Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 94 – 102 San Antonio Spurs

Denver had control of the game for three quarters and just let go of the rope in the fourth. The offense stalled in the half court (hey, that sounds familiar) and the defense that was bending all game finally snapped. In the slog that is going to be this first month and a half of this season, there was progress made here but ultimately this game serves as yet another sign that there is a ton of work to be done on every aspect of this team.

San Antonio Spurs 102 FinalRecap | Box Score 94 Denver Nuggets
Kenneth Faried, SF 28 MIN | 7-14 FG | 1-2 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 15 PTS | +1
Faried finally reclaimed his spot in the starting lineup and submitted a typical Manimal-like game. He played with ferocity, sacrificed his body for rebounds, played poor defense, and suffered as much in the half court as he thrived in transition. At this point you can’t really expect anything more or less from him, but I think it was enough to keep a leg up on Hickson.
Jordan Hamilton, SF 23 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 11 PTS | -6
Amidst a disappointing game, J-Ham’s play shown as a lone bright spot. He served as a comparable floor spacer desperately needed on the wing and did a solid job spacing the floor by always rotating to the weak side corner whenever the ball handler got into the paint.
JaVale McGee, C 21 MIN | 4-11 FG | 1-1 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 5 TO | 9 PTS | +1
The defense is just not there and we’re getting to the point where it may never be. He is borderline unplayable with any other big with defensive issue, which is basically all Denver has on its roster right now. He showed some offensive flashes in the pick and roll but the half court offense died whenever it went to him in the post.
Ty Lawson, PG 37 MIN | 6-17 FG | 7-9 FT | 2 REB | 8 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 20 PTS | -6
Ty pushed the pace for three quarters and despite a poor shooting night still got into the paint and forced the defense to make tough decisions. The offense is almost entirely reliant on him playing at maximum and whenever he sits or trails off for a bit, like he did in the fourth quarter, the offense craters.
Randy Foye, SG 28 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | +5
This is what Randy Foye is paid to do. Spot up behind the line and shoot open threes and he did that as well as you could’ve hoped tonight.
Darrell Arthur, PF 8 MIN | 0-0 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -9
I don’t know why he played at all if he was only going to get eight minutes, or why he was out there in relative crunch time anchoring the front court with J.J. Hickson.
J.J. Hickson, PF 17 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 4 PTS | -8
It is so frustrating to watch this guy. He helps space the offense with his jumper but other than that I can’t see any value he has brought to the team thus far. His defense is horrific, he doesn’t rebound like he should, and he never seems to be in the right position in the pick and roll.
Timofey Mozgov, C 21 MIN | 4-6 FG | 3-4 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 11 PTS | -4
It’s becoming more and more clear that Mozzy is Denver’s anchor at center and I can’t really tell if that revelation is comforting or not. He is “Koufosian” in how solid he’s been on both sides of the ball but he is clearly not ready to handle an increased minutes load.
Andre Miller, PG 29 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -12
Dre hit two threes and attempted to lead a fast break at one point, so that was fun. That’s all I got.
Nate Robinson, PG 19 MIN | 2-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 5 PTS | -1
This is the roller coaster that is NateRob, these are usually the types of games that follow explosions like the one versus Portland. He knows his role on this team and sometimes he’s going to be on and sometimes he’s gong to do this. You just have to accept that.
Evan Fournier, SG 9 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -1
Evan had three fouls in three minutes and pretty much sabotaged any rhythm he might have had from that point on. He didn’t even attempt a shot on offense and defensively he didn’t really contribute a ton either. A somewhat invisible game from the Frenchman.
Brian Shaw
Well, points for starting Jordan Hamilton! All told, the offense fell apart in the fourth quarter when the game bogged down and he probably left Hickson and Arthur out there for too long. The defense is still a mess and the tendency for the offense to go through isolation post sets in the half court is beyond frustrating. Shaw seems to be trying to shove a square peg system into a round hole roster.

Three Things We Saw

  1. Denver is missing two of their three best players and at this point they’re really just scrambling to find something that works. There are going to be five man rotations in the front court and the starting unit is probably going to be a fluid situation as well, filling holes that guys like Gallo and Chandler leave is not an easy thing.
  2. Denver probably should have put the Spurs away sooner but truth be told this game could have been a blowout in San Antonio’s favor much sooner if they had just hit their open shots. The Spurs are the embodiment of “The Process” and they really didn’t do anything different in the fourth quarter than the first, they just started to hit their threes and watched Denver miss theirs.
  3. The defensive scheme looks to be in flux as well. After two games of watching the bigs drop back on the pick and roll, suddenly they started to trap the ball handler. It came and went in spurts so it’s hard to say if it was the beginning phase of a new system or if that was just the way Shaw wanted them to defend Tony Parker. Interesting to see where the pick and roll defense goes from here.
  • Josh Chin

    Tough game to watch. We had it all the way up till the 4th quarter. One thing to note is Faried took 14 shots, the second most on the team! He was 50% from the field but someone else should be taking those shots. Mozzy played very well moving without the basketball, but Mcgee again disappointed. When is Chandler coming back?

  • herpderpnuggets

    Three games in and I’m almost completely deflated on NBA basketball. The refs were AWFUL in the second half letting Ty get tackled and calling touch fouls on the other end. That’s not to say the refs were the only reason the nugs lost tonight. Offense went out the window in the fourth. Have to get a win vs the hawks this next game or else the team might get too down on themselves.

  • Sharkboy242

    No one on this team can play defense.

  • Greg Boyarko

    Everyone looked a lot more promising. But they threw this game away. Something like 25 turnovers, which is absolutely ridiculous. But it’s not all that surprising when you combine a young team with new players, chemistry issues, a new system, and certain players known for bone-headed decisions like Robinson and McGee, and on top of that play against a smart team like the Spurs.

