Rapid Reaction: Portland Trailblazers 113, Denver Nuggets 98

In what surely had to be one of the more disappointing season openers in recent memory, the Nuggets put forth a confused and defensively-bereft effort Friday night as they succumbed to the Blazers in ugly fashion. Point guards Nate Robinson and Ty Lawson each scored over 20, while Brian Shaw once again juggled with an 11-man rotation that failed to produce any form of cohesion. Additional grades and notes below.

Portland Trail Blazers 113 FinalRecap | Box Score 98 Denver Nuggets
J.J. Hickson, PF 22 MIN | 2-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | -11

We’re two games into the season and I already can’t stand much of what Hickson does. For every bout of lackadaisical defense Faried has, Hickson ups him one by not even boxing out or taking a wild, ill-advised shot. Though he might be able to rebound well, there’s also something to be said for when and how he pulls down his boards. While Faried utilizes his tenacity and will, Hickson seems to simply extend his arms and jump upwards until he feels leather of falls down.

Anthony Randolph, PF 15 MIN | 2-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | -5

Randolph was once again a ghost. He had several buckets but hardly made his presence felt in the 15 minutes of time he was allotted.

JaVale McGee, C 13 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -11

McGee did an excellent job of getting to defensive rebounds and tipping the ball back to his teammates. Although he played solid and didn’t make any glaring mistakes, he once again received less than 15 minutes of action, which is somewhat of a head-scratcher.

Ty Lawson, PG 38 MIN | 7-16 FG | 5-8 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 21 PTS | -11

Lawson made a three early and did a good job of finishing in the lane when he chose to penetrate. He also got back in transition (unlike many of his teammates) and snagged a few steals as a result. At this point, Lawson is about the only form of reliable offense the Nuggets have.

Randy Foye, SG 33 MIN | 2-10 FG | 2-3 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -21

Foye played the most minutes of anyone outside Lawson, yet I can’t remember him doing anything. He didn’t make any threes and finished with a negative 21 plus-minus, which was eight points worse than the next lowest Nugget.

Darrell Arthur, PF 16 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -13

Arthur seems to be the only guy who plays with zeal on the defensive end. He takes the little things to heart and is scrupulous about his positioning in relation to his opponent. That said, his impact was hardly felt in this game.

Kenneth Faried, SF 24 MIN | 3-7 FG | 5-8 FT | 11 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 11 PTS | -7

I have a hard time seeing Faried in any role outside 30-plus minutes per night. His energy, enthusiasm and heart are too valuable to be brushed aside because of his deficiencies. Though he can’t do as many things as other players, the things he can do he does better than anybody on the team. He came off the bench with vigor, played good defense in the first half and rebounded well all game long.

Timofey Mozgov, C 21 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | +12

Mozgov had a tipback, blocked shot and cut to the basket that turned into a dunk in his first two minutes of the game. He also held the ball for 10 seconds as the shot clock wound down, before hoisting up a desperation 3-pointer. But overall Mozgov played well. The next step in his progression must be limiting his foul rate.

Andre Miller, PG 17 MIN | 4-4 FG | 2-5 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | -4

He was invisible in the first half, but Miller came to play in the second. Like Lawson, he’s one of the few Nuggets who understands how to get his no matter what style of offense he’s playing in. He scored almost all his points in the paint, as usual, and didn’t miss any of the shots he took from the field.

Nate Robinson, PG 29 MIN | 8-17 FG | 4-4 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 24 PTS | 0

Robinson was excellent from long range and ignited the Nuggets in the third quarter when all looked lost. Without his energy the Nuggets would have lost by at least 20. However, Nate certainly seems to be making a career out of these types of performances. It’s great he’s showing heart, but the Nuggets need him to play with this type of effort on a consistent basis.

Evan Fournier, SG 13 MIN | 0-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -4

Fournier seems unconfident… or nervous, or confused. Perhaps it’s just one; perhaps it’s all three. Either way, he’s not doing much of anything on either end of the floor. His perimeter defense was awful, and on offense he couldn’t throw a pea in the ocean. He needs to get back to penetrating the lane and using his vision to find open teammates.

Brian Shaw

After the season opener I tweeted the one thing I took away from that game was the old writing adage, “Less is more.” Shaw is trying to do entirely too much right now. He’s over-thinking and it’s rubbing off on his players. The game of basketball isn’t complicated. Sure, we’d all like to see set plays and an intricate half-court offense; but when your players seem to be thinking harder than they’re playing basketball, you’re doing too much. Though he may want to distance himself from Karl, playing the role of contrarian will get him nowhere. Karl was a good coach who did a lot of good things. Shaw must take those things, use them to his advantage and infuse his own style on top of them. Utilize the altitude, run like hell (10 points to whoever gets the musical reference), emphasize defense, THEN work on ironing out your offensive sets.

