Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 109, Brooklyn Nets 87

At a time when Nuggets fans are seeing dark clouds forming over Denver’s playoff prospects due to recent news of Ty Lawson’s plantar fascia injury, a silver lining emerged in the form of Evan Fournier. Seldom used this season, he led all Nuggets in scoring with a career high 19 points, and sparked the second quarter surge that put the Nuggets in control for the rest of the game.

Brooklyn Nets 87 Final

Recap | Box Score

109 Denver Nuggets
Danilo Gallinari, SF 32 MIN | 5-12 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | +15
Gallo’s inconspicuous stat line belies a balanced, well-fought and effective effort. The obvious thing to assume it would be important for him to do on a night when Lawson is out is lead the team’s offensive production. But tonight was more about picking up the slack left by Faried (just two rebounds) and Miller (just three assists). More than scoring, his playmaking and defense were on display, and he had one especially impressive assist to Fournier in the paint for a layup.
Kenneth Faried, SF 19 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 4 PTS | -1
Among players who rely on their physicality to be effective, it sometimes seems that Faried is the least physical. He loves to battle for rebounds down low, but he’s more of a pogo stick than a bruiser. Enter a “real” nut-grabbin’ tough guy like Reggie Evans, and Kenneth tends to wither, getting frustrated, getting outmuscled — basically getting abused, as he did through most of the game tonight. He made Evans look like Al Jefferson in the post, and he made himself look like — well, not himself on the glass. Faried can and will be a beast someday if he can find his way to doing the mental equivalent of a Vulcan mind meld with Kenyon Martin. He needs to shed his fear, and learn to never back down.
Kosta Koufos, C 24 MIN | 6-8 FG | 1-4 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | +13
Koufos blew up straight out of the gates, scoring ten points in the first seven minutes of the first quarter. We didn’t see much offensively from him after that, but he had more rebounds (seven) than Faried (two) and McGee (four) combined. And perhaps most importantly, he did an outstanding job of defending Brook Lopez, who shot just 4-15 in large parts to Kosta shutting him down. Fournier’s big night will overshadow everything else, but Koufos was arguably the second most important player in this game.
Andre Miller, PG 27 MIN | 4-9 FG | 4-4 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | 0
In a 22-point blowout, only two starters failed to land on the positive side of the plus/minus divide, the afore maligned Faried, and Andre Miller. I had flashbacks to the Allen Iverson days at times during this game. Not in terms of any specific skills, but in terms of approach. Watching the guy take the ball up the court, dribble it to a pulp until there are less than ten seconds remaining on the clock, and then driving into a defensive brick wall instead of initiating some ball movement to find a better look. To his credit, he did have a couple of good drives and he made all four of his free throws. But Miller was, for the most part, shifting gears between selfish and indifferent tonight. Nowhere was this more evident than on the defensive end, where Denver was lucky that Deron Williams missed the majority of the open 3-pointers Andre didn’t contest. Miller can be a boon to this team, but that all starts with him realizing he needs to be a facilitator rather than the hero on offense, and with him putting in an ardent defensive effort.
Andre Iguodala, SG 32 MIN | 4-5 FG | 0-2 FT | 3 REB | 8 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 9 PTS | +5
One nice thing about Iguodala’s game tonight was his decision making. He attempted – and made – only one 3-pointer, bringing the remainder of his shot attempts to the rim where, frankly, they belong. He also led the team with eight assists, as he was called upon by Karl to play point guard in stretches — and to put it bluntly, did a better job of it than Andre Miller. But at the end of the day he really didn’t make too big an impact on this game, and his defense lacked the vivacity that some of his teammates brought off the bench.
Anthony Randolph, PF 4 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | +5
Inconclusive.
Jordan Hamilton, SF 3 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-1 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +3
Inconclusive. Except to point out that he did a nifty little showboating mid-air-pass-to-himself dunk which, while probably a bit unsportsmanlike, was pretty cool.
Quincy Miller, SF 3 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +3
Inconclusive.
Corey Brewer, SF 26 MIN | 5-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | +18
Brewer had a quietly efficient game on the offensive end tonight, but made his real imprint on defense, especially through the 16-2 second quarter run that put the Nuggets in the driver’s seat. He did a good job of disrupting passing lanes and denying easy shots.
JaVale McGee, C 17 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | +3
McGee has proven over the course of the season that at times he can play in a more controlled, fundamentally sound manner. Tonight was not one of those times, however. He was in wild chaos mode for much of the game, and really struggled on defense. To his credit, though, he did come up with a couple of key putbacks inthe third quarter that helped to prevent the Nets from digging too deeply into the Nuggets’ lead.
Evan Fournier, SG 21 MIN | 6-9 FG | 6-6 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 19 PTS | +22
Through the preseason and occasional limited minutes this season, we have seen flashes of Fournier’s potential, though often marked by mistakes and some poor decision making. But tonight was his coming out party, as he put on full display the best of his capabilities, and kept the errors to a minimum. He went supernova in the second quarter, exploding for nine points in seven minutes. His dynamic dribble penetration was exactly the spark that the Nuggets offense needed, and his defense was great as well. He completely owned C.J. Watson on both ends of the court, driving by him at will, and forcing the ball out of his hands on most possessions. More than either Miller or Stone, Fournier has the tools to approximate Lawson’s basket penetration game, and if Ty is going to miss several more games due to injury, Fournier delivered a positive sign tonight that he might help to pick up the offensive dropoff. He also made all six of his free throw attempts, which is great news for a Denver team that struggles from the line.
Wilson Chandler, SG 29 MIN | 4-8 FG | 7-8 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 16 PTS | +19
Like Fournier, Chandler did an excellent job of driving, getting to the line and knocking his free throws down, going seven of eight from the charity stripe. On a night when the rest of the team shot just 8 of 17 free throws (.470), Chandler and Fournier (6/6) combined for 13/14 (.929). And Wilson was a big part of the big second quarter run as well, with his defense playing a big part.
George Karl
This was one of those “hard to grade Karl” games. On the surface, how can it be right to second guess the guy who just coached his team to a 22-point blowout when they were missing their most important player? Nitpick all you want, the results are definitive.And actually, there were some things I really liked abut what Karl did. When Fournier caught fire, he left him on the court (something that isn’t necessarily very Karl-like) and have his run. This was his most important coaching decision of the game, ultimately, and the right one at that.

