Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 109-Atlanta Hawks 107

Thanks to a late important three from Ty Lawson and a key defensive stop at the buzzer by Andre Miller the Nuggets defeated the Hawks 109-107 to give Brian Shaw his first career victory.

Atlanta Hawks 107 FinalRecap | Box Score 109 Denver Nuggets


Kenneth Faried, PF 26 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | +3

I wasn’t all that impressed with Faried’s game tonight. Offensively he was stuffed at the rim a few times and generally mucked up the offense by running into the action to set screens while other action was seemingly going on. Defensively Faried was responsible for Paul Millsap most of the time he was on the floor and Millsap had 29 points on 10/15 shooting. That wasn’t a good job.

Jordan Hamilton, SF 16 MIN | 2-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -5

The problems Hamilton had all preseason showed up again tonight. He missed a bunch of shots, didn’t make good rotations defensively and turned the ball over when he couldn’t get a shot up. It was ugly.

JaVale McGee, C 24 MIN | 7-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 14 PTS | +12

JaVale was very active on offense tonight in ways that he hadn’t been early in the season. He caught lobs at least twice after he spun off his defender in the post and constantly found open space where teammates could find him with the ball that he could then dunk. Defensively his help was ok but he let Al Horford shoot way too many wide open jumpers. But more on that below.

Ty Lawson, PG 39 MIN | 9-16 FG | 2-3 FT | 7 REB | 8 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 23 PTS | -4

Second half Ty was incredible. He made shots, attacked the basket, rebounded the ball, anything Denver needed. Shaw called this a must win game and nothing shows it more than the 39 in the minutes column for Lawson on the first night of a back-to-back. But outside of a late missed free throw Ty did it all and willed his team to a win.

Randy Foye, SG 24 MIN | 4-7 FG | 2-3 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 13 PTS | -4

Foye did what he was signed to do and then some. He knocked down his open threes, got to the rim once and chased Kyle Korver around and off screens all night. Unlike Millsap and Horford who hit a ton of wide open jumpers Korver made his fair share of contested shots, and that is a credit to Foye.

Darrell Arthur, PF 5 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -6

As things have gone recently Arthur only saw time late in the second half with J.J. Hickson and it didn’t go well.

J.J. Hickson, PF 22 MIN | 1-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 3 PTS | -6

The perfect encapsulation of Hickson’s night was his put back dunk in early in the game of a shot that was still on the rim and probably was going in. He missed rotations, gave up offensive rebounds and did nothing on offense. My guess is Arthur takes his minutes sooner or later.

Timofey Mozgov, C 18 MIN | 3-4 FG | 4-5 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | -1

Mozzy continued his string of great play with a very solid 18 minutes. The only negative was leaving Al Horford open a bit too often for jumpers but Mozzy again attacked the rim, finished and made his free throws. The early season play is looking more and more real.

Andre Miller, PG 21 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 7 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | +17

7 points, seven assists and the game winning stop on Paul Millsap? Seriously, Andre Miller got a big defensive stop on a power forward. I don’t understand it either. ┬áMiller led the Nuggets bench unit that was truly the difference in the game as they outscored the Atlanta reserves 49-17. As always with Miller it isn’t ever pretty, but somehow, someway it is kind of effective.

Nate Robinson, PG 21 MIN | 5-11 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 15 PTS | -6

Nate’s three pointers early in the fourth quarter were huge in keeping the Nuggets close and putting them in position to win the game late. He seems to have found his role as a spurt scorer when Denver is really struggling.

Evan Fournier, SG 24 MIN | 5-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | +10

Offensively Fournier was fantastic. He clearly was the most confident he has been all season and after knocking down a few jumpers showed off his slashing abilities including a beautiful spin move for a score early. Defensively he got beat back door a few times and had some other rough moments which kept him from an A. But the offensive confidence is the biggest thing to take from tonight.