Five Things We Saw

  1. The Nuggets defense was atrocious. Matt warned us about the difficulty of playing good team defense without good defensive players and after two games we might already be seeing this prophecy come to fruition. I’m not sure I remember the last time the Nuggets’ defense was this bad, and keep in mind: George Karl was never known for his defensive schemes. In the first half alone a Blazers player dribbled from the top of the 3-point arc to the basket for an uncontested layup on two separate occasions. The Nuggets also allowed a 40-point second quarter and 64 points by halftime. Guys had no clue where to be or which players to guard and often just gave up trying to defend altogether. I don’t care if this was Shaw’s second game as a head coach or his 3,000th — this type of defensive effort is inexcusable.
  2. In addition to the Nuggets’ defense being atrocious, so were the lineups. Again, this falls on Shaw’s shoulders. There is absolutely no rhyme or reason for what he’s doing. Eleven-man rotations do not work in the NBA on a consistent basis. Though he may argue he’s trying to see which combinations work best, I would have thought that’s what the preseason is for. Shaw needs to cut at least two players from his rotation altogether and find small combinations that work. Faried and Robinson could be a great energy duo. Andre Miller and JaVale McGee still have a psychic connection last I checked. Arthur and Mozgov might just have enough interior defense between them to at least prevent opponents’ power forwards from having career nights every game against the Nuggets. If Shaw keeps playing this many guys every night, roles will become more undefined and egos will flare. It’s a no-win situation — literally.
  3. Anthony Randolph and J.J. Hickson do not fit well together. Neither is a great defender and both make questionable decisions on a regular basis. When you pair them with McGee, you’re entire front court is composed of questionable (to say the least) defenders with a history of bad decision making. This is not a recipe for winning basketball games. Randolph is not a small forward and Hickson is not a starting-caliber power forward. This conundrum must be resolved before it costs the Nuggets more than it already has.
  4. Nicolas Batum is a certified Nuggets killer. He accounted for 15 of the Blazers 24 points in the first quarter and once again torched the Nuggets from downtown. Randy Foye did a solid job of containing him in the second half, but boy did the Nuggets miss Corey Brewer and Andre Iguodala on more than one occasion this game.
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Kalen Deremo

Kalen was born in Durango, CO, in 1988 and graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2013 with a degree in journalism. He's now an itinerant hoping to travel as much as possible before eventually succumbing to the "real world." Aside from writing Kalen likes movies, music, spicy food and the great outdoors. Edward Abbey is his current idol.

Latest posts by Kalen Deremo (see all)

  • Ernie

    I guess we are tanking. Come on Wiggins! NBA champs, 2015!

    • John

      We start 0-2 and people are already assuming the team is tanking? Last year’s 57 team win started 0-3, including an opening night loss to the lowly Magic. We also are playing without 2 of our 3 best players. I believe this early season is more a reflection of Shaw’s poor coaching than the team’s talent level. As time goes by though, Shaw and his connection with the players will improve. One last thing, Thomas, I agree with you from here on out, Faried should start and play 30+ minutes a night – no matter what type of system Shaw is utilizing.

      • cbow

        Sixers not magic

      • imyourworstnightmare

        No. Winter has indeed arrived in the Mile High City. But it was to be expected.

  • Branden Gloudeman

    Offensive rebound after offensive rebound after offensive rebound. .. not to mention wide open threes… is not gonna cut it major step back from last game smh … couldn’t even our system at all that we are working on cuz we got down so bad so quick that we were playing scramble catch up ball.. relying on nate to dig us out….. so disappointing to watch that after what I saw against sac

  • Josh Chin

    Tonight really showed the Nugget’s weaknesses, perimeter defence, interior defence, and defensive rebounding. Don’t know why Mcgee only had like 12 minutes. But Nate played fantastic. Foye has been garbage, and I can’t wait to get Chandler back

    • gimpcom187

      Mcgee is an unbelievable talent who thinks the game like a middle schooler. I held out hope until mid-season last year when it became painfully obvious he wasn’t going to “get it” There aren’t too many guys you can say have all-nba talent and intangibles/understanding of the game so poorly that they don’t deserve more than 15-20 minutes a game. Mcgee is one of those guys

      • airvaid

        No he doesn’t have unbelievable talent. He’s big and athletic. He has no basketball IQ, he’s lazy and has no focus on the game. He’s just a physical specimen not a talented basketball player. He can’t pass, can’t shoot, can’t defend, can’t read the game. What’s he talented at? Don’t confuse physical gifts with talent.

        LeBron James is a big guy. But his talent is how he uses that body.

        • gimpcom187

          Yeah you just said he doesnt have the things I said he doesnt have. if youre going to be redundant at least be agreeable. talent and basketball skills are different. talent is physical skills. For mcgee Really only shooting is a weakness but thats true of most 7 footers. Mcgee dribbles well has good hands, is agile, has amazing hops, huge size at all aspects, moves well despite mediocre footwork which is a basketball SKILL. his size, athleticism should make him a top tier defensive big. His physical skills suggest his floor should be tyson chandler. His basketball skills and intangibles make him a backup.

  • Trafalgar Law

    If we are ganna tank this would be the year to do it..

    • Ernie

      Yes, someone agrees! It would be one thing if this team was exciting, but they are boring and bad. Not a combination I was hoping for.

      • airvaid

        I have been on the tanking bandwagon since we let Ujiri and Karl go. I am all in for trading Ty and/pr Kenneth if it can get us a blue chip prospect like the Phillies got with Nerlens Noel and another pick for Jrue. If Jrue holiday is worth two first rounders, we can definitely get one first rounder each for Ty and Kenneth.

  • herpderpnuggets

    Good god this season is gonna be weird. Just gotta figure out soon if watching the nuggets this year is going to be a waste of time…..

    • gimpcom187

      Yes. Yes it will, unless you like sloppy defense and erratic offense.

  • gimpcom187

    It’s early. Still it seems likely a DOWN season.

    Goals: less than 25 wins if possible.
    Trade Lawson and parts for picks and young player (Milwaukee for unprotected picks and Henson with JJ hickson going as well sounds good to me)
    Trade Chandler to Charlotte for Detroit top 8 protected pick.
    Maybe another trade or two for future picks.

