|Danilo Gallinari, SF 36 MIN | 5-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 14 PTS | +1Danilo sometimes kind of disappears for stretches of games, but he sure has a knack at times for finding ways to come up with some big plays at key moments. That was on display tonight, when a couple of big 3-pointers and, most dramatically, a pass to himself off the backboard for a dunk put the kibosh on Memphis extending leads, and got the crowd pumped up.|
|Kenneth Faried, SF 25 MIN | 3-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | +6Kenneth for the most part was mostly a non-factor in this game. Sure, he had ten rebounds, but he really couldn’t get anything going offensively, and he really couldn’t compete with the Z-Bo/Gasol combo on the glass very well. He played great against Minnesota, but he’s only had 2 double doubles in his last 10 games, and he needs to find a way to bring out the Manimal more consistently.|
|Kosta Koufos, C 23 MIN | 1-3 FG | 4-4 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | +1As is usually the case when Kosta has a good game, the stat line doesn’t tell the story of how well he played, aside from his four blocks. Look instead to Marc Gasol’s 2-10 shooting. Koufos played admirably well against a frontcourt that has the potential to dominate him, and was a big contributor to Denver’s solid defensive performance.|
|Ty Lawson, PG 37 MIN | 5-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 5 AST | 13 PTS | +5We’d still like to see more aggression from Lawson. When he’s not shooting, he’s not doing enough to keep defenses honest and prevent them from packing the paint. That said, this was one of his best defensive performances of the season. Mike Conley did get off a couple three pointers, but he was kept ineffective most of the game, held to 5-14 shooting with only four assists. Ty still needs to work on not turning the ball over, however.|
|Andre Iguodala, SG 38 MIN | 8-11 FG | 3-5 FT | 4 REB | 7 AST | 20 PTS | +10this is the Andre Iguodala the Nuggets need to see more often. Tonight he played with an intensity and aggression that has far too often been missing from his game this season, and it really paid off. As with Lawson, turnovers are still a problem, but it was great to see him running the court harder, disrupting the Grizzlies offense with the kind of scrappy defense his reputation is built on, and above all operate within the flow of his team in a comfortable way. If he can genuintely find his comfort zone, it’ll be great news for Denver.|
|Corey Brewer, SF 24 MIN | 3-6 FG | 3-3 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 9 PTS | -1This was a quiet performance from Brewer, mostly solid, but relatively understated compared to his recent play. He didn’t make too big of an impact on this game, but he was serviceable in the minutes he played, allowing Gallo and Dala some brief respite without much dropoff.|
|Timofey Mozgov, C 5 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -11The five minutes Mozgov played in this game were probably his worst of the season. Karl sent him in after Koufos picked up his second foul, and should be credited with recognizing that tonight was clearly not Timo’s night, and pulling him out of the game quickly.|
|JaVale McGee, C 24 MIN | 4-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 9 PTS | +13Tonight’s JaVale McGee is George Karl’s dream JaVale McGee. His defensive presence set the tone for the entire team. He didn’t try to do too much or force things on offense. He played a fundamentally sound game, making few mistakes and, like Koufos, played great against one of the league’s best 4/5 duos. And man, he just blocked the hell out of that ball. There are four on the stat sheet, but easily more than two or three times that were altered because of his presence in the paint. And his block-catch was reminiscent of LaPhonso Ellis’ classic play: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVFSfRVzQ8s|
|Andre Miller, PG 29 MIN | 6-10 FG | 6-6 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 18 PTS | +1Miller continues to struggle defensively at times, but at least the effort is there this season. Like most Nuggets fans, I’m not a big supporter of the two point guard lineup, but I can empathize with wanting to have your best players on the floor when the game is on the line, and Dre probably gets some undeserved runoff from that fan frustration. But if the “crafty veteran” tag seems cliche, that’s not because it isn’t true. His handle on the game and his ability to post up have been among the most consistently reliable pluses for the Nuggets this season. A Marc Gasol and-1 brought Memphis within one point with 0:53 remaining, but four made free throws by Miller sealed the game for Denver.|
|Danilo Gallinari, SF 35 MIN | 9-13 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 24 PTS | +7
Gallo quietly had a really good game. He made a lot of shots from deep, but this also happened to be the first game in a while that he made a conscious effort to drive. When he does that, good things happen.
