Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 114, Oklahoma City Thunder 104

Tonight, the Denver Nuggets went into the house of one of the league’s elite teams on the second night of a back-to-back in what most Nuggets fans and NBA observers thought would likely be a scheduled loss. But they defied expectations, extending their winning streak to an NBA franchise record 13 games, in their most impressive victory of the season.

Denver Nuggets 114 FinalRecap | Box Score 104 Oklahoma City Thunder
Danilo Gallinari, SF 33 MIN | 4-17 FG | 3-4 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 13 PTS | +13

It seems that Gallinari has found his way back into a shooting slump at the worst possible time. Fortunately his teammates (especially Wilson Chandler) have thus far been able to pick up the slack in offensive production, but it will be extremely difficult for the Nuggets to get out of the first round if he can’t get back his mojo. On the plus side of the scale, Kevin Durant’s 34 points seemed very quiet and contained. He’s always going to get his to a certain extent, but he never really seemed a threat to take over the game, and Gallinari played an important role in that, as evidenced by the fact he was +13 despite some very poor shooting.

Kenneth Faried, SF 34 MIN | 5-7 FG | 3-4 FT | 15 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | +5

Faried’s rebounding was key in this win. And while he’s more well known for his offensive rebounding, it was his work on the defensive glass in the second half that really paid off bigger in this game. His energy and physicality were a spark for the Nuggets that helped them weather the Thunder’s attempts to cut back into the lead Denver had most of the game..

Kosta Koufos, C 16 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +7

Koufos largely redeemed his pretty-bad first half with more focused and energized play in the second. He was struggling to finish at the rim most of the night, but he did at least find a way later in the game to be more effective in the defense and rebounding departments.

Ty Lawson, PG 36 MIN | 8-13 FG | 7-7 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 25 PTS | +12

Lawson carried his team through much of this game, even if it was in a slightly understated manner. He played a measured, controlled game that seemed to create a levelheaded, no panic temperament for his team. He only had four assists, but he also had no turnovers. In a game where early on it looked like sloppy and mistaken play could cost Denver the game, Ty’s ability to limit the errors was crucial.

Andre Iguodala, SG 36 MIN | 5-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | +17

Iguodala has the green light to shoot 3-pointers at will, but it remains unclear why George Karl considers this a good thing (desperation go-ahead three in Chicago notwithstanding). He’s incredibly efficient at the rim and as a playmaker, so much like Andre Miller, when there’s time on the clock and he gets the ball at the arc, passing, driving and posting up should really be his only options. With that little rant out of the way, the good news tonight, as usual, was his defense. He captained an excellent team defensive effort that resulted in just 38 second half points for the Thunder, and similarly to Gallo had a high +/- (the highest, in fact) despite his poor shooting.

Corey Brewer, SF 23 MIN | 5-11 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 4 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 11 PTS | -6

Brewer also got in on the poor 3-point shooting tonight, but that was offset to a point by his four steals that helped disrupt the flow of the Thunder’s offense and keep them off balance. Beyond that, however, he really had a minimal impact on either side of the floor in this game.

JaVale McGee, C 16 MIN | 3-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | 0

Like Koufos, McGee got off to a pretty bad start in this game. He did less than Kosta, however, in making up for it later in the game, as some sloppy offensive play and defensive lapses had an erasing effect on his positive contributions.

Andre Miller, PG 23 MIN | 6-11 FG | 8-9 FT | 7 REB | 9 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 20 PTS | +4

On his 37th birthday, Andre Miller decided to take control of the game in the fourth quarter, making big shot after big shot, and sealing up the win at the free throw line. In an interview after the game, Kenneth Faried described an inspirational pre-game speech that Miller gave the team, telling them they had no excuses to lose this game. He took his own message to heart at the end of the game, and although I’d prefer to see the ball in other players’ hands more often when a big game is on the line, it was nice to see Dre shine tonight as he completed his 37th revolution around the Sun.

Wilson Chandler, SG 23 MIN | 4-8 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | +3

Wilson cooled off after his huge 35-point outing in Chicago the night before. He was efficient in this game, but his production was rather limited. His defense was solid, however, and the impact he did have on the game was a net positive. Unfortunately, Chandler suffered a left shoulder separation late in the game and did not return. Hopefully his unjury will not prove to be too serious.

George Karl

The Denver Nuggets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder on the second night of a back-to-back after a very exhausting overtime game in Chicago, and extended their win streak to a franchise record 13. Against odds that were dauntingly stacked against them, they got the job done. Mentally the Nuggets were in this game from buzzer to buzzer, not intimidated in any way, clearly confident they can not only hang with but beat the best of them. They were completely prepared to win this game, and they executed. This is just one of those cases where nitpicking rotations, time outs, inbound plays and the like just gets outshined by the results.In looking at the box score, it almost might be inferred that Karl’s game plan was essentially to let Durant and Westbrook get theirs but put a stranglehold on the production of the rest of the team. Only one other Thunder player — Kevin Martin with 14 points — scored in double figures. It’s almost as if Karl wanted to take away Oklahoma City’s “teamness.”