    On a positive note, Faried looked good, I’m definitely hoping they don’t trade him.

    • heykyleinsf

      I agree… I’ll be pissed if Manimal gets traded.

      • LBJ

        Get ready to be pissed

        • sherlock

          lol

    • Thomas

      Agree. Only untouchable on the team.

      Tanking is a reality. What we have here is just not going to cut it. And please don’t start with the “oh but we will be much better when Gallo comes back” – he is not a star, not even close.

      • alex47666

        LOL Thomas after the first 3 games, I still rather have Hickson be starting over faried

  • heykyleinsf

    Faried and Hamilton may work until Wilson Chandelier gets back from his intermittent china doll syndrome. Not one of our offseason acquisitions produced tonight.. and Javale.. any time now, yeah??

  • Cullen

    Okay, so can the alarmists please stop now? The Nuggets looked GREAT for long stretches of the game on multiple fronts.

    But first, mistakes:

    Holy god, stop with the turnovers. There were so many unforced just stupid passes that ended up in turnovers. To be an elite team in the NBA, you MUST just play mistake free, smart basketball.

    Defense took a huge dip at the end. They need to move their feet more and generally play better defense. The first half they played stellar defense, the second half it degraded almost by the minute.

    They need to find a way to run more consistent sets of half court offense. There was some beautiful half court basketball ball, but also just plain awful half court basketball.

    Those big men need to learn how to play without drawing fouls. Mainly looking at you McGee. There were moments where he looked like he was going to figure it out, but drew wayyy too many fouls. This goes for Mosgov too, mostly.

    Ty Lawson needs to step it up late. He made a lot of seemingly uncharacteristic mistakes that he normally would just blow up.

    Bright spots:

    The defense in the first half was great. If they put that together for a consistent effort, things will definitely be looking up.

    Nate Robinson seems to be a good fit and somebody who will play a lot of productive minutes for this time.

    Jordan Hamilton looked to finally be living up to his potentially. He stroked the 3 ball pretty well tonight. JHam just needs to fix his defense, which he isnt too far off of anyway and shoot with more confidence/get a drive game going.

    Smart not playing Randolph. He had been garbage, and needs to ride the pine a little.

    Half court offense looked great at moments. Looks like more time and practice and they will be great.

    Faried was great and looks better as a starter.

    Foye started well but needs to work on a more complete game.

    Overall, a good night to be a Nuggets fan. Sure, we lost… but there were so many bright moments on the floor and glimpses of great basketball that optimism should be up. We started 0-3 last year and picked it up, I think we can do that this year.

    Shaw looked much more in control this game and the team looked much better… a lot of work, but a lot of bright spots.

    • gimpcom187

      The spurs played the first half in zombie mode and shot very poorly from 3 despite being a GREAT 3 pt team and getting lots of good shots. The nugs defense was mediocre and had little to do with the spurs struggles. The nugs were 9/15 from 3 at one point. And still the game was all but over with 3 minutes left. This game was NOT a good sign.

      • nugzin2040

        This. There were some facets of the game that were okay (JHam wasn’t completely worthless, Faried had a decent game). But this team has a lot of problems, and need to fix them fast before the season spirals out of control.

        Lose to Atlanta and they will already match their Home loss total for last season.

        • Branden Gloudeman

          Jham wasn’t trash with his shot but his passing and defense were complete let downs but nate robinson was also doing this 2 a lot of careless turnovers

          • nugzin2040

            Yeah, he wasn’t very good defensively. just saying he was hitting a jump shot, so wasn’t a complete waste. let’s face it: team is a mess at the 2/3 until chandler and gallo get back

            • Branden Gloudeman

              Agreed miller running the three tonight was a complete joke quincy miller needs some Damn time dude can rebound and defend

              • kwelitysoul

                Q turns it over way too much…

              • Branden Gloudeman

                Not more than Jordan Hamilton Ur crazy

      • Cullen

        Did you watch the first half? Yeah, the Spurs struggled but the defense played with a lot of energy and played for the most part really great on the core players. I would argue that the open threes were one of the minimal holes in their defense and we were at least getting some of the rebounds.

        I have ZERO idea where you are getting the idea that this game was not a good sign. Most of the mistakes in this game are pretty fixable. Having the players think before passing solves the main problem.

        They play consistent throughout 4 quarters and we go home with a win… that is an improvement from the first two games.

        I get sick and tired of this forum because there is so much negativity. If you think that game is a bad sign, you must not have watched the first few games or last year either.

        That was not great basketball, but it was pretty good and showed signs of improving.

        This forum makes me sad sometimes and I feel bad for Shaw, because nothing short of going undefeated every season every year will feed you goddamn hounds. Karl started last year 0-3. Why didnt we fire him then… still waiting for a response to that. Oh yeah, 79 games left. Still lots of time to improve.

        • Ernie

          You are fired up because they played a good half of basketball at home? And not the second half? And lost? Enjoy it I guess. I’m still on the tanking bandwagon.

          • Cullen

            No, they played poorly for a quarter. I am just happy to see them playing better. There are moral victories and bright spots to be taken away… so yeah.

            And you are the worse sort of fan. Tanking? You want our team to purposefully lose? Pathetic. Absolutely pathetic ESPN created bullshit. No respectable organization tanks.

            • nugzin2040

              The Spurs and Thunder say hi. Can’t say I agree with tanking, although I do think players like Chandler, McGee, Foye, Hickson are kinda maxed out as far as what they could do and pretty much a waste on a semi rebuilding tea… but there are a lot of teams that do it, and many that have a more storied history then the Nuggets.

