Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 105, Houston Rockets 95

Denver Nuggets 105 Final

Recap | Box Score

95 Houston Rockets
Danilo Gallinari, SF 36 MIN | 6-13 FG | 3-4 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 0 TO | 18 PTS | +4

Gallinari might be the quietest 17 points-per-game scorer in the NBA. It seems like every time I turn around he’s scored in the high teens or low 20s, yet I never remember anything outside of a few threes, free throws and drives to the basket. His game has really evolved over the last month or so. What stood out most this game, however, was his three blocks. Gallinari’s defense continues to impress and shows he’s committed to his team, and not just himself.

Kenneth Faried, SF 20 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 0 PTS | +2

Faried had a monster block and several big rebounds. Other than that he was nowhere to be found. Contrary to popular belief, Faried has been pretty inconsistent at times this season. He’s had plenty of games like this where he simply doesn’t show up. If he’s gonna be a big part of this team moving forward he needs to be held accountable like everybody else.

Kosta Koufos, C 29 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-2 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | -6

Where did he go? Koufos started off the game with a bang. He was active on the offensive glass and had multiple follow-ups and hook shots that were surprisingly well executed. Then, he just disappeared. It should also be noted that Koufos played strong man defense throughout the game.

Ty Lawson, PG 33 MIN | 8-15 FG | 3-4 FT | 4 REB | 7 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 21 PTS | +2

This was one of Lawson’s best games of the year in terms of pushing the pace. He also shot the ball and attacked the rim with great confidence, which is something he has struggled with this season. In the second half (specifically the third quarter) Lawson utilized his speed to create for himself and his teammates in such a forceful manner that the Rockets defense simply broke down. He making himself look good, no doubt; but more importantly, he was making his teammates look even better.

Andre Iguodala, SG 36 MIN | 5-11 FG | 4-5 FT | 6 REB | 5 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | +3

Iguodala might very well be the most talented player on the Nuggets roster, but he’s had a difficult time realizing his abilities in George Karl’s offense. Every now and then we’ll see flashes, but often these acts of brilliance are watered down by what appears to be indecisiveness. I’d say without question Iguodala is the smartest player on the roster; however, his cerebral approach to the game can be more of a hindrance than an asset at times. Moving forward, it would be nice to see him handle the ball more and create for his teammates, as this would allow him to exercise his brain and help his team out in the process.

Anthony Randolph, PF 2 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -5

Incomplete.

Corey Brewer, SF 22 MIN | 3-8 FG | 1-3 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | +12

Brewer was quiet for most of the game but played good defense, as usual. He also hit a big 3-pointer and did a solid job of getting out on the break. When Chandler, Iguodala and him are on the court together, playing lock-down defense, the Nuggets have a whole new dimension to their team — and one that’s a joy to watch.

JaVale McGee, C 16 MIN | 6-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 3 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | +16

If JaVale rebounds slightly better, he’d likely receive an A-plus for this game. This isn’t to say he wasn’t without mistakes. He took a few bad shots and did normal JaVale things that worry you, but overall he was quite effective. Aside from scoring at an incredibly high rate, he also ran the floor extremely well and was focused for most of the game. The biggest storyline of JaVale’s performance was an ally-oop he threw to himself, which I’m sure you’ll see on SportsCenter sometime over the next day or so. This was of course capped by an odd celebration in which JaVale ran down the court, eyes wide as can be, holding his index finger (with a handlebar mustache tattooed on the inside) up to his lip. Though he’s turning George Karl’s hair more grey by the minute, you simply have to admire his fun-loving approach to the game.

Andre Miller, PG 23 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTS | +5

I’m surprised to see Miller had such a simplistic stat line. I though he played fairly decent for most of the night. He didn’t make much of an impact, but he always seemed to be in the right place to move the offense along.

Wilson Chandler, SG 24 MIN | 7-15 FG | 4-5 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 20 PTS | +17

This was Chandler’s best performance in a Nuggets uniform — at least, that I can remember. He started the game hoisting up jumpers but eventually they started to go in. Though his points are what might catch your eye, it was his defense and rebounding that were the story of the game. I cannot stress just how impressive his defense was. It was on par with what Brewer and Iguodala have been bringing all year. It was utterly fantastic. And the best part was how it immediately led to fast-break points. In the third quarter Chandler was wrecking havoc on the Rockets and was without question the catalyst that turned the game around for his team. If he plays with this type of defense effort every game, Nuggets fans are in for one hell of a treat the second half of the season.

George Karl

I have no reason to give Karl anything but an A. For once the Nuggets came out prepared to play in the first quarter and never really hit any low points throughout the game. In fact, this was one of the first times all season that I actually remember being happy watching the Nuggets. (Sad, I know.) Their offense in the third quarter was a work of art. Ignited by Ty Lawson, the dribble-drive was in full effect and executed to perfection. At one point Nuggets broadcast announcer Chris Marlowe even emphatically stated, “That’s exactly what it’s supposed to look like!” I could not agree more. But of course, it was the defense that was the story of the game. The Nuggets were committed to this side of the floor for almost 48 minutes and played like they actually wanted to tear the Rockets up by stopping them, rather than shooting over them. This, to me, is how basketball should be played.

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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.
  • bosc0

    3rd quater…. that is all!

    • GIANLUCA

      karl win with
      LAWSON IGGT CHANDLER GALLO MCGEE ..

      no Miller no Brewer no Koufos .. remember

      terrible Faried… 5vs5 nuggets MVP :
      4 FARIED 1 BREWER…

      the real = GALLINARIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII

  • Aaron

    Everyone still want to trade Wilson Chandler? wow. And, who knew? Karl saw Faried getting abused by Asik and brought Koufos back in! What a fantastic coaching decision!

    • dynamo.joe

      I thought Chandler’s start to the game was absolutely abysmal. 0-3 on contested mid-range jumpers. But after those 1st 4-5 minutes he restricted himself to 3’s and attempts in the paint.

