|Danilo Gallinari, SF 27 MIN | 1-10 FG | 4-4 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -9
I wish I could say it’s surprising, but it’s not. Gallo was due for another one of his duds and he predictably chucked his way to a 1-10 shooting nightmare. It’s the seventh time this season Gallo has failed to reach double figures in substantial minutes. I wouldn’t be so hard on Gallo if he hadn’t pulled the same tired act all last season. Gallo had an embarrassing moment towards the end, where he avoided a Damian Lillard poster by pretending to block out Koufos, his teammate.
|Kenneth Faried, SF 18 MIN | 3-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -13
3-10 shooting in just 18 minutes doesn’t even begin to tell you how bad it was. Faried was dominated by JJ Hickson from the opening tip and it never really got any better. Defensively, he looked totally lost yet again.
|Kosta Koufos, C 20 MIN | 3-3 FG | 1-2 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | -5
Koufos recovered from two quick fouls to put forth one of the few respectable performances from a regular rotation player. He cannot provide anything on offense, which limited his impact in an ugly game like this.
|Ty Lawson, PG 37 MIN | 6-15 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 8 AST | 13 PTS | -10
A really disjointed game from Lawson, who was able to penetrate but didn’t consistenty put pressure on Portland’s defense throughout the night. His speed and energy were not a factor in the game as Lawson mostly faded into the background save for a few garbage baskets towards the end.
|Andre Iguodala, SG 27 MIN | 5-13 FG | 3-6 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 13 PTS | -9
Not awful, but his shot selection is disappointing as his growing complacency with the Nuggets’ culture of indifference on the defensive end. He was supposed to be a part of the solution for Denver’s abysmal perimeter defense, a system so broken it’s shown little, if any, sign of improvement from last season.
|Anthony Randolph, PF 8 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -1
I continue to maintain that the Nuggets should be giving Randolph a look. His post defense isn’t any worse than Mozgov or Koufos and he outruns any center in the NBA with ease, a skill which shouldn’t go unnoticed in the Nuggets’ second unit. He is also one of the few Nuggets able to change and alter shots with weak side help, a fundamental skill often lacking in Denver’s regular front court play.
|Jordan Hamilton, SF 13 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-1 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | +6
He still can’t really get minutes or show he can consistently knock down a three. I would love to see Jordan be able to change games with his rebounding, passing and defense but right now he looks to be struggling a great deal with his overall confidence and shot selection.
|Corey Brewer, SF 29 MIN | 4-10 FG | 5-6 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 13 PTS | +4
A near double-double and lots of hustle, but the Nuggets offense is in a bad way when Brewer is playing 29 minutes as the main scoring threat off the bench. Brewer did his job but he should be earning minutes with his defense, not the other way around.
|Timofey Mozgov, C 10 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -5
Not traded yet, but the nuggets are obviously still trying. They don’t seem interested in giving him a chance or just moving on, so it’s likely he’ll continue to be showcased for other teams. We saw some bad hands and decent defense out of Moz, which is nothing new and doesn’t really change things for the Nuggets either way.
|JaVale McGee, C 15 MIN | 3-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | +2
He looked winded and flat out spent at the end of the game. As much as I think the Nuggets have to trust JaVale more and give him room to grow, McGee did not look like someone I’d trust to maintain effort for 30 minutes. He needs to play at the same level energy-wise throughout the game, something JaVale isn’t close to doing right now.
|Andre Miller, PG 28 MIN | 5-14 FG | 2-2 FT | 9 REB | 7 AST | 12 PTS | 0
He had a near triple-double and did a great job limiting his turnovers, but color me unimpressed with Andre Miller as a floor leader. He should have posted up Lillard 20 times tonight, but instead we got some truly awful shot selection including two hopeless threes on a night the Nuggets were desperately looking to him for leadership. As a defender, he looks washed up and near useless.
|Evan Fournier, SG 9 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | 0
Thrown into the fray after a bizarre first quarter in which Karl briefly emptied his entire bench, Fournier looked surprisingly comfortable. He struggled with his handle, but got pressure on the ball and was disruptive on the defensive end. If he can learn how to make shots, Fournier looks good enough in everything else to be a quality rotation piece.
Three Things We Saw
- This played out like of the weirder games I’ve ever witnessed. Portland jumped out to a quick lead in the first quarter, at which point Karl emptied his bench and looked ready to let his reserves take over for the night. Although Denver’s offense remained bad all night, Karl’s all-bench unit picked up the defense considerably and brought Denver right back in the game, at which point Karl abruptly abandoned his strategy and went straight back to his normal rotation.
- Denver’s offense was laughably bad the entire night. Besides setting an NBA record for futility from the three point-line, the Nuggets clear lack of a system and any kind of leadership were on full display. Portland’s defense had something to do with it, but in terms of quality basketball we weren’t getting the best show tonight. The big-time Northwest division showdown actually looked like two second-rate lottery teams who can’t shoot straight. It was ugly
- Ty Lawson made a rare long-two pointer in garbage time. Those were the only two points Denver scored outside the paint the entire night. They scored 74 points in the paint and 17 off of 24 free throw attempts (70.8%)
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