Brian Shaw

I wasn’t enamored with some of Shaw’s decisions late. From closing the game with Kenneth Faried and four guards to bringing J.J. Hickson into the game when Denver needed defense and rebounding he still confuses me a bit at times. Also, I know how bad Denver needed a win, but playing Ty Lawson 40 minutes on the first game of a November back-to-back with traveling involved seems a bit short sighted.

Four Things We Saw

  1. I have no idea why but Denver refuses to believe opposing big men can make jump shots. The last two games they have left Tim Duncan, Al Horford and Paul Millsap wide open for mid-range jumper after mid-range jumper. Horford in particular is as good as any player in the NBA at those shots; three seasons ago he shot 51 percent in over 450 shots from those areas. Denver has to contest those shots; otherwise it is too many free points.
  2. I know that shutting down the best players in the NBA is a very hard thing to do. But so far this year Denver has been beaten by the best or second best player on every team they have played. Tonight it continued with Paul Millsap and Al Horford combining for 50 points. The Nuggets need to figure out better game plans to slow the best players on other teams or it is going to be very hard to win a lot of games.
  3. On a similar note Ty Lawson was spectacular tonight, especially when Denver really needed him in the second half. Lawson is Denver’s best player and after a few games where he seemed uncomfortable he really proved it tonight.
  4. I have no idea how the final defensive possession worked. Paul Millsap got great position on Andre Miller in the post and took a shot he makes often. On a night where Millsap was incredible it was truly unexpected. This came after a missed open layup from Al Horford that resulted in Millsap going to the line with a chance to tie the game. Millsap split the free throws but it was a few bad possessions where Denver gave up easy looks to Atlanta.



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  • Sharkboy242

    LMFAO @ Miller being on Millsap for that last possession. Shaw had Ty, Miller and Robinson out their for the last play… WTF man?

  • Cullen

    Can we be happy about this win, or should we just drench our selves in disappointment with our mistakes and pray for Wiggins?

    • Cullen

      I am obviously just being obnoxious… but it was nice to see them get it done, even though there were a lot of mistakes and a questionable move at the end.

      • Ernie

        I prefer the obnoxious Cullen, including all logic, spelling and grammatical errors. That much closer to the 8th seed! Yes we can!

        • Ernie

          I’m just kidding with you, you should enjoy all the wins. But I stand by that we’ll be much happier in 12 months if this is a bad season followed by good fortune in the draft.

        • Cullen

          You must have been pretty upset by the Nuggets winning last night, huh? GOD WE ARE ONE WIN FARTHER FROM WIGGINS! :(

          • gimpcom187

            I assume you were slightly joking at least, but just to clarify wiggins isn’t the goal. top 5-7 pick is the goal in this draft. Wiggins (assuming he is the best player) is the HOPE. The nugs aren’t going to have one of the 3 worst records in the league unless they firesale IMMEDIATELY. They could have in that 5-8 range with a little bit of bad luck and a minor firesale mid-year. Getting the top pick is a 4-10% proposition in that situation, but getting a top 3 pick is a 20-30%. and if they end up with 5th/6th worst record (unlikely but still) then they have an 95% shot at top 7 pick.

            That’s why this draft is special and people are advocating tanking. When you are talking 2 all-star type guys like most drafts it’s a low chance you will get a player that will be significantly better than Gallo or Ty Lawson. The perception of this draft is you have 5-8 guys in this draft with a legit shot of doing that. That is why it is logical to say tank instead of having a 7th to 11th place team in the west.

  • Greg Boyarko

    Does that say something about how atrocious our bigs are defensively when Shaw would rather put fucking Andre Miller on Milsap than any of them?

  • Scott

    Quick question:

    I don’t understand our draft pick situation next year. If we bomb and get a top pick we still get to keep it right? We get the better draft pick between us and NY? Or am I wrong?

    • nugzin2040

      yes, we get the better pick between us and new york

      • alex47666

        No we traded our pick to the magic in that iggy deal, so tanking for wiggins isnt an option

        • Leo

          no, they get the worse between our pick and the knicks pick

          • heykyleinsf

            Alex is still right.


