Reaction: Denver Nuggets 108, Orlando Magic 105

Orlando Magic 105 Final

Recap | Box Score

108 Denver Nuggets
Danilo Gallinari, SF 35 MIN | 5-10 FG | 3-4 FT | 8 REB | 4 AST | 15 PTS | +12

Quietly Gallo had a really solid game. For whatever reason I just remember him missing shots, but when I looked at the score sheet he didn’t, really. He did a nice job of rebounding and played solid defense down the stretch which helped the Nuggets secure the win. It was nice seeing him effect the game in areas other than scoring.

Kenneth Faried, SF 36 MIN | 7-10 FG | 5-7 FT | 19 REB | 0 AST | 19 PTS | -4

What a game. Faried was incredible. This was one of the best performances we’ve seen from any Nugget the entire year. His moxie was on overdrive. He was determined from the get-go to have a big game and nothing held him back. I tend to be a bit critical of Faried at times because I know he’s capable of stuff like this on a frequent basis. It’s games like these that make his eight-point, six-rebound performances all the more perplexing.

Kosta Koufos, C 21 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | 0

Wow. I did not think Koufos was this M.I.A. He played good defense when he came in and that’s what I noticed most. He has a toughness about him that none of his teammates do and it makes his presence on the floor, alone, a positive for his entire team. Although his numbers don’t show it, he was part of the rotation that gave the Nuggets life when they looked to be drowning.

Ty Lawson, PG 34 MIN | 7-19 FG | 4-5 FT | 3 REB | 8 AST | 19 PTS | +5

Lawson has been playing with so much more confidence and swag since he criticized his teammates after the Minnesota loss. You can just tell when you watch him play. He’s no longer hesitant. He’s shooting with poise. Most of all, he’s penetrating with an All-Star mentality. Ty is capable of this type of performance every night. Perhaps all he needed was to find that inner leadership his coach has been begging him for.

Andre Iguodala, SG 32 MIN | 4-13 FG | 2-4 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 11 PTS | +5

Iguodala was kind sort of messy this whole game. He never really settled in. He hit a huge three down the stretch and played really solid defense on Afflalo, but for the most part he was just not on his game.

Corey Brewer, SF 28 MIN | 7-17 FG | 2-6 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 16 PTS | -2

Brewer hit a wall in the second half but was absolutely incredible in the first. We always talk about his energy, but I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen him as frenetic as he was against the Magic. He was slicing through the defense, getting out on the break every chance he could and most importantly, his hands were active and his feet were moving on defense. The more I watch this kid the more I want him on the Nuggets for a long time.

JaVale McGee, C 18 MIN | 1-6 FG | 4-4 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -6

A pretty awful game for McGee. He was out of control yet again. I don’t know what it is, but he’s been on a tear of the not so good kind lately. He needs to talk with one of his coaches (or, rather, they need to talk to him!) and settle down. He seems to have way too much energy bottled up and not a clue how to utilize it.

Andre Miller, PG 29 MIN | 8-12 FG | 2-4 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 18 PTS | +12

Miller does some undesirable things on a regular basis, but you can’t knock him all the time — especially not this game. He was very efficient from the field and took advantage of mismatches all night. Like Faried, he seemed to be on a mission from the start of the game and he never let up until it concluded.

Evan Fournier, SG 8 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -7

Every time Fournier plays I’m always going to say the same thing: I wish he could play more. He does an excellent job of making cuts and finding open space but he never has enough time to really make an impact. I like what I’ve seen so far, but at some point in a very winnable game, Karl needs to let him lose and see what he can do.

George Karl

The Nuggets won, which is really all that matters, but what can’t be ignored is just how flat this team came out to start the game. How does that happen on your home floor? I understand that from time to time you’re going to come out sluggish, but this is basically the staple of the Nuggets for the last two years! They’re always coming out flat! I liked how he knew this was going to be a close game and kept his rotation tight, but he also played with fire yet again by relying on small ball down the stretch. Ultimately, he will get burned if he doesn’t learn.

Three Things We Saw

  1. Bad Magic: First off, apologies for not getting this up sooner. From time to time I have problems with accessing our website. Does anybody else? Is this only me? I get a screen that says something about having trouble establishing a database connection, but it’s only with RMC. Anyways, I hope to get this resolved soon so that it doesn’t happen again.
  2. Strange Magic: I have to admit, it totally sucked seeing Afflalo back at Pepsi Center in anything other than a Nuggets uni. I loved his game. I admired so much the way he improved every year: his hard work, his attitude, his professionalism, his dedication to defense even though he wasn’t the most athletic guy in the world. I understand the Nuggets made a move to improve with Iguodala, but to be completely honest, I don’t know how much they’ve improved. Iguodala has been somewhat of a disappointment in my eyes — I know that. Individual defense is great, but unless you have a team committed to defense, it doesn’t really matter. Afflalo, meanwhile, is having a career year averaging nearly 18 points per game. While I’m not one to wallow in the past, this trade will always hold a dubious position in my mind.
  3. Future Magic: As an NBA Draft enthusiast and general trade junkie, I have to say, I think Magic GM Rob Hennigan has done a very solid job of acquiring young talent for a rebuilding project. People were highly critical of him when the Dwight Howard trade went down, but I have a suspicion he’ll be getting the last laugh. Just look at their young talent: Afflalo, Jones, Harkless, Ayon, Nicholson, O’Quinn, Vucevic. I was high on many of these guys coming out of college and they’re proving to be promising NBA players already. In three years, after landing a few more lottery picks, this team is going to be scary. Mark my words. (It should also be noted that prior to the game Matt Moore reported Karl revealed that the Nuggets had Nicholson above Fournier on their board and would have taken him if the Magic had not. This, makes me very, very happy. Nicholson is going to be a stud in the not so distant future. You watch.)
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Kalen Deremo

