|Danilo Gallinari, SF 24 MIN | 1-10 FG | 5-5 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 7 PTS | +3
Gallo has been about as inconsistent as you can be to start the season. In seven of the last 10 games he’s scored under 10 points four times and over 20 three times. His shooting stroke seems to be the root of his problems. When he’s hitting shots, everything is great; when he’s not, he’s virtually useless. Gallo is so talented in so many ways, which makes it all the more frustrating seeing him pigeonhole himself into a one-dimensional shooter’s role.
|Kenneth Faried, SF 33 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 6 PTS | -4
Faried is another enigma on the season. He didn’t have a bad game but he started off on pace to have an epic one — then it was as if his motor ran out of gas in only five minutes time. This is becoming quite the trend with Faried. His energy just isn’t what it was most of last year.
|Kosta Koufos, C 27 MIN | 8-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 16 PTS | -4
Koufos was the Nuggets’ best player. That’s basically all you need to know to figure out how this game ended. He’s been steadily improving throughout the year and is now legitimately giving McGee a run for his money as to who’s the best center on the team. His defense and toughness were especially impressive against the Clippers.
|Ty Lawson, PG 32 MIN | 5-11 FG | 4-6 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 15 PTS | -8
It’s hard to dock Lawson too much as he was one of the only players actually trying to make something happen. His passes need to be more precise but other than that he was pretty solid.
|Andre Iguodala, SG 27 MIN | 4-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 9 PTS | -1
I still can’t figure this one out. Anybody know what the deal is with Iguodala? Please, share your secret because right now I’m dumbfounded. I knew Nuggets fans overvalued him from the start but I really thought he’d be a lot more impressive than what he’s shown thus far. Against the Clippers he was nearly lifeless. His nine points were a result of easy fast-break points, and that’s about all he did.
|Anthony Randolph, PF 4 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | +6
He’s clearly talented. He’s played well this season and had a few nice buckets against the Clippers.
|Jordan Hamilton, SF 17 MIN | 7-9 FG | 0-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 16 PTS | -4
Hamilton was the second best player tonight (maybe the best?) and tied Koufos for the team lead in points despite having played only 17 minutes. If this was not a “wake up” game for Karl and the rest of his teammates, then I don’t know what is. Hamilton played with confidence against the Clippers and it showed. Not only was he scoring at a rate which none of his teammates could match, but his decision-making and vision were in top form. He made some nice passes and didn’t make the “rookie” mistakes he’s been known to fall victim to. The fact is: On nights like this, when nobody is stepping up to score, Hamilton is a great option to play 30-plus minutes because scoring is all he knows.
|Quincy Miller, SF 4 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 PTS | +6
Miller had a few nice dishes and played good defense. As always, I’d love to see what he could do with a few games of solid playing time.
|Corey Brewer, SF 21 MIN | 0-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 2 PTS | -29
Brewer was just not on. He’ll have games like this every now and then where he’s totally MIA.
|Timofey Mozgov, C 4 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | +6
Mozgov got hit in the face with the ball because he couldn’t handle the speed of a pass. That’s all I remember from his run.
|JaVale McGee, C 19 MIN | 4-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 9 PTS | -23
The stats don’t tell just how frustrating this game was from a fan’s standpoint. McGee made numerous decisions (mostly passes) where I couldn’t even begin to understand what he was trying to do. He also had several incredible blocks and nice post-ups, but I could not escape how bad his decisions were on this night.
|Andre Miller, PG 23 MIN | 4-9 FG | 4-5 FT | 2 REB | 6 AST | 12 PTS | -14
Miller started off the game great with lots of aggressions but seemed to fade as it went on. Still, it’s nice having someone who gets up for big games on a consistent basis.
|Evan Fournier, SG 4 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | +6
Fournier was impressive as usual. Not a lot of time, but he made the most of it.
Many players received bad grades tonight so it doesn’t make much sense to reward Karl. He’s the one who devises this skewed game-plan of being satisfied with playing like crap on the road as long as you can win most of your home games. While the Nuggets have had a tough road schedule, I still don’t understand how a team this deep and talented can be happy with a 7-13 road record. On a different (but similar) note, I ran into my old high school soccer coach a few days ago and he said he hates watching the Nuggets because they always have an excuse to lose. While the Clippers are on one hell of a tear these days, I can’t help but think Karl deemed this loss as considered “OK.”
Three Things We Saw
- Number 2: The Nuggets could not escape the hole they dug for themselves in the second quarter. The Nuggets outscored the Clippers in the other three, but simply laid an egg of epic proportions right before the half. As the Clippers began their run, the Nuggets were already hanging their heads. After several days of much-needed rest you’d think the Nuggets would come a little more focused than this.
- Zoned Out: The Nuggets are an easy team to defeat if you do several things. Playing zone is one of them. The Nuggets cannot score by shooting. Everyone knows this. It’s no secret. So, as long as you prevent them from penetrating they essentially implode. We’ve seen this multiple times already. Who knows how much longer it will continue? As long as the Nuggets play a happy-go-lucky style of offense with tons of freedom and no designed plays they’re never going to be able to contend when it matters most.
- No Number 1: The Nuggets starting five has problems. Nobody in that rotation is a lethal scorer. Even teams that have a mediocre or poor record often have guys who can go out and get buckets when need be. The Nuggets don’t have that. What they have is a team full of guys who max out at about 15 points. If everybody is on, that’s a great recipe for success… but how often is everybody on? You can say all you want about how successful the Iguodala trade was but there’s no denying how important Harrington and Afflalo were to the Nuggets offense through most of the season last year. Each of those two players carried the Nuggets for large stretches, which is exactly what the Nuggets seem to be missing at this point.
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