    • Scott

      Lawson is the team right now. He’s not being moved.

      • gimpcom187

        He is a nice slightly above average point guard. More of a BORDERLINE top 10 in the league if you take into account his poor defense. If you can get a young talent like Henson, another 10-16 pick in THIS draft and another pick or so in the future you take that in a second. Sorry you overvalue Ty

        • Vitor Lago

          I’d take that trade in a heart beat.

        • Thomas

          Rondo.

  • Vitor Lago

    Let’s just trade McGee and Chandler for some draft picks and hold Gallo out the entire year and tank, I’d much rather have a top 5 pick then get the 8 seed in the west.

    • Ernie

      Yes, that’s the spirit. Give Gallo 12 months to recover. And we already have a 2 game lead on Philly!

  • Scott

    Major points:

    Shaw doesn’t know what he’s doing

    And nate is magical.

    • Paul Griggs

      Nate’s magical one night and awful the next, keep track of how many times he’s out of position defensively and what a liability he is on D

  • Vitor Lago

    My Dream Lineup if we were to tank:

    PG: Robinson
    SG: Fournier
    SF: Hamilton
    PF: Miller
    C: Mozgov

    Everyone else needs to be traded for draft picks and expiring contracts. Maybe somehow we could manage 5 Lottery Picks.

  • googergieger

    Defense?

    Think that should just be everyone’s question regarding this team and Shaw right now. Also Foye shouldn’t play if he isn’t going to be scoring on every three he takes. Going to be a long season for the early part of it. No Gallo and no Chandler shouldn’t hurt this much, but I guess that is an excuse? I don’t know, Quincy Miller or Arthur should probably get the most minutes at the three right now. If only for their D.

    • Branden Gloudeman

      Yah I don’t get why quincy is not getting a chance he plays defense

    • Vitor Lago

      I think Frank Vogel was the defensive mastermind in Indiana not Shaw, Shaw is more of a players coach and less of an X’s and O’s type guy it seems. One positive was only 4 TO.

      • googergieger

        No doubt, but you know, you figure even teaching our guys to zone up would have improved our defense from last year. But it just seems we have the horrible defense from last year with a struggling offense to go along with it.

        • gimpcom187

          not true googs. 11th rated defense in the league per possession. Highest rated other than the Heat without a top tier big defender. You’ve been told this numerous times so this is really just Lying at this point to undermine Karl.

          • googergieger

            What would our defense have been like with no Iggy or Gallo last year?

            • gimpcom187

              look up 2011-12. It was tied for 20th. It’s about to be bottom 5 with the potential for worst in the league. two seasons previous to that it was 16th and in 08-09 it was 8th. And it’s been top 5ish on offense during that run. To call Karl a great defensive coach is silly, but given this team hasn’t had a great defensive big since Dikembe left (Camby was a weakside shotblocker, but never a great all-around defensive player) It’s silly to suggest Karl is a Poor defensive coach. Which is what I said. Googs just say: “my bad. I had it wrong last season and Im trying to grasp at straws in hopes I won’t look foolish.”

              • googergieger

                Yeah, you agree with me. Even if you don’t want to say so. Never the less, glad you agree.

              • gimpcom187

                what are you talking about. Let’s be clear I DON’T agree with you because you are wrong. You have indicate today and over and over again that Karl is a POOR defensive coach. I have given you EVERY reason to believe he is at least an average defenisive coach according to statistics. you say we agree because you KNOW you are wrong and don’t want to admit it. I see the problem here. You’re not really trying to lie to me and others. You LIE to yourself.

              • googergieger

                No you haven’t. You have said with Iggy and Gallo Denver played good defense. Without them…

                Try harder.

              • gimpcom187

                You have no statistics to back up your case. You are wrong. stop lying to yourself. Move on.

              • Paul Griggs

                Karl coached to his player’s strengths which was run, run, run. If he had decent defensive players, he would have played more defense. It’s 4 or sometimes 5 players to have a strong defense. He got the most out of the team’s abilities.

              • googergieger

                Explains the Miller love. Iggy, Gallo, and Chandler alone are three great versatile defenders that fit perfectly in Karl’s ideal switch everything style defense. Even Brewer can help out there. Miller and an over reliance on a soft Koufos makes some sense though.

              • gimpcom187

                Iggy is great. Gallo and chandler are above average as was brewer.

          • Sharkboy242

            Well considering we had Iggy, Gallo, Chandler and Brewer last season… That’s four defenders who would be better than anyone we’ve used these past two games.

            • googergieger

              Enough logic Sharkboy! Gimp wants “KARL BEST COACH EVER BECAUSE HE IS” type arguments. As a basketball fan who knows his stuff, you should expect nothing less.

              • gimpcom187

                No he’s just much better than anything the Nugs were going to get and is a good to very good coach capable of getting a great team to the finals. I’ve said nothing to indicate BEST COACH EVER or even top 5 coach in the league. There you go LYING again. If you aren’t correct might as well lie. googerLIEger

              • googergieger

                Argue what he said or I said.

              • gimpcom187

                I capitalized your words. See yet another example of you LYING.

              • Sharkboy242

                If what you say is true then good thing we fired Karl because he sure as hell is not taking this roster to any finals. Karl can go do that with a ‘great team’ but considering the fact he hasn’t done anything significant in the playoffs (despite getting there so many times) I don’t think anyone wants him.