Kalen was born in Durango, CO, in 1988 and graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2013 with a degree in journalism. He's now an itinerant hoping to travel as much as possible before eventually succumbing to the "real world." Aside from writing Kalen likes movies, music, spicy food and the great outdoors. Edward Abbey is his current idol.
  • googergieger

    Another ugly win from us but it was a win and some players that needed growing up came up big. Faried and Lawson especially. Faried with the most clutch rebound of the year and Lawson with some refound confidence and execution. Gallo didn’t score as aggressively as I’d like but seeing as Lawson had it going, I don’t mind him deferring and instead focusing on other aspects of the game. He rebounded, passed, and defended great. I don’t understand how if for some reason you go into a game not respecting an opponent, how that can continue throughout the game. If the foul calls were more even, if they hit some open shots they missed and open lay ups(though we did too), we don’t win this game. Granted Orlando is better than their record but still. We need to come into games with a sense of urgency and not be okay with where we are. We should be trying to fight for home court advantage in the play offs right now. Apparently Iguodala wasn’t happy with tonight’s win which is good. He talked to Lawson about it apparently. Faried, and Lawson seemed a bit too happy with it for my tastes. They should appreciate the win but should recognize this easily could have been another Minnesota game if not for some luck and Orlando missteps.

    • Kane

      What is the point in Faried and Lawson (Faried especially), being unhappy with the win? He balled his ass off, couldn’t have done anything more, so he was happy to see his hard work get the team across the line.

      It’s everyone else that should be having a good, hard look at themselves.

      • https://twitter.com/denbutsu Joel

        Regarding how the players felt about the game… I didn’t see this one, but judging from the post-game twitter exchange between Lawson and Iguodala, I got the impression that Ty was satisfied with this win but Dala wasn’t. I’d love to see someone (paging Hochman) follow up with these guys about the “convo” Iguodala mentioned, but that might be a touchy subject to broach, as I’m sure the players would rather some things be left on the court.

        • googergieger

          I think Ty is young enough to let the win blind everything else, but Iguodala is “experienced” enough to know how lucky they were and how this team needs a sense of urgency now rather than later.

      • googergieger

        Because the other team lost, we didn’t win. Well they didn’t win. Individual accomplishments and a victory is good, but perspective is even better. Again Lawson and Faried can appreciate the win, but recognize how lucky they were in getting it and how important it is to not let this type of thing happen again. I mean Minnesota was supposed to be the wake up call, but tonight for most of the game the lesson clearly didn’t sink in. Faried had an amazing game, Lawson had a great one, if I take off my homer and glad we won again glasses off for a second though, early on their defense was atrocious and their sense of urgency didn’t come until the game was coming down to the wire.

  • John

    Man that was ugly.

    In response to googlymoogly above, I think this team has a tendency to rely too much on the “altitude factor” Knowing that teams tend to fade down the stretch… Unfortunately, young teams like this, and especially teams not on a back to back don’t diminish as much. I agree they need to come out an break the opponents back in the 1st quarter… not hope for a late reprieve.

    After 7 consecutive missed shots…I was screaming at the TV for Karl to bench Brewer, but then he came up with the huge steal… so I shut the hell up. Apparently I DON’T know everything.

    Ty looked more assertive tonight, and Faried looked darn good overall, but AI and Gallo still need to step up their games… they need to be in the 18 -20 ppg range.

    Listen if Gallo were taking 20-25 shots a game, he would be in the Top 5 in scoring… we need someone to get closer to that.

    Bigs(less Manimal) were a non factor, but didn’t kill us either.

    The hated 2 guard line up probably saved our bacon tonight… so odds are it won’t be going away anytime soon.

    Still like Fournier… hope he can get more minutes.

    That is all… My crotchety attitude is somewhat mollified by the fact that Houston, the Lakers and GSW all lost… I’d be dancing a jig if Dallas could’ve held out and beaten the Clips, but I can’t be too greedy.

    • Ackdog

      This team has a few problems:
      1. Perimeter shooting(face this team can’t shoot)
      2. Perimeter defense(they don’t defend the 3 well)
      3. Free throw shooting is horrible
      4. They need a go to guy on O(Gallo needs to shoot a Minimum of 15 times a game)

      For mine they need to fix at least two of these areas or it will be another first round exit

      • John

        I couldn’t agree more… across the board, and all four a “pride” issues… “Take pride in your work and do what needs doing to succeed.”

