Rapid Reaction Denver Nuggets 119- Chicago Bulls 118

Despite getting almost no good production from their starters from most of the night the Nuggets pulled out an ugly, hard fought win in Chicago. The team now travels to Oklahoma City to battle the Thunder tomorrow night on NBA TV.

 

Denver Nuggets 119 FinalRecap | Box Score 118 Chicago Bulls
Danilo Gallinari, SF 39 MIN | 2-7 FG | 6-9 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 11 PTS | +1

Gallo was on the court for almost 40 minutes but for most of them you would never know. 7 field goals attempted is way to low when the rest of the starting lineup struggled, especially when Gallo was being defended by Carlos Boozer or Joakim Noah for stretches in the fourth quarter and overtime. The rebounds were nice and the defense was ok but Gallo has to be more aggressive in a game like that.

Kenneth Faried, SF 15 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | -7

Faried was out of the game early and when he returned he didn’t do much to earn himself more time. Two rebounds in 15 minutes is way to low, especially for someone who’s biggest strength is rebounding and energy. Not a good night for Faried.

Kosta Koufos, C 21 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +1

For as well as Koufos had been playing lately tonight was a clear step back. He struggled to finish inside and didn’t have a defensive rebound in the first half. Like most Nuggets starters he just didn’t play well tonight.

Ty Lawson, PG 36 MIN | 5-14 FG | 2-3 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | -12

Lawson was one of the players torched for 34 points by Nate Robinson, unable to get a good shot at the end of regulation and really just below average most of the night. He should have taken advantage of Nate Robinson and dominated on both ends of the floor, instead like the rest of the Nuggets starters he came out very flat.

Andre Iguodala, SG 38 MIN | 3-14 FG | 4-4 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 3 BLK | 2 TO | 12 PTS | -6

Let’s not let the big 3 get in the way of the overall picture. Iguodala was again abysmal shooting the ball and unlike most nights he didn’t assist a big number of scores either. And unlike most nights Iguodala wasn’t matched up with a great scorer tonight as he spent most of the night on Marco Belinelli. The rebounding, late three and deflections in overtimes helped the Nuggets get the win but if he played any better in regulation the game doesn’t get to that point.

Corey Brewer, SF 25 MIN | 7-13 FG | 0-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 16 PTS | 0

The offense was good but some of his decision making left things to be desired. Brewer gambled late on some plays he shouldn’t have in the middle of the Bulls run to get back into the game. He also had a late turnover in the same run. It was typical Brewer, but those typical plays that are ok early in the game against opposing team’s bench aren’t as ok late in close games.

JaVale McGee, C 22 MIN | 6-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | +9

The rebounding could have been better but overall JaVale was pretty darn good tonight. He finished in the paint and changed some shots for the Bulls with proper rotations. I thought he should have closed the game but George Karl thought otherwise. Clearly he was the best of the Faried/Koufos/McGee true big trio tonight.

Andre Miller, PG 29 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 13 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 8 PTS | +11

For most of the game Miller was great, the second best Nugget great in fact. He was posting up and making the right passes, or attacking when no help came and even rebounding a bit. In fact I advocated for him to close the game. Then the late game came and everything fell apart. He went under on the screens that allowed Nate Robinson to get off the game tying three in regulation then had some out of control drives late in overtime, including the drunk drive that somehow led to Iguodala’s game winning three. It was a great example of the two sides of Andre.

Wilson Chandler, SG 39 MIN | 13-21 FG | 8-9 FT | 9 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 35 PTS | +8

Chandler was the best player on the floor for the Nuggets tonight and it wasn’t even that close. The most encouraging part about it was the way he scored. Almost everything was at the rim, where Chandler got any time he wanted. The easiest way to describe his play tonight compared to his teammates is this: at halftime Chandler was outscoring all of the starters combined 20 to 16 and he also added 5 rebounds and 2 assists to those 20 points. A terrific night from Ill Will.

George Karl

I was fully ready to give Karl a good grade as the Nuggets entered the 4th quarter with a comfortable lead despite getting nothing from their starters. Then things completely fell apart. Karl went to bizarre lineups such as one with Gallo at center, refused to play any center despite JaVale having a great game, left Miller in for a key defensive possession after a timeout then put him on the player the ball was clearly going too, and not getting Wilson Chandler touches late in the game. It was just about everything Karl could have done to let the Bulls get back in the game and that was exactly what happened. Also why did Karl choose to make his team go the length of the court to end regulation? Let them have more time in the half court and run some type of set to get a look for Lawson or Chandler. Just a bizarre way for Karl to finish a game he seemed to have complete control over through three quarters.

One Thing We Saw

  1. That was less than ideal: With a back-to-back tomorrow in Oklahoma City a long physical game that went into overtime was the last thing the Nuggets needed. Some important players (Iggy, Gallo, and Chandler) played almost 40 minutes the night before they are asked to cover Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Safe to say the Nuggets wish they did what they should have and put this game away earlier.

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  • Chris

    Well…I don’t know what that was. Glad to get a W.

  • http://twitter.com/xantoniooo808x D3Ntilthe3ND

    Heeeeeeee’ssss baaaaaccccccckkk!

    GK is back guys.

    Gallo is gonna be starting at center for the west in next years all star game. lol

    Hope all you GK lovers enjoyed this 12 game streak, cause it’s probably gonna end tomorrow.

    • Troll

      I did enjoy it. I have really enjoyed watching GK take a starless team to the point where we are battling for the 3 seed in the west. I have enjoyed it a lot thank you. Did you ever think that GK was saving his bigs for the back to back game so they could take advantage of the small front line of OKC? This is chess, not checkers there sport. If you don’t understand the nuances of coaching an NBA squad then that is your fault, not GK’s.

      Nonetheless even if we do lose in OKC, which I don’t think we will, having the second longest winning streak in the NBA this season, an being a top 5 team in the league has been a ton of fun. Thanks!

  • CJP32

    71 bench points says it all. When our starters struggle, the bench pull through. WC was huge, CB made some good plays (and bad ones), Dre was on target and McGee played well.

    Iggy made the biggest basket though. We need to beat OKC tomorrow, hopefully the starters show up.

    • Greg

      since Faried and Gallo did not play a ton hopefully they will be rested up and ready to go.

      • Greg

        oops I meant Koufos not Gallo- he logged a hefty 39 minutes lol!

  • Greg

    Ty has scared me a little with his regression as of late/on the road. Miller still scares me whenever he spins or dribbles between his legs. Iggy had a rough nite but stepped up and hit the clutch shot when we needed it. I actually thought Koufos’ tip-in was clean, close but it seemed to be off the rim to me. Noah’s was a definite offensive goaltend. As explained on NBATV after the game, if a shot is touched before it has a chance to hit the rim (should it look like it will), that is off goaltending.

    But all in all, a solid road win over a tough defensive team. 12 straight, no matter how we get the wins, is nothing to scoff about, and I am anxious to finally make our move in the seeding race and playoffs!!

  • Garf

    Was anyone else watching the Chicago broadcast? They were flipping out when they disallowed the Noah tip-in. It was clearly in the cylinder!

    • Greg

      not even that, if you read my post a few down you I explain what the qualifications are for offensive goaltending as NBATV stated them.

    • Matt

      ya i was, they flipped out at noah tip in/goaltend. Then again they thought koufos tip was also goaltending, they were biased.

  • Slugdugg

    Chance to win in regulation? Give it to the one player who has been completely ineffective all night instead of the guy having a career night.

    • Dan

      I thought that was fine, an almost identical situation a couple weeks ago had Ty hitting the game winner against the Thunder. It was really just Nate Robinson’s great defense that kept him from getting a great look.

      • Mark

        Dan, dude, raise your standards a bit. Everyone in the stadium knew that was going to be the play. Here’s the Bulls’ coach in the huddle at the end of regulation: “Don’t worry guys, I know they have time for a last-second game winner, but trust me, they’re just going to give it to that little guy and hope for best. I’m going to do my job – that’s outcoach this lazy bum. Nate, just do your job – that’s stop Ty from getting a good shot off. And here’s the funny part: they say he’s 6 feet tall, but that’s if he’s wearing elevator shoes! See you in overtime, boys!”

        • Troll

          Lol so after all the debate about the nugs not having a “closer” anymore, now everyone knows it is gonna be Lawson? Lol get real dude. And now we’re down on GK for giving Lawson another chance after just recently hitting a game winner? Lawson deserved to take that shot, Ill Will had a great game, no doubt, but there are more options for the offense as a whole when the ball is in the hands of your PG.

    • Mark

      I knew that game-winner Ty hit a few weeks ago would come back to haunt us. That same play has failed at least 6-8 times this season – most of the time Ty has been unable to even get a shot off – but it worked once, so Karl thinks that just handing the ball to your barely 6-foot point guard and having everyone else stand back is an acceptable end-of-game play. Now we will have to deal with that through the playoffs and until Karl or Ty retires. Draw up a play, you freaking lazy excuse for a coach!

      • Michael

        I’m with you on that one. Why don’t the Nuggets ever run plays? Doesn’t George see all the other coaches running plays and think it might be effective? Sometimes GK can be really frustrating to say the least.