But what would grading Karl be without some nitpicks?

Truth be told, as good of a playmaker as Iguodala is, I’d rather not see him run the point as much as he did tonight, especially when he’s sharing the court with Fournier. Andre’s best playmaking seems to come as inspired improvisation in the flow of a play, rather than in the deliberated running of the offense. The plays initiated by Fournier had better ball and player movement, more energy. Like Miller, Iguodala tends to stop and dribble at the top of the arc. I don’t begrudge Karl doing a point forward experiment with Iguodala, because in principle it could be effective. But it really doesn’t fit Denver’s offense very well.

The bigger issue was frontcourt foul trouble. In the end, nobody fouled out, and some will say that proves Karl was right. But I’ll stick to my guns, and stand by my in-game comments that he should have found some minutes for Anthony Randolph and/or Timofey Mozgov. Strictly from a strategic perspective, letting his three best bigs remain in the game for extended stretches with four or five fouls opened up the possibility that they would be unavailable at crunch time (if it came down to that) due to fouling out. It’s also likely to cause them to play more tentatively to avoid fouling. Spotting in Randolph or Mozgov for at least a few minutes at the end of the third or beginning of the fourth quarter could relieve some of that pressure and allow them to play with less inhibition.

Additionally, Faried, and to a lesser extent McGee, just weren’t playing very well anyhow. Perhaps Karl considers this preparedness education for the playoffs (“You must learn to play through this.”). But in this case foul trouble is a legitimate reason for diggin deeper into the bench. And if the Lawson injury and Fournier’s performance tonight teach us anything, it’s that the bench players need to be fully prepared to go as well. Not only in case of injury, but in terms of adjustments and matchups as well. What is the value of a deep bench if you don’t exploit it to the fullest advantage?

