Video: Evan Fournier scores a career high 19 points against the Nets

Last Friday, rookie shooting guard Evan Fournier introduced himself to Nuggets Nation in a major way. In only 21 minutes of action he managed to score a game-high 19 points on 6-9 shooting from the field (6-6 from the line) to go with two rebounds, two assists and two steals. After this performance and with Ty Lawson still sidelined due to injury, it’s safe to say this is likely just the beginning of Fournier’s most descriptive and telling vignette as a member of the Denver Nuggets.


In the coming days Joel will present a more in depth video breakdown of Fournier’s game, but in the meantime there are a few aspects of his repertoire we should at least come to acknowledge. After all, much like a newly discovered species, there is still so much about Fournier we don’t understand. So let’s start with what we do know:

  • Fournier’s a pretty good shooter. In the Nets game he went 6-9 from the field and 6-6 from the line. Five of his six field goals came from within the painted area, while his sole jump shot came from behind the 3-point line. Though it’s a small sample size Fournier is still leading all rookie shooting guards in field goal percentage by a wide margin at .488 percent.
  • Fournier relies on driving. In other words, he’s a slasher. While Fournier is athletic he doesn’t possess the type of freakish athleticism other slashers like Derrick Rose or Russell Westbrook rely on. Fournier is much more calculated — sort of like Andre Miller. He uses crafty footwork to penetrate into the lane and understands how to create contact once there. Throughout his career in France creating contact and finishing around the rim became a staple of Fournier’s game. Additionally, he’s always been able to convert his free throws at a high rate — which the Nuggets desperately need.
  • Fournier is a scorer. Make no mistake about it: While he possesses an extremely well rounded game, Fournier is still a scorer at heart. Back in 2011, at age 18, he became the youngest French-born player in history to score at least 20 points in a professional game, breaking Tony Parker’s record in the process. Then in 2012 he led his team in scoring at 14 points per game despite averaging only 26 minutes per contest.
  • Fournier can stroke it from downtown. If you’ve ever seen him warm up, you know what I’m talking about. Though he was not known for being a shooter prior to arriving in the NBA, Fournier has worked diligently this season to improve his shooting stroke and overall percentage from behind the arc. With more playing time his shot will only continue to improve. When he eventually gets consistent minutes there’s a good chance Fournier will end up being just behind Gallinari in terms of accuracy from behind the 3-point line.
  • Fournier has good hands. While his lateral quickness is fairly average, Fournier has displayed an impressive affinity for stealing the ball throughout his career. Last year in France he ranked top 10 in steals per minute. The other night against Brooklyn he had two in just over 20 minutes of playing time. His overall defense wasn’t half bad either.

We’ll know much more about Fournier as these last several weeks of the regular season unfold. Lawson will be back no earlier than the first round of the playoffs so Fournier should see a decent amount of time during this span. Keep an eye out for the bullet points mentioned above and of course, how well he improves his defense. If he continues to limit his mistakes, give 100 percent on defense and score at a high rate, Fournier should be able to make a lasting impression on Karl that lands him a spot in the rotation come the start of the 2013-14 campaign.

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  • Bobby

    Unless either of the Andres leave next season he won’t get any minutes.

    • googergieger

      Brewer might leave via free agency. Chandler could want to be a starter somewhere else. I mean Faried impressed enough to get rid of some pieces to open up playing time for him. Fournier could do the same. I mean Hamilton was set to be a rotation player this year but he did some things that put him in Karl’s dog house. I think Karl will find fifteen or so minutes for Fournier next year.

  • Jason

    I’m excited to get to see Evan play more.

  • http://Denverstiffs.com slader

    If Fournier proves himself during Ty’s absence, Masai might well let Brewer walk rather than match a mid-level offer sheet. But if they can keep Brewer for cheap, they will.

    I would not be surprised to see Brewer and Mosgov walk for cap reasons, giving Fournier a chance and still leaving poor Jham behind a logjam.