Koufos and McGee only played 16 minutes apiece, which meant we saw a whole lot of small ball in this game. And Denver allowed 50 points in the paint. But they scored 72 of their own, and Miller’s play in the fourth makes Karl look smart no matter where you come down on the tactical question of how much small ball is too much.

The only additional comment about Karl I’d like to make is that he took a technical foul to defend his players in the second quarter, after Westbrook had been politicking the zebras the entire game. It was good for George to show he had his guys’ backs, and surprisingly, the officiating down the stretch was not nearly as superstar-favored as one might expect.

Two Things We Saw

  1. Streaking. The Nuggetes reached a milestone with tonight’s win as they set a new franchise winning streak record as an NBA team with their 13th consecutive win. Additinally, they also are in reach of setting a new NBA franchise record in wins in a season. With 13 games remaining and 47 current wins, they must finish 8-5 or better (.615) to break the old record of 54 wins. Given that their current winning percentage is .681, this seems quite feasible.
  2. Seeding. Tomorrow night the Thunder, who will be hungry for a win after this loss, will head to Memphis and try to do the Nuggets a favor by beating the Grizzlies, who are now a half game ahead of Denver in the standings. In other good news for the Nuggets, the L.A. Clippers lost against Sacramento tonight, meaning they too are now just a half game ahead of Denver. Their task tomorrow night will be easier than Memphis’, though, as they face the 76ers. For their part, the Nuggets have two home games coming up — against Philadelphia and Sacramento — that should be wins which help them stay in the hunt for home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

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Joel is a long time Denver Nuggets (and Broncos) fan from Colorado who's been living in Japan since the mid-90s, and blogging about the Nuggets since 2008. You can contact and follow him on Twitter: @denbutsu.
  • Dan

    All Denver after the 1st quarter. And Dre was the mvp of the night, really kept the game under control in the 4th.

    • kg

      The Nuggs hit their free throws tonight. When that happens we can beat any team.

      The league should be wary… This team is for real!

    • Thomas

      What a game! The mental toughness we displayed was not present in Nuggets teams of the past, a very good development as we near the playoffs.

  • googergieger

    I didn’t watch tonight’s game. Honestly I figured it was a loss. Back to back. Bad refs. Just didn’t think we’d have a chance. I said if Karl and his team wins tonight, I would never criticize or bad mouth Karl again, and you know what? I’m a man of my word.

    Congratulations Karl and Nuggets! Proud of you and this team! Can’t wait to watch this game tomorrow.

    • Ban Johnson

      The funny thing is, the Nuggets closed it in the 4th in a way designed by the basketball gods to shut up all us GK AM man-love critics. At least for a game or two.

      Happy birthday Andre Miller!

    • Ernie

      Didn’t even TIVO the game just in case?

      • googergieger

        Don’t have tivo, I’ll watch it online tomorrow or later on though.

        • trank

          how do you do that?

          • googergieger

            People on the Russian Facebook upload basketball games all the time.

            • trank

              thanks. dang, they just got my soc security #!

    • Ackdog

      Good work goog man get on the GK bandwagon. Great win by the boys and this team is deep enough to withstand a few injuries over the next couple of weeks. The key will be going into the playoffs healthy

  • Brian

    Concerned about Wilson Chandler. Anyone have any info?

    • http://espn herpderpnuggets

      I was wondering the same….would be a huge loss if he is gone until the postseason

    • bosc0

      Seperated shoulder. Feel sorry for Wil, just as he was as his prime!

      • Ban Johnson

        What? Where’d you hear that? Sucks big time if he’s out for the playoffs!

        • Gorillabuddy

          It didn’t look too bad. He winced but it seemed like he wasn’t too badly hurt. So I’d assume he’ll be out for a few weeks but be back in time for the playoffs.

          • CJP32

            A separated shoulder injury is typically 2-6 weeks recovery. Ty apparently aggravated his Achilles again to

            • Dan

              Chandler is doubtful for Thursday but is listed as day-to-day. Ty is day-to-day with a heel bruise. Neither seems very serious.

      • theo

        Adding insult to injury, he gets aggressively picked by Collison and Durant runs him into the pick and Ill Will gets called for the foul. Unbelievable.

    • Mark

      Typical Nuggets. As soon as they start to look like a real threat, a major injury (or two) may threaten their status as a real contender in the West. Is there another team with worse luck?

    • will

      yeah that injury to chandler is really bad news. He’s been playing great.

    • GK4Prez

      He tweeted that he should be fine, and I hope he is right because the man has been playing quite well.

      • al68

        Chandler was the one that made ​​the difference this year. Without it we would be worse than last year’s team and the third seed would think for LAC.
        Neither Iggy Ujiri or how different this team from last year has been having to W. Chandler healthy.

