Sorry for the delay in the post. The site was having some problems last night and this morning so I am just now able to get on and post it. We are working on fixing the issues with the site.
|Danilo Gallinari, SF
38 MIN | 9-16 FG | 6-7 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 27 PTS | +4
As has become the norm for Gallo, he exploded in the second half after being mostly invisible for the first half; as he tallied 19 points an assist, and a rebound in the games final two stanzas. He also provided some physicality that the Nuggets needed in the fourth quarter. On the downside though, Gallo gave up a big offensive rebound to David West in the fourth and got his final shot blocked with under 30 seconds left in the game. As with many of the Nuggets late game possessions this year Gallo went on an iso and took an ill advised shot as he fell down, over the outstretched extendo-arms of Paul George. Luckily for the Nuggets the wasted possession turned out not to hurt them but it did knock Gallo’s grade down a half a grade.
|Kenneth Faried, SF 12 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +7
Faried was flat out awful for the mass majority of the twelve minutes he played on Monday. He was limited to only 4 first half minutes because he picked up three fouls, two of which were incredibly boneheaded and when he was in the game he was picked apart by David West. In a game that the Nuggets played without their normal backup power forward and center Faried needed to provide plenty of important minutes and he did just the opposite. A really bad night for the Manimal.
|Kosta Koufos, C 36 MIN | 4-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 11 REB |0 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | -2
Kosta had his moments in this one, two big time blocks on back-to-back possessions that both led to fast break buckets for the Nuggets were the highlights, but the long range hook shot he took was one of the low lights. After Faried got in early foul trouble the Nuggets needed more minutes than Koufos normally gives them, as they were also minus Chandler and McGee, and Kosta was up to the task. Along with Mozgov, Koufos brought a lot of physicality to the Pepsi Center on Monday, something that the Nuggets desperately needed against a tough Indiana team.
|Ty Lawson, PG 41 MIN | 7-17 FG | 3-4 FT | 4 REB |7 AST | 5 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 18 PTS | 0
During stretches of the game Lawson was the best player on the floor Monday, as he flew around the court on defense and got into the paint at will on offense, creating opportunities for himself and his teammates. But with the Nuggets late game offense floundering someone needed to take control and Lawson was unable, or unwilling, to do so. That is a problem now, and will only get worse as the season goes on if Lawson continues to be unable to help the Nuggets offense run smoothly late in games.
|Andre Iguodala, SG 38 MIN | 4-11 FG | 5-10 FT | 10 REB| 7 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | -2
It was a very up and down night for Iguodala and one that is hard to grade. One one hand he came up three assists shy of a triple-double and played terrific defense on Paul George, making George work for every catch and shot throughout the night. On the other hand were the late game free-throws and his shooting from the field. First came the foul that he committed on George as George hit a three, while the Pacers were in the middle of their run from 14 down to tie the game. Then he missed four free-throws in a row as the Nuggets allowed the Pacers to climb back and tie the game in the final minute plus. Finally, he got lucky when his late game steal of Paul George was deemed not a foul as the play could have gone either way. But he hit his biggest free-throw and was credited with the steal so his grade stays good, barely.
|Anthony Randolph, PF 4 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -8
It was Randolph’s time to try and earn more playing time with the absences of JaVale McGee and Wilson Chandler and instead he just gave George Karl more reason to sit him on the bench. In four minutes Randolph took and missed 3 shots including a layup and his only rebound came on his own miss. On the other end of the court he was bullied into a foul nine seconds after he came into the game by David West. Not exactly the best way to seize an opportunity.
|Corey Brewer, SF 30 MIN | 5-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB |1 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 16 PTS | -7
Another night and another important performance from Corey Brewer. Along with his typical energy and defense Brewer brought along some shooting to help spread the floor as he knocked down three three-pointers on the night, all of which looked very good from the moment they left his hand. He also helped make life tough on Paul George and George Hill, though he had a couple of bad gambles that lowered his grade from an A to an A minus. But all-in-all another great game from Brewer, who is forcing himself to the top of many 6th Man of the Year lists.
|Timofey Mozgov, C 25 MIN | 4-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 10 PTS | +8
Thrust into duty due to injuries Mozgov played very well in 25 minutes. He finished in the paint on offense and battled Roy Hibbert all night on the other end of the floor making life tough for the Pacers center. While Mozzy could stand to improve his hands, the impact he had on the game is not shown in his numbers; without his contributions it is hard to imagine the Nuggets winning this game.
|Andre Miller, PG 17 MIN | 2-3 FG | 1-1 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 5 PTS | +5
Yuck. Miller had a rough night on Monday as he struggled to really do anything well at all. He had five of the Nuggets 14 turnovers, got torched on the defensive end of the floor by Lance Stephenson, Orlando Johnson, and for some reason, Paul George and even his lob at the end to Andre Iguodala was not good, as it just missed sailing out of bounds without the great catch by Iggy. At least George Karl realized it enough to not go to the small lineup at the end of the game or who knows what the results could have been.
Karl made a couple of important in game adjustments that helped the Nuggets win the game, and drew up the lob play that gave Denver the win but the night was not all good for the Denver head coach. On the good side, despite being ready to play Anthony Randolph heavy minutes to replace McGee and Chandler, Karl went with what worked and played a lot of minutes with the ultra big Koufos/Mozgov front line and it payed off against a physical Pacers squad. Second sensing bad minutes from Andre Miller, Karl limited Miller’s minutes to only 17 and let Lawson, Iguodala and Brewer pick up the slack. But again the Nuggets late game offense broke down and almost cost them the game and at a certain point that falls on Karl and his staff. Clearly isolation plays to end games do not work with this roster, and Karl must recognize that and start using sets late in games to create movement and open looks. Also why in the world did Karl think Andre Miller could check Paul George as he asked him to for a bit in the first half?
Two Things We Saw
- Same Old: Another game against a physical stretch four, and another game of ineffectiveness for Kenneth Faried. The Nuggets need to figure out a solution to the problem fast, because come playoff time teams will find ways to get stretch or physical fours on Faried and it will spell doom for the Nuggets. In the end the Nuggets were lucky to steal this game when their best active big played only 12 minutes.
- Same Old: And right along with the first problem was another reoccurring one; the Nuggets late game offense that almost helped give the game away. This team is not built to play with one guy isoing against a defender and four players standing and watching. There just aren’t enough shooters or big men with good hands on the team for that. Yet the Nuggets continue to use it as their only late game offense and continue to get tough shots. There have to be set plays that they can use in situations like that, or George Karl needs to be drawing up plays during timeouts because it is going to again cost the Nuggets dearly at some point, and probably multiple points, this year.
Follow me on Twitter.
Latest posts by Matt Cianfrone (see all)
- Report: Nuggets Have Made Kevin Love Trade Offer - June 18, 2014
- Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 123-Houston Rockets 116 - April 9, 2014
- Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 125-Houston Rockets 130 - April 6, 2014