Rapid Reaction: Miami Heat 97, Denver Nuggets 94

The Nuggets played with heart and gave a valiant effort, however the Heat proved to be too much to handle in the end. This is the seventh game in a row the Nuggets have lost. They are now two games below .500.

Miami Heat 97 FinalRecap | Box Score 94 Denver Nuggets
J.J. Hickson, PF 36 MIN | 5-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 11 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 12 PTS | -17

Hickson had a prototypical Hickson game. He grabbed just enough boards and scored just enough points to secure the double-double, but it was his botched in-bounds throw at the end of the game that will be remembered most.

Kenneth Faried, PF 22 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | -16

Faried started off with tons of energy and hauled in some impressive boards but totally disappeared in the second half. It’s sort of hard to fathom why Hickson received 14 more minutes than Faried when Faried was outplaying him in the first half.

Wilson Chandler, SF 41 MIN | 6-17 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | -8

Given 41 minutes of playing time you’d expect Chandler to have more of an impact on offense, but his defense on LeBron and the rest of the Heat players was admirable.

Jordan Hamilton, SF 10 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | -13

It’s hard to quantify Hamilton’s impact this game. He had a brief stint in the first quarter where he took a few threes and grabbed some nice boards but Shaw was ultimately disappointed with something he did and benched him the rest of the game.

Ty Lawson, PG 40 MIN | 8-15 FG | 5-6 FT | 2 REB | 7 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 26 PTS | -10

People say the Nuggets go as Ty does, and this game certainly did nothing to disprove that theory. Ty was aggressive the entire night, scoring in the lane and from long range, and not coincidentally the Nuggets played well as a unit. Outside of being a little too hesitant to penetrate at times, I can’t find fault with anything Lawson did.

Darrell Arthur, PF 25 MIN | 6-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | +17

This was one of Arthur’s best games as a Nugget, maybe his best, mostly because he didn’t just shoot long twos. Arthur scored in a variety of ways, including rolling to the basket which he doesn’t do enough.

Timofey Mozgov, C 12 MIN | 3-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +14

Mozgov didn’t have a huge impact but the baskets he did score were impressive. If he can be more confident every time he gets the ball in the post (as opposed to 50 percent of the time) it would do wonders to his stats.

Andre Miller, PG 10 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTS | -4

Miller exited the game early with an injury. Hopefully it’s nothing serious.

Nate Robinson, PG 11 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 0 PTS | +5

Robinson didn’t do much at all. Really, I don’t think he did anything.

Randy Foye, SG 34 MIN | 4-6 FG | 3-3 FT | 2 REB | 7 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | +17

This is the role Foye should be playing. Though it was odd he played the number of minutes he did after being moved to the bench, you can’t complain about tonight’s performance. His ball movement in particular was impressive.

Brian Shaw

The Nuggets played with lots of energy tonight. They ran, got into the lane and scored in the paint. That’s what they need to do to be successful. Though things didn’t fall the Nuggets way in the end, this was still one of their better games in recent memory in terms of effort and execution. Shaw deserves credit for designing this gameplan and giving the defending champs a run for their money.

Additional thoughts:

  • I’m having a very hard time analyzing this team. Yes, the Nuggets are losing a lot right now. They’re playing pretty bad basketball and it’s hard to imagine them amounting to much this season. But that’s just how things seem right now, at this moment. We have to remember that it’s still early, there’s still lots of basketball to be played, the Nuggets have had a lot of injuries and Shaw deserves the benefit of the doubt as a first-time head coach. So please forgive me if I don’t demand Shaw’s head 30 games into the season.
  • That said, what worries me about this team is the ostensible lack of urgency when it comes to winning basketball games. It’s as if this team knows it has a long leash. The line between winning and losing isn’t as definitive as it should be. You almost get the feeling that losing is OK, because this team is young and in the midst of a transitional period. This, obviously, is not OK. This is the type of mentality that losing basketball teams have, and it just so happens that the Nuggets are a losing basketball team as we speak.
  • In my recent “Five Denver Nuggets New Year’s resolutions” article, I mentioned the Nuggets’ awful play in the opening and closing segments of quarters. This game was a perfect example of what I was talking about. After dominating the first half the Nuggets allowed the Heat to open up the second half on a 13-0 scoring run, which totally changed the momentum and outcome of the game. Shaw obviously comes from the Phil Jackson School of Zen and believes in a calm demeanor, but it might be time he considers a different and more assertive approach to addressing his players, as his current one doesn’t seem to be working all that well.