  • Andrew K

    I didn’t watch it either! What happened? By the stats it looks like Lawson had a good game.

  • Brad

    Rhut-rho, Shaggy!! Ill Will hurt…not good. Anybody know how long they think he’ll be out?

  • Scott

    I don’t want to hear one negative thing.

    A+’s all around.

    I love my nuggets!

  • Ban Johnson

    Fire George Karl! (just kidding)

    Andre Miller was actually the perfect guy to close this guy. I just wish GK understood it didn’t have to be EVERY GAME.

    I thought GK managed this one pretty well. Small ball actually works decently at times against OKC, since their bigs are not scoring threat… But Karl needs to be quick with the trigger bringing back McGee or Koufos whenever Westbrook or Durant are getting too many minutes.

    Anyway, 13 in a row. Wowsers! Nuggets have now won the season series against Memphis, OKC, and LAC.

    I think it’s getting undeniable that the Nuggets are among the contenders of the West. If not right there with OKC and SA, just a hair behind.

    The Nuggets’ time is now. Why wait?

    By the way, Shaq is right. Manimal is the Nuggets’ superstar. He’s inconsistent, and not yet a great player. But he’s the one guy on the Nuggets who can raise his game to a transcendent level. He did it again tonight in the 3rd — just willed the Nugs to a big lead.

  • Aaron

    I don’t care who you are. . .that’s impressive. It pains me to say, but gotta give credit where credit is due to Old Man YMCA Miller. We probably don’t win that without him. Ty was totally gassed with about 5 minutes left. Kudos to Karl for Offense/Defense subs.

    OKC wants no part of us in the playoffs. We would win that series, it might not be close. They can’t guard us at all as goog usually says. Unfortunately, Memphis can guard us, and we need to figure them out.

    Matchups in the playoffs have historically gone bad for us. . some of those Carmelo years we would’ve beaten 4 other teams in the playoffs, but we get Kobe, or Tim Duncan’s Spurs and we don’t advance. Not enough is written about the matchups in our one and done streak. It matters. . and the year we get New Orleans, look what happens.

    What an impressive win!

    • Ban Johnson

      Need to get that 3rd seed and play GS, Hou, or LAL. LAC and Memphis are both tough matchups, in my opinion. Winnable, but tough.

  • Aaron

    Separated Shoulder usually isn’t too long (that’s what it was). The problem is even when you get back, he might not have his 3 ball for a while. But, he’ll be ok. We have a few easier games if he needs to sit a bit.

    • Mark

      Depends how badly separated. It can mean a week of rest, or it can mean 2-3 months of rehab. It can even mean surgery. My fingers are crossed – we need Chandler on offense and defense to make a deep playoff run.

  • Paul

    Do you believe yet?! I’m tired of holding in my passion for this team as all us nugget supporters are apparently supposed to withhold our expectations due to past one and dones. We just don’t have the all star, the go to guy, the talent to contend. SCREW THAT. We play team
    Ball and there is NOBODY we can’t beat.

  • mike

    Wow. Im very impressed. Probably the most impressive game in terms of great game potentially meaning something for the playoffs since 2009. I am very surprised. Lawson, Miller and Faried were awesome. Iguodala was great on Defense and adequate on offense.

    Obviously I underestimated how good Karl is. AND Ive been one of the people here saying he is good. Getting this team to this point is pretty impressive. I think he needs to be up for coach of the year honors (maybe not the winner but top 5 for sure probably top 3). Ive upgraded my standards on this team to a half step behind SAS and OKC for playoffs (because of extra time Durant and Westbrook get to play). To me that means I expect a 6 or 7 game series loss, but with a little luck (3 pt shooting, medium end injury) Denver could beat those teams. Memphis and LAC I would give them slight advantage against each (though I am reticent to underestimate a healthy Chris Paul).

    • theo

      Of course Karl is in the coach of the year discussion. That’s already obvious among observers around the country that get the game. Only a small subset of Denver fans that often dominate local Nugs threads (and even a couple that write for this blog) think he’s a terrible coach and needs to be fired. Again, 47 win pace last year over 82 games and 58 or more wins this year and helped turn a very young team into one of the 4 or 5 best teams the league. Those are the facts. The rest is just speculation. Coaches and GM’s are judged on wins and losses, not on the kind of micro analysis about in game decisions that many fans and bloggers love to engage in.

      • Ban Johnson

        You know, it’s possible to understand:

        1) George Karl has done an excellent job big-picture with this team. They play hard and unselfish. They play a system that suits and enhances the talent.

        AND

        2) George Karl makes micro-decisions that are puzzling sometimes to hardcore Nuggets’ fans who actually watch every minute of every Nuggets game.

        It doesn’t have to be one or the other. We’re intelligent adults. We can hold multiple thoughts and emotions at the same time.

        • theo

          I’m guessing most of us watch every minute–except for the fans that wear us out here on the thread but don’t bother to actually watch games they think we’ll lose. Pretty confident all of us here can entertain multiple thoughts.

