Rapid Reaction: Nuggets 126, Lakers 114

Los Angeles Lakers 114 FinalRecap | Box Score 126 Denver Nuggets
Danilo Gallinari, SF 36 MIN | 6-10 FG | 4-6 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 19 PTS | +11

Through the course of this game, keeping a mental tally of player grades, I was fully prepared to give Gallo a C after a first half in which he had two makes, two misses, two blocks against, and didn’t really impact the game much at all. But he made his mark in the second half, finishing with 19 points on sixty percent shooting (including 3 of 5 3-pointers), and making some big shots down the stretch. Tonight was Brewer’s night, but the two things the Nuggets live and die by are Lawson’s aggression and Gallinari coming up big when it counts. He made some key plays in this game, including one huge three off a great read of a defensive lapse by Metta World Peace.

Kenneth Faried, SF 39 MIN | 9-13 FG | 3-5 FT | 15 REB | 1 AST | 21 PTS | +7

Kenneth was in full-on Manimal mode tonight, a one-man wrecking crew on the offensive glass against one of the most formidable frontcourts in the NBA. There are times when Kenneth’s size renders him unable to be as effective, but this was one of those games in which through sheer will and energy he was able to play like the biggest man on the court. He definitely still needs to work on his defense, especially getting out to defend the perimeter against assignments with range like Pau Gasol, and the little things inexperienced players tend to miss (the Lakers announcers pointed out a good example of him failing to close out the baseline with his outer leg on a Kobe drive). But the most important team stat of this game may well have been Denver winning the offensive rebound battle 20-11, and if it weren’t for Brewer’s stunning performance, Faried would get the game ball.

Kosta Koufos, C 20 MIN | 4-6 FG | 2-3 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | +7

Koufos did a respectable job against Dwight Howard, considering that that’s not a very level playing field to begin with. He seems to have tapped into some newly discovered toughness over the last few weeks, as well as a determination to score more. Given that he appears locked into the starting center position for the foreseeable future, both of these are welcome developments. It’s hard not to wonder, as Dwight was heating up in the third quarter before getting tossed from the game, if the Koufos-McGee combo could have weathered that storm. But he held his own through most of this game, and if he can continue his recent trajectory of improvement it will be very good news for Denver.

Ty Lawson, PG 34 MIN | 6-15 FG | 4-5 FT | 4 REB | 14 AST | 17 PTS | +11

Never mind the shooting, 14 assists from Ty is something we always want to see. He did an excellent job of pushing the pace and setting the tempo the entire game. And he played smarter than we’ve seen in some recent games in terms of not driving into traffic too much and generally making better decisions. Neither he nor Andre Miller could do much to stop Steve Nash’s hot shooting, but Lawson did a good job, at least, of staying with him and making him put the ball down to limit the damage he could inflict.

Andre Iguodala, SG 38 MIN | 5-15 FG | 5-6 FT | 11 REB | 7 AST | 17 PTS | +9

Iguodala’s playmaking was superb in this game, and he was two rebounds shy of a triple double. His 3-point shooting still leaves something to be desired (though this can be said of most every player on the team), but when he’s aggressive in transition and works hard on driving and kicking, his ability to create is dangerous.

Jordan Hamilton, SF 5 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +3

J-Ham’s 1-6 shooting line doesn’t tell the whole story. His shot wasn’t falling, but he played with energy and tenacity. It’s great to see a guard who isn’t afraid to mix it up in the paint, but his shot will come, and as long as he plays aggressively and keeps pulling down rebounds (he had three with a block in five minutes of action), he should be forging a path to increased minutes.

Corey Brewer, SF 24 MIN | 9-16 FG | 3-3 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 27 PTS | +11

Wow. Brewer came alive in the second half, scoring 22 of his season high 27 points and all six of his 3-pointeers after halftime. While he can’t be expected to produce offensively like this night in and night out, when he does — and especially when his 3-pointers are falling (he shot a blistering 6-7 from the arc), the Nuggets suddenly become a much more difficult team to beat. He played a great game defensively as well, making life difficult for Kobe and earning a steal and two blocks in the process. Player of the game, arguably his best game of the season, and when we review the top ten Nuggets plays of the season next April, his incredible buzzer beater to close the third quarter will surely be in the top three.

Timofey Mozgov, C 4 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | +4

Timo made so little an impact in his four minutes of play that it’s nearly impossible to make a meaningful evaluation. He gets a B on the merit of doing no harm and being +4 on the floor.

JaVale McGee, C 22 MIN | 3-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 7 PTS | 0

McGee needs to practice breathing exercises or some other sort of mentally calming activity. He’s at his best when he plays more restrained and less hyped up, but he’s an excitable boy, and too easily lets himself play out of control. Tonight he started off strong in the first, seemingly on his way to atoning for his fairly disastrous performance against the Clippers. But as he’s prone to do sometimes, he let his emotions get the better of him and went on to make some sloppy mistakes like pulling up on the rim after a big dunk, and too hastily inbounding an errant pass. Until JaVale learns to maintain his compusure, he won’t develop the consistency the Nuggets need from him.

