Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 122, Sacramento Kings 97

Denver Nuggets 122 Final

Recap | Box Score

97 Sacramento Kings
Danilo Gallinari, SF 26 MIN | 6-9 FG | 5-5 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 18 PTS | +19

Gallo’s aggression to start the game really set the tone for what ended up being one of the better wins of the season. He continues to improve and score in a quiet but effective manner.

Kenneth Faried, SF 22 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | +27

Faried’s energy was where it has been most of the year; however, his minutes aren’t. Faried has endured a slump recently and it just so happens to come at a time when Karl has begun to limit his minutes. Odd.

Kosta Koufos, C 18 MIN | 6-10 FG | 0-2 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | +24

Koufos played good defense — that’s what matters most. He was often in the right place at the right time to finish plays, which resulted in a nice stat line, but his solid play on the defensive side of the ball is what stood out most.

Ty Lawson, PG 26 MIN | 4-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 7 AST | 11 PTS | +23

Lawson did a great job of pushing the pace. He hit a few big shots, but this was a night where his control of the Nuggets’ tempo shined most.

Andre Iguodala, SG 28 MIN | 4-7 FG | 3-4 FT | 8 REB | 8 AST | 11 PTS | +28

The points weren’t necessarily there but this was one of Iguodala’s best games in a while. He doesn’t always have to score, but he needs to be aggressive with the ball in his hands at all times. He did that against the Kings and it really showed in the form of several highlight plays and an overall excellent performance from his team.

Anthony Randolph, PF 7 MIN | 3-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -2

Randolph was great in his limited time. He’s had somewhat of an interesting reputation as a selfish player over the course of his career but that was nowhere to be seen against the Kings. He made all the right decisions and had a few very impressive offensive possessions.

Jordan Hamilton, SF 23 MIN | 6-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 15 PTS | -1

Hamilton was incredible in the first half — where all his points were scored. During one stretch he scored 12 straight points for the Nuggets. This hot shooting abruptly ended in the second half where he missed every shot he took. Hamilton has an enormous amount of talent but seems to only have one gear: score. If he can learn to shift every now and then he’ll be much better off.

Quincy Miller, SF 5 MIN | 0-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 1 PTS | -1

This was Miller’s first appearance in a Nuggets uniform. It was brief and pretty inconclusive.

Corey Brewer, SF 19 MIN | 2-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 6 PTS | +3

This was one of Brewer’s less impressive games in recently memory. It might be a small sample size but he doesn’t seem to fit well with Hamilton when they’re on the floor together. Brewer just seemed totally off his game against the Kings.

Timofey Mozgov, C 9 MIN | 2-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -6

Mozgov is definitely showing much more confidence in his game this year. He’s still a step slow sometimes but he appears to finally be adjusting to the pace of the NBA.

JaVale McGee, C 21 MIN | 7-9 FG | 5-8 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 19 PTS | +7

McGee was insane. He had three dunks in a row in the first half that nobody else in the NBA could execute. His skill level and potential were on display throughout the game and it was quite the sight to see. I really cannot stress just how impressive he was in the first half.

Andre Miller, PG 24 MIN | 0-1 FG | 4-4 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 4 PTS | +9

Miller was a total dud. After Lawson set the pace he immediately came in and killed what momentum the Nuggets had built up. This is somewhat of a reoccurring theme with Miller. He simply does not run the way his teammates do. He’s always looking for the easy outlet pass and if it’s not there he meanders up the court like he’s on a sightseeing excursion. Miller is no doubt an important member of the Nuggets and a great locker-room presence to have, but he has to buy into what the Nuggets are trying to do a bit more on offense.

Evan Fournier, SG 12 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 7 PTS | -5

Fournier looked great. You can tell he’s a smart basketball player with a gift for playing the game the right way and getting his teammates involved. It’s going to quite interesting seeing just how good he can be with a heavy dose of minutes.

Three Things We Saw

  1. Potential: This was one of the Nuggets better wins of the season if only for the fact that they finally seemed to reach their potential. The first quarter was the best basketball this team has played all year. If they played like that every night (which they should!) there likely wouldn’t be as much frustration from the fans demanding for a coaching change.
  2. Depth: Watching this game I couldn’t help but again think of how deep this squad is. It’s incredible. The Nuggets garbage-time players might very well be able to beat the Kings starting five. I’ve said it many times and I’ll say it again: The Nuggets need to do something about this (i.e., make a trade). It’s just pointless having this much depth and watching guys ride pine who should be getting time.
  3. Focus: I can’t help but feel like the Nuggets played with a lot more mental focus in this game than they have most of the season. Everything was crisp. People were locked in on defense. The team simply came ready to play. Unfortunately, this seems to be an anomaly rather than the standard. Let’s hope this changes soon.
The following two tabs change content below.