              • gimpcom187

                NO ONE could take this team to the finals. Phil Jackson or Poppovich (the two best coaches of the past 3 decades) would be lucky to get to round 2 with this roster. The point is that it has been mediocre in defensive talent and Karl took them to a reasonable place within the confines of the talent.
                You may not have been alive in 2009 or 2001 or 1996 or 1993 but he has been to the conference finals in each of those seasons. This team lost in the first round because the WEST has been amazing for over a decade and their talent/record suggested they were an underdog in their 1st round matchups EVERY season Karl coached the nugs other than last season (2010 he was out with cancer).

                Shark You seem reasonable so Im trying to use reason. I have given up on that with googs and just call him what he is. A LIAR

              • gimpcom187

                Just calling out your LIE again.

              • gimpcom187

                This is YOUR quote: “horrible defense from last year”

              • gimpcom187

                Im still waiting for SOMETHING logical, statistical or FACTUAL to come from you googs. Just one thing other than they didn’t win in the first round so what a horrible coach.

            • gimpcom187

              yes and they were an above average defense in that scenario. Given they had 3 bigs 2 of whom are poor defenders and one that was maybe above average (koufus) this was a borderline best case scenario. Karl did an average to slightly above average job on defense last season. See how that doesn’t fit with your idea googs.

    • gimpcom187

      They don’t have much defensive talent on this team. Chandler and Mozgov may be the only guys on the roster capable of playing above average defense. Ty is bad, Miller is very bad, Foye is very bad, Mcgee is bad, Hickson is bad, Randolph is bad, Hamilton is very bad, Nate Robinson is very bad. Arthur is average. Tank baby Tank

      • Ernie

        TBT!

  • Andrew

    Shaw is using these early games as an extension of pre-season. 11 guys with 13 or more minutes? What were Hickson, Arthur, Foye and Fournier, combined? 5/35? Awful. No Chando or Gallo is killing them. Well, bright side is that’s the Robinson I was expecting…and they’ll get better as Shaw better understands what he has and starts settling on minutes/rotations/etc.

    • googergieger

      That is the optimistic and rationale way of looking at things. I’ll try to go with that for now.

  • heykyleinsf

    Did we lose a draft pick in ’14 for andre asshole iguodala?

    • Vitor Lago

      The Magic get a first-round pick from either Denver or New York in 2014 (We own the Knicks 2014 pick)

      • heykyleinsf

        Thanks Vitor.. so basically yes. Great. Now I hate him even more.

        • gimpcom187

          so basically NO. The nugs get their own pick this year unless the knicks pick ends up coming before the nugs.

          • heykyleinsf

            Again with the weird math, Nugs had two first rounders but gave up one to basically rent Iggy a year

            • gimpcom187

              I misread your post as saying we lost the better of the two. I assumed you were aware they were giving up a pick and were just taking the opportunity to trash iggy. I was only right about the second part.

  • Sharkboy242

    I have loss a lot of faith in things after this game.

    McGee has just been an utter disappointment – How on earth can you be so tall and so bad at rebounding? He doesn’t box out and falls for every pump fake. He needs to get his shit together and right now I’d definitely rather have Mozgov starting and playing more minutes.

    Another big problem is our size – We couldn’t secure a defensive rebound that whole game. Every time they would either just flat out beat us to it or simple jump over our tiny players. I felt like we were undersized at every position except center that whole game. Its just not good when your two best scorers are under 6 feet tall.

    Anthony Randolph should not be starting – He’s just been terrible. We seriously need Chandler back.

    There’s not a single good defensive player on this team – Pretty self explanatory here. Like who’s our best defender? Teams will always have someone go off on us.

    These past two games have been nothing short of disappointing. I cant remember the last time we loss to the Kings and then we follow it up by getting blown out by the Blazers in Denver. That’s just gut wrenching. On the bright side we started 0-3 last season. I’m not jumping to any conclusions this early and Nate Robinson is just awesome. Very fun player to watch and I love the energy and enthusiasm he brings.

    • Paul Griggs

      You lost me on Robinson and awesome…he’s dreadful

      • Sharkboy242

        You’re hating because I like what someone who is the same height as me is capable of doing in the NBA? He brings the crowd alive and was the only player on the Nuggets who looked like he wanted to be there last night. Without him there would have never been anything close to a comeback so suck my dick you hater

  • Keyley

    I am def thinking this is going to be a horrible year for the Nuggies. However, I will still root for them to win. I would rather not tank the season cause that is just garbage, and anyone who says that is crazy. Sure, it’d be nice to get Wiggins, but I rather see my team win, even if it means a 1st round exit. First two games have sucked, but at least tonight they showed some heart and came back, mainly Nate who was GOING OFF! Ty is our best player so shut up with that dumb trade talk, he’ll be an all-star this year. Gallo will be back in December, we should get Chandler back soon. Idk I hate to write the Nuggies off, but they are looking bad. I will still root for them and hope they don’t tank, but nothing to get excited about when Andre Miller is your second best player right now… ugh

    • gimpcom187

      It’s not just wiggins. there are 3-4 guys considered potential all-nba talents in this draft with potential for a few more all-star types. Think the Lebron, Melo, Wade draft. Or at minimum the Rose, Love, Westbrook draft. Even last year with this team’s talent they were an all-star upgrade from a championship caliber team. You don’t win with Ty Lawson or even a healthy Gallo as your best players. Tank baby Tank

      • Vitor Lago

        I think people are comparing it to the 84 or 85 draft which were the two best in NBA history. At least 5 perennial All-Stars in this draft if not more. If the Nuggets were to tank I would not think any less of them.