Andre Miller, PG 19 MIN | 2-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 6 PTS | -3

Miller was fairly ineffective on both ends of the court, and a veritable liability on offense. This was one of his sloppiest, least focused game of the season, as he missed a ton of what should have been easy layups, and made too many careless turnovers. His job is to steady the rudder by making heady veteran plays, and when he’s not doing that, it’s better for the Nuggets to have other players on the court (cough, cough, Jordan Hamilton).

George Karl

It feels kind of crazy to give Karl an A for this game, when in the next game it’s a near-given that he’ll employ essentially the same strategy and rotations and the Nuggets will lose by 15. But if coaches are to be blamed for losses, they should be credited for wins, and this was one of the biggest, most gratifying wins of the season. Minus tick for leaving in Miller when he was eating it, but this was a game where, after an embarrassing loss on national TV, he trusted his players to pick themselves up, keep playing Nuggets basketball, and take confidence in themselves to win a big game. And this time, it worked, although some will certainly suggest he send Dwight a thank you note. Even so, in the most critical stretch of the game in the third quarter, when the Lakeers cut the Nuggets’ 13-point lead down to six, he let his team play through it, and that was the right call.

Four Things We Saw

  1. Jekyll and Hyde. So let’s get this straight. Just six days ago this team sets the NBA record for most missed 3-pointers in a game. Just last night, this team gives up a 22-42 point quarter. Tonight, suddenly, the Nuggets shoot 12-22 (54.4%) from the arc and pour in 39 points in the third quarter? Call it a tough schedule, call it a young team, call it what you will, but these guys are all over the map. Hopefully their home-friendly January will facilitate finding better consistency.
  2. Dribble-drive-motion offense. Remember the October hiring of Nuggets assistant coach Vance Walberg, the innovator of the dribble-drive-motion offense? It brought Denver’s offensive system to the forefront, a system which is designed on continually attacking the basket, kicking out and rotating. The problem this season has been that, with sub-par 3-point shooting, opponents have packed the paint, inhibiting the Nuggets’ ability to drive and penetrate. With tonight’s hot 3-point shooting, we got a good example of what the dribble-drive-motion really should look like, and how effective it really can be. But it’s predicated on floor spacing which can only be creating by legitimate shooting threats, and if the currently rostered players can’t deliver, there probably either needs to be a trade or a change to the system that better fits the abilities of the players Denver has now.
  3. Hand in the face. It will most likely be controversial whether Dwight Howard really deserved a flagrant 2 for his foul on Faried, or whether it should have been a flagrant 1. He clearly was not going for the ball, but there’s a good case to be made that he was basically trying to keep Kenneth away from the rim and not trying to smack him upside the head. At any rate, it was Faried’s relentless aggression that put Howard on the defensive in the first place, and it was great to see no fear or intimidation in the Nuggets frontcourt going up against L.A.’s All-Star duo.
  4. Home sweet home. The Nuggets maintained the best home record in the league, improving to 9-1. If they can continue so staunchly defending their home court, they should be in great shape entering February, as they have only three road games next month.
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Joel is a long time Denver Nuggets (and Broncos) fan from Colorado who's been living in Japan since the mid-90s, and blogging about the Nuggets since 2008. You can contact and follow him on Twitter: @denbutsu.
  • Tyler

    CRAAAAAAAZYYYY I loved it my man CBrew drained it, Ty with the dub-dub. Faried and Iggy had a dub-dub and Gallo put in work. Love it great win. Wish we coulda did this yesterday. Reguardless it was good to watch. Loved it. A+ all around haha

  • Andrew K

    Who here else agrees that when Ty Lawson attacks, the Nuggets are the most lethal offense in the league? As said on Altitude, George Karl did a wonderful job on match ups, forcing Kobe Bryant to guard Lawson, leaving options all over the court (13 or so assists, 0 TO). They were aggressive on defense the ENTIRE game. George preaches true principals for this team (defense and attacking): Finally, the Nuggets were able to execute according to his coaching. Thankfully, the downtown shots also fell.

  • googergieger

    We played good but we also got lucky Lakers wanted to play our game. They played as sloppy and up and down as we play. Ty had a great game but he played Nash awful. You can not play off of Nash, but well I won’t go into it. Should enjoy the win. Still our defense needs to be better and we won’t beat the better teams in the league if we play like this. Never the less, great showing at least offensively from our guys. Also if you take away the two wide open three’s from Gasol, Faried played him pretty great on both sides of the court. Also despite the poor D by Lawson 14 assists and 0 turn overs?! Please let this be the norm from now on…

  • Aaron

    The NBA is all about match ups and we’re a nightmare match up for the Lakers because we can throw two 7 footers out there too, we have some guys to make it tough on Kobe (Iggy, Brewer) and we have Ty gunning past Nash on every play. The flip side is that the Clippers are awful for us because Paul negates Ty, we have no answers for Crawford, and Griffin, Odom, Jordan, etc. . . dominate our bigs.

