asinine. He’s worse now then 3 years ago.

                Again people, I like McGee. I enjoy watching him play. He had a great game last night. Please stop insisting I see it another way.


              • googergieger

                You are ignoring what I said. I already admitted you were right on the McGee being a decent free throw shooter. For you to focus on such petty semantics, is really indicative of how foolish you know you are in regards to dismissing McGee’s, for the most part mature and unforced game just because of the ONE play.

                McGee showed signs of maturity in the Pacers game and you decided to say, no he didn’t because of one play. That is the bottom line here. You admitted to saying that. Now you can either admit you are wrong or not. Either way, I’m done here.

                Also you might want to look up the meaning of the word irony.


            • Ernie

              I know what irony means. That fact that you don’t and keep using it incorrectly is ironic.

              This isn’t fun for me anymore. You don’t have anything interesting to say and just give me BS semantic arguments when I’m looking for facts so I’m just going to ignore you from now on.


          • Ernie

            I have no interest in saying McGee was bad, he wasn’t. He was great last night. I just thought mature was not the word I would use. For some reason you can’t handle that.

            But your insistence of 2 for 4 at the line as being descent is strange. 50% from the line is not good for a night. This team makes more than 1 point per possession, so anyone going 50% is bad for the team at the line. If it’s too small a sample size for you than it doesn’t deserve a comment. But decent is by definition better than bad. In the NBA 70% is decent, 80% is good, 85%+ is great.

            As for McGee being our more consistent free throw shooters, that statement is more incorrect unless you mean consistently worse than the team. The Nuggets are shooting 67.8% for the year, McGee is shooting 62.5%. And the team is the worst in the league at FT%, so even being in line would be unimpressive. If you can’t admit these ideas of yours are wrong then give me some stats better than mine.


        • Charliemyboy

          Breakout game model for McGee. Karl said his best as a Nugget. 9 for 9 against an all star. Open broader eyes and see the whole picture; not one play only. I really like the guy; he amazes me to his potential. And he’s getting better.

  • Finazz

    Indiana has to have the most annoying broadcaster in the league.

    • GK4Prez

      Sean Elliot would be my choice

    • John

      The color commentator for the Celtic radio broadcasts says “quack… quack…quaaaaaak..” as a kind of laughter at stupid mistakes… He gets my vote…

  • Tom

    Best game of the season for McGee. This is what the Nuggets need from him if he wants to earn the contract he just signed. With Koufos playing hurt, McGee needs to keep his game up.

    Faried needs smaller defensive assignments; he cannot guard anyone bigger than him. If I were coach, I would make him a wing defender, and make Gallo or Iggy a post defender. Think about it, he has great energy and hops, and good height and length compared to most wings, and thus he should be able to cause some problems for, say, the opposing SG on any given night. If he sucks on the wing too, well, at least that’s better than sucking in the post.

    • dynamo.joe

      Good point, his rebounding is subpar anyway.

  • CJP32

    A solid bench effort to help us get the win. Dre, McGee and CBrew are really coming along nicely. If and when Wilson Chandler returns, Im not sure where/how he fits in? JHam has all of the sudden gone cold from deep hitting just 1/8 over his last 5 games. He has been getting mins here and there, but the way Brewer is playing lately means JHam wont get too much burn.

    Ty was just woeful. Iggy/Gallo did a little of everything but again shot badly. 3rd game in a row Faried has found himself on the bench early because of fouls/bad defense. KK was solid early and McGee played brilliantly (minus the awful pass into the 10th row).

    If it wasn’t for Dre, I think we would of lost the game, Ty still doesn’t have the ability to take charge and step up late in games.

    I wonder what has caused Brewer to become a scoring focus on the bench all of the sudden? 19.3 ppg in the last 3 games, scoring ALOT on layups/dunks (65% on 2 point FGs). Whatever has happened, its a welcome sign.

    The NY game is HUGE – they are perfect at home and Melo may be injured. Would be great to get that W.

