Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 108, Phoenix Suns 93

Denver Nuggets 108 Final

Recap | Box Score

93 Phoenix Suns
Danilo Gallinari, SF 30 MIN | 1-8 FG | 3-3 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | +10

As Joel tweeted during the game, Gallo’s scoring average has decreased from 19 points per game in January, to 16 in February and now 13.6 in March. He’s been injured, but you have to wonder just how much that is affecting his play. If he’s in more pain than he’s leading us to believe, it’s probably best he sits a few more games so that he’s ready to play when the playoffs arrive.

Kenneth Faried, SF 20 MIN | 4-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | +3

Faried was frenetic in every sense of the word. He had a nice, solid game but was almost too wild for his own good at times, letting routine rebounds slip through his hands more than once. Nevertheless, he made up for it with his hustle which is always admirable.

Kosta Koufos, C 26 MIN | 10-11 FG | 2-3 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 22 PTS | +10

Koufos’ best game as a Nugget? You tell me. I’ve said forever that as long as he puts himself in the proper position on the floor to make a play, things will fall into place. That’s exactly what he did tonight. He was constantly moving into open space and cutting towards the basket at the right time for a tip-back or alley-oop. He also did a great job on the boards and made excellent, calculated decisions all night. This was a new career high in points scored for Koufos, beating his old career high by one.

Ty Lawson, PG 36 MIN | 8-13 FG | 2-4 FT | 2 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 19 PTS | +17

This is how far Lawson has come: He didn’t score a point in the first half yet finished one shy of 20 on the night. He’s getting to the point where he knows when and where to really turn it on — and for his competition, that’s a scary thing. It’s worth noting that his last three points came from a desperation heave just inside half court as time was expiring in the waning seconds of the game.

Andre Iguodala, SG 30 MIN | 2-6 FG | 2-3 FT | 3 REB | 7 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | +11

Nights like these tend to subdue Iguodala’s main strengths. He didn’t have a premier counterpart to try and shut down and wasn’t hitting his shots, therefore he tended to blend in. Still, he finished with a respectable stat line considering just how easy the Nuggets coasted to the win in the second half.

Corey Brewer, SF 26 MIN | 7-16 FG | 4-6 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 20 PTS | +7

Twenty points in 26 minutes from a bench player is nothing to scoff at. Brewer can be wildly inconsistent but continues to score well into double digits on a regular basis. Against the Suns he spent most of his time out on the break and cutting to the basket, which are by far his biggest strengths, offensively speaking.

JaVale McGee, C 18 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-1 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | +1

His stats do not tell the story; not in any way. McGee was unbelievably bad tonight. For those who claim I’m a McGee hater, please, spare me. I love this kid. Just like J.R. Smith, I think it’s ridiculous Karl plays games with his head. You should either have faith in a guy and let him do his thing or not play him at all if he’s really that bad. McGee deserves more minutes and freedom but on nights like these I can at least understand where Karl is coming from. McGee was doing almost nothing to help his team. He was constantly out of position, late on his rotations (sometimes not even rotating at all), falling for every pump fake that came his way and even fouling away from the ball on multiple occasions. He had a monster dunk — WHEN DOES HE NOT?!? The fact is: McGee needs to take his destiny into his own hands and start playing smarter, more fundamental basketball. Karl deserves blame for not helping him with this, but McGee is still a grown ass man. It’s time to put Shaqtin’ a Fool in his rear view mirror.

Andre Miller, PG 27 MIN | 3-7 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | +12

Miller was pretty inconsistent. He had a few nice dimes and drives to the rack but also had a couple of boneheaded turnovers. He also played spotty defense for most of the night. On one possession he didn’t even try to close out. He just stood there. Staring at his man. With his hands by his side.

Wilson Chandler, SG 27 MIN | 5-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 11 PTS | +4

Chandler didn’t have a potent night offensively but was still efficient, which is what matters most. The best part of his performance was that instead of hoisting up bad shots he made himself useful by hitting the glass and playing solid defense. That’s really all you can ask from anybody who’s not feeling it on a given night in the NBA.