            One went to asshole Iguodala.

            • eman

              I love your shock and awe about the fact that the Nuggets had two 1st round draft picks in one of the best draft classes to come around in recent years.

              I wonder just how much more you were shocked that the Nuggets also gave up the lesser of their 2014 1st round picks along with Aaron Affalo and Al Harrington to get into the Dwigthmare sweepstakes and get Andre Ingoudala.

              Starts to make you rethink your position on just how good a general manager Masai Ujiri really was.

              • heykyleinsf

                Yes he is right. We traded a pick.. our pick.. who cares how we got it.. and what difference does it make when nobody knows how good it will be until the season has finished?

                And blinders about IGGY?? I hardly think so.

                The blinders are about all these excuses. I’m not the one that has them.

              • gimpcom187

                I quoted him directly as saying OUR pick with the indication that tanking did us NO GOOD. That is FALSE. Nuggets give up A pick= the worse of the two picks. OUR pick= the Nuggets pick (in which case tanking does the nuggets NO GOOD). The Magic get the worse so it is not true that tanking does us no good. HE DIDN’T say they just give up a pick he clearly indicated they gave up the nuggets pick and explained that tanking was worthless. That is FALSE. This is not hard to understand.

                Hence blinders. you didn’t pay attention to what he said and your blinders are so narrow that EVEN when I clearly pointed out you misunderstood him you STILL misunderstand. Maybe Im wrong and it’s not blinders, it’s that you are just BLIND.

              • heykyleinsf

                Dude.. you can talk all day and give me some deluded algorithm desperately defending Iggy like it was inconsequential.

                All I have to say back to you, in plain engrish.. is that we lost a first round draft pick for Iggy. And this is among the many reasons I don’t like him. I probably wouldn’t care though… if so many so-called Nuggets “fans” weren’t so stupidly in love with him. He’s an ass. End of story.

              • gimpcom187

                So we agree. Alex was wrong. And you correcting someone else who corrected alex is also wrong. Again it was just an excuse to whine about iguodala (which was my reference to your blinders). Unfortunately how you wrote your post indicated something that was false and I merely corrected that for you and other readers. YOUR WELCOME.

                I am not interested in this circular argument about Iggy anymore which I wasted time correcting you on previously. You’re a whiner who needs to move on. End of story.

              • heykyleinsf

                Whiner? Move on?

                You’re projecting you hypocrite.
                I’m with the team.. the guys in the Nuggets uniform.
                When Iggy was wearing one.. he was one of them.

                He’s gone. And he screwed us over.

                Go cheer for the Warriors.. Fitting for bandwagon
                jumper such as yourself.

              • heykyleinsf

                The difference between us gimp.. in my 3-4 years posting RBMC… Is that I’m objective.

                You got your mind and your story made up and it never veers from the dogmatic script you wrote.

                I was excited about Iggy to begin with. I thought it would change everything. But the dude sucked shit for the first half of the season last year. i said so. The sheep around here.. “You don’t know defense”… “You don’t understand the game..” .. “There’s intangibles you don’t appreciate.’

                BULLSHIT. But I did give him credit when he played well. Bottom line is.. .he never helped us to match the money he got.. and I was thrilled when he signed elsewhere… as much for anything.. it proved that I was right about him.

                I don’t consider you a real fan. You’re more worried about your ego. Yeah.. great when the Nuggets win.. as long it’s on your terms. You’re a fraud.

              • gimpcom187

                uh huh. This discussion wasn’t about iggy. You’re obsessed like a jilted lover. You’re not a part of the team. You’re a fan. You need to find some other hobbies so you don’t take this so seriously.

              • heykyleinsf

                ok great whatever.. just leave me alone..
                no interest anymore.. get your last word in..
                feel like you won..
                and leave me alone.

              • kwelitysoul

                who is a good GM anymore, Daryl Morey?