At any rate, Karl get the B for the definitive win and freeing Fournier, reservations notwithstanding.

Two Things We Saw

  1. Fifty. The Nuggets are the fourth team in the NBA to reach fifty wins with tonight’s victory. As the Clippers lost tonight, they move back up to the third seed, a half game ahead of the Grizzlies, and a full game ahead of the Clippers. (For more on the remaining schedules, see this post from earlier today: http://goo.gl/d70EF). All three teams, however, have 24 losses, and since the Clippers hold the tiebreaker over the Nuggets, they still control their own destiny for the third seed, while the Nuggets, with the tiebreaker over Memphis, still control theirs for the fourth.
  2. Ujiri is smarter than you? As Kalen wrote on Twitter after the game (http://goo.gl/vC0md), “Evan Fournier scored a game-high tying 19 points tonight in his first real meaningful game of the season. Ujiri drafted him for a reason.” I will readily admit to being extremely skeptical of the Fournier pick, nearly to the point of anger, when it went down on draft day last summer. But as my basic take is that Masai has done enough to earn the trust of Nuggets fans, I decided to suspend judgment until we could see what kind of player he develops into. Tonight was a great sign that Ujiri made a solid pick, and I will be very happy to have been wrong if that ultimately proves to be the case.

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  • Hank T.

    Boy did Evan surprise me tonight. Maybe once Lawson comes back he can be his backup instead of miller?? Haha

    • Brazil

      Dream on

      • Hank T.

        I know, I’m not really serious. However, I could see Evan being a good backup PG to Ty when Miller retires in the near future.

        • Tonia01

          Please do not only consider the offensive effort, did you see Fournier defense? Can you compare it with Miller ridiculous D ? Obviously Miller has the experience on his side, but I hope Fournier will play good enough in the absence of Lawson to give GK at least the benefit of the doubt for the minutes at PG.

  • bm12

    We have so much young talent. Given some time and practice, fournier, jham, quincy, and randolph will all develop into good players.

  • Brazil

    Karl has to have a injuries to his starters for rookies to get some light. Faried prime example. (Last years first round pick) Fournier, this years first round pick. Glad to see him get some pull and if he continues to play this way I’d say just let Ty heal up.

    • http://espn herpderpnuggets

      I still feel Lawson will be healthy before the season is over and it probably be a good idea for him to get a little burn before the postseason.

      • NugzNazty

        yeah, gotta give him 2-3 games to get some flow….hopefully he just comes back confident

  • Kiechel

    Get Ty well again but the Nuggets are going to need at least 56 wins for the #3 seed.

  • al68

    very good defense with Fournier on the floor in the 2nd period. This team have many player that they can play well.
    The diference was the defense without andre miller on the floor.
    We have the 3rd seed.

  • Tonia01

    Easy win. The Nets have the same intesity of a sleeping cat. I am a bit worried though about Chandler, I saw him touching his shoulder a couple of times, apparently in pain. We need to arrive at the playoffs with our team healthy. Ty is a big concern, Gallo seems out of shape, Chandler has some problems, this is not the best way to get to the off-season.

  • googergieger

    Much needed win. Don’t know what is up with a lot of our players. Even with Ty out that doesn’t seem like an excuse to just stop what you were doing. Gallo’s shooting slump is still there but tonight he didn’t let it affect how he plays the game or stop him from helping his team win. Most of our bigs were rather awful tonight. Faried finally hit the wall he seemed to have avoided his first season? Would have liked to see Randolph get some minutes tonight. Dunno, we should be able to beat Utah even without Ty, but we need everyone to play to their potential. Think a lot of the players want the playoffs to start already but it really doesn’t seem like they are ready for it. At least the way they’ve been playing. I mean tonight we played decent to good but the other team just played down right awful. And honestly Brooklyn has to be the most boring team to watch.

    But yeah glad to see Evan play like that tonight. He was fantastic. Hope we see it against Utah. Clips lost tonight so back to third. At least for now. As long as we get third or fourth and get Ty back in time for the playoffs, should be good to go.