|Kenneth Faried, SF 38 MIN | 10-16 FG | 6-10 FT | 14 REB | 1 AST | 26 PTS | +8
Faried was an absolute monster in the first quarter. His energy reminded me of the Golden State game last year when he had one of the most efficient performances in NBA history. But as good as his numbers were, Faried still gave up position to the Wolves’ big men on more than one occasion. If he could get a little more physical his game would instantly go to the next level.
|Kosta Koufos, C 22 MIN | 3-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -5
I wasn’t too impressed with Koufos most of this game. He had five personal fouls in 22 minutes and wasn’t clicking the way he did against the Pistons.
|Ty Lawson, PG 37 MIN | 6-15 FG | 4-6 FT | 4 REB | 11 AST | 17 PTS | +4
People are going to jump Lawson for his turnover at the end of the game — but that’s not what lost the Nuggets this contest. Not even close. They were lucky to even pull it within three considering how bad they played in the second half. All the turnovers, missed free throws and sloppy play is what lost the Nuggets this game. What can’t be ignored is how well Lawson played for most of the contest. He had some remarkable passes in the first quarter and has really been evolving as of late. The fact he turned the ball over late is more a product of the Nuggets inept late-game execution and play calling more than anything. If the Nuggets simply decided to go to someone and stuck with it, they wouldn’t have these types of problems. Instead, it’s a different person every night and no cohesion is ever formed.
|Andre Iguodala, SG 35 MIN | 1-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 7 AST | 2 PTS | +3
I’ve been getting a lot of tweets during games asking what the deal is with Iguodala. The truth is, I have no idea. I think people’s expectations were probably too high to begin with. I mean, this guy did only averaged 12 points per game last year. Also, he’s clearly struggling with his role. In Philadelphia he played on a slow-paced, defensive-minded team and did a lot of the ball handling. Now he’s being asked to score on one of the fastest teams in the league. That would likely be difficult for anybody to adapt to.
|Jordan Hamilton, SF 10 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -11
Hamilton can’t do anything in 10 minutes. On a night like this, when the Nuggets area clearly exhausted, I don’t understand why he can’t log at least 20 minutes if not more. The Nuggets have one of the deepest teams in the NBA, yet guys like Hamilton can’t seem to catch a break. He does need to cut down on his turnovers though. He commits entirely way too many offensive fouls and traveling violations.
|Corey Brewer, SF 26 MIN | 6-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 14 PTS | +3
Pretty standard night for Brewer. He did everything Karl asked. He hit a few big threes, played solid defense and ran the floor well. Unfortunately for the Nuggets, having Brewer consistently be one of the teams top scorers just isn’t a good sign.
|Timofey Mozgov, C 1 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -4
He didn’t make any glaring mistakes. Can’t knock him or reward him either way.
|JaVale McGee, C 16 MIN | 4-6 FG | 1-5 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 9 PTS | -7
People who follow our blog know I have a slight affinity for JaVale. I probably tend to defend him more than I should. He’s kind of my new J.R. Smith (who is playing excellent in New York out of Karl’s wrath, by the way). But tonight I thought he was horrible. Yes, he had a few monster dunks and blocks — but that’s to be expected. He still didn’t rebound worth a crap and made numerous bad decisions that had me scratching my head. I guess that’s just what you get with JaVale sometimes…
|Andre Miller, PG 21 MIN | 1-6 FG | 1-1 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 3 PTS | -13
Miller was another guy who bugged the living hell out of me this evening. He was entirely too ball-dominant. Every time he received the rock he put his head down and just started dribbling. It was then, when for the first time, I realized that he and Ty aren’t really a good combo together. Miller is way too much of a dominating figure for Ty. Having Lawson, a 5-11 point guard with a pretty streaky shot, play off the ball just doesn’t seem like a recipe for success — especially not late in the game.
