Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 117, Minnesota Timberwolves 110

Following another really solid road win, Denver finds itself 8-6 on the season and now 8-3 since the doom-and-gloom of the 0-3 start to the season.

Denver Nuggets 117 Final

Recap | Box Score

110 Minnesota Timberwolves
J.J. Hickson, PF 19 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | -13Hickson’s late game heroics, basically holding onto Pekovic for dear life down the stretch and becoming the beneficiary of some nice dribble penetration from Denver’s guards, pulled up what would probably have been an F-level game. Lets put it this way, his foul trouble early in the game served as perhaps Denver’s greatest boon in their first half explosion.
Kenneth Faried, PF 27 MIN | 6-7 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 13 PTS | +4A vintage Faried game. Shaw seems to have relented in attempted to shape Faried into something he’s not and it has been nice to see the Manimal unleashed in all his glory.
Wilson Chandler, SF 32 MIN | 6-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | -4Chandler, along with the entire team it seemed, was hitting everything in the first half but even when his shooting tailed off he still bolstered the offense with his cuts, his speed in transition, and the spacing that inherently comes with him anytime he’s on the floor.
Ty Lawson, PG 33 MIN | 7-15 FG | 8-10 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 23 PTS | 0We’ve gotten to the point where we must begin grading Lawson on a curve, as this stat line , while great, has become pedestrian for him at this point. When Denver needed a basket down the stretch, Lawson was there with a probing drive that drew two free throws to essentially ice the game.
Randy Foye, SG 19 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | -4Foye lost Martin off ball a few times but he’s a tough assignment for even the best of them, and Foye’s spot-up threes continue to add a deadly wrinkle into Denver’s half court offense.
Darrell Arthur, PF 22 MIN | 3-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | +13

Arthur FINALLY supplanted Hickson as the mainstay secondary big for much of this game, and although his stat line is rather meh, his defense was huge. Arthur remains Denver’s sole bastion for consistent defensive play and when given the minutes, he’s delivered.

Jordan Hamilton, SF 18 MIN | 4-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 11 PTS | +17

Hamilton had perhaps one of the best games of his young career, he was always making the right cut, he flared out behind the three point line when it was called for, and he took smart shots off the dribble when the flow of the offense called for it.

Timofey Mozgov, C 23 MIN | 1-2 FG | 1-2 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | +3

Movgov had a pretty invisible 23 minutes on the offensive end, but he effectively pulled off his job of bodying up Pek when the rest of the bigs were too exhausted to do it.

Andre Miller, PG 21 MIN | 4-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | +10

Dre Miller is going to be throwing inbound lobs and scoring on fools in the post long after our bones will have returned to the dust upon which they came. During the ever-adventuress Lawson-less minutes, Dre provided the steady hand that time and time again ended a pivotal Wolves run.

Nate Robinson, PG 22 MIN | 5-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | +19

After his first few shots, Nate Rob descended into the worst version of himself, the one that takes 30 foot three points three seconds into the shot clock or dribbles innocently for 20 seconds before firing an ill advised jumper or tossing the ball to a hapless teammate. Still, his man defense Barea was pretty good so that’s something I guess.

Evan Fournier, SG 4 MIN | 0-2 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 1 PTS | -10

Evan was a minus-10 in four minutes. That about sums it up.

Brian Shaw

While I thought the Nate Rob-Dre Miller backcourt was trusted for a bit too long early in the fourth and while I questioned JJ Hickson’s reentry into the lineup at the end of a close game, all-in-all its hard to complain about Shaw’s decision making during a game where the half court offense looked to be flowing so damn well.

Three Things We Saw

  1. Denver shot the ball at a 63 percent clip in the first half and the half court offense looked about as good as it has all year. But much of that was due to a decent number of difficult shots making their way through the net and the 40 percent second half represented that inevitable regression to the mean. Still, the process was sound throughout the game and that’s what really matters in the end. After the horrendous start to the season, Denver’s offense is scoring at a top four mark in the league in their last 11 games.
  2. Lawson’s game-sealing drive deserves a second look. After getting into the paint with an ease that has become ridiculous in its mundanity, Ty stopped, gathered himself, pump faked the hulking Pekovic and drew two easy ones at the line with a flick of the wrist. The foul may have been a bit questionable but Lawson’s utter trust in his own abilities once he makes his way into the paint continues to amaze.
  3. Happy Thanksgiving guys!