  • Greg

    Ty has scared me a little with his regression as of late/on the road. Miller still scares me whenever he spins or dribbles between his legs. Iggy had a rough nite but stepped up and hit the clutch shot when we needed it. I actually thought Koufos’ tip-in was clean, close but it seemed to be off the rim to me. Noah’s was a definite offensive goaltend. As explained on NBATV after the game, if a shot is touched before it has a chance to hit the rim (should it look like it will), that is off goaltending. And once again, Chandler was inconsistent but brilliant and kept us going at times when we needed the offensive power.

    But all in all, a solid road win over a tough defensive team. 12 straight, no matter how we get the wins, is nothing to scoff about, and I am anxious to finally make our move in the seeding race and playoffs!!

  • googergieger

    So most of the players were shit tonight honestly. Just no passion or respect for the other team. Content in going through the motions and coasting to a win. Our one starter that was good tonight(to start at least) in Gallo was taken out first along with Faried. Then Brewer was kept in even when he was playing bad. But ignoring all that. The rotations and magic eight ball coaching, and the fact nobody came out ready to play tonight except Chandler and Miller for a few stretches.

    Up three. Only a three can tie it. Karl leaves Miller in. Who proceeds to give up a wide open three to Nate Robinson.

    In over time. Up one. He opts to take Miller out for Brewer.

    Now. Up one. Time to go. Would you take out a small for another small when we already have the other smalls covered? Or would you bring in a big to protect the rim?

    This game, we were lucky to have won firstly. And it was a lot harder than it had to be. And it was a perfect example of how even during an eleven and now twelve game win streak, us Karl “haters” are still counting down the days for him to be replaced when he fails us in the first round again.

    I will say this about Gallo. As much as I love the kid, he needs to start getting more aggressive. He did good things for us tonight when he had the ball. He needs to do what Chandler does and seek out the ball and try to get his. I know Gallo is a team guy and doesn’t want to mess with what is working, but honestly not many people in the NBA can guard him and he should be averaging close to twenty points already. I saw him call out Brewer one play where Brewer didn’t give him the ball and just dribbled it out. I’d like to see him do that with Karl and Miller and even Ty.

    Gah. We’re getting blown out tomorrow. Even if the refs were fair.

    • Ckwizard

      Nuggets played bad and lost because of poor free throw shooting, poor ball handling/decision making, and poor coaching…. Oh wait I should say thy won despite the above. This game showed Two things, one that some of the Nuggets don’t have that ” profesional” mentality about them that I posted about awhile ago, and two the Nuggets can beat a team like tha Bulls with a half assed effort from most of its players… How good are the Nuggets and how god can they become. The question about tomorrow is do the payers want it and do they believe they can win… Professionalism if he Nuggets want it and believe hen they can win against OKC problem is they didn’t display that needed “professionalism” tonight.

    • Zack

      Goog, I understand your pessimistic attitude towards Karl; he is absolutely maddening on nights like this. But has shown flashes of brilliance. You don’t win 12 straight in the NBA without good coaching, despite one’s talent level. Lets wait and see what happens in the first round before we try to run Karl out of town. If we get bounced, then we can discuss going in another direction. But this is the best the nuggets have played in years, maybe in the history of the franchise. And we are extremely young. So there is a chance. Don’t give up on this team and GK yet.

      • googergieger

        I love this team. Have no faith in Karl. I and others bit our tongues because of the streak, but as has been said, nights like tonight are why people can still criticize and hate on the guy despite the results.

        If we beat OKC tomorrow, I’ll never complain about Karl again. But the team that was coached tonight, will have no chance against OKC. Especially on a back to back.

        • Dan

          I think your Karl is the reason we lose theory is a very flawed one. No other coach in the league could coach this team to level that Karl has thus far. The team is tailor-made for his style of play and were the Nuggets to make a change at coach, they’d have to change their whole philosophy as far as personell is concerned.

          • Thomas

            Tailor made for Karl to do what? Have another good regular season?

            You must have not been around for the last 8 million GK playoffs and their 8 million predictable outcomes.

            • Troll

              You are a moron. His system is to run. Just like D’Antoni’s system. Except GK’s works. It utilizes the fact that we play at altitude here in Denver and allows us to run visitors off the court. That is why his system is a perfect fit for Denver and this roster. Do you even realize how bad this team would be if a coach made this roster into a traditional half-court, jump shooting team? We would be looking forward to the lottery, not the 3-seed in the best basketball conference in the NBA. What he has done with this team has been nothing short of amazing. Would I like more set plays at the end of games? Sure. More road wins? Absolutely. But replace him with any coach in the NBA and this roster is horrible. You focus solely on GK’s few flaws rather than stepping back and looking at the entire picture. Every coach has his flaws. We are lucky to have a coach with so few and even more lucky that his system fits our home court advantage so well also. Be thankful for what you have because the grass really isn’t always greener on the other side.

        • Troll

          I’m holding you to that googergieger. No more GK complaints from you!

      • mike

        It’s hard to coachem up when your starters all have mediocre to poor games (though they did fine for the 3rd quarter as they had maintained the lead when the reserves came in). starters shot 16/50 with 4/12 from 3. It was probably more about just having bad games. Im sure there are days you go to work and are putting effort but things don’t turn out perfect too. You can’t have playoff type intensity all season long. It’s just not sustainable. Even Jordan took halves of games where he was less engaged.

        Miller in on the last few defensive possessions in regulation is unacceptable. I hope George is going to figure this out sooner or later. As someone else mentioned he did put in Brewer late in OT so MAYBE…. They played poor defense in the 2nd half after a good first half.

        It will be interesting to see what the nuggets do with Chandler and Gallo in the next 12 months. I assume 1 will be gone by next trade deadline. My guess is they go after Kevin Love.

  • http://superfurryanthony.blogspot.com Stunt

    Listening to Stacey King is positively brutal. Such a terrible commentator, for those of us stuck watching the home feed.

    Hell of a game for Chandler, Brewer had some great defensive looks (even if his offense was dicey at times), and McGee had some good minutes in the first half. Tomorrow will probably end the run, but it’s been fun while it lasted, and it was good to keep in step with Memphis for another game.

    • Dan

      Seriously that guy was an absolute idiot, I thought our home town announcers were bad, but they know the game and generally the Nuggets opponents way better than either of these guys.

    • Dubz

      Ya Stacey King really made an ass of himself. Before the play, I didn’t entirely know the offensive goal tending rules until further research, but my initial reaction was goal tend. If that play were legal, we could just post up mcgee under the basket for our 3 point shots and have him dunk them in as they’re approaching the basket. However, the officials were absolutely atrocious tonight on both sides. Really a disgrace.

    • CJP32

      WC and CBrew have been huge off the bench for us during the 12 game win streak:

      WC – 15.5 pts on 53%
      CB – 13.5 pts on 46%

      These 2 guys are the X Factor leading into the Playoffs. Both can score 20+ on any given night, and both can defend multiple positions.

      • Ban Johnson

        The Nuggets are 23-4 since Chandler came back healthy. Yeah, that’s partly team improvement, and partly schedule…but Chandler has a lot to do with it.

        His versatility and talent added to the rest of the team’s talent just kind of makes the Nuggets overwhelming. This is a guy who can guard Marc Gasol pretty much flawlessly and also pick up 2-guards. He can rebound and lead a break coast to caost and also finish one with a tomahawk dunk.
        He’s way too laid-back to ever be a great player, but his talent is a tremendous asset to have coming off the bench.

        Kind of a fire and ice thing Brewer and Chandler have going.

    • GK4Prez

      King is almost like listening to Hastings, imagine if you had to listen to them call a game together.

      • googergieger

        To be fair at least Hastings is knowledgeable on other teams and can admit when the refs get the call right or when Nuggets catch a break. I mean he might say something like, “right that is a foul but the other team fouled us and no call happened, so at least keep it consistent”. King literally thinks Bulls never foul and every team that plays them do. At one point he also said Marco should have attacked Gallo because Gallo is a poor defender as well.

      • Troll

        Can this be set up? Seriously would be hilarious! Hastings and King co broadcasting a nuggets/bulls game. Where do I sign up? Can they fight like in hockey? If so do they get a 5 min roughing penalty and have to let the other one get the air all to himself for 5 minutes. Great idea.

  • Ban Johnson

    Madness.

    It’s like the Nuggets tried to cram in all their most maddening tendencies into one game.

    Leaving Miller in for that last defensive possession in regulation was just pure George Karl Andre Miller man love stupidity.

    That said, Miller was a genius for a stretch in the 2nd quarter. The problem isn’t Miller. The problem is how George Karl favors him and uses him.

    Defense was just lazy and coasting for much of the night.

    Ty seemed to lose his confidence a little tonight. Bad sign. But that 3 he hit in overtime was humungous.

    Nice to see Iguodala hit the big shot. He’s the best overall player on the Nuggets, even though hardly anyone recognizes it, and the true veteran leader.

    Wilson Chandler is a ridiculously talented player. Like a poor man’s (ok very poor man’s) Lebron…(but still.). Please don’t trade this man. Please.