|Danilo Gallinari, SF 30 MIN | 3-13 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 9 PTS | +4
Gallo didn’t have a strong shooting night but came through with several big shots when the Nuggets needed them most. It’s crucial that, on nights like this when his shot isn’t falling, Gallo penetrates and gets to the free throw line — which he should be doing anyways.
|Kenneth Faried, SF 23 MIN | 0-1 FG | 3-8 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | +3
After averaging nearly 11 boards through the first months of the season, Faried’s production has slowed down as of late. He’s only had one double-digit rebounding game since Nov. 25 and isn’t the energetic force we’ve come to know. Hopefully this is just a brief trend and not a sign of things to come.
|Kosta Koufos, C 17 MIN | 4-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 9 PTS | -10
This was one of Koufos’ best games of the year. He was excellent on defense and had a fantastic third quarter full of energy that helped give the Nuggets a permanent lead.
|Ty Lawson, PG 40 MIN | 9-17 FG | 7-8 FT | 5 REB | 7 AST | 26 PTS | +10
I can’t remember Lawson having a more complete game than this one all year. This may very well have been the culmination of his steady improvement throughout the season. Not only was he knocking down shots from everywhere but his vision and ability to make others around him better through crafty assists was clearly on full display — which isn’t something Lawson has had a tremendous amount of success with as a starting point guard. If Lawson continues to play with this type of tenacity the Nuggets should be back above .500 in no time.
|Andre Iguodala, SG 35 MIN | 3-12 FG | 5-7 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 12 PTS | +3
This was a cold shooting night for Iguodala. He played impressive defense and did a lot of other things to help his team win, but just couldn’t knock down a shot no matter how open he was.
|Anthony Randolph, PF 10 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -2
Randolph only played 10 minutes but they were productive nonetheless. He had two monster blocks, a few nice boards and most importantly, he played intelligent basketball. I would be very interested in seeing what he could do with 20 minutes per game on a consistent basis.
|Corey Brewer, SF 25 MIN | 6-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 15 PTS | +1
Brewer had a pretty standard night by his terms. It’s pretty amazing how well he continues to play. He’s developed into one of the Nuggets’ most reliable players. He’s truly a model of how to be a team player, especially in regards to moving without the ball and being committed to defense.
|Timofey Mozgov, C 11 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | +13
This may have been the most confident I’ve ever seen Mozgov play. He’s still a step slow in terms of keeping up with NBA pace but when he plays with this type of self-assurance he’s a totally different player. Tonight, for really the first time since becoming a member of the Nuggets, I felt Mozgov actually looked deserving of heavy minutes in the NBA.
|JaVale McGee, C 19 MIN | 6-9 FG | 0-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | +3
The 12 points were nice and overall McGee played really well, but he needs to bring down more than just one rebound in nearly 20 minutes of action. Too often he tends to float away from the hoop and let smaller players get better position for lose balls. If he can improve his rebounding and overall decisions-making, McGee will have had it made.
|Andre Miller, PG 31 MIN | 4-4 FG | 3-3 FT | 2 REB | 7 AST | 11 PTS | +10
Andre Miller is such a mixed bag. In the first half he overdribbled (which has become a reoccurring theme with him) and lost the ball several times, but in the second half he was a totally different player. He had some very smart assists and played solid defense to boot.
The Denver Nuggets faced old friend Carmelo Anthony tonight in New York and Carmelo proved to be too much as Denver’s bid to be the first team to deliver the Knicks with their first home loss of the 2012-13 season ended in another disappointment.
It has been a while since I wrote up an old school game recap so tonight is as good a time as any, although I am not planning on staying up until 4:00 AM to bang out 3,000 words as I used to when I was a younger man.
