|Danilo Gallinari, SF 28 MIN | 2-7 FG | 5-5 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | +22
Gallo didn’t get a lot of touches tonight, but he did something positive almost every time he touched the ball. He was solid on defense and especially on the defensive glass. After one particularly strong rebound he threw a great full-court pass to a leaking Brewer that started the 16-2 run to put the game away. He found several other teammates in easy position to score, as evidenced by his team high six assists. The only negative was his inability to finish in the paint.
|Kenneth Faried, SF 25 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 11 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | +13
Faried’s rebounding was great most of this game, but two runouts from near the free throw line allowed the Wolves to pick up long offensive rebounds in that area. His lone assist came on another great full-court pass to a leaking Brewer. His defense contributed both to Derrick Williams’ bad shooting night and Mickael Geleable’s good shooting night.
|Kosta Koufos, C 22 MIN | 4-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | +14
Yet another solid but unspectacular night for the Nuggets’ starting center. He made a couple of small mistakes like failing to adequately contest one Rubio layup and committing offensive basket interference. He also made a number of good under-the-radar plays, like setting a great screen to give Ty Lawson a wide open look at a three pointer.
|Ty Lawson, PG 34 MIN | 12-17 FG | 4-4 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 32 PTS | +21
Ty’s jumper was on the money tonight. He was also able to get by defenders and into the paint pretty regularly. When he looked to score, he was nearly unstoppable, dropping in twelve points in a four and a half minute stretch of the fourth quarter. The only reason he doesn’t score an A+ for tonight’s game is his four turnovers, including an offensive foul for a kickout (on a three pointer he made).
|Andre Iguodala, SG 32 MIN | 4-10 FG | 2-3 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 4 STL | 3 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | +10
Iguodala’s strength is his ability to keep the other team off the scoreboard, and he did so in a variety of ways tonight. He had one spectacular JaVale-type block and stripped a Wolves player after an offensive rebound as two of his combined seven blocks plus steals. He also had a highlight-reel dunk and took a lot of contact (with no call) on what should have been another.
|Anthony Randolph, PF 4 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +1
With his only offensive opportunity, Randolph chose to look for his own shot, and missed. He balanced it out by making a good defensive effort and coming up with a blocked shot.
|Jordan Hamilton, SF 4 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | 0
Hamilton had a clean look from three that he buried, and hit another long jumper. He tried to force the action a bit when he went to the rim against multiple defenders.
|Andre Miller, PG 22 MIN | 3-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 6 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | +15
I cringed when Andre attempted his only three pointer of the night. But I cheered three times as much when he was finding JaVale McGee above the rim, or throwing a great long-distance pass to a leaking Corey Brewer for an easy dunk. His “wily old man” game was on full display twice late in the game, when he got multiple defenders turned around with crossover moves on successive plays.
|Corey Brewer, SF 25 MIN | 7-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 15 PTS | +8
There was a little bit of bad Corey Brewer tonight: a pair of long, contested two shots with plenty of time on the clock, missed threes, a missed free throw, a bad bailout foul, and a defensive possession where he simply stepped aside and let his man drive unimpeded to the rim. But there was much more good Corey Brewer: energetic, chaos-bringing, beating the defense upcourt and catching all those long passes mentioned elsewhere in these grades.
|Timofey Mozgov, C 6 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | +1
Coming in early to replace an ineffective JaVale McGee, Mozgov put on an equally terrible performance. He made one positive play, blocking a shot by Gelebale, and then committed a lazy foul and fumbled the ball into Barea’s hands. He did nothing else of note when he returned late in the game.
|JaVale McGee, C 12 MIN | 4-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 8 PTS | -8
In the first half, JaVale earned a D- with play so bad that Timofey Mozgov got some early playing time. In the second half, he earned a B+ for a much better, but still uneven, performance. His steal on Rubio that he took the other way for a dunk was incredible, but his attempted behind the back pass into three defenders was the other kind of incredible.
|Evan Fournier, SG 4 MIN | 0-1 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +1
In his few minutes on the court, Fourner twice got the best of J.J. Barea, forcing a missed layup and drawing a foul.
|Wilson Chandler, SG 21 MIN | 2-5 FG | 2-4 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 7 PTS | +17
This was a frustrating outing for Wilson Chandler. He got whistled for seemingly every kind of foul possible, often within seconds of checking into the game. He played tentatively on defense and never seemed to find a rhythm on offense.
I was really pleased with Karl’s quick benching of McGee, and then Mozgov, after both came out looking awful in the first quarter. He also seemed to make the right adjustments coming out of halftime. His well-earned technical foul late in the third quarter seemed to bring the team to life, and they closed the door on the Wolves’ mini-rally shortly thereafter.
One Thing We Saw
- Home Sweet Home: the Nuggets are again tied with the Miami Heat for the best home record in the league at 28-3. The Nuggets are within 1.5 games of Memphis, and would earn homecourt in the first round of the playoffs by passing them.
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