    This is a good win for us. If Gallo and/or Brew, Ty, Iggy can hit 3’s half as good as tonight, we’re tough on anyone. We’ve owned Memphis all year, so I thin they’ll be jacked on Sunday. I think we own Dallas and get our split before the New Year.

  • googergieger

    Memphis is really going to want to beat us. Dallas we should beat but Dirk is back. So hopefully he won’t go off.

    Oh and I forgot. Fuck Dwight Howard!

  • clive

    The Nuggets need to trade JaVale. anything he does that’s positive is entirely negated by his silly mistakes such as getting a technical for hanging on the rim.

    • googergieger

      Faried got a technical when we played Charlotte for the exact same thing…

      • John

        Good to see that JaVale learned from Kenneth’s mistake…. yes, that was sarcasm.

    • Trip

      Im not fully against him hanging on the rim in this instance. It was after a pretty monstrous dunk and it was to help get the crowd excited. If this game was on the road then it was a completely bone headed play, but at home this can be a good thing.

  • Arrawak

    Well WE re starting to roll but for me the real surprise is koufos he becomes a real assett for us

    • John

      Kouf with the sweet hard foul on Pau in the 1st that set the tone…

      “No easy stuff, sir. We’ve got about 30 fouls to throw at you and D12…”

  • Avarice

    Man I had to work I missed it. Seems to me from the box score that Brewer and Lawson lit it up tonight.

    Since D’Antoni is coaching the Lakers I wonder how much of a run and gun style they will have come playoff time. I hope to see them in the playoffs, since I think fast paced games are the type that Denver excel at.

  • fluffhead

    finally a full forced effort from our team. I like when TY grows some balls and attacks. That IS HIS GAME, although he forgets it 3/4 games. Hope this is a start for him AND IGGY. We live and die by their play, end of story. Cbrew is usually solid, Gallo fairly consistant, Faried always energy/hustle. But when every other game Ty or IGGY scores under 5 points we lose. Get them rolling early, attack the rim, which opens up the perimeter. I still don’t think GK is the coach for THIS team but tonight was a good effort all the way around! Fun game, playoff atmosphere and we stepped up!

    • https://twitter.com/denbutsu Joel

      Just out of curiosity, is your handle a Phish reference?

  • CJP32

    I was hoping CBrew would have a great game and boy did he ever! He plays really well against LA and at home, I cant wait for January (12 of 15 at Pepsi Centre)!

    Ty was the Ty we have waited for all year. Iggy did everything you could ask. Gallo was clutch. Faried was energetic. KK was consistent. EVERYONE chipped in.

    We need to continue this team effort against MEM and DAL.

    For one more day, GK is safe!

  • John

    Good win, but another mediocre Andre Miller game… back-to-back-to-back mistakes in the 3rd for a -7 in like, 50 seconds. He almost let the Lake-show back in the game….

    Brewer had a set too, but at least he bookended it by a 3 and a dunk if I remember correctly.

    Almost everyone played like they should have been playing all year… it would be nice to get this level more often.

    Douchy move by Howard, but I’m still pissed off about Griffin playing as fullback last night…

    Overall, tonight was a good night to be the ONLY Nugget fan in the room here in LA… the hipsters and frat boys were losing their minds… It was good. Everyone gets an A-.

  • Steve

    As I said last night, if we hit the 3 and shoot the ball decent, our offensive is hard to stop.

    Nice to see Brewer shoot well tonight. I was getting worried in the 4th when we though it would be great to huck up 3 pointers and not drive the lane.

    Andre Miller….typical game. How he plays over Jham kills me. As Joel sad above, it is nice to watch Hammilton rebound when he realizes his shot is not falling.

    So…we get blown out the next game?

  • Jacob

    Not a huge fan of giving the coach a grade after every game for this reason… Realistically it is simple with this team. We hit our FT’s at a decent rate and hit some 3’s, we will win even against some of the best NBA teams or at the very least be in the game till the end. Otherwise we lose. Karl really can’t do too much to control whether or not his guys hit their open looks.

    • https://twitter.com/denbutsu Joel

      I actually agree, and I don’t think we’ll give a coach grade every time, most likely. It’s a new feature on the RR generator. But in this case, especially given that Karl gets a LOT of heat (albeit some of it merited), it only seemed fair to give credit for doing well.

      • Jacob

        Thats fair. I just expect a loss gets a poor grade and a win gets a good grade. Kinda a lot like what you said in your write-up the exact same plan will be used in the next game and we could easily be blown out.

  • airvaid

    When Ty Lawson an Gallo play like they did we are a great team. Simple as. This is the first time this season that the Nuggets looked like the team that promised so much last season. It’s because Lawson finally played like he did last season.

    I know everybody like to hate on Karl. But we have been struggling with players not performing to their capacity. If Gallo, Lawson and Faried could consistently perform like they did tonight we are a much better team.