      That’s all I ask of Wilson, eliminate the mid-range jumpers and he is a good player. However, I remain unconvinced that he has made a permanent change to his shot selection.

    • Steve

      Dude..come on…Asik is 7′ and 290lbs…Farried is maybe 6’7″ 230. Of course he is getting pushed around. It is the Damn Small Ball Karl plays.

    • doktarr

      Yes, I still want to trade Wilson Chandler. He’s wildly inconsistent, injury prone, and redundant with other players on the roster. If we could get Josh Smith for Chandler, Mozgov, and a draft pick or two, I would jump for it in a heartbeat. Yes, he was good this game, but it’s one game.

      Iggy’s defense on James Harden was quietly the story of the night. Yes, Harden got his, but his efficiency was way down, and when Iggy was guarding him in the half court he often just deferred to someone else.

      No surprise that the Rockets went on a run the one time Karl tried some small ball. Faried is a fantastic player and deserves more of a chance to get into the flow than he got in this game, but putting him at the 5 is setting him up for failure.

      • Aaron

        Apparently my sarcasm did not come through on the Koufos/Faried comment. . . .

        And, hey, if we’re talking about Josh Smith for Chandler, well then ok. Earlier this year people were talking draft picks, and I think that’s crazy. Chandler is one of the only guys on our team that can get his own shot, he gives us another 6 fouls against Durant, can guard anyone on the Spurs except Duncan, and can guard Blake city from LAC pretty well too. We need him unless we’re talking about a serious upgrade.

        • googergieger

          Miller, Lawson, Gallinari, Iguodala, Chandler, all can get their own shot…

        • doktarr

          I understood that you were being sarcastic there; I was making a supporting point about the small-ball lineups.

          For the right draft picks, I would trade Chandler. We have a longjam at that spot in the lineup, and I’d rather trade Chandler than Gallo, with Faried a very very very distant third.

          This is basically a pure hypothetical, though, because in the NBA you can’t trade salary for nothing unless the team you’re trading with is well under the cap. So it’s more of a question of what players you would move Chandler for. I would move Chandler for a good 3-point shooter at the 2 or someone who can play both the 4 or the 5.

  • googergieger

    If we play small teams, Gallo, Iguodala, Chandler, and a seven footer make us scary defensively and offensively. The first half made the game a lot closer than it had to be, and Houston is a team that lives and dies by the three, so not going to get over inflated by the win. But defensively with Gallo/Iguodala/Chandler/McGee in that third. We were scary good. Not happy with Faried’s minutes but if Chandler had it going, why not. Hopefully this means Karl will be more willing to feed the hot hand and not just stick with the same old, same old. Though speaking of, Miller and Brewer played way too much considering they didn’t have it tonight and other players did. Still nobody really had a bad game for us. I think the problem is sometimes Karl puts in a new random line up and it takes our players a while to get used to who is out there and during that confusion/feeling out proccess other teams go on runs.

    Also anyone see that dunk by McGee?!

    Now off to lose to The Kings because why wouldn’t we!

  • Aaron

    Someone’s gotta let me know what JVM’s celebration was all about after throwing it to himself off the glass? That was sick!! What was the mustache all about?

    • dynamo.joe

      That’s “lucky Pierre”, JaVale’s alter-ego.

      • Ban Johnson

        Of course. Totally obvious!

        • dynamo.joe

          If you watch him on youtube, he constantly refers to himself as “Pierre”.

          His channel is bigdaddywookie.

      • Finazz

        You know your an odd person when you have an alter ego of yourself. I bet you McGee what the wierd little kid in school who sat in the corner talking to himself

        • dynamo.joe

          He wasn’t talking to himself, he was talking to Pierre.

    • Kalen

      He has a handlebar mustache tattooed on the inside of his index finger, I’m guessing solely for the purpose of that celebration.

    • ryanvdonk

      it was “do you smell that? it’s good!”

    • GK4Prez

      His alter ego, Pierre Mcgee was taking over.

  • Ban Johnson

    This is the Nuggets’ team those of us who were excited for this season expected: a team that just overwhelms the opposition with length, speed, and athleticism. No one expected mistake-free basketball from a bunch of guys who mostly haven’t reached their primes yet. But we did expect some version of this swarming, fastbreaking team that goes on deadly runs.

    It helps when Javale plays within himself like tonight. He was awesome and still only got 16 minutes. That off-the backboard one-handed dunk and his hijinks after were high-larious. Anyone else understand what the finger mustache means?

    Wilson Chandler is a freak athlete too. His decisions aren’t always great — a little selfish at times on a generally unselfish team — but he moves so well for a big guy. And he helps spread the floor.

    Iguodala was rock solid tonight. I would take this sort of performance from him every night. Nuggets don’t need 20 points a game from him.

    Nuggets’ next 6 are all at home on at least a day’s rest: Sac, Ind, Hou, NO, Mil, Chi. 6-0 is very do-able and would be a great confidence boost if they can accomplish it (and would also put the team at a very respectable 32-18). Here’s hoping the Nuggets have finally learned not to let down when they’re favored..

    • Dubz

      I definitely agree when it comes to Chandler’s decision making. However, he was never a shoot first kind of guy on the Knicks and I have to wonder if GK is encouraging Chandler to shoot more. Frankly, we need a guy who can create his own offense and isn’t afraid to shoot the ball. (as long as he doesn’t become really inefficient)

    • John

      Agreed… we need at least one non-passive guy. If “Ill Will” wants to be the Alpha Dog, than I’m all for it.