  • airvaid

    Love his game, and I’m hoping he makes enough of an impression to get minutes in the playoffs. If he can play defense like he did against Brooklyn he’s gonna get minutes.

  • http://yahoo mile high

    Like it or not, the Nuggets need Fournier. To think that Ty can come back and be his old self in the play-offs is wishful thinking, nothing less.

  • Hobbs

    First rule of the new collective bargaining agreement, do not overpay for mid-level role player unless you are over the cap and it is the only way to add a piece to a championship level team.

    For the Nuggets that probably means letting CBrew walk to another team because they can get 90% of his production from someone else on the roster on a rookie wage scale.

    • http://Denverstiffs.com slader

      Kind of what I said above. Brewer and Mosgov leave to facilitate a possible FA signing (plus re-signing of Iggy). Fournier and Chandler get more minutes, Hamilton, Stone, Randolph and QMiller polish the pine until someone gets hurt.
      I’d love it if someone gave us a 2014 Ist rounder for Timo.

      • http://espn herpderpnuggets

        It’s Mozgov

  • Ckwizard

    If Fournier can play like that consistantly game to game in the NBA then that will be two drafts in a row where the Nuggets struck Gold with a late first round pick, Nuggets front office is doing a good job if not great job.

  • Legalize Denver Nuggets

    Random note guys- did anyone else catch K-Mart dunking on birdman last night? This had me LOLing for quite awhile- check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fx8hUQazx4

    • bballin

      Why would a nugget fan being laughing at Birdman? That was weak anyway Martin barely dunked it and Bird had already jumped to try to block the first guy. I think the real comedy is that Martin thought he did something, weak.

      • Legalize Denver Nuggets

        I didn’t say I was laughing at birdman. I meant just the interaction is funny in general. Bird’s expression afterwards is like ‘Ok cool dude… I guess you get to yell like that because you’re old.’

  • toluenehawk

    You guys talking about letting CBrew go so easily aren’t watching closely. That guy is such an asset to the team. Fournier does have ‘it’, but you can tell he is nervous when he goes out there.

    Perhaps he will have the same fortunes that Faried had, and be able to showcase himself into nightly rotation minutes due to injury.

  • A.D.

    I hate the idea of just letting players go, especially one like Igoudala. Not only did we give up pieces to acquire him, but he’s been an asset to this team with a skill-set no one on this roster has.

    Imagine we are diligent enough to re-sign all of our players in a contract year or organize a trade if interest is lost on either side of the table. Even if the trade only yields a pick deeper in the draft, its akin to getting 45 cents on the dollar over nothing.

    Its not difficult to tell who is consistently earning their keep, so a simple review of the roster could also do some good. Yes, we run deep. In the front-court alone, we have Koufos, McGee, Faried, Mozgov and Randolph. All worthy of minutes. But with all of them limited to the 4 and 5 position, minutes have been hard to come by. I think we consolidate our assets to either trade for a more big-time player, freeing up minutes for developing players and the soon-to-be Nugget

  • http://yahoo.com prospector

    MILLER, MOZZY, & BREWER need to walk…. EVAN, JHAM, and STONE need to play……. MONEY saved then goes to IGGY…. Simple ……….

    • toluenehawk

      Take screenshots of your replies here, staple them to your resume, and mail to Pepsi Center. Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a new GM. Who need a professional who earned his keep and worked his way up to his position and completely transformed the Nuggets into a WFC contender after we lost our LeBron? Not Ujuri….PROSPECTOR!!!!!

      PPRRROOOSSSPPPECCCTTOOORRRRRRRR!!!!!!

      • Fed up Nug

        Our Lebron? Is that a reference to Melo? Did you seriously just compare Lebron to Melo? And you think prospector is the dumb one?

        L O L at you buddy.

        • toluenehawk

          Melo is the closest thing to Lebron Denver will ever have, so yes, I did make that statement.

