The Denver Nuggets came up short on the tail end of a back-to-back, dropping a 10-point game to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
|J.J. Hickson, PF 26 MIN | 7-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 11 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 15 PTS | -3Hickson had a tough matchup against Andrew Bynum. The Cavs’ center had no trouble pushing JJ around and establishing deep post position. That being said, Hickson was very active on the offensive end and just about the only Nuggets big man who actually hustled for rebounds, putting up a solid line in his 26 minutes.|
|Kenneth Faried, PF 19 MIN | 3-6 FG | 1-1 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | -5Faried picked up two early fouls and looked outmatched against Tristan Thompson during the first half. He didn’t have a great game overall and his minutes were limited. The Manimal was simply not a factor on the offensive glass like he usually is and lost out on a lot of the 50-50 balls his frantic energy usually tips in his favor.|
|Wilson Chandler, SF 33 MIN | 5-13 FG | 1-1 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 13 PTS | -2Chandler started the game with a strong cut to the basket finishing on an and-1, but other than that he wasn’t that big of a factor. He has simply not looked like the reliable second scoring option he is supposed to be for this team and it doesn’t seem like he demands the ball enough. He was decent defensively and did make a couple of shots late in the game.|
|Ty Lawson, PG 35 MIN | 1-13 FG | 2-3 FT | 2 REB | 11 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 4 PTS | -3Lawson did a great job finding teammates early on, feeding the bigs in the post and getting the ball to open shooters. However, his first points of the game came with 31 seconds to go in the second quarter. The grade might be a bit harsh, considering he did dish out 11 assists, but he also put up his lowest scoring game of the season and shot just 1-13 from the field.|
|Randy Foye, SG 26 MIN | 4-8 FG | 5-5 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 16 PTS | +3Foye made a crucial three to end the first half, which got the Nuggets within four points going into the break. He was solid from beyond the arc and was overall one of the better Denver players on a tough night. His scoring opportunities came few and far between but he usually converted.|
|Darrell Arthur, PF 26 MIN | 4-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | -2After a couple good performances, you could certainly tell that Brian Shaw gave Arthur the green light to shoot in this game. Most of his shots were decent looks but just wouldn’t fall tonight. He managed to have an impact on the game in some other ways, and played an overall acceptable game.|
|Jordan Hamilton, SF 10 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 3 PTS | -7J-Ham made a three. He had some good sequences on the defensive end, especially harassing Anthony Bennett. That’s about it.|
|Timofey Mozgov, C 17 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 8 PTS | -8Well, it was time to come back to earth. Mozgov was limited to just 17 minutes with four fouls on the night, as Shaw opted to go back to Hickson in the fourth. Moz did play some good defense on Andrew Bynum though, and was pretty much the only Denver big man who Bynum couldn’t just shove out of his way.|
|Andre Miller, PG 17 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -10I had no notes on Miller after this game. He wasn’t particularly visible on either end of the floor, and it’s a shame he didn’t try to score a bit more, especially in the post.|
|Nate Robinson, PG 27 MIN | 7-15 FG | 0-1 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 14 PTS | -12Robinson continues to establish himself as a more consistent energy guy off the bench. He gave the team a huge boost early in the game. When everyone else looked tired and slow, Nate came in with a lot of energy and sparked the offense with some impressive plays. He got to close out the game and made some more shots down the stretch, but it wasn’t enough.|
|Evan Fournier, SG 5 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -1N/A|
You can’t really blame Shaw too much for this loss. Just about every Nuggets player looked lethargic, so it was hard to construct a consistent lineup on a night like this. Shaw was slightly slow reacting on bad matchups, but he eventually ended up putting Mozgov on Bynum. Other than that, it’s hard to find any critical errors. The Nuggets half-court offense created a lot of good looks, especially early in the game, but the players simply couldn’t knock the shots down.
Two Things We Saw
- The Nuggets rank fourth in the league in rebounding. The Cavaliers are 17th. It didn’t matter Wednesday night, as the Cavs crushed Denver on the glass 58-43. Denver’s big men didn’t box out properly, which is reflected in Tristan Thompson’s nine offensive rebounds and a career-high 21 rebounds in total.
- Back-to-backs are tough. Especially on the road. The Nuggets simply couldn’t create any offense. They didn’t run enough and there wasn’t enough movement in the half-court sets to make the Cavaliers work. You could tell that the Nuggets didn’t quite have their feet under them.
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