Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 99 -Memphis Grizzlies 120

Unfortunately, no one at RMC was able to catch the whole game tonight thanks to a few holiday season related things so there won’t be full grades, just some thoughts and observations based on the final quarter plus that I was able to see. Feel free to leave any thoughts below.

  • It is becoming more and more apparent that the depth that everyone thought was a strength for the Nuggets entering the season is in fact becoming a weakness. Depth is a good thing when you have good players backing up very good and great players. Right now the Nuggets have average to good players backing up average to good players. The Denver bench was outscored 62 to 33 by the Grizzlies reserves and for most of the fourth quarter Jame Johnson was the best player on the floor. With just Darrell Arthur missing (Gallo doesn’t count as he hasn’t been available all year and doesn’t look like a return will be coming soon) it is hard to see a fix coming.
  • There may be a lot of movement in the Nuggets half court sets but it never seems to really lead to anything. So many possessions just end with either Lawson, Dre Miller or Robinson dribbling around for 8 to 10 seconds and throwing up a prayer or kicking out to someone for a semi-contested jumper.
  • Denver still can’t rebound defensively.
  • Yes it was the second game of a back-to-back. Yes the game was on the road. But Denver lost this game because they just aren’t good. Bad teams have to play perfect games to win, Denver hasn’t played anything close to that in a while. This team is struggling to find an identity and that process is being made even harder by the lack of talent on the roster.
  • I’m all for blowing things up but doing so will be tough. There aren’t a lot of assets that other teams will covet on the roster. Kenneth Faried and Jordan Hamilton may be intriguing but both are going to be paid soon which will lower the return. Nate Robinson is probably the only free-agent signing that teams will have interest in and fans are going to find it hard to support Denver if they move Lawson or Gallo. So Shaw and the front office should probably start thinking about just playing the young guys and letting them learn on the fly. In all reality where is this core going, even if things get straightened out a bit?
  • The schedule isn’t getting any easier. Denver faces Miami on Monday and gets a slight break with Philly on Wednesday but after that is Memphis, at the Lakers, Boston, and Oklahoma City. It isn’t hard to see a 1-5 record in the next six games.

Next up: Monday, Dec. 30, 7 p.m. MST vs.Miami. Going to the game? Save money and get cheap Denver Nuggets tickets here.


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  • Richard Pesicka

    May God help the Nuggets.

  • Poz303

    “There may be a lot of movement in the Nuggets half court sets but it
    never seems to really lead to anything. So many possessions just end
    with either Lawson, Dre Miller or Robinson dribbling around for 8 to 10
    seconds and throwing up a prayer or kicking out to someone for a
    semi-contested jumper.”

    Is that on the players or on the HC? I keep reading that Shaw does not have the players that suit his system but at some point the HC has to take some responsibility. This offensive system (if you can call it that) is just not working.

  • heykyleinsf

    And FWIW they are back to sub 500… things are looking scary bad.

  • Charliemyboy

    Karl haters, wherefore art thou? How low can you go Nuggs? Glad I don’t watch anymore. If they happen to win one I might catch one later this year. Josh, you are an f up. Shaw is a rookie and not a very good one. No wonder he was passed over. Karl haters, wherfeore art thou?

    • Sharkboy242

      Are you really going to act like Karl didn’t have Iggy, Brewer, a healthy Gallo and Koufus most of the year?

      I dislike Shaw very much at this point but don’t try to make this a Karl thing. He sucks, move on.

      • Charliemyboy

        Wrong. Karl has a record and could have contended and kept the team getting better. Shaw and the current management and team are going in reverse for years. Sorry, Karl was great, you should move on until the Nuggets get their act together.

        • Sharkboy242

          A record huh? So tell me – What’s his record in the playoffs?

          That’s right, shut up.

          • Charliemyboy

            Playoffs? Did you say playoffs? What playoffs? Do you think we’ll get the 4 seed this year? You won’t smell playoffs for years brother. If Karl had kept this team together, we could have been contenders. Beat every significant team but Miami last year. This year? How do you spell zilch? Enjoy your pain. Go to the game. I love the team but feel their pain. Josh f…ed them.

