Rapid Reaction: Nuggets 110, Jazz 91

Utah Jazz 91 FinalRecap | Box Score 110 Denver Nuggets
Danilo Gallinari, SF 32 MIN | 7-11 FG | 11-12 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 26 PTS | +6It’s such a boon for the Nuggets offense when they get this kind of production from Gallo. If he can find a way to score closer to 20 rather than 15 more frequently, it will go a long way towards helping the team maintain better offensive consistency. It was great to see him relentlessly attacking the basket tonight, and do a big chunk of his damage by hitting 11 of his 12 free throw attempts.
Kenneth Faried, SF 32 MIN | 7-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 15 PTS | +17The Nuggets did not come out of the gates with the kind of energy that might be expected in a revenge game with one division rival after a bad loss to another. But as is typically the case, Faried was one of the few making an effort to bring it. The Jazz got the better end of the offensive glass in the first half, but Faried did a fairly good job defending Paul Millsap, and played an important role in keeping the game close early until Denver opened up their big lead in the third quarter.
Kosta Koufos, C 29 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-1 FT | 13 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | +15Koufos has struggled in some recent games, and early on it looked like that trend might continue. But Kosta has a way sometimes of coming out with a surprising toughness, and he did a great job in the second half especially, coming up with some big rebounds and defensive plays.
Ty Lawson, PG 24 MIN | 6-12 FG | 1-1 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 14 PTS | +17If Lawson’s Achilles injury is bothering him, he did a great job of playing through it tonight. He was hitting his jumpers, and was able to find his higher gear with increasing frequency as the game progressed. Utah dictated the pace early on, but largely due to Lawson pushing it and playing with some aggression, the Nuggets were able to break the game open and play their style of basketball in the second half. Hopefully Ty is on the mend and we will see this type of performance from him more consistently from here on out.
Andre Iguodala, SG 31 MIN | 5-9 FG | 8-11 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 18 PTS | +20Iguodala played the role of scorer more than playmaker in this game, and did he ever put on a show. After seeing him turn the ball over so many times this season, I’ve learned to cringe when seeing him drive to the rim. But his skill in the open court was on full display tonight, as he made some truly remarkable crossovers and fakes that brought the house down. He and Gallo combined for 19 of 23 at the free throw line, and the more Denver can get of that, the better.
Anthony Randolph, PF 5 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -4Randolph was one of about five Nuggets players to get just about five minutes tonight when Karl emptied the bench, and he accomplished nothing in the short time he was on the court.
Jordan Hamilton, SF 6 MIN | 0-3 FG | 2-4 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -2Hamilton’s shot was not falling, though it should be noted that only one of his missed 3-pointers was a poor shot selection, while the other two were taken in the flow. Karl surely characterizes him as a “good-bad player”, and it seems J-Ham would help his own cause by not being over-eager to make a huge impact, and instead let the game come to him a little more.
Corey Brewer, SF 19 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 3 PTS | +12Brewer went completely cold on offense in this game, but was serviceable on the defensive end, including one nifty block from behind of an Al Jefferson layup on a fast break.
Timofey Mozgov, C 6 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -2Timo didn’t really make a big impact in his limited time, but three boards and a block in five minutes is solid.
JaVale McGee, C 23 MIN | 2-5 FG | 3-4 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 7 PTS | +14McGee really needs to toughen up when battling for rebounds. There are just too many times when he gets outworked on the glass in situations where, given his size and positioning, he should really have the advantage. For some reason, he seems to often struggle against the Jazz frontcourt, and this game was no exception.
Julyan Stone, PG 5 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | -4He played! It was great to see Stone get his first minutes this season. He was moving just fine, and hopefully we will get more opportunities to see what he can bring to the table. Tonight, he looked good, playing with control and doing a good job of distributing the ball to his teammates. His single assist in five minutes would have been more like four or five if the other guys were connecting on their shots.
Andre Miller, PG 21 MIN | 4-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 6 AST | 11 PTS | +11Had Miller’s grade been given at the end of the third quarter, it would have been in C/D+ territory. He was ineffective to the point of being a liability for most of the game. But after draining a big buzzer beating 3-poitner at the end of the third quarter, he found a way to at least partially redeem himself in the fourth with some pretty decent play that helped to step on Utah’s throat.
Evan Fournier, SG 6 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-2 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -5Of all the emptied bench players, the only one to really make a splash was Fournier. His stat line doesn’t look very impressive, but his hustle and energy made garbage time less trashy.
George KarlTo me, this win seems more on the players than the coach. But who knows? Maybe it ws an inspiring halftime speech that caused them to come out more energetically in the second half. The fact that Lawson, playing well, got only 24 minutes while Miller, playing pretty poorly, got nearly as many with 21 is, in this case, probably attributable to Ty’s injury.