          My point is that the micro analysis of in game decisions–yes, sometimes hard to understand for a variety of reasons–makes little difference in the way a GM or an educated fan base should respond over the course of a season. That kind of thing is entertainment and gives people a chance to vent, but not much more.

          More important? Is the team improving over the course of a season? Is the team improving season to season? Is the team underachieving or overachieving? In my mind those are more relevant and interesting questions.

          Those are the kinds of questions Ujiri is certainly asking. Karl will go into the Hall of Fame on a unanimous first ballot vote and has worked basically without interruption for 25 years in a ruthless profession where you get fired tomorrow if you don’t produce–unlike NBA bloggers–because he usually produces. It’s not that complicated.

        • mike

          you can’t be an intelligent adult and think he has done an excellent job Macro and call for his job 12 games into a 12 game win streak (as some people were implying after chicago game). It defines impulsive non-thinking. And certainly after every loss there are numerous people suggesting he be gone. The equivalent is saying you have a beautiful, funny, smart, caring doctor wife who every time she says she is too cold in the house you YELL: that’s it. Your cold toes are RUINING MY LIFE. Lets get a divorce.
          ITs irrational and the opposite of an intelligent adult.

      • GK4Prez

        I am withholding my judgement for the first round, once it is over with, it will settle the debate for one side or the other.

        • Ackdog

          That’s the easy way out GK. Give crdit where it is due. GK has done a great job without a go to guy. For goodness sakes don’t sit on the fence get on the GK bandwagon. Hall of FAME BABY!

          • Native Nugget

            I started daydreaming about the “pretty doctor wife” and then GK’s face popped up. I no longer like the analogy. : )

  • Ckwizard

    Happy B-Day Miller, Again how good can these Nuggts be? Miller brings that intangible thing that he Nuggets will need in the playoffs…. Oh and any one else still think I was high when I said this team was good enough to win out back what seven games ago almost all the other jokers on this blog were predicting three losses… But Truh be told I am a Nuggets homer at this point and am officially drowning in the Kool-Aid… Nuggets are better than you all thought , they are just as talented as the Thunder because of their depth which allows them to exploit match ups through out a game and that can be utilized durin the playoffs… Losing Chandler if long term does hurt this teams potential but Ty had a great game and as Ty goes so does these Nuggets. Go Nuggets!

  • Brad

    I heard GK say “slight separation” may not be that bad.

  • Aaron

    Ty strained his achilles too. . . we’ll need some defense and some Evan Fournier on Thursday.

  • theo

    Season just officially moved from impressive to potentially magical and historic. No reason now we can’t win 58 or maybe more—yes, I just said that.

    I get why some long term Nugs fans seem to have Post Traumatic Fan Stress Syndrome with all the terrible teams over the years and the teasing of the past 9 years or so with good to very good teams—except for 2009—that did the one and done. I get the fear that something bad will soon happen—the refs will do us, the bottom will fall out somehow, the coach is a ticking time bomb, etc. Not necessarily irrational thinking given the history, but maybe not appropriate this time around.

    So much of the talk here has been about which teams we don’t want to see in the playoffs and the seed we need. Maybe it’s time to consider whether any team in the western conference wants to see us in the playoffs.

    The win tonight was huge for another reason. OKC plays Memphis next and will no doubt come out angry and determined. Thunder still has to get home court advantage in the west providing yet more motivation.

    Golden State in the first round is now the clear and realistic goal.

    • Jeff

      Golden state would be great, and personally my 2 favorite teams. Should we fear the lakers? They’re kind of a wildcard. Don’t know what kind of team they will be come playoff time.

      • Duncan

        I don’t see why we should fear anyone we’re going to see in the 1st round if we have HCA.

      • googergieger

        Actually this team is showing me they can win even when the refs aren’t giving them anything. We dominated The Lakers even when the refs help them. I mean some fear about facing the Lakers because of Karl’s history with them, but this team we got. Lakers would be terrified of us. Last time they played us, Kobe was in shock. It’d be really sweet and emotional if we swept them in the first round, but I’ll be happy just making it to the second round. I’m confident in our chances to make the conference finals, but I just need a second round appearance to be happy this season!

        • Ackdog

          I ust want a “like” button on some of your posts like this one. Most days I want a “dislike” button though. Even the hardcore haters are coming around. Bring on the playoffs!

          • googergieger

            I’ve always loved this team firstly. I mean I’ve been one of it’s biggest supporters from the start. Before the streak and during the shit schedule I said this was a top four team in the west with a shot at the third seed. Now they are playing better than that, but again I’ve always been a fan of this team. Second round was the easy part, and I still believe there is a puncher’s chance to get into the conference finals where anything would be possible. I’ve had plenty of problems with Karl, and when he deserves credit I give him it. But again, when he deserves blame I’ve given him that too. Am a man of my word though, and since he won tonight, he gets a free pass from me for the rest of the season.