  • mcz84

    Ive been in the Wilson Chandler bandwagon ever since he came back he looks great, rather we trade Iggy and Amiller than Chandler, Nuggets looked great on the defensive end.Plz dont lose to the kings now

  • Dubz

    As a massive Chandler supporter for the past couple of seasons, I have to take a second to gloat. Do you guys really want to trade this guy???? Can we not see how he has made huge improvements to this team’s defense? I understand his injury concerns, but when he plays like this it is worth the risk. He’s the stretch 4 that many have been clamoring for. We already have him!! The guy never complains and always keeps his composure.
    Ok, sorry I’m done. This team played great. That long, defense oriented lineup with Iggy/Gallo/Chandler and either Faried or McGee is freaking scary IMO. It’s extremely long, fast, and athletic without really sacrificing too much on the offensive side of the ball. This is the type of ball I’ve been waiting for from these guys. If anyone heard the Rockets broadcast, it was pretty funny. They were gushing over the Nuggets even more than Scott and Chris do which is not an easy thing to do. Loving it.

    • GK4Prez

      I think we were only a few of a couple people that were still supporting him earlier this year.

      • tommy in Sd Nuggets fan

        I have liked him.from get go I hoped he came in the trade he just a great fit for this team

      • nugswin

        Pre-season I was saying Chandler would be a difference maker for us. But after starting so poorly then being injured again I almost jumped off the bandwagon. Nice to see the real Chandler step up, finally!

        All this talk of trading Iggy doesn’t make any sense to me. The lineup with Iggy, Chandler and Gallo is a fearsome defensive group with plenty of scoring punch. Why in the world would be break that up? Plus — I’ll bring this up again, and again — if we could add a solid defensive point guard like Eric Bledsoe (come on Masai, do it!) we could compete with the best in the league. A little seasoning and we’d be in the title contender mix. I’d even go so far as to trade JaVale straight up for Bledsoe, that way we’d be able to keep KK, Mozzy and Faried to go with the Bledsoe, Iggy, Chandler, Gallo lineup. Wow!

        • googergieger

          Iggy can play point…

        • dynamo.joe

          Stone

  • Z

    Defense was great tonight Chandler is getting Healthier by the day good to see, great team win it will be somebody different every night with this team. tomorrow or next game if he plays bad the blog will scream for a trade lol

  • Z

    and McGee put his finger by his nose after the Dunk to say it was Nasty or like it stinks ya know

  • John

    I for one would like to see Karl starting the Ty, AI, Wilson, Gallo, McGee lineup… I have always thought Faried should come off the bench for energy, at least until he develops a shot… Ty is starting to toss the lob better… and Kosta is only 23 so he can continue to develop, but McGee needs to produce at a higher level now…

    I didn’t get to watch the game, just listened to it, so I have no comments other than… Go Nuggs.

  • googergieger

    I was in the, “What is so bad about Chandler camp? I mean he hasn’t played that much for us where we can really form an opinion, and from what I remember he is a really good defender. So that should help out lots. Especially considering, Gallo, Iggy, and him can switch everything and be alright” camp.

  • Andrew

    I was following along online at the ESPN Gamecast, but did not watch. Can anyone who watched the game tell me who Chandler was guarding generally? Was he playing the SG or the SF? Just curious. ‘
    If he keeps playing the way he has been, put me on the Chando Bando for sure!

    In a continuation on the great discussion about lineups n this site, I also noticed that Karl had the underutilized KK/Geezy lineup going for at least a bit tonight. I would like to see them get enough minutes together to get a true sample and see if these two can keep that gaudy plus/minus going! What was it? +46?!

    • Dubz

      I saw him guarding Chandler Parson’s a fair amount as well as some on Marcus Morris. I’m sure he guarded others as well. The Nuggets use so much switching that it’s hard to evaluate a player’s defensive performance based on the opposing players points or offensive statistics. As mentioned above, seeing Gallo, Iggy, and Chandler switching on the wings is actually a scary sight to behold… Smart defensive players who move very well and are very long.

      • Andrew

        Thanks. Yeah, I agree on that long defensive line of Gallo, Chandler and Iggy being formidable. Nice to see these guys jelling together. I am very glad no one is making the Gallo or Chandler argument anymore. Play them together!
        Would be nice if the Nuggs could get a guy with a can’t miss 3 jumper for Mozzy or something. I thought J Ham or Fournier would be there by now, but they still aren’t there.

        • Dubz

          I definitely agree with Gallo/Chandler. It was the same case in NY (the reason why I know a fair amount on these two is I’m originally from Manhattan) with these two SF’s being 1st round picks in consecutive years. However, they actually compliment each other very very well. Gallo is better at drawing free throws and has a bit more of the “ice in his veins” kind of abilities. Chandler has a smoother path to the rim, doing a good job of avoiding contact while having a very fluid jumper. Chandler is more physical defensively while Gallo is a bit better at guarding quicker guys. The two of them can definitely play together and play off each others strengths and I’m thrilled they’re playing to those strengths.

    • Steve

      It does not matter who they are supposed to guard, if you watch them play D, they switch everything. Tonight it worked well, but against a good pick and roll team we struggle because we do not hedge out well on the pick.

      The best team we had out there tonight was

      Ty, AI, Chandler, Gallo, McGee.

      Gallo’s D and his length makes him good at PF at times.

  • heykyleinsf

    Kalen… granted Andre Miller didn’t have a career night but D+??
    Why do you have it in for this guy?

    On a separate note… any speculation about Jordan Hamilton
    being this year’s Birdman?

    I thought at the start of the season there was a lot of reason
    to hope for a big contribution this year.. any thoughts of why
    that seemed to disappear?

  • googergieger

    Really Kalen? A lot of the inconsistencies from this team is due to the rotations and line ups out there. Faried started out good rebounding and defending alright. Was taken out and put in sporadically after that. Hard for any player to succeed when he has to adjust on the fly to what is going on out there. Also Karl doesn’t deserve and A. That first half should have been a blow out for us but him stubbornly sticking with Miller and Brewer kept the other team in the game a lot longer than they should have been. Kudos on him sticking with Ty, Iguodala, Chandler, Gallo, and McGee for as long as he did though. Going small like that actually works because we’re actually big at three positions. I said this before Chandler came back but, Iguodala at point, Brewer at the two, Chandler/Gallo at the three and four, and either McGee or Koufos at the five for five to ten minutes a game can make us scary defensively and still solid on offense, which could lead to big sustained runs.