  • Zack

    Gallo had an awful game offensively, and I don’t think anyone deserves an A for the abysmal defense throughout the game. Nate Robinson took Ty to school, which is disappointing, especially with the way he has been playing the last couple months. On a night like tonight, GK should have let brewer and mcgee get more run, both were playing great, javale was his focused self for the most part tonight and his dunk was monstrous. It reminded me of Howard’s winning dunk in the Dunk contest a few years back.

    • Thomas

      Eventually you will all recognize that Gallo is just not that good. Very good trade value. Chandler is a much better all around player.

  • googergieger

    Ty had the flu.

  • googergieger

    Though some Stiffs are calling it a hang over, which wouldn’t surprise me.

    • Ban Johnson

      Ty seems to get sick a lot. If it’s not partying…maybe he just needs to improve his diet. Steve Nash did it when he was 30+ and transformed himself into a hall-of-famer.

  • tanium

    I’m reading all these comments on the site saying how so-and-so doesn’t have a professional mentality and how this win shows how we will lose in the first round yet again and I’m thinking to myself the complete opposite. I think too many people on here aren’t comprehending the magnitude of this streak. Its not every day that a team has a 12 game win streak in the Association. I consider myself a professional (granted I’m not a millionaire professional) but there are days for me where I don’t feel 100% and I don’t perform up to my highest standard, thats just the nature of being human. Too many people are thinking the Heat’s 23 game win streak is a standard when in reality it isn’t. This team is a damn good team, and we need to enjoy watching them achieve this potential. A 12 game streak is huge, even monumental for this team and we’re getting hot at the right time. Let’s not take this for granted.

    • Dan

      Its so true, the only thing the Nuggets did well tonight was have Wilson Chandler on the team and they still won. They were able to gut out a win and just find a way to stay on top. In a way this is a good game for the buzz because almost no one thinks the Nuggets can win tomorrow night so at this point its a win/win. As long as they aren’t blown out it will be a morale victory, but even if they are the news will just be “The Thunder are too Much for an Exhausted Nuggets Team.”

      But honestly I have a feeling that the Nuggets are gonna show up tomorrow pissed off and play with more energy and passion then we have seen in weeks and if that happens then all we’ll need is one or two guys to step up and have a great game. I honestly think the Nuggets can win tomorrow even with the rough night tonight.

    • Ckwizard

      Actually it is the Birds, Johnsons , and Jordans that established what NBA professionals were Lebron, Wade , and Bosh are gret athletes and They are becoming the Professioals that can have the kind of success like their predecessors. Nuggets are a young team that that was literally dominating a lesser team and couldn’t put them away because they lost focus. All NBA teams have talented players who can be great on a given night and The Nuggets have more of those players on their team than most other NBA teams. In order for the Nuggets to go fom good to potential contenders is focus on a nightly basis and that for an athlete in a sport that plays 82 games is one thing that separates teams. Igoudala said it best the team needs to stay hungry and strive to get better and they need to make sure they stay humble. Well the Nuggets Didn’t play their best basketball and still won but a true profesional in this context puts forth their best win or lose , home or the road, good calls or bad…. Nuggets are growing up before our eyes and are becoming a better team but if you haven’t been following this team all year then know this Lawson even called out this team for not paying attention Durring meetings and practices and as a result didn’t perform game plans out resulting in some poor play and loses. The difference between my view of this nuggets team and a lot of others Is that Ithinkthis team is as Talented as OKC but not as focused as a team Like OKC. Is this performance in this game acceptable in the development of this team ABSOLUTLY, but they did not play as well as they could have as a team and for a coach, owner , or fan you should hope for and expect to see that growth occure… That Growth is the mark of individuals growing into their profession, becoming more skilled and focused allowing for better results ie that is Professionalism! The striving to better ones self continuously because there is always room for improvement.

  • Mark

    Can’t believe I couldn’t watch this game. Seems like one for the ages. What a great win… Getting at least one win out of this road trip is huge.

  • Gaston

    I will never understand the ‘no center’ thing… Especially when the Bulls were getting to the rim at will in the 4th. We have 3 seven-footers – put one of them in Karl! Gallo is not a 5, no matter how much you want him to be!

    I don’t know what’s up with Ty, but he’s gotta get his act together. Disappearing for 2 games in row is bad news.

    On the plus side, Chandler was a beast, I thought JaVale killed it tonight (which made the lack of minutes all the more confusing). As pissed as I was about Karl’s rotations, a win is a win! Hopefully we can keep it competitive tomorrow and maybe sneak one out in OKC.

  • Zorba

    I can’t believe we won this game!
    Please don’t talk about starters and benchers on this team. Chandler, brew, miller and McGee were great tonight, but it was GK who tried to lose it…
    I appreciate his work and filosophy, but still can’t understand his choices in clutch situations…

  • theo

    Oh well, lots of negative responses after our 12th straight win on the road against a very solid team. No pleasing some people.

    Having said that, we did everything we could to give it away. Reminds me of Churchill’s famous take on the US: “You can count on the Americans to do the right thing after they’ve exhausted all other possibilities.’

    Chandler crushed it. Hard not to wonder about where we’d be with WC coming off the bench all year. He can play our pace and do the finesse and energy things we do but he’s just so physical. He just beat up the Bulls—a very good and physical defensive team—and got whatever he wanted. Very impressive.
    Our bench? Serious 5 man unit/rotation stats that some of us have put up here show how good our primary bench unit and variations on bench/starter mixes are. Tonight was a great example. I sometimes think our second unit would be an upgrade for at least a handful of NBA teams. All part of the ‘system.’

    Agree tonight about the Miller at the end thing. Most of the critiques of Miller’s role at the end of games don’t stand up to stats or facts. He was one of our best guys tonight all night and we don’t have a shot in the game without him since Ty had the deer in the headlight look for the second game in a row. But YMCA played like crap down the stretch in the 4th. Hard to understand why he was in again in overtime except that Ty played so poorly on both ends of the court.

    • LBJ

      I wonder if the guy who was bitching about Karl playing Chandler at the 4 will show up tonight?

      Lawson was horrendous tonight – a C- is generous. He was brutal on D, missed a ton of shots and urned the ball over by passing up wide open shots. Getting beat off the dribble repeatedly by a midget is bad enough, but Bellinelli was beating him too. Thankfully, Derek Rose didn’t play – he might have gone for 50.

  • googergieger

    “I was fully ready to give Karl a good grade as the Nuggets entered the 4th quarter with a comfortable lead despite getting nothing from their starters”

    Really? Were on a big run and then allowed The Bulls to head into the half down eight? Just gave up defensively and were coasting offensively and Karl let it happen and that deserved a good grade? Gallo the one effective starter gets taken out first? I mean there were other things but those two come to mind.

    Actually I’ll put this question out. Is Karl taking Gallo out first along with Faried cause Chandler and Brewer play well together in his mind? Or because Gallo is needed to play big minutes when there are four bench guys and a starter is needed?

    • CJP32

      The latest substitution pattern seems to be WC in for Faried after 4 or 5 mins, and CBrew in for Gallo after 6-7 minutes. Iggy usually plays the entire 1st qtr. This allows Gallo to return with 5-6 mins left in the half. Andre Miller is now the 8th or sometimes 9th Man.

      Today Gallo played 39 mins and scored just 11 points, CBrew played 25 mins and scored 16 points. Each game differs I guess but Gallo’s numbers for March are pretty discouraging – 13 ppg on 40% FG in about 30 mpg.

      • googergieger

        Meh he missed a lot of time due to the Thigh bruise and he always takes his sweet time coming back after sitting out. After the Kings and Clippers games I thought he was back. I know Ty being more aggressive and Chandler back would get him less touches, but he needs to start playing angry and demand the ball already. He doesn’t seem all that fired up or interested in getting his. I mean he isn’t hurting his team, but he could be helping a lot more if he did what he probably does better than anyone else on the roster and that is score.

        • CJP32

          I agree that Gallo needs to start demanding the ball and trying to score rather than just draw fouls. Some times he tries to hard to look like he’s being fouled (maybe a Euro thing?). Just go hard and dunk, that always works! This team right now can afford to have Gallo, Ty or Iggy have a subpar game, because CBrew and WC are there to step up.

          • googergieger

            Meh Gallo gets plenty of and one’s. He doesn’t just try to get the foul, he always tries to finish. Harden and Durant just go for fouls. Gallo just has the European stigma going for him. Same reason people say he isn’t a good defender. Because apparently people from Europe have to be bad at defending. But he is too much of a nice guy sometimes. Dude doesn’t have to act like the star of the team and like it is his team, but he does need to realize he is the best offensive player on the team. Think during the off season he and the staff need to develop a post game for him already. That will do wonders for him and Denver.

  • chanzero

    Seeing how I’m not a regular here whatsoever I guess I have to state this first — I’m a Knicks fan (seeing how I live in NY), but I do like Denver. I liked the “lovable knuckleheads” team prior to the Melo trade (which is good since we ended up with a couple of them lol) and I liked them after, since you guys got Gallo and Chandler etc.

    Anyway, reason I’m posting is I just wanted to say, I am really amazed by how many times I read a post on here just how negative you guys (blog writers and commenters alike) are about George Karl. Again, I realize I am not in your shoes but still. Doesn’t it ever get tiring complaining about him?