    • theo

      Brooklyn comfortable 4th seed in the east. What a joke the eastern conference is and has been since the late 90’s. Because NBA media is dominated by people in eastern cities we don’t get honest takes about the huge disparity between the two conferences. I can’t think of a single take on Miami’s streak that mentioned they play in a crappy conference where even the second seed would struggle to even make the playoffs in the west if you adjust season records for the quality of competition played night in and night out.

    • NugzNazty

      Kosta had a great game, when you limit Lopez to 4-15 or whatever it was…that’s a good deal. he is maybe the best offensive C in the league. Our defense to me looked great this game.

  • http://espn herpderpnuggets

    Fournier was just what the doctor ordered!!! So glad to see him get substantial minutes! Also nice to see miller actually get a bucket and some more minutes. Hopefully we can have lawson next week though to help with the offensive tempo.

  • theo

    Potential ‘historic season’ balloon burst this afternoon. Couldn’t hope for a better response than we got tonight. Best first half of the season under the emotionally deflating circumstances?

    Now comes maybe the most interesting part of the season. Can we hold up and play with enough intensity and passion to get the 3 or 4 seed even while shorthanded? With only 8 games left, I think it can be done.

    Some will think I’m drinking the Kool Aid but not really. We were the better team at SA and blew out Brooklyn w/out Ty. We can still get first round at home due to the depth.
    Can we win a first round series with Ty hobbled? No. But maybe he gets better by then by sitting out a few weeks.

    Mentioned this in an earlier thread, but wonder about the Nugs medical staff. Personally wondered how a ‘heal bruise’ that we were told Ty had would have kept him out this long unless it was a severe bone bruise, but in that case doctors would have kept him out of practice and games. How could they have missed the plantar tear and wasted ten days of healing time when the most obvious symptom of that injury is severe heal pain? Get a new med staff, Nugs. That mistake could cost us a first round playoff win. The devil is often in the small details.

    • Aaron

      I fully agree Theo. . . while no doctor is perfect. . . this seems like a big miss by your training staff. Frustrating for Ty and for everyone else. I think we’re suddenly vulnerable at home to SA next week (that was a blowout win with Ty and everyone healthy).

      I think we need to give Mosgov some burn at the Center for Faried, . . . instead of the uber-small lineup with Faried at Center. That’ll give K2 and Faried some rest.

      I’m not sure Faried hit any walls. . . Reggie (nut grabber) Evans is just a tough matchup for him, he’s bigger and stronger than KF. it’s kind of like Zach Randolph. . Faried just has to do different things against those players.

  • JohnDenver

    Evan was a revelation tonite. Javale and Faried continue to disappoint as a pairing oncourt. KK plays hot at home and cold away. GK needs to have a hard look at his current rotations now that Ty is out.

  • AaronCAPS

    Lawson > Fournier > Stone > Igoudala > Miller.

    -Nuggets fans

    Miller > Igoudala > Lawson > Stone > Fournier.

    -George Karl

    O well ):

    • theo

      Yeah, sure, from your point of view Karl gives more minutes and emphasis to Miller and Iggy than Ty. I look forward to more of your thoughtful insights. Wow.

      Wow.

      • AaronCAPS

        Um Yeah, Igoudala avg. the most minutes on this team. FACT.
        Lately (not counting the injury) Miller has been getting more minutes then Ty. If you dont believe me, then look up stats, & another thing with Miller, if Ty played as bad as Miller half the time he’d be benched. But Miller will NEVER be benched for as long as he plays for George Karl.

      • AaronCAPS

        Ohhh & i mean for playing the PG posistion, obviously Iggy would be farther up if we were talking all posistions.

        • mike

          umm actually the FACT is that Ty gets MORE minutes per game than Iguodala. Your “FACT” is more accurately a NON truth.

          you were clearly implying at PG/facilitator position so Ty is more valuable than anyone else in Karl’s mind too since all of his minutes are there and he is the main facilitator for most of those minutes and is actually a pretty even facilitator with Miller when they play together despite Miller being such a mediocre off ball player. Of course Iguodala has limited minutes as the team’s facilitator when Ty and Miller are playing so your contention is moot. He’s a terrific facilitator for a wing and always has been.