Next up: Wednesday, Jan. 1, @ 7 p.m. MST vs. Philadelphia. Going to the game? Save money and get cheap Denver Nuggets tickets here.

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Kalen Deremo

Kalen was born in Durango, CO, in 1988 and graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2013 with a degree in journalism. He's now an itinerant hoping to travel as much as possible before eventually succumbing to the "real world." Aside from writing Kalen likes movies, music, spicy food and the great outdoors. Edward Abbey is his current idol.
  • gallogallo88

    Five-second violation!? seriously…

    • kwelitysoul

      Didn’t set good enough screens…

  • heykyleinsf

    spirited and inspired effort, especially Darrell Arthur… through the first three quarters.. then they turn to dogshht again in the 4th quarter… especially Darrell Arthur. For as much as he kept us in the game in the first 3.. he equally took us out of it in the 4th. At least it looks like Ty is feeling like himself again though.

  • googergieger

    Well we outplayed Miami. Do moral victories mean anything? Because I mean we did win this game. In fact we straight up blew them out. Then well, for all those of you that say the refs have no agenda and call the game down the middle…

    The third quarter basically sums it up. I wish we had a more vocal fan base that got on the refs at the arena. Cause that was a travesty. Wish Shaw would show some damn emotion as well. I know him picking up a tech is totally meaningless, but at least it’d show he is willing to go to bat for his team.

    Ugh. Effin refs. Reminds me why I took such a long break from watching the NBA for a good while.

  • herpderpnuggets

    Here is my expert analysis. Teams like the heat will always win because they can win a game with only 28 points in the paint. They have players who can hit jumpers from everywhere and don’t need to be right at the rim to score. Even if it is good defense, they will jumpers. The nuggets can’t hit jumpers so they will never really be able to win anything of significance. Of course, a trade could change that.

    • Sharkboy242

      Much knowledge
      Very expert
      So impress

      Wow

      • heykyleinsf

        why does this forum have to be like this?

        • herpderpnuggets

          Yeah I’ve just about had it with this forum. Probably be best if I left it alone for a while

          • heykyleinsf

            I can’t be a hypocrite because I’ve been sarcastic and argumentative.. but I don’t want to be and I don’t like how people seem to enjoy it. We all are here for a favorite team.. and it was this way even when times were going good.. maybe even more so. I like to come here to learn and reflect on my favorite team. But it turns in to this nasty BS.. I do blame the admins to some extent for not doing anything.. but then again… they are the ones who are most affected. They’re the ones who put in the work here. It’s so disrespectful to them when people act stupid. But then again.. they go ahead and let them. I don’t know why I come here sometimes either. This forum doesn’t seem to grow and it’s like this little town that doesn’t like outsiders and doesn’t even like insiders.

            Again..

            why does this forum have to be like this?

        • Sharkboy242

          Please elaborate on what it was about my comment that induced so much butthurt. It wasn’t even directed towards you to begin with…

          #ICantEven

          • Charliemyboy

            You seem to make friends, don’t you sharkey. Must be that candy you’re sucking in, what did you say? your butt.

  • Richard Pesicka

    Out classed, Out played, Out coached.

    • alex47666

      and yet we still lost, oh well

      • Richard Pesicka

        Get used to it.

