|Danilo Gallinari, SF 28 MIN | 4-11 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | -2
The Nuggets are a team full of inconsistencies, but Gallo might be the most inconsistent of them all. As I’ve said before, his jump shot is his crutch. It’s the most inconsistent part of his already inconsistent game and it’s what he relies on all the time. We’re nearly halfway through the season and he’s still barely shooting above the .400 mark.
|Kenneth Faried, SF 25 MIN | 3-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 8 PTS | +4
It’s tough watching Faried’s energy level fluctuate so much from game to game. He had one aggressive rebound against the Wolves and was nonexistent the rest of the time. The book seems to be out on Faried: Get physical and you take him out of the game.
|Kosta Koufos, C 26 MIN | 8-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 16 PTS | +19
This was one of Koufos’ best showings of the year. He was making all sorts of crisp cuts to the basket, blocking out and getting much-needed put-backs against an imposing Wolves front line. For some inexplicable reason Karl chose to sit him the entire fourth quarter.
|Andre Miller, PG 36 MIN | 5-12 FG | 1-1 FT | 4 REB | 10 AST | 11 PTS | +11I
t’s always frustrating grading Miller. It’s funny because McGee takes a lot of heat for ill-advised and often quite flamboyant decisions, but Miller isn’t far behind. How many awful 3-pointers in tight games has he taken this year? How many terrible late-game turnovers has he had because he was being selfish? Miller has such a great overall game and can be a excellent point guard at times, but he also makes some of the worst decisions on the whole team.
|Andre Iguodala, SG 36 MIN | 6-16 FG | 1-7 FT | 7 REB | 6 AST | 14 PTS | +6
Iguodala didn’t shoot well but I liked how aggressive he was. This has been missing all year from his game. He was simply teeming with enthusiasm against the Wolves. If he knocks down just a few more shots, this could have been a different and much more enjoyable contest from the Nuggets point of view.
|Anthony Randolph, PF 4 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -3
Randolph looked pretty decent for only playing four minutes. He had a huge block and made some nice passes. Karl likes Mozgov, but Randolph is clearly the more talented prospect. Again, I’d love to see what he could do with 15-20 minutes at the backup power forward spot as I’ve seen nothing from him that would suggest he couldn’t handle it.
|Corey Brewer, SF 29 MIN | 5-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 12 PTS | -12
Is Corey Brewer the most consistent jump-shot maker on the entire team? Think about that. It’s definitely possible. No Nugget is shooting a particularly good percentage from the field (not including dunks) this year. While this is good for Brewer, it’s absolutely awful for the Nuggets as a whole. Nevertheless, Brewer had a solid game. He was energetic, hustled twice as much as other guys and played great defense as usual.
|JaVale McGee, C 13 MIN | 1-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -15
I rarely hand out F grades. In fact, I don’t know if I ever have. But I had to tonight. McGee played like he was high… or drunk… one of the two. He was all over the place, waiving his giant limbs around in an uncontrollable manner. He was falling over, making one completely bone-headed mistake after another. I just couldn’t believe how weird he was acting. Perhaps he was having a flashback from his days in Washington? I don’t know. What I do know is that Karl feeds off performances like this from McGee. This is exactly what he needs to use as an excuse to limit McGee’s minutes even more.
|Timofey Mozgov, C 13 MIN | 2-3 FG | 2-3 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -1
Mozgov played well. Quietly, he might be the Nuggets best one-on-one defender of all the bigs. He’s been showing more confidence lately and it’s showing in the box scores.
|Ty Lawson, PG 23 MIN | 6-9 FG | 3-3 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 16 PTS | -25
Lawson nearly saved the Nuggets tonight. He was making all sorts of clutch plays when the team was down. His shot was falling, which certainly helped, too.
|Evan Fournier, SG 8 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -2
Fournier does all the little things right, which is exactly what Karl wants. He had some really nice cuts to the basket and had active hands on defense. He needs to be more aggressive on offense though.
Karl drove me nuts this game. I don’t think he went two minutes without making a substitution. The Nuggets started the game off with a good vibe that he immediately squashed by messing around with the lineup over and over. People didn’t even have time to get settled in. Worst of all, I couldn’t figure out why Koufos didn’t play in the fourth quarter. What’s the reasoning behind that? Here he is having the best game he’s had in a while and all of a sudden he’s benched? Karl does this way to often for my liking.
There was really only one thing I noticed tonight: little, nonathletic combo guards burning the Nuggets from everywhere on the floor. How the hell do J.J. Barea, Luke Ridnour and Alexey Shved combine for 48 points!?! This is something only the Nuggets tend to allow on such a consistent basis and it all comes down to defense. For whatever reason the Nuggets have always been lazy when it comes to guarding the pick-and-roll. Instead of communicating and at least trying to thwart their opponent’s offensive gameplan, the Nuggets simply switch — no matter who they’re guarding — and hope that at some point they can switch back or rely on last-second help from one of their teammates. Instead of stifling the problem where it begins, they try and patch things up after the bleeding has already turned into a chaotic mess. All night long the Wolves set a pick, isolated one of their smaller guards on a Nuggets big man and then took him to the hole or stepped back for a jump shot. My questions is: If Karl was dead-set on switching why didn’t he play a more advantageous lineup where, no matter who switched, the Nuggets would always have a guy capable of defending a Wolves guard? If the Nuggets could have eliminated this problem from the start, they likely would have won in pretty convincing fashion.