Three Things We Saw

  1. Turnovers, damned turnovers. If the Nuggets had let this game get away, this is what everyone would be talking about. And nearly every player who spends any time handling the ball shares a portion of the blame (Miller 4, Gallo 4, Ty 3, Iguodala 3, Faried 2).
  2. The difference good shooting makes. This was only the fourth game this season in which the Nuggets shot a .500+ FG%, .350+ 3pt% and .700+ FT%. They won all four games.
  3. Resting up. The big lead Denver built up in the second half allowed the starters to get some rest and the end of the game. And they can use it, hitting the road to face a Lakers team tomorrow which, although struggling, is stacked with so much talent as to always be a dangerous opponent, especially on their home court.

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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.
  • CJP32

    Lots of FTs. Good win. Bring on the Lakers. Iggy had some nice moves to.

  • Ernie

    I thought the reason Hamilton didn’t play last year was he was a rookie. So I’m sure he is confused as to why Fournier is getting minutes he was expecting.

    Good to see Stone back. He’s by far the best PG defender (outside of AI).

    • John

      I too am glad to see JStone back… and listening to Karls post game interview, he loves the kid too… especially his D.

      So lets pray that he follows through on playing him as a specialist to close out halves and games… that will hopefully limit the uber small lineup… by replacing AMiller with JStone.

    • Thomas

      Fournier is french, that’s enough for GK.

      • al68

        that`s stupid. Fournier is better than Hamilton.

  • Scott

    Great game tonight for everyone. We hit shots, got everybody involved, and most importantly: we hit free throws. Not to say that 70% is good, which it isn’t, but when you hit 28 of them, it doesn’t really matter. Getting to the line 39 times is definitely what we need in order to build our confidence in order to hit more of them.

    However, I think our idea of needing that “go-to-guy” that scores 20+ ppg is very inconsistant to believe because on nights like this where we could have had 4 players score 20, that notion is not true because we all are just happy at the production. But when you look at it, 4 guys scoring 12-15 ppg is good, but not great. I think Gallo and Ty are the answer to this problem but the fact that they are so inconsistant goes back to the idea that we should trade for a “star”. I think we should go after Cousin’s because the whole diva thing going on is probably because he just wants out of Sac and to be on a winning team. I think this could work:
    Just swap out Mozzy or Koufos as needed.

    If Igoudala’s shakes and bakes don’t make the Top 10 plays, than the NBA is biased. Those were better than some point guards!

    Also great to see Ty and Kenneth chip in when they are sick and injured, respectively.

    Great win and hopefully we take our energy to LA tommorow and beat down on the Lakers!

    • jacob

      Wed have to switch those two for gallo or something b/c theyd never go for that

    • Ryan

      There is literally a zero percent chance this trade occurs. It would have to be Faried, Koufus, and Chandler at least

      • Scott

        Well to me it seems like they are dying to get rid of him but who knows you could be right. I personally think there’s zero chance of us giving up Faried as well.

    • OriginalJakeSauce

      I love that trade. Sac wouldn’t do it without another solid player/multiple picks. Love Jimmer, love bruiser bigs with headroom to develop complete games. Imagine JaVale and DeMarcus together on the court…. scary. Both in the bonehead/badattitude and in being overwhelming to any front court out there. Bron guarding either one of them? Melo? East has small forward playing the 4 all over the place, and 4’s playing the 5. This would be like sending two athletic 5’s out there, with a mozzy backup and AR15 on deck. Love it.

  • DAN

    No we would never, and should never, give up Faried. How bout trading Karl for a bag of chips? Our best bet with Chandler is to play him, prove he is healthy and then trade him at the deadline or over the summer. Otherwise we wont get much for him. He’s been injured too much. I think Karls head would explode if we had JaVale and Cousins on the same team! I’d do it just for that.

    • Andrew K

      My head would explode, too.

      • Aaron

        Imagine McGee, Cousins, Randolph, Hamilton And A. Miller on The Court At The Same Time. LOL!

    • Charliemyboy

      How about selling DAN for $1.83 for some intelligent contribution.

  • James

    Enough Cousins talk – he is poison. Don’t do it. Just not a good enough player for the headache/immaturity/negativity. J.R. Smith (who I like) X 10

    • dynamo.joe


      • John


  • Cephus

    Trade for Chandler ? It could work, but not with Karl as coach. George excels at getting the best out of motivated intelligent players, often those with borderline talent. He couldnt fix Sean Kemp ( not his fault ) and he won’t be able to redeem Cousins. Best candidate for this salvage job ?

    I’m guessing Mike Woodsen based on JR Smith makeover. Actually NY press should get partial credit since they will excoriate a slacker. Denver press will tsk tsk like a old aunt. Ny reporters reach for flame throwers.

  • Cephus

    Oops my bad. Cousins not Chandler cc potential trade. Sorry. Duh me.

