Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 100, Utah Jazz 81

In Utah, both Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried registered double-doubles, and the Nuggets blew out the Jazz 30-13 in the fourth quarter to secure their second win of the season, and first on the road.


Denver Nuggets 100 FinalRecap | Box Score 81 Utah Jazz
J.J. Hickson, PF 29 MIN | 5-9 FG | 4-6 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | +26

Despite his mostly atrocious defense (for which I was reluctant to grade him higher than a C+), Hickson’s offense and rebounding played a big part in the Nuggets’ win tonight, and he finished with a team high plus/minus of +26. Like most of his teammates, he was more effective on both ends in the second half, and although his willy-nilly run-around-to-wherever approach to defense won’t hold up against better teams, his overall impact was a net positive in this game.

Kenneth Faried, PF 28 MIN | 6-11 FG | 3-3 FT | 13 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | +13

Until tonight, Faried had struggled mightily on the road. In this game he was able to find the Manimal and let him loose. Being called upon to execute from the post seems to have set him back this season, but although he still is (and likely will always be) unable to execute from the post, his comfort level in the new system seems to be growing.

Jordan Hamilton, SF 17 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | -9

While it is encouraging to see J-Ham’s shot falling with greater frequency than it was in the preseason, but his offense was more than negated by the fact that he was utterly abused by Gordon Hayward in the first half tonight. It’s hard to pinpoint where exactly his bad defense is on the spectrum of inability to grasp defensive concepts to simply being a bad defender, but unless it’s the latter and he starts showing improvement as the season progresses, Shaw may well leave him as the odd man out after Chandler returns from injury.

Ty Lawson, PG 32 MIN | 6-13 FG | 5-6 FT | 6 REB | 10 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 17 PTS | +16

Lawson continues to be the best, most consistent player on the Nuggets. It was fantastic to see him relishing the role of distributor while also relentlessly attacking the basket (seven of his 13 shot attempts were taken at the rim). And while John Lucas III does not exactly present a dangerous scoring threat, Ty did a solid job on the defensive end as well.

Randy Foye, SG 31 MIN | 3-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | +22

Hickson got a B- despite his bad defense, and the sam (but opposite) applies to Foye. If you were to go purely off his stat line, it would appear he didn’t do that much. But a big part of the reason his plus/minus was +22 (in contrast to Hamilton’s -9) is that when Shaw was going heavy on two point guard lineups in the second half, Foye was doing a commendable job of containing Hayward (who scored only four of his 22 points in the second half) at the small forward position. He’s not a lock-down guy like Iggy by any means (not even close), but he’s one of the Nuggets players who puts in the most consistent defensive effort, and that should not be overlooked.

Darrell Arthur, PF 19 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | +10

This was a decent game for Darrell, and probably about par for the course in terms of what we can expect to see from him most of the time. His long 2-pointer was falling early, but he grew cold as the game went on, and his defense was solid as usual.

Anthony Randolph, SF 12 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 6 PTS | +2

A couple of good plays save Randolph from the F grade tonight, but overall he just played really badly. Within his first seven minutes he had two missed shots and three fouls (two offensive resulting in turnovers) and it never got much better from there. I for one endorse David’s recommendation that all his minutes be given to Arthur, and one can only hope that when Chandler comes back he’ll be riding the pine.

Timofey Mozgov, C 19 MIN | 3-6 FG | 4-4 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | -7

Timo has, for the most part, exceeded expectations this season, but not so much in this game. Tonight was a reminder of the guy we often saw when he got chances last season who never seemed to be aware of how big he is and how to use that size to make his impact felt. If he wanted to convince Shaw he should be starting in McGee’s absence, he probably did not accomplish that goal in this game.

Andre Miller, PG 27 MIN | 5-8 FG | 4-4 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | +19

Dre essentially put on a clinic to close out this game, scoring nine of his 15 points in the fourth quarter by picking apart Utah’s defense bit by bit. I’ll avoid using the same old seemingly inescapable clichĂ©, but tonight it was as true as ever.

