Pickaxe Pulse for April 7, 2013

Taking the pulse of the Nuggets every weekend

The Nuggets lost Danilo Gallinari to a season-ending knee injury this week and Ty Lawson has not yet returned to action, but the team rallied behind the play of Corey Brewer, Andre Igoudala, and rookie Evan Fournier to go undefeated over three games.  Wednesday’s game in Utah showcased the Nuggets depth, with seven players scoring in double digits in a seventeen point win.  Gallinari tore his ACL just before halftime the next night against Dallas and the Nuggets looked to be on the way to defeat after trailing for most of the game, but a late offensive rebound by Corey Brewer set up Iguodala’s go-ahead bucket and a last-second block by Brewer sealed the win.  Denver fell behind the Rockets by double digits in the first quarter on Saturday, but Evan Fournier and Corey Brewer sparked two big runs that turned the game into a fourth quarter blowout.

Record this week: 3-0 (2-0 home, 1-0 road)

Current record and standings: 53-24, third seed in the Western Conference, 1.5 games ahead of Memphis and 2.5 games ahead of the Clippers

Upcoming games: Wednesday vs San Antonio, Friday at Dallas

  • googergieger

    I’m not happy that the Knicks won, because people are going to overrate their weak streak in general and forget about us even more than they did the second we lost against the Pelicans, but I really, really hate OKC. If it wasn’t for the OKC whistles getting so many free throws they’d probably be a fourth seed at best. Eleventh in the league in points in the paint and number one in the league in free throws. Durant and Westbrook alone get more free throws than the last place team in the league in free throw attempts!

  • Ban Johnson

    Who knows what to expect from this team? They just keep winning.

    Going forward:

    1) Fournier will start making rookie mistakes at some point? Right? Or is he an alien, and not a human 20-year old playing his first significant NBA minutes?

    2) Iguodala might just be one of those guys who’s a far better offensive player when he’s the primary option? Maybe Ty can play off the ball more when he comes back?

    3) Wilson Chandler will keep hitting 3s at a good rate? (This is REALLY important with Gallinari gone. As is Corey Brewer’s shooting.)

    4) Anthony Randolph is capable of net positive contributions in the playoffs, especially rebounding and defense?

    5) GK will start trusting Javale more? Especially against teams like the Spurs, who have absolutely no answer for him.

    6) Manimal’s off-ball shot-blocking will continue to be spectacular? We had no clue he had Serge Ibaka in his game last season…right? (At least I didn’t.)

    7) Ty Lawson will come back 100% and re-integrate more or less seamlessly?

    • Jeff

      1. He was making more mistakes early in the season, I think he has learned very quickly. I’m not worried about his offense but he might get burned on D in the playoffs.

      2. When he has the ball in his hands he’s great at setting up teammates and if his shot is falling he’s deadly. When he doesn’t have the ball in his hands, he has the baseline cut lob dunk down, but that’s about it.

      3. Hope so! Shooting is definitely going to be a mystery for us, could go either way!

      4. Definitely.

      5. His minutes seem to be going down, so I doubt it. He hasn’t really improved throughout the season.

      6. Hell yeah.

      7. Hopefully, gotta wait and see.

    • altotime

      Remember, Fourier played pro ball in France. That is why he plays with more poise and confidence than most rooks.

      • Joseph

        You could make a real argument that the top college teams could beat the top French pro teams.

        • heykyleinsf

          you could argue that.. but its moot.
          Fournier has guts.

          End of story.

  • Ckwizard

    This is an interesting time to be a Nuggets fan in that we get to see the young talent play. Even though I see better things in store for he Nuggets next year the truth is that this year the Nuggets have a chance for greatness and that chance is because of Miller, Brewer, and Igoudala. I don’t know if there are many better veterans to have on a team when it comes to a mentality or culure of winning in that Miller is a fighter , Brewer is a effort can elevate talent guy, and Igoudala is a master craftsman who is a trua professional. The mentality established by those three is one that I hope gets translated to the young talent on the team and benefits the team for years to come.

    • Thomas

      Disagree.

      I think we have an outside shot at winning it all – and it only happens if Miller plays a more limited playoff role.

      It’s terrible that Gallo had such a bad injury, but this team is much more dangerous with Chandler and the surprise play of Fournier.

      If Ty could play at 100%, we could be extremely dangerous in the playoffs if we had a rotation of Ty-AI-Chandler-Faried-KK with Fournier, Brewer, Mcgee, Miller and JHam coming in.

  • JetLife82

    I’m still unsure what the point of having Mozgov on the team is heading into the playoffs. He doesn’t run well, can’t catch the ball, doesn’t block shots or bring much energy whatsoever. In fact I would even go as far to say that when he steps on the court it’s detrimental to the team’s performance, as he just doesn’t fit within the Nuggets’ style of play.

    I hope the guy gets some good minutes on another team, but for the playoffs I hope Ujiri cuts him and brings on someone cheap who can either score or brings energy off the bench in limited minutes.

    • heykyleinsf

      traditionally.. teams shrink the rotation roster
      in the playoffs. Most teams go with 8=9 deep.

      I don’t think the rules have to be that way.
      I think we should break them and run like hell.

      • Zorba

        Agree 100%. Fast pace and rotation depth combined is the winning card to play in the playoffs…

    • Michael

      Mozzy actually gets up and down the court fairly well for a solid 7 footer, he does have trouble catching the ball (although to be fair, most of the passes to him are usually poor bounce passes in traffic which most big guys have trouble with).

      He is a solid defender and has a reasonable stroke for a big guy too. There is no way he gets cut, it just doesn’t make sense and I don’t think there is anyone else we could pick up that would be of any benefit.

      Don’t forget that he came in and played a big role for us against the Lakers last year in the playoffs. If one of the other bigs struggles or gets in foul trouble then we have a nice insurance policy.
      I also hope that where ever he ends up he gets a chance to play because he is good enough to be a solid player in league given the right situation.

      • Blue

        ^^^ what he said. Plus, if we cut him he would end up on another playoff team that needs depth at the center position.