            • Sharkboy242

              Way to doge my question.

              You can glorify all those moral victories Karl had all you want. Talk about being a fair weather fan.

              • Charliemyboy

                Oh, ok; what is Shaw’s record in the playoffs? Ok, how about making the playoffs. Karl did; Shaw won’t; maybe for years. My problem is I’m a sore loser especially when we didn’t need to be. I care too much about what these guys did last year to see them suffer like this. 57 wins and limited playoffs is better than no playoffs at all.

              • Sharkboy242

                We’re not missing the playoffs because Karl isn’t the coach – We’re missing the playoffs because of our roster. Stop being so illogical.

              • Charliemyboy

                Do you think we would have a vastly different roster if Karl had stayed? It’s all tied together. Who is illogical?

              • Sharkboy242

                Iggy was planning on leaving… Management didn’t want to sign Brewer because they deemed him too pricey. The only thing that would be different would be the KK trade and even then KK is not much better than Mozgov.

                Get real.

              • Charliemyboy

                Want to sell me your tickets? Iggy said he wasn’t offered enough to stay. The rest of the team, sans Brewer, might still be together. Chemistry wins games. It’s gone now but would have in a better state with Karl. Enjoy your games.

              • Sharkboy242

                Iggy said he he wasn’t offered enough to stay? Way to speak out of your ass.

                FACT: The Nuggets offered him more money than Golden State did.

                Why am I even arguing with someone who’s ignorant on the subject…. Fair weather fans. Go comment on the Nuggets Facebook page, I think that crowd suits your ignorance better.

              • Charliemyboy

                Sharkboy242. Sounds like an MIT grad with a PhD in Bio Chemistry from Scripps. Or maybe made it through Barcelona Elementary. But I doubt it. Go play with your happy rainbow.

              • Sharkboy242

                -Loses argument.
                -Stoops to personal insults.

              • Charliemyboy

                Look for Iggy’s quotes. –Loses arguments. –Dives to mud of adversary. Smile.

              • Sharkboy242


                No tears, only dreams now.

              • Charliemyboy

                Read his quote: 5 years $60mil not guaranteed; 4 years $48mil guaranteed. What would you take? Go make friends at GS, I know you secretly desire Iggy (look at your pic!) ☺

          • Paul Griggs

            At least he made the playoffs…you’d know the point is, if you understood the game at all, that the Nuggets talent wasn’t as great as it was made out to be–Karl just got the most out of it. He didn’t win in the playoffs because they didn’t have the talent.

            • Sharkboy242

              Didn’t have the talent? You’ve got to be kidding me… The consensus was that Denver SHOULD HAVE BEAT the Warriors. The talent was there and Karl was simply out-coached.

          • Poz303

            on the other hand, only one team wins the NBA and everyone else gets eliminated. Would Nuggets fans be satisfied if we made the second round for the next 5 years

            Or would Nuggets fans be satisfied if we made the finals for the next 5 years and never won?

      • Paul Griggs

        Sharkboy, not only don’t you understand basketball, you’re also a Karl hater. Where’s your wonderboy, Robinson these days? stinking up the place. Maybe we should trade Mozgov for Brooks Lopez or Fournier for Monta Ellis?

        • Sharkboy242

          -Yeah I’m a Karl hater and a Shaw hater, deal with it.
          -Robinson is still our leading scorer off the bench, keep hating on him though
          -I said we should have signed Monta Ellis in the off-season while he was a free agent. Stop twisting what I say. Dallas is a playoff team and Monta Ellis is their second best player behind Dirk, keep hating on Ellis though.
          -I suggested a Brooke Lopez trade before he was injured. He fits the system that Shaw is trying to build and is arguably a top 6 or 7 center in the league. Keep hating on him though.

    • LBJ

      This is what happens when a punk who inherits his team thinks he knows more than the EoY and CoY.

    • heykyleinsf

      Charlie as much as you have a point..
      I’m not missing GK
      He was a good coach but never figured things out past the regular season. If you like disappointing first round playoff exits after great seasons..
      then I can see your point.
      But there are 30 teams in the NBA that just don’t see him all that great right now.