              • rob c.

                Whether you agree with tanking or not, the tank is on and happening before our eyes.

            • Ernie

              I am the “worse sort of fan” because I recognize that the worst place to be in the NBA is either picking late in the lottery or getting eliminated in the first round in the playoffs if you want to win a championship. I am the “worst sort of fan” because I recognize this team will not contend for the title this year. I am the “worst sort of fan” because there are title altering players available in the 2014 draft.

              Kindly resort to talking about the Nuggets instead of insulting my fanship. Because to me rooting for this team to make the playoffs and get eliminated again so they can do it all over again next year is choosing to lose the future.

              • Cullen

                No, I think what I am doing is sufficient and justified. Any fan that is okay with losing on purpose just does not seem like a real fan. Try making trades, free agency, drafting better, etc. All better ways of rebuilding a team. The way you suggest will take YEARS before we ever become a respectable organization again. Lottery teams that get those high picks are absolutely wrecked organizations. There are other ways to rebuild, and I think losing on purpose is not a productive strategy.

              • Thomas

                Look, this is a transition year – Shaw is raw as a coach. We have tons of pieces that obviously are not a good fit with one another. None of our core players (Faried, Ty, Gallo & Chandler) are in the top 30 in the NBA, and we have no defensive stoppers and no fundamentally sound center (KK?).

                We made the dumba$$ move of acquiring Hickson, a player no other team is interested in and we got journeyman Foye. Those are not good trade pieces and have no value 2 to 3 years down the road.

                Do you think Ty or Gallo can lead us far in the playoffs one day? Do you think Chandler is not made of porcelan? Do you believe in Mcgee becoming the man in the middle one day? If you don’t, then you should seriously consider that the draft is a great opportunity (albeit it still an odds game that you can lose mightily even when tanking).

                I’m more concerned with the fact that our front office doesn’t seem to be very good – Masai could pull great trades out of his hat, but these guys don’t seem to be the sharpest pencils in the box.

              • kwelitysoul

                Agreed, franchise players in their prime aren’t coming to Denver, gotta build in the draft…

            • gimpcom187

              They got annihilated in one quarter, were essentially even for the 1st and 3rd quarters and outplayed the spurs in the 2nd quarter.

              Lots of teams tank. The spurs had injuries and decided to tank the season that they ended up getting duncan. OKC semi tanked when they were getting Westbrook and Harden. GS tanked to get Harrison Barnes and that hasn’t seemed to take away their respectability. Miami tanked the season they got the 2nd pick in the draft (it didn’t work out but still they are a respectable franchise that has tanked.)

            • Thomas

              Agree with Ernie, sorry. Being a fan doesn’t have to stop you from having good judgement or being frank.

            • Charliemyboy

              Our team probably played the same. It’s San Antonio who got more focused. This is what champions do, let the other team hang around and turn it on when they need to. We were getting that way last year. The 4th quarter is usually the only one that counts in the NBA.

        • nugzin2040

          Also, I’d say that Karl’s team last year lost on a East Coast road trip. This team is 1 home loss away from matching their total from last year. Completely different situations.

          Not saying the season is over by any stretch, but do think there is more cause for concern with this team then last year

          • rob c.

            That 0-3 GK coached team had a better roster than this team has. There have 3 or 4 different starters every night, and the 6th man is gone. It is a bit unfair to compare the two teams.

            • LBJ

              Not to mention that last year’s roster was built to play a totally different style of basketball. Switching to Shaw’s style isn’t going to be a one year process – we will be getting rid of several more current nuggets. Count me as one that has no faith in our front office to accomplish this transition.

      • Cullen

        And you are aware that 9/15 from three is good, right?

        • gimpcom187

          you are aware that I was suggesting 9/15 was an unsustainably lucky % just as the spurs poor shooting from inside the paint and outside the 3 point land in the 1st half was more luck than Nuggets “defense” oriented. The spurs machine is not the best barometer to make any broad generalizations off of. Still a C level effort from your opponent and you still get beat pretty good at home is not a good sign.

          These comments about worst kind of fan stuff are silly. There are three elements to becoming a title contender and are represented in order of importance. Great player talent, Great coaching talent and to a lesser degree great GM. Getting great player talent CAN be done numerous ways but free agency to get your BEST player is not likely for the nugs. So that leaves trades or draft as the players they have on the roster now aren’t really very close to being a championship contending club. You would prefer to be a 35-44 win team and hope a miracle trade comes instead of being stuck as the Bucks of the Rockies. Others are OK with the prospect of 2-3 seasons at 25- wins in hopes of getting a franchise guy and at least 1-2 good compliments in the next 3 drafts and use free agency to supplement those pieces. Optimism that borders on Idealism and preference for mediocrity doesn’t make you a superior fan, just different.

          • Cullen

            It is not idealism. If we have players that are okay with tanking, we should scrap the entire organization.

            How is it that a year ago people said that we are close to winning a title, now we should tank to get better… which one is it.

            We lost Iggy, Brewer, and Koufos. Was that really a championship roster? No.

            I think trades are a superior option for several reasons:

            Draft rebuilds take 3-5 years, typically. If most people, as proven by the forum, are not okay with 3 BAD GAMES, why would they ever be okay with 3-5 years of poor performance?

            And there is no way of guaranteeing we would even get a high pick. We would probably get a lower lottery pick because we probs are not going to be in the bottom 7 teams in the league, so we will be getting a player that is a compliment at best. And if we improve, like your model has to assume, we would have to be getting lower pick positions, thus probably worse players.