Unfortunately the entire Roundball Mining Company crew is tied up with prior engagements this evening, therefore no immediate Rapid Reaction will be posted. There may be some notes left by one of our writers later on, but in the meantime please leave all your comments below. RMC heavily relies on its insightful reader comments which we feel you can get nowhere else but here. If everyone simply writes the intelligent, thoughtful type of commentary they usually do, we figure outsiders will have a pretty good idea of what direction this game went in.
With just under three minutes remaining in yesterday’s game against the Pacers, the Nuggets trailed by three. They had just allowed a 7-0 Indiana run which reversed the lead Denver had held earlier in the quarter, and appeared to be on the verge of yet another fourth quarter collapse.
That’s when Andre Miller decided to take over the game. (more…)
|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.
|Danilo Gallinari, SF 34 MIN | 3-10 FG | 10-10 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 16 PTS | +1
Loved the hustle and energy, but fact the fact he can no longer shoot straight is starting to limit his impact on the floor. Solid effort, but he just doesn’t work as a one-dimensional straight-line driver on offense. He showed a distinct lack of confidence in his shot and it affected his play in the second half.
|Kenneth Faried, SF 26 MIN | 2-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | +7
Foul trouble was the main issue here as the Nuggets struggled to keep up on the glass while Faried was out. He still managed to lead the team in plus/minus and was a big factor in the Nuggets’ late surge.
|Timofey Mozgov, C 28 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 13 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -4
Really good effort in a lot of areas that won’t show up on the box score. He was foul prone and sloppy, but for an emergency start Mozgov started things off on the right foot and was solid at the end of the game as well. The rebounding output is encouraging considering Mozgov was pretty terrible all last season.
|Ty Lawson, PG 37 MIN | 12-16 FG | 3-4 FT | 1 REB | 7 AST | 32 PTS | +4
Outstanding, with really the only blemish being that game-clinching turnover in the final minute. It’s been about a good 7 months since Ty’s played anywhere near this level and the Nuggets will look like a different team if this guy starts showing up more than once every 19 games.
|Andre Iguodala, SG 38 MIN | 2-10 FG | 0-1 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 5 PTS | -1
I get that he doesn’t care about his own offense and generally makes his impact on the other end of the floor, but 5 points and 7 turnovers in 38 minutes is unacceptable. Sloppy effort and a poor finish out of someone the Nuggets are expecting to be a leader on the floor.
|Anthony Randolph, PF 6 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -6
Not great, but I find it hilarious/fitting/sad that both times Karl has brought Randolph off the shelf he’s played him next to JaVale McGee.
|Jordan Hamilton, SF 4 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -4
Still kind of in the rotation, but not really
|Corey Brewer, SF 25 MIN | 8-15 FG | 2-3 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 19 PTS | -15
The Nuggets aren’t really playing good basketball when Brewer chucks up 15 shots and and plays like this, but he scored 19 points without hitting his threes and gives you the gaudy numbers off the bench.
|JaVale McGee, C 24 MIN | 5-8 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 11 PTS | 0
JaVale’s first stint off the bench is where the Nuggets started getting pounded inside and it continued the rest of the night. His failure to keep Hawks off the glass and protect the paint were a main reason Atlanta got control of the game and held onto it most of the night. McGee needs to focus on providing a solid presence down low and defense.
|Andre Miller, PG 18 MIN | 2-5 FG | 4-4 FT | 1 REB | 7 AST | 8 PTS | -2
For the first time all season I get to say something positive about an Andre Miller performance. He started off the game normal (read: slow and awful) before undergoing a stunning transformation at the half. Miller was moving twice as fast as we’ve seen all season, closing out on shooters and looking unusually active on both ends. Whatever the halftime message was, Miller clearly got it.