            • gimpcom187

              He’s NOT right. the nugs traded A PICK (out of the two) not OUR pick. He says tanking for wiggins is not an option. Because the nuggets get the better of the picks it clearly IS an option (and if you ever want to see this team in the WCF in the next 8 years it’s probably the ONLY option). You still have your blinders on with IGGY.

  • Adog

    a win is a win. . . but what in the world was that last lineup? No rebounding, Miller on Milsap and then Horford should’ve made the put back? What??!!! That was like sabotage or something. . what the heck.

    • Ryan

      Is George Karl still telling Shaw what lineups to use in key situations?

  • nugzin2040

    You never apologize for winning. Wasn’t pretty, but it was a great comeback in the 4th, and maybe that gets the team playing with more confidence. Best game for Fournier and McGee

    Andre won that game in the 4th though.

    • Branden Gloudeman

      When he doesn’t have to defend I don’t mind him being in there

      • LBJ

        So much for your theory that Andre needs to be on the bench at the end of the game. Maybe now you see why Karl played him and Ty together then.

        • Branden Gloudeman

          He didn’t have to defend any shooters I just said that lol if u think he should be in at crunch time for anything but a distributor and if he has to score Ur out Ur mind….. Paul Millsap had an easy look at the last shot we got lucky miller is to small PERIOD but he knows how to defend that move because he does the exact same thing

          • LBJ

            So the 3 and the layup he made in the last 4 minutes had nothing to do with the win?

            • Branden Gloudeman

              Dude for the third time now I said I’m ok with him being in there as long as he does that haven’t to defend a shooter which he didn’t and isn’t playing hero ball which he didn’t lol I can say it one more time if u want

              • LBJ

                What the hell is “hero ball”????

              • Branden Gloudeman

                Lol when Andre miller tries to take over the game by dribbling for 20 Sec of the shot clock and then taking a contested shot because he thinks he’s the closer… He did this several several several times last year which made my dislike for him twice as bad

              • LBJ

                You mean like game one of the GSW series?

              • Branden Gloudeman

                Ok one game? Lol Ur pointing out ONE GAME?!?!?!?!?!?! Ur comical man

  • heykyleinsf

    Hopefully Nate can fill Brewer’s role as energy and offense from the bench.

  • Darren

    Shaw got lucky with that last possession, that’s for sure. The Hawks had about 4 different opportunities to tie that game, and thank goodness they didn’t give it to Korver on the perimeter with the guards that were out there… A smarter team would have won that game over the Nuggets. Yes, a win’s a win, but this was not as encouraging as it should have been. I have a lot of faith that this team has the ability to compete in the West, especially when Gallinari returns, and I’ll cheer hard for them in Phoenix!

  • Thomas

    This team is horrible to watch and there is little hope with the material available and the coaching decisions so far.

    Either we are tanking or what Shaw is doing out there makes no sense as he is going with 9 players getting around 20 minutes and only one (Ty) getting more than 30.

    This is no way to build a foundation for anything or to develop cohesion among a starting 5 playing 2 or 3 PG line-ups and relying on horrible hickson and giving Foye minutes that should go to developing Fournier and Hamilton. Can we just play Hamilton 25 minutes a game for 7-10 games and find out for good if he is worth keeping or not? Still feel that he can be much better than half the stiffs out there.

    I’m going to sit back and forget about this season or until something changes around here. Hoping for trades and or draft miracles because the diretion they are taking this team surely doesn’t look promising. And please don’t come with this talk “oh, wait ’til Gallo and Chandler come back” because that will not make this team’s ceiling high enough to go beyond mediocre.

    • Trevor

      I’m with you. I kept saying what you just did all off-season. Started to feel like a broke record so I’ve shut up and am now waiting for the Nuggets to figure it out. Props for not being all dramatic or delusional.

  • eman

    “a key defensive stop at the buzzer by Andre Miller”

    I cannot believe this got by everybody. 10 words you never thought would be put together in a sentence.