          • theo

            Here’s the reality. Ty is the most emphasized player on the Nuggets by far re scheme and even by minutes. It’s embarrassing to have to even make that comment, but, again, I try to take even the least informed Nuggets fans seriously. Dude, wake up. Karl has put the whole team’s future into Ty’s hands. If you don’t get that you should reconsider commenting here.

            • AaronCAPS

              You should reconsider even coming here, i was here well before you. Remember when you critisized googergieger for “dominating all the posts” when you kept sayig “im new here” yeah we all do. If your just gonna make fun of everyone here then GTFO. We dont need you sayin shit about everyone on here.

              • theo

                Just making my take. Sorry you think I’m making fun of you. Can we get past all this?

              • theo

                Make smart comments. If you want to argue that Ty is Karl’s third option at guard you deserve the responses you get.

    • GIANLUCA

      AaronCAPS you are an IDOL !!!

      this is the true ! iggy and miller TRADE IN SUMMER

  • Scott

    4kneeaye has swag.

    • http://espn herpderpnuggets

      solid my man

  • LBJ

    McGee was back to worthless again tonight. Didn’t block out – even on free throws. Didn’t guard anyone. Blatche schooled him. Giving him a higher grade than Miller is absurd.

  • http://yahoo.com prospector

    Evan, JHAMm and Stone need to play next year in the rotation… SO BYE BYE MILLER, and BREWER….

  • Cephus

    Ouch Faried ! I’m starting to see him offensively ‘an effort guy’, akin to Bill Hanzlik where if the opposition didn’t come to grind- he’ll flat embarrass you. Against premium, motivated talent, however, he becomes part of the wallpaper. Faried’s a role player – nothing wrong with that. His defense is up a click from last year.

    But yes, his value to the team hinges on matchups. I like his persona. The camera close up of him & McGee hugging in joy during improbable Philly comeback spoke volumes that he’s a team guy. Value him- absolutely but he’s never going to be an all star.

    Sweet win by the way. Very nice, Fournier stepped up. If he can mesh fresh legs, opportunity to talent. We can keep Andre to 15-25 minute role that’s ideal for his vintage talents. If Evan can only get the timing of those alley-oops to McGee & yes Faried. Mega-face time on ESPN top ten plays of the day will be forthcoming.

  • Giovanni

    Andre Miller has two years remain contract…

    Too soon to stap champagne

  • Zorba

    It’s much more difficult for the “bigs” to be consistent in such an intensive schedule. They play three games a week and they need more time to recover. Their oscillating performances don’t surprise me and as far as one or two of them play well it’s not a problem…
    Happy about Fournier! Hope he’ll have more chances to show up his qualities…

  • brick

    Your assessment of Miller could be applied to most of the games that Ty’s been hurt. It’s frustrating because the guy is such a f@#$ing good passer yet he’s been stopping the ball and slowing the pace- the opposite of how the Nugs have been winning all year. Maybe Fournier’s performance will wake Miller up, because the team needs the good Miller in the playoffs.

  • Sean

    FACT CHECK:

    The Clippers do not hold a tiebreaker over the Nuggets for the 3rd seed. The season series is 2-1 in the Nuggets favor and they aren’t playing a fourth game this year. The only thing the Clippers are guaranteed at this point is the 3rd or 4th seed on account of the Pacific division title. But if the Nuggets, Clippers and Grizzlies finish with identical records it will be DEN – 3, LAC – 4, and MEM -5.

    • Mark

      Come on! The Nuggets own the tie-breaker over both the Clippers and the Grizzlies… You are an expert?

  • http://espn.com mike1723

    No Sean…not true….if clips and nuggs finish with identical records…clips get the higher seed due to division win….head to head does not hold water against division winner….clips can’t fall below 4th if grizz and nuggs finish with better record

  • Sean

    I stand corrected. I thought the Clippers were only guaranteed a top 4 spot by virtue of their division title.

    This seems like an absurd rule for a tiebreaker to so heavily reward a team ostensibly playing in a much weaker division while completely ignoring head-to-head wins.