    We have lost our two most consistent perimeter threats on Afflalo and Al. So you can see why this team looks more like last season when someone is draining three’s.

    Let’s hope this is an extended run from Gallo and Lawson. Let’s hope McGee and Iguodala can find their element too. I can understand Faried being inconsistent. He’s a second year guy, who still needs to figure out some stuff.

    Let’s hope Hamilton can be a consistent defender. Because every man and his dog can see we need a guy who can drain the 3-ball.

    And if Miller is sucking, I’d like to see Fournier play instead. He can handle the ball, shoot the ball and drive to the rack. Really Masai has pulled off a steal here. Tony Parker at 28, Batum at 21 (?) and now Fournier at 20. Can Rudy Gobert fall next year so we can pick him up at 18-19.

    • dynamo.joe

      We can all agree that players have been underperforming, but that doesnt mean the coach has been doing the best possible job.

      If you believe in WP48 and I do believe it is the best single number advanced stat, here are the Nuggets players from best to worst:
      Faried .233
      Koufos .174
      McGee .163
      Mozgov .143
      Iguodala .124
      A. Miller .114
      Hamilton .090
      Gallinari .076
      Brewer .074
      Lawson .053

      In this metric, .100 is defined as average, .200 is all-star caliber, .300 and above is superstar level.

      Our 4 top guys are bigs and yet despite that we have consistently gone small. That’s bad coaching.

      Hamilton has outplayed Gallo and Brewer but has difficulty getting time and plays in constant fear of getting yanked. That’s bad coaching.

      Miller has outplayed Ty so I don’t mind the minutes Miller gets. I do mind that many of those minutes came with Ty at the 2.

      In my opinion that limits Ty’s development, makes him passive. But maybe GK thinks; relieved of play making responsibilty Ty can develop confidence in himself as a 3 point shooter and a slash to the basket scorer which will open passing lanes for him when he is reinserted at the 1? So maybe that’s not bad coaching, but I think it’s not good coaching either.

      Just for reference, last year Faried was over .300, Igoudala was just under .300. Koufos, McGee, and Lawson were hovering around the .200 all-star level and Gallo bounced between horrible and near all-star depending on health.

      So, I agree players are not playing to expectations. But I also think GK is NOT getting the most out of this team.

      • GK4Prez

        “In my opinion that limits Ty’s development, makes him passive. But maybe GK thinks; relieved of play making responsibilty Ty can develop confidence in himself as a 3 point shooter and a slash to the basket scorer which will open passing lanes for him when he is reinserted at the 1? So maybe that’s not bad coaching, but I think it’s not good coaching either.”

        I was thinking about this statement the other day because it is said quite often and I don’t disagree with it. But, it also limits Miller when they are paired up together because he also splits the ball handling duties, and it hurts the team because it puts two average to below average defenders on the court at the same time. You would also think the turnovers would go way down when they are on the court together, but they don’t, so what real advantage does it provide?

        • dynamo.joe

          I don’t know. Maybe he believes 1 or both players would be locker room problems if they didn’t get the minutes?

          From a purely on-court viewpoint I can’t think of any advantage.

      • will

        that stat simplifies things way too much. our best plus/minus 5 man lineups feature Koufos as our only big man. Mcgee and Mozgov are Nuggets with the worst plus/minus. No lineup with Mozgov in it is any good.

        • dynamo.joe

          And I believe +/- says Quincy is our best player. Let’s give him all the minutes.

          There are problems with any single number metric.

          Mozgov’s minutes are low enough that I considered excluding him on the basis of sample size.

          I’m not a statistician, but as a quality and reliability engineer, statistical analysis is one of the more frequently used tools in my arsenal. I have not seen any criticism of WP that has dissuaded me of it’s value.

          As a guy who published multiple papers in grad school I understand the value of the peer review process and WP passed that hurdle.

          Anyway, all of this leads me to believe that WP is the best place to start looking at basketball stats that I have found to date. Doesn’t mean there isn’t a better one out there or that better metrics won’t be developed. But I do think it’s better than PER and more predictive than +/-.

  • GK4Prez

    Lawsome is still going under screens instead of fighting his way to get over top of them, but in this game he didn’t pick up his dribble on offense like he has been doing all year, and it opened up so many options for the team. I think it was his best game of the season.

    Iguodala seems to play a bigger role when he is allowed to facilitate the offense, and he did it several times tonight.

    Gallo hit some big shots and I am glad he got going offensively in the second half, but he can’t box out at all, he is lazy going after long rebounds and outlet passes, his transition D could have cost the team, but luckily mega whirled peas missed an easy layup, gallo also missed a gimme layup that gasoft wasn’t even trying to defend. He still knocked down some very needed buckets late in this game, so the good outweighs the bad.

    The Lakers obviously wanted to slow down the Manimal in the second half, MWP was trying to tackle him on a dead ball while they were out of bounds, and then Dwight Coward pulled his stunt and was rewarded accordingly for it.