            We are loaded with mid range pieces, make a deal to bring in a big player or a good pick. That is not idealism, it is just smart basketball moves that dont compromise the integrity of the organization.

            • gimpcom187

              I wasn’t one of those people. I said the team was likely out in the first round for most of the season and even when they got the 3rd seed I said their best case scenario was out in 5 against the spurs in round 2. Going into last season you could have optimistically seen this team with Iguodala, a healthy and still developing Gallo, a developing Ty and potential of Faried and Mcgee. Iguodala left, Ty has made minimal progress, Gallo was injured and made minimal progress. Faried is more clearly an energy guy. Mcgee is a dufus with great athleticism but any thoughts that suggest any of those guys should be anything beyond the distant 3rd best player on a championship squad is silly.

              Instant gratification fans aren’t the ones a GM should cater to. People usually don’t trade stars for middling talent. OKC got KILLED in that trade for Harden which included a talent as good as anything the Nugs could offer AND 3 draft picks as good or better than what the nugs could offer. They would have made the trade last season with Ujiri if there was a trade out there for the Nuggets above average parts.

            • Thomas

              We are “loaded”? This glass is more than half empty, the trade value of our pieces go down as our record craters.

              Open your eyes, this roster has no possibility of anything.

    • Poz303

      Randolph has an ankle injury. Thats why he sat out tonights game.

      • Cullen

        Regardless, it was refreshing to not see him play.

    • Branden Gloudeman

      Our 2nd half was trash on defense and faried should not be taking no 14 freaking shots… His energy is good but his offensive is just plain disappointing when the game slows down as u saw I would give the closing gig to Hickson or Arthur at power forward period

      • Cullen

        Agreed. He was taking a lot of really dumb shots there near the end.

        • Branden Gloudeman

          I think we should trade him if we get sumthin back that’s worth the trade I know people will say he’s energy but energy only goes so far when u have no offensive skill in the half court set

      • Thomas

        If either Hickson or Arthur had played more minutes, the Spurs would have run away with this one. Arthur was -9 in 8 minutes, Hickson was -8 in 17 minutes.

        You guys need to understand that the game is played on both sides of the court, and that turnovers, steals, rebounds, assists all contribute to a team’s effort of making more points that the opponent – not just looking at shots or points. Even under that myopic view, Faried shot 50%, better than those 2 guys.

        For example, Hickson played 17 minutes, had 4 turnovers and zero assists. Those 4 turnovers roughly represented a 4 point Spur differential on the scoreboard. You need 4 additional possessions to negate this, that’s a killer.

        • Branden Gloudeman

          U only talked about Hickson… what’s Ur answer for Arthur because he is our best post defender behind mozgov plus he can space the floor with his jumper just like Hickson can faried can’t has no offensive game and is in there for energy well news flash energy doesn’t win u games in the 4th quarter as u saw

  • Sharkboy242

    Has anyone noticed that Gallo’s ESPN page says hes headed for a late November return… Is that accurate at all or just complete bull?

  • Scott

    Rocky the Mountain Lion returned from injury. #thereturn #WinForRocky #drose2.0

  • googergieger

    I liked Faried and Hamilton starting. No idea why he went away from Hamiton. Matt was saying on twitter that Faried posting up is a bad idea. I agree. I think McGee and Mozgov in foul trouble helped San Antonio a lot early on. We did get lucky they were missing every shot early however. Chandler and Gallo can’t get back soon enough. Hoping Shaw figures out his rotation out sooner rather than later. Not like any trade options out there make any sort of sense for us right now either. I mean trades that could make us playoff locks, but just that for a few years. Three games. Still say give Shaw a chance. Outside of his starting line up tonight, can’t think of anything else he has done I’ve liked so far.

    • Branden Gloudeman

      Faried shouldn’t close and q miller should get some burn instead of running three guard lineups that are just ridiculous

      • googergieger

        I think Q Miller and Hamilton are the best options at the three. Heck even Arthur should get some burn there if he really doesn’t want to go with one of those two. Faried should close just because we should be building him up for the future. However he shouldn’t be part of our offense plan.

        • Branden Gloudeman

          So what do u want faried to do in the 4th quarter? Just hustle u don’t think we should put a Scoring Power Forward in?

  • slugdugg

    I wonder what the over-under is on how many times we will get tacos this season? I would guess about 3…

    • rob c.

      I will take the under on the 3 games

  • Vitor Lago

    Mozgov > McGee. Sure he got in foul trouble but I’d much rather his fouls going for offensive rebounds and going straight up on defense than McGee jumping at every pump fake and reaching in.

    • Branden Gloudeman

      Can’t give up on Mcgee after three games I see Ur concerns but he hasn’t had a chance to start for the nuggets

  • Len Nunes

    Here’s what I saw:

    1st Quarter Smiles

    Foye found his shot with two straight 3’s and a jumper. Now if only he would accept the fact he should not drive the lane!

    The starting unit defense was actually pretty solid. I would go
    into more explanation but I want to simply enjoy the fact that the Nugs
    defense was not the horror show it has been the first two games.

    1st Quarter Frowns

    JJ Hickson enters the game and fails to box out his man leading
    to a Spurs bucket, commits an offensive foul then proceeds to muff not
    one but two Lawson passes.

    The only three times Fournier’s name was mentioned = fouls.

    2nd Quarter Smiles

    The Nuggets have scored 52 points with Ty Lawson NOT having an All Star aspiring night.

    Jordan Hamilton deserves a compliment on his defense. Yes, I wrote defense!

    The dreaded defensive combo of “Faried/McGee” has not been dreadful. That’s two quarters in a row!

    Any night Andre Miller scores two, that’s right, TWO three pointer in the same quarter, it’s a good night!

