The Nuggets came out lethargic in the first quarter, made a comeback in the second quarter, pulled ahead in the third quarter, then completely crashed and burned in the fourth quarter to lose the game. So, pretty much the same thing they’ve been doing for the past two weeks. More analysis inside…
|J.J. Hickson, PF 26 MIN | 3-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | -3
Hickson rebounded well in the first half but played soft defense on David Lee. He was almost nonexistent in the second half.
|Wilson Chandler, SF 33 MIN | 4-12 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 10 PTS | -11
Chandler didn’t shoot well, didn’t rebound and didn’t do much else besides score 10 points in the game. Almost half of his shots came from beyond the arc and almost none of them were good. Chandler doesn’t have to be a scoring machine every night but he does need to be held accountable for his shot selection.
|Timofey Mozgov, C 32 MIN | 6-11 FG | 2-4 FT | 11 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | -7
In a game where almost nobody played well, Mozgov actually showed up. He did everything he was supposed to: He rebounded well, had some big dunks and he played solid post defense. If Mozgov plays this well every time he starts, perhaps Shaw should consider moving him to the starting lineup for every game and not just one.
|Ty Lawson, PG 37 MIN | 5-14 FG | 5-5 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 5 TO | 16 PTS | -6
Lawson was aggressive for most of the game but couldn’t get his shot to fall late in the fourth quarter. He took too many midrange jumpers and didn’t penetrate the way he’s capable of. It’s tough to put too much blame on him, however, as he was clearly trying to make something happen.
|Randy Foye, SG 10 MIN | 0-5 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 1 PTS | -3
Foye took five shots. Foye missed five shots. At least three of those were long two pointers. Unfortunately for Foye, he’s an all-or-nothing long-distance shooter who’s been more “nothing” than “all” lately.
|Darrell Arthur, PF 22 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTS | -1
Arthur must be graded differently from other players. He’s not on the team to score. He’s on the team to do all the things his teammates don’t usually do, like play defense, mostly. In this regard Arthur played well. His defensive intensity was superb. However, his offense was not there this game.
|Anthony Randolph, SF 15 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | 0
Randolph played a big role in sparking the Nuggets to a mini comeback in the first half. Like Lawson, his effort was undoubtedly there, especially on defense which is where his team needed it most. It’s good to see Randolph contributing in a positive manner. He’s really not that bad. Really.
|Jordan Hamilton, SF 19 MIN | 0-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -6
Again, this is where grading is tough. I thought Hamilton played great. His offense was nowhere to be found, but his defense was the best I’ve seen since he’s been with the Nuggets. He had two blocks and a nice chase-down of Curry that saved a potential layup. If he plays like this every game and hits a few threes, he’ll be heaven sent from here on out.
|Andre Miller, PG 30 MIN | 6-8 FG | 2-3 FT | 4 REB | 8 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 14 PTS | -3
Miller was the best player on the floor for the Nuggets. His shots were falling, his passes were visionary and on point, his effort on both ends of the floor was top notch. Miller is just too good to take a back seat all the time. The Nuggets need more outings like this from him.
|Nate Robinson, PG 17 MIN | 4-9 FG | 4-4 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 13 PTS | 0
It’s hard to knock a guy who scores 13 points in 17 minutes and plays with as much heart as Nate does. Therefore, I will not knock him. His second-half energy nearly won the game for the Nuggets if not for… well, whatever the hell happened in the fourth quarter.
This one all comes down to how the Nuggets played in the fourth quarter. The Nuggets came out as flat as we’ve seen all season in the first quarter, but pulled it together and made the Warriors work for the win. However, this game was winnable. The Nuggets had momentum in the fourth and let it completely slip away. This is becoming a sickening trend and Shaw is the one overseeing it.
Three Things We Saw
- Once again the Nuggets folded like origami in the fourth quarter and lost a very winnable game. As I mentioned above, this is becoming a trend. Right now the Nuggets are playing to not lose instead of fighting to win. The 2013-14 Denver Nuggets are not fostering a winning culture. This falls on Shaw. Granted, he doesn’t exactly have a roster tailor made to fit his style, but his lineups and offensive sets simply aren’t clicking right now.
- The Nuggets are perhaps the most cringe-worthy professional sports team I’ve followed in my entire life. It’s weird saying that because they’re still a team operating above .500. But man, there are at least three to four times each game that I find myself screaming at the television, slapping my hands against my face or just exhaling a long breath in an attempt to avoid Nuggets-related stress. It’s everything from fumbled passes to missed dunks, botched fastbreak attempts to offensive sets that end in contested, fadeaway, two-point jumpers. At some point this team has to make life easier on itself. I just have no idea when that point will come.
- After winning seven games in a row the Nuggets are now 3-7 in their last 10 games. The good news is that the NBA regular season is long and the Nuggets have plenty of time to correct their mistakes. The bad news is that Brian Shaw and his team have showed no inclination in wanting to truly right the ship. The Nuggets are on a path toward destruction right now. Whatever they’re doing isn’t working. If lineups aren’t truncated, if defense isn’t intensified, if other players don’t step up to help Ty Lawson out, things aren’t going to improve. As of now, the ball’s in Shaw’s court. Only time will tell how good of a coach he really is.
Next up: Friday, Dec. 27, 6 p.m. (MST) @ New Orleans. Going to the game? Save money and get cheap Denver Nuggets tickets here.
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