    Brew stole the show though, this was clearly his night to shine.

    The Mavs play in OKC on Thursday night (quadruple ot would be nice…lol), so the Nuggets will actually be the rested team for this matchup.

  • Alberto

    Ty was MVP!! He could make 20 points and 10 assists every night, he has an amazing potential. If Gallo, Brewer and Iguodala shoot well (over 35%), Lawson will make 20 points almost every night.
    Faried tonight was a really beast, UNSTOPPABLE!!!


    Gallo 10 fga 19 points
    Iggy + Ty = 30 fga 34 points …
    GALLO not A ?


    the % in Nuggets season ARE NOT GOOD for the KARL’S BASKET —> the medival coach

  • Brazil

    Great game to watch and I’m feeling like luck is finally starting to swing in the Nuggets favor. They are totally going to surge next month with all the home games, and we’ll all forget about this nightmare of a season so far. The Nugs can beat any team in the NBA hands down. I expect them to finish the season with at least 55 wins. I would like to see us win the division but we have some serious catching up to and Durant and Westbrook and not going to make it easy. We’ll need some big wins against them to claim any legitimacy. All in all Go Nuggets!!!!

  • http://yahoo.com prospector

    KK got in early foul trouble which meant more Faried.. More Faried equals more rebounds for everyone… The opposing teams are forced to keep a man on him, so it free’s up rebounds for other players (see iggy’s 11 boards).. This cat needs 38 mins every night period… More Evan & JHAM less Miller…. & please get Chandler out of here ASAP… and when J. Stone comes back send Miller packing… Then life will be good….

  • googergieger

    I’m still wondering why people hate on Chandler. He got injured when he came back from China. I mean at least give him a month when he comes back from injury. Seriously he is a really good defender and has a versatile body and we could use that on this team that loves to switch as much as it does.

    • dynamo.joe

      He is in love with the 3pt shot and fade away, contested, mid-range shots and he can’t hit either one.

      He has a quick first step but refuses to use it to get to the basket, which implies he is either soft or the aforementioned mid-range shot gives him a small orgasm.

      In short, he is an inefficient scorer because he plays basketball the way he wishes he could play basketball instead of the way he actually CAN play basketball.

      • googergieger

        So according to you he is good for nothing except getting to the rim which he doesn’t do?

        Fair enough. Reckon if he comes back healthy, as long as he can defend and take the open three’s that come his way, and if he can cut like Brewer, we should be good to go?

        • GK4Prez

          I want him to do well when he comes back. I like parts of his game, and he will never be worth anything in a trade if he doesn’t get back to playing the way he was prior to the China experiment.

        • dynamo.joe

          This is what I used to say about Jay Cutlery back when he played for the donks: when he was a kid someone told him “wow, did you see Brett Favre force that into triple coverage? Only the great ones can do that!” So now Jay Cutler forces balls into triple coverage in an effort to prove his ‘greatness’.

          Similarly someone told Chandler: “did you see that fade away jumper Kobe just took? Dude was all over him and he buried it! Only the great ones can do that!” And now Chandler settles for contested jumpers to show how ‘great’ he is.

    • John

      When “the trade” happened… I was actually more impressed with Chandler than Gallo… I thought Gallo was a poor mans Ginobli… a lanky foreign player who’s almost out of control style of play is awkward, but can put up points… I thought that Gallo possibly had a higher ceiling than both Chandler and Ginobli… but he hasn’t improved at all. His first year, was his best… at least statistically.

      Since then… the “Ill Will” moniker is fitting… he has been hurt… in China, and now hurt again. So he has had almost no playing time in a Nuggets jersey… it is hard to judge him.

      I like the skills I remember him having back in NY, but that was years ago… Hoopfully(clever aren’t I), he can perform near or at the same level when he returns.

      • http://yahoo.com prospector

        The way Karl splits his minutes up, he gives faried & mcgee minutes to chandler… Check prior box scores… More Chandler = less faried, Mcgee, and JHAM… That my friend would suck…. Chandler is a marginal talent, which is why NY traded him.. He average 15 on a crappy team…. He has no heart, he is a slacker.. Just cruising… Kinda like a Andre Miller at forward (with no shot, no post up game, no boards)… We have to much depth.. Karl’s rotations suck now, you think he is going to become a genius when Chandler comes back???

  • googergieger

    Well Mavs went to over time at least. Look for Mayo to try to have a bounce back game and try to go off and be really aggressive. Hopefully Iguodala can contain him. Hoping we take it to Dirk defensively. If McGee ends up on him tell him to never ever go for his pump fakes. Just keep your hands up! Oh and hopefully Faried can overwhelm the Mavs poor interior presence. If Marion ends up on Gallo, look for a bad night from him. Still we are going into a very winable game against a team who is desperate for a win. So hopefully we can pull it out and if it turns into a dog fight, hopefully we can win.

  • GK4Prez

    Is Dirk even playing in b2b games?