George Karl

The Nuggets played sloppy, unorganized, unprepared basketball in the first half but clearly refocused at halftime and came out with a vengeance. Karl deserves credit for this. In the end, his team won by 15 on the road against a team who’s had some quality wins as of late. That’s about as good as it gets.

Three Things We Saw

  1. Don’t get Knicked: The Nuggets are tied for their longest winning streak all year. Defeating the Knicks on Wednesday would mean 10 straight wins. Of course, beating the Knicks means much more than that, but beating the Knicks and getting to 10 straights wins on the same night would likely mean a lot to everyone on the Nuggets roster, including George Karl.
  2. 55-plus centered: The Nuggets have 43 wins at the moment. There are 17 games remaining on the schedule, so cracking 50 wins seems inevitable at this point. The real question is, how far past 50 can they get? The Nuggets play the Knicks and Grizzlies at home, followed by the Bulls and Thunder on the road, but after that their schedule eases up tremendously. If the Nuggets keep playing at this level, breaking the team’s all-time single season record for wins is certainly within the realm of possibility.
  3. Dunk till the death: As I mentioned on Twitter, JaVale McGee and DeAndre Jordan should enter a dunk-off together. Each gets the opportunity to dunk on the other until someone ceases to remain alive. At that point, the contest would conclude and a winner would be crowned. Let’s just hope it’s McGee.
  • Tom

    Kosta Koufos came to play tonight.

    • Markos

      KK was amazing!!

      • Thomas

        Aside from KK’ solid play and a good road win (despite the weak opposition), the only thing to note yesterday was that Miller played 27 minutes and Brewer jacked 16 shots in the game, a team high. If this continues in the playoffs, our chances are about the same as last year.

        • Charliemyboy

          Can you answer why Miller got those minutes? Why Brewer did what he did? There are reasons if you look close.

        • Thomas

          Coach favoritism.

    • Trip

      I am glad that KK had a great night, I am a big critic of his and I like when he shuts me up and helps the team win. With that being said, lets hope he can bring some of this to future games. This team could be scary.

      • Charliemyboy

        Maybe against Memphis we can use KK and JVM at the
        Same time. Against NY, if they miss their 3’s we might kill them. Did you see what happend to them against GS?

  • CJP32

    CBrew has been playing well lately – that was his 7th 20 point game of the season (Denver are 7-0), he has scored in double figures in 42 games and led the bench in scoring 26 times now??

    KK was great in the 1st half. Ty finished up well. Gallo vanished.

    I think come Playoff time, we will see less Faried and more WC.

    9 game winning streak with a big game on Wednesday.

    • Dubz

      Despite how well he’s been playing as of late, I’d bet we see more of Chandler at the expense of Brewer rather than Faried. It obviously depends on the matchup and how well each guy is playing in a given game, but that is my prediction. I’m one of the few on this site who believe Chandler has done a very good job at filling in as our backup PF even though he’s more of a SF. (but certainly has the ability to play PF as a “stretch 4″) However, we seemed destined to play Memphis at the moment and Randolph would be a tough matchup for Chandler due to his sheer power. I think Faried matches up better against Randolph but I’m sure Karl will tinker his lineup on a night to night basis. Anyway, rebounding and smart defense are so important in the playoffs. Faried is a good rebounder despite his deficiencies on D. This team will need him come the playoffs and I remember his stepping up his game in the Lakers series last year. Wouldn’t be surprised to see it happen again.

  • heykyleinsf

    Lookout.. we got game from our bigs!!

    Both K2 and Javale were solid.

    NICE!

  • Tom2

    I know Brewer had a decent game, but it’s a crime to me when he receives more minutes than Faried. He’s also a terrible shooter and yet can’t stop himself from shooting.

    Anyway, good game. JR got a flagrant-2 tonight, so he might miss the game on Wednesday, and Melo doesn’t look right, so the Nuggets should be in good shape to win that game.

    • mile high

      Why so negative vs. Brew? The dude’s overachieving. Is that bad?

