Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 113, New Orleans Hornets 98

New Orleans Hornets 98 FinalRecap | Box Score 113 Denver Nuggets
Danilo Gallinari, SF 37 MIN | 8-18 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 5 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 18 PTS | +24

For the last month, Gallo has been playing with a high level of intensity. His shot wasn’t great tonight, but it was adequate to space the floor well, and he took advantage with some nice passes including a no-look to Brewer for a layup. He was responsible for three Hornets turnovers, made a couple great defensive stops, and drew several off-ball fouls as well. He wasn’t dominant in any facet of the game, but he was pretty good at everything.

Kenneth Faried, SF 29 MIN | 6-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 13 PTS | +17

Kenneth only committed three fouls this game, but two of them were terrible decisions. He also took two questionable jumpers with plenty of time on the shot clock. But his positives outweigh those negatives by a good margin. He was active defensively, disrupting drives and affecting shots. He was his usual energetic self rebounding, getting up high to take two potential rebounds away from Davis, and even running a one-man fast break off a Hornets miss.

Kosta Koufos, C 22 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +16

This was a quiet night for Kosta. His defense was solid, keeping Lopez out of the paint except on one misplayed drive. He mostly stayed out of the way on the offensive end, even on occasions where he was being guarded by a much smaller player.

Ty Lawson, PG 36 MIN | 6-14 FG | 8-8 FT | 0 REB | 13 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 21 PTS | +25

Ty started out looking a little tentative on both ends of the court, but that didn’t last long. Over the final three and a half quarters, he played an excellent game. He was getting to the rim, creating for others, drawing fouls, getting steals, and hit a huge buzzer-beating 3 to create some momentum going into the fourth quarter. Best of all, he took care of the ball, with no turnovers.

Andre Iguodala, SG 38 MIN | 10-14 FG | 2-3 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 24 PTS | +9

The Nuggets’ best defender held Eric Gordon to 0-2 shooting with four turnovers in the first half, and only nine points for the game. He also improved his shot selection from previous games, taking eight attempts at the rim (including two great dunks off of lobs) and five uncontested jump shots (not counting an end-of-quarter heave.) Only a couple of sloppy turnovers kept him from a perfect grade.

Corey Brewer, SF 24 MIN | 8-12 FG | 0-1 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 17 PTS | +2

Brewer hit some difficult shots to bail his teammates out during the first half. His gambling on defense paid off more often than not tonight, including a nice breakaway dunk. He did have two occasions where he got badly out of position, once on defense leading to a layup, and once on offense leading to a turnover, but this is fewer than his average number of mistakes.

Timofey Mozgov, C 11 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 0 PTS | -12

This was a truly awful game for Mozgov. He was responsible for three of the five offensive rebounds the Hornets grabbed tonight. The only rebound he managed to grab was off of a missed free throw. The Hornets came right at him when he was in the game and he didn’t rise to the challenge. Even when he caught the ball right under the rim, he couldn’t make a positive play, turning the ball over on a traveling violation.

Andre Miller, PG 23 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 6 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | +5

As has been the case in a few recent games, Andre Miller provided a hilarious “old man saving his energy” highlight when he hit a late three pointer and then walked off the court rather than playing five more seconds of defense. Surprisingly, he provided some good energy through most of the fourth quarter, helping turn a tight game into a solid win with a late layup, some nice passing, and a little bit of defense. These were all notably absent from his game in the first half, though.

Wilson Chandler, SG 21 MIN | 1-5 FG | 7-8 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | -11

Most of Chandler’s touches on offense were as the trailing man in fast break situations, which resulted in several trips to the free throw line. He didn’t get into any sort of offensive rhythm otherwise. Defensively, he caused a few missed shots, but combined with Mozgov to give up far too many offensive rebounds.

George Karl

Coach Karl played his best three players more minutes than usual tonight, realizing they’ll have plenty of time to rest before the next game. This was crucial in a game where he was missing a key bench player and the backup wasn’t producing. Still, I’m surprised Koufos played only 22 minutes, and more surprised Mozgov was allowed a full 11.