            • Ackdog

              LIKE :)

      • mike

        the lakers are trash. They’re a 5 game series with at least two beat downs as they play horrible against running teams and teams that get to the rack especially speedy point guards like ty.

      • theo

        Grew up in the Bay Area so feel the Warriors too. Get your concern about the Lakers but not worried now. With Kobe hobbled not sure they’ll even make the playoffs. If by some chance we get them in a series we’ll run them off the court–they just don’t have the athletes, particularly on the bench, to keep up with us. We have plenty of 7 footers to throw against Dwight and lots of fouls to give.

    • Tom

      This is the first year I can remember where there doesn’t seem to be an easy path to the finals for anybody in the West. Every playoff team is dangerous for different reasons. There are teams that can win with a star or two going off, teams that can win with depth, teams that can win with hot outside shooting, teams that can win in the paint, teams that can win with brutal defense…

      The Nuggets are a team nobody wants to play, but nobody’s lining up to face the Lakers or Grizzlies either. This is going to be a great year for playoff basketball.

  • Zorba

    Put it in your mind. There are no benchers on this team…
    Big win!!!

  • Andrew

    Wow. GO NUGGETS! Would be great to be able to give Ty and Chando some time to recup for a few games and have them back for SA.

  • CJP32

    Again the bench comes up huge. Dre, CB and WC all made impacts. Ty had a great game. Gallo is still shooting bad though.

    Hopefully WCs shoulder is ok and Ty is good to go Thursday.

  • heykyleinsf

    Happy 37th birthday ANDRE MILLER!!

    AWESOME GAME!!

  • mcz84

    WOW!!! what a win Nuggets, I thought we were gonna get blown out tonight, Just WOW!! I think I forgave AMiller for that Boston game, Great win Hope Chandler isnt out too long.Lets get that #3 seed.Oh yea and GK also a very nice job!!

  • GoWil

    The only people that can stop KD or Westbrook is themselves if they have a rare poor shooting night. What I’m trying to say, which we did tonight, is that we shouldn’t mind if they combine for 60 (as long as its not 70 or 80)- we need to shut down the supporting cast, in particular serge ibaka and that’s how you can potentially beat them

    • heykyleinsf

      Westbrook had 18 in the first half..
      we shut him down in the 2nd half.

      Durant scored 34, Westbrook 25

      Best stat of the night though…
      we held them to just 38 2nd half points
      after 66 in the first half..

      they tried to beat us at our own game..
      it worked.. until the 3rd quarter..
      in which they only scored 16

  • Z

    OKC cry about every call set dirty screens all while you get called for fouls, and they still cant beat you the Nuggets streak just got real.

  • Ted

    How about holding that offense to under 40 points in the 2nd half?That’s as impessive as anything.

  • GoWil

    All this without one of our top 2 scorers performing well of late. Great signs

  • heykyleinsf

    WE TOOK THE SEASON SERIES FROM OKC 3-1

    We are back 3.5 games..

    OKC has some tough games..
    @Memphis, Portland twice,
    @Minn, @Milwaukee,
    Spurs, @ Indiana and
    @ Golden State…

    It might be a long shot to catch them..
    but not impossible.

    BUT… all we have to do is tie them!

  • Z

    Chandler cant be hurt though or Ty everybody gotta be Healthy to make this Run to the WCF

  • Ernie

    OKC was 4 for 7 from Three in the 1st quarter and then didn’t make one the rest of the game. They had some open looks but lots of pretty good defense as well. Charles Barkley said it best tonight, OKC has no other options when their jump shots aren’t falling.

    Win made a believer out of me. Nuggets looked like the better team with the hungrier players and the better strategy.

  • Mark

    I think Chandler getting healthy is a big reason the Nuggets just won 13 straight. If the shoulder is badly separated, he’s done for the season. And if he’s done for the season, the Nuggets won’t make it past the second round of the playoffs. Typical Nuggets luck.

    • GK4Prez

      The Nuggets have gone 23-4 since Chandler started playing every game. The record indicates that he is an important player for this team off of the bench.

  • googergieger

    Also look at Westbrook and Durant’s box score. They needed a ton of shots and free throws to get their numbers. We have multiple perimeter defenders to throw at most teams in the league. Our post defense needs work, but our perimeter one on one defense is probably among the league’s best.

    They had the refs tonight and a back to back for us and we still blew them out. On our home court the refs did everything to keep OKC in it and we still beat them as well. I don’t know if we can beat OKC in the playoffs because we’ll have to play near perfect basketball for four out of seven games, but this tells me this team is up to the challenge. Easy three games coming up which will say a lot about this team. Do we play down to our competition? Or do we show our maturity by putting out teams early and letting our non rotation players have the fourth quarter?

  • Ernie

    Wilson Chandler @wilsonchandler
    Thanks for the wishes everyone. I should be just fine.