|Danilo Gallinari, SF 33 MIN | 4-10 FG | 3-4 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 13 PTS | -3
Gallo didn’t turn in a crazy stat line but he had a nice game overall. He’s no longer taking one questionable shot after another and has really found himself in the flow of the offense. He did a nice job defensively on Bargnani who slowed down in the second half. If you ask me, Gallo should be assigned to all perimeter-oriented/crafty power forwards from here on out. He has the size and is probably the Nuggets best man-on-man defender of all the forwards and centers.
|Kenneth Faried, SF 32 MIN | 5-11 FG | 8-11 FT | 10 REB | 2 AST | 18 PTS | -13
Faried had a pretty solid night all around. He got exposed by Bargnani early, but that’s to be expected considering how defending is not exactly his specialty. He had some nice shots in close proximity to the rim, which was really good to see. He also had a few impressive passes we’re not used to seeing.
|Kosta Koufos, C 28 MIN | 4-12 FG | 2-6 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | +16
Koufos finished with a double-double but he didn’t necessarily have the greatest game. At this point, any double-double you can get from him is a huge bonus.
|Ty Lawson, PG 28 MIN | 6-15 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 16 PTS | -13
People will probably dissect Lawson’s performance more than they need to. From my point of view his aggressiveness set the tone for the huge lead the Nuggets acquired in the second quarter. I don’t care that he shot a low percentage from the field or that he didn’t rack up a lot of assists. An aggressive Ty Lawson is always a good Ty Lawson. And I will take this mentality any day over a tentative Ty Lawson.
|Andre Iguodala, SG 33 MIN | 1-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 8 AST | 4 PTS | -1
I really don’t care that Iguodala had eight assists. Take even three of those away and he finishes with a putrid stat line. While I understand that he felt he didn’t need to score as much in this game, that obviously wasn’t true once it was all said and done. Iguodala has shown the tendency to disappear at times, which is exactly what the Nuggets can’t have. This team is in dire need of an on-court leader and Iguodala is unquestionably that guy. Again, he can’t be this laid back.
|Jordan Hamilton, SF 15 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 8 PTS | +9
Hamilton was a mixed bag. He did some things really well (see: scoring) but made a few boneheaded mistakes. This seems to be the pattern with him. That said, I still think the more playing time he gets the more comfortable he gets. Once Hamilton truly feels like he belongs, I don’t think we’ll be seeing a lot these “rookie” mistakes. I’ve seen him play in college, the D-League as well as at Summer League and this is by far the most tentative, and at the same time careless, that I’ve seen him. I really believe he wants play so badly that Karl’s constant threatening to take his time away has him a bit nervous. Nevertheless, he continues to improve.
|Corey Brewer, SF 21 MIN | 9-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 19 PTS | +6
This had to be one of the best games I’ve ever seen from Brewer. He didn’t fill it up as much in the second half but I can’t take that away from him. On both ends of the floor Brewer was phenomenal. Just pure, unbridled energy in every way imaginable.
|JaVale McGee, C 23 MIN | 4-5 FG | 9-16 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 17 PTS | +1
McGee too had one of his better games this year. His athleticism, perhaps more than any other game, was on full display against the Raptors. He had five blocks, but two of them came on the perimeter against jump shots. He also had numerous freaky dunks that only a few other players in the NBA could execute. Like I’ve said over and over: McGee will always make some frustrating decisions, but his efficiency and production simply cannot be ignored.
|Andre Miller, PG 26 MIN | 3-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 6 AST | 8 PTS | +13
Miller was trying to do too much. He threw lobs that weren’t really there. One even went straight into the crowd. Outside of that his game was pretty solid. These are the nights the Nuggets need his veteran leadership to shine.
After less than a month in the D-League, the Nuggets have announced that Quincy Miller has been recalled from the team affiliate, Iowa Energy. In his three-game stint Miller averaged 14 points, 10.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.3 blocks per game. All of Miller’s performances can be seen for free on the D-League’s YouTube channel, which I have posted below.