Kalen Deremo

Kalen was born in Durango, CO, in 1988 and graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2013 with a degree in journalism. He's now an itinerant hoping to travel as much as possible before eventually succumbing to the "real world." Aside from writing Kalen likes movies, music, spicy food and the great outdoors. Edward Abbey is his current idol.
  • Ckwizard

    Good defense, Low turnovers, Hit Free Throws…… Blow them out yeah yeah go go nuggets… Nice to see the rotation tonight.

  • Scott

    If the last two games from Mcgee dont show GK he should start I dont know what will….

    • Charliemyboy

      Koufus was solid too. What a blessing to bring a learning, more controlled McGee off the bench! He’s awesome!

  • googergieger

    I know it was against Sacramento, but this was easily the best The Nuggets have looked all season. Gallo’s field goal percentage was a lot worse than it actually was as well. He was forced to take three really bad shots because of the shot clock and only one of those shots went in. Still great game for everyone. Hope we can put up a good fight against San Antonio. Don’t know if we’ll win, but just hope we can compete.

  • CJP32

    Great to finally see a blowout, seems everyone was on the same page tonight. Iggy flirted with a trip dub, Gallo was aggressive, Faried did ok, Ty was driving.

    McGee was outstanding off the bench, JHam had it going in the 2nd qtr. CBrew didn’t shoot great but did a little bit of everything. AR, Fournier were decent

    Lets hope to beat Spurs and keep the home cooking going

    • Charliemyboy

      A win over SA would be much more definative. Let’s see if this win creates a sustainable focus; it should, and we’ll know soon. If so, look out!

  • VinTheEskimo

    Instant analysis: Play Kings every game. Win title.

  • Ban Johnson

    Javale was ridiculous. The truth is, if he can give you 2 or 3 great games in a 7 game playoff series, and mature enough that he doesn’t kill you in the other games, that might be enough to justify his salary. When he’s good, he’s that valuable.

    If the Big 3 all play well and the bigs at least protect the rim and rebound, this team works really well, as constituted. Gallo and Ty look confident, like the borderline all-stars they should be.

    Iguodala sucking for that long road stretch was a major bummer, as it probably cost the Nuggets 3 losses. He’s supposed to be the rock. Glad to see him playing well again.

    I still think looking into acquiring Anderson Varajeo makes sense for the Nuggets, if they can do it without trading Ty, Iguodala, Gallinari, or Faried. McGee and probably Hamilton would be goners in such a scenario.

    • John

      McGee, Hamilton…. and Wilson, and Evan, and Kosta, and picks, and cash…

      The Cavs have been trying to trade Andy for 2 years, but they are asking a ridiculous amount in return. Since he is having a career year, I don’t think they will suddenly accept less…

      I like Varejao, but we would have to give up waaaaaay too much of everything else, just to increase our already top shelf rebounding.

      What we need is to clear up the SF logjam, play AI at SF and either acquire a shooter at SG(like a JJ Redick) or see if JHam can step up to the plate…

      • CJP32

        Right now, there are 2 expiring contracts on the roster – Mozzy and Brewer. Both will probably get more money in free agency than Masai will be prepared to match, so I think he will package them both in a trade soon, but to get someone decent back, a 3rd player will need to be included – either Gallo/Iggy/Chandler.

        The other dilemma is Chandler – is he healthy enough to play soon, or at all? If so, would a team take him and is reasonably sized contract?

        Iggy would be stupid not to stay in Denver next year and claim his PO of 16 million, I cannot see him getting a better offer elsewhere.

        In order for JHam to get consistent minutes, either Brewer and/or Chandler need to go.

      • dynamo.joe

        http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=d39olef

        Corey/Moz for Dunleavy/Pryzbilla. All are on expirings. Nuggets let Pryzbilla go and resign Dunleavy. Dunleavy is still shooting 40% from 3.

        Bucks need a SF and Mozgov is bigger cap space if they let him go or a better candidate for a sign and trade than Pryzbilla.