  • CJP32

    Faried was huge with 19 & 19, he made up for KK and McGees dismal night. Iggy woke up in the 4th. Ty was consistent and took over late.

    Dre and CBrew were the difference, without their performances this would have been an ugly home loss.

    Its funny how Gallo is our most talented offensive player, but is so inconsistent with his shot attempts, yet GK doesn’t have a problem with Brewer taking 10-15 shots each night. He may only make 43% roughly, but its the manner in which he scores them, usually by running, back-door cutting, fast breaks, steals and layups/dunks. He only took one three pointer tonight which was ideal.

    I’m not sure how Wilson fits into the picture and to be honest I don’t think GK knows either, why mess with the rotation and chemistry we have right now (we have won 10 of last 14 games). Ideally, I see minutes being something like:

    PG – Ty – 35, Dre – 13
    SG – Iggy – 35, Dre – 13
    SF – Gallo – 20, CBrew – 22, Wilson – 6
    PF – Faried – 32, Gallo – 12, Wilson – 4
    C – KK – 22, McGee – 26

    With Evan, Mozzy and Stone on the bench. JHam and AR could be in the doghouse.

    • Ackdog

      Gallo doesn’t look like he wants the responsibilty to shoot 15-20 times a game. He is our most skilled offensive player. Maybe that’s where Chandler fits in. Brewer doesn’t have the skill of Gallo but at least he has the balls to shoot it. Heck somebody has to take the responsibility. That’s what seperates great players from good players. The great players just keep shooting even on a bd night. Kobe had an “off” game the other night and ended up with 20 points. Why? Becuase he kept shooting. It’s a mental thing. Maybe the Nug puppies need a shrink!!

      • googergieger

        Seriously? I mean Gallo shoots in the flow of the offense. He doesn’t force things. If the ball comes to him and he has a shot, he’ll take it. He clearly isn’t afraid of taking the big shot or missing the big shot. Much more when the shot clock is running late who gets the ball more often than not? Gallo. We don’t need a Kobe Bryant on this team. This team is all about team chemistry and moving the ball around. Not having a ball stopper who goes one on one because someone should be shooting twenty shots to get twenty points every night! Just plain asinine to say and think such a thing. I mean really did no one notice everything else Gallo did last night? Someone once upon a time said the guy was a scorer and nothing else, and now everyone wants to get on the guy when he doesn’t score twenty on twenty shots.

        Scoff.

        • nugswin

          +1

          Gallo is a completely underrated defender. He’s versatile and long, moves his feet really well laterally for a 6′ 10″ guy. His rebounding is better than people give him credit for since he plays a perimeter game and is on the same team as that Kenneth Faried dude. He’s an good passer, especially for his position.

          • John

            His perimeter D is pretty horrendous… when he switches or rotates to a shooter he never leaves his feet. This is good in that he doesn’t “fly by” and take himself out of the play, or get a lot of fouls, but as a result tons of 3s get shot over him. 2 inches of vert on half of those and he would have like 50 more blocks this season.

            • googergieger

              That is what you are supposed to do. If someone makes a long and tough three over an outstretched hand, you shake their hand and go about the game.

              • John

                My point being… that he rarely gets back in time to actually contest the three… Watch him. He takes a weird approach, coming in and low and sideways.. directing his hand(usually the right) towards the face even when he is far out… effectively making him Earl Boykins stature. The opponent is elevated and shooting before Gallo’s slow side shuffle gait gets him within 8 feet. At that point his hand(now chest height and 5-6 feet out) is a non factor. Were he to run face on, even in a controlled 3/4 speed and use both hands… left int the face, right high, then he would probably get there in time to contest and maybe even change some shots… Thus far, he isn’t.

                I will agree that his man D is good, but help, switches and closeouts not so much.

              • googergieger

                True enough I suppose, but to be fair he is a good help defender it is just he along with Iguodala(who does the same thing) have to help off their man a lot to compensate for Faried’s, Ty’s, and yes even everyone’s favorite push over Kofous’s, defensive short comings. As far as switches go. Who has ever been good at that consistently? Switching is all about luck.

        • Ackdog

          Read the post googmiester. I said he doesn’t want the responsibility to shoot the ball 15-20 times a game. I agree with everything you said about him. But if you think the current formula of passing the ball around and sharing is going to get it done in he playoffs????? Well my friend that’sjust asinine to sy and think such a thing. Besides the Pistons in 04 who had Mr Big Shot himself name a team without a ballstopper who has won the goods. This team is fun to watch and has loads of potential. But asinine to say and think thier best offensive player needs to shoot it more than 10 times a game. Seriously dude??????