      • Tom2

        He’s actually underachieved for his career, considering he was a high lottery pick. Why negative? He shouldn’t be taking so many jump shots, not when he’s shooting under 30% on shots over 10ft from the basket. He’s a good finisher, though, so he should stick to what he’s good at and stop shooting.

        • Charliemyboy

          I don’t agree; CB is the only one courageous enough to attack; he continuously improves and has incredible balance and hands.

      • Tom2

        The other thing that bothers me is he has the highest usage rate among the rotation players, and yet he also has the worst TS% and eFG%. Combine that with the fact that he has the worst plus/minus numbers, and you have a player that should be the last option on offense and should be getting the least minutes in the rotation. Sure, reward him when he has a good game, but he gets rewarded too often on bad games as well.

        • kg

          Brewer shooters better than Faried from the outside, plus he runs the the floor better than anyone else on the bench. Also long arms and lots of running on D. I like the fact that when manimal is not scoring we have other players that run, and brewer is quick to get up the court.

          Brewer also exemplifies pretty much everything Karl wants coming off the bench. I agree that he is more likely to loose minutes to wilson chandler than Faried.

          • Thomas

            Brewer’s greatest strength is coming off the bench and changing the momentum of a game.

            It’s a mistake to play him 20+ minutes regularly and have him as a volume shooter – not a sustainable recipe.

            • Charliemyboy

              If he’s been doing that why have we won 9 in a row!

              • Thomas

                Talking playoff chances.

                Brewer gets open looks because defenses don’t consider him a threat. Come playoff time, it will be much harder for him to make those shots – hopefully he won’t take them.

                Great player, incredible effort. It’s just not a sound strategy to get him out of his “competence range”.

        • dynamo.joe

          Actually, Brewere missed all his shots in the paint tonight. Well, 7 anyway.

        • Evan S

          I’m surprised by his numbers too because when you watch the game you don’t really notice him shooting much because most of his shots come off the fast break. Quit looking into stats so much, we want Corey Brewer leaking out and scoring in transition.

  • Aj

    I agree with Tom2, I like Brewer’s game, he plays hard, gets his hands in the passing lanes, runs the floor, and is a great backdoor cutter. But he just shoots the ball way too much, 7/16 tonight, which was the most shots on the team tonight (Lawson was second with 13), and he is far from the team’s best shooter.

    Lawson didn’t have a great game tonight, but he was solid and continues to be aggressive and force the action. When he’s being aggressive off the dribble, Lawson is unstoppable.

    And what can you say about K2, just a fundamentally sound basketball player that works hard, and tonight it paid off in a big way.

    • mile high

      We wouldn’t have won without his points…

    • CJP32

      Hmmm, Gallo was 1/8, Iggy was 2/6 and Miller was 3/7 but you are angry that CBrew shoots too much?

      The guy played determine to win. His shooting is actually ok lately, he has cut down his 3PT attempts this month and tonight he was hitting them. Without Brewers 20 points tonight, Im not sure Denver would have won this easily.

      Also, when CBrew shoots 14+ FGs, Denver are 12-3. His role in case you haven’t noticed is to come in and spark the offense/defense, thats why he shoots when he’s on the floor.

      • mike

        just because other guys have an off night (or mediocre) doesn’t justify brewer jacking up shots. It’s mostly when he does stuff like shoot longer 3s or worse contested 20 footers with 14+ seconds on the clock. He has a LOT of positive traits like getting hands on the ball, playing aggressive defense, superb finishing skills on the break, very good (and well timed) cuts in the half court when teammates are penetrating and his reverse flip layup at high speeds may be the best I have ever seen in basketball. He does a lot right, but any shot beyond 15 feet for him that Is NOT on a corner three should only be heaved (and that is the correct descriptive verb) only in the last 5 seconds of the shot clock.

        • CJP32

          Again, why be angry at the guy for doing what he is told to do? You think if GK didn’t want CB shooting the ball, he would play him 25 mpg? He’s obviously doing more good than bad, he does lead the bench in scoring, why go on about it?