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Tom Darrow

Fourth generation Denver native, stay-at-home dad with a masters degree in applied mathematics, and all-around geek with a passion for Nuggets basketball.
  • Bazinga

    Really enjoyed seeing Iggy become aggresive on Offense. If he could keep this up for the rest of the year i love the chances for The Nuggets in the playoffs. Loved the offensive effieciency from the nuggets in the 4thquarter. although i saw Andre Miller get burned mutiple times on defense. Ouch. Overall loved the game tonight

    • Thomas

      Best player in this team is Faried. If our coach understood that, we could go all the way in the playoffs. Guy needs 35+ minutes per game to make a difference and learn the nuances of the game. He already doninates, despitevhis inexperience.

      Don’t understand the love and adoration for Gallo – from a purely basketball standoint it is not justified. Guy is good but not great.

      • Ryan

        You’re required to give Gallo an A+ on this site, otherwise GIANLUCA blows a gasket and trolls the page into oblivion…

        • Jacob

          He is not a troll, I found him on facebook. Haha.

      • Sam

        Sorry, but I’d give Faried maybe 4th best on the team behind Gallo, Iggy, and Ty. I love the guy and think he’s great for our team, but his game just isn’t polished yet.

      • Tonia01

        Faried is far from being our best player, he makes tons of defence mistakes (he basically cannot defend any good PF in the NBA yet). Gallo and Iggy are by far our best players, followed by Ty and Miller. Their IQ and technical skills and leadership are uncomparable with the Manimals raw basket.

        • Thomas

          Sorry, but Miller has a low basketball IQ. If it was high, he would have learned how to play D.

          By any metric, Faried is the best player on this team. Just the fact that he is a rebounding machine already makes him a much better defender than Gallo.

          Take Faried out of this team and we become a mediocre team. If you took Gallo out, we would still be very competitive as we have players who could fill those shoes.

          • John

            Sorry Thomas… not only is Faried not the best player, it is not even close. You can’t just look at the Efficiency stat and assume that means “best player” That stat is skewed towards bigs, unless you really believe that Varejao is the 3rd best player in the league…

            Faried definately has some great qualities, but he is not an offensive threat, a team leader, or a good defender… yet. I think he would be the perfect 6th man, even after he develops those traits, because he is always going to be undersized.

            Right now, he is somewhere between the 4th and 8th best Nugget. Gallo, AI, and Ty are easily the top 3, and personally I think it is an extremely close race between Wilson, Dre, JaVale, and Faried. Arguments could be made for each of them.

            Coincidentally ESPN goes AI, Ty, Gallo, Faried, JaVale, Wilson, and then Dre… all in the top 100 in the NBA. I would rank them by importance to the team as Gallo/AI(tie), Ty, Dre, Faried, Wilson then JaVale but that is just me.

            • John

              … and we wouldn’t need to take Faried out…. he is basically “out” every time we play teams with stretch 4s. You may as well bench him, because his desire to rebound means he is gonna leave his man wide open for most of the game.

  • Ban Johnson

    How electric was that Corey Brewer stretch of dunks in the 2nd quarter? The great thing about Brewer is he tends to come up big just when the Nuggets need him to. It’s an intangible thing, but it’s true. He’s a winner.

    Overall, a really decisive win over a decent team. Koufos, WC, and Mozgov weren’t terrific tonight, but everyone else looks great. Gallinari, Lawson, Iguodala, and Faried are playing with great confidence and chemistry. Those are your big 4.

    Say what you will about George Karl, but he has brought the team to this place, where they’re playing confidently, unselfishly, and well most of the 48 minutes. Let’s hope it translates to the road. And let’s hope McGee can fit in seamlessly.

    • Andrew K

      I will say what I will about him: he has been responsible for playoff appearances every year since 2003. His coaching style is effective, and this could be the very team that makes sparks fly with it.

  • googergieger

    Welp, since no one likes the negativity when we win. Lots of guys had good games tonight. Glad to see. Although I’m not a fan of Karl’s rotations most of the time, tonight included, I’m glad he has decided to always have at least Gallo or Iguodala on the floor. Or at least it seems he is deciding to do that. Next game we’re rested up playing against a rested up Bucks. Winnable game. Hope we decide to play for four quarters and try some on defense. Also hope Faried is okay. I’m guessing he is as he played in the second half and looked great, but that tweak to the ankle looked a bit bad.

  • doktarr

    A+ to Miller for dropping the mic.