  • http://twitter.com/xantoniooo808x D3Ntilthe3ND

    GUYS!! The clips just lost to the kings! That means were #4 with the grizz playing OKC tomorrow, we may be the 3rd seed at the end of the day tomorrow!

  • GoWil

    Bam we just overtook the clippers! The 3 seed is looking very good with this surprise win and clippers bad loss in Sacramento

    So crucial to get this 3 seed. There are a clear 5 top teams and if we can avoid one in the first round and get a declining golden state we’d be a realistic/ outside shot at the wcf

    GO NUGGETS!

  • Stephen Hernandez

    How does McGee only get a c- and Koufus get a better grade then him come on now

    • https://twitter.com/denbutsu Joel

      Did you read my comments or only look at the grades? I thought my explanation was clear. Whether you agree with it or not, of course, is another matter. What did you think JaVale did to deserve a higher grade? To me, McGee’s poor performance in the rebounding department is more than any other single factor what docked him a notch. I will point out, though, that their grades are not separated by much.

      • GK4Prez

        I think they were fair grades, Mcgee did absolutely nothing the first time he checked into the game. In fact, the game was going back and forth until he came in, and then OKC went off for a slight lead. He did play better the next time he checked in.

        I like Mcgee, but one of the things that bothers me about him is how he never passes back out if the shot isn’t there. He would rather get pushed off of his spot and take a bad shot than pass the ball.

  • will

    Chandler considered day-to-day – its only a slight seperation!

  • Bobby

    Road wins – Home Losses
    OKC +15
    Den +14

    Just sayin

  • chuckindenver

    Dougnuts, Skittles, Paydays, sugar, or candy? Chris Webber asks Faried tonight!! Kills Me!!

    Happy B-Day Dre’

    • GK4Prez

      And 5 minute energy. I liked what he said about how Dre Miller gave a pregame speech to the team and everyone bought into it. You could tell that the Manimal respects and looks up to the old man, which is a good thing in my opinion.

  • jimmymac

    thanks for the write up. i would point out we aren’t a half game behind anybody right now. We are actually a half game up on both memphis and the clippers, but still a fifth seed…

    denver 47-22 – five games back of spurs, 3.5 back of okc
    memphis 45-21 – if they lose to OKC tomorrow night we’d be up a full game on them at 45-22.
    clippers 46-22 – but they can’t fall lower than the fourth seed as division winner

    memphis has the third seed over us by 1/1000 of a point.
    i think we still hold HCA over the clips if it all ended today, but you all know that better than me…

    • jimmymac

      oh yeah, and get ready for the bandwagon jumping. lots of experts NOW saying we have a chance…will be interested if barkley is the next to add us to the list with the spurs and grizz.

    • GK4Prez

      On nbatv, Kamla said that the Nuggets would get the home court if the season ended today, and they would because they currently have a better record than the Clippers, so while the Clippers can’t fall lower than the 4th seed, they can still start the playoffs on the road if the Nuggets finish with a better record.

  • http://superfurryanthony.blogspot.com Stunt

    Hell of a performance by the Nuggets. Obviously, we’re all prone to nitpicking (Iggy’s 3 point shooting, etc), but that was the kind of win that escalates a season’s potential to a whole different level. Really glad that Andre Miller played so well, and nice to see him make some unique choices that paid off. Sometimes, I think the biggest problem with him at the end of games isn’t that he doesn’t know what to do, but that the young guys get timid, and he has no passing options. They clearly were reading him during the second half, and the offense looked fierce.

    As long as Chandler’s shoulder doesn’t hurt the versatility he brings to the table (range + D), things are being set up quite nicely for the close of the season. That 3 seed would be a huge help for what could be one of the great stories in recent NBA history.

    Furthermore, I have no worries about Gallo. While his shot has been a little dicey lately, it’ll start to fall. His D has been sort of slept on, and I would be shocked if, with continued open looks, that he doesn’t get hot sometime before game 82.

  • Tom2

    This win streak is pretty amazing. Quality wins: LAL, OKC, ATL, LAC, NYK, MEM, @CHI, @OKC. That’s 8 good to great teams out of 13. Plus, there are two back-to-back sets in that streak.

    What we’re witnessing right now is the greatest team in Nuggets history, greater than any of the Doug Moe teams, and greater than any of the Melo teams, even the WCF one. It’s looking like the preseason prediction of the basketball analytics guys that the Nuggets would win 57-58 games is spot-on. Looking at the rest of the schedule, @SA next Wednesday obviously looks tough, and then there’s @MIL on the 2nd-night of a back-to-back, but other than those two games, the Nuggets are either at home or have a winnable game on the road. Sure, maybe SA, HOU, or BKN at home might be tough, but the Nuggets should be favored in all of those games. My preseason prediction was 58 wins, and while it’ll be really difficult to go 11-2 the rest of the way, it’s no longer as implausible as it was a month ago.

    Can’t let minor injuries lose the next game against PHI, though. Denver needs to remain focused to finish out the season strong and grab that 3rd-seed.

