The Nuggets trailed by double digits most of the night, including falling behind by 20, and ultimately fell to the Rockets 122-111.
The defense was invisible most of the night as the Rockets paraded to the rim, ultimately shooting 50.6 percent from the field. But don’t worry, I found all the D hiding in the grades.
|J.J. Hickson, PF 27 MIN | 7-12 FG | 0-1 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 14 PTS | -2
The offensive line looks good but a few of those makes were late buckets when the Rockets didn’t even pretend to try and play defense. Hickson was again awful on the defensive end of the floor where he failed to rotate over and over and over again.
|Kenneth Faried, PF 25 MIN | 4-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | -8
Tonight was one of those nights where the questions about Faired’s future in Denver make sense. Offensively he took all but one of his 11 shots inside the paint. He made four. Faried developing a great offensive game is a dead idea at this point, or at least it should be, but he needs to start finishing better than that. Defensively he failed to make rotations and constantly was beaten off the dribble by Jones. It was ugly.
|Jordan Hamilton, SF 14 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | -10
Denver got off to a slow start in large part because of Hamilton, who was absolutely abused by Chandler Parsons in the game’s first few possessions. Hamilton also failed to rebound as he has been which meant his only production came from a few open looks he knocked down. It was clearly his worst game since becoming a starter.
|Ty Lawson, PG 39 MIN | 11-19 FG | 4-6 FT | 2 REB | 17 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 5 TO | 28 PTS | -5
Lawson was great at the end of the game but part of that was when the game was out of hand, despite Brian Shaw’s attempt at getting back into things via Hack-A-Howard. Offensively the Nuggets are a mess without Lawson but his defense has been awful this year and it continued tonight. When Lawson was tasked with guarding Jeremy Lin, Lin abused him. Hence the B instead of an A.
|Randy Foye, SG 25 MIN | 2-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | -14
Foye shot terribly, which is the one thing he was brought in to do. Not sure why he played 25 minutes.
|Darrell Arthur, PF 13 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | -7
The Nuggets best defensive stretch continues to come with Arthur in the game. He even knocked down his open jumpers tonight. There is really no excuse he played only 13 minutes with the way Faried played.
|Wilson Chandler, SF 29 MIN | 5-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 14 PTS | +2
Chandler played ok in his minutes. He clearly was missing his legs as almost all of his three pointers came up short but to see him be able to play 30 minutes in the second game of a back-to-back was a good sign for Denver.
|Timofey Mozgov, C 17 MIN | 3-6 FG | 3-4 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | +1
Mozgov did an ok job on offense, minus the missed dunk but his defense was ugly all night because of the match-ups he was presented with. Both Dwight Howard and Donatas Motiejunas were too quick for Mozzy and it showed as he got blown by a few times. He had a nice block on some help but overall he seemed rough on the defensive end tonight.
|Andre Miller, PG 16 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 0 PTS | -8
If Dre doesn’t make shots he is almost useless. Tonight he didn’t.
|Nate Robinson, PG 12 MIN | 1-2 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | -5
This signing looks like it failed badly.
|Evan Fournier, SG 21 MIN | 4-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | -3
Fournier was ok. He had some nice moments on defense but for the most part struggled. Offensively he got some good looks but didn’t convert enough of them. The confidence seems to be returning for Fournier which is good, but he needs to start knocking down some of these shots to earn more time and potentially the starting shooting guard spot.
Dwight Howard went 14/20 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter. Hack-A-Howard clearly wasn’t working yet Brian Shaw kept going to it, essentially eliminating any slim chance the Nuggets had of getting back into the game. He also left his best defensive big on the bench as the Rockets got shot after shot at the rim. It was a bad night for the young coach.
Two Things We Saw
- Tonight was the first team in a few games that has made a point of getting to the rim against the Nuggets. It worked. Houston shot 50.6 percent from the field tonight and drew 15 non-Dwight Howard and James Harden free throws. The JJ Hickson/Kenneth Faried combination is a defensive abomination most of the time and really needs to stop soon. It is no coincidence the Nuggets defense almost always picks way up when Mozgov and Arthur check into the game.
- Yes, this was the second game of a back-to-back but it shouldn’t excuse the Nuggets effort. The offense being short on jumpers all night is understandable but the endless parade of Rockets to the rim because rotations were never being make is inexcusable. Playing on the road and in back-to-backs is hard but it shouldn’t lead to the amount of defensive breakdowns that we saw all night from Denver. And it wasn’t like it was Dwight Howard or James Harden hurting Denver the most. Jones was 6-11 from the field. Chandler Parsons was 8-13. Lin was 6-11. It was really bad.
Next up: Monday, Nov. 18, 7 p.m. (MST) @ OKC. Going to the game? Save money and get cheap Denver Nuggets tickets here.
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