  • Bobby

    I realize Masai won’t let Mozzy leave for nothing in the summer, so I expect him to be traded. But I really want to see what this team is capable of. I think any 3 of Brewer, Gallo, AI, Chandler, and Manimal with a pg and a center will just wear out anyone. Our length and athleticism is unparalleled and I want to see it to the end. Its possible to catch up on the clippers if we keep this up.

  • http://www.espn.com Chris

    Mosgov was horible when is Magee coming back, and Koufos was stinking it up to.

    • John

      He’ll be back right after you learn to spell Mozgov and McGee. Just yankin’ yer chain, Chris. lol

  • CJP32

    Thankgod for CBrew, his 11 pts in the 2nd qtr was the difference (including 3 dunks). Iggy played great offensively and Gallo did a bit of everything.

    Denver is so much better when Ty distributes the ball – 13 assists.

    Chandler is still rusty but he can knock down his FTs – 7/8

    Mozzy – WTF, just 1 reb in 11 mins??

    The great home stand is almost complete and we did pretty well.

  • theSoc

    Good win. Played well against big team with our 6’11+ players playing just 33 minutes combined

  • Cephus

    For the most part, we’re squashing the gnats of the league satisfactorily. I remember all too well, our larvae/ pupae years. This is turning out to be the deepest & consistent Denver teams 1-8 in terms of collection of raw talent since dare I say 93-94 ? Some nascent but not bona-fide stars. A.I.’s resume is rooted in the East Coast & therefore open to some question.

    • Andrew K

      He is creating quite a nice one with the Nuggets now.

      • Ryan

        Kinda depends… when he’s stand-around-and-chuck-horrible-3s Iggy, not so much. When he’s attack-the-rim-with-authority Iggy, like tonight, he’s awesome

        • Sam

          He’s an incredible defensive player. To me that makes up for his offensive decision making. If he could clean that up a little bit or even get back to his averages (remember has has been slumping) we’ll be even more dangerous.

  • Ackdog

    Good win. Even though Gallo wasn’t as dominant as he has been he shot the ball 18 times. That’s very important to the make-up of this team. That’s what stars do. I hope he has finally turned that corner to Stardom!

    • Thomas

      Stardom? Not a chance.

  • AaronCAPS

    Hey guys idk if you play NBA2K13 but if you do go to association then put the date for today, & look at al the upcoming free agents or just find a list online somewhere lol. Just looking at how many players that would fit us perfectly is crazyly awesome man. Maybe we shouldn’t even so a little trade this year before the deadline & just wait for free agency to happen? Any thoughts?

    • Ackdog

      they will lose Nene’s 13million trade exception if they don’t use it this year.

      • John

        True… and the Nuggets seem to have a history of just letting TPEs expire.

  • zorba

    good win with a good performance of the team.
    Few turnovers and good perimeter shooting make the difference…
    Huge Ty (13 ast 0 turnovers)

  • Erlingur

    What I’ve noticed over the last few weeks is how much more composed they are on the floor than in November/December. Every rotation player knows their spots on the floor (for the most part) and there’s an offensive leadership trio emerging in Gallo, Lawson and Iguodala, where each of them is likely to have a huge game every night, and where each one is ready to pick up the other’s slack. Their team defense is also improving, which can be best seen by the fact that they now have only the 13th worst 3pt% defense in the league, as opposed to dead worst last season, even though a clever team is still likely to expose their switching scheme to its advantage.

  • http://yahoo.com prospector

    Karl is driving me nuts. Faried only played 4 minutes in the 4th qtr.. Are you kidding me?? KK only had 11 mins???
    He left MOZZY/CHANDLER on the court far too long. They were -11, and -12.. Things i learned: Mozzys hands are made of stone.. Everytime the ball bounces off his hands I cringe.. Chandler 1 good game every 5 or 6… Always looks to score..NEVER looks to pass….
    Gallo: I love his game.. Unselfish.. Always looking to pass inside to the bigs.. hustle.. KARL play this kid 40 every night..
    Don’t get excited about beating New Orleans.. They are a marginal team at best.. Beating them is like kissing your girlfriend for the 100th time…
    Big test coming up is CHICAGO… We win hands down if Faried plays 35 mins plus, and KK/McGEE play 40 mins, and GALLO 40 mins… But you know what? They won’t.. And the game will turn out differently than it should….
    The scorer formally known as JHAM is still banished in Siberia getting get well cards from JR SMITH…

    Watching this team under coach Karl is like being married to a super hot chick that is frigid.. All the parts and pieces are there, but you can’t use or see them. And that my friends is very very frustrating!!!!