    • Steve

      McGee and Jham for AV? Dude…you have lost your mind. Ty/McGee, Farried, EF, Jham, gallo are the future of this team.

      • Joel

        He’s just saying that it would take that much to get the deal done on the Cavs’ side.

  • Tom

    Nuggets need a shooter. I’d see what Sacto wants for Jimmer Fredette. Probably could have him for peanuts. If he doesn’t work out, no big deal. If he does work out, then you got the lethal floor spacer you need.

    They might do Mozgov straight-up for him.

    • http://yahoo.com prospector

      I would give sac A.Miller, and chandler for him… ( a dream )… No miller & chandler = more JHAM and EVAN. Unfortunately Karl I feel is not a coach for those types of players.. All he is trying to recreate is his old Seattle team… And I think the head games is getting to Faried.. I hope Karl’s BS doesn’t mess Faried’s head up… AS a player you watch Miller play soft on defense and get rewarded, and you play your backside off and get punked…

    • googergieger

      Last thing we need is another small guard that can’t defend. Rather get Reddick or see if we can get Rudy again. Still we have plenty as is, just a matter of figuring out a solid rotation. Oh and Evan is going to get his minutes next year. Karl and company do seem to be in love with the kid, just have other players who they have higher up on the food chain.

      • GK4Prez

        I would take Marcus Thornton over Jimmer.

        Mozgov for Dorell Wright would help both teams and both players are expirings.

  • Mark from Charlotte

    The Nuggets may not make a trade if Jham and Evan can play more minutes.

  • Giovanni

    varejao?
    No thanks…

    Trade iggy x tyreke evans maybe…

  • Steve

    We don’t want Tyreke…dude never passes.

    This is the minute distribution Brewer should see. He is good in short bursts where he energy is needed. He is not the answer for our shooting needs.

    Good to see JHam play and do what he does. He is a true scorer that we need. Add in Evan, and those two are going to be special.

    Andre Miller….You hit the nail on the head. He is a liability on D, and refuses to RUN. It boggles my mind how Karl loves him so when he does not do the TWO most important things in Karls system….RUN and play D.

    (the AM for the HOF article in the post makes me laugh)

    McGee…the dude is unlike any other player I have ever seen play at his size. I would expect that Wilt showed some of the same attributes. Not saying McGee is Wilt for goodness sake, but he does things that No one else can do.

    BTW..great sports day….Broncos, Nuggets, SPP beating NE and my sons NJB team won today also. Thanks for the article Kalen.

    • dynamo.joe

      Like Kobe, Miller is a guy who was really good for a really long time but never great. And yet we all think “of course Kobe is a 1st ballot Hall of Famer”.

  • Aaron

    How About Chandler A. Miller And Brewer For Klay Thompson From GSW?

    • Steve

      Way too much salary on our side, would have to add something else from GS…that and there is no way GS makes that move….Klay will be a fixture in GS with Curry.

      But…he would look nice in a Nuggets uniform.

  • ChuckinJapan

    Announcers for the Kings were bad news. One sounded drunk and the other sounded passive aggressive pissed at his partner. League Pass has given me Scott and Chris only twice this season. Hope this evens out during the course of the year.

    • Steve

      Was one Jerry Reynolds? I hate him also as much as Walt Frazer for the Knicks…

      I always make sure I record the Nuggets broadcast on league pass. Remember, when the nuggets are away, it is the 1st channel shown. When they are at home it is always the second.

      The game Tuesday, on my league pass with direct Tv shows 763 and 764….the 764 channel will be the Denver feed.

  • GIANLUCA

    WHY GALLO B+ ???
    and HAMILTON A ?
    Gallo is A .. is the

  • GIANLUCA

    best player of Nuggets and in last 5 games 17.2 points and 51.7% with 429% 3 point

    • CJP32

      I like your enthusiasm for the Italian Stallion. Yes he has been playing very well lately, but have you noticed that every year he has been in the NBA, his FG% and 3PT% has dropped? Thats scary. He is at the age where he should be playing above average and close to 20 ppg, if he played consistently every night, he would be an All Star.

      I would love to see him consistently get to the FT line at least 6-8 times, and score 18-22 most nights. This offense allows that to happen, he just needs to get into that frame of mind.

      I think an ideal player for this squad would be DeShawn Stevenson from Atlanta. The dude is tough as nails and can hit the three ball. Currently shooting 59% from the corner three spot. Also the last 2 years of his deal are team options, so if it doesn’t work out, no big deal. Stevenson for Brewer works financially. Atlanta could use Brewers length and speed.