          • googergieger

            What makes you think he doesn’t want the responsibility? When the shots are there he takes them. Seriously are you arguing he should take bad shots instead of looking for great shots for him and his team? I mean because championship teams have had guys that stopped the ball is a very small minded approach to the whole thing. One has to wonder why you focus on that aspect and not the defense of championship teams, which would be a much more layered and right argument to have. If Gallo were to get bailed out by the refs like your Kobe’s(how is that team doing by the way?) then yeah sure, have him go nuts. However he isn’t just like everyone else on this team. So if you have a good shot take it, if someone has a better shot, pass it. Seems simple and right enough. Can’t believe people are getting on the guy for being efficient and multi dimensional now…

  • Cephus

    I guess everyone is right about the ‘ ugly win ‘ . I’m trying to focus on the positive. Iggy taking taking a bead on Reddick & driving on him was a beautiful thing. Poor R. was doing his best but just overmatched. We’re winning the games that were being lost early in the year. I’m not under the illusion we’re contender ready.

    When Gallinari’s off his game, file our chances under ‘ crapshoot ‘ . The dice rolled our way ….this time. I knew Lawson’s awesome when he’s on but where the Hell would we be without Faried ? Probably, lighting candles and praying Kenyon Martin’s ( or someone ) knees hold out. The guy gives it up, night after night, in that position bringing back memories of Calvin Natt.

    • Ackdog

      Calvin Natt!!!!!! What a STUD and no I’m not homosexual

      • amlowlife

        You doth protest too much (although I love Calvin Natt, too!)

  • Ban Johnson

    Very difficult to beat a team that shoots so much better than you. Credit Ty and Manimal. Iguodala and Brewer need to hit their free-throws; no excuses; they’re among the worst ft shooting wings in the entire league.

    Lawson has been a different player since the Minnesota game and his comments after it. He willed this team across the line. Didn’t shoot especially well, but his relentless attacking is necessary when the team can’t hit outside shots (and free throws).

    Manimal was a superstar tonight. I wish he could do this every night, but battling bigger 4s on some nights seems to take too much energy. That possession where he ended up with the timeout was an all-timer.

    Iguodala was not especially good until the very end. His and McGee’s off games, combined with Orlando’s excellent shooting, nearly killed the Nuggets.

    Miller had another nice offensive game. When the Nuggets are having trouble scoring, Miller getting almost 30 minutes isn’t out of line. The problem is he gets those minutes nearly every game.

    Denver crowds suck against these so-so teams. No matter what the Nuggets do on the court, it seems like 3/4 of the people are just there for a night out.

    • Ernie

      Orlanda actually didn’t have excllent shooting. They were 33% from 3, and their volume shooters went 8-18 (Nelson) and 4-14 (AAA). They shot 47% overall, but that is not extraordinary. They shoot 45.6% normally.

      It just seems like excellent shooting because the Nuggets shot so poorly.

  • Ernie

    I know everyone seems happy with Masai. But this team is bereft of shooters and it’s hard to watch. Every other team seems to have guys you cringe when they shoot a wide open 3 because that’s what they do and this team has none of them. And to have McGee go 4/4 from the line and Faried 5/7 and still shoot 61% for Free Throws is just awful. Only consolation is AAA is still shooting that flat 3 point shot so keeping him was not the answer.

    The team needs a specialist like Wesley Person from a few years ago. There are a lot of them out there, relatively they don’t cost much, and it would mean so much to this team. Otherwise their only chance to compete in the playoffs is to petition Stern to ban the 3 point line.

    • Ban Johnson

      the problem with a shooting specialist is he’d soak up minutes from better players. Whose minutes are you going to take? Gallo’s, Iguodala’s, or Brewer’s? Ok, so you take Brewer’s minutes…who provides that instant energy now? Brewer has been the most consistent Nugget this season.

      The best option for a shooting specialist would be to swap Miller for a big backup pg (who can guard 2s) who is also a lights-out shooter. Seems like a pipe dream. I’m drawing a blank on names.

      The best option still is internal improvement. Iguodala, Gallo, and Ty have all had excellent 3-point seasons. They just need to replicate them.

      • Ernie

        Respectfully, it appears you are looking at this like a fantasy team vs. a real live team. The advantage of the specialist is that everyone plays better because the floor is spaced much better. Teams can’t pack in a zone or double when penetration occurs because they get burned. JJ Redick played 31 minutes last night off the bench and despite only shooting 5-13 he was +10 in the +/- department. So it wasn’t neccessarily him shooting that made the difference during his minutes, though he did shoot 4-8 from 3, but his effect on the team.

        I would suggest some combination of Gallo’s, Miller’s and Brewer’s minutes would be fine. Last night Gallo played 39 minutes, Miller 29, Brewer 28 and Fournier 8. Am sure that there is 20 minutes in there somewhere, especially since Fournier’s minutes are not an everynight thing.

        I would prefer Fournier or Hamilton become that guy, but it has not happened.

    • nugswin

      There are tons of good shooters out there. The only problem is only a tiny percentage of them can play in the NBA. It’s not like there’s a steady stream of Ray Allen’s coming down the pipes.

      Take a guy like Anthony Morrow. Guy is a great shooter and big enough but will end up as a journeyman, 8th or 9th man type of guy because he’s just not athletic enough for the L. Even Klay Thompson, who I’d love to see in a Nuggets uni, is a bit over-matched on that front.