      • gimpcom187

        This team wasnt talented enough to expect a series win other than 09, 2010 and last season. Last season playoffs karl was imperfect and he had zero usable wings in that series other than iggy as chandler and brewer were horriffic. if you payed attention gsw played gwreat against the spurs too.
        The point is was the team was playing over its head with karl. It is obvious now. If your thought was the team is not talented enough and should just start over without karl that is a defensible. But that wasnt the contention on this site the contention is karl underacheived with the talent. Clearly wrong. Just say it andmove on.

        • LBJ


      • Charliemyboy

        I can’t see how you can enjoy the progress or future of this team. It takes years to be contenders. You won’t even see playoffs for years possibly. Of the 30 teams, we are heading for #30. What are the facts; could Karl win games? Did Shaw get passed over for years? Sad, and frustrating. I just don’t have the heart to pick up another team. Ah, for the years of Jordan and Bird. Feel bad for Ty, Faried and Gallo.

      • Charliemyboy

        Yea, I know. I’m just too emotional about it, not even living in Colorado anymore. Man did I want more of what was there last year. The team and players exhibited hope and drive and personality. I feel for them and Shaw this year but can’t hardly get over how Josh seemed to have screwed things up. How long do we have to wait to get back to 57 wins? And, attendance is down. I’m with LBJ.

    • tigglon

      Please know that “wherefore art thou?” means “why are you?”

      • Ryan Chalstrom

        Umm I don’t think so….Romeo, Romeo, why are you Romeo? Doesn’t make much sense. Anyways, just wanted to swing by and laugh at all the Karl haters who got exactly what they wanted. Lol. Morons. Well back to Denver Stiffs for me – much better site and way more intelligent people as well. Just wanted to stop by good ole roundball mining to say I TOLD YOU SO! 😛
        Peace! I’m out!

        • Stephen

          As long as you are bashing the intelligence of people, might want to do a little research. Of course tigglon is correct. In the line you quoted (“Romeo, Romeo, why are you Romeo?”), the meaning is exactly that. Makes perfect sense. Juliet is asking why he is a Montague.

          O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
          Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
          Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
          And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.

          I don’t care that you don’t know what you are talking about, I just don’t want you telling other people they are wrong because you aren’t willing to check out a dictionary.

  • prospector

    When Faried plays big minutes nuggets win. Period.. The only stat that matters is wins and losses. Since he became a starter with the nuggets he is 34 wins and 13 losses when he plays 30mins or more during a game. When he plays 19 mins or less the nuggets record is 3 wins and 10 losses…. The only stat that matters is wins and losses… SInce SHAW has decreased FARIED’s minutes we are losing. PERIOD… We will not win until FARIED, CHANDLER, and Lawson are all playing 30 plus minutes on a consistent basis… And Memo to all the lame NBA coaches… This isn’t freakin hockey.. You don’t need to shift change all five starters… Just rotate a couple of guys in through the entire game… try to leave at least 3 starters on floor at the same time always… And always have either TY or Chandler on the floor with any grouping…that means NEVER have TY and Wilson out at the same time… Always have a scorer on the floor.. Is this little league where everyone gets 10 mins? You can rotate nate and andre in to spell the guards but making sure you have one of the 2 starting guards on the floor the whole game. same for the bigs… Starters need to play 30 minutes…You want your best players to play 30 minutes… We won a lot of games with Faried playing big minutes.. I would like to see JHAM playing even more minutes… What we do need is a trade… But it needs to be someone like HICKSON, RANDOLPH, MILLER, FOYE, and even NATE… Heck I would throw MCgee in as well for a real starter. Instead the only name you hear is FARIED.

    Shaw is average as a player, and is a below average coach.. I tried to like him but it is over… We should have hired BROWN instead…. And man do i miss MASAI.. What has TIMMY BOY done? He lost IGGY after IGGY saw the pathetic trades he tried to initiate on draft day… He was a horrible hire.. And all you blow up the team fools, Do you really think our current management could draft the right guys???? Please… TIMMY and SHAW have turned the most exciting team in the league to the most pathetic.. And Joshy boy expects me to think they will be able to right the ship??? This stinks and I hope they figure this garbage out soon… And remember FARIEDS 30 plus minutes record is 34 WINS AND ONLY 13 LOSSES…………………………..