    I think there was a post on here from a Bucks fan that basically explained how you guys (Denver fans) have it pretty good, which I thought was refreshing.

    I don’t know, who would you like to have instead of George Karl who is available? Sometimes you think your gf is annoying and then later when you’re single and dating and you realize your gf was a lot better than you gave her credit for, especially considering your immediate prospects.

    I suppose this type of complaining could be commonplace on plenty of basketball blogs like this devoted to a team (I mean, it’s the internet, guys will complain about everything) so I’m not sure why I’m so struck with how negative it always is when I’m here. I suppose it’s like I said, I like the Nuggets. But I guess that’s easy for me to say since I’m not the one dating her and have to put up with all the ups and downs…

    • LBJ

      I agree. You would think Karl had never won a freaking NBA game!!! The guy is highly respected around the league – and several of his former assistants have head jobs. I’m not sure we could do better – and I’m pretty sure we could do a lot worse.

    • mike

      you would be surprised but there are a few people on this site that essentially never have a nice thing to say about Karl. The closest they get is “Karl didn’t screw it up for us (and that misappropriation of “us” is part of the problem) He can be second guessed sometimes especially in his fascination for Andre Miller at the end of games, but generally you don’t find teams giving this type of effort, energy and success without a very good coach setting that team standard. I guess if you had the Heat’s talent maybe, but most assuredly this team does not have that type of talent.

      It’s because the people on here are unrealistic about how good the team is. They see a team that is playing like a top 5-6 team in the league. Somehow they have convinced themselves it is a team that is tied for the most talent in the league with Miami and OKC. It’s probably top 5-7 in talent at least in the regular season. Slightly less in the Playoffs because the bench is slightly less valuable and the lack of an all-starish big makes it more difficult to maximize minutes of your 5 best players.

      I’ve attempted to tell them rationally and go point by point on the main players strengths and weaknesses. Ive tried mocking them. There what I call emotional thinkers. Rationality is a small part of their thinking. They see 3 mistakes in a game and 25 good moves and go apoplectic about the 3 mistakes… It is entertaining in its own sick way.

      • mike

        sorry, “they’re” on that last paragraph.

      • LBJ

        Why do I get the feeling that if we had the Heat’s players, some of our “fans” would be bitching during the 23 game winning streak???

        Probably something about a small lineup – and why in the hell Spolestra doesn’t play a center all the time?

    • pk

      i want JEFF VAN GUNDY

      • LBJ

        Why??? So we can slow the game to a crawl and thug it up? We’d have to trade virtually every player on our roster – except maybe Dre.

    • http://superfurryanthony.blogspot.com Stunt

      I think the Karl hate (which I’m also concerned by) is because when a decision is incorrect, it’s SHOCKINGLY incorrect. As a Chicago Bears fan, it reminds me of Lovie Smith’s use of timeout’s/challenges. He would be infuriating in those situations, but I was also against him being fired, because the odds of a true upgrade were slim-to-none.

      The other day in the comments, I think SVG was agreed to be the only guy that could potentially get more out of these guys, and even then, that’s conditional on keeping Karl’s system. The best bet for the Nugs is to hope that GK keeps his idiosyncrasies to a minimum during the playoffs (for God’s sake, please play an actual big during crunch time), and that Masai continues to trade his crutches. Dump Miller (or at least, convince Karl to use him differently), pick up a 3 & D guy in the offseason (Kyle Korver, maybe?) and know that another year of experience will do wonders for a team this deep.

      • Dubz

        Couldn’t have said it better myself. Remember now, Karl has been in Denver for the better part of 9 seasons. That’s a lot games to establish a rock solid opinion about a guy. His problem in a nut shell? He’s stubborn beyond repair. He would rather LOSE his way than try to win the conventional way. Sometimes it works (and I applaud him during those times) but sometimes it doesn’t and he’ll fight to the death anyway. This has truly been the case during the playoffs when his refusal to coach inbounds plays, defense, and a half court offense come to absolutely destroy this team. I actually believe he’s the right coach for the right team at the right moment. I haven’t felt that way in the recent past (especially during the Melo years) but this team is built for his style. Just wish he wasn’t so damn stubborn and would try to tinker with his lineups. Most of the times, his odd behaviors turn blowouts into un necessarily close games. However, in the playoffs he has a history of turning win able series into 1st round exits via a sweep. Time will tell for this team, but I have a good feeling we’ll see something new for a change.

    • ryanvdonk

      9 years in a row in the playoffs, 1 year out of the first round…alienating talented young players and giving them incredibly short leashes while letting washed up veterans get away with whatever they want. the complaints are never about GK’s knowledge of the game of basketball, but his in game management of players will drive you bonkers. it was similar in seattle too before they got rid of some older pieces and forced him to lean on GP and Kemp.

      • mike

        yeah except that only in 2 season (3 series total) have the nuggets been the favorite in terms of regular season record. they won 2 of those 3 series and the one lost was when KARL WAS NOT COACHING because of throat cancer. And this team hasn’t had GREAT talent if you value Melo correctly as a high volume semi-efficient scorer who can rebound decently and does everything else average to slightly below. This team making it 9 years in a row with good not great talent in the WESTERN Conference is impressive.

      • theo

        Oh jeez, more of the still bitter and nostalgic Seattle crowd that wouldn’t have any nostalgia to savor if not for Karl. They ran into the 72 win Bulls in the finals. The list of outstanding coaches and players that didn’t get a ring because of Jordan is very, very long. Can we just get past the old wounds and tropes and actually focus on what’s going on here?

        • Thomas

          You always try to end your arguments by saying something like the “statistics don’t lie” – without ever presenting a clear case to justify your own beliefs.

          So look up GK’s playoff record and try to come up with a rationale that justifies his big-time losing playoff record. I bet you all those great coaches you mentioned had playoff records above .500. Even the Van Gundy brothers have it. Even Rick Adelman has it. Rick Adelman! Flip Saunders has a better playoff record! Paul Westpal…pretty much anyone.

      • mike

        PS you are wrong about GP and Kemp. both were getting around 30 minutes a game in their second seasons despite below average play from Payton and about average play from Kemp.

    • LotharBot

      >> “I am really amazed by… just how negative you guys (blog writers and commenters alike) are about George Karl.”

      >> “I think there was a post on here from a Bucks fan that basically explained how you guys (Denver fans) have it pretty good”

      The Bucks fan who wrote that post is Matt Cianfrone.

      He’s also the guy who gave Karl a D+ in tonight’s grades.

      That should help put the grade into perspective a little bit.

    • Matt

      As someone said before I was the Bucks fan who put together that post. But if you follow me on Twitter you know I wasn’t thrilled with Karl’s decision making in the fourth as the game was happening and as I thought it never got any better. The Nuggets clearly needed rebounding help and yet in the fourth quarter they played for possessions with Gallo at center and never used the mismatch on the other end either. Andre Miller played a key late game defensive possession. Karl has his moments and his first three quarters were one of the good ones but when you blow a 9 point lead in three minutes partially because you cannot rebound or your worst defender is on the floor and playing the teams hottest offensive player there are problems. I fully expect Karl to bounce back and have his team in position to win tonight but sometimes these type of quarters happen with Karl and when it almost cost the team the game I feel it has to reflect in grades.

  • Z

    Chandler is healthy so you will see more drives to the basket, more highlight dunks and he’s just really rounding into shape

  • Z

    Coach Karl is gonna have to choose somebody to go to in spots to score late in games! i get this No superstar mind game he playing but choose a guy in the clutch and call a play for em.

    • googergieger

      And really it doesn’t even have to be that. Ty, Gallo, Will, both Dre’s can create for themselves and others. See who has it most on any given night or who has the best mismatch and go for it.

    • Dan

      His guy is Ty Lawson, this is clear this is the second game now where he went to Lawson for the Game winner despite the fact that chandler was having a career night. And tonight Ty probably could have sunk another game winner if not for a great recovery by robinson after Ty tried to shake him.

      Karl has confidence in Ty to find a shot for himself and take it and if its not there to find somebody else with a good look.

  • theo

    Still trying to figure out the grading here. How does Karl get a D when we beat a very good team on their home court when our starters gave us nothing–all C’s and D’s–according to Matt, and our bench gave us nothing too according to Matt except for Javale and Ill Will? Still, we won against a very well coached and determined team tonight. If the players stunk it up so much but we still won in those circumstances, how does the coach get a D? Or, alternatively, if the coach was so bad how is it that nobody among the players other than McGee and Ill Will got good grades? I hope you follow me. It doesn’t make sense. Sounds like Matt believes everybody was mediocre or lousy and Chandler won it by himself.

    • Andrew K

      It is hard to grade this kind of game. I think there should have been some built in leeway towards, perhaps, the hot shooting of the Bulls in the 4th quarter. Noah was making shots I didn’t think he could. So yeah, the grades were medium harsh.

      • theo

        No, not medium harsh. Embarrassingly harsh after this kind of win. Only a person living in what I call an extreme ‘hope and emotion’ kind of fan participation would give these kinds of grades. Anybody with a realistic assessment of this team and a clue about how hard it is to win on the road and the fact that we just won our 12th game in a row would never have come close to giving these kinds of grades.