      So, I think Masai has done a fine job. We’ve got the best team we’ve had since the Fat Lever/Alex English days, lots of flexibility for player movement and lots of room to grow even as constructed right now. Compare Denver’s level of play after losing ‘Melo to Orlando’s level after losing Howard. Orlando has shooters, but still not nearly as good a team as Denver.

      • Ernie

        “Orlando has shooters, but still not nearly as good a team as Denver.”

        That’s my point. These shooters are not exceedingly hard to find. But we have none of them.

        We have specialists for rebounding (Faried), Shot Blocking (McGee), and defense (AI). I think a specialist shooter makes a big difference just as these guys have for their respective areas.

        • nugswin

          Maybe I can make my point in a different way. There are a ton of guys out there who are good enough shooters. But with all but a tiny fraction of them their deficits in all the other aspects of the game are so great that they are a net loss if they are on your roster. I.e., your team is better off with lesser shooters who bring enough other things to the table to overcome that deficit.

          As far a specialty players, or role players who’s role is to shoot, I think you’ll find there isn’t much utility in them. I gave the example of Morrow earlier. Everybody knows he’s a better than good shooter, a knockdown guy, just the kind of guy you seem to be advocating. But you’ll notice he’s on a different team every season and getting next to 0 minutes. That skill, even though important, HAS to be combined with enough other NBA level talent or they will be a liability. And guys who do that are quite rare.

          Another example is Reddick. Years of hard work and being relatively injury free have finally made him into a worthwhile NBA player. But as a starter he is only a contributor on a bottom feeder team and, as we witnessed last night, was abused at crunch time. Sure he’s got a role, and sure he’d be nice to have on the bench in Denver. But there aren’t very many of those kind of guys out there and you can’t just play somebody because they can shoot. So there are a lot of teams that don’t have anybody like that.

          And really, we do have somebody who should/could fill that role in Jordan Hamilton. I’d rather see him get some minutes to see what he can do than start trading our assets for a specialist with minimal utility. Now if we could somehow get Klay Thomson. . . : )

          • Ernie

            I understand your point, I just think there are a number of NBA quality shooters that are good enough shooters to overcome their other deficiencies. Just like Faried is a good enough rebounder to overcome his lack of height on defense, and AI is a good enough defender to overcome his shooting.

            I’d argue every good team has exactly someone just like that for shooting. Spurs (Bonner), Heat (Allen, Miller, Jones), OKC (Martin), Knicks (Novak), Clippers (Butler), Memphis (Ellington), Golden State (Thompson), Houston (Douglas), Pacers (Stephenson)…These guys aren’t superstars. But they sure make those teams better.

            • Ban Johnson

              Lawson, Iguodala, and Gallo have all had far better full seasons in their career shooting 3s than Caron Butler has ever had. And at this point they’re far better players overall than Butler is. Sure, a Matt Bonner or Steve Novak would be helpful to the Nuggets, but those guys don’t grow on trees.

              Nuggets just need to make teams pay for packing the paint. Wilson Chandler will help, especially when he’s playing the 4. Lawson, Gallinari, and Iguodala should improve, at least progressing to their career means, and that will help too.

              Honestly Andre Miller is the guy who sticks out like a sore thumb. He just isn’t a threat from 3, and it costs the Nuggets a lot sometimes. Karl doesn’t seem to see it, because he’s so in love with how Miller makes the most of his limitations.

            • nugswin

              We could get into a long discussion about your list — for one, OKC gave up James freaking Hardin to acquire Martin so I’m not sure how Masai is supposed to get a guy like that.

              Suffice it to say that 1) it’s not so easy to get good shooters who are also good NBA players, 2) we’ve already got Jordan Hamilton who very easily could be better than the Wayne Ellington, Lance Stephenson and Toney Douglases of the world, 3) I don’t think we can fault Masai for not landing the likes of Steve Novak or Klay Thompson, and 4) there are also players on bad teams that fit the bill (Channing Frye/Jared Dudley, JR Reddick, Ben Gordon, Jimmer Fredette/Fransico Garcia, Mike Dunleavy, etc.) so having a guy is not necessarily a predictor of success.

              Also, I’m sure we can agree that it would be nice to see more consistent shooting from guys we already have — come on Gallo, Ty, Iggy!

              • Ernie

                I would take any of those guys on the losing teams, with the exception of Channing Frye who is hurt and Jimmer who truly can’t do anything else. Also my list wasn’t a list of people Masai should get, just proof that other winning teams all have high 3pt % shooters.

                It would be nice if our players just started shooting better, but the old saying is “Hope is not a plan”. More importantly this team loves to pass. They would embrace a great shooter the same way they love giving ally oops to McGee. I think it has to be the next move.