    • CJP32

      Just checked Brewers scoring over his last 3 games. His 27 made FGs include 7 Dunks, 11 Layups, 1 Tip-in, 3 Jump Shots, 4 Three Pointers. 75% of his FGs are at the rim = super efficient, and he is doing it with ease. If he keeps this up, Masai has a serious problem come Trade Deadline as teams will be making calls for him, and he is a Free Agent this off season.

      • John

        Brew’s numbers are almost identical to those during his BEST year in MN… and they had no trouble trading him…. and he was a starter there.

        I don’t know how committed you need to be to a guy who has yes, pretty much kept you in… maybe even won you 2 games, but who also has the absolute worst 3 point D in the league… How many games were lost because Corey’s man shot uncontested 3s the entire game…

        His full court pressure is great… his on ball D is pretty good(though he does get slap happy) but off the ball he plays the passing lanes some, but too often he follows the ball and drops all the way down into the paint. 1 or 2 quick passes and Corey’s man is wide open, way too often.

  • John L.

    So I’m going to echo alot of what Charlie has said but it needs to be stated:

    Kenneth Faried:His energy is obviously the best in the NBA, but unless he starts to show some defense he is going to end up as 6th man of the year candidate, and I’m starting to think that is where he is suited best. I’m not in favor of decreasing his minutes but I am beginning to think he would be better coming off the bench.

    Ty Lawson: Ty was suppose to come in this year as the leader of this team. We saw more glimpses of this last year than we have this year. I know he plays the game hard and doesn’t take anything for granted but something is not right here and if this team is going to have any success in the playoffs or this season at all, Ty needs to establish his game better and gain control of this team and his last minute shots.

    Gallinari: Needs to continue to take the basket to the whole but when we traded for Melo this guy was the center of the trade. The fact that his shooting is so poor and has continually been so even when he is healthy is disappointing. The New York Knicks are starting to look like they got the best of the this deal and even though it should of been that way immediately the hope Nuggets fans received the previous year has all gone down the drain.

    Andre Miller: Let’s just say he ain’t no Anthony Carter

    Iguodala: Andre can’t establish his role if the other guys don’t play up to their potential. Simple as that. Not saying he has always performed up to the player he is, but he will be his best when the rest of the team plays their best!

    McGee, I’ve always been alright with him coming off the bench, especially to start this season. However, Kostas is no long term answer to start at Center and McGee will get that role by the start of next year, hopefully sooner!

  • Woobly o Balls


    • tommy in Sd Nuggets fan

      Woobly who do you want I think we could use a shooter but we have them they are just not doing well the only people I think that will help this team are not going to be had for us and the ones we have will get better I.I would love to do a two for one again so we have an open roster spot so we could try and pick up Kmart again so he can be the enforcer and teacher to all our bigs. So they can be more aggressiveand learn how to have better defensive positioning. In stead of just writing trade please put some one or an idea out there. Personally I think someone like monta Ellis or some SG that way Iggy can play SF I think if we are going to get what we want we will have to give up Gallo to get it I don’t want to move lateral want to upgrade if anything.

      • John

        A “great shooter” who shoots poorly for over a quarter of the season… can’t really be called a “great shooter.”

        I don’t even know what to call a shooter who has gotten consistently worse in every single shooting category, every single year thing he has been in the league… like Gallo has… and Ty almost has (excluding temporary improvement in FT%)

  • grey

    Gallinari is the best Nuggets .. he alwasi assist and rembound . in all match after 20′ Gallinari si the only with 3+ rmb and 3+ assist …
    the best 5 is
    McGee …
    Lawson and Brewer are egoist and don’t pass the ball ( exemple last action of Lawson , lost ball because Karl said him : YOU ARE THE LEADER …
    the LewaderS are Igoudala and Gallinari .
    With 1 real playmaker this team can WIN NBA

    x / Miller
    Igoudala / Hamilton
    Gallinari/ Brewer
    Faried / Gallinari

    but LAWSON …

    Calderon and Bargnani for Lawson and Koufos ?
    is real ?

