Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 103, Philadelphia 76ers 92

The Denver Nuggets and the Philadelphia 76ers shared the floor in a relatively ugly game, with Denver trailing most of the way. Without Ty Lawson in the lineup the Nuggets struggled to find offense, but managed to get over the hump thanks to a late explosion by Jordan Hamilton.

Denver Nuggets 103 FinalRecap | Box Score 92 Philadelphia 76ers
J.J. Hickson, PF 26 MIN | 5-9 FG | 2-6 FT | 10 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 12 PTS | -5Hickson was inconsistent as ever defensively, but he did make a couple of good rotations. He recorded another double-double, though, and made a couple of big hustle plays down the stretch.
Kenneth Faried, PF 14 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-1 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -11It’s hard to grade Faried’s performance. He had 6 points and 5 rebounds in the first quarter and then just one rebound for the rest of the game. Shaw pulled him out of the game after he put up a 3-point attempt as the end of the shot clock and he never returned.
Wilson Chandler, SF 26 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | +5It’s getting frustrating to watch Chandler. He had a terrific first quarter, attacking the basket and positioning himself well on the weak side of the floor. He did a solid job defensively but was pretty much invisible offensively for the rest of the night. With Lawson out you would expect him to step up more.
Andre Miller, PG 29 MIN | 3-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 7 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | +8Dre missed quite a few shots, but was great filling in for Lawson. He quietly filled up the stat sheet and made a lot of juicy passes, setting up his teammates in their comfort spots.
Randy Foye, SG 22 MIN | 4-12 FG | 4-5 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 13 PTS | -2You can’t fault the effort, as Foye came out looking for his shot and eager to step up in Lawson’s absence. However, his shot was off all night and he ended up playing just 22 minutes.
Darrell Arthur, PF 22 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +11Arthur didn’t play that much and wasn’t that visible but he had a solid game. He only took four shots but did a decent job defensively. He could likely have put up a better game, but Shaw decided to put Anthony Randolph into the game, which cut into Arthur’s minutes a little bit.
Jordan Hamilton, SF 22 MIN | 4-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 13 PTS | +6Hamilton was relatively quiet for most of the night. That is until he decided to take the game over and put it to bed in the span of around a minute or so. J-Ham went crazy from beyond the arc and knocked down three straight 3-pointers, essentially putting the game out of reach.
Anthony Randolph, SF 15 MIN | 1-4 FG | 5-6 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | +10The Nuggets fans collectively sighed when Shaw decided to give Randolph some run, but he did a pretty decent job. He got to the line, grabbed some rebounds and gave the Nuggets some energy.
Timofey Mozgov, C 18 MIN | 2-6 FG | 4-4 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | +14Mozgov had a decent game but was limited to just 18 minutes of action as he couldn’t stay away from foul trouble. He picked up two quick ones and finished the game with five. In his limited minutes he still put up a respectable stat line and was setting good screens.
Nate Robinson, PG 26 MIN | 6-14 FG | 7-8 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 20 PTS | +13Robinson was one of the players that stepped up in Lawson’s absence. He got to the line early and often and was creating offense off the dribble and was very effective running high pick-and-rolls with Mozgov.
Evan Fournier, SG 21 MIN | 1-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 2 PTS | +6Fournier had a great chance to earn some minutes with Lawson sidelined, but he blew his shot. He started the game off pretty well and got a nice basket in transition. He continued to get to the basket but couldn’t hit anything and finished with just two points in 21 minutes.
Brian Shaw
A bit of a mixed performance on Shaw’s part. Some of his decisions, such as putting Anthony Randolph into the game, were questionable but somehow worked out. He decided to bench Faried, but it was a little weird that he opted to give Randolph some run instead of putting Arthur, who was putting up a decent performance, back into the game.