        • Ackdog

          Couldn’t agree more Ernie

  • http://yahoo.com prospector

    Where was JHAM??? Tonite would have been a good night to dust him off… He rebounds, and he can score.. Karl is slowly destroying his confidence, and this is driving me crazy…. Brewer can miss a hundred shots in a row, get burnt on D going for a steal, but Jham gets crushed for every mistake… YO KARL take your smirk and your head games back to Milwaukee… Masai please step up and stop this madness…

    • airvaid

      I love it, let’s sack a coach who has won a 1000 games to play a second year guy who makes consistent mistakes every time he plays.

      Explain to me how does that work?

      And you really choose to criticize Brewer after he was one of the main reasons that Nuggets even won this game. Or the fact that he’s been the undisputed 6th man on this team, constantly making plays on D and providing a great scoring outburst on the other end.

      • dynamo.joe

        C’mon Corey is our 6th man? Clearly the answer there is Andre Miller both in terms of time and production. And if Andre wasn’t JaVale would be.

        Corey had a big 1st half and if we got that consistently he wouldn’t be a 6th man, he would be a starter.

        Corey seems like a nice guy and always brings consistent effort, so he is easy to root for, but that doesn’t make him our best player or even our best bench player.

      • John

        Be honest Airvaid… with the exception of that possibly game saving steal… Brewer was worthless in the second half… Brilliant in the first, but terrible for the second. He was single handedly responsible for keeping Orlando in the game, with his 7 missed shots in a row and several blown D assignments as well. Had someone else been in we may have been able to shut them down in the 3rd, and get the young guys some burn late in the Game.

  • buchter froget

    the nugs should spend an entire practice shooting free throws… everybody has to make 10 in a row

    that steal brewer made at the end of the game was amazing; reminded me why i enjoyed his game best on those florida championship teams… need more of that from him

  • Cory

    A huge Nuggets fan and a fan of the trading block. Although i’m not familiar with how the money works with trades. What would we have to give up for DeMarcus Cousins. Now i knew before i posted this he is a Knucklehead and he has his issues but that talent he has man just oozes out of him. We have JeVale and we are dealing with him, can we deal with both at the same time though? Answers please!

    • Cory

      We can try to snag Thorton in this deal for bench scoring and 3 point shooting if possible.

    • Evan Woodruff

      I’d rather get Pao.

  • magster

    We scored 38 points in the 4th quarter despite missing 6 free throws and multiple missed layups. I knew we were having a good quarter, but dang… could have been 46ish point quarter.

  • Tom

    Too bad we don’t have JR Smith anymore. That guy can fill it up from anywhere and would be the perfect floor spacer for this team.

    • Evan Woodruff

      *like*

    • dynamo.joe

      Who would still be in Karl’s doghouse and getting no minutes.

    • John

      JR is just as streaky as he always is… He was killing it at the beginning of the season(40+%), but in the last 10 games he is shooting in the 20s from 3. Dropping his percentage to lower than any season with the Nuggs and lower than most of our current shooters.

      Plus he is a head case. He actually thinks he deserves to be an All Star when he can’t even make the starting squad on any team he plays for.

      If he was back in Denver, I guarantee none of us would be concerned with Gallo’s inconsistency, we’d be too busy bitching about JR.

  • Ckwizard

    The Nuggets are a better team now then they were at the start of the season. Chemistry that the lakers so desperately need doesn’t seem to be a problem for the nuggets. McGee is playing better on the defensive end and is making up for bad decisions by starting to grow as a passer and he seems to enjoy giving an assist. The team is turning the ball over less and that is why they are winning Period. They didn’t get lucky because one month ago they lose this game sat night shows the growth in the team not from the minesota game to this one but the nuggets are able to be more consistent over the course of the game. How good can the nuggets be after this month…. After good practice time and some consistency at home…. McGee is slowly getting better at the Fundementals… Lawson and Faried seem to have a desire to win even after enduring the “Horrible GK” during the sinking ship of the beginning of the season. GK may not be the answer that us armchair comment generating doomsday proclaiming fans would choose but come on for real…. If the nuggets keep getting better as the year goes on AND no stupid CHEMISTRY DEPLETING TEAM DESTROYING trades are made.. Then this Nuggets team is the best we as fans have had maybe ever. There are a lot more positives with this team then the negatives spewed on this site! Go Nuggets. Peace

  • klaboria

    Just food for thought for everyone. Sac is in dump mode, we are searching for a strong scoring/shooting 2 guard:

    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=a2bjwnc

    • Ernie

      Evans is a career 25.8% shooter from 3. This team needs shooting.

      And with new ownership my guess is they aren’t in dump mode anymore.

  • googergieger

    Honestly we don’t need three point shooting as much as we need three point defense. If we can get someone that can shoot the three decently to good, but can also defend, that’d be better than a great three point shooter that can’t defend his own shadow.

    The people that are clamoring for three point shooters are the same type of people that honestly thought once Nash went back to The Lakers that would fix everything. Offensively we are fine. That Portland game proved we could absolutely suck from beyond the arc and still win/almost win games. It is a lot tougher to win games if we give up wide open shots though.