  • gallogallo88

    weren’t denver good at rebounding last season? what happened… the mcgee expt is really not working.

    • airvaid

      It’s working like a charm. Do you really think the front office thinks it’s gonna win with McGee? The tank is on. Get with the program.

  • Fraser Nixon

    3 point guard line up for like 10 minutes- is Shaw serious?!

  • heykyleinsf

    There’s a lot of people in denial about how Iguodala screwed us over. He cost us a first round pick.. he kept us stringing along without being honest that he had no intention of staying. The result is the offseason roster you now see before you. I am happy about Robinson.. but so far pretty unimpressed with the rest.

    All these people miss him. He’s a dick.

    • Vitor Lago

      I had the idea he wasn’t going to stay throughout last season, I wasn’t ever crazy about him while he was in Denver. In my book he’s worse then Melo. At least Melo was honest that he didn’t want to stay and we got 3 nice players who do want to be in Denver. Iguodala is just more of a reason for me to hate the Warriors.

      • heykyleinsf

        Melo was appreciative of this organization. Iggy wasn’t. What he did shows me that he is a selfish jackass. There is no reason that he needed to lie.. and he did.. he handcuffed us as we froze going all in hoping he would stay. Blame him for a good part of where we are right now.. and the loss of a first rounder right now especially stings. I am from SF.. and I hate the Warriors right now with a passion.

        • Paul Griggs

          Melo has always only been appreciative of himself and his image. I’ve watched him since high school and he pretends to be team oriented but its just an act. Great talent but not enough heart and character to be a true great.

          • heykyleinsf

            At least he said he wanted a trade and left us with something. Say what you want about his character. He did good by this team. Very much unlike Iggy.

            • gimpcom187

              Iggy left this team because it ousted their coach and let the GM go and Iggy realized it was a team that was a BIG piece or two away from REAL contention. He is in the last 3-5 years of his prime. Why waste it on a team likely to be ousted in round 1 assuming they make the playoffs at all for the next 2 seasons. He made the right decision.

              • heykyleinsf

                I don’t disagree at all gimp.. I understand his decision and have no problem with him not wanting to stay.. The whole problem was.. he was completely dishonest about that when he could have told us. There was absolutely no reason at all for the dishonesty.. and it completely was dishonest to take a few months strapping us motionless.. watching option after option go by. NO REASON AT ALL.. that he couldn’t have been HONEST. He simply was not. I don’t know why people fail to grasp this.

              • gimpcom187

                He agreed to the contract on July 5th before the moratorium came up. He had no idea what offers he might get. What if his only offer was from the Kings. He probably returns. He didn’t know that Ujiri and Karl were leaving. Those are reasons to not saying anything. He has to keep his options open.

                You probably wouldn’t just quit your job and tell your boss you think he sucks without having another job lined up Yah? Except under dire circumstances I would assume you agree. He was making a choice which is what free agency is about. I can see it as disappointing for nugs fans, but that doesn’t make him a bad person.

              • heykyleinsf

                OMG I give up.

              • gimpcom187

                Im no god. Thanks for the compliment though. ;-)

              • Poz303

                Telling Jackson during a playoff series about team tactics does make him a traitor. So, yeah, what a great guy.

                His tweet “Really, wow…” was about Nuggets deciding to initially not do a sign-and-trade with GSW and not that the Kings withdraw their offer.

                Iggy threw his team mates under the bus during a playoff series. He already had intentions of joining GSW at that time and was in prayer meeting the GSW coach Jackson before the playoff games.

              • airvaid

                Look man, Iggy left a team that was planning to build around McGee. Can’t blame a professional player for realizing that the front office has lost it and saving his career.

              • heykyleinsf

                I can blame someone who completely unnecessarily holds a team hostage for two months not telling them upfront that there is no need to.

                ONE POINT… jesus harold….

              • gimpcom187

                State the “2 month” period. Ive clearly stated the nugs were aware he was leaving by july 10th. . And what else the nugs could have done. They were over the cap and only had the mid level anyway.

    • Paul Griggs

      Iggy never wanted to be here and he didn’t make a big deal about it, played hard and was a good team mate and team defender.

      • heykyleinsf

        Iggy didn’t ever say he didn’t want to be here… until he milked the time waiting for the best deal. He would have taken less money to go to Dallas or Golden State.. and that pretty much says he never intended to stay.. after we waited for him. He could have told us then. It’s not like he wouldn’t have found a team.. and AGAIN.. he took less money to split. How do you miss this?

        • gimpcom187

          there’s nothing to miss. He wasn’t disloyal to the team. He had one season here and they dismantled the front office and coaching staff. He had the option to be a free agent and go to a team he hoped had a legit championship contention which was not realistic for the nugs.

          • heykyleinsf

            Two months went by dude. Don’t know what’s hard to miss about that.. Nuggets had an offer. Iggy was “still deciding”… THAT is how it went. He was never honest and led the Nuggets to believe they were amongst his decision finalists when the TRUTH was, we never were considered. A team doesn’t wait for months and freezes $60 million because they were informed “no thank you”..

            • gimpcom187

              He agreed on July 5th and was traded on July 10th. That was the first day he was able to be moved. Not sure if you are referring to he could have said in May he was done with the team, but again it cost the team nothing. You don’t KNOW they weren’t in the running and in 3rd place of 3 teams. If they offered 5 years at max he might have reconsidered. All things equal go live in SF with a team with a better shot at a championship.