  • AaronCAPS

    Hmmm…Only a few minutes of Lawson & Miller at the same time tonight. What was the final score again!?!?

    • Steve

      Bingo!

    • nugswin

      +1000

  • Mark from Charlotte

    Ty, Iguodala, Chandler, Gallo, and McGee good line up GK you have finally got you head out of your BUTT………………

    • GIANLUCA

      I LOVE this team
      LAWSON – IGGY – W.CHANDLER – GALLO – MCGEE ..

      for finish the game

      but the starter must be TY-W.CHA-GALLO-FARIED-MCGEE

      IGGY 6° man

  • Mark from Charlotte

    Ty, Iguodala, Chandler, Gallo, and McGee good line up GK you have finally got your head out of your BUTT

    spell check

  • KW

    I’m eating crow on Ill Will. Hated him. Now I am rethinking.

    • ryanvdonk

      we haven’t seen much of him, last year he got hurt right away and this year he came back too soon at the beginning…this left us with the first impression, which wasn’t great. that first season after the trade he did not seem to want to be here, kinda pouting over the move i guess, and it led to inconsistent play in the regular season and a complete disappearing act from him in the playoffs when faced with durant. i think the time in china did him well, maybe gave him a little perspective, because he seems to be more into it out, maybe it’s trying to prove he’s over the injury bug, maybe proving for other teams, and maybe a little shutting up the naysaying fans, but whatever it is, he seems much more engaged and is buying into the team’s system.

      now go drink some milk wilson, does the body good

  • Jim

    Loving Chandlers game right now. Pretty unexpected. I also like that iggy-gallo-chandler-McGee lineup. Good d good offense. More spacing for Ty, miller can hang too. Bring k2, cbrew, manimal in for the next unit. Nugs could be killing it. Best nine man unit top down out there. I like the moz for a shooter idea. Not sure who that could be.

    Interesting write up on si.com about q3 tonight.

  • CkWizard

    This team is getting better game by game… Defense is going fron not bad to “ok”… This team is going to make it out of the first round barring injury. McGee isn’t jumping at every head fake and is playing with more control defensively which should point out to the fans that GK is not a complete idiot. Chandler is bringing a new Dynamic to this team that complements every player on the team. If the Nuggets can develope a “mental toughness” they can make it to the finals this year. I really don’t want to see a trade happen that effects the rotation of players as the Chemistry on this Nuggets team is positive and it is nice seeing cohesive team basketball being played!! GK does deserve an “A” this game because it is obvious that the coaching happening between games at practice is effective! Go Nuggets!!!

  • heykyleinsf

    I will also come clean in saying Wilson Chandler was a bust and a waste.

    Color me completely out of my mind on that one.

  • Steve

    Couple of thoughts..

    Great game by Chandler. Nice to see him driving more.

    Ty was great. Gallo also. AI seemed to be into the game from the start.

    I watched the game on NBA TV and it had the Rockets broadcast commentators. They made a point over and over that ‘Denver is such a different TEAM when Javelle is in the game. Because of his length and athletic ability, he is a game changer.’

    My question is….Why is KK playing 29 minutes and McGee 16! WTF Karl? For all you KK fans one play you need to watch and rewatch is of KK in the 3rd quarter getting the rebound and TRYING to shoot a layup, which gets Blocked by a guard. You are 7 damn Feet TALL! SLAM the ball!

    Play McGee, for better or for worse. KK is an above serviceable back up, not a starter.

  • CJP32

    Two things happen now with Chandler looking healthy and contributing like tonight:

    1. Masai is either getting phone calls, or making phone calls for potential trade partners, because he has a good contract

    or

    2. Iggy now becomes expendable. Do we really want him next year on the books for 16 Million when Chandler/Brewer combined can give us more and cost far less? WC can play and defend 3 positions (SG, SF, PF). Brewer can defend 3 positions (PG, SG, SF). Personally, I would go with WC/CBrew over Iggy next year:

    PG – Ty/Miller
    SG – Chandler/JHam
    SF – Gallo/CBrew
    PF – Faried/AR
    C – KK/McGee

    • Joel

      I’m beginning to think Iguodala/Mozzy really might be able to trade for Pau Gasol straight up. Simmons mentioned it yesterday. I’m still not sure how I feel about that, but if we played Pau at C, we’d finally have a post up threat and could still go to Pau + Koufus or Pau + McGee if we wanted.

      • nugswin

        Noooooo. I love me some Pau, but lets not grab an expensive guy who is on a fairly steep decline at the end of his career when our roster is stacked with young guys doing nothing but getting better. Pau could easily be a total bust at this point and too much of risk to mortgage some of our trade assets on.

    • dynamo.joe

      I think something like Pau for McGee/Chandler is more likely.

      Why pay $11M for a C your coach refuses to play? Not to mention Karl called McGee “lazy and crazy” in the Denver Post the other day. And GK made it pretty clear McGee’s pass to himself was dead center of “crazy”.

      If Masai thinks he paid to much for Chandler or McGee in hindsight this would be an opportunity to correct that.

      Pau is 32, young for a big man, but clearly old for this team. He is only under contract through next year. In which case he becomes a giant expiring contract for anyone who thinks they have the chops to secure a max contract player.

      Not sure it makes any sense for us unless we are keeping Karl. Keeps him from going small or at least from going centerless.

      • John

        Yeah…let rectify paying too much ($11 and $6 million) for two young(25 y/o) improving players with upside… It would be a much better idea to trade them for an often injured aging forward/center well past his prime for the bargain basement price of $19 million / year.

        • dynamo.joe

          Pau – owed $30M
          JaVale – owed $35M
          Wilson – owed $21M

          I hope you don’t own your own business.

          Next year Pau is an expiring contract which we could use on retaining Faried or we could use to try and pick up a max contract summer of 2014.