          • dynamo.joe

            Because it’s bad basketball.

        • Charliemyboy

          When the starters are off it does justify CB shooting. That is what his job is and he always suprises me. Lovehis attitude and attack. He inspires his teammates.

  • Paul

    Had the privilege of going to the game tonight. Couldn’t believe Kosta had our first 13 points. Our perimeter defense was pretty bad, but we pulled it out. Let’s get our tenth straight against Melo (Who I am finally starting to forget about as this new Nugget team is starting to look more versatile/dangerous each game)

  • Tyler

    Koufos scored the first 13 points of the game for Denver… that should be all you need to give the guy an A+.

    • http://twitter.com/xantoniooo808x D3Ntilthe3ND

      That’s pretty ridiculous logic you got there. lol.

    • dynamo.joe

      But it is apparently not enough to get more than 3 minutes in the 2nd qtr.

      • Thomas

        Best comment by far!

  • theo

    Didn’t play that well tonight. Flat and sloppy performance in the first half. The Big Greek Bail Out kept us in the game early—who knew?

    Pretty poor shooting overall—missed at least 8 layups and point blank chippies combined in the first quarter alone and couldn’t make a 3 all night—and still blew PHX out on the road. Realize the Suns have nothing to play for now, but still, impressive win on a down night and in a potential trap game before some biggies.

    Want to begin voting for the ‘All Neanderthal’ NBA first team. Criteria? Guys that can really play and look like they prove the thesis that Neanderthal genes still shape us today. My first two guys on the list are Scola of the Suns and Pekovic from the Timberwolves.

    • OriginalJakeSauce

      Haha, you missed a Sun. Haddadi fits perfect. It’s not a wonder Neanderthal failed to persist when they were as slllllooooooooowwwwwwww footed as that mongoloid.

      • Charliemyboy

        Let’s watch our language.

        • Urinal Cake

          Uh oh, watch out JakeSauce, the PC Police are after you.

    • trank

      i don’t think looks should be the criteria for the all neanderthal team- just find out which players vote republican… there’s your neanderthal team.

  • Zorba

    I’ve always thought and said that any nugget player may carry the team on their back in particular situations and kk was the proof tonight. GK should give our bigs more time…

  • Tom2
    • EWilson

      The question is whether the league will continue to let them play that way in the playoffs when things tend to slow down and the refs tend to make it all about the superstars. One can only hope they do, but I suspect Denver will need multiple years of great success in this style to get the benefit of the doubt in the playoffs.

  • Dubz

    As a few people have mentioned, this was definitely a “trap” game. Therefor, I’m pleased with any kind of W on the road regardless the competition. There’s been this ongoing discussion on what Brewer’s role should look like on this team. I love that he’s able to take on a larger scoring role in a game like tonight’s where it was most certainly needed. My only concern is he’s not a very smart player and may continue to shoot more heading into the playoffs. In most lineups, he truly is the least efficient scorer the Nuggets have on the floor. He has tremendous energy and I love his game, but I just hope as we approach the playoffs that he’s able to settle into his 20 mins per game role. He’s been amazing thus far so I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt. I’m very pleased with this team and can hardly believe I’m saying this but GK is doing a very stand up job with this group of guys.

  • Nathan

    Keep the ball rolling boys. Season is almost over- would be nice to get home court for the first round.

  • AaronCAPS

    I think we’ll be better come playoff time. Mainly because 3 of our players play a hella lot better when their on national TV, Those being Faried, McGee & Chandler. Especially Faried. Its honestly pissing me off a little bit, they should be putting 110% effert everynight, I know its awesome to be on national TV but come on guys.