Nate Robinson, PG 12 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +8

Nate-Rob still seems to be searching out what exactly his role on this team is. As much as it is a credit to his professionalism that he clearly is making a concerted effort to avoid playing hero ball and work more to facilitate than create his own offense, his effort to do this also seems to limit his impact. He often kind of disappears while on the court, and that’s not very State of Nate. All of that said, he basically played well in this game, including one terrific drive and dish to Faried for an easy dunk.

Evan Fournier, SG 13 MIN | 1-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 5 PTS | -5

Speaking of disappearing, Fournier was an absolute ghost in the first half, so much so that it was almost surprising to see him get more minutes in the second. He actually had a decent third quarter then, but in sum it was another mostly disappointing outing. There is a contingency of Nuggets fans, and I include myself among them, who would like to see Evan replace Foye as the starting shooting guard. But in order for that to happen, he must first make the case for himself.

Brian Shaw

After the game Shaw said his goal for the Nuggets tonight was to hold the Jazz to 80 points or fewer, and his team was only one point over that limit. This was also his first game to deal with JaVale McGee being out with injury, which further complicated the already difficult rotation decisions he has to make. He opted to start Hickson, and though it appeared that choice would backfire in the first quarter, it ended up working out.I have been somewhat frustrated thus far with what at times has seemed to be Shaw’s too-rigid, overly stubborn insistence on the strict implementation of his new system. So it was encouraging tonight, and I credit him for this, that he appeared to cut his players a little more slack on the offensive end and let them “just play”. It’s perfectly understandable that he can’t do this all the time, and that there’s a goal he’s working towards, which is a model designed for postseason success. But if the players aren’t given, at least at times, the freedom to assert their own style of play, and the chance to develop chemistry by just cutting loose and learning by experience, that could ultimately be counterproductive in achieving that goal. Hopefully this is a sign that we may see a more balanced approach moving forward.

One Thing We Saw

  1. Going Postal: Continuing with the thread started in my comments on Shaw, I’d like to send him a memo: Kenneth Faried is not, and almost certainly never will be, an effective low post player. Trying to transform him into one will be about as successful as trying to make lasagna from peanut butter, jelly and white bread. Sometimes, you’ve just got to accept the fact that all you’ve got in your kitchen are the ingredients to make a PB&J, and that no amount of wish-thinking can magically turn it into lasagna. By my count, in tonight’s game Kenneth was about 1-5 or 1-6 on plays from the low post, and that’s consistent with his frankly wretched 0.45 PPP and .182 FG% on post plays this season. (via MySynergySports.com) So please, Coach Shaw, just like in The West Wing, President Bartlet’s staff had to “Let Bartlet Be Bartlet” in order for him to succeed, please, to the extent that it’s possible, let Faried be Faried. let Lawson be Lawson, and let all your players grow into the new systemm without suffocating their strengths or trying to make them into that which they simply cannot be.

Next up: Wednesday, Nov. 13, 7 p.m. (MST) vs. L.A. Lakers. Going to the game? Save money and get cheap Denver Nuggets tickets here.

The following two tabs change content below.
Joel is a long time Denver Nuggets (and Broncos) fan from Colorado who's been living in Japan since the mid-90s, and blogging about the Nuggets since 2008. You can contact and follow him on Twitter: @denbutsu.
  • googergieger


  • Scott

    We are gathered here on this day of veterans, to celebrate the life and subsequent afterlife of one Marvin Williams.

    May his soul R.I.P.

  • Sharkboy242

    The Utah Jazz know how to tank.

    • LBJ

      Exactly! Playing scum like Richard Jefferson (washed up 4 years ago), Jamal Tinsley (washed up 7 years ago) and John Lucas (always sucked) – they will be lucky to win 10 games.

  • Andrew

    Jazz fans are going to need to break out the paper bags for their heads.

    • Vitor Lago

      No shame in tanking this year, they should keep their heads held high.

  • pgwarner

    Before anybody says we look good doing this or the defense ws good or this guy played well…UTAH SUCKS!
    The announcers get paid to say encouraging things. The effort tonight was meaningless.
    Shaw played 11 guys more than 12 mins again. That is stupid.