          Or we could trade it away to anyone who is hoping to persuade a max player in the summer of 2014.

          Pau is exactly the what Karl wants, fundamentally sound, high basketball IQ. So, if you are Masai you may be thinking “How can I limit the damage my coach is doing by going small? Oh, I can give him a Center he will actually play!”

          • John

            No need to get douche-y Joe… BTW your #s make no sense… you are prorating and including this year $$ for Pau, or something…

            Pau – owed $30M ??? ($19)
            JaVale – owed $35M ($34)
            Wilson – owed $21M ($13.1)
            (all numbers going forward after this season)
            Wilson’s final year is not guaranteed, so cut $7+ mil.

            I think it is important to remember that this is also Masai’s final year under contract…

            Yes, George may “say” he wants those traits, but he apparently does absolutely nothing to develop them (other than make snide comments to reporters)… and while Pau is a skilled big(I actually like him a lot) this season proves that he is not the right guy for an uptempo offense like Denver’s. He moves well in the half court, but even Mozzy can out run him on breaks.

            Listen I think McGee is a friggin’ moron… and I really like Pau and his game, but…

            He is on the decline… there is no getting around it. He has missed 7 games this season already because his knees(plus 5 for concussion)… that will not go away. Expect more.

            So my point is this… you would pay an extra $4 million per year (not including what you resign him for) for a loss in both depth and production(-8pts/gm, -3 rebs/gm), not to mention “potentially” sabotaging your entire offense and future(upside, trades, picks).

            For what?

            Pau alone, especially at the cost of Wilson and McGee, is not getting this team to the finals.

            Sure, his contract is expiring, but that is as much a hinderance as a help.. They couldn’t extend him, and couldn’t resign him, unless he agreed to a 8-10 million per year pay cut. With only a partial season, they wouldn’t own his Bird rights, so no leverage this summer either… So trading him for another albatross contract remains the only option.

            I wouldn’t bank on using this money for Faried… Actually, I am of the opposite mindset… I would trade Faried now while his value is high… he is a great energy player, but he will never be a dominant PF… not at 6’7″. Best case is Milsap with hops. Serviceable, but not an All Star.

            He is a 6th man in my books. He is Birdman 2. You’ve seen how inconsistent he is now that teams have started putting him in the scouting report. Trade him and let some other team “hope” he develops a post game and/or a jump shot.

            Same with Ty… if he hasn’t figured out how to lead by now, he is not going to… Trade for Brandon Jennings, Kemba Walker or Rondo (since he seems to be on the outs in Boston.) Obviously Kyrie and Wall are 1st choices here but no one is trading them, so I’ll stick within the realm of possibility…

            Also, where in the world did you get the idea that 32 is young for a big??? Yes, bigs typically develop more slowly, but Centers are not known for their longevity. The feet, ankles, knees and back all take a beating from those 7 foot, 300 lb. frames…

            Typically, bigs have shorter careers. Kareem and Shaq are not the norm. See Yao Ming for an example… Actually, look at most bigs over the years… they may have played till they were 37, but after 32-33, most were missing 35-50 games per season.

            So while I like Pau, and hate small ball, there is no way I pull the trigger on this if I was Masai.

            Unless, I am also firing Karl… which I wouldn’t do unless I had already signed my own extension.

            So… no…

            • dynamo.joe

              Well unless I am misunderstanding something, if we trade for Pau right now we will owe him for the rest of the season, so ya I pro-rated him for this year.

              I agree with you that GK isn’t developing players, but I think very few coaches develop players. Few players develop much at all once they get to the NBA. There are exceptions, like JKidd becoming a spot up shooter. They usually get a little better at what they do as they reach their physical peak and then tail off.

              Pop might be the exception, he at least seems to be able to change shot selection.

              All I really want out of a coach is to recognize the talents his players have and optimize his line ups, offense and defense around what they already do. I don’t think Karl does that very well. So, that leaves the option of Masai adjusting the team to conform to Karl.

              I think Faried is already better than most of the bigs in the all-star game, so we disagree there.

              Lawson? I thought he was going to push for the all-star game, but he has barely shown up. Maybe he was injured earlier than we thought? If not you have to assume Masai is listening to offers.

              As far as bigs go, I was basically saying there production is based on height which doesn’t go away, not athleticism which does. But yes, Bigs with injury histories can fall apart pretty quick. Personally I don’t think Pau has been hurt this season, it’s just his own passive/agressive sit in strike.

  • GIANLUCA

    Gallinari olny Nuggets with 0 TO …
    Lawson 4 stupid TO .. but tonight the shot is good for TY ..

    W.Chandler must pass the ball in future , but he is the real starter !

    trade Lawson and Miller for Bledsoe and Vasquez …

    and
    starter
    VASQUEZ – CHANDLER – GALLO – FARIED – MCGEE
    bench
    BLEDSOE – IGGY ( 6°man ) – BREWER – KOUFOS …

    Gallo 25′ Sf and 15′ Pf

    • CJP32

      Why would GK play Gallo 40 mins per game??

      Why would we bring Iggy off the bench??

      Why am I replying to you????

      • GK4Prez

        Just play Gallo at SF, PF, and C at the same time for 35 minutes this way he can play 105 minutes of a 48 minute game.

        • monimo

          Gallo could be an excellent point guard too!

  • http://yahoo.com prospector

    Things we learned from this game:

    Houston is a very very average team at best that plays soft.
    KARL’s Small lineup is hear unfortunately to stay.