  • googergieger

    As far as I know he is, just with limited minutes. Twenty or so minutes. Even though he’d eat up Faried on the offensive end, I think Faried could tire him out fast with his offensive rebounding and all around hustle.

  • http://yahoo.com prospector

    Faried is young and his defense will improve on a game to game basis…. I mean look at Miller, TY, Gallo, and Mcgee’s defense.. I would take Faried’s d in a second… But in Karls book, it’s ok for a veteren to play completely pathetic defense, but if a youngster makes an error off to siberia…. How many rings does Karl have??

    • Thomas

      Agree. It’s pretty much what we’ll get with GK running things…good wins at home, mediocre road record, quick exit in the playoffs.

      Our team will go as far as Faried and Iguodala’s effort takes us – the wild card being what Ty can bring offensively come playoff time. I would discard Gallo as his ceiling has clearly been reached (other GMs will discover that soon enough then his trade value is gone). Andre Miller is a waste of time for any serious fan – average running the offense and a liability on D.

      We are horrible at defending the perimeter, despite the acquisition of Iguodala. That just shows you how poor a coach GK is. What’s the point of having a player like him if we don’t have the defensive mentality required?

      Just play Ty, Iggy, Faried and KK together 35+ minutes a game. Give Hamilton at least 25 minutes a game. Use Brewer as a spark, not as a starter. That’s it.

  • googergieger

    Gallo is the team’s second best defender after Iguodala…

    • rxmart2

      Yeah I don’t know what people are talking about calling Gallo a bad defender. If you look at his synergy stats, he’s actually been one of the top defenders in the league this year. It is probably just variance, but the last two years he’s rated very high for a wing.

      • googergieger

        Yup, and he is actually asked to guard three positions at any given time. Your bigger two’s, three’s, and four’s all tend to go to him.

        He tends to stay in front of his assignment and always has a hand up, and when they are bigger than him and can move him, he has excellent ball denial skills. He just fronts them and doesn’t let them get the ball.

        For some reason people expect him to just be a spot up shooter, so when his shot isn’t going down they tend to ignore everything else he does for the team.

        • Jacob

          My problem with Gallo isn’t defense. It is the inconsistency and shooting efficiency. He really doesn’t show up that often and even when he does it takes him a lot of shots to put up his points. I mean in the Lakers game he did a great job of not throwing away numerous possessions, but that is usually not the case.

          • googergieger

            So you have a problem with literally everyone on this team? Say what you will about the guy and he has had two to three turds of a game, but he has been one of our more consistent players when it comes to aggression on both ends of the court. Second only to probably Brewer and probably tied with Faried who has let foul trouble hurt him in a few games as well.

            • Jacob

              Yea I do have a problem with lots of the players lack of consitencey. However I think some of those guys even when they aren’t at their best still help the team. Lawson may not score a lot some nights, but as long as he is still aggressive he helps the team. Iggy’s defensive tenacity usually still makes him useful even when his shot isn’t falling. Gallo on the other hand isn’t a great defender (I mean he doesn’t hurt the team out there, but not anything special) and really doesn’t rebound as well as you would hope for a 6 ft 10 guy, so when his shot isn’t falling he is a liability. And he has stretches of games when that doesn’t happen very often. He also comes up with the occasional great game, like we saw tonight against Dallas, but those tend to be rare. I just think with the amount of shots he puts up there should be more games where he scores over 20 than we are seeing right now.

              • googergieger

                He gets to the foul line more than any other Nugget, he is tasked with defending about three positions every game and his stats say he is an above average defender which says a lot when he is on a team like Denver, and his job isn’t to rebound. However when the team needs it he does step up. Like that New York game where no one could get a defensive rebound to save their life and he came in and got about five big ones in a row.

                Seriously I never understand the unwarranted hate on some players and free pass others have. Especially when it doesn’t make a lick of sense. “Iguodala is a great defender so that is all you need!” Even though Gallo has been our second best defender and easily our most consistent one this year. “Faried is a good defender and getting better!” He isn’t and I hope he is.

                “Kofous is fundamentaly sound, doesn’t make mistakes, and gives you great defense!”

                Against competent centers he gets eaten up alive, he constantly makes shot more complicated than they need to be and is pretty horrible at finishing lobs, he fails to see open guys around him when he does get the pass, and he takes away minutes from McGee who should be a guy we are trying to develop into something big.


                On top of which his shots and percentage are very misleading. As we saw tonight with seven or so seconds left, the team often tosses him the ball and forces him to play one on one with horrible spacing, which often leads to a very tough shot that he has to take. Not mention the times he takes it to the rim where he might not finish but he gives an easy put back situation for Faried or our other bigs.

                I’m one of his bigger supporters here but I’m also the first to criticize him when he plays bad. He should stop being judged by what ESPN talking heads say about him and instead be judged on his play when you take the time to watch him play. Because if you do, more often than not you’ll see big contributions, and part of the reason we win games or at least compete.