    2nd Quarter Frowns

    With players being sold to us on their “potential”, sometimes they exhibit the entire spectrum of their potential.

    Exhibit A – Timmy Mozgov. Attacks the rim for a deuce, defends
    Splitter perfectly then tosses a lazy pass that gets intercepted and
    draws a foul to end the stretch of action.

    Exhibit B – JaVale McGee. Collects an offensive rebound then
    gets stuffed on a drive to the basket. Scores the putback dunk we know
    he can score and then tries to go one on three and airballs a forced
    shot. He then gets caught on an illegal screen and follows that with
    his second foul of the quarter on Duncan.

    3rd Quarter Smiles

    Not one, not two, not three but FOUR straight three pointers made. JHam with two, Foye and Lawson
    with the others. If you didn’t fist-pump when Lawson hit his three to
    make it 63-51, the only allowable reason is because you didn’t want to
    spill your drink!

    3rd Quarter Frustration

    Coach Shaw irate at what looked like a Denver team which thought the
    quarter was over when Lawson sat down with 2:45 to go, calls a timeout
    to stop the sag. I will go out on a limb and say that Coach Shaw did
    not ask a stone cold Robinson to take the last two shots of the
    quarter. (post game add-on, Robinson only played 11 seconds in 4th
    quarter) I will also go out on a limb and say part of the reason Shaw
    called the timeout was to remind the Nugs to contest three point
    attempts but San Antonio managed another open look.

    Going into the 4th Fears/3rd Q Frowns

    Tony Parker has been allowed to weave at will and Duncan has been left
    alone at the top of the key for a few jumpers. As the game has
    progressed, Denver has allowed more and more open looks from beyond the
    arc. With Mozgov and McGee a mistake away from being out of the game, Hamilton and Fournier playing inconsistent defense, a boy can’t help but worry that this will become the classic “Spurs steal a road win” formula.

    4th Quarter SIGH

    By the time Duncan and Parker came back into the game, the Spurs had
    already taken the lead at 86-84. Put in more simple terms, the Spurs
    2nd unit beat our Nuggets first unit. When the happens you can expect
    the game to completely slip away when their stars draw back in and it
    did.

    4th Quarter Frustration

    The excitement the Nugs three point shooting created in the third,
    wilted away in the fourth going 0’fer from beyond the arc. How
    different is this game at 92-84 OR 94-86 if Foye, who is a 3
    point specialist, makes either of his 3 point attempts? To defend Foye
    though, down the stretch he did make a couple nice defensive plays
    including a steal.

    JJ Hickson’s agent will burn all tape of the game on behalf of
    his client. In three minutes of play in the 4th quarter Hickson badly
    missed a shot and fumbled a dump pass by Lawson.

    At one point the Nuggets were shooting 2 of 8 with Faried being 2
    of 5. I’m not bashing Faried, I believe I’m simply stating the obvious
    when I write that if Faried is taking more than half of your shots,
    you’re probably struggling offensively.

    4th Quarter Smile

    Jordan Hamilton played a good defensive quarter.

  • Paul Griggs

    And yet last year under George Karl, this team played respectable D because he played and coached to the player’s strengths! Oh, and the much hated Iggy was a very good defensive player…great job FO!

    • Sharkboy242

      We played respectable D because we had good defensive players (Iggy, Brewer, KK, Chandler, Gallo)… Not because Karl was playing players to their strengths.

  • Paul Griggs

    Unless you plan on sitting Lawson and giving all he minutes to Miller, this team is not a strong half court team. Let ‘em run!

    • LBJ

      Too bad we fired our “running” coach – and unloaded several of our running players (with more to come).

  • Dennis Gavin

    TV talking head made wise observation. “Both teams look really good. For a first game OF PRE_SEASON>”

  • Darren

    I’m going to sound like a broken record, but here goes… Andre Miller: -12. Most good defenses start with a solid backcourt that can prevent easy drives or kick-outs to wide open shooters after the defense collapses. I know this happens with everyone, but it seems to happen more often when Andre is out there. If you insist on having him play, play something like the three strikes rule: If they score on three straight half-court possessions, TAKE HIM OUT. We cannot afford to have someone with 29 minutes on the floor playing this bad defensively. I’m not the only one thinking this, right?

    • Sharkboy242

      Miller should not be in when defense is priority – which it was for most of the fourth.

    • Branden Gloudeman

      Couldn’t agree more

  • gordonbrowning

    So to recap:

    Denver offseason needs: defensive minded SG, PF, and C.

    Denver offseason moves: let go of all star defensive SG, and capable C, acquire terrible defensive SG, TWO terrible PFs, and terrible defensive PG.

    This new front office is absolute dog shit, and everyone who was scratching their heads this summer is seeing exactly what they expected on the floor this season. Too many guys, not enough minutes. This team is going to get worse and worse as the FO makes worse and worse moves, until Connnelly gets fired 3 years from now. Buckle your seatbelts guys!

    • Thomas

      Afraid you might be on to something here. Connelly seems to be an awful GM – I have no faith in the strategy and the trades you mentioned have weakened the organization. Iggy didn’t want to be here, so that’s that.

      If I had faith in the front office, I would be hoping that we could swing some trades to get draft position or try to get Rondo here. I honestly like Ty’s game but I don’t think it’s enough – he is slightly above average on scoring and distributing the ball but he gets torched by most above average PGs on defense. If we could swing a deal for Rondo, I’d jump on it, even if we had to give someone else (personally I would keep Faried and give up either Gallo or Chandler, but that can be debated and on a side note Brandon Bass has very nice range).