    Small ball matches well against Houston. Parsons is a very soft player… Lin is slow and Iggy is in Hardens head…. The problem with this game is that it reinforces the small ball lineup in KARLS head… Is this the real WILSON CHANDLER? This is still to be determined…….( I would trade him now… His stock will never be higher all season.) The move of the game was going with Mcgee for big minutes in the small ball lineup.. Mcgee eats teams like Houston for lunch….
    Faried is now in the KARL young player doghouse….. He is officially getting his minutes punked…. He may not score every game, but he finds away to make an impact.. When you constantly punk young players everytime they make a mistakes it causes them to hesitate and think which in turn leads to more mistakes. Now that Chandler is back this allows Karl the ability to treat Faried like Mcgee…… Our young players deserve better….. Did I want us to trade for a veteren…. HELL NO… Karl likes picking up castoffs from other teams rather than developing his young players…. His distain for youngsters is getting OLD….

    FIRE KARL

    FREE JHAM

    • John

      Can you honestly tell me Karl had anything to do with trading Nene for McGee…. hellz no. Karl’s man crush on Nene was second only to his man crush on AC… Seems like Karl has very little input in trades… Josh and Masai call the shots there.

      • http://yahoo.com prospector

        I know Masai is making the deals.. However KARL plays whoever he wants to… In the Denver post the writer mentioned that Masai has been asking for more Mcgee minutes… So the problem is any time Masai brings in any veteren, they jump to the front of the line and decreases our younsters minutes… With a coach like Karl, you trade vets for PICKS and force his hand.. (see movie MONEYBALL) I don’t have a problem with our players right now, just how KARL dishes out there minutes and his player groupings…. The funny thing is how everyone has a short memory… We play a soft team that’s perfect for being punked by a small ball lineup, and everyone is like KARL is a genious… But the fact is that he uses the same SMALL lineups against EVERY TEAM.. And come playoff time that crap won’t cut it… Before everyone gets excited and names WILSON CHANDLER as out next all star, let’s see how he does going forward.. And I wish JHAM was allowed to shoot with the same freedom as BREWER and now CHANDLER.. Same with Faried.. Everytime Faried takes a jumper KARL has a heart attack… Great Karl, way to help “expand” a young players game… I hate KARL and I can’t wait for the day he leaves… I only hope that GALLO, FARIED, MCGEE, and JHAM will still be here when he does…

        • john

          100% agree!!

        • CkWizard

          I am not a fan of Karl and agree with you that he stunts the development of young talented players….. But stubborn Karl has a plan and if Chandler can play well then Karl’s plan and blue print may work… As a nuggets fan I hope for success and Ty is playing better as of late and so is McGee. What is the Nuggets record against the teams ahead of the Nuggets in the western conference standings…. The nuggets are even or hold the tie breaker. Prepare yourself because GK is playing KK and McGee at the same time more and more and he is developing a fluidity to his rotations that fluctuate between big and small. Ty getting more consistent and aggressive as the season goes on I wouldn’t be surprised if the Nuggets have te best overall record the second half of the season.

        • miguel

          its going to be impossible for j-ham to get mins when you have chandler,gallo,iggy, and brewer. j-ham still needs to improve his game on defensive game if he want to see mins. the only way he could crack the rotation if end up trading brewer which i dont see it happening. also i disagree with you on trading chandler.

    • Dubz

      A lot of the time I’d fine myself agreeing with you. Tonight however, I can’t bring myself to do it, especially with your comments on Faried and Chandler. First, Faried is a tweener as a 6’7 PF. The Rockets were using mostly stretch 4’s (Marcus Morris and Patrick Paterson) and were using Asik at C. Faried has a difficult time guarding stretch 4’s, and it somewhat defeats his purpose for being on the floor for it pulls him away from the basket for guarding guys on the perimeter. Against Asik, it’s pretty self explanatory. Asik is a large 7 footer who was abusing Faried (Definitely not Faried’s fault, he’s just a “stretch” as a 5, especially against large 7 footers). Simply put, there are going to be nights where Faried is a bad matchup on both ends of the floor. As for Chandler, I don’t believe they’re going to trade him. I understand why you have your doubts but it’s really counterproductive to be so pessimistic towards a guy who’s been playing very well since his return recently. Show SOME positivity, the negativity can be exhausting frankly.

  • john

    guys, javale was NOT saying “it stinks” or “that was nasty” or anything like that.

    he has a handlebar mustache tattooed on his finger. that was his alter-ego “Pierre”.

    • ryanvdonk

      couldn’t see the tatoo on my stream…stupid comcast, how is altitude not on the basic package?

      • john

        that is nonsense!
        i had to go with the middle package/plan strictly because i can’t miss the nuggs.

  • heykyleinsf

    Three months in to the season..
    Iguodala did not come as advertised.

    We just got rid of a $16 million bust named Nene.

    Time to unload him.

    But please.. think young and hungry…
    not old and entitled.

    Did nobody notice how the Lakers are doing?

    • john

      he is 100% what was advertised.
      he was advertised as a defensive specialist, and that’s exactly what he’s done.
      no one ever claimed him to be an offensive juggernaut. he hustles, facilitates, and finishes extremely well at the rim.

      i, for one, am extremely content with him. he meshes with the offense better than AAA, even though AAA is a better shooter.

  • heykyleinsf

    Kalen.. you have a bias about guards.

    One Andre is the devil,
    the other is an angel.

    btw.. anyone seen AAA lately?

  • Z

    prospector hates Coach Karl and Chandler lol lol even in a win he’s mad cause his guys (Gallo/Faried/Jham/) were not the central focus lol blame Karl

  • Ryan

    Great defense, good intensity until garbage time, and a much-needed road win. Only part that troubled me:

    “I thought, if I didn’t dunk it, I was going to get taken out of the game,” McGee said

    Obviously, Karl has higher standards for McGee than, say, Andre Miller (who can travel like he’s doing the cha-cha 30 feet from the basket and dribble the ball off his foot out of bounds with no threat of being benched). This doesn’t bode well for the long term, as different standards for different players breeds contempt. We’re so close to making some noise in the playoffs, just wish we had a different coach to push us over the top…

    • miguel

      why does everyone criticize for everything, has us playing right now and were winning games. he is cable of getting a good playoff team. if this team commits to playing hard every night. for example look at doc river who is great coach but look how his team is doing, same with 76ers coach. they dont get blame for their teams failures.