        • GK4Prez

          I agree, Gallo is an above average defender, he just doesn’t box out when he is asked to play the pf position. Playing him out of position really isn’t his fault though.

          • Jacob

            It wouldn’t let me reply to your long message up there, but I agree with a lot of what you said, I just think we should expect more from the “centerpiece” of the Melo deal. I’m not expecting him to be an allstar, but I expect the guy to be more consistent. The stretches where is on are great, but when things are going bad, they go real bad. When Iggy isn’t on his game he usually contributes in other ways, however I wouldn’t say Gallinari does that. Saying he is the 2nd best defender is a stretch though. He is average to slightly above average. Doesn’t hurt us out there, but not anything special.

            • googergieger

              Okay, what do you mean by consistent? His shot falling down? Cause that is literally all you can mean. Because again he has been one of our more consistent players on both ends of the court when it comes to defense and attacking the basket. When it comes to showing you want to be out there and compete. More so than Iguodala in fact. What does Iguodala do to contribute if he isn’t scoring? Cause I can tell you what Gallo does. In fact, I have and you still refuse to acknowledge it. Also if you don’t think Gallo is a good defender or even our second best defender then you don’t know defense or are too stubborn to admit the obvious because of your clear bias on the guy.

              He isn’t Iguoadala or Tony Allen, but he stays in front of people, he keeps a hand in their face, and makes it tough. Much more when he is tasked with guarding power forwards he does an excellent job of fronting them and making it tough for them to get the ball in their favorite spots. He is often tasked with guarding the stretch fours Faried has a lot of troubles with.

              • Jacob

                What I mean by consistent is he has many a games like tonight where he doesn’t show up at all. Guys like him are supposed to step up in a big way and it doesn’t usually happen. You clearly are in love with the guy and refuse to recognize that he is a fairly one dimensional player. Often times when we lose it’s because he doesn’t show up. When that shot is falling, everyone is pro-Gallo and yea he’s a decent player. However when hes missing things go very bad. As seen tonight in Memphis (however Lawson didn’t show up at all either). Nuggets would be best served packaging him and Mozgov in an effort to get a upgrade at C. Replacing him with a healthy Chandler is a downgrade, but realistically as long as we get a solid C who is a force to be reckoned with we can swallow that pill. That would move Koufus to the bench role where he belongs. Also would free up a few more minutes for J Ham. Seems to solve multiple problems.

              • googergieger

                I think you think that is an argument. He had two shots blocked at the rim. Oh well that happens to the best sometimes. He got the ball under the rim, blocked, got it back, and blocked again. So taking those two away, and the desperation step back three he had to take at the end. Two for five. One dimensional though? How so. I mean tonight our spacing was horrible. A lot of that was on Karl and his “wing it offense”. Some of it was on everyone’s favorite player Koufos lumbering around being useless. Randolph got anything he wanted on him, and then when he switched onto Gasol same story. On offense him and Faried clogged the lane so no one could get in and kick out or drop off a pass. I mean what did you want from Gallo to try to Kobe it up? Alright well he isn’t that. So if that is what you want, I can understand the illogical hate. Otherwise come up with a real reason to hate on the guy and calling him inconsistent or think up new words. In either case, I’m done arguing with a guy who’s argument boils down to, “he is bad because he is bad”.

  • Mark from Charlotte

    Ok Nuggets fans this team will make the playoffs, but with GK in charge they will lose in the first round. Give Chandler and Stone a chance when they come back from injury. Gallo and Amiller need to get traded.

  • Mark from Charlotte

    In my opinion Gallo is not a good defender.

    • Evan

      Just a thought, but if the Lakers are serious about trading Gasol the Nuggets should make a play for him. Koufus has been playing well lately, but he’s obviously not a consistent scoring threat. The Nuggets have plenty of wing players so why not try and trade Gallo (who can also play the stretch 4 the Lakers have been searching for) and maybe Koufus or Mozgov and a pick or two for Gasol? He gives a legitimate low post threat and would significantly upgrade the center position which is our weakest.

      • googergieger

        He’d make the rest of the team slow. He is born to play in a half court offense and little else. Terrible fit considering the rest of the roster. Be better off teaching Gallo how to post up. He does it every now and again, but pretty sloppy. Lebron gets away with his sloppy post game because he is stronger and gets away with literally everything, but Gallo could use someone teaching him how to post up and use his finesse game and craftiness to get easy buckets.

      • GK4Prez

        Just based on the age factor alone, I would rather have Gallo over Gasol. I tend to get down on Gallo at times probably because I expect more from him than I should, but he is a an important part on this team.

    • GK4Prez

      It is tough to determine who is and isn’t a good defensive player on the Nuggets because they really don’t have specific assignments, they switch and over play passing lanes in the attempt to create a turnover so they can get out and run. But, when Gallo does play a guy straight up, he generally holds his own well enough in my opinion.

  • googergieger

    Oh and Pau is a much worst defender than Gallo.