        • Matt

          The bad grade was due to the really bad fourth quarter of Karl decision making. I agree his first three quarters were good especially considering what his starters gave him. But that decision making in the fourth quarter and overtime was really not good at all. Lineups with Gallo at center? Andre Miller in for key late game defense? Wilson Chandler not getting the ball late in the game? No true center as the Nuggets got killed on the glass? It was just a really really rough stretch for a guy who did well to keep his team ahead through three. It was confusing but when a team makes the type of run the Bulls made in the fourth and rotations are a big part of it Karl has to face the consequences. Was a D+ to harsh possibly but watching the game it seemed like the decisions were easy to make or at least fix the rotations in some way to change the momentum.

        • Thomas

          Thank God you don’t write these reviews – I would’t follow the blog if you did.

  • GoWil

    Wilson chandlers last couple of months makes me feel much better about proclaiming he was better than gallo a couple of years ago :P and he is on a great contract. Hopefully he can keep this play up so his trade value continues to ride, gallo becomes expendable and can be traded if a bigger name comes up or we keep everyone and we’re just good

  • GoWil

    Wilson chandlers last couple of months makes me feel much better about proclaiming he was better than gallo a couple of years ago :P and he is on a great contract. Hopefully he can keep this play up so his trade value continues to ride, gallo becomes expendable and can be traded if a bigger name comes up or we keep everyone and we’re just good

    Btw I was very impressed with his D on 7’1 Marc gasol the other night

  • GoWil

    And I love it when chandler attacks the rim and doesn’t take contested mid range shots (as does all nuggets fans).

  • Andrew K

    If there is a good take away from a game like this, it is that even though the Nuggets played very bad (in terms of accessed grades), they still came out with the win. On the officiating at the end, its about dang time the balance tipped towards the Nuggets in terms of close game intangibles.

  • Andrew

    The Bad Karl moves are discussed above enough, but I swear, if Hot Karl weren’t so well established and well off, I would swear he was shaving points. There is seemingly no other reason for his crazy decisions. Maybe he reAlly has some sort of weird mental disability? I don’t know. It’s nuts.

    • theo

      I’m sure he’s shaving points. Thanks for your fascinating contribution.

  • heykyleinsf

    I want to make it clear…
    I am overjoyed we have Iguodala and
    I do sincerely see him as a major part
    of why we are a better team.

    I call him out though.. because the way
    I see it… NOBODY ELSE EVER DOES.

    At least 14 points of missed layups
    tonight.. he makes any of those.. or
    doesn’t have a bonehead foul at the
    end of regulation.. we don’t need OT.

    He was the hero at the end..

    But i don’t see the outrage that
    would have been on any other
    player if they would have been
    the ones instead.

    Iggy is a great defender..
    tonight at the end was clutch.

    But I really think.. that I’m trying
    a little harder when it comes to Iggy..
    to be objective and open-eyed in
    evaluating how he plays night to night.

    Thank you Matt..
    I was hoping the grading didn’t make me hurl.
    He was a hero at the end..
    but god.. did he stink through
    most of this game.

    • mike

      You are right generally about Iguodala. He has been better in the past on offense. He is a great facilitator for a wing and a Dominant defender who also gets his hands in on guys he is not guarding. His FT shooting is putrid and embarrassing. This is the 2nd year in a row as he went from a borderline average FT shooting wing to a Horrific one. This coincided with a decrease in FT attempts which I doubt is a coincidence. He doesn’t always go at the rim but veers to avoid contact. With his athleticism and length he should make more and 1 scenarios too.

      3 pt shooting I was hopeful in this offense he could get some clean looks and be a 34-36% shooter. Unless he gets hot late that is unlikely. He had shown that ability the last 2 years, but this year was a big disappointment. It may be more luck than anything. Looking at NBA stats shot charts he took a lot more shots from the corners this year than last 2 years in philly BUT he hit around 45% on those in philly and this year he is hitting 25% (especially the right corner 18%). May just be a statistical anomaly. He hits a decent rate from the 3 pt wings and poorly from the top of the key.

      At current he is not a 15 million dollar a year player more like 9-11. Hopefully that is what he gets/takes if he terminates early. I wouldn’t be surprised if a Dwight/Smith runner up offers him 4/50 or even max (58). Sports free agency is a crazy world.

      • heykyleinsf

        I wasn’t even thinking about being overpaid..
        but it’s true. .he is.

        I totally see his value.

        But I do think.. it’s such an amazing denial
        like a buyer’s remorse
        that someone is so embarrassed to admit

        He has made a difference…
        he wound up being the hero of this game.

        But damn. I SAW 14 points of missed layups!!
        This wasn’t a cold night of jump shots
        LAYUPS!!!!!!

        Brewer or Miller would have been
        hung drawn and quartered for
        a game like that.

  • John in LA

    While I don’t love Karl…

    I would like to suggest that no one on this board has the slightest friggin’ idea how to coach a NBA level basketball team…

    Y’all can cast aspersions once “you’ve” got 1100 wins at the highest level of the sport…

    I mean really… having a bunch of bloggers, myself included, second guessing this guy is like saying you would’ve made “Argo” soooooo much better, because you’ve seen every episode of Mork and Mindy and Bosom Buddies…

    Reading mags, webpages, and watching TV does not make one a basketball expert. In fact, I would venture it more likely means the opposite, because you’ve wasted all that time “Not Doing It.”

    That said… Kosta’s was goaltending, and Noah’s wasn’t… We deserved a loss, and this win streak will always have an asterisk now in my mind.

    • Dubz

      I’m sorry but NO. The entire point of having a blog surrounding the Nuggets is to discuss the team as a whole. No one on here is getting paid to do so, so people can share their opinions all they want. This is the venue to do it, if you don’t like it then go somewhere else. That’s like saying you can’t criticize the President because you don’t know the intimate details of our federal government. Stop it. As long as people are constructive, they can criticize away as far as I’m concerned.

    • Zack

      You seriously think Noah’s play wasn’t goaltending?

      Here, read this (via nba.com rules): A player shall not ” Touch the ball when it is above the basket ring and within the imaginary cylinder.”

      Clearly, based on the slow motion replays, the ball is above the basket in what is called the “imaginary cylinder”. By definition of the rule, that is goaltending (or offensive interference).

      I haven’t seen the KK play, but come on. Noah goaltended. The refs got it right (after a TO and replay).

  • googergieger

    Argo is your reference for all time great movies?

    Kosta was goal tending, Noah pushed off the back on Wilson Chandler before his tip in. No call. Noah’s was offensive interference in the end though. You can’t guide the ball in when it has a chance to go in. Otherwise we might as well toss up three’s all game and have Javale go get em. Not to mention Noah should have fouled out before that over time even happened.

    Game was reffed bad on both ends, but really the game should have been a blow out for us but the game was made much harder than it had to be.

    But fine John in LA, no one should ever talk about anything they don’t have years of first hand experience with.

    So why praise Karl and the team or condemn Karl? Just be neutral with basketball.

    “Say Timmy what did you think about that ball game tonight?”

    “Meh. Alright. Not good. Not bad. Could take it or leave it.”

    “Crazy Timmy. Get out of here you crazy kid!”

    • mike

      john you were on your way, but alas you fell off the wagon. Googer of course your hyperbole of saying no one should have an opinion is silly. That is clearly not what people are usually saying. It’s fine to criticize a play or two, but annoying, pointless, biased, unrealistic, etcetera to have you and a few others see a few mistakes in games, which ALL players and coaches make, and come to the conclusion that he is a bad coach. He’s taking a top 5-8 talented team and making it a top 4-6 winning team (without ANY top 20 player in the league (top 30? not really), Indiana is an equivalently talented team and will likely end up with 5-8 less wins with an easier schedule). That means good coaching.

      Usually the only guys who tend to have teams overacheive their talent significantly are Defensive genius coaches that are dictators. Larry Brown, Jeff Van Gundy, Thibs. maybe SVG, These guys tend to wear their welcome out, burn out and play an excruciatingly boring style. If you don’t have a championship quality club (nuggets do not have that talent at present) it isn’t an upgrade from george.

      Essentially the only coaches to create top tier defenses, top tier offenses and stick around over for more than 4 seasons the past 20 years are Poppovich and Phil Jackson (Doc rivers to a degree though top tier offense is a stretch and he isn’t the teams primary coach on Defense, it’s the coordinators responsibility) carlisle may have this ability too.

      • googergieger

        Top five talented team? Alright. I’ll go with that. Just to hear you name the four teams that are more talented than us.

        Name the top twenty players in the league as well please. Not even in order.

        • Zack

          San Antonio, Heat, Thunder, Clippers, Lakers are probably more concentrated with talent and are starting to figure it out(albeit with sterns help). On could make an argument for the Griz talent wise as well, although that is not as cut and dry. 20 players? These are the ones better than their positional counterparts on the Nuggs. Westbrook, Durant, Lebron, Wade, Bosh, Duncan, Parker, both Gasols, Nowitzki, Rose when healthy, Noah, Howard, Kobe, Paul George, Irving, Paul, Griffin, Aldridge, KG, Paul Pierce, Tyson Chandler, Harden, Horford. You could even throw Rondo and Bynum in there when healthy as well. In terms of overall talent and production. Nugs have a good team don’t get me wrong but the system has a ton to do with their success. And thats due in part to Karl.