    • Branden Gloudeman

      Dude mozgov was playing great interior defense he was jumping straight up and not getting called for it!!!!!!! He got his fouls from illegal screens…. and I disagree with u saying our defense was only good because we played Utah I thought our rotations were alot more crisp and I think la is gonna be a great way to show if we played Utah well or do they really just suk because they have quite a few scorers on there team in my opinion. …. fake show will make us guard the 3 line so let’s see how we do

      • pgwarner

        We played Utah. I need say no more. If your opinion is that Utah has quite a few scorers on its team then why are they last in scoring? LOL. Dude (as you say) they played Utah! ”
        “Rotations crisp”: WTF? Shaw has no rotations. HE PLAYED 11 GUYS 12 MINS OR MORE!

        • evan

          HE was saying the lakers have a few good scorers on their team. Learn to comprehend.

          • pgwarner

            I will when learns to use punctuation and get things like there/theirs right so somebody can decifer his incomprensible comments Being stylish is fine but periods help. I am not asking for the proper use of a semicolon just caps on something like “la”. LOL

            • Josh G

              He made his opinion pretty clear.. leave the kid alone and go on somewhere with your negative comments

              • pgwarner

                He challenged me and how the hell am I supposed to know he is a kid?

              • Josh G

                Haha his grammar

              • pgwarner

                I did not claim to have perfect grammer. Just not to incomprehensible.
                Is everyone on here a child? LOL Is he your class mate?

              • Josh G

                “and I think la is gonna be a great way to show if we played Utah well or
                do they really just suk because they have quite a few scorers on there
                team in my opinion” ………………. don’t know how that is hard to comprehend. And no you don’t because you can’t even spell grammar right, so enough

              • pgwarner

                I said punctuation. That is not grammar or spelling. I excuse those things. Punctuation is different. Look it up. The quote you lifted was in a para size run on. But have it your way.

              • pgwarner

                This site has really gone down hill. All the old people who used to comment are gone. Now its kids and BS.

              • trank

                does the p stand for pops?

              • pgwarner

                Old as in people who comented here for years and knew basketball. This site is crap eveidenced by your coments.

              • trank

                i’m probably older than you and have been a nuggets fan since the late seventies.

              • pgwarner

                BTW, he didn’t make it clear because it wasn’t clear. Thats the point. I would not argue that LA has some scorers.

            • trank

              big deal, if you’re not a school marm wtf, this is a freaking basketball blog and if how he’s saying it more important that what he’s saying then maybe spelling is more important to you than basketball. ….. …..

              • pgwarner

                It wasn’t spelling. Maybe that explains why you don’t get it. He wasn’t clear.

              • trank

                he could have 10 patents or be a writer for a rap artist with a platinum record or be from a different planet just learning the language, it’s the basketball that counts. right?

          • gimpcom187

            Well he was wrong about that. LA is pau gasol kaman and a d-league team. Steve nash no longer exists.

            • Branden Gloudeman

              Nick young isn’t a scorer?!?!??!?!?!?! Steve Blake has been on a tear… xavier Henry has looked good this team is gonna test our defense ask the clips and rockets how that played out

              • LBJ

                Xavier Henry sucks.

              • Branden Gloudeman

                Disagree he can score

              • gimpcom187

                Nick young is a CLASSIC chucker and steve blake is a career backup in his last year or 2 in the league. They stink and have a horriffic point differential. 2nd worst in entire league.

              • Branden Gloudeman

                But they are scorers u can call them chuckers but they can score I don’t know how u can disagree with that

              • gimpcom187

                Scorers have some sense of efficiency and usually play within a team concept. The issue with the nugs is 3 point shooting defense which is related to ball movement AND having 2-3 players that cause the defense to collapse. Utah has none and LA has Pau (and he is more of a facilitator than low-block dominator) and nothing else. Chuckers dribble the ball for mediocre to bad shots and get passes and shoot when they are not open and rarely make the pass to an open teammate. The Lakers are not a team that will tell you anything about the nuggets perimeter defense. There are 6-8 teams in the league that don’t have an above average penetrator/distributor OR big-time low post shot creator to collapse the defense. Sacramento, Utah and the current incarnation of the steve-nashless Lakers are 3 of the 5 worst in the entire league (cousins is not a good passer out of the post). Atlanta is on the fringe of those 6-8 teams as well though their midrange shooters are so consistent they still have a decent offense. Teams that don’t ask the nuggets to double team and collapse the defense and then get back into position are not an accurate portrayal of how their defense will do against the other 20+ teams in the league.