Next up: Monday, Nov. 29, 7 p.m. (MST) vs New York. Going to the game? Save money and get cheap Denver Nuggets tickets here.

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David Walker

Freshman at FSU. Love the Nuggets, the beach, and the game that involves a ball that occasionally goes into the hoop.
  • googergieger

    If it wasn’t for the first half refs this would have been a pretty easy blow out. Still much deserved win tonight. Glad to see we don’t have to rush Gallo back. Shame the west is as stacked as it is this year, but still have hope for a decent play off seed.

  • Branden Gloudeman

    If we would have lost this game with the 4th qtr lead we had look no further than Andre millers play on both ends… I think he was 3 for 3 going into the 4th he went 1 for 7 in the quarter over dribbled til the offense totally just looked like crap and if he didn’t have an easy assist he would just take contested 2 after contested 2! The refs bailed him out several times he got lucky.. and then all of a sudden when he’s on the floor minny starts getting wide open threes?! Coincidence I think not… This also effects how ty plays 2 he’s just stagnant when Miller is in and it’s depressing because we could have blown them out of the water without him on the floor in the 4th…. I’m not saying nate is the answer but sooner or later u just gotta look at the facts Andre miller is a total ball stopper when he wants to be and just kills a teams all around game when he has that I’ll try and take over and score every time down the floor it’s sad just sad

  • Evan Fiala

    was at the game, solid win. still don’t like robinson playing iso ball, miller was solid but we cant give up leads like that against better teams. liked the composure though, when minny came within 1 we just put them away with a few quick dunks and silenced the crowd. loved it, but there is a lack of nuggets fans in minnesota so I was going crazy by myself haha. lawson for mvp!

  • Scott

    What’s with this site being so dead recently…? There were hundreds of comments in the early games…

    • Cory

      They don’t want to rush judgement lol

    • Sharkboy242

      People have things to say when we lose.

    • googergieger

      Well some of it has to do with who isn’t commenting in particular. Some people draw out the conversations and such. I wake up early for my job usually, so I tend to go to sleep as soon as the Nuggets are done playing. Hence my lack of comments.

    • random900

      IMO, a lot of people in the RMC community wanted the Nuggets to fail and were Karl apologists, just go back and read some of the comment sections from the first 3 games. They had a lot to say when the Nuggets started slow, now, not so much.

    • Russell Hamilton

      It’s easier to make a negative comment than a positive one, especially when everyone in the national media wrote off this team after the off season – let alone the first few games.

    • gimpcom187

      The coaches stopped trying to make it a halfcourt team and so they are playing better. A good sign to see Shaw adapted not throwing the baby out with the bathwater. In addition, it will be interesting to see what Mcgee return does to the team (whose absence coincides with this positive stretch). It’s been an impressive stretch either way and nice to see Lawson potentially taking the next step especially concerning PnR passing. I would say a clear difference on the defensive end statistically speaking is that Karl’s defense allowed too many 3 point shots. Shaw seems to coach away from that.

      I think this is a 38-47 win team that will either just miss or just make the playoffs and go out in 5 or so games in round 1. The debate at the beginning of the season was should they tank. It’s still a valid question depending on your view of a 7-11 seed team. I’ll be honest, I found one of the writers and a few of the posters on this site insufferable last year concerning Karl and what I considered silly expectations. As did others. The backlash was more about that than anything else. It seems everyone has reasonable expectations at this point. I haven’t seen anyone suggest they are getting to round 2. Not much to argue about which is what Fuels the discussions.

      • Charliemyboy

        Not sure you’re complete. We could have won the OKC game and perception would be very different, especially after their beating SA. No comments, cause people aren’t sure what they are seeing. Cautious optimism. If we can continue to win the 4th quarter, I will start watching from start, to finish.

  • Cory

    How is our defense shaking up ?

    • herpderpnuggets

      not too shabby, thanks to darrell arthur

  • Cory

    Nice to see googs on and the nuggets playing good basketball. Let’s keep reading up the w’s one by one.