              • heykyleinsf

                Isn’t that great? Go somewhere else… and make the NBA just like baseball.. no parity.. same teams.. year after year.. I am sure you respect LeBron for turning his ass on the place he grew up and went briefly to college.. Isn’t that great. NY, Miami Boston and LA.. plus all the other farm exhibition practice teams… makes for a great sport and just how Stern likes it. Hail Iggy, Melo and LeBron for going to big market cities.. GREAT for the game.

        • Paul Griggs
          • heykyleinsf

            Paul… with your logic.. the Nuggets were morbidly mistaken to have ever tried to keep him.

            You can’t have it both ways.
            It makes no sense.

            • gimpcom187

              What? They threw in some chips to trade for iggy and then tried to sign him. He wasnt ever that interested in playing for the nugs but may have changed his thoughts had they played better in the playoffs. It was a good attempt. Time to move on and tank.

      • Poz303

        No doubt he played hard during the season but he was the player talking to GSW during the playoffs and telling Jackson team tactics. Look at his defensive efforts during the playoff series. He had every intention of joining GSW at that point.

        So he was the worst team mate ever during that playoff series. Played poor D and threw his team mates and coach under the bus.

    • Poz303

      Have people forgotten what went on in the playoffs last year? The player telling GSW the game plan WAS Iggy. He was the player in the Nuggets team speaking to Jackson. Iggy himself didnt deny it this year.

      He is a traitor. He had every intention of joining GSW. His tweets werent about SAC Kings withdrawing their offer. It was about Nuggets not agreeing initially to a sign and trade with GSW.

      The actions during the playoffs to me indicate that he was disloyal to his team mates and the Nuggets organization. If that makes him a “good guy” then I’d like to see what you call a bad guy.

      And he did say at the beginning of last season that he didnt want Denver to be a one year stop.

      Iguodala is dishonest, a traitor to his team mates and the nuggets organization. The only reason he was holding out was for a sign-and-trade to GSW. That was the only way at the time that GSW could get Iguodala. They then traded a bunch of players to Utah to make it possible to sign him outright at which point the Nuggets thought it best to sign-and-trade him and get a trade exception ($9 million).

      Do the research if you dont believe me.

      • heykyleinsf

        I think people know all these things..
        but don’t want to admit it to me or themselves.

        I talked shit about Iggy very early on and became
        very unpopular here for that..
        But also looking back..
        Iggy didn’t do a fucking thing on the court until half
        the season was over and even then he was streaky.

        I didn’t like him and the money he made and the lack
        of results he showed. GSW still overpaid.
        We nearly did to.

        It’s like trying to tell a Tebow zealot the same plain
        as day things… they don’t listen and they make up
        these weak ass explanations.

  • heykyleinsf

    What matters is how we play in March and April.. not November. I am as disgusted as everyone else.. but come on.. this isn’t necessarily how things are going to be this year. Chandler and Gallo coming back will dramatically change this team. It’s possible that we need this to get serious about where this team is going. Better to have these embarrassing losses at the start of the season than the middle or end of it. There’s a long road ahead.. and an uphill climb.. but there are also 80 games left.

  • Sam Franke

    I’d much rather send out some of our core pieces for some young NBA players who’ve shown they can have legitimate success in the league compared to tanking and putting the franchise in the hands of a unproven 19/20 year old.

    • Ernie

      Star rookies are going to be much better than some young NBA player another franchise is just willing to give up on.

      • Sam Franke

        There’s no guarantee that guys like Wiggins and Parker will be stars in the league, and expecting a guy you just drafted to lead the team and be a top tier player for years to come is one of the worst things you can do. When I say core players I’m talking about Ty, Kenneth, Gallo, etc. Based on who is available, the team who’d get those guys might and probably would be the immediate winners of the trade.

        • Sharkboy242

          Parker and Wiggins will be stars. There’s really no debating it.

          • Vitor Lago

            and Randle and Exum and Embiid and Selden and Smart.

          • Sam Franke

            Many people thought Darko Milicic was gonna be the best player to come out of the 2003 NBA Draft and a lot of people thought he should’ve been picked over Lebron. I’m not saying the guys in the year’s draft can’t become good players, but in basketball (and sports in general) there’s NEVER any guarantee that some prospect will come in and dominate.

            • Tony

              You are going to have to refresh me on all the people that claimed that Darko should be drafted before Lebron. I don’t remember that discusson at all. It was pretty clear that Cleveland would take Lebron all along.

              • Sam Franke

                You got me on that one. From the moment Cleveland won the lottery, everybody knew they’d take Lebron due to his hometown connections. Still, people saw Milicic as the best overall prospect in that draft class. You get the idea.

            • gimpcom187

              the issue is you are overvaluing ty, gallo, faried, etc. They are all 3rd/4th best players on a championship quality club at best (faried is probably more like 6/7th). Not all of the draft guys mentioned will end up all-stars or certainly all nba, but you don’t hear hype like this often. There will be multiple all-stars out of this draft with legit potential for 2 or 3 of the top 10 guys in the league from years 2018 through 2025 coming out of this draft. A shot for that is certainly worth tanking a 35-44 win season with a demolition in round 1 via OKC, san antonio, Houston or the clips. Might as well get something out of Lawson and give him a shot to be on a semi-successful team like Milwaukee.

              • Sam Franke

                You’re right on the talent in next year’s draft. I guess I’m just not as willing to tank for a top prospect. If the guy we draft turns into a star in the league, we build around him and this franchise gets their first championship within the next decade. Sounds great. But if he doesn’t turn out, this team is put in a much worse situation and before you know it we’re known as one of the laughing stocks of the NBA (something this team has been regarded as too often in the past). There’s a lot of risk in tanking.