  • SmokinNugs

    I was thrilled to see Stone back! Always liked the idea of our 2 PG’s being little Ty and big Julian. Andre and GK can retire.

  • dynamo.joe

    It cracks me up that everyone is more excited that Stone (our 3rd pg) is back than the great game our entire starting line up delivered.

    Having said that, I’m so freaking EXCITED that Stone is back! I have been waiting to see Stone since summer league. I thought he would dominate summer league and preseason and someone besides me would finally realize that he and Faried are the future of this franchise.

    I cannot wait to start chastising Karl for not giving him minutes!

    We have seen glimpses of all-star Iguodala in the early part of the season, but finally Super Star Iguodala showed up!

    • nugswin

      I’d love to see Stone start squeezing out Miller in the guard rotation. Dream come true. Unfortunately I feel we’ll probably have to hope Ujiri ships Miller off as a trade kicker in some other deal for that to happen.

      The two guard line-up with Ty and Andre has got to go.

  • Giovanni

    Trade Gallinari for Batum…
    Trade Iggy for pick..
    Release Miller and fire Karl…

    Go Nuggets…


    hahahthe Nuggets fan want trade GALLO ..
    GALLO for 9 M is the best Nuggets player..



    why for this Truehoop
    GALLO MUST 20 points game …
    when play no good : a few Free-T …
    NOW 11/12 FT + 26 POINTS WITH 68% AND HAVE THE SAME , THE SAM vote of Iggy and TY LAWSON ! mah


    IGGY 15 M
    he can 17 pointa for game
    TY LAWSON 10 M
    only 1-2 time +10 assist , ridiculos , my GRANMOTHER in nuggets can 8 assist/game !
    he can 16 ppg 9 ass for game
    GALLO 9 M
    he is the MATCH-WINNER of nuggets in 6-7 game WIN in this year


    • Zorba

      Trade Ty for Gianluca’s granny!

  • John

    I can’t wait to see a more defensive minded lineup of Julyan Stone, Evan Fournier, AI, Faried, and McGee… Now THAT would be fun to watch. Even swap Gallo for Faried for more scoring… but either way you’ve got three(or four with Gallo) good play makers up top and rebounds, blocks, and lane/basket protection down low…

  • Giovanni

    Danilo Gallinari is a good player but far from a franchise player..
    Ty Lawson is the best Nuggets player(did you forget last season?)..
    A 1/3 of season of high and under doesn’t orove anything..
    Gallo is 4 years of high and under..

    Gallo for Batum in an heartbreak…

    • monimo

      Com’on Giovanni, how can you say this? In a heartbreak?? I think it make sense only because you can’t stand Gianlucas arguing against the Nuggets fanbase (and here I would agree with you). Batum and Gallo are very similar, both 4 year players, same numbers, same contract. Both have their up and downs, both are very good players, none is a franchise player. Differences are slight. Gallo has some health issues, but is stronger and more versatile (can play at the 3 and the 4 and sometimes even playmaker or center). You could argue that Batum has more upside with his numbers getting better every year. But the biggest difference is probably the point guard they are playing with. In my opinion, Lillard is already better than Tyson – with more a better scoring opportunities for Batum. Batum and Gallo are both top 10 SF in die NBA. I like Ty Lawson, but I think he has at least 15 PG’s ahead of him. I like Lawsons speed and hustle but he doesn’t make teammates better and this should be the main task of every NBA-point guard. My dream would be Rajon Rondo (or Steph Curry), but even José Calderon would instantly make Gallo better (but also Iggy, McGee, Faried, Hamilton and so on).

      • Giovanni

        I respect your opinion…
        But i don’t think is the playmaker the problem..
        Is the system…
        No play call,no strategies but attack the rim or penetrate and dish out..
        Calderon for lawson?
        Ps i have no problem with Gianluca simply for me Gallinari is a good player but Btuma a better player..
        The very big problem is the coach…

        So go Nuggets…
        For me player go away but the team remain..

        Allen Iverson,Chuancy Billups,Andre miller 1 and 2,ty Lawson how assists average that players?

        We lost a player like Carmelo because Karl…
        That doesn’like superstar..

  • http://yahoo.com prospector

    Gallo at only 9 million is a bargin.. Is he perfect?? No, but I love his attitude and his “teamness”… Must of his problems are coaching/ and minutes.. It’s hard to get into the flow when you are getting yanked continously and you play out of position during the lame small ball lineups…. I think we have the pieces to grow up, plus trade bait in Miller, Chandler, Randolph, and Mozzy… Everyone else I want to see stink around… Face it, most of our problems are due to Karl… So as I see it, he needs to go… Let another guy come in here, and then we’ll find out just what kind of team we have… Maybe draw up some plays that work towards each guys abilities…

  • Jacob

    http://nuggetstime.webs.com/ great website for expressing and hearing opinions fairly new but i’d give it a try.