          Let me count the ways:
          High Draft pick? check
          Franchise player/multi-all-star? check
          Score at will? check
          Get ‘ref’ calls? check
          Nuggets on ESPN? check
          Diva’d his way out of his draft team? check

          • Fed up Nug

            That’s nice and all but has nothing to do with the fact that Lebron is vastly superior to Melo at every aspect of basketball. On the court, there is absolutely NO comparison between the two. Their draft numbers, amount of espn appearances and abandonment of their draft team is irrelevant.

            The truth is that Melo is not a franchise player, his advanced stats point to him being completely average. He’s an inefficient chucker that averages as many turnovers as assists and plays no defense. If Melo was actually a superstar, the team wouldn’t have immediately improved following his departure.

            Cleveland, Orlando, and New Orleans are all terrible now because a. they actually had a superstar and b. the rest of their team is awful. Basically the complete opposite of Denver’s situation, a good team with an overrated, no defense playing, black hole taking up a huge amount of cap space.

            Not sure why you mention Portland, Phoenix was already a lotto team even before the Nash trade, and Utah imo is more struggling with the brutal transition from Jerry Sloan to Ty Corbin.

            We are in total agreement on Masai though. Guy is a boss, one of the best general managers in the league and hopefully ours for many many years to come.

            • mike

              Melo’s not an average ballplayer. He’s an All-star level offensive ballplayer. He just is mediocre to poor on defense which makes him more of a good starter. He’s paid and often regarded as a top 10 guy in the league. He’s more in the top 25-40 range. He’s overrated for sure. COmpletely overpaid. but not really average either.
              Anyways the guys point was that they moved on from having an all-star player much better than the other teams that have done so in the past 3-5 years. Memphis has done well post Pau but that was a LOT of luck (marc Gasol was completely unpredictable (as he was picked late in the 2nd round) and randolph somehow turned himself into a decent teammate.

              • Fed up Nug

                Compared to the average small forward Melo has a lower 2FG%, 3FG%, eFG%, averages more turnovers, less blocks and less steals. He has a career average of 3.5 wins produced, the average small forward is 3.6. Lets look at the wins produced averages of some actual superstars. Lebron’s is 16.8, Paul’s is 16, Dwight’s is 14.4, way above average, true legit franchise players. This year Durant is putting up 18.3, Melo is putting up .7, not 7, .7!

                I know what he was trying to say, I’m just saying that it doesn’t really apply to us because Melo isn’t comparable to those other guys. Of course we have fared better than Cleveland, New Orleans and Orlando. They actually had a superstar carrying their team, we didn’t.

              • dynamo.joe

                You should have compared him to Rudy Gay. Another “superstar” who can only make his team better by leaving or by season ending injury.

        • toluenehawk

          What happened to Cleveland and Orlando when their All-Stars left?

          Don’t try to keep up with me, I am enlightened by my own intelligence.

          • toluenehawk

            New Orleans? Portland?

            The list goes on. Masai Ujuri has done nothing but excellence since taking office. Bloggers, in Chef-Boy-Ar-D stained sweatpants, despite how many exclamation points they use, do not have valid opinions.

            Masai is euphoric.

            • toluenehawk

              Utah. Phoenix.

            • toluenehawk

              And George Karl is a hell of a coach. This team never missed a beat despite turning over 14 players in 1 year.

  • heykyleinsf

    it’s looking like we stole another in the draft!!

  • Cory

    Ever since i watched Fournier’s highlights of him in France he got me thinking of the next Manu Ginobli if he could indeed transfer his talent to the pros. Well i guess we will see and maybe he gets more run in the playoffs if he plays well. You never know, but all I’m saying is like 15 minutes max.

  • toluenehawk

    Rookies look good because there is not enough tape to scout them with. Thus, they are unpredictable. Teams know when A Miller gets the open shot at 3 they don’t have to hustle out there.

  • Fed up Nug

    Fournier looking damn good again tonight. Nice shooting touch, smart defense, good handles, can finish at the rim. This kid has lots of potential. You have to hand it to Masai, he’s pretty good.