    About tonight’s game though, I’m pretty empressed again, we were playing awful in the first half yet we were still up by 3 & ended up winning by 15. Lawson was horrific & comepletely unnoticeable in the first half. Second half was wayyyy better in the second half, same with Faried. Koufos was unstoppable in the first half & a little bit of the same in the second, also his rebounding was above average along with his defense. McGee was really….I don’t know…Has the best dunk of the night but besides that he wasn’t to great. Brewer, had a pretty good night defensively & offensively, but the problem with Brewer is that he gambles of Defense WAYYY to much & takes a lot of unnecessary jump shot. Chandler & Gallo both played good defense but weren’t a factor on offends which were are gonna need in the playoffs from those two, Gallo is a top SF & Chandler is a top 15 SF. They both need to step it up soon or we might not be in good shape come playoff time. Iguodala was the same old along with miller, did some good plays, did some bad plays, what else cab ya say about them? George Karl didn’t prepare his team very well today but changed that at halftime thankfully.

    Go Nuggets!!!

  • Zack

    Solid game by the nugs, but I really would like to know what the coaching staff is trying with Mcgee. From interviews with teammates and others, I gather that outside of the game he is a very intelligent guy. However, on the court Mcgee consistently makes boneheaded, out of control plays, despite his tremendous athleticism. Perhaps he should be finding ways to focus himself, with the help of the coaching staff. Yoga perhaps? Would definitely help with body control…

  • Cephus

    I’ve been monitoring Javale with every game hoping he can start producing like the 2 games he gave us against the Lakers. It’s not happening. Nice to see KK step up against the lightweights. Not hating on Kosta because frankly my game was much like his at lower level.

    Being realistic however, I don’t see him doing this in playoffs and the 3 guard lineup ? Feh. Still it’s a joy, watching Ty’s game take the next step. The patience accorded him is paying off. When Felton was here I wondered if his savvy equaled Ty’s speed. Good thing I’m not the GM.

    • dynamo.joe

      Who is this center you think is outplaying K2 in the playoffs?

      Tiagio Splitter? I’d say that’s about even. Offense versus defense. Slight edge Splitter.
      Kendrik Perkins? K2 has eaten him alive this season.
      Deandre Jordan? Again, about even. Spectacular athlete versus superior fundamentals.
      Marc Gasol? About even, with K2 rebounds making up for Gasol’s playmaking.
      Bogut? A shadow of his former self.
      Asik? Similar players, but I’ll take K2.
      Al Jefferson? Advantage Koufos.
      Howard? He hasn’t really rounded in to form yet. So unless he improves considerably I wouldn’t lose any sleep over a Howard/Koufos matchup.
      JJ Hickson? Ok, advantage Hickson. I don’t know what changed, but he’s been really good this year.

      The good centers are all in the east Chandler/Noah/Sanders. The only guy better than Koufos in the west really is Hickson, and Portland doesn’t really have anything besides him and Batum and probably can’t make the cut anyhow. The only other team with a shot is Dallas. He will destroy Kaman.

      That only leaves the Birdman.

      In short, the center position isn’t the position you should be worried about, not even come playoff time.

      • magster

        Marc Gasol is way better than KK, and that’s no disrespect to KK.

        • Markos

          i dont agree at all. i think he is a bit more experienced but not way better than KK .. dont forget Gasol is 29 and Kosta just turned 24!

        • dynamo.joe

          Gasol is certainly a more polished offensive player, with more post moves and one of the best passing bigs.

          He is also trusted to orchestrate the Grizz attack, posting up or passing to open shooters. Memphis, at times runs its entire attack thru Gasol. That is a resposibility that Kosta has only had during a couple of blowouts last year, playing with Stone, Hamilton, etc. Even then he was a finisher, not a passer, but a lot of the offense went thru him.

          Koufos is a better defender and a much better rebounder. He is also more efficient on offense in spite of his abysmal FT%.

  • Stephen H

    You’ve never gave McGee a good grade so yes you do pick on and dislike him

  • theo

    Looking forward to Wednesday. If the Knicks were in the western conference they’d be struggling for a 6th seed. Nugs are the 2nd seed in the east by record even after playing in the much tougher western conference.

    Did some stats analysis a few years ago that revealed any western conference team since the late 90’s would have won 3 more games a year if they played in the east and any eastern team would have won 3 less games had they played in the west.