    • chronicnugs

      Second greatest Nuggets team. ’75-76 team won 60 games, ABA Finals appearance vs Dr. J and had some serious star power with Bobby Jones and two HOF’ers in Dan Issel and DT. Just saying.

      That being said, I was 3 in 1975 so I never saw them play. This is the best Nuggets team I’ve ever witnessed and easily the most likeable. It’s hard not to root for these guys.

      Also great point about the basketball analytics guys. That doesn’t look so crazy now. good post.

      • heykyleinsf

        That was the ABA.

        Fun, colorful, entertaining..

        but far more inferior in talent
        than the NBA.

        THIS IS THE BEST NUGGETS TEAM EVER.

        I did see Thompson, Issel, Bobby Jones
        all play. They were fun.. but past those
        three.. the team sucked.

        THIS TEAM WOULD HAVE DESTROYED THEM.

        • chronicnugs

          Might want to check your facts my man. Nuggets moved to the NBA the following year and posted the second best record in the league behind the Lakers.

          That team also included Ralph Simpson (a five time all star) and Byron Beck (retired number Byron Beck). Beck may be undeserving of a retired number, but to say the team sucked past those 3 is laughable.

          • chronicnugs

            I will conceded that this team probably beats 75 team, but that is more representative of the difference in eras than anything else. We all know todays players are bigger stronger faster. But who on this current team is a HOFer? Who gets their number retired? If you think that team was lacking in depth I would encourage you to check the roster. They werent 2012 Nuggets deep, but they had a bench.

  • steve

    Best game i’ve ever seen them play. On the road for back to back going to OKC after an OT win the night before. I just looked it up, and teams win % on road back to backs is 32.9%. Against all odds we came out and smoked OKC in the 2nd half on the road when we were suppose to have tired legs vs a well rested title contender.

    This was a wake up call for me. I’ve been very happy about this winning streak but always had it in the back of my head that we will probably still be a 1st rd exit. This got my attention. I’m starting to believe! GO NUGS!!!

  • Cephus

    Seems like the early season bad breaks that lead to .500 record are finally reversing course. The last two games are epitome of hard work and luck meeting.

    One quick nitpick about the grades – it’s just fantastic how Karl went from being a D+ coach to an A literally overnight. I usually agree with the grades but giving that low mark on heels of 12th consecutive win, with that last victory coming on road versus quality opponent ? Please, let’s just say that was a hiccup in evaluation.

    Now’s the time for Gallinari to snap out of his mini-slump . No other player makes it look so easy when he’s hot. All the players in rotation are threats to go on a roll but I can see them straining. When D.G. is on he makes everyone else on floor look like an oaf. Heal up Ill Will. Go Nuggs !

    • steve

      It’s a game by game grade. So, yes it will different every night. I agree with both grades as well. Against the Bulls his rotations almost killed us. We were up 10 mid way thru 4th and he went extremely small which wasn’t effective at all with noah on the court. Noah was getting any rebound he wanted which in turn we almost choked the game away. His late game decision making was crap. This game, it worked. The boys were ready to play all the way to the final whistle and his rotations worked.

      Just like gallo gets an A when he shoots 10-15 and 30 pts and gets a C or D when he goes 2 for 14 with 8 pts, Karl gets similar grades when team does well and vice versa.

  • nugswin

    Before I read what everybody has to say I’m going to chime in with my observations.

    Firstly, we didn’t play very well last night. Other than Andre’s fresh legs, late fourth quarter stint (which was exceptional) nobody had a better than average game. Many had poor games. OKC didn’t play well either but Denver has as much room to raise their level of play as OKC does. I’d love to get them for a second round opponent since I feel we matchup well with them. As Barkley has (correctly) pointed out, the Thunder are a jump shooting team — we’re going to always win the paint battle against them which means they have to hit a lot of jumpers to win.

    Secondly, very generically, the key to this late season level of play is that the guys don’t let poor play offensively detract from the game plan — attack, attack, attack on both offense and defense. Earlier in the season it felt that missed shots would drain the will for that mindset. This is no longer happening thus we get winning games like the 87-80 vs. Memphis and last night’s game where misses from the outside were too common for comfort (we could have blown them out if anybody but Ty had been hitting). Wins despite the offense not clicking, something that is going to happen with our poor shooting squad.

    Thirdly, this game, more than any I’ve seen from them, showed just how much OKC is going to miss James Harden come playoff time. Reggie Jackson essentially fills that role for them now. That’s a massive drop-off in talent. So, while I’m sure Kevin Martin will have a few 20+ point, 5-7 from behind the line games in the playoffs which they’ll mostly win, Harden’s all-around game will be sorely lacking and probably sink their chances.

    Lastly, Wooooo-Hoooooo! I said before the season that this would probably be the best Nuggets team ever. Finally, we’re there!

  • Giovanni

    What is the problem?
    We are the nuggets!!!!!!!

    Not fear of evyribody…

    Destroy the Thunder!!!!!

