After a slow start, the Denver Nuggets eventually built a comfortable lead late in the fourth quarter and beat the Toronto Raptors on the road.
|J.J. Hickson, PF 17 MIN | 1-2 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 3 PTS | -10Hickson started the game off poorly on both ends of the floor and was pulled very early. He started the second half but was once again a non-factor on both ends. The Raptors kept feeding Jonas Valanciunas the ball when Hickson was on him, and the Lithuanian finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds.|
|Kenneth Faried, PF 20 MIN | 5-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 12 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 12 PTS | -11Just like Hickson, Faried was benched after a slow start. His injury didn’t seem to bother him, and once he was inserted back into the lineup he was crashing the glass, grabbing nine first half rebounds in just 12 minutes. He only played 20 minutes but still put up a solid double-double.|
|Wilson Chandler, SF 30 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | -1Chandler was the only starter that Shaw left in the game early in the first quarter, and it’s understandable why. Wilson was doing a great job defensively, forcing Rudy Gay into tough shots, while also knocking down a couple of his own. The offense really didn’t come to Chandler though and he forced a couple of tough ones further into the game.|
|Ty Lawson, PG 29 MIN | 6-13 FG | 3-4 FT | 4 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 16 PTS | +1Before the game Lawson mentioned that he is not a morning person and that he hates early games. It showed as he looked indecisive and unengaged. He got settled into the game eventually and made some shots, but nothing spectacular from Lawson.|
|Randy Foye, SG 19 MIN | 1-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | -15Foye lands borderline to an F tonight. He wasn’t hitting his shots, DeRozan was going off when Randy was on him and he had a couple of silly turnovers. His decision-making was also very questionable, as he drove down the lane several times only to force up tough fadeaway jumpers.|
|Darrell Arthur, PF 23 MIN | 7-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 14 PTS | +15Arthur had his best game of the season so far. His effort on the defensive end was great to watch. He was highly effective in the pick-and-pop with Ty Lawson and finished the third quarter with a last-second steal and score. Arthur was perfect from the field, made some big shots and influenced the game in just about every possible area.|
|Jordan Hamilton, SF 18 MIN | 3-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | +15J-Ham wasn’t particularly visible throughout the game, but he held his own in the 18 minutes he played. He knocked down a couple of threes and scored in double-digits.|
|Timofey Mozgov, C 31 MIN | 6-12 FG | 4-6 FT | 15 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 16 PTS | +26So many exciting plays by Mozgov in this game. He had a ridiculous rejection on Rudy Gay and a monstrous dunk in the first half. He was hustling on the glass, was great on help defense and just had an overall fantastic game.|
|Andre Miller, PG 23 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 7 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | +23Miller quietly had a great first half. He created several looks for himself in his very own crafty ways and contributed a lot offensively in general. He essentially played in two spurts and showed great patience in the pick-and-roll on several instances.|
|Nate Robinson, PG 24 MIN | 9-14 FG | 0-1 FT | 1 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 23 PTS | +2123 points in 24 minutes. 18 points in the fourth quarter. A double dagger late in the fourth to seal the deal. Welcome to the Nate show.|
|Evan Fournier, SG 6 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +6A bunch of zeros in the box score and only six minutes played pretty much sum it up.|
Shaw made smart lineup adjustments throughout the game. He pulled four of his starters (everyone except for Wilson Chandler) to stop the bleeding early. Shaw trusted Arthur and Mozgov, who gave the team some solid interior defense, and didn’t force Hickson back into the lineup when he was having a bad game. His three-guard lineup to close the game out also proved very effective.
Three Things We Saw
- Mozgov and Arthur remain the defensive spine of this team. It seems that whenever the Nuggets are struggling defensively Shaw falls back on that particular big men tandem. One of the two could eventually earn a starting spot in order to make the starting unit more solid defensively.
- Much like Mozgov and Arthur, Andre Miller and Nate Robinson seemed to thrive when they were on the floor together as well. The cautious and crafty approach of Miller and the erratic style of Robinson somehow seems to work.
- The Nuggets once again showed their depth. The game quickly got out of hand in the first quarter, but the bench pulled it back and kept Denver in it. A long road trip awaits and the reserves will have to continue to perform.
You can follow me on Twitter at: @VytisLasaitis
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