    • nugswin

      I think you just made the case for getting Eric Bledsoe! ; )

    • Jacob

      While our 3 PT D is atrocious, how would you suggest fixing it goog? Sadly it is so bad that it would take more moves to fix than we could even make. While I love Bledsoe like the other guy mentioned and he would be a good start still woudn’t really make a big dent. Not to mention the reports he will be off limits. I don’t neccisarily believe these GM’s anymore, but still shows he would cost a lot. 3 PT shooting on the other hand really only takes a couple of solid shooters to fix. Hamilton is one, we should play him and it wouldn’t be tough to find another.

      • googergieger

        What John said. There is no point in trading for guys Karl won’t play as far as three point specialists go. Especially on the off chance he does play them and they can’t defend their own shadow. Eric Bledsoe is great but outside of a small sample of this year, nothing says he is a great three point shooter. Three point defense is about team defense. So not much can be done there if like John said, we switch everything or constantly go under screens.

        Really unless we trade for some mentors who can communicate on and off the court and off set some of Karl’s faults. I say we don’t make a trade.

        • John

          Hey googergieger, I don’t think we are allowed to agree… that’s gotta be breaking some sort of Blog rules.

        • Jacob

          You honestly can’t tell me this roster is good as is, we need to make big a move to go anywhere. Sadly I don’t think it happens. Clearly addressing the 3 PT shooting should be the number one concern and without knowing the player you can’t say Karl won’t play them. It isn’t just the shooting we would gain though it’s the space it gives the drivers/cutters to work. I believe we are 4th from the bottom of the league in 3 PT shooting and quite frankly that won’t cut it. A team so low in that category won’t be a big threat regardless of 3 PT D or who is coaching. Not saying we need to lead the league in %, but at least middling would make us a threat with the attackers we have.

          • googergieger

            You are asking for a one step forward, two steps back approach. What three point threats are out there that can defend as well as the guys we got and who’s minutes/spot do they take? We have a great team that should improve as a group daily and improve individually daily. I wouldn’t mind getting a Jared Dudley who is a smart player and smart defender, but who do you give up? Brewer? Chandler? I mean Gallo is improving and getting his percentage up again. Lawson as well. That’ll help. I don’t know, I honestly can’t see how someone is watching the games we’ve lost and thought three point shooting was the problem. I mean what good is a three point specialist if Karl is going to play Miller and Lawson down the stretch. We going to take out either Gallo or Iguodala who are easily our best defenders?

            • Jacob

              Well obviously I agree if those guys can start to knock down deep shots on a more consistent basis it will be a big help. Also I get what you are saying with not taking one of the starters out to close out games, but the shooter wouldn’t need to close out games just give 15 minutes a game or so. Not looking for a stud who can do everything out there just a guy who can shoot and hold his own on D. Guys who come to mind our Jared Dudley as you mentioned, Quincy Pondexter, and to a lesser extent Omri Casspi (however he has cooled off recently). Obviously those guys aren’t going to fix all the problems for us, but I believe Pondexter/Casspi could be had for polished up picks, so really not much risk there if it doesn’t work. I understand where you are coming from on 3 PT D being a problem, but as I said earlier really how could that be fixed? I think while solving the 3 PT problems won’t make us favorites or anything, you can’t deny it is A problem. At the very least it would help us in some of our losses (i. e Portland) hitting a couple outside shots in that game would have made a huge difference.

    • John

      Better 3 pt. Defense is never going to happen, regardless of who you bring in, if Karl continues to implement this “switch everything” Defense.

  • bosc0

    We make our FT’s and half of those missed layups and putbacks, we blow them out!

    It’s funny how the consistancy of the Nuggets players isn’t the end of us because the team is so deep. All we need is one or two guys to step up a night and we seem to win. We have a fantastic roster!

    Faried is on my top 5 list of people i’d like to meet. What an amazing dude, what a hustle player, what an All-star! Love that guy!

    • magster

      2 of 3 of Ty Gallo and Iguadola have to be our best players on any given night.

      Last night it was 1 of 3 with Faried having such a good game, we edged it out at the tape. But that’s not an overall formula for success. Gallo and Iguadola both have to be more consistent.

      • googergieger

        35 MIN | 5-10 FG | 3-4 FT | 8 REB | 4 AST | 15 PTS | +12

        Huh?

  • Ryan

    Mark my words, FT shooting will be the fatal flaw of this team. I can already see them losing a close road playoff game because the entire team shoots FTs like DeSagana Diop.
    Nicholson looked really good, but the point is moot because he wouldn’t have seen the court under GK. Definitely a bummer that Masai couldn’t steal away Vucevic in the trade, he would easily be our best center.
    I hope to see a more focused and complete effort against a woeful Cavs team, but I doubt it. Remember, we lost to the Cavs at home last year due to Kyrie Irving’s last-second layup…

    • John

      Agreed – I can’t think of a single reason that anyone on this team should be shooting less than 75% from the FT line…. unacceptable in a professional athlete.

  • Aaron

    i Feel Bad For J-Ham, Easily Just As Good As iggy, if iggy Wasn’t iggy And GK Wasnt’ GK iggy Would Be Warming Up The Bench For J-Ham After He Took All Of iggy’s Minutes.