    • Ckwizard

      Prospector did your horse die? I kid a little, but for real do you think that the Bulls are a true test? The Nuggets are better than the Bulls at every position two deep with Rose out. The Bulls are a small team one of the smallest in the NBA. The Bulls have a good Coach but beyond that The Nuggets with their rotations even the ones you don’t like are a proablem for the Bulls. Nuggets bigs have one problem that prevents them from being great and that is their post games. Their lack of a post game is partly talent and mostly system or coaching though. The Nuggets might lose to the Bulls but matchup wise the Bulls are not a test of anything other than playing against a team that overachievers because they have a good coach.

      • http://yahoo.com prospector

        I just wanted to see how we would bang with their BIGS.. But I hear Noah and Boozer are banged up w/no rose.. So this may not even be a quiz…

  • http://yahoo.com prospector
  • Tonia01

    I have the clear feeling the something really clicked in this team. I am still quite critical on the way Karl makes this team playing and his rotations (he almost let NO coming back between the third and the fourth quarter), however the players seem very united and as Erlingur said very well, the trio Gallo Iggy TY seem gluing very well now and leading the game together. The bench with Chandler Miller and especially Brewer always gives energy. If only we were a bit better in the PF and Center positions…..

    • John

      It seem so… Ty even waited on Iggy doing a post game interview to walk off together. Do I hear a Bromance…

  • NuggDr

    Iguodala is showin you fools that he is a baller! Everyone that wanted to trade him should read about his defensive stats http://www.denverstiffs.com/2013/2/2/3931362/andre-iguodala-overpaid-defensive-specialist


    • Jeremiah

      Josh Smith? The player who’s favourite shot is the long 2? Josh Smith is a black hole who wants the ball then chucks up the lowest percentage shot in the game, time and time again. Why in the world would we want him?

  • Andrew K

    I would not trade anyone on the Nuggets….only in the case where it’s Mozgov for some 3 point shooting role player. No one with an ego, who is going to stunt the sensitive mindsets of Gallinari and Lawson.

    • Zorba

      Right! Also, If anyone on the team scored more than 30 pts per game I would say we are on the wrong way… Just look at the Lakers…

  • Dubz

    Things are really clicking for this team right now. About a month ago I predicted that Iguodala’s offensive production with dramatically improve with the improvement of our teams overall 3 point shooting. His entire game starts from driving the lane like a bat out of hell, then he crafts his jump shot around it. When the Nuggets couldn’t hit a 3 to save their lives (first half of the season), this allowed teams to crowd the paint. Now we have guys hitting 3’s, (Gallo, Ty, Brewer, Chandler) this allows more spacing in the lane for Iggy to maneuver. He will be an essential piece moving forward. I’m glad he’s starting to play better on Offense, for his D is always world class.

    Also, Chandler is going to have his ups and downs. He’s barely played NBA ball in 2 seasons, it’s going to take a bit of time for him to get his rhythm back offensively. At least he’s still a solid contributor on D. I think he’s done a good job at filling in for Faried at the 4, which allows Gallo to stay more at the 3 which is his true position. I’m also very encouraged by the play of Ty. He’s no longer the efficient PG who’d seemingly shoot 50% on a nightly basis, but his production speaks for itself none the less.

    • googergieger

      That’s because Ty isn’t getting a lot of calls he should be getting. Dude is getting hit a lot when he drives and only sometimes is it called. Still I’m glad that it isn’t stopping him from attacking or shooting when he’s open.

  • http://www.espn.com Chris

    I would be ok with paul peirce he might put us over the top, so trade Chandler, and Mosgov and the first round pick.

  • googergieger

    At this point in their careers, what Chandler brings to the table is a lot more than what Pierce can bring to the table. Chandler, Mozgov, and JHam could probably get us a lot more than Pierce. Heck even though I am not that big a fan of Josh Smith for his shot selection, attitude, and more than likely the over paid contract it’d take to get him, I’d rather have him than Pierce at this point in their careers.