Denver went down big early and couldn’t quite ever get back into the game and fell to the Celtics 106-98. Most importantly Ty Lawson left the game with a left hamstring injury. Stay tuned at RMC for more information as it comes out.
|J.J. Hickson, PF 25 MIN | 6-8 FG | 5-6 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 17 PTS | +9
Hickson remains the master of the misleading stat line. The 17 points and 7 rebounds were nice but Boston built their big lead thanks to the awful rim protection that Hickson and Faried combined to not provide in the first quarter.
|Kenneth Faried, PF 25 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | +5
Faried was bad tonight. Offensively the cuts he normally makes weren’t there, and like Hickson his defense was really bad, especially in help. The Celtics bigs aren’t good and somehow Denver made them look great.
|Wilson Chandler, SF 33 MIN | 2-7 FG | 3-4 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | +6
When was the last time Chandler was a factor in a game? Denver desperately needed Chandler to step up and help Ty Lawson create open looks for his offensively challenged teammates like Andre Iguodala did last season and he hasn’t come close to doing it yet. On defense Jeff Green dominated him. It has been a really ugly season so far from Chandler.
|Ty Lawson, PG 28 MIN | 6-14 FG | 6-6 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 20 PTS | +3
Ty started slow offensively thanks to the constant pressure of Avery Bradley and because of it the Denver offense never got going in the first quarter. He eventually got things going in the second and third quarters before leaving injured, and not coincidentally the Nuggets had their two best offensive quarters. But yet again Ty’s defense fell somewhere between awful and terrible. Bradley, who isn’t good on offense, finished 8-11 from the field and many of the makes were wide open jumpers.
|Randy Foye, SG 25 MIN | 3-8 FG | 4-4 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 12 PTS | +4
Foye made some shots but his defense on Jordan Crawford was about as bad as Lawson’s on Bradley. Asking Foye to be a stopper is unfair to him, especially as he is undersized, but he should be able to hold Crawford below 9-13 shooting.
|Darrell Arthur, PF 21 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -19
I am a big Arthur guy but he was bad tonight. For some random reason he struggled badly to defend Kris Humphries and on offense his jumpers didn’t fall. It was ugly.
|Jordan Hamilton, SF 15 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | -14
When Jordan Hamilton is good, he is good. When he is bad, it is ugly. The perfect summation of why Hamilton is so frustrating was when he was beat backdoor, on the strong side of the floor, by Gerald Wallace who dunked home a big basket. That just can’t happen and for Hamilton it happens too often.
|Timofey Mozgov, C 19 MIN | 3-6 FG | 4-6 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | -16
After a few great games Mozgov was very average tonight. He got absolutely abused in the pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop by Faverani and Humphries. Offensively he had some nice finishes but also fumbled away a few passes. He wasn’t the worst Nugget on the night but he wasn’t good.
|Andre Miller, PG 24 MIN | 5-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 10 PTS | -6
Dre was Dre tonight. On offense he used his old man game to find himself easy buckets though tonight he didn’t create any for teammates. Defensively he lost shooters behind the arc and got beat for easy buckets.
|Nate Robinson, PG 24 MIN | 4-11 FG | 2-3 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 11 PTS | -12
Nate came crashing back down to earth tonight and as it did early in the season it really hurt the Denver offense. Initially he provided a spark but eventually the shots stopped falling.
I’m honestly not really sure what Shaw could have done to change the outcome tonight. Boston took advantage of every single weakness Denver has. They attacked Ty and Foye, the put the Denver bigs into pick-and-rolls and pick-and-pops all night and they made life miserable for Ty which stifled the Nuggets offense in the first quarter. It is now on Shaw to fix those things before more teams can exploit them.
Five Things We Saw
- Ty Lawson left the game after the third quarter and never returned with a left hamstring injury. Not much is known right now but if he has to miss extended games Denver is in all kinds of trouble. Everything they have done on offense this season has been based on Lawson making things happen either for himself, with an assist or with a hockey assist. The Nuggets offense without him in the fourth quarter was really ugly and having to play games that way will make winning almost impossible.
- Shaw was clearly searching for answers late in the game when he went to a Nate/Dre/Foye/Chandler/Hickson lineup to close the game. It didn’t work, as Denver gave up multiple offensive rebounds. Shaw went to that lineup after Kenneth Faried and Mozgov couldn’t gather rebounds a few possessions before. As I saw someone (I believe Justin Faudree) say on Twitter the other night, Faried may grab a lot of rebounds but he sure seems to give up the important offensive ones.
- Someone has to step up and help Ty Lawson create offense for his teammates. Right now Randy Foye has the best assist percentage (percent of teammates baskets a player assisted when he was on the floor) of any non-point guard on the roster at just 12.5 percent. With the size of the point guards making it hard to play them for long stretches together someone needs to help get easy shots for Faried, Arthur, Hickson, Mozgov and Hamilton. For comparisons sake last season Andre Iguodala had an assist percentage of 22.4. I thought Wilson Chandler could help a bit in that aspect but so far he hasn’t. Maybe it is Danilo Gallinari when he returns, but his career high is just 13 percent, so it would be asking a lot of him to raise that significantly while working his way back from injury. Denver may need to try and go outside the organization to find an answer.
- Make no mistake about it; this was a bad loss. The Celtics aren’t a good team and this is still early in the road trip and not the second game of a back-to-back so tired legs shouldn’t be a good enough excuse. With how tough the West is Denver can’t afford to drop games like this, and now that Lawson is hurt and may miss games it becomes even more painful.
- Green, Bradley, Crawford, Humphries, and Faverani combined to score 80 points on 34/54 shooting, good for 63 percent. There is no excuse for that kind of defense.
Next up: Saturday, 5 pm MST (7 pm EST) at Philadelphia. Going to the game? Save money and get cheap Denver Nuggets tickets here.
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