  • SmokinNugs

    Iggy > AfflaLOW

  • Cephus

    I was semi- contemplating that Gary Riddick could be at least part of the answer cc the Nuggets void at 3 point threats. Then I watched how effortlessly Iggy took G.R. to the hole right near end of game for a dagger layup. Riddick was doing his best but was just a hair slower and with height mismatch, it was all over.

    We could afford a 3 point shooter like him if Javale would watch Nate Thurmond’s old games. Nate was ultimate ” got your back ” bro back in his day. Chamberlain, Thurmond, Ewing were 7 footer who could cover ground, leap high without visible effort and Javale has all their physical tools.

    Nate was the canniest of them all though. I watched him with the Cavs right near the end of his career. Offensively he was shot but made up for all of it on the other end of the floor. Memories. Moses Malone should probably be included in aforementioned group, but I didn’t see him enough.

    I saw more ‘get DeMarcus Cousins chatter’, can’t imagine him and Javale on same team. One head case at a time for poor George, please. I don’t want to sound too down on J.M. , the guy is a free spirit who doesn’t live, breathe and die basketball.

    I think he tries & he’s an intelligent ( off the court ) , sensative human being who stays out of law trouble. Will he be a success and justify his contract ? All that’s for sure is that he’s playing better then Nene. Baby steps ( in size 19 footwear ) .

    • John

      I’ve made this point down at the Pub(to a bunch of douchy hipster Lakers fans) that I believe that the main reason that JaVale will continue to develop in Denver, is that we have Kosta and Mozzy.

      Two decent and motivated bigs to compete with everyday. He has to earn everything, both in practice and games. We don’t NEED him to start, or score 20. Who did he have in DC… the overweight, unmotivated, underperforming Andray Blatch. So with the exception of John Wall, JaVale need to be “The Guy”… and he wasn’t ready.

      I think by the end of this season he will be both starting every game, and scoring 20 fairly often, but he still won’t be playing 35 minutes, more like 26-28. He will just continue to get more efficient as he gets fundamentally sound.

      Yes, there will continue to be “JaVale Moments”, but hopefully they will be fewer and farther between.

      • emie

        ‘So with the exception of John Wall, JaVale need to be “The Guy”… and he wasn’t ready.’

        I agree with much of what you said, but to be fair, Nick Young was the Wizards’ first scoring option, Wall was the second. JaVale was starting and getting too many minutes, but he wasn’t really expected at all to be “The Guy.”

        The Wizards primarily wanted JaVale to play defense–and he preferred to try to play offense. That was pretty much the gist of McGee’s problem in D.C.

  • Gorillabuddy

    Despite all the problems with free throws and perimeter defense, this is a coaching issue. The Nuggets have been consistently playing to these bad teams’ level, and it’s got to stop.

  • Michael (anotheraussienuggzfan)

    Following on from how Kalen remarked at the great young players on the Magic roster, specifically Nicholson whom I was hoping we would get in the draft also, I put a possible (although improbable) trade scenario together.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=avwqzyt

    We get Nicholson, to provide an inside outside offensive “post” presence the likes of which we haven’t seen in recent history (when he develops further, noting he played well in College). We also get Redick as our knock down 3 shooter.

    The Magic get Chandler as a solid offensive/defensive wing to pair with AAA and a true 7 footer to help hold down the middle.

    The trade machine lists us as winning 8 less games (not sure how it works this out considering the two players we are trading haven’t or rarely log minutes) with the Magic dropping 1 more game.

    • Jacob

      The loss of 8 more games is because it is based off of PER and guys with low minutes generally have an inflated PER. Good luck getting the Magic to fall for that, we would have to include some serious picks and even then it wouldn’t be enough.

      • Michael (anotheraussienuggzfan)

        I understand it is due to the PER, just with taking into account the current season and the way the individual players are performing it makes no sense.

        As I said in my original post I understand that this trade will most likely never happen, it was just interesting that a straight 2 player swap works and we would get two players that members of this blog like or at least acknowledge as being potential contributors the Nuggs need.

  • Ernie

    Here are two tweets last night from famed NBA better Haralabos Voulgaris who was featured in Nate Silver’s book. Normally tweets go most recent first but I reversed them here because this isn’t twitter…

    Haralabos Voulgaris@haralabob

    LAC SAS OKC MEM DEN in that order. RT @SoonerFletch: @haralabob who are top 5 teams in west to you?

    Haralabos Voulgaris@haralabob

    Those are regular season rankings. I don’t see Denver going anywhere in the playoffs without some shooting

  • buchter froget

    pondering what our front line would look like with a healthy greg oden

  • ny nugs fan

    no disrespect but the nuggets have been playing better since iguodala has gotten comfortable… there’s been a direct correlation btwn him playing better and the team winning on a more consistent basis

    and as much as we could use a guy like afflalo especially his leadership & energy the nugs also needs a guy like ai who has played in big games like the olympics

    it’s a tough trade-off but you gotta hope that going with iguodala will pay off long room and hopefully down the stretch of this year (that’s if we even make the playoffs which right now is a real if)