  • Evan

    Who would be a tougher second round matchup, the spurs or thunder?

    • Bobby

      Obviously the Nuggets, neither of those teams want to face us. Bring it on, we are going have to go through both of them and Heat if we want title.

  • http://yahoo.com prospector
    • Legalize Denver Nuggets

      Man I pretty much completely disagree with this article. That being said, I still appreciated the perspective and seems like some thoughtful people are commenting and writing so thanks for sharing.

      I commented further on the website.

    • amlowlife

      That “morning read” pissed me off. By the author’s definition of “bad” (regarding Chandler) the entire Nuggets team is bad. Yet this bad team keeps on a rollin’. At some point guys like him are going to have to come up with a new definition of what bad is…

      • Legalize Denver Nuggets

        I know… that was my main gripe. Pissed me off too. But it was still a thought provoking piece, and I’ll give anyone the time of day who takes the time to write about the Nuggets.

        • amlowlife

          It’s been a season of making all the so-called pundits eat their words and re-define the definition of “good” in the NBA. So many of them still think the Nuggets are a fluke and can’t believe their team just got spanked.

      • Legalize Denver Nuggets

        haha and looks like my post didn’t make it past moderation for whatever reason. So maybe I don’t like this site. Would it really have been that I used the sentence “I can get hung up on some pretty petty shit…” ? That was the only curse I used. Because if so, don’t think I’ll post there again. Oh well- can’t express your thoughts everywhere- apparently children frequent that site or something. Because ‘shit’ in that context wouldn’t have even been censored on cable tv.

    • Tom2

      WP48 is a good metric, but the “analysis” at wagesofwins is always terrible. I can’t recall a single article of theirs that I’ve agreed with.

      In this instance, Chandler got injured right after Denver acquired him. Then there was the lockout-shortened season which he played most of in China. When he came back, he got injured again. His hip injury took him 8 months to recover from, and when he got on the court this season about halfway through, he was very inefficient because he hadn’t played any basketball in about a year. Now that he’s healthy and getting used to his teammates, he’s playing a lot better. This narrative is completely obvious to anyone who’s followed the team. Chandler is a really good player, even by WP48 standards, when he’s healthy. And like most people, he’s not very good when he’s injured. Common sense fellas.

  • http://yahoo.com prospector

    Faried played 4 qtr crunch minutes and we won big….. Faried brings attitude energy that can’t be matched.. He needs 33 to 35 every night… I think that when our offense goes stale we need to have KK and FARIED on the floor.. Teams are paying so much attention to Faried, that there are always openings for KK.. KK has figured out how to position himself to take advantage of this.. KK had 6 points and 7 rebounds in 16 minutes, that’s great production.. It is clear that KARL hates centers… 32 minutes from the center position.. Why are we carrying three??? I love the win… I love our team.. I just want KARL to plays his bigs more, so as to get ready for the playoffs… Come on THREE SEED

  • http://espn gary g

    Spurs seem to be the only team in the West which could bounce the Nuggets out, and that also cos they will have homecourt. But even that won’t be easy.
    Al others IMO we can take on home or away.
    Ill Will is a real downer. Absolutely need him at full strength for a deep run. He’s the most versatile guy on a team of versatility and probably the 6th man of the year if you only consider 2013 Feb onwards. Think we’ll be ok as long as he can return for the last 3 games of the reg season. Need a few prior the play offs though.
    Miller will be a yo-yo on a nightly basis, but the good part is that there is a quiet understanding between he guys now that who needs to step up on any given night. Its a bit unnerving for us as fans, but its equally disturbing for the opponent…fear of the unknown basically.

  • Z

    That Morning read was trash. Faried did good tonight great just how it happen to play out. the Nuggets thrive on it being a new guy every night stop crying about coach Karl 13 straight at the moment.

  • Z

    How to be upset with a win starring Chandler…smh cant wait until he gone this summer

  • googergieger

    http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2013/3/20/4128104/denver-nuggets-breakdown-oklahoma-city-thunder

    ^Brilliant article and it does showcase Karl’s strengths. Again the criticisms have never really been offense with the guy, but this article really does show how underrated The Nuggets are even among their own fan base. We’re a much better half court team than anyone could ever realize. Just hope teams don’t figure us out.

    • Ackdog

      I beleive!

  • googergieger

    Alright watching the game from last night finally. In Gallo’s defense he was fouled a lot on his shots and a few often times lead to the easy put backs. Also Gallo might be one of the players that defends Durant the best. Look at how much help Durant has needed in the games against Gallo to get his points. And as I’m typing this the worst blocking call ever is called on Gallo after Durant rather obviously ran straight into a set Gallo.

    Really impressed by this third quarter D though. Besides that Westbrook dunk off an inbound.

  • Giovanni

    Memphis don’t give up…

    3 games behind the thunder

  • Evan

    The people who wrote the morning read are stubborn and only look at stats instead of understanding the little things a player can do to help a team win.