  • Sharkboy242

    The lowest grade for the second highest scoring player. Makes sense.

  • azab

    Admittedly, I didn’t watch the majority of this game, but can someone tell me how Nate got a D+ with a good FG % and a +/-of +19?

  • Daniel McDonald

    I think the D+ grade for Nate Robinson is way off. He had some great stretches at key moments in the game and though his play declined later on he was still very important to this win. B- at least.

  • Kody R

    I’m glad the team is starting to come together. I live in Canada, so I don’t have much opportunity to watch the Nuggets play. (Sunday @Toronto!) I’m glad we’re starting to prove everyone wrong. Really hope Hamilton can continue to play consistently like he has been, we need it until Gallo comes back

  • Kelvin Cheong

    Didn’t catch the game today but how was Jham tonight? The grade seems to think his performance was pretty well and in my opinion has been pretty decent for the past couple of games… I think he could potentially be our 6 man if he develop a less turnover approach to the game. I see him dribble the ball past half court and just throw the ball away multiple times… If he’s our 6th man together with Arthur and Robinson fournier Mosgov QMiller Chandler I see a potential trade for an above average shooting guard. No idea about contract and stuff but how does Oj Mayo sound like?, or even uhmm Klay Thompson(Dreaming of course) Bradley Beal or Avery Bradley??? Iggy was the perfect fit, Sigh just hope we get a chance to kick warriors’ ass

  • Evan Woodruff

    With that win we pass Golden State in the standings.

    Suck it Iggy.

    • heykyleinsf

      I’m sure he’s way ahead on that.. Steph Curry is probably the cleanest guy in the NBA down there.

  • heykyleinsf

    Do we have to score 130 points for more than two players to get an A?

    • herpderpnuggets

      dont know why JJ gets an average of a D grade, the dude doesnt play that terribly….at least not to my eyes

  • Charliemyboy

    I think you’re a little off here, David. JJ played fine. Did you listen to Shaw afterward? Look who he had to play against… 500 pounds. You have to consider the context when grading. If JJ exerts himself and doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, he should be graded higher. Also, Nate was great, but for two lapses, and you grade him that low? Spread out your considerations; not all is black and white, and I think you will do better. After you grade, look at the game and grade again. Ok? And an INC for Miller? Change your predisposition.

  • gallogallo88

    I haven’t watched a complete game this season and am curious how different the offense and defense is for the nuggets with shaw taking charge.. by the looks of it, the team is heading to the right direction. I expected they would lose at least one in mavs/wolves road match but came up with 2 wins.. I sense a big streak coming.. the east road trip should be easy, though I’m concerned on the urgency of the opponents (knicks, cavs and wiz had player meetings).. this should be a good test..

  • alex47666

    Shaw is really showing how good of a coach he is

  • young_guru

    And all these wins are coming without the Nuggets second most important player. Gallo is so underrated it’s not even funny. I’m salivating over the idea of the following lineup- Lawson, Foye, Chandler, Gallo, Mozgov/ Arthur.
    Can’t wait for him to be back.

    • alex47666

      Gallo is my favorite player and he is a very important part of this team. I rather have Ty Chandler Gallo faried Mcgee. Mozgov had a good start but now is a mess, making stupid fouls, poor shoots decisions and not going after rebounds.

  • NuggZeit

    Nuggs gettin it going. The next 8 games, all against bottom half teams will be telling. 6 road, 2 home – if we can go 6-2 or better I’ll be feeling pretty good about this team. Then we get a chance to avenge the loss to OKC – do all that and this team could exceed all expectations.

    I’ve seen 4 halves of basketball in the last 10 games and 3 of them were pretty impressive. It’s clear that Ty is continuing to get better and more assertive, while limiting mistakes. Everyone else is more up n down – but I like the effort and while a work in progress I can already see the positives of the Shaw era.

    Also – I agree with several other posters here – grading is too harsh / predetermined by expectations – you’d think if a guy was playing above expectations he’d be rewarded – instead every mistake is magnified out of proportion. No way a dude is +19 with 4a, 15p, 1to in 22mins and plays at a D+ level – come on man! Also, you can’t give a player w/ 21mins an Inc – that’s just non-sensical