      • alex47666

        LOL you can get your bandwagon heat ass out of this commenting section

  • Sharkboy242

    My comments on the game:

    -I genuinely thought we weren’t going to get a last shot off, lo and behold…
    -This is the kind of production we need from Foye day-in/day-out.
    -Miami definitely received their fair share of superstar calls. We we’re shafted in that regard (Lawson’s no call on the clear path was BS… screw technicalities)
    -The dreadful 0-10+ stint strikes again
    -Lawson needs to take more threes and take them more confidently. He should be required to take 5 a game at LEAST.

    Overall I thought the Nuggets played at a higher energy/confidence level tonight. Given the circumstances (refs) I thought the Nuggets did a good job.

    WE MORAL VICTORIES NOW

    • Charliemyboy

      Those aren’t comments; their lame observations. Write in your journal and spare us.

      • Sharkboy242

        Are you just going to down vote and degrade everything I say now regardless of the content?

        For a 40 year old looking man you sure don’t act like one.

        • Charliemyboy

          Yes sir. Thank you for the 40; we’re friends (try 63). You should be more courteous to your elders since you’re 18. All this Iggy jive is sour grapes. Why can’t a man do what he thinks is best for himself. Let’s leave that. Our problem is Shaw’s leadership. It is going to be a long train coming.

  • heykyleinsf

    I miss Corey Brewer.

    • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com/ Kalen

      I saw it, yes. It was just like all the other fourth quarters the Nuggets have been having lately. It was a collapse. I guess because it’s happened so often I kind of just thought it was normal and expected now.

      • heykyleinsf

        I know you guys think highly of Arthur.. but to me he wasn’t that much of a hero in three to be exempt from the 4th..
        it’s numbing I understand… 10 games now and the worst streak in 10 years. But still… it’s 4 quarters a game.
        Thanks for replying though.

  • Poz303

    I dont know about giving Shaw a “B”. I would have to question why Mozgov only got 12 min. And why does Mozgov get a “C-“? I thought he was decent when he was in the game.

    What about coming out of the second half with a 9 point lead and letting Miami go on an 11-0 run. What did Shaw do during this stretch of play?

    As for the last play, I dont know if you can lay all the blame on Hickson, No one got open. And if thats all you will remember of Hickson for the game… he did force Haslem to lose the ball out of bounds the play right before that :)

  • alex47666

    I remember a spurs game back I believe in 2010 were in the 4th quarter. the Fans started cheering these refs suck. Need that tonight

    • Richard Pesicka

      Why, they worked well for the heat.

  • Nugman

    Why was Hickson even inbounding? He isn’t a very good passer. And why weren’t all the 3 point shooters like Hamilton in the game? These special situations are where Shaw really seems to fail. Shaw put Hickson in a situation where he probably fail and he did so blame Shaw not Hickson. Inbounding is an art and the teams best inbounder should have been there. Miller with a bad leg would have been better.

    • Poz303

      Agree. When I saw the guys come out for that last play I was thinking the same thing. We needed a three to tie so why not have your best shooters out there? Its was either going to be Ty or Foye. Everyone knew that, including the Heat.

    • Josh Chin

      Hamilton/ Nate or whoever couldn’t be in the game because there was no timeout between the out of bounds play and the inbounds play. There was an official review which allowed Shaw to draw up a plan but no substitutions could have been made. Whoever was on the floor before had to stay on

      • Poz303

        Right. Thanks for the clarification.

        • Nugman

          I didn’t know subs couldn’t be made during a review, but the point still holds true. Shaw has struggled with special situations. Even the inbounds play that had a line spread across the court 5 feet from the baseline didn’t give the play much of a chance. If was too obvious the shooters were going to the top of the key and high wings. Other special situations this year have also been very questionable. I’ll bet the Spurs would’ve got the ball in and a 3 point shot off.

  • Kyle Wurtz

    100% agree with everything in the Additional Thoughts section.

    • gimpcom187

      Agreed on the write up. Nonetheless the team is heading for a clearly mediocre place. 38-45 wins when you need 44 minimum to make the 8th seed. Probably more like 47.

      • Kyle Wurtz

        Very true. It’s unlikely this team will make the playoffs this year. I think it’s important not to blame Shaw too much for this, though. I’d argue that he’s doing a perfectly adequate job with a team that really doesn’t for his style and isn’t really architected to have ANY particular style or identity.