              • Branden Gloudeman

                If u say so…. The Lakers 3 point shooting this year is good then why?

              • gimpcom187

                Sample size: blake hitting 48% and meeks hitting 46% also their numbers are likely inflated by blowout defense by opponents. In blowouts the defensive effort on rotations wanes toward the 3rd qtr.

              • Branden Gloudeman

                Lol but they are still shooting well u can’t get around this fact man no matter how many numbers u throw at me sir

        • Branden Gloudeman

          Defensive rotations man not leaving people wide open Is what I’m saying…. Burks Hayward Jefferson (once upon a time) are all SCORERS

          • pgwarner

            I agree that they are the most complete defensive bigs the Nuggets have. But the Jazz have nothing up front themselves except Favors and he went 21 and 13 with three blocks. Their two centers are just taking up space. Williams is a joke.
            I thought Jefferson and the others were left open for threes but they clunked them.

            • Branden Gloudeman

              I saw that a couple times on the arc but I thought overall it looked alot better like I said l.a. is gonna test us on Wednesday with the 3 ball

              • gimpcom187

                They shouldnt as they dont have anyone who can penetrate the lane.. The test is the next 2 weeks after that la game

              • Branden Gloudeman

                Who we play in 2 weeks that Ur worried about?

  • Kasey Pearce

    Scott – thanks for the classic screen shot and epic post. So true. What a dunk that was. I live in Utah and always like to see the Nuggs get a W in SLC. Loved the 4th quarter performances finally!

  • Sharkboy242

    Chris Marlowe’s daughter has dat ass doe

    • airvaid

      pics or gtfo

  • DavidRMC


  • Adam Clippard

    Overall, incredibly ugly game from both teams from start to finish. Good job of finishing, however it was against Utah who doesn’t look too concerned with losing at the moment (i.e. 2013-14 season). I will say Andre Miller has really helped this half court offense early on in the season as the players slowly learn the new system being implemented by Shaw, and very well could increase his trade value as the season goes along. Also, we have to mention once again that Wilson Chandler didn’t play AGAIN! This is getting rather ridiculous and at this rate it seems like Gallo will beat him back to the court. I’m joking of course but, c’mon Chandler; man up and play- the team kinda sorta needs you.

    • Branden Gloudeman

      Totally disagree after the 1st our defense looked good and our offense Picked Up Tremendously from these last few games

  • Josh G

    What I do not understand is the rotations! It seems clear as day that it is hurting the team by playing eleven players quality minutes, so why is Shaw not making changes? The only thing I can think of is trade bait, because it really makes no sense. Trying to see who works with who is no excuse at this point. And the funniest thing about this eleven-man rotation is that we are not even playing very fast!

    • pgwarner

      I can think of another reason. Shaw is flondering. He has not clue how to use his players yet.
      As far as fast goes Shaw has remarked that since the Nuggets Two elite runners” by the names of A.I. and Corey Brewer are no longer here the Nuggets aren’t capable of running. His words.

    • Branden Gloudeman

      I think the rotations will look more realstic when we we get our two main sf Hamilton is gonna get lost in the mix again sadly…. my hope is tho that we let robinson take over as the back up and let go of miller yes he’s playing well but we all know his defense will screw us EVENTUALLY at least with nate rob u get that ENERGY back up guy

      • Josh G

        Yeah I agree about the backup pg. They’re gonna have to make a decision on Miller or Robinson getting the minutes, they shouldn’t both be getting minutes

  • Len Nunes

    Here’s what I saw:

    1st Quarter Great First Couple Possessions
    Ty Lawson scored a long two, JJ Hickson played great defense, Jordan Hamilton scored a pretty three, Hickson got an offensive rebound and got fouled shooting 1 of 2 from the free throw line.

    1st Quarter Here We Again

    Randy Foye got abused by Hayward and the Jazz were left to shoot open 3’s (which they missed) and wander the paint almost at their free will.

    The Jazz seem to be keying much of their offensive efforts versus Timmy Mozgov who is actually holding up pretty well.

    The Streak(s) Continue

    JJ Hickson continues his season long streak of being rejected attacking the rim.

    Jordan Hamilton continues to play solid basketball on both ends of the floor.