              • gimpcom187

                I think this team is already in the WORST case scenario. average or worse coach. Mediocre current talent that is mostly younger, but has little development that is realistic. And denver is not a free agency destination so that is out. Milwaukee bucks of the west. Talk about pointless and boring. At least the Magic have Lottery and draft night to look forward to.

              • Sam Franke

                I’ll give Shaw some more time to show what he can do as a coach, but it does definitely seem like this team is stuck between a rock and a hard place. You can’t have playoff success with the offense that this roster fit in and so far nobody has done much in the half-court.

        • Ernie

          So you want to trade for guys like Ty and Kenneth, guys we already have? For who, Arthur? Nate? Or trade our potential lottery pick in the best draft in 20 years for someone a team is willing to give up? That really doesn’t seem like a plan.

  • Paul Griggs

    Still willing to give Shaw some time but I’m amazed at the arrogance of forcing a team built to run to play a stodgy half court Charles Barkley style bump and thump system. The Nuggets were never as good as they seemed under Karl last year but he got the most out of the players.

    • heykyleinsf

      I think you’re right.. hard to believe we’re yet to crack 100 points when we led the NBA last year. I think a fast offense helps our non-existent defense. Command the tempo.. my god especially at home vs a sea level team. That’s Shaw’s biggest WTF for me thus far.

  • Paul Griggs

    Iggy said he didn’t want to be here when the trade was announced. He looked discouraged at the press conference introducing him. He repeatedly said he prefers a team style defense. It was all over the news at the end of the season. Just because he had enough class to not throw a Melo tantrum and played hard doesn’t mean he never made his intentions clear. Jeez, I’m in new York and I could see this.

    • heykyleinsf

      then instead of letting a $60 million offer sit on the table a couple months while the market dried up.. he could have said “no thanks” right away.. I don’t get how you see it different.. but tell yourself whatever you need to…

    • Poz303

      Wait, please look back at the playoffs and free agency. It’s true Iggy didnt have much enthusiasm when he first heard he was traded. But whether he was being jst professional or not, he did say all the right things at his press conference (I was there, in person). He was assuring everyone that he had long term ambitions with Denver.

      He played hard during the season but come playoff time, he, for some reason decided to become a traitor to the organization and his team mates. He met with GSW coach and GSW players pre-game for prayer meetings and decided to tell Jackson about Nuggets team tactics.

      Look at his defensive efforts dring the final games of the series. He had already decided to join GSW during that series.

      He didnt deny being the source early this season.

      His “wow, really” tweet during free agency had nothing to do with the Kings withdrawing their offer and had everything to do with the Nuggets declining to initially not to a sign and trade with GSW.

      So he is dishonest and a traitor to his team mates, his coach and the organization. But yeah, great guy otherwise.

  • Nathan R

    Only two games in…a little early to be so pessimistic. I only got to watch the first half, but from what I saw, Portland just had one of those nights where they were hot from 3. They shot 14-22, 64% from 3; however, they were only 37% from 2. They only made 44 shots, so basically, one of every three shots they made was a 3. Could the defense have been better? Sure. Not too many teams that will be that hot shooting the 3, regardless of how good or bad our defense is. As for us, we only shot 36% from the field, and while we got to the line 34 times, we only hit 20 of them. They miss a couple of three’s and we hit a few more free throws, and this is a different game. Rebounds and blocks were even, we had more steals, only 4 turnovers, and fewer fouls.

    I’m a little surprised by the rush to judgement on the whole season after only two games. Last year, we lost by 9 to the 76er’s opening night, and then 13 to the Magic in our second game. Considering the coaching changes in the off season, the injuries, and new system, shouldn’t some struggles be expected? Lets see where we’re at after 25-30 games. This team is going to look different than it has the last 3 years…some people may like it, some may not, but to declare the entire season a lost cause after 2 lost games is as unrealistic as putting down a deposit for playoff tickets if we had 2 wins.

    • Thomas

      You are in denial.

  • Anthony

    I’m more then happy to tank but our retard of a GM Connelly needs to plan for it. If wiggins is the target we need to think 2 steps ahead and clear salary. Gallo needs to be moved on (sadly), there is no room for a 12million dollar back up to wiggins. Moving some of these cheaper contacts (ie Roberson, foye, Hamilton, AR, maybe even faried) needs to happen to release our cap holds and make us a player in FA. But all of these things are easier said then done. NO GM is giving up a first round pick easily this year.
    We want an expiring contact that matchers gallo plus some and a first round pick. It won’t happen.
    Our best bet of getting another pick in the first round is packaging our second rounder with the second rounder from Portland and gallo to an oversized expiring contact (to make money match) to a title contending team who does not want to take on the salary of first round pick (ie Miami or OKC) but that will only net a last first round pick.

    • Ernie

      Connelly already planned for it. How do you think we got this bad? He’s already 2 steps ahead, no one saw how quickly he wanted this team to tank.

      But you don’t trade Gallo, you just make him rehab all year. Because no guarantee you get Wiggins, might be one of the PF instead.

  • Marcus Williams

    The only reason this marginally talented team won so many games last year was Karl’s system, smoke, and mirrors. Expecting a team that can’t shoot to thrive in a standard NBA offense is a recipe for disaster. Very hard to watch.

  • COfoEVA

    We need to figure out a trade for Kevin Love!