      • googergieger

        Well he used to be solely a spot up shooter and every year has added more to his arsenal, unfortunately last year Karl decided on an offensive game plan that was if it isn’t a fast break, Ty and Andre are going to be the ones to do everything on offense. Gallo only gets a few touches a game and when he does good things happen more often than not. Blame lies on Karl and not on Gallo. Still I’d say he has been our best player this year, and he still is the only one that attacks the basket from the get go. He just doesn’t always get the calls. Also Nuggets aren’t really built to have a twenty point scorer as it is all done by committee. Not that I’m against the idea of having one, just that on any given night it could be any number of individuals instead of the one.

      • newsman35

        I don’t think you factor enough of his defense. He really matches up well up on just about any PF/SF out there.

  • JetLife82

    I wonder if we could trade Mozzy for Duhon and a pick. Not that we need him but LA might be interested in an expiring contract and we would get a pick and insurance in case of an injury to Ty.

    Right now in the unfortunate event of an injury to Lawson, Miller would obviously be the only true PG on the roster who could play. And unless he could go for 48 mins then his backups, if I had to take a guess, would be Iggy and Fournier. While they are both decent ball handlers, Iggy is turning the ball over way too much at the moment and Fournier is still an unproven rookie. For me this is a cause for concern.

    Anyway I think we should definitely pay to keep Brewer but trade Moz before he becomes a free agent. We have three healthy 7 footers without Mozgov, and Gallo can play stretch 4 in a small-ball lineup.

    • dynamo.joe

      Just another two or 3 weeks til we get Stone back.

  • Alberto

    I think after today’s 4th quarter Fournier should play a little more so that we have a 10 player rotation. I love how he plays and I think that with Gallo would form a very nice couple…
    I also agree with the idea to trade Chandler to Fredette because he’s the kind of player Nuggets need

  • Tom

    From Elias: The Nuggets defeated the Kings, 122-97, outscoring Sacramento by 27 points (61-34) during Kosta Koufos’ time on the court (22:15). It was the third time in this calendar year that Koufos played less than 25 minutes in a game in which he was plus-25 or higher.

  • park hill

    I’m unsure of what is expected of Faried. He did his thing, the kid is a force to reckon with. C Brew is too, he bugs the shit out of an offense and is always positioned to make or miss a shot. When the clock is running low he is actually someone who can get a decent shot off.

    I know what to do with the depth. Play em! There is no excuse Mozzy, J Ham, AR or Fournier can’t combine for a total of 20 (ok, 15) minutes a night. I will repeat it all year. All that is needed is confidence from the coach. Every game should provide an opportunity for these players to come in and run, foul, shoot and rebound.

  • park hill

    Fredette, Dorrell Arthur, Stevenson and whoever else is good for the team would likely not play unless one of the “starting” 8 were traded. It is unlikely C-Brew is going anywhere, so Mozzy might as well stay where he is. C-Brew plays D like nobody else, yeah he gambles but he is the GK player. He knows his role offensively and defensively like no one else on the team, he gets GK.

    I think Masai will hold tight throughout the year hoping J Ham and Fournier crack the lineup along with consistent use of Mozzy and AR.

    • dynamo.joe

      Well it would seem that Masai has already shown that he is willing to take GK’s toys away if he isn’t allocating minutes to the people he wants. So, what’s to stop him from trading Brewer?

    • Frontrange

      I have yet see any evidence ferdette is good enough to be a rotation player in the league. He doesn’t appear to have the required athletic ability to showcase his shooting ability. You might as well go get Matt Boner or Steve Novak – at least they have height.

      • park hill

        I agree about Fredette, I was just repeating what was said on the thread.

        I think Masai holds on to Brew cuz he believes in the system, maybe even more than GK. That is what the Iggy trades says, in that AA and big Al were at their potential and needed to clear space for J Ham allowing C-Brew to hold it down in the process. More upside with Iggy.

  • trank

    brewer and freddette were both 2 of 5 from 3, although brew missed all the 4 2’s he took. (2 of 9 tot).

    • trank

      don’t need fredette, that’s a crazy trade

      • Frontrange

        You who would be a good pick up – the universally hated JJ berea – good skill set for dribble drive offense and likely to be available soon.

  • Frontrange

    I don’t get all the Miller hate . .