  • googergieger

    Even if we win tonight, Kofous and Karl better get a fucking F. Even his for some reason lovers shouldn’t be blind to the awfulness that is his game tonight. Why the fuck Karl decides to go with him as long as he has despite no defense and horrible offense is beyond me.

  • Jacob

    Sorry goog but a you can plau the unlucky card with every players shot attempts.. Lawson has many of his shots blocked too. Lots of players have had to throw up last second shot attempts.

    Point is a team with Gallo as the top scoring option will never go anywhere. Maybe if he is a role player the team will go somewhere, but this team doesn’t have the horses to win a title. Realistically a second round exit is this teams ceiling. And their isn’t a coach out there who changes that.

  • googergieger

    Lawson and then Miller are the top two options. Karl runs all the offense through them first, second, and third. Gallo is just often the guy they ask to toss up a prayer because he isn’t afraid to.

    Seriously, wise up.

    • Jacob

      Your just one of those fans who looks at the ,easy excuse. Time to start holding these players, accountable for the problems… Clearly though it isn’t easy to admit the roster isn’t built to go anywhere, much easier to blame the coach and hope that fixes things. No new coach is going to fix the fact that we can’t hit threes. Phil Jackson won’t hit free throws for us. Firing the coach would just buy another year for this roster to lose in first round. And we would still be the same team, good but not great.

  • googergieger

    That isn’t an argument. That isn’t even an argument to what you think the argument is.

    Defensively this team should be a lot better than it is, as far as three point shooting goes, it’s been proven our bigger problem is defending it than making it. As even if we don’t hit one we can still win games. On top of which having no clear rotation hurts, and sticking with guys no matter how they perform and pulling guys no matter how they perform hurts a lot.

    You lost this one a long time ago. Oh well. Next up you can argue how Karl was right about not giving McGee more minutes against Memphis and how even though Kofous was getting scored on by everyone he defended and kept bumping into his own team on the offensive end he is clearly the better option as far as heavy minutes for centers go…

    • Jacob

      You are very childish. I mean seriously calling out who won an argument, are you 12?? How do you even judge that. Whatever if that is what you need to do so be it..

      Point remains when we get a new coach, which I see happening this off season, Karl has sounded pretty bad in some interviews I’ve heard and I don’t know how much longer he will be able to coach, you will find something to complain about with the new coach. I don’t agree with everything Karl does either. He is far too attached to Andre Miller and Hamilton deserves to see more minutes. Also yes, McGee did deserve to get more run tonight (but seriously Koufus scored on by everyone? I would agrue Gallo scored on by everyone and by everyone I mean Rudy Gay. And to touch on the heavy minutes as far as centers go, do we really have a center deserving of big minutes? Kouf isn’t anything special and McGee oozes potential, but still kills us often. Don’t think we even need talk about Mozgovs general lack of skills). But fact is, regardless of who is coaching this team there are going to be some lineups we don’t agree with coach putting out there.

  • googergieger

    I’m childish? Didn’t you say I’m clearly in love with Gallo in an attempt to get me riled up or to grasp at whatever non existent straws you felt you had to grasp at?

    Also for someone that is accusing me of complaining a lot, you complain about Gallo an awful lot and hold no one else to the ridiculous asinine standards you hold him. You purposely pigeon hole him and then get on him for not doing the one thing you say he can’t do.

    Yup, Z-Bo had his way with Kosta and then when he switched on Gasol, Gasol started scoring on him. Also Iguodala started off on Gay, and then a few switches happened. Honestly only about three really tough shots were scored on Gallo by Gay.

    McGee is never going to live up to any potential if he doesn’t play minutes. He isn’t given the chance to learn or get better, yet Kofous is despite him clearly reaching his ceiling. Kofous kills us just as much as McGee does, except without the upset. Mozgov is actually pretty skilled. Last year before injuries he was a great starting big man for us and in the Olympics he was impressive. Just is totally lost out there when he is forced to play with a team he has no feel for.

    • Jacob

      I feel I have a right to complain when a supposed “All star caliber player” throws up as many duds as him. Also if you think Mozgov will turn into anything in the NBA you clearly lack basketball intelligence. Terrible hands, far to slow reactions. The game just moves to fast for him and that isn’t going to change. You are impossible to reason with as you are far more concerned with who won the argument, then actually discussing basketball. Sorry for not recognizing that earlier and leaving then.

  • googergieger

    You keep coming up with make believe arguments and replying to those in an effort to save whatever face you think you have left. Iguodala IS an all star player and has had more turd games than Gallo. Kofous fumbles as many passes as Mozgov does, gets bullied by competent centers, and is constantly in the paint clogging the lane. I mean did you see Mozgov start the season for us last year? Did you see him in the Olympics?

    But no, I’m in love with Gallo so can’t possibly see clearly, despite me bringing more to the table than your, “he is bad because he is bad” argument.

  • Jacob

    Ok sorry for not trusting your opinion basketball god. All you bring to the table is ignorance. Please do what you threatened on the memphis thread and stop watching this team.