    2nd Quarter Happy Thoughts

    This is the first quarter this season where I recall the Nugs collecting more offensive rebounds AND defensive rebounds than their opposition.

    5/5 on free throws with one of those free throws being drained by Faried.

    Until the last 1:30, the Nuggets defense protected the paint very well. It was good to see Hayward looking like Hayward and not the impression of CP3 the Nugs allowed him to be in the first quarter.

    Nate Robinson played well enough to spell off Lawson for half the quarter.

    2nd Quarter Worries About the Future

    No Evan Fournier but 12 minutes of Andre Miller. I’m not bashing Miller, he had a prototypical Miller quarter which, next to Lawson, has been the most consistent factor on the Nuggets this season but…sigh, I hope the disparity in minutes is a rookie coach leaning on a vet and not a sophomore settling into a doghouse.

    3rd Quarter Positive Out of a Negative

    Kenneth Faried shot 1 of 5 BUT was 2 of 2 from the free throw line!

    3rd Quarter Jinx

    I complimented Jordan Hamilton earlier. He had a tough quarter on both ends of the floor.

    I complimented the Nugs not allowing the Jazz to get offensive rebounds. The Jazz had two going into the quarter and had three in the first four minutes of the quarter.

    Biggest Concern going into 4th Quarter

    Both teams have been getting good looks from outside the arc and been missing. If a team were to catch fire, I hope it’s us.

    Nuggets Win Reality Check

    Denver SHOULD have beat the Jazz. I am glad they did!

    Denver holding the Jazz to 13 points in the 4th quarter is more a by-product of Utah being ice cold shooting than great defence.

    4th Quarter Smiles

    Ty Lawson was able to get his 10th assist of the game earning him his first double double of the season!

    After a scary moment watching Faried leave the game desperately trying to catch his breathe, Andre Miller breathes life back into the Nuggets with his well established jaunt into the paint for two points.

    Due to foul trouble to Timmy Mozgov, JJ Hickson was asked to soak up 10:35 of the final quarter. Hickson had his steadiest quarter of the season in the offensive paint. He made a couple baskets, got himself to the free throw line twice (3 of 4) and collected two offensive rebounds.

    4th Quarter Frustration

    5 freakin Denver fouls in the first two minutes of the quarter!!

  • alex47666

    A win is a win and for right now I will take it, but we still have room to grow. And I’m hoping chandler makes his debut Wednesday then, and Finally can get some things worked out. TY is playing at an all star level and I’m loving it. Hickson did really good tonight playing with faried, and nate should have gotten more minutes

  • CD Pascual

    There was a reason why Rodman became a HOFer despite having no offensive game, P-Jax just let him be that. Yes, he has MJ, but that doesn’t mean the Worm has to stop camping around the boards.

    All Faried needs is a dependable jumper and a baby hook, and he’ll be an all-star :)

    • Ryan

      And all I need is 7 inches of height and a 40 inch vertical and I’ll be playing in the league…

  • Richard Pesicka

    Look for the Shaw to continue to rotate players. I don’t see any consistency on the team. Holding a team to a half court offense means that they must have shooters that can hit open shots. Where besides Lawson does that exist? It’s going to be a long season. Beating Utah proved nothing except the Nuggets were a little better. Look for Gallo to be sold or traded, and probably Chandler. The owners will make up for weak ticket sales with a sell off.

  • Daniel McDonald

    I understand the negativity of so many of these comments but, c’mon. We blew out a team that should be blown out and some of core players turned in very solid games in the process. This probably won’t be a great (maybe not even a good) season but if there’s one thing that is for sure it’s that bellyaching isn’t going to make it any better. Enjoy the enjoyable things, there will be plenty of heartbreak with which to sate your bloodlust.

  • Poz303

    I think you are being a little too tough on AR. He did finally hit a 3 pointer (as I screamed Noooooo… yes!)

  • Richard Pesicka

    Hey, why just trade Faried. Why not throw in Lawson and hey wait, wasn’t Miller playing well also. If your going to drive a nail into a teams coffin, then do it completely.

  • Richard Pesicka

    Hey I know. Denver can be the D league for the Knicks. Kind of like when we gave them Carmelo and J.R. ..