    Here’s the adjusted Nugs v. Knicks record for this year given the dramatic difference in conference quality had each team played in the other conference: Nugs 46-19 Knicks 35-28. It’s not even close. No wonder Melo ran with his tail between his legs east. Not about La La. About a chance to make the all star team every year and pretend to be a contender in the pathetic eastern conference.

  • Anthony

    most of the talk lately has been around home court Advan in the first round. some have been talking as high as third seed. It may be to early to start speculating, but here goes anyway.

    the way i see the rest of the season playing out is as follows
    1-SAS
    2-OKC
    3-LAC/ MEM / DEN
    4- LAC/ MEM/ DEN
    5- MEM/ DEN
    6- LAL
    7- HOU
    8-GSW
    our best spot is the 4th seed. i believe the only team we cant beat is OKC (i know we have already beaten them twice this season, once in OKC)
    with 4th seed we play MEM first round and should win. we would then most likely play SAS second round, tough i know but we have a much better chance with them then we do OKC.
    by getting the 3rd seed we would then most likely run into the LAL first round, and although they are nothing like anyone expected this year. they are playing some good basketball and no one wants to play Kobe or DH12 in the playoffs. if we did beat LAL in would then mean a meeting with OCK in the second round. not something i want to see.

    i understand that we would have to beat OKC at some point to advance but let it be in a conferance final where stanger things have happened.

    WE NEED THE 4TH SEED.

  • Cephus

    I have real mixed feelings about Carmelo. There’s no doubt how bad the team was before him. He plays thru injuries and watching him on the Olympic teams has been awesome the last two outings.

    The bad is that he plays half-hearted defense, tunes out coaches if their message doesn’t match his agenda of the moment. This sets the level for his teammates. Carmelo has a blackbelt in ball stoppery’. The worst is that he’s not a leader like Jordan. He loves the game, loves being the man.

    If you’re sick of losing, Carmelo can turn it around. Humpty teams are helpless against him & a half decent scheme. Playoffs is a whole other deal. By no means is he a bad guy- but he hasnt the whole tool set to be an NBA champion. As a New York hater I’m glad he’s theirs.

    Gallinari & Chandler buy into Karl’s system. We have a better chance of breaking through the playoff glass ceiling with those two. Go Nuggs. Like Theo said above. Can’t wait!

  • espresso

    Koufos was very good !!
    I agree, 4th seed is better than 3rd seed

  • the_thespian22

    IF/When The Nuggets string together two consistent halves of basketball in a game, they will be a dangerous team. They have all the pieces to make a serious run at the Western Conference crown but they are too damn inconsistent!!!!! They need to figure out the other team’s defensive strategy faster instead of waiting until halftime to solve the other team and outplay them. Against teams like the Thunder and the Spurs, you won’t have the luxury of playing lackadaisical in the first half then turning on the jets in the second half. Those teams will bury you early and never let go. So, once we figure out how to play a consistent 48 minutes a game, we will be an even more dangerous team. That said, a great win and an impressive winning streak

  • Giovanni

    I’m a fan of Nuggets thanks Joe Dumars and Darko Milicic…
    I’m a fan if Nuggets for Melo…

    Melo trade was a shock and a delusion for me..
    But we got Gallo and Chandler..

    He must left in free agency and imagine that team without those players..

    Melo had a bad attitude,etc etc..

    But the Nuggets are in the radar in the last decade because Anthony…

    Don’t forget…

    Use your brain and your heart not your stomach…

    Go Nugs..

  • Greco21

    Glad to see another great Kosta Koufos performance. Its hard to produce numbers playing the weak side. Concerning dynamo.joe comparing K2 to all the west side centers I believe that his point is that Koufos will not be a liability. He has a long way to go though especially in the play offs. As a rim protector I do not worry how he will face Perkins for example but he will handle a Westbrook or Parker penetration.

    The one that can school Koufos is Duncan. And that will be two really early fouls.

