Although Ty Lawson turned in one of his best performances as a young Denver Nugget, his team couldn’t find any form of consistency on the defensive side of the ball and once again allowed the opponent’s front line to have career days all around. The Nuggets are now 1-4 on the season and looking more and more like a lottery team.
|Kenneth Faried, PF 20 MIN | 1-4 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | -19
Most players I keep notes on throughout the game. I had nothing for Faried. He seemed lost, uninspired and submissive. In no way did he resemble his normal self.
|Jordan Hamilton, SF 32 MIN | 8-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 19 PTS | +2
This might have been Jordan Hamilton’s best game as a pro. It was without question his best game this year. Instead of camping behind the arc, nervous, and taking dubious 3-pointers, he actually tried to get into the lane and score off cuts to the basket — which he did successfully. He even played pretty darn good defense most of the night.
|JaVale McGee, C 12 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTS | -9
This was McGee’s worst game of the year — by far. He almost did nothing right. It was like he had a force-field of terribleness surrounding him the entire game, as every time he got near the ball something bad happened: a turnover, foul, airball, you name it. Shaqtin’ A Fool could have a field day with this one.
|Ty Lawson, PG 41 MIN | 10-21 FG | 7-8 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 29 PTS | -8
For the second game in a row Ty Lawson entered the phone booth during a break and came out with his red cape flapping in the wind, fully transformed from Clark Kent to Superman — only this time it didn’t result in a win. He scored 21 points in the third quarter and got the Nuggets back in the game almost by himself. During this time Lawson was actively searching for his shot more than I’ve ever seen. It was glorious.
|Randy Foye, SG 30 MIN | 3-10 FG | 4-6 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | -3
Foye had an OK night. He hit a few big shots and played solid defense, but his impact was still relatively minimal.
|Darrell Arthur, PF 26 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | +11
Funny how Arthur had one of the most underwhelming stat lines of anybody on the team (especially considering how many minutes he played), yet his presence was key for the Nuggets all night long. His man defense and awareness on the defensive side of the ball might be the best on the roster, yet up until tonight he was logging the fewest average minutes of anybody outside Quincy Miller. His effort and attention to detail on defense are two things the Nuggets desperately need moving forward.
|J.J. Hickson, PF 14 MIN | 1-2 FG | 2-4 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | -5
Hickson didn’t play too much and in the minutes he did play he did Hickson things, which… well, I don’t know exactly what those are, but they’re usually not so good. I do know that.
|Anthony Randolph, SF 32 MIN | 4-9 FG | 5-5 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 14 PTS | +4
This was Randolph’s best game with the Nuggets, probably ever. There were a few plays where his defensive effort and shot selection could have been questioned (OK, should have been questioned), but overall he played well for a player coming off the bench. His man defense was solid, he rebounded at a decent rate and he even had active hands which led to a few steals for himself and for his teammates.
|Timofey Mozgov, C 5 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -10
|Andre Miller, PG 14 MIN | 1-5 FG | 4-4 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -17
Miller is one of the best players on this team. He’s also one of the savviest. When he came in he didn’t save the Nuggets from their inevitable downfall, but he also didn’t giftwrap the game for the Suns by turning the ball over and hoisting up awful shots like a lot of his teammates. If the Nuggets want to start winning basketball games, it would be wise to start playing Miller more.
|Nate Robinson, PG 7 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -3
It’s too hard to tell what Nate would have done with more minutes, but in the first half he played with lots of energy on both ends of the floor.
|Evan Fournier, SG 7 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | +2
Fournier looked great in the early going. He hit a three and slammed down a monster dunk after slicing through multiple Suns defenders — then we never heard from him again. Why? I have no idea. After the way he played against the Hawks, then again in the first quarter of this game, you’d think he would have been a shoe-in for extended minutes down he stretch. You’d think…
I don’t know what to say or think about Shaw right now. I’m trying really hard, just like a lot of fans, to be patient and let this thing play out. But there’s been so much awfulness surrounding this team in the first handful of games this season, I just don’t see how it can be categorized as a “system” problem or something else that just takes time to sort out and play through. Shaw deserves blame. He’s earned it. Against the Suns the Nuggets did almost nothing on a professional level. Their defense was once again atrocious and his lineups (more on this below) — they nearly left me speechless being they were so bad and inconsistent and random. He’s still got tons of time to improve, but he’s certainly not doing it right now because the Nuggets are not learning from their mistakes.
Next up: Monday, Nov. 11, 7 p.m. (MST) @ Utah. Going to the game? Save money and get cheap Denver Nuggets tickets here.