|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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.