      I’d rather have Rondo, Faried, Bass or Cortney Lee, Gallo or Chandler and a high pick in the draft than what we have now. At least I could be fooled into thinking that we would be moving forward and it would be fun to watch Rondo play. Right now I have zero conviction that what we have will ever work.

      • LBJ

        Not to mention Joshy is totally involved in personnel decisions.

  • Gregory B

    well, at least we don’t have GK, right? UGH, that was ugly. This is definitely a team in transition. They’re not prepared to play a half court game…also the pressure of the 4th quarter was evident. They forced shot after shot after shot…and I’m stuck in SA listening to all the Spurs fans…

    • Gregory B

      Hamilton and Foye, though, I like…Glad Jordan may actually get some consistent playing time

      • Thomas

        Don’t bet on it. There are some players that always seem to be in the coaches doghouse and unfortunately Hamilton is one of them. Meanwhile, other players get free passes – guys like Foye and Miller.

        • LBJ

          According to this board, we had to fire Karl because: 1) He didn’t play McGee enough (Shaw plays him less and says he has to earn his minutes), 2) He played a 2 point guard offense (Shaw was playing 3 PG at the same time last night) and 3) He didn’t develop young players (J-Ham is still in the doghouse, Q never plays and Fournier sits behind Foye).

          • Branden Gloudeman

            U forgot to mention his obsession with miller (George karl ) and we are missing Gallo and chandler how are we not suppose to play small shaw has no choice

            • LBJ

              You are correct – the gurus on this board (most of which seem to have disappeared) claimed Karl needed to go because he played Miller too much. Yet, Shaw played him 29 minutes last night.
              Gallo was injured during the playoffs also – why can’t you accept that as one of the reasons the nuggets played small against the GSW?

              • Branden Gloudeman

                Because we still had chandler brewer and iggy that cluld play that position DUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH if shaw had the team we had last year our defense would be ten times better and we woulda been able to run half court sets against gs which we failed miserably at…. and miller played 29 min because nate robinson wasn’t contributing like he was before would be my guess because shaw has yanked miller several times when he’s playing hero ball I have watched it once in sac and twice against Portland

              • LBJ

                Karl milked more wins out of last year’s roster than anyone that knows the NBA expected – which is why he was voted Coach of the Year. “Half court sets” mean nothing without the players to execute a half court offense. You are seeing now why Karl insisted we run so much last year.

              • Branden Gloudeman

                We coulda ran half court sets with last year’s roster karl just didn’t wanna change anything that he had been doing for so many years in Denver it dates all the way back to with a.i. and Melo when I first started watching Denver they would score 130 but give 140 fun to watch but I want a Damn championship and karl would have never delivered that with his insistence to not run any type of sets in the playoffs just run run run bunch of bs we woulda beat gs and the Damn Lakers the year before if he would have developed our Damn players ran sets on offense and at least tried to care about defense

        • Gregory B

          As a fellow Longhorn, I’m hoping Hamilton can get it going. He does provide some flexibility and scoring that they definitely need

  • Sharkboy242

    Good thing Masai traded Afflalo and Harrington for Iggy – genius move in retrospect.

  • kwelitysoul

    Dumbass Javale was 4-11! No big man should have that shooting percentage. If he spent as much time on his game as he does on Twitter and instagram he might be salvageable…otherwise good riddance

  • drock42

    In all seriousness, Javale Mcgee could be the worst basketball player in the NBA. Besides being 7’1 and extremely athletic, he has no basketball sense. He has no idea how to play the post position on offense, watching him back down and throwing up some awkward hook shot against Splitter last night on multiple occasions was embarrassing. And just knowing that he is the second highest paid player on the nuggets this season seriously makes me sick.

    • LBJ

      Don’t forget with our new low post attack – he is the focal point!

      • drock42

        Ya and that scares me. Should’ve kept Nene

        • LBJ

          Nene was overpaid and brittle – not sure the trade made much difference. Plus, McGee could provide occasional value under Karl’s running system. Now he is just worthless.

          • heykyleinsf

            Finally we agree on something LBJ

        • heykyleinsf

          If you like a half-hearted defender who gets floored by a backup point guard.. be my guest and follow the Wizards.. just expect him to be injured 3/4 of the season though.

          • gimpcom187

            Given they make similar money and nene is the best big man post defender on the nugs since kenyon left its really not close. Nene on last years team makes a HUGE difference given he is a GREAThalf court passer. Last year playoffs the nugs bigs all sucked as did all their wings other than iguodala. Nene always played at least decent in plwyoffs

          • drock42

            Are you honestly saying you’d rather have McGee over Nene?

            • heykyleinsf

              Absolutely. Hell yeah
              Nene is always hurt..
              always soft..
              getting old..
              McGee may be off to a rough start..
              but there is upside and years ahead.
              Nene.. same old story and it will never change.
              Inconsistent, terrible defense because he’s soft
              and he’s the biggest china doll ever..
              already missed two games in this young season.
              No question about it.. Nene is a sweet guy..
              but soft, old, and sickly.

  • Richard Pesicka

    Yea, I said it before, I’ll say it again. Follow another team. A de-gutted team is like eating melted ice cream. I’ll take the real deal, a Dallas or Golden State anytime. Brian shaw isn’t and won’t be the answer. Look for players to be sold that are worthy of selling. This is a business. The Nuggets we used to love are gone. R.I.P. Nuggets.

    • nugzin2040

      Some follow the team, and not the players. Too early to say what Brian Shaw is or isn’t. Also dunno how GS or Dallas are the real deal

      • Richard Pesicka

        Trust me on Golden State. They are deep and dangerous. And with Iggy on the team now, oh wait, that was part of the rebuilding Denver did, GS will be great this year. Especially at the end when it counts.