          • googergieger

            Spurs? Well system and coach there. I mean Parker and Duncan who’s age does hurt him sometimes are the two who we probably have no comparable talent to. Though if you look at our overall talent, we’d probably win in that department. Same with Clips. Paul is the clear upgrade they have. Griffin? Arguable. He gets the calls but his team mates work harder for his points than he does, and his defense is powerful weak. Again our overall team talent is among the best in the league. Nine player rotation with no real weakness. I mean over all. Some players might not be strong in one area but are in others to make up for that. And we have a team that can make up for the decencies of some with the strength of others.

            Anyways some of the players you mention are arguable. Faried seems to have Gasol’s number. Yes Pau had one or two strong games against Faried in the playoffs but in general Faried’s energy seems to wear Pau down. Dirk is an offensive minded guy. Very one dimensional. Strong scorer. Especially when healthy. Unguardable even. But defensively is going to be a push over. Paul George isn’t even an argument. He plays more minutes, takes more shots, and has the ball in his hands more than Gallo, and still Gallo is a more efficient scorer, better one on one defender, and the assist/turnover ratio cancel each other out. So really only rebounding? Which even then, the Denver Nuggets team rebounds better with Gallo on the floor, and we lead the league in rebounding. So something to be said for that. Again Griffin is arguable. Offensively he’ll give you plenty and again his team mates work harder for his points than he does. Rebounding? He’ll get you defensive rebounds when the offense is running back on defense. He’s a good passer. He’ll give you that I guess. Chandler?! Iguodala does more for us defensive than Chandler does for the Knicks if you go on the on/off the court numbers. What else does Chandler bring to the table? Sure as hell isn’t offense. Rebounding? Tip outs I guess, and even then he isn’t a better rebounder than Faried. If it wasn’t for the tip outs starting to get logged as rebounds Tyson would probably average around six rebounds a game. Harden is another one dimensional guy. And again you look at our team and most of the teams of the guys you mention and our over all talent squashes theirs. I mean Heat’s top two players are just so good and they get the whistle help as well, our overall talent has troubles with them but even still, our overall talent is amongst the best in the league.

            Again, like others you just seem obsessed with the four letter network idea of superstars and super teams, and the acceptance of the argument, other players are better than Denver players because they are.

            • mike

              ginobli would be the best player on this team too. as per usual you are smoking something. Tyson Chandler is one of the top 3 defensive bigs in the league and he is essentially the same player as faried on offense (complementary finisher offensive rebounder). In fact if they had him instead of Mcgee I would put them in the class of top teams in talent.
              Dirk not close as well as the gasols (when Pau is traded and featured again next year it will be obvious)
              Blake Griffin is an above average defender now. He is a top 10ish player in the league not close.

              Paul George you can make a contention now but next year he will be better than anyone else.

              And there are another 5-10 guys you can have arguments about in terms of lawson, iguodala and Gallo. If you’re going to argue guys that aren’t close like marc gasol and blake griffin there is not discussion to be had.

    • John in LA

      Had to keep the movie current for the kids, since I was going old skool with the TV shows…

      Figured it would be you Googergieger the “Negative Nelly” of the whole blog that would respond… and negatively no less, what a surprise.

      Little Timmy is allowed an opinion of course, i.e. “Gee willikers, that was a great game Father O’Hara, and thanks for the foot long” (to maintain the asinine attempt at humor)

      … but for Little Timmy to try and tell me that George Karl should be fired for using a more experienced line up that “tends” to make fewer mental mistakes… and in doing so winning at a high rate, year after year…then yes, Timmy should keep his mouth shut…

      Listen… there is a huge difference between… saying “I would…” or “I wish George would…” and repeatedly saying “THIS GUY NEEDS TO BE FIRED…” and “HE’S A FRICKIN’ MORON…” All that really does is illustrate who the moron most likely is…

      Karl is a winner pure and simple… he has taken every team he has every coached to the playoffs… something ridiculous like, 21 out of 24 years. He’s gotten to the Conference Finals in the WEST twice… won that once, only to lose in the NBA Finals to the team that holds the record for the most wins in a season…. EVER (Bulls 72 win season)….

      Always in a small market… always with very little Star Level talent… a few players here and there… GP, Kemp, Melo… but for the most part, he’s had some pretty workman level teams… and he still wins… So I’m gonna guess he knows what he is doing better than any of us do…

      I’m totally cool with wanting more, and better, but that is where you run into problems again… I’m not sure there is anyone better for this team… I think he is exactly the right coach for these players.

      Oh and the Alley Ooops, Noah tipped had no chance of going in, as more than 3/4 of the ball was outside of the iron… Unless it was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald… then maybe.

    • Charliemyboy

      I don’t think so. KK’s tip had no chance of going in; Noah’s was probably going in: the difference.

  • Grant

    If we beat OKC tomorrow then we will start to get national attention. AKA ESPN will begin comparing the streaks and starting every segment with the Nuggets/Heat, especially if they are playing on the same night.

  • GIANLUCA

    fire Karl , fire A.Miller

    Nuggets Nba Champion 2014

    • http://yahoo.com prospector

      Godbless you GIANLUCA!! I 100% agree..

    • Charliemyboy

      Gallo might be traded? Who do you want, Gallo or Chandler?

      • leeds

        would rather trade chandler…

  • http://yahoo.com prospector

    58 minutes from all your centers and PF’s during an ot game… Faried scored 6 straight points in the 3rd qtr only to be banished to the bench for the rest of the game.. You could have taken Miller’s fat ass out of the game and put Faried for the last 5 minutes… But I guess rebounds mean nothing in KARL’s NBA… Miller was clearly tired at the end of the game… Why the hell would you keep him on the floor in the 4th and OT when Robinson is going off? How many threes do we have to watch that old piece of garbage give up??? It is KARL’s small ball that is going to get us punked in the playoffs… I like chandler at the small forward spot.. I will remain on record saying if the dude is a SF-SG he should be getting most of his minutes at his position.. All you KARL is great folks, get ready for some humble pie when we get punked in the 1st round…. But none of you will call out his small ball crap… You’ll just say Our free throw did us in, or our three point shooting… Chicago was playing short handed and still almost beat us.. The stud formally known as MANIMAL is starting to press and force shots up… BECAUSE he knows he is one mistake away from being benched 75% of the second half…. Miller can play like crap, and play half ass defense and get rewarded with more minutes… I HATE KARL.. I hate his SMIRK…. I hate his monkey offense, you know press small ball button for banana… Memphis or the Clippers are going to beat us in the first round… All this 12 game winning streak is doing is making KARL think his two point guard MILLER crap is the bomb…. It’s like a crack addict on a 5 day binder picking up a hot chick.. Now crack head thinks ” Wow this crack really does help my game.” Definitely not a good thing for a crack head or KARL… Oh but you “KARL is a HALL of FAME COACH” people, give me a break…. Call me when he wins a ring…… Karl the “it’s better to lose pretty” underachiever…. I know how this story ends…….

    • Thomas

      It is quite frustrating to anyone that has serious playoff aspirations.

      The only chance we have in the playoffs is if Faried (and Koufos) play a ton of minutes. Faried will make mistakes (hell, Brewer makes 2 in a row most nights) but his contributions over a 30-40 minute stretch far outweigh those mistakes. This is so obvious it hurts.

    • Charliemyboy

      Faried missed assignment after assignment. Miller made mistakes, but did clutch work.

  • AaronCAPS

    Maybe if we beat OKC tomorrow somehow, We might get 12 seconds instead of 9 seconds on ESPN the next day!

  • Ackdog

    All you GK haters need to ease up. This team just won. Did MIA win easy NO!!! GK doesn’t have the luxury of going to Lebron, DWAde, and Bosch down the stretch. HE tries to mix and match on a nightly basis, based on who’s been playing well and the match-ups vs the other team. We win against a playoff team on the road and all I’m hearing is whining. This dude is the right coach for this TEAM!

    • googergieger

      “HE tries to mix and match on a nightly basis, based on who’s been playing well and the match-ups vs the other team. ”

      When?

      “We win against a playoff team on the road and all I’m hearing is whining. This dude is the right coach for this TEAM!”

      By one point in over time. Against a play off team without their best bench player, starting point guard, and veteran shooting guard, who even with Derrick Rose we’ve always matched up well against. In other words another game that should have been a blow out was barely a win. Yay for that?

      Look I’m over it. From a feeling stand point. But seriously, at least I can admit when Gallo has a shit night and him needing to work on his faults in general. I.E. Not aggressive enough on offense for us.

      • Ackdog

        The last two games that’s for sure. Very uncoventional tall line-up. He still uses his crutch(Miller) too often but he is even easing up on that over the last 4 or 5. It’s still the third youngest team in the league completely revamped from the Melo era. Let’s not forget the Nuggest are a below average road team as their record ablbeit skewed shows. A win over a depleted playoff team on the road without their star who they haven’t had all year is good enough for me, No we didn’t blow them out but we won in an adverse situation just like against Memphis. GK while he has his faults is bringing tis team along nicely.