    Not much to comment about the game. Gallo was not that active but he has proven he can step up when needed…

    What Denver fans should worry about is Kenneth performance especially in defense. I thought he would have a break out commanding presence after the his all star appearence. On the contrary he has been bad on team and man to man defense. He misses rotations, he is foul prone etc… and his confidence with Wilson Chandler in the rotation seems to have dropped.

    • Thomas

      On Faried…it doesn’t help at all that he suddenly is seeing a drop in his minutes as GK’s new favorite player Chandler takes some of his time. That’s on GK and it’s a terrible decision, much like limiting Lawson’s minutes/effectiveness with Miller and the 2-PG tandem.

    • dynamo.joe

      Duncan is a concern, but I think he’s going to be Faried/Chandler’s concern. Maybe even Gallo’s.

  • Trip

    Is it just me, mixed with a little bias and a little dislike for the Clippers, but Jordan’s dunk was pretty nice, but I dont think it was play of the year. McGee had just as good a dunk last night, lets see if he gets any recognition today for it. Thats all Dan Patrick Show was talking about yesterday morning.

  • Aaron

    I don’t get the McGee hate, when he’s obviously not a leader yet. . he’s a follower, so when our team is playing lazy, guess what.

    It’s impossible to think we’ll play at such a high level against a horrible basketball team in Phoenix. This was a good win, and not one that we need to grade any individual performances from.

    Which reminds me. . Gallo’s numbers going down is just a function of Lawson’s going up. I think that’s the way it should be. Lawson’s taking over the team. Gallo is still huge for us, will be at the end of games, and will be to play defense against Memphis’s wing players.

  • EWilson

    The measure of how this team has grown can be seen in the last two road games against Sacramento and, now, Phoenix. Both were ‘trap’ games and in both, the team came out slow, and yet they won both games. In the past, even with warnings about letting down, the Nuggets would have let one or both these games get away.

    There is still work to do, of course. Veteran, tough-minded, teams (can anyone say, San Antonio) pound teams like Phoenix into submission in the first quarter in games like this, so they can rest their starters in the second half. Denver isn’t there yet. But, they definitely have grown this season.

  • newsman35

    faried’s sky high rebound in the second half turned the game around. then his monster oop ignited the team. I think a 9 and 10 night is worthy of more than a C+. Just sayin…

  • http://yahoo.com prospector

    KK had a career game and what was his reward??? 26 minutes…. Faried was starting to feel it in the 3rd qtr.. He had 8 points, and was blocking shots and rebounding.. What was his reward? 20 mins and ZERO minutes in the fourth qtr….. FARIED/KK/MCgee 64 combined minutes out of a possible 144 minutes… How is that even possible??? Miller and Brewer played 53 minutes (with Miller having a subpar game as well)..

    So what is the message KARL is sending? If you are a BIG on a KARL team, you can be playing the best game of your career and you’ll still receive less minutes than grandpa no defense playing Andre MILLER….

    And why the hell was Miller handling the ball for the last shot at the end of the 3rd qtr????? How successful has he been in that situation this season?? Not very…. The fact that we are winning is making KARL swell with pride… He thinks his SMALL ball crap is the key to our playoff success… Well it’s not… Yo KARL when your bigs are playing the butts off please reward them with at least 35 minutes… MASAI you better get rid of MILLER and BREWER this off season if you are going to keep KARL as coach…. You must force KARL’s HAND, and male him use his bigs more… AND give BREWER’S role to CHANDLER…. KARL STILL SUCKS

    • Thomas

      Couldn’t agree more on all counts.

      Having a great record is nice but really doesn’t do us any good unless we can make headway in the playoffs. GK has shown throughout his years with us that he is a creature of habit, he will stick to his beliefs no matter what the outcome is – as long as it gets him closer to the all-time regular season win record.

      We have Lawson playing at a level when good things can happen in the playoffs. We also need Faried to get to a high level if we are to have any chance again OKC, Memphis or SAS. Wilson Chandler, Miller and Brewer are not going to win us a 7-game series against those guys – Lawson and Faried could.

      • http://yahoo.com prospector

        Thomas, I agree..