  • http://yahoo.com prospector

    All you anti-faried people, Give me a break… Faried’s game has been growing.. He has been making great passes inside to KK (which Chandler rarely does)… He is a small power forward playing out of position alot at center (thx KARL)…. He is in his 2nd year, and he has improved… His defense will get better… He plays better when he gets a regular 33 to 35 minutes.. he plays poorly when he is yanked in and out of the line-up.. He needs time to find his grove… Faried and KK play great together they scored like the first 12 points of each of the last 2 games…. Play FARIED at PF, and only at center when the other teams go small… He will grow….. Chandler is not a PF… We may have won lately (this is the time of year where alot of teams pack it in… Remember the run the team went on immediately after the MELLO trade, only to get punked in the 1st round..) but CHANDLER plays better at the small… CLEARLY BETTER… We played Faried over 35 mins against SAC and we won… FARIED played chump mminutes against NO and SAN AN and we got punked… Most of you fans are just parrots and just squak whatever crap you hear KARL spill out of his mouth… So get off FARIED… And get ready for getting punked in the first round if FARIED plays limited minutes, and KARL goes small w/CHANDLER and MILLER….. PROVE me wrong KARL you punk!!! I called Karl out several times for not playing youngsters like EVAN (instead of riding MILLER).. I said IGGY needed to handle the ball more (and definitely more than MILLER)… And who is right???? ME!!!!! Why am I right??? Cause I watch every freaking game and I understand when a player plays pathetic defense….. SO MORE EVAN… MORE JHAM… MAN can STONE ever get a lucky break…… LESS MILLER… LESS BREWER…. Will KARL do it??? HELL NO… Hello first round exit…..

    • brick

      The days of needing traditional PG, SG, SF, PF, C roles are long gone.

  • mike

    Joel the grade on Karl is preposterous. I can’t imagine giving him less than an A- given the handicaps you somehow recognized, but didn’t actually calculate into your interpretation.

    Faried (often their best big) was horrific as you detailed (F-). He got less minutes because of this… Koufus obviously had a good game and Mcgee was decent for McGee. I hear people on here lamenting he needs more opportunities and now he’s played too much. Young bigs figuring out how to play with fouls is an important skill to work on with the impending playoffs. As you noted Koufus was playing strong defense against Brook Lopez so developing those skills and confidence was valuable. Randolph and Mozgov are Meh players. They’re both 4th bigs in the league. INJURIES or good matchups are the only real reason to dig deep into the bench unless foul trouble is 5 fouls with 8 minutes left in the 3rd quarter.

    Iguodala is a perfectly fine facilitator and he has a less turnover prone style than fournier. Asking someone who is still learning the facilitator role and is young like fournier (only 20 and was thought a SG out of the draft) without him feeling he has a parachute is silly.

    These are not nitpicks. They are slight preferences neither of which are particularly valuable given the circumstances and Karls take was just as if not more valid than yours Joel. The team is attempting to fight for a 3rd seed which is VERY valuable given it is the difference between getting probably a 70-80% chance of winning round 1 (with a healthy ty, without ty healthy they are still close to 50/50). If they play MEM/LAC in round 1 they are 50/50 in round 1 with a healthy ty and probably a 25% without him. Karl not playing 2 clear 4th big men with limited upsides is not a reason to downgrade.

  • Trip

    I know it was only garbage time, but I am glad Q Miller got out on the court tonight. He had one bad possession, but next time down the court drove the lane and made a sweet lay in.

    Also I loved Jham’s self oop, if you dont get a chance to play, why not have a little fun before you get put back in the dog house for no reason.

    • Andrew K

      There is a reason JHam is in the doghouse: whenever he gets a chance in more important situations, his decisions making screams “I don’t think before I act”. Potential is not the only thing that determines playing time.