    • Cullen

      Okay, you have a few things blatantly wrong here:

      1.) Karl wasn’t keeping Iggy, either. Iggy was talking to GSW BEFORE the playoffs had even ended… so… yeah. Iggy was out of here before ANYTHING had even happened.

      2.) Would Karl have done ANY better with this team? I REALLY REALLY doubt it. What about this team would Karl have done better that you think Shaw has done wrong… please… explain to me how Karl’s scheme would have won us more games in a loaded West. I REALLY want the pro-Karl people that have no goddamn ounce of logical reasoning abilities to explain how that works. Sure, Shaw has not been the best coach… news flash… IT IS 30 GAMES INTO HIS NBA COACHING CAREER. Btw, it took George Karl till his 3rd season to even PEAK over .500 as a coach… so yeah, clearly that guy had it figured out from DAY ONE.

      3.) Everyone is clearly being RIDICULOUS about Shaw. He has coached 30 NBA games… hardly a good indicator of his overall ability to coach. So, we should give him more time. And this roster isn’t exactly helping him out any.

      4.) Your logic and reasoning skills must be super poor if you think the Faried statistic is a good metric to judge by. It is a short cited and poorly thought out attempt at arguing his importance to the team. There were also 4 other players on the court at the time and probably a much better supporting cast for those minutes. His numbers are similar to what they’ve been in the past… so your argument really just doesn’t shake out quite like you want it to.

      5.) All I know is I got tired of first round exists… and even if the future isn’t as bright atm, it will be better than first round exists year in and year out.

      • gimpcom187

        Go look up the nugs record with karl. Stop calling people illogical to think the team would be 50ish win type team as thats all theyve been for past 5 seasons with karl. You should say, Cullen: I was wrong oh well move on

      • Charliemyboy

        You won’t have to worry about first round exits anymore will you, maybe until you’re my age (I rode with Paul Revere). So now you get the best of both worlds. No wins, no playoffs. Have fun.

      • Poz303

        You obviously are not a season ticket holder (yes, I am).

        Basketball is entertainment. Karl had arguably the most entertaining product on the planet (with regards to basketball).

        Shaw may well become a great coach but Nuggets had a winning product with GK and Masai. Even if we had lost Iggy we still would have the NYKs first round pick this year and, possibly, a first round playoff series. Give me 35-3 at home any day. A packed arena, Hope. I would even hazard to guess that the roster would not look like it does today had Masai been retained (not wanting to go too deep into this because there would be too much conjecture, needless to say, Masai has always had my vote of confidence).

        Gallo’s injury was a major factor in last year’s playoffs. If you dont believe so then you might need to check your logic and reasoning. Faried was hurt as well.

        Are you not entertained? No, frankly I am not and I have club level season tickets to sell you if you are.

        Before you wrongly accuse me of being a fair weather fan, I watch every Nuggets game (live or on Altitude TV) and will continue to do so.

        Do I want the Nuggets to win the NBA? Absolutely, and I think we were a hell of a lot closer to doing so last year than we are likely to be for some time.

        • Richard Pesicka

          Well stated.

  • Qmill30

    On the bright side…that New York Knicks pick…

    Iggy trade just continues to look worse. Never was a big fan mostly because I though Afflalo was better value with his age, contract and ability to constantly improve. And it would have been nice to have our pick as well.

    Really concerned with the direction of this team. Offseason signings didn’t make sense at the time and still don’t. That New York pick is the only thing to look forward to right now

  • Michael Stevenson

    It seems the talent is there, but this team is trying to hard and/or thinking to much. They are not having fun playing basketball. This next game they need to loosen up and have fun.

    • Charliemyboy

      That is the one conundrum. Is the talent there? They won 7and there was hope. Then reality and an injured Faried. Ty was a 20/10, but the add-ons seem to be so-so’s. It’s a head game, and Shaw hasn’t figured it out. I agree about the fun, they need to show some balls and K A.