Three Things We Saw

  1. We saw just how much the Nuggets struggle to find offense without their two best players. Chandler seems to run out of gas after the first quarter these days and doesn’t appear to want the ball in his hands as much as he should. Denver played against one of the worst defenses in the league tonight yet shot just 39% from the field in the first half and 42.2% in the game.
  2. Anthony Randolph might have had a decent 15-minute stint and injected some energy, but having him play regular minutes would obviously be a problem. He can’t space the floor and defenses generally abuse that in pick-and-rolls by blitzing the ball handler when he sets the screens.
  3. Free throws have been a weakness of the Nuggets this season but not in this game. Denver got to the line 34 times while their opponents took just 14 free throws.

You can follow me on Twitter: @VytisLasaitis

Next up: Monday, 5 pm MST (7 pm EST) at Washington. Going to the game? Save money and get cheap Denver Nuggets tickets here.

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Vytis Lasaitis

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  • heykyleinsf

    The Sixers beat Miami to start their season then won three straight.. but since are something like 3-13. It’s a great win without Ty on the road still though.

  • abrut

    the game is monday at Wash. fwiw.

    • VytisRMC

      Fixed. Thanks for pointing it out.

  • herpderpnuggets

    Good to get away with a win tonight…..hope so much that Lawson plays on Monday. That’ll be a really tough game.

  • Richard Pesicka

    It was an ugly win. I expect more from an NBA team with as much talent as they have. I hate half court offenses. They get slowed down and sluggish and the offense goes to sleep.

    • alex47666

      Sounds like the playoffs

  • Sócrates Manzoni

    I understand why putting Anthony Randolph in the game made everyone mad but I believe it was good coaching by Shaw. AR hasn’t played at all after his rough start (remember he was forced to move back to the 3 after playing at the 4 for a while now) and, though he should never start again, he is a player with some positive qualities. He is also a man doing his job, sitting him for months after a bad start to the season will destroy his morale and motivation to become a better player. Though it might not matter now, AR could become an important bench player if an injury or trade happens latter into the season and you hope that when his name is called, he will be ready and motivated.

    • David Acker

      Great point!

  • googergieger

    Yeah front office needs to make some moves in order for Shaw to be a more effective coach. Gallo back will help in the same way that it helped Karl, in that you need to play the guy big minutes, meaning less for other people, but still.

  • David Acker

    I know most of us are wondering what’s going on with Chandler. The Philly announcers said something that I thought was pretty curious. When Chandler came out at the end of the first quarter he went strait to the exercise bike. They said that is groin area gets really “tired” early in games. The dude is playing hurt and has a hard time staying healthy. I know we have a logjam at the 3 and 4 do you trade a guy like that when Gallo returns? Not sure but it does explain the lack of offense after the 1st quarter

  • Charliemyboy

    Well, we got pain. Chandler, Gallo, JaVale, Faried, Ty, Nate. Crap. Which team has no relative injuries and why? Seems like we must be pushing things wrong. Wear protective clothing? Thought our trainers were the best? Thigh masseuses?

  • NuggZeit

    Looking at the standings is killing me. With our stacked division (and Conf) the best we can get is a 5th seed because of the division winner being guaranteed a top 4, so the crappy Clips take the 4th and our division takes 2 of the top 3. Need to move Portland to the Pacific and we’ll take Sacramento. Here’s to hoping Portland collapses (or even better, OKC). Or maybe they’ll let us move to any Eastern Conf division and we’ll be a lock for the 3rd seed.

    Why is the West so much better than the East? Theories?

    • alex47666

      Well, you could look at it this way, 5 or 6 years ago the east was better than the west. So west teams went out brought players from the east to the west to make them good

      • gimpcom187

        There may be a few years post Jordan era that the East was as good 1-3 but it hasn’t ever been as good 1-6 and not close 1-9 since then.

        They’re better run organizations in the West and only recently have the East teams been trying to hire from those organizations (Atlanta, Philly, Charlotte, etc). They’re always ahead of the curve on the statistical, rest, health and technological trends (San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, Pheonix, etc.) Coaching is probably the third most important part of a team tied with GM (Best 2 players are the most important part of a team) and the hires there are better in the west too.

        Even the nugs are pretty well run though I think this summer was a mistake in thought process and certainly Ujiri, but they have put together a VERY solid run over the last 6 years without a single top ten overall player in the league.

  • disqus_Zof8sHWvOp

    Trade Chandler then