      • Daniel Y

        Because it’s George Karl. The guy is a failure when it comes to playoff basketball because of his ridiculous philosophies. Tell me how we are going to make noise in the playoffs? How? When we can’t even beat crap teams like Washington and Minnesota at home. It’s all on the coach. If he is still here come spring time, you can count on another 1st round exit.

        • miguel

          many teams have lost to crappy team its just not Denver. for example the heat and the thunder have both last to the wizards as well. its not just on coaches its also on the players to come prepared and give 100 percent every game.

      • john

        dude the whole “we’re winning with GK” bogus BS has been GK’s best friend for years.
        nuggets are winning in spite of GK.
        GK is only ruining what would otherwise be a HOF career, by staying with the nuggets.

        he constantly lauds the other team’s players/coaches, while consistently publicly berating his own. there are rumors no one listens to him in the locker room.

        you ever heard him when he’s “wired in” during a timeout? the highest i’ve played BB was high school and even i could develop better-fueling speeches and draw up better plays. he’s past his prime.

        • miguel

          so you could say the same thing with doc river, who i believe is a great coach but look on how they are doing.

          • heykyleinsf

            we are winning in spite of GK.

            FUndamentals that junior high school coaches teach.

            Free throws. Turnovers. Shot selection. Defense. Consistency.

            GK has the Nuggets near the bottom at all of these..

            We are getting by purely on talent.

          • dynamo.joe

            Doc has coached half as long as Karl but has a better playoff record, including the championship that everyone but Karl is playing for.

            Karl is playing for most consecutive playoff berths and has said so.

            • googergieger

              We’re number eight! We’re number eight!

  • miguel

    your not answering my question, your blaming karl on all the nuggets struggle which i believe its unfair because its the players responsibility to try improve as well and bring it really night that why they get paid to do. then tell me what would you bring that could get nuggets to the next level?? because i believe it will be the same with any coach we bring in.

    • john

      1. start holding andre miller more accountable.
      he’s a great mind with excellent court vision, which is why it’s puzzling to me that he still has a green light shooting 3’s. he shoots roughly 1 per game. i know, i know, not a huge deal, right? wrong. it’s an empty possession. he’s only shoots them when he’s wide open. if he’s wide open, and i’m GK, i’m yelling at him to dribble once, get inside the perimeter, and try your luck there. he’s shooting 20% from 3 this year.

      2. while mcgee’s FT% seems to be increasing (and he’s got a nice release), it seems that brewer, KK, and faried don’t have any mechanics at all from the charity stripe. needs to be fixed, no questions asked. if GK had better rapport with his players, they wouldn’t mind staying later or coming in earlier for practice to work on FTs.

      3. if i’m GK, i’m taking some time off from shooting Subaru commercials and instead focus on post-timeout plays, whether they be offensive or defensive. nuggets absolutely get crushed time and time again after timeouts, especially on defense.
      check out some scouting reports. who do teams usually go to after a timeout with only 5 seconds left on the clock?

      4. GK has finally showed improvement in this area. when kenneth is getting torched in the paint, GK is finally realizing he needs to switch or sub.

      5. stop hording timeouts. sometimes i feel when teams go on 10+ point runs, GK has nothing reassuring to say to the players, and subsequently refuses to call a timeout.

      • Ryan

        Agree, especially with holding Miller accountable, he has inexcusable turnovers nearly every game, yet has never been benched for anything. His travel last night was so terrible that the Houston announcers were calling it “Andre Miller’s ballroom dancing lessons”. Someone who’s been in the league as long as him should never travel like that. Hell, high school players don’t even travel like that. I think it would do wonders for the morale of the team if Miller were held accountable like everyone else. Not gonna happen with GK though…

        • john

          “Not gonna happen with GK though…”

          unfortunately you are correct. he spoils veterans.

  • Trevor

    Good win on the road. There is nothing to read into, Houston is an average team and we should of won.

  • Brazil

    Rarely make a comment but love reading this blog. Gives me a good laugh!!!

    • john

      sweet comment, bro

  • Evan

    In the last 12 games Danilo is averaging 13 in losses and 20 in wins.

  • al68

    what do you think about this trade?

    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=bcdap7t

    • dynamo.joe

      I would do this.

    • John

      Ugh…. No…

      Yes JJ can shoot the 3, but in every other category he is < Chandler

      PPG
      Height
      Defense
      # of positions he can play/defend
      2 pt %
      Rebounds
      Steals
      Blocks
      He gets a very small advantage in assists 1.9 vs 1.8
      FT % is a wash. Better % but he get there less often
      and I would personally put the BBall IQ about the same…

      Plus he is a rental… his contract is expiring, and since he is having a career year he'll want more $… Which will price him well above Chandler's relatively modest contract.

      …but the MOST important factor here is that he is a Dukie… which George Karl would HATE.

      • dynamo.joe

        Giving GK a duke player just makes it even better.

  • al68
    • dynamo.joe

      Here’s why I don’t think this works. Pau is a back to the basket post up center. So making this trade pushes an $11M center to blow out fodder.

      Paying Timo $3M to polish wood is fine. Paying JaVale $10M to do same is stupid. So you need to Include JaVale or have a follow up trade to ship him out.

  • Mark from Charlotte

    Good trade with the Lakers.

  • googergieger

    Don’t know why people would want Pau on this team. He’d slow us down something fierce and is a downgrade defensively from any of our three centers.

    • al68

      Mcgee defiende mucho peor que Gasol.

      • googergieger

        No because McGee can run and is getting better at defending with his length. Gasol can only defend slow and weak forwards, which the NBA doesn’t have too many of. I mean Faried always owns him for goodness sakes. Randolph can score at will against Gasol. He had no idea what to do against McGee except pass.