  • ny nugs fan

    fournier played excellent defense; his offense is decent and getting better; would like to see him get up the floor a bit quicker and get the team into its offense a couple of beats faster… but for a young guy playing starter minutes, you gotta like what you see and i like the fact that he doesn’t pass up shots

    koufos played well (shot a couple of bricks from the foul line, tho) and love his development; and mcgee is just amazing to watch… i keep trying to figure out who he reminds me of from the past… maybe a larry nance but taller, or an artis gilmore but more athletic, but we are very fortunate to have this guy because he immediately changes the game and with our coaching staff he can only get better… which is scary

    the nugs should play as if they own that 3rd seed and keep playing to possibly tie or outright win the division; okc does not have the division wrapped up by no means… thank you very much… if we tie okc, then the division is still ours

    go nugs!!!

  • Mike

    All of you are wrong!

    If Denver, LA and Memphis finish with the same record, Denver is 3, Clips 4th and Griz 5th. First tie-breaker is head to head. The only thing guaranteed by the Clips winning the division is a TOP 4 SEED. Even then, if the Griz are 2-1 (not sure what there record is head to head) against the Clips then even though the Clips are the 4 seed the Griz would have home court advantage. This was all changed when the Spurs and Mavs played in the second round because Denver was the 3 seed in like 2006 or 07. It meant the 2 best teams in the West played each other before the WCF. Ever since, winning the division means you get a top 4 seed, not home court advantage.

  • theo

    Thanks for putting this really boring ongoing discussion to rest. Whatever the seed the only important issue is home court advantage. If we finish with the same record as either LAC or Memphis we’ll have home court advantage. That’s the only advantage worth having–in the first round–no matter what the seed.

    • AaronCAPS

      Um No.

      Clippers own the tiebreaker against us because they are going to win their division. Nuggets aren’t, Thats why we gotta finish with the better record plain & simple.

      • Joel

        You are correct, sir. Division champ trumps season series winner in NBA playoff tiebreakers. If the three teams finish with identical records it’ll be LAC- 3, DEN-4, MEM-5.

        • theo

          The important issue is home court advantage, sir. Who has home court advantage if the three teams finish with the same record? Seeding isn’t the same thing as home court advantage. Unless I’m mistaken, seeding simply decides who you play, not whether you have home court. I think we’ll have home court advantage over both teams if we have the same record. Please explain.

          • AaronCAPS

            We just did man. Division leader matters more then series record. We aren’t going to win our division, the Clippers are. So that gives the Clippers the better seed then us because of them winning their division & the Nuggets the lower seed because we lost our division. If the Clippers & Nuggets were in the same spot as each other, example, both #1 seeds, thennnnn..the Nuggets would own the tiebreaker sense we own the series. Pretty simple to understand.

            • theo

              The rules are so incredibly stupid that we’re forced to have this discussion. I believe the rules state that the Clips can’t finish below the 4th seed if they win their division, but we’ll have home court advantage if both of us finish with the same record and both of us are at the 4th seed or above. Basically, if both teams finish above Memphis I think we’ll have home court advantage in the first round. Of course, the Clippers seem to be falling apart, so maybe all this will be academic.

  • AaronCAPS

    Clippers just lost! Memphis Won though ): But the best news is that L.A. is the one that owns the tiebreaker against us, so i’d rather L.A. lose then Memphis. We could pull the 3 seed out after all!

  • http://espn gary g

    One game does not a career make, but glad to see there is some substance in the bottle. IMO Ujjiri is one of the smartest GM’s in the biz today and I’ve learnt to always give him the benefit of the doubt on any move till proven otherwise; he’s yet to dissapoint.
    Think its too early to send Dre’ to the retirement home (trust me I cant wait for that day), but if the rook from across the Atlantic can put in a few more of these performances before the playoffs, than GK gotta seriously ponder givin him some old man minutes.

    Seems to be some confusion on the Tie-breaker. As far as I know we own the tie against both LAC & MEM. LAC only gets a higher seed if the tie is for 4th spot due to them being div winner and needing a top 4 seed. If the tie is for 3rd, I think we get the 3rd seed and LAC still gets to finish top 4. If we have a better record than we get homecourt against them irrespective of our seed i.e. we host being a 5th against their 4th.
    Either way, just win more than those two pesky punks and seal the 3rd straight up.

  • Z

    cant wait until Chandler’s gone so Faried can be the full time PF just so prospector can shut the hell up