        • Tom

          >> “The Nuggest are a below average road team”

          IMO this is a great example of what Matt was talking about in his first Staking a Claim post: the skewed perception Nuggets fans have about the team’s level of success.

          An average road team in an average year goes somewhere between 15-26 and 18-23 with a scoring margin of -2 to -4. Right now, Dallas (14-22, margin -4.6) and the Lakers (13-22, margin -3.0) are the league’s most average road teams.

          Denver is a slightly above average road team (16-19, margin -0.6), and an elite home team (30-3, margin +10.7). This sort of home-road dropoff is not a surprise for a young team; the Thunder are 10 points better on the home than on the road, and the Pacers are 9 points better at home than on the road.

      • Charliemyboy

        Everyone was off due to match ups and focus of Chicago. Our kids were still thinking of the 30 point blow out and having to play OKC tomorrow… lost focus. Ty was out of it but corraled when he tried. Faried should not guard PF; let Gallo. Iggy needs to teach Faried defense anticipation and foot work. KK tip was falling out; Noah’s going in.

        • Thomas

          There is just no way Gallo can guard any good PF – why do you think GK (even him) doesn’t do it for more than a few possessions a game. Gallo can’t handle it.

          It’s just a shame that GK and so many fans can’t see that Faried is a special player that will become more of a force the more minutes he is given and allowed to develop. Benching him for 1 or 2 blown assignments is just not smart coaching.

          Games will slow down to a halt in the playoffs and in order to win you need to rebound the ball and get second opportunities. Without Faried (or KK) for 35+ minutes we will get Brewer, Miller, Gallo, Chandler and Ty line-ups. That is a recipe for disaster in playoff series.

          • Charliemyboy

            Then we have a problem defending that position; Faried can’t do it either. Chandler? How about McGee and KK in the same time?

            • Thomas

              You’d make a good GK assistant.

  • googergieger

    Well even his most adamant supporters agree that if he doesn’t get out of the first round with this team we should get someone new. Unless you are arguing playoffs should forever be our ceiling?

    In any case, we are easily the third best team in the west right now and heading into the season we were the fourth best team.

    It is easy to come in and look at the schedule and go this is a loss, this is a win, and this one is fifty/fifty.

    And if you watch games like that, and only watch games like that. Then yeah, Karl and this team are probably where they need to be.

    However a one point win in over time against a depleted Bulls team that even when healthy with Rose we match up brilliant against sounds a lot different than, “we beat a playoff team on their home court and are now up to twelve wins in a row!”.

    Again this is about circumstances and how this team is winning and how this team is losing. When you look at some games we’ve lost, often times if you’ve watched the game you walk away with a, “we should have won that one” feeling. Heck even some games we’ve won you walk away with a, “that was harder than it had to be” feeling.

    Again as far as team talent goes, we are one of the best in the league. When you actually watch our games, we’ve under achieved more than over achieved or even come out about where we should be. Karl deserves props for games like the OKC wins. I’ve given him that. He also deserves blame for losses like the Memphis one and wins like tonight. Which again was much harder than it should have been.

    It was still a shot that wasn’t given the opportunity to make or miss. If you could just catch shots that might or more than likely will miss and “guide” them in, literally every team would do that. Might as well have Denver chuck up three’s and tell McGee to go get it.

    • airvaid

      I really hope they get someone new. Oh how I wish. I love Andrew Wiggins. Get someone new and bottom out. Wiggins is necessary.

  • Vec

    credit? Iggy hits a 3 game winning 3, but don’t get the credit because he shot bad in the game…WTH If Miller didn’t pass the ball he would’ve probably shot it and got blocked or missed it, game over Bulls win. Iggy hits the 3 with a Joakim running at him and already had 7 blocks! Give him credit for not choking. Chandler played a great game, deserves an A+, but he did not win the game for Denver. Chandler had a chance but did to much and got blocked. Ty, if he was sick, should’ve sat the beginning of the game, yes he was the defensive liability. Coach should’ve put Iggy on Nate when Lawson couldn’t contain him. Iggy had 10boards, 2st, 3blks 4-4 free throws..and the last winning shot, deserves a B at least.

    • Ackdog

      On the play Chandler got blocked Noah was in the lane for 5 seconds while his immediate oppenent(Iggy) was behind the three point line in the middle of the court. I watched the replay 5 times and couldn’t believe the refs didn’t blow the whistle. It was one of the worst officiated games ‘ve seen in awhile. We had a few go our way and we got the W so I can’t complain

  • Giovanni

    Too much negativity boys(we are the Nuggets 0 rings and 0 finals appareance)
    I want win tonight not make excuse..

    Karl is ever the same coach of the past 9 years..
    Some good some bad…

    The Nuggets are one of the most talented team of nba…
    We have a bench that can make the play offs in the east.

    No bullshit tonight…
    Let’s kicking the butt of Durant and poor Kobe…

    Ps it’s sad see Mgee play only 22 minute when he was in a monster mode testerday…

  • airvaid

    This site is becoming a caricature. George Karl haters are just angry the Nuggets won tonight. “How dare they? WTF am I gonna complain about now? Oh we’ll I’ll just spout random nonsense about rotations and defense since you know I have never even coached a team of middle school kids, I know it all”

    • James

      Amen. I hope these people aren’t this negative about everything else in their lives. (“I just got a $50,000 raise? It should have been $60!”) No way to live.

      But take heart. Googer said he’d never complain about Karl again (and thus, we wouldn’t have to read 12 posts about Karl’s deficiencies after 12 straight wins), so this could be a really big one for this site.

      Some jest in that – there is a lot of good analysis on here, even from Googer, but the complaining after a win (much less the 12th in a row) is mind-boggling. I think some of these people truly hope the Nuggets lose in the playoffs just so they feel validated.

  • Cephus

    It wasn’t pretty, but it was a win & I’m loving the streak. Maybe it’s from living in Cleveland & seeing the agony of Cavs as a expansion team , finally getting good only to implode under Ted Stepion. You can call me a lot of things but don’t say I can’t appreciate a winning streak or a team that plays hard if not skillfully.

    If you’ve beat a Tom T. coached team at home, you’ve done something. Wonder the Karl critics hold themselves to the same standards they hold G.K. to ? Not likely.

    I refuse to end this post on a negative note. Can we all agree that Javale jam was awesome? One can get so frustrated with him & then he makes Noah look like a punk ( no dig at Noah , love his blue collar ethic) .

    • nugswin

      Ted Stepion. Wow, you’re legit old school!

  • Tom2

    I’m really impressed that the Nuggets were able to pull out this win. Not too long ago, Chicago was the best team in the league and one of the best defensive teams of their era. Even with the injuries, they’re still loaded with talent (Denver tried to trade for Deng once, and Chicago laughed), with all-star potential talent and production at several positions, a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year in Noah, and one of the best young head coaches in the game in Thibodeau. Beating a playoff team in their building is always a good win.

    A shake-up of the starting lineup might be justified considering how much they’re underperforming at the moment. It’s becoming apparent that Chandler deserves starters minutes and Faried deserves backup minutes. The only problem is that Faried and McGee are terrible together, so you have to stagger their court time. One idea might be starting Chandler over Faried and McGee over Koufos. I know Koufos has been one of the most consistent starters all season, but McGee does have the big contract, and he might play better if paired with Chandler in the front court starting off the game. On the other hand, why mess with a good thing? If the Nuggets are winning, then keep on keeping on.

    It’s amazing to think that if Gallo, Iggy, and Chandler hadn’t all been injured right before the all-star break, that the Nuggets might be on an epic Miami-like win streak right now. Even with those bad East Conference road losses (the Boston loss especially hurt), the Nuggets still have the 2nd-best record in 2013, right behind the Heat. The Nuggets are the 4th-youngest team in the league and have no all-stars (except for Iggy last year). They don’t even have many high draft picks on the team. Gallo was 6th, Iggy 9th, Brewer 7th, Miller 8th, and all the other players were drafted out of the lottery. The team as the rotation is currently constructed hasn’t even been together for a full year. The only player that’s still on the team from the Melo era is Lawson, and he only played one year with Melo! The Nuggets are the worst shooting team in the league as evidenced by FT and 3PT shooting, and they’re so young, they make tons of defensive mistakes and are consequently mediocre on defense. So how does a young team without much blue-chip talent, that can’t shoot and is mediocre defensively, how does this team keep winning? How in the world is this team one of the 5 best in the NBA right now when they don’t even have one of the 20-30 best players? George Karl is a fricking magician! He has these guys playing at an extremely high level game after game, focusing on their strengths and minimizing their weaknesses, leveraging Denver’s unique altitude advantage, confounding the game plans of other coaches through pace and the fast break, exploiting size mismatches with speed and endurance. I’m really impressed with George Karl, and this might be the greatest he’s ever coached.

  • Tom2

    After watching replays, I don’t think Koufos’s put-back was basket interference or goal tending. The ball clearly bounced off the rim and was mostly out of the cylinder, which is legal for players to touch (it’s not legal if the ball is in contact with the rim). Also, Noah had two other tips that were almost identical. Noah’s last play was clear-as-day illegal, though, so this is not an asterisk win in my opinion.