  • Darius

    You want a half court system Shaw? How about you get half court player first…

  • alex47666

    Nugget fans that believe that the front office is tanking for wiggins, are jokes and should be questioned if they are even real fans. I see someone wants to trade gallo, by the far the worst post i may have ever seen from a nugget fan. This team was going to have a bad year and a slow start, I believe at the end of the year everything will start to click for them. Now though its just the tough times.

    • heykyleinsf

      Besides.. I’m not sure Wiggins is better than Julius Randle
      from Kentucky.

  • KW

    I was at the game. It was embarassing. Drove five hours to see that show. Just weird. Nuggets fans are sort of half fast. People arrive late, they hardly pay attention to the game.
    They gave the mic to FOYE at the beginning of thier home opener. That’s right. Foye took the mic. Not Ty, Mcgee, Manimal. Foye welcomed the fans to the new season. It was tough to take.
    McGee and AR15 were the only nuggs taking shots prior to the game.
    I dont know the X’s and O’s well enough to comment on what happened but the feel in the arena was one of apathy.
    LMA is the real deal.

    • heykyleinsf

      The Avs moved to an NHL best 12-1 tonight.
      The Pepsi center belongs to them now.

      The Nuggets keep playing like this, and there will
      be less and less people there.
      Expect booing to increase and tolerance of
      growing pains to decrease.

  • William Nemirow

    I hope we are tanking. look at our starting lineup. Foye, Randolph, McGee and Hickson!!! What sane GM would get Nate when we have Ty and MIller? what sane GM would throw away KK and rely on Mozgov and McGee?

    But then again tanking makes no sense when you have a very competitive team the previous year (even minus Iggy we could be a strong playoff team). So, what’s going on is vast incompetency – more so than when the Broncos brought in Josh McDaniels and gave away Cutler and Marshall.

  • Hoopy

    Pink Floyd

  • Len Nunes

    Here’s what I saw:

    1st Quarter Smiles

    Ty Lawson, even when confusion was evident coming down the floor,
    was able to ad lib plays. Ty sank a three, involved every Nugget on
    the floor, and stuffed the stat sheet with rebounds and steals.

    Timmy Mozgov sure has learned the secret to a good entrance.
    Mozgov comes into the game with a nice tip in of a Lawson shot then
    blocks a shot on the defensive end.

    A sore spot from last game was the defense giving up WIDE OPEN threes.
    Of 6 attempted three’s by Portland, 4 of them were actually decently
    defended.

    1st Quarter Frowns

    Credit where it’s due, he did improve as the qaurter went along but geez did Anthony Randolph
    ever struggle the first few minutes. The only three Batum missed in
    the quarter was in front of a lost Randolph. On the next posession,
    Batum schooled Randolph for an easy deuce.

    JaVale McGee on the first possession of the game twice failed to
    set a decent pick for Lawson. For all the headlines McGee running the
    post offense drew, only one play was run through him and he missed the
    shot.

    1st Quarter PETPEEVE

    Game two into a new system I can forgive some confusion and slow play on
    offense but a timecount violation after a timeout *shaking head*
    preseason is over, this can’t happen anymore.

    2nd Quarter Smiles

    The biggest smile was seeing Ty Lawson get back up after hitting
    the floor hard with his elbow and back. When Portland opened up their
    biggest lead of the night at 54-39, Lawson took the game into his own
    hands and drive to the basket the next three Nugs possessions (scoring
    on two of them) then involved Mozgov in a nice give and go we’ve seen
    before in the Sacramento game. The gap on the scoreboard did not
    decrease but Mr Lawson did absolutely everything he could to stop the
    bleeding.

    Darrel Arthur’s vaunted defensive skills came to the forefront in
    the first six minutes of the second quarter. Portland outscored Denver
    23-14 after he left the game.

    2nd Quarter Frowns

    Portland attempted eight 3’s, six of which were uncontested. Portland
    was able to shot over .500 because Aldridge was either open at the top
    of the key or causing his man to leave his feet and then able to slip
    under him.

    The Nuggets help defense is still in preseason mode as clearly
    represented by Portland’s final basket of the half. Lillard split
    Lawson and Hickson at the top of the key and here’s how the other
    defenders reacted. Foye actually stepped away from Lillard, Robinson
    literally did not take a step and Fournier couldn’t decide whether to
    attack or stay on his man so he did neither.

    3rd Quarter FRUSTRATION

    Andre Miller playing an effective three minutes shows and reminds us of how ineffective Robinson and Fournier have been playing. Robinson has shown no spark and Fournier has shown no touch.

    Speaking of no touch, how comfortable is the new GM feeling seeing both Foye & Hickson shooting 2 of 9 and 2 of 10 respectively?

    3rd Quarter George Karl Moment

    2:45 into the quarter, Javale McGee gets greedy, steps away from
    his box out position and gets scored on then gets his butt stapled to
    the bench for the rest of the quarter!

    4th Quarter Why The Comeback Fell Short

    With the deficit down to eight points, Portland’s Matthews is left WIDE OPEN to drain the Blazers 14th 3-ball of the game. On the next Portland offensive possession, Hickson
    subs in during two free throws attempts, which both miss, and fails to
    box out his man allowing the Blazers another possession which they score
    on.

    4th Quarter Smiles

    Nate Robinson shuts me up for earlier saying he had delivered no spark.

    The unit of Lawson, Robinson, Foye, Faried and Mozgov earned my vote for “why not use this unit as our starters?”

    It was nice to see Anthony Randolph on the floor again during garbage time and rolling his ankle early in the 3rd quarter.