    • Paul Griggs

      What talent? Lawson is a border line All-Star–he’d be an All-Star on a running team but he can’t run the halfcourt and his defense is horrible. Faried is a great energy guy but doesn’t fit into Shaw’s system. Chandler is an OK sixth man. Mozgov? A. Miller? Hamiiton (inconsistent, undisciplined)? Hickson? Arthur? Gallo will be good when he’s back. Randolph? Foye? McGee (inconsistent and not very durable)? This team is only good when they play as a unit and Karl got them to do it (with better talent, admittedly).

      • bmac

        FInally, someone else who see’s that Ty, despite his good but sporadic scoring, can’t be the floor general we need. He will never be an all-star until he learns to put the team on his back. It just takes way too much effort to get him going, and by then, it is usually too late. Does he have the maturity and desire to truly be an all-star? I don’t think so. I think it is time to build for the future, and seeing that energy alone won’t keep Faried as a great player too many more years, I propose trading Ty and Faried for a great PG, if one can be had. Otherwise, let’s hope NY keeps tanking and we can get a good floor general in the draft. Other than that, I still have hope that once we get McGee and Gallo back, Gallo will become the the leader of the team, and McGee will be one of two good centers that can keep other centers in check. Swap between Mozgov and McGee based on the opponent’s center; quick center, use McGee and if their center is beefy, use Mozgov. The wheels haven’t come off yet, but we may need to see what we can get for Ty and Faried.

  • Thomas

    Stopped watching early on the season, despite the head fake start it was clear that this was going nowhere.

    Shaw is just not a good coach. Maybe someday, but not right now. The FO is horrible. The JJ Hickson signing is one of the worst I’ve seen (and he keeps getting minutes…).

    Honestly, the quality of most posts here have been lacking too – sorry. From the cheerleading for Arthur to the Faried bashing, there aren’t really any good insights about the simple things that could make this team better.

    For starters, bench Hickson. Play Ty, Fournier, Hamilton, Faried, Mozgov. Play then a lot, 30 minutes or more each at least. Chandler as six-man, he is way too inconsistent and doesn’t seem to care much about winning.

    Our Knicks pick might be special. I’d keep Faried, Hamilton (too late now, lame FO) and a few others.

    I would consider trading Lawson and others, Chandler for sure. Lawson’s value won’t get much higher if he continues to be this middle-of-the-road kind of player that can tease you with a great month and then get outplayed by every PG he plays in the next 6-10 games. But he has been good in the playoffs…

    I’d go for Rondo. At least that would be entertaining. Rondo, Faried, possibly a top 5 pick in the draft…

    • tjorda23

      I would agree we need to get some pieces to fit the system.. but I think Lawson should stay… How about Chandler for Millsap?

  • Paul Griggs

    Another bad loss, this team fell apart quickly. They haven’t been playing well since Lawson had his brief injury. This team plays better when it runs, it does not do well in a staid, half-court game.

    • bmac

      And there is where the problem is, if you desire to advance through the playoffs, that is. Running and gunning don’t usually go far in the playoffs. Good defense and the ability to run a half-court offense are what gets you wins in the playoffs. We need a PG that can help implement the game plan on the floor rather than someone who quickly passes the ball to someone else to dribble around beyond the FT line, because he’s tired of dribbling around beyond the FT line. A PG that understands he can open up the game for this particular team better by attacking first, getting the attention of the defense, and then incorporating everyone else. When Ty does that, good things happen. When he doesn’t, they flounder. I myself would like to see a PG that has more vision and desire, and knows that he should be the leader of the team on the floor.

      • Andrew

        Totally agree. You just reminded me of C Bill. To my mind, he was the reason the Nuggets tasted their only playoff success under Karl. I still remember when they made the Melo trade. The only reason I was upset was that C Bill was included in that deal. Nuggets either need Ty to get to that next level (C Bill took a few years to get there, too), or they need to get that guy. It’s extremely unlikely they could get such a guy in a trade, so I am wondering if it wouldn’t benefit by getting the 4th or 5th pick and getting Exum or Smart.