    • heykyleinsf

      me too Kalen… especially item #3.
      Thanks as always for your hard work.

  • MacKenzie Pantoja

    All I have to say is that as long as the Knicks are the 3rd worst team in the NBA I don’t want to consider tanking. The Knicks crappiness this year has made me so happy, for not only do we own the first round pick, but it’s proof that many NBA teams aren’t actually trying to lose and the Eastern Conference is just terrible. The Knicks are doing whatever they can to win as many games as possible and they are still in there with the supposed “tankers.”

  • MacKenzie Pantoja

    Also, if the Knicks don’t get better, we will get Joel Embiid at worst. It’s amazing how many of the crappy teams in the NBA don’t need a center. Philadelphia won’t pick Embiid since they just drafted Nerlens Noel. Utah has Derrick Favors, Embiid isn’t in the question. Demarcus Cousins just signed a 4 year, 62 million dollar deal with Sacramento. Milwaukee has Larry Sanders. Orlando has Vucevic and probably won’t take Embiid. The only teams that might have a first round pick before us (of course, before the Knicks) that might take a center are Cleveland (they need a center) and Atlanta (they own the Nets pick, and they would have to move trade Millsap or Horford but regardless Horford is a power forward playing out of position). Now, if luck allows us to upgrade at the 2 I’d take Wiggins, and I wouldn’t mind choosing Randle over Embiid if he were available, but, again, there is no scenario accept the Knicks improving and or bad lottery luck that doesn’t probably involve Embiid falling to us.

    • Sharkboy242

      As exciting as it is to think the Knicks will gift us a high pick in the draft – Think about the fact that they’re only 3.5 games out of the eight seed in the East. I am hopeful but not optimistic.

    • gimpcom187

      Chickens and eggs. Healthy version of the knicks probably has a 30% shot at playoffs still and they obviously have zero reason to tank. Hopefully they end up in the 6-9 range for pick.

  • Darius

    Randy Foye, WOW! Might have been his best game all year. I loved what I saw from Chandler’s defense (even thought LeBron scored 26). Ty stepped up to be the star we need in big games and Darrell Arthur is every teams dream role player. Little confused why Faried wasn’t given more playing time in the Second Half but J.J. was playing above average. Overall chalk this up as a moral victory and let the festivities begin as the Nuggets face 5 out of their 6 next games against teams under .500 and 5 of those games being home. GO NUGGETS!

    • heykyleinsf

      I like the enthusiasm and positivity.. and you’re right.. Foye did play well.. but jeeeeesus.. how long did it take? It would be nice to expect we have a brand new player.. but not holding my breath for one game after getting close to half the season passing. Foye was a bright spot … no doubt.. but he has also been the darkest spot on the roster 30 some games in..

  • Charliemyboy

    SEKOU: Denver Nuggets — Respect Yourself: There shouldn’t be a decent team that breaks camp without a solid sense of its identity. A year ago with George Karl pulling the strings from the sidelines and Andre Iguodala setting the pace on the court, the Nuggets had that. Now they are often just a bunch that is stuck in the middle of the pack on offense (18th) and defense (16th) and too often can’t defend its home court.

    • alex47666

      To bad this team was built, to wait till gallo gets back. and mcgee is also injured a starting 5 of ty chandler gallo hickson mcgee. would have beaten the heat

      • Charliemyboy

        I’m keeping one eye open, cause the have showed sparks. I just don’t think Shaw commands the respect Karl got out of them. He might call his mentors (Phil; probably already has) about focus, dedication and passion. I think the trade talks make them play with a different attitude which is not good for cohesion. Connelly needs to give them a reason to play for Denver as a unit; so far he hasn’t. They aren’t passionate about what they are doing. They have no real reason to win. Just go out and earn that million and see what happens. I don’t know how Karl and the top coaches did it. Fear doesn’t seem to work; maybe shame or peer pressure?