    • tz13

      I agree with you 100% mate. Koufos is not goaltending at all while Noah was. With 1.7s left it was not easy for Bulls to accept the decision, so their complaining is justified. Comparing this play to an alley-oop cannot be done, as the ball was going to interfere with the rim.

  • leeds

    People need to relax.. though I am not a GK fan, winning 12 in a row is a feat….however GK will be graded and should be graded on playoff performance.
    GK has not done so well in the playoffs, and even though winning 12 is nice, I fear the same thing will happen to the Nugs this year.

    They always close out the year great, playing at a high level in March and April every year…and then comes playoff time and they blow. The only person here for all of the recent playoff failures is GK… We have turned our team over and got the team GK wanted…no superstars…

    so let’s see what happens in the playoffs.

    For those of you happy about making the playoffs, that is like getting a “B” every year. Should we all be shooting for an “A+” (championship) or are we just settling for very good?

  • Ckwizard

    I said it once So I guess I will say it again…”This Nuggets team will go as far as Ty Lawson takes them.” For those criticizing GK I think he did a good job this game because the Nuggets won on the road and Ty Lawson played like crap almost the intire game… Ty was supposedly sick with flu. Those that think this team is overachieving or that this team is equivalent to the ” Pacers ” talent level are ” superstar ” fans! In that you view talent through a lens that requires individual accolades to outshine team needs and success for talent to be realized. George Karl’s team won despite a bad games from his top three players that is what was not happening at the beginning of the year. Ty is the driving force behind the Nuggets winning in the playoffs and George Karl and the Nuggets front office have put their money on him…. So IMO the grade for George Karl should reflect him actually overcoming and his team escaping with the win because George Karl’s substitutions gave the Team the lead and the chance to win and ultimately his faith in his players aid off in the end. None of it matters come playoff time. Go Nuggets!

  • leeds

    I think the problem people have with GK is the Nugs were up 8 or 9 in the 4th with about 5 minutes left. GK decides to go small and the lead slowly disappeared.

    • airvaid

      What was the 5-man line-up during those 5 minutes?

      How did that particular line-up do earlier in the game?

      How has that line-up done when played together earlier in the season?

      If you’re gonna criticize someone, atleast back it up with some facts as to why that line-up is bad.

      I have seen Miami Heat give up leads with LeBron, Bosh and Wade on the floor. Doesn’t mean Spoelstra is an idiot for playing them together.

      But if the line-up consistently ends up with a negative differential in points, then it could be fair criticism. You understand where I am going with this?

      People criticize the 2 PG line-up, but I think someone on this site did a feature, that showed that the nuggets were actually doing well with the 2 PG line-up.

      And to all the Karl haters I say, 46-22. With one of the most brutal schedules in recent times. Go suck on some inches.

      • leeds

        dude, airvad, relax, all i said was i think people are upset because of the small ball and the team gave up the lead…

        that is a fact…the team did give up the 9 point lead.

        at 5:43 mark, DEN 94-85
        Chandler comes in for McGee

        at 4:31 mark, Ty enters for Miller
        Denver was up 96-87

        at 2:41 mark, Miller enters for Brewer
        Denver up 99-94

        at 0:17 mark, Brewer enters game ofr Ty
        Denver up 105-102

        Miller promptly gives up Robinson 3 to tie the game.

        Those are facts

        • leeds

          so since he went small in the last 5:43, that is a -9 for the Nuggets

        • airvaid

          That’s a one game sample of 5 minutes. Like I said sometimes even LeBron, Bosh and Wade go -9 over a 5 minute span.

          Doesn’t make it a bad line-up. Unless you have a statistical evidence that this line-up used for a longer period of time has a negative differential.

          Coaches experiment with line-ups and set-ups. And a 5 minute sample for bashing a line-up is just too small to criticize a coach winning 46 games.

          • leeds

            we are talking about closing out a game and winning it.

            You are not being realistic…if you see your lead shrink because the bulls are outbounding you or school old man Miller, a good coach says I see that my small ball is giving up the lead, hey let me change it up this time.

            you can experiment with different lineups in the 1st half

          • leeds

            Airvaid, my evidence from last night’s game is the Nugs gave up the 9 point lead with small ball the last 5:43 seconds of the 4th.

            This is about last night’s game…and an entire season when the small ball goes against the other team’s second string.

            with your stats, do they show who the lineup go up against? Such as the other team’s second stringers? Our bench is much much better than most’s teams second stringer, so to use the +- stat, it needs to be with a caveat…

            You need to consider who that lineup do the same against another team’s starters?

            Does that lineup play well int eh 4th when teams are actually trying?

            • airvaid

              http://bkref.com/tiny/mAhGc

              This is 5 man line-up data for all line-ups logging more than 100 minutes together. This BBall ref.
              Guess which one is the best?
              The small line-up which consists of both Ty Lawson and Andre Miller.
              Ty-Miller-Iguodala-Gallinari-Faried is +13 per 100 possessions

              This is the small line up Karl uses to close out games usually. Yesterday Chandler had the hot hand, hence replacing Faried in the line-up. And Ty was under the flu.

              Under the circumstances it was the right lineup to use. We play better when we play small. Did it not work? Yes we blew a 9 point lead. Did Karl correct it and we went on to win the match? Yes.

              Lineups need to be tried to see whether they are effective or not. I could understand the grumbling if we lost. But we didn’t.

  • Trip

    I cant blame it all on the refs but they had some pretty bad calls/no calls. The one that got me the most fired up was the no call on Boozer when he spun twice switched his pivot foot then took a step and there was no travel called. It was a crucial part of their mid 4th quarter run to get the game close again. I know they dont like to call travel in the NBA a lot but what makes this worse was Miller gets called on the other end maybe a possession later, and he did the same thing only kept his pivot foot down.

    Also how does Chandler grab a rebound right in front of the ref, get pushed in the back by Noah (i believe) and then they call Chandler stepping out of bounds? Giving the bulls another offensive possession. This was late in the 4th.

  • http://espn gary g

    Its tough to grade out this one. They didn’t play great, yet their biggest strength, their bench, showed up and pulled it off. They let a lead slip late, yet won in a fashion which has been documented as their biggest weakness, big shot in the clutch – on the road. Of course in the back ground is the perpetual noise about GK’s rotations and his head scratching moves late, yet he somehow manages to keep this group focussed enough to win more than lose, and find at least one guy every night who guides the ship through the storm.
    A ‘W’ is always good and think this is one of those where you accept that, bag it, and move on. Would’ve liked to have this one done in regulation due to this being a B2B and conserve some energy, but that could’ve also resulted in a false sense of accomplishment and hence, a possibility of a lil bit of complacency going into tonight.
    The way it ended yesterday might just be a blessing in disguise, both for confidence, and against complacency…..at least I hope so.

  • airvaid

    http://bkref.com/tiny/mAhGc

    This is 5 man line-up data for all line-ups logging more than 100 minutes together. This BBall ref.

    Guess which one is the best?

    The small line-up which consists of both Ty Lawson and Andre Miller.

    Ty-Miller-Iguodala-Gallinari-Faried is +13 per 100 possessions

    Also for the McGee lover on this board, check out the worst line-up

    Ty – Iguodala – Gallinari – Faried – McGee is -11.7 per 100 possesions.

    When Koufos replaces McGee in that line-up it goes upto +7 per 100 possessions.

  • Michael

    The game shouldn’t have gone into overtime for several reasons (cough, free throws, cough) but the main reason is that Marco Belinelli’s 3 was clearly a 2 his foot was nearly entirely over the line. I spotted as it was live and it was confirmed when I looked closer in the replays.

    I agree with the others that the Bulls commentators were terrible and having a massive cry about the dis-allowed Noah tip-in which I felt was goal tending because part of the ball was above the rim. Having said that, Kosta’s tip-in should probably have been goal tending too but it just seemed to fit with the many bad/missed calls on the night.

  • Woobly o Balls

    Weird to see 2 very similar players, Wilson Chandler and Jeff Green, who have been very underwhelming compared to their potential since being traded, start to have some big games consistently

  • Frank

    All you Karl haters are morons. You don’t win 29 of 36 since January (including a pair of the biggest win streaks Denver has enjoyed in a long time) with an incompetent coach. Shut up and go root for the Heat if you’re gonna bitch about Karl after every game the Nuggets play, regardless of the outcome. Despite the horrible officiating late in the 4th, as Trip mentioned, we still somehow managed to pull out a gutsy win on the road against a very good defensive team and you can’t say the head coach had nothing to do with it.

  • Giovanni

    Karl isn’t an incompetent coach but has his lacks…

    Or his a genius?

    Sometimes his coaching is horrendous(see last night)..

    The very question is:with Karl the Nuggets can pass the first run?

    I hope..

    Ps for me Karl is a mediocre/sufficiente coach..
    Because with that basket style(Doug Moe docet) win in regilar seaon but don’t fit in play offs…

  • Aaron

    Is anyone watching this game???get the thread going!!! We’re RUNNIN the Thunder. The refs are trying, but I think we might be too good tonight. It helps that they can’t hit anything. But, we’ll take it. Let’s talk it up!!!