  • Len Nunes

    Here’s what i saw:

    1st Quarter Smiles

    The effort level of JJ Hickson. He still looks like a deer in
    headlights when he gets the ball under the basket but his defensive
    effort has been solid tonight.

    Timmy Mozgov continues to be one the better Nuggets this season. Let that sink in a little folks!

    1st Quarter Totally Redeemed Himself Award

    Evan Fournier missed his first three shots and was having a tough
    night defensively when boom goes the dynamite. Two straight 3’s and
    almost steal on defense.

    1st Quarter Whole Lot of Nothing Award

    Ty Lawson and Nate Robinson are both worthy of this
    award. Both are simply trying to do much and are coming up
    empty-handed. To defend Ty, his one three point attempt was because
    none of the other Nuggets were moving to create a target.

    1st Quarter Frustration

    It took 7 attempted Hawk three point shots for the Nugs to finally
    properly defend one. Of all people it was Andre Miller that displayed
    the good defensive effort. Thankfully Atlanta has been cold draining
    only one of their attempts.

    2nd Quarter Story

    Denver took the lead but they did so based Atlanta being cold from the
    field. If the Nugs continue to allow the Hawks this many open shots,
    this won’t end well.

    2nd Quarter Frustration

    For folks who say the ball dies when it goes inside to JaVale McGee, JJ Hickson
    showed that quarter that he just as much of a train wreck. McGee still
    collects more fouls than blocks, mainly because a simple head fake
    still causes him to leave the ground, but Hickson does not seem to do
    anything particularly well except get stuffed on the offensive boards
    and beat on the defensive boards.

    A Mil, Fournier, Foye and Robinson all had turnovers on errant passes. By errant I mean, undecipherable to whom the intended Nugget receiver was supposed to be.

    Atlanta put up four shots from beyond the arc. Naturally all four were uncontested, luckily only one went in.

    How does a team with paint attacking guards like Lawson, Robinson, Fournier go an entire half without having a guard shot a free throw?

    3rd Quarter Conundrum

    The first two buckets of the
    quarter for the Nugs were Faried down low finding McGee for dunks. Were
    they terribly missed shots by Faried or really nifty passes by Faried?

    3rd Quarter Smiles

    Mozgov playing well and without any fouls.

    The offensive rim has been kind to Denver. For the second time in the
    game a three ball attempt that is short and should have gone straight
    out instead goes straight up and in. The 50% shooting from beyond the
    arc is saving our Nuggets. Well that and Atlanta’s shooting in the 30’s
    from beyond the arc.

    3rd Quarter Frustration

    It is getting to the point where I should just “cut and paste” the
    following statement: Nuggets defense cannot defend the three point

    4th Quarter Smiles

    Andre Miller defends the last Atlanta shot well sealing the win
    for the Nuggets. While the score sheet will not give any credit to
    Miller on the bucket the would give the Nugs the lead for good, he
    sprawled out on the floor and rolled the ball back to an open Nugget to
    retain possession after a missed shot by Faried. Heck, he even hit a three point shot!

    4th Quarter Head Scratchers

    Darrel Arthur plays seven minutes, seven minutes that coulda shoulda woulda went to Mozgov. Is it McGee’s
    asthma that kept him on the bench the “normal” first five minutes of
    the quarter he plays, which in turn acts of Mozzy’s rest time?

    Why bench McGee with a minute left in favor of JJ Hickson?
    Maybe the body of overall work suggests Hickson but the here and the
    now, McGee is the player who should have been on the floor.

    4th Quarter Frustration

    Make your damn free throws!!

  • Trevor

    I said I would give Hickson a chance after blasting his signing this off-season. He had good advanced stats last season and I was willing to consider the possibility that he revamped his game. He definitely is trash and is signed for 3 years…

  • Darius

    Lucky they won, Lawson is the man! Need to work on clutch Free Throw shooting though