        For fans of MILLER/BREWER/CHANDLER, it’s not so much that we dislike any of those three, we just don’t agree with how KARL is using them… That’s the problem with KARL.. SO as a GM you must remove the coach’s crutches.. (see the movie MONEYBALL for a textbook example of this).. Us so called “haters” just want to see us go big more to get us ready for the playoffs.. This small ball crap will not cut it…. Why the hell do we have KK, FARIED, McGEE, MOZZY, and RANDOLPH when we are only going to give 64 minutes of total time to the entire group? 42% of our entire team getting only 64 minutes against a crappy team… That is insane..

  • Ckwizard

    So I get off work after the game is over and then watch the game and finish just in time to see the grades and read a few of the comments. I was confused as I see a very bad review for McGee and a few gripes about Brewer and decided not to post as I had today off and would rewatching the game to see if I was losing my mind. Now people that have taken the time to follow discussions on this board over the course of this year should know that I am a supporter of KK over McGee as the starter and that I view Brewer as a liability most of the time but…. McGee and Brewer had decent games this game. Specifically Brewer played well at both ends of the court and gets lots of shots as a result of moving without the basketball and actually shot well from outside the paint this game, he made two three pointers and I believe was one of two on other jump shots, he did however miss a few shots at the rim…. McGee however made some silly mistakes as pointed out like trying to lead the break with his awesome ball handling skills or being a little over aggressive on a box out, however McGee WAS BOXING OUT ON DEFENSIVE REBOUNDS this is an improvement as it allows his teammates to get rebounds because he performed fundamentally. McGee was out of position a few times yes but over all this game was an improvement over the McGee at the beginning of the year because there is obviously a conscious effort on McGee’s part to put a body on some one and box out on Defensive Rebounds!!!

    • CJP32

      A nice observation Ckwizard, and finally someone who looks for the positives in a game and not just the negatives! I don’t get why so many other people here are picky on particular players when we are on a 9 game winning streak!!! Its not like the players they are angry at are costing us games! More here should be ecstatic that Denver are winning well and actually supporting the players.

    • Tom2

      Just because Brewer made some jump shots doesn’t mean he should be taking them. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while. I don’t think Brewer should ever take a jump shot unless it’s at the end of the shot clock, and he certainly should never ever lead the team in shots unless the vast majority of them are at the rim. Why does the least efficient scorer on the team lead the team in usage, in a bench role, no less? Also, even though he had a decent game, he was still only 7-16.

      Regarding McGee, he wasn’t terrible, but he wasn’t good either. He is the worst rotation player, which is why he only gets 18 minutes per game. I think that’s a good number for him. It’s just enough to keep him developing, but not so much that it considerably hurts the team.

      • Ckwizard

        Brewer seems to have the coaches permission to shoot so why shouldn’t he, Brewer comes in for Gallo who should shoot more but is taken out and can’t shoot from the bench. Ty should be more assertive but for some reason defers to others to start games. Igoudala who is on the court with Brewer isn’t a great shooter either. Faried and McGee or KK are not great shooters either, then in come Miller who can’t shoot great either. So that leaves Chandler who also seems to be streaky but shoots almost as much as Brewer. Take away Brewers transition shots and his usage is reasonable. Your argument “Brewer is a bad shooter” is legitimate, but your argument about his usage rate is fouled in my opinion because:

        1) George Karl’s rotation makes Brewer a primary option to shoot because the other players are not better shooters primarily Gallo and Ty are on the bench

        2) Brewer moves with out the ball so how many of his shots are results of good passes and recorded assists by other players

        3) Brewer gets the ball in transition in positions to score.

        Early in the year I wanted Hamilton to take Brewers minutes for offensive efficiency but now that there is 17 games left not going to happen and it is obvious Brewer is playing within the game plan. Your problem is George Karl’s usage of his players which I agree with but Brewer plays the way his coach wants and had a good game. I am a Nuggets fan and as such I recognize that Brewer is doing his job and doing it well. Will it be enough to get the Nuggets past the first round in the playoffs? Time will tell but I am of the opinion that Brewers defense matters a lot more than his offense!