    He is not without faults, but he single handed closed out two of our best wins of the year – Indiana (accounted for the last 8 pts of the game) on the road and the Grizzlies (18 pts in the second half) last week. In addition, he was instrumental in beating MN on the road as well (11 pts in the 4th). He scored 13 4th quarter pts against Miami in the 3rd game of the season to almost brings us back in that one, as well.

    He is our best low post player and averages 25MPG, which is about right for his skills/age . . It not like Miller is AC!!

    • dynamo.joe

      I’m pretty sure the Miller hate is more accurately 2pg hate or GK via Miller is holding back Ty’s development hate.

    • Steve

      Good point …. lol…I am not a fan of AC either:)

      For ever game Miller plays great….and at times he really does, there are 5 games where he is atrocious.

  • http://yahoo.com prospector

    The Miller hate is because Karl preaches defense and pace.. And Miller is the complete opposite of both… I would rather have the ball in Gallo or IGGY’s hands at crunch time….. I don’t need a 50 year old point guard try to post up like Charles Barkley… All the dude does is cheat to the paint for cheap boards, mean while his player is spotting up for an open 3 pointer… I like his lob’s & passes to the big’s, but that is about it.. He is one of the worst 3 point shooting guards in the NBA, and he is starting to take more of them of late…. The fact that Karl loves hims shows that he is an idiot…. Most teams use Miller as a stop gap until they get a real PG… Watching his minutes go up every game (now he is at like 29 mins per game) is driving me insane….. Our GM needs to step in and set us free from this madness.

    • miguel

      miller has being the most consistently player for the nuggets in the fourth quarter on offense and being the brains on the floor. gallo make to many bad decisions late in games so really don’t trust him. he is the best post up point guard in the nba. many team would wish to have a veteran guard like that coming out there bench.

    • Frontrange

      Many of these comments are not factual. ..

      Miller has played exactly 50% of the minutes this season. The nuggets are better BOTH offensively and defensively when Miller is on the court. He has the second best +- on the team.

      You might argue his defensive numbers are impacted by playing with McGee but you would be completely wrong as the Nuggets are a much, much better defensive team with Koufos on the floor – they give up 14 more pts per 100 possessions with KK on the bench.

      • park hill

        GK will allow gambles on D. Miller and Brew consistently do it. I think Miller’s mistakes are more obvious than his disruptions and good gambles are. I agree with GK in that Miller’s positives outweigh his negatives. With all that said, J Ham can play some position D and with his rebounding I wouldn’t mind if he cut into some of Miller’s time. He just needs to not try to do to much in man on man D, the refs don’t respect him yet.

        • James

          I think Miller’s negatives FAR outweigh his positives. Yeah, no D, no pace. But to me, even bigger than some of those positives mentioned above, is his ability to score, essentially by himself. There are times when NOBODY seems to be able to shoot, or worse, even wants to shoot. For all the Nuggets offensive skill, they have big scoring droughts, and no one with the alpha dog mentality (a la Kobe) to just take it and just start jacking it up. Miller has stretches in many games where he will score 6 or 8 in a row, to get them through that period. Doesn’t need screens, etc. – just post him up and let him go. And, if doubled, he’s a great passer. He has been huge in that role, and though Karl does over use him, that is a huge feature (I felt like Harrington had that role last year, but Miller has taken it on now).

          Now, not having anyone with that “I’m gonna win this game alone if it kills me” mentality, will hurt eventually. They have clutch guys, and guys willing to take the big shot, but no on with that “give me the ball” mentality – I think there’s a difference. Gallo or Lawson could be that, or maybe even Iguodala, but they are all too team oriented and unselfish. You need some Kobeness in this NBA.

          • googergieger

            Yup, that Kobeness sure is helping the awesometastic Lakers, innit?

          • newsman35

            I feel the same way with brewer

          • clive

            i agree with your analysis on miller. although it kills me when i see miller not run out on the 3-point shooters on D, sometimes Miller just wins the game for you in the fourth quarter and puts on all his veteran moves. (and gallo always puts up dumb shots at the end… and faried sets dumb screens instead playing off the screen)

            but i digressed. i think miller’s +/- shows his value and the fans need to acknowledge his value to the team. he deserves the PT he is getting, especially b/c GK doesn’t draw up plays and need someone who knows how to set up plays which Ty doesn’t have down quite yet.

  • clive

    Kalen is right, GK should play everyone more minutes! why not try to play over time every game so that there are more minutes to go around?