  • googergieger

    I know we give Karl a lot of crap myself included, but Tyrone Corbin looked amateurish tonight against The Lakers. Let his team get rattled by the refs and didn’t pick up a tech or get his team to keep attacking. Left players out there that don’t defend and who weren’t doing anything on offense, and he kept Hayward on the bench way too long. Good thing Lakers are going to lose to OKC on Sunday though. Then they have a pretty easy schedule so hopefully they don’t get a streak going.

  • Aaron

    Hey admin guys? Can we have a Mosgov trade thread? Not to be cruel or anything, but just for us to see who can put together the best package with Mozzy and whomever else. . it seems like we’re destined to do something at the deadline this year, however small it might be. Let’s fire it up while the Nugs have some easier home games!

  • Aaron

    Regarding the trades posted above. . . I wouldn’t do Chandler for Redick because we need alot of depth at the 3-4 for Karl’s small ball lineups, and Chandler can certainly guard most 4’s.

    Now, if you put Iggy with Mozzy for Redick, I would do that because we already have some defensive studs on this team (brewer, chandler) and Iggy can be duplicated, it seems to me.

    I’d even part with some of our youth, Hamilton, draft picks, etc. . to go with Mozzy. We’re young enough, and we don’t need our picks for a while.

    • John

      hahaha… you said defensive studs… we have THE WORST 3pt. defense in the league…

      Brewer is good in very small bursts… but he gambles too much or falls asleep… Wilson, I like, but the sample size is just too small to truly judge… Dre is terrible. Ty is mediocre. Gallo, Faried, McGee, Kouf all have their moments, but there is no consistent effort. Iggy is the ONLY consistent known quantity on D. It is on offense that he is lacking.

      Plus the money doesn’t work for Iggy+Mozzy for Reddick. They would need to throw in someone/thing worth another 10 million… which they don’t have.

      • Aaron

        All the coaches in the league would disagree with you on Brewer/Chandler not being defensive studs.

        Making the salaries work for Iggy/Redick is pointless because Masai loves Iggy and he won’t do it. Brewer/Mosgov and whatever else to make the salaries work could do it. . . . I like the Gasol trades too. I think he’d be great here.

        • John

          You’re welcome to your opinion… but don’t assume you know anyone else’s…(i.e. all of the coaches in the league) All I can say is we give up more 3s than just about anybody… and every team seems to recognise this. You only have to look back as far as the last Cavs game to see a terrible 3pt shooting team literally having their way with the Nuggs from deep.

          Sooo, I think we have different opinions about what is considered good defense…

          I agree that Brewer is a pest in man D, but how many times a game does he go for and not get the steal leaving his man wide open. Or fly by out of bounds on a head fake, leaving an uncontested 3 or pass inside. He gambles a lot and if you watch, has as many bad plays as good. I will also concede that he has been better of late (last 10 games)

          Wilson looks good so far, but c’mon the guy has only played something like 30 games in 3 years as a Nugget, the sample size is way too small in this scheme to suddenly label him a “stud.” And this is coming from one of the guys who liked him before last week…

          Regardless…all of this is besides the point. Even though Iggy is “bar none” the best defender on the team(NBA all defensive second team 2011), but it doesn’t matter… because GK runs a switch everything defense and you can’t get by with 1 good defender or even 2… you need 5.

          Which we don’t have… we have 1 very good, 2 good, and a few pretty goods and a few terribles(Dre)… at least in my opinion… So no… I don’t think Iggy’s skill set is that easily replaced… Maybe his stat line, but not his skill set.

          If we trade Iguodala… our D will once again be the laughingstock of the league.

  • ny nugs fan

    nuggets still not making their free throws

    and this is a team that has guys who generally shoot well from the line

    need to keep working on this or first round exit

    • John

      Agreed… unfortunately I think it will take losing games on free throws before they put any effort in here.

  • http://yahoo.com prospector

    Again I will say that nothing will be fixed or improved under KARL…. We could trade for Griffin and Durant and Karl would still mess it up… When you continue to punk your young players while giving the “vets” the liberty to do anything without the threat of getting yanked.. When you call Andre Miller the “MVP” of this team when he plays like a 90 year old on defense and shoot lame three’s for fun… This is the receipe for disaster.. I understand now why kenyon and Jr smith acted the way they dId… Anyone remember the Microwave Vinny Johnson? If Karl coached him he would have been called the icebox…. Karl’s switching defense completely sucks… His rotations suck…. Use of timeouts, again suck… Thanks Karl for finding a way to make a fun game horrible and for destroying the confidence of our youngsters…… Question?? How do you improve? (BY PLAYING) How do you expand your game? (BY ALLOWING A PLAYER TO PLAY WITHOUT FEAR) “There nothing to fear but fear itself” (and the karl young player hook).. This sucks and I see it ending badly… MASAI SAVE US!!!! FREE JHAM, FREE MCGEE FREE FARIED , AND FREE US FROM KARL!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • googergieger

    Mozgov, Hamilton, Brewer, and picks for Reddick. I love Brewer, but no point in taking on Reddick if Karl is going to struggle to find him consistent minutes. Again I love our team as is though. Something came to mind in regards to Brewer and others though. If we do extend him, if Fournier finally gets minutes next years and becomes the french Ginobli, what do we do with Brewer or Reddick or whoever else we got? Just trade em again?

  • Aaron

    I know the salaries don’t work on Iggy/Redick. . but Orlando wouldn’t do the deal without a marquee name like that coming back. . so throw in whomever else you need to make it work.

    I just think Gallo/Chandler give us some flexibility that very few teams have. It hasn’t been on the court alot due to injury, but I think we should hold onto those guys.

    What do you guys think of the Gasol trade? I disagree with some above, I think Gasol can adjust to whatever style we play. He’s unstoppable in the low post, and he would let Karl play small ball until his hearts content . . he covers for Faried by erasing everything at the rim, too.

    Let’s do a trade thread, come on guys!!

    • John

      I really like Pau too, but I think they would have to give up too much for this to be reasonable… plus all the other stuff I said before. lol