|Danilo Gallinari, SF 49 MIN | 7-20 FG | 2-3 FT | 10 REB | 3 AST | 3 STL | 2 BLK | 4 TO | 18 PTS | -12
Gallo’s shot was off for the majority of the game, and poor shot selection didn’t help matters. He had a couple of spectacular defensive stops on Pierce early in the game, and continued to make life difficult for whoever he was guarding. His rebounding was solid as well. Had his last three point attempt fallen, we might be talking about him as the player of the game.
|Kenneth Faried, SF 39 MIN | 5-10 FG | 4-7 FT | 12 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 14 PTS | -11
If you only read the box score, you might mistakenly believe the Manimal had a really good game. He was his usual energetic self rebounding and running the floor. But he was consistently lost on defense, rotating to the wrong guy or simply failing to contest shots. He also missed two critical free throws, committed several dumb fouls, and got called for a technical foul at a terrible time.
|Kosta Koufos, C 19 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | -9
Kosta was fairly solid in the first half of this game. He kept his guy out of the paint and made his shots when he was able to cleanly catch the ball. Despite his relative effectiveness, he didn’t play after halftime.
|Ty Lawson, PG 55 MIN | 13-22 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 9 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 29 PTS | -6
Ty started out playing tentatively, but as the game wore on his confidence grew. He hit several big shots throughout the game, including a clutch jumper to give the Nuggets a three point lead late in the second overtime. He also did a good job setting up teammates for most of the night. Unfortunately, he became a non-factor as fatigue set in late.
|Andre Iguodala, SG 20 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | -8
Iggy left the game around halftime with an apparent neck injury (right cervical strain). In retrospect, it seems likely he was playing in considerable pain in the first half. His usually strong defense was instead nonexistent. He seemed to be trying to avoid contact, preferring to pass to Koufos in traffic rather than taking the ball up strong in the paint. The team performed much better with Brewer in the game.
|Corey Brewer, SF 28 MIN | 5-15 FG | 3-5 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | +7
During the first half of the game, Brewer seemed to have Boston’s defense figured out, and he was able to get to the rim a few times in the halfcourt as well as on the break. His chaos-causing defense played a big part in keeping the game close, and just before halftime he saved the ball right to Koufos to cut the Celtics lead to four. Unfortunately, he missed a few shots at the rim and then fell in love with his jumper a bit in the second half.
|JaVale McGee, C 32 MIN | 2-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 16 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | +9
JaVale seemed to be the antidote for what was ailing the Nuggets for a lot of this game. He erased a bunch of points at the rim, and the rest of the defense seemed to tighten up as a result. He struggled in overtime, taking a couple of bad shots, rotating slowly on Jeff Green’s tying three pointer, and simply failing to contest Kevin Garnett’s midrange jump shots.
|Andre Miller, PG 40 MIN | 7-18 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 5 TO | 15 PTS | +6
Andre Miller had one really good play, getting in position to rebound a missed free throw, which gave the Nuggets the possession they needed to tie the game. He also made several bad passes and didn’t contest some of the most important Celtics shots of the game. Finally, he twice tried to make go-ahead three pointers that were nowhere close to going in, rather than finding a better shot.
|Wilson Chandler, SG 33 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | +4
Ill Wil played some phenomenal defense during two of the Nuggets’ biggest runs this game. He negated this somewhat by taking some ugly shots, including a point blank miss that he managed to catch on the other side of the hoop.
Coach Karl made two good decisions tonight: he called a timeout early in the game after the team came out unprepared, and he played JaVale McGee a lot of minutes down the stretch. He also gave the two point guard lineup far too many minutes, left a much smaller player trying to guard Kevin Garnett for much of the second quarter, didn’t make appropriate defensive substitutions (such as putting a player on Paul Pierce who’s tall enough to contest his shot), and didn’t choose to intentionally foul during two circumstances when the Celtics needed a three pointer to tie the game. It’s the coach’s responsibility to prepare his team to play and to put them in the best position to succeed, but neither of those things happened tonight.
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