  • heykyleinsf

    The two home losses are very legit causes for concern. 79 games left though. Plus the return of Chandler and Gallo both within weeks.
    Brian Shaw has a lot to learn and figure out.. but to conclude he never will.. is just plain hysterical. The Portland game was easily the most reason to be disgusted. The Spurs just came off a near championship run.. they have their guys.. we are down two of ours with the problem of needing to find chemistry with one new starter and three new backups.. plus Mozzy who barely played last year.

    People be acting like you expected us to be 3-0.. IDK why.

    If you feel compelled to leave now.. don’t let the door hit you in the ass.

    • Gregory B

      That spurs game is easily more concerning because the nuggets controlled the game through three quarters and panicked in the 4th. This is NOT a good basketball team, right now…there are very solid pieces (Lawson, Faried, Hamilton, Foye, Mozgov), but I’m not sure that they fit together very well.

      • nugzin2040

        Lawson is our best player but he doesn’t really fit a half court offense. Similar story with Faried. Mozgov actually benefits from Shaw’s system the most. He and maybe Andre are the only two players that I’d argue do benefit. Randy Foye and Jordan Hamilton are clearly below average starters.

        • Gregory B

          fair enough assessment. Hopefully (cause i’m a homer-longhorn type) Hamilton will improve exponentially with quality experience…hopefully…

          Either way, as stated previously, its not a good team

    • gimpcom187

      What would they have done had iguodala told the team in june he wasnt coming back? They were capped out. Nothing is the answer. MOVE ON

      • LBJ

        Correct. It’s the front office’s job to acquire and retain players – it’s the players job to look out for their own future. If the front office wasn’t incompetent, maybe he would have resigned with the Nuggets.

        • heykyleinsf

          Jesus..
          You people are unbelievable.

          • LBJ

            Thanks.

            • heykyleinsf

              any time.
              Stay ridiculous.

      • heykyleinsf

        Capped out??
        Are you kidding me?
        By a frozen $60million offer sitting on a table two months..
        if that’s what you mean.. then yeah… ok???!?!!
        what color is the sky on your planet?

        • gimpcom187

          Do you have ANY clue how the cap system works? ANY? The cap was at 58-9 million. you have to be at 53 million total including ALL salaries and potential cap holds to offer anything beyond the mid-level. To sign a star or semi star you need approximately 10-14 million in cap room. The nugs were at 54.5 million if they had renounced the rights to Mozgov and Iguodala with 2 cap holds leaving them 4-5 million under the cap POTENTIALLY. That is LESS than the mid-level cap.

          http://hoopshype.com/salaries/denver.htm
          Look at the guys they had signed after the NBA draft and add 2 cap holds as they only had ten with 2013-14 contracts as of July 1st 2013.

          You DO NOT KNOW what you are talking about regarding the process of him leaving the team and how it affected the team’s subsequent moves. PERIOD.

          If you want to whine about Iggy playing AMAZING in the playoff series with GS but also outing his teams potentially unethical strategy on Curry OK. The other stuff is pointless.

          Iggy is a Stellar defender. Probably amongst the top 10 in the league which is impressive for a non-big man. He is a mediocre shooter. A good not great distributor and a stellar finisher around the rim. If people see him as anything more than a 25-35th best ballplayer in the league they are silly. If people see him as anything LESS than a 25-40th best player in the league they are also silly.

          • LBJ

            Don’t forget – there really wasn’t anyone worth signing, either (Dwight Howard didn’t have us on his list). Blowing up the roster to sign Brandon Jennings or OJ Mayo is not a good idea.

            • gimpcom187

              This is true as well, but I just wanted to focus on the fact that they COULDN’T sign anyone more than what they did with the mid-level for Hickson anyway so Heinykleiny could move on with his life.

          • heykyleinsf

            You are just trying to say … and quite creatively .. I have to hand it to you.. a million excuses why someone WAS NOT up front about having no interest in staying.

            WHAT EVER DUDE.

            It had fuck all to do with the cap.

            • gimpcom187

              I don’t understand what you think would have gone different had he told them he wasn’t interested in returning under any circumstances in March, April, May, or June. Besides your feelings being hurt earlier in the year what changes? Seriously.

              You have made ONE statement that suggests anything actually would have been different. It was about the CAP and getting more talent. I disproved that for you. Instead of “WHAT EVER DUDE” you should have said THANK YOU DUDE.

              Let’s say he does sign with the nuggets. So instead of Hickson and Foye they have Iggy. So they are now a 38-47 win team instead of 35-44 that they are currently. Im assuming we all understand that the nugs are a BEST case scenario 5 game series against a healthy version of the spurs, Clips or OKC in round 1 this year. Iggy might give you a SHOT to extend the OKC series to 6 or 7 games with OKC because he can play Durant decently. He has minimal impact on the Clips/Spurs series. Seems like you are just being stubborn at this point.

    • nugzin2040

      I don’t really get the Iggy hate. They had to know at the time of the trade, what it would take to get an extension done. Denver made the trade knowing that there was a chance they wouldn’t be able to keep him. It backfired on us.

      Those that are advocating tanking are thinking of what they see as the best interest of the longterm franchise. One bad year, for ten great ones. Who knows if that would work out or not

      • alex47666

        If it makes you feel better, I hate iggy for being an overrated D bag who thinks he himself is a top 10 player. He probably thought he was the best on the nuggets last year. When at best he was 4th Ty gallo and chanlder are better than him.

        • gimpcom187

          It’s not REMOTELY true that Chandler is better (Chandler isn’t in the top 15 wings in the league. He got hot in a limited sample size from 3 last year and was ATROCIOUS in the playoffs in general and especially in that area) and truth be told gallo and Ty probably aren’t as valuable either though you can at least make the contention. Iggy is very valuable not quite all-star level player.