    • tommy in Sd Nuggets fan

      I like the idea but I don’t like Calderon I would rather get something better if we are giving up Ty and KK but I would want Rondo type player or Kyrie or those type of players

  • http://www.yahoo.com prospector

    Does Faried give up some on defense??? Yes, but who are our team doesn’t??? DID ANYONE SEE HIM RUN DOWN COURT ON A PACER STEAL AND SINGLE HANDEDLY DISRUPT AND THEN REBOUND A POOR SHOT ATTEMPT FROM SAID PACER… When he is off the floor our team is flat.. Our rebounding disappears… As a fan I want to see heart and hustle…. His defense will grow, and David West is an All Star.. Faried will figure it out.. Freakin Karl dumps Faried and McGee to the bench every other game while allowing Lawson to play like a scared school girl…. And you guys talk defense? Miller hasn’t played D his whole career.. Who many three pointers has Miller given up? He leaves his guys and cheats to the paint hoping for a cheap board for a fast break start, however since his guy is now wide open a pass is made; followed by a made 3… Getting rebounds is extra possessions… Period… So get off the best players backside and just let him ball and grow… DEFENSE?? Has anyone seen McGee’s defense as well???? Most guys have to grow into defensive players.. It takes time… But the only way you grow is to play… Period…. So give me more Faried, more Jham, more Mcgee… LESS Miller (make him sweat for his 20 minutes.. make him play harder defense).. All Karl is good at is destroying guys confidence.. Give Faried his 35 and let him grow into a star.. Don’t turn him into a JHAM who is becoming scarced to do anything… Help guys gain confidence.. And don’t give me the “Veteren B.S.”. All vets like Miller do is make the occassionally heady offensive play and play Turtle defense… This is a FANS game…And Karl, I am so sick of his smirk.. He thinks he is the smartest coach in the league… Well Karl how many rings do you have??? Oh yeah, weren’t you the loser that got punked by an 8th seed??? Very smart… Take your small ball and head games and flush them down the toilet… I am sick of your BS and I dread the day Chandler comes back……

  • NuggDr

    Let’s start bagging on MANIMAL! Charlie you broke down Brewdog’s night but fail to see that Koufos and Gallo were guarding West in the first half too, you jackass. MANIMAL HAS BEEN ONE OF THE BEST PLAYERS THIS YEAR!

    • Ernie

      These guys do not charge for this site, let’s therefore refrain from calling anyone jackass. They don’t deserve that kind of disrespect.

      • NuggDr

        Shut up you baby

  • al68

    the game has been consistent, because we played at a slower pace, outside shooting is terrible, Lawson, Iggy, Gallo did not give more, make 1 good and 3 bad game.
    The solution can not be Miller, today went well but some days it sure goes wrong.
    I think the attitude of Iggy shame when one takes one and a half on the computer.
    I think if we play with 2 PG makes the SG should know 3-point shooting, there are many well-made plays that should end with a shot of 3 Miller who are lost and end up with bad shots from other players.
    Defending Faried and Mcgee are very bad and I think it’s one of the reasons why so discouraged to see Iggy, not if you think the same.

    • John

      I think both McGee and Faried are very Camby-ish…decent help defenders… but both know that they can out jump almost everyone… so they tend to over compensate. A barely perceptible head fake and both go flying through the air, as a result their man to man defense is mediocre…

      They have both shown moments of brilliance though… Faried and McGee did a great job on the Lakers big in the post season last year, so you know they are capable. Hopefully they continue to learn, grow, and mature and get better…


    do you see the game ?
    Gallo in last 11 games only in 1 game play bad.
    ps Gallo 9 M IGOUDALA 15 M…
    gallo the real nuggets MVP

    • al68

      si vi el partido por eso digo que no da mas porque el se esfuerza es buen jugador de equipo no una estrella.

  • OriginalJakeSauce

    We had no right to win this game. I’m only upset that we did because GK gets more credit heaped on…. sick of it. If andre miller was having an off minute:fourtyfour this game would have settled up the way it should’ve.

    Tired of ugly basketball, hideous losses, and wins you can really be ashamed of. Bad dog, Nuggets, bad.

  • JP

    McGee makes that oop pass and it’s in the top 10 plays of the year…
    I see you JaVale, good work son!

    Every game this season we have a flat patch, i can’t put my finger on what it is…. but a timeout or rotation change is required immediately.

    Like to see some more passion out of GK. You’re not on the court, but you play a big role!