|Danilo Gallinari, SF 22 MIN | 2-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | -4
Gallo was, well…there. I am going to chalk this one up to coming back from the injury and not being 100 percent but if he was there were worrisome signs for Nuggets fans. Gallo created no offense and only made his two shots after teammates found him wide open. When he did try to create he took seven or eight dribbles in the same spot before launching a pull back jumper that missed. Then he got blown past by Kevin Durant to tie the game late. Again I am assuming it was all because of the injury, and the Nuggets should hope that was the case.
|Kenneth Faried, SF 18 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | -11
As is the case with Faried the first couple minutes of the game set the tone for the rest of it. And in the first two minutes of the game Faried was benched for the rest of the first quarter and his night never really recovered. He had a nice moment or two but also got away with a goaltend and missed an alley-oop after a pretty good pass. Add in bad night with rotations and it just wasn’t one of the Manimal’s finest performances.
|Kosta Koufos, C 24 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-2 FT | 13 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 3 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | -8
I said on Twitter during the game that out of all the Nuggets bigs Koufos may be the most important against OKC. His defensive rotations are normally good and his rebounding tonight was great. But he missed a couple bunnies like normal and struggled late in the game as the Thunder started their comeback.
|Ty Lawson, PG 36 MIN | 5-14 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 7 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 11 PTS | -1
It wasn’t a great night for Lawson but he made the big play that he needed to and it greatly improved his grade. In a final offensive possession that the Thunder defended really well Lawson stepped up and made a tough shot. It was an important thing for someone who had struggled early this year with decision making and shot selection in late game situations.
|Andre Iguodala, SG 37 MIN | 2-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 5 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 4 PTS | -5
Yet again the offensive numbers were bad, seven missed shots, four missed three pointers and no free throws are not what the Nuggets expected from Iggy. Except tonight at times his defense wasn’t normal Iggy defense either. But late in the fourth he made a couple plays on the defensive end including stripping Kevin Durant and he also came up with a big rebound for the Nuggets. An ugly game in the boxscore but an effective one when everything is considered.
|Corey Brewer, SF 25 MIN | 7-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 5 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 14 PTS | +6
Brewer was fantastic. Only two three point attempts is the biggest thing as Brewer attacked the basket relentlessly and when the Thunder adjusted to take it away he pulled up and knocked down midrange shots. Add in 5 steals, and better than normal on ball defense and Brewer is one of the main reasons Denver walked away with a W.
|JaVale McGee, C 16 MIN | 3-6 FG | 2-3 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | +2
There was the bad JaVale, two sweeping hooks and an airballed dunk, but good JaVale showed up much more tonight. On defense he was active, including swatting Kevin Durant into the front row, and on the offensive end he helped keep a few possessions alive with tip outs on offensive rebounds. All in all a very effective 16 minutes for McGee, in fact I thought he should have been closing the game.
|Andre Miller, PG 27 MIN | 5-12 FG | 4-4 FT | 6 REB | 7 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 14 PTS | +13
The offensive numbers look good and Miller had a big layup late in the fourth quarter but again the game is played on two ends of the court and Miller almost cost the Nuggets the game. He got repeatedly torched on the defensive end by just about everyone. At one point he failed to even raise a hand on a Westbrook jumper, on another he let Reggie Jackson walk by him just grabbed him and sent him to the line, and on another late in the game he was switched onto Serge Ibaka and didn’t even pretend to rebound a ball that Ibaka got. Add in some forced drive late in the game and the shine of the numbers aren’t as impressive.
|Wilson Chandler, SG 36 MIN | 13-19 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 35 PTS | +18
The Nuggets lose this game without Chandler. He stretched the floor, attacked the basket and played great defense for possessions on Durant. While Chandler won’t play this way every night if he can give half of this production and shooting to the Nuggets off the bench on a nightly basis they become a much more dangerous team.
I was fully prepared to give Karl and A+ for this game until the final 5 minutes. He pulled starters when they weren’t effective in the first and third quarters and went to his bench to stay ahead in an important game. But then Karl closed with curious lineups and all of them included Andre Miller who was clearly ineffective. First Karl went to Koufos who almost never plays in the fourth, before going so small he had no real power forward even on the floor. It was curious, especially since Brewer was so much better than Miller on the night. Also why have Gallo on Durant when he is clearly getting the ball? Isn’t that what the Nuggets got Andre Iguodala for? Just curious decisions all around.
Two Things We Saw
- This was big: The Nuggets won and the Grizzlies lost bringing them a game closer so this game was very important. The Nuggets need to take advantage of all the opportunities they can when the Grizzlies lose, and to beat a top team in the West to do it is huge.
- Don’t overreact: Obviously the win was great. The game came down to the wire and the Nuggets pulled it out over the defending Western Conference champions. But the Nuggets aren’t getting 49 points from Chandler and Brewer again, and the fact that Lawson, Gallo and Iggy struggled has to be looked at. Especially Lawson who, despite the game winner, hasn’t played a great game against the Thunder all year.
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