      • heykyleinsf

        One last thing with Iggy.. then I will drop it.. I think I have been heard on this…

        The ivory tower people put him in disgusts me.
        He played here one year.. He is so over rated I want to puke.
        They think he’s some kind of god.. they’re too in love to see
        a copious amount of flaws as person and a player.

        It’s like Tebow.. people lost their fucking minds.

        • nugzin2040

          The fact he was here one year is why I don’t get the hate. Wasn’t here long enough for me to feel one way or the other about him. There seems to be more hate for him then Melo when he left and I just don’t get it. There’s such a double standard with players that leave such as Iggy or Melo and players that are traded that wanted to be here like Afflalo, Billups and Nene.

          Dunno anyone who’s claiming he’s a superstar, let alone a god. It’s just his defense was great and covered up a lot of weaknesses on this team

  • Paul Griggs

    Sharkboy, I don’t agree. I’ve followed Karl since he coached the Albany Patroons in the CBA and he has always coached to his players strengths rather than to his system. At Albany, he had good athletes and no size so he played a team of 6’6″ players, letting Vince Askew pound the ball, Mario Elie run up and down the court, etc. At Seattle, he played tenacious D because he had Gary Payton and Nate McMillan. At Milwaukee, he run a guard oriented Offense. At Denver, he ran the offense around Carmelo–who can’t or won’t play D–and then through Iverson add then Chauncey. When they left, he started coaching the team for the relentless running and gambling D because that’s what they did best. I wish Shaw well–I think (I hope) he’s the best move the team made this off-season. I don’t understand his desire to force the team to fit his system and the players they lost were much better than the players they got. You don’t know what you’re talking about.

    • LBJ

      Bingo!

    • Branden Gloudeman

      How’s his play off record tho?! That’s all I care about SORRY he cam coach the crap out of the regular season but he hasn’t done didy squat in the post season except get out coached and let Andre miller guard steph curry great coach we had SIKE

    • Sharkboy242

      That’s a whole lot of typing without ever even attempting to refute what my argument was. I don’t think you know what you’re talking about.

  • Andrew

    Not panicking, but the season is very much in jeopardy unless the team immediately starts playing better. If they dig too big a hole before Gallo and Chando get back, they will simply not be able to make it up. We’ll see.
    In response to all the Karl/Shaw and Iggy chatter:
    1) I still think the move to Shaw and away from Karl was a good one. Shaw obviously has to prove himself, but Karl was what he was: fantastic regular season coach, poor playoff coach. The sample size was large enough to bear this out statistically. There’s just no getting around it, and any excuses are just that.
    2) I don’t have a problem with Iggy leaving. I do have a problem with the way he aided and abetted the enemy at the expense of his own team last year in the playoffs. He’s a traitor. Nothing more, nothing less. Good riddance.

  • heykyleinsf

    Ok.. so I guess starting 0-3 has done plenty to get everyone in a terrible mood.

    But Shaw and McGee have only had three games. They are the two biggest things about the whole direction we’re taking. Calling them both a failure already.. just 3 games in to an 82 game season… whatever.

    All I can say is.. I’ll be here all season reminding you all… and I am keeping track of who you are… to remind you what you said after three games.

    Either we start winning.. or you get to keep your egos.
    Good luck with that.

    • nugzin2040

      I’m sure they’re going to win some games. Even the skeptics like myself, never claimed they would be one of the worst teams in the league. I think it’s too early to judge Shaw, but McGee has had years in the league. He is what he is at this point.

      • Branden Gloudeman

        How many coaches developed javale mcgee?! NONE so u don’t know what Ur talking about he has the potential to be a great great interior defender if he stays with Shaws vision plain and simple… His offense I have no clue about yet because he seems to erratic but I have seen glimpses of his defense and it can be GREAT

        • nugzin2040

          Sooner or late, you’re going to have to accept that the responsibility to improve is ultimately on McGee. You’re speaking with your heart, and not the reality of who he is as a player.

          Blaming his coaches for the lack of development is similar to blaming John Fox for not developing Tebow. There wasn’t anything there to develop. Fox, much like Karl, ran a system and put him in a situation that was best for his individual talents.

          McGee has great athletic ability, but he has terrible, terrible instincts and an overall awful basketball IQ. There is not a player in the NBA that falls for pump fakes like McGee. He’s routinely out of position and has a difficult time even staying in the game because of the amount of bad fouls he takes.

          • Branden Gloudeman

            It’s three freaking games as him as a starter! He showed some very good glimpses of what he could be against sac and San Antonio and if u didn’t see that then u really just have no faith

            • nugzin2040

              I suppose JaVale McGee’s previous 6 years of NBA experience don’t count.

              I’m not really a faith guy. More of a tangible evidence guy. Faith by definition means believing in something without evidence.

        • alex47666

          nugzin2040, the exact same thing you can say about faried

          • Branden Gloudeman

            Faried offense is crap and I’m glad u agree… energy will only get u so far in this game….

  • Richard Pesicka

    I see nothing encouraging about a rookie coach who changed the offense from a run and slam to a half court offense where no one can hit the broad side of a barn. Tell me what the hell is right about that. Nothing. The lakers try and use a half court offense and they stink with it. There is a reason teams like Golden State are so good, they don’t settle for the same damn thing over and over. If Shaw sticks to his guns, the Nuggets will stick to the basement like fly’s on fly paper. That my friend is reality.

  • GKDynasty

    Miss me yet? It wasn’t always pretty, but you know i could take this team to the playoffs…