Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 90 Toronto Raptors 100

Unable to overcome the absence of every remaining point guard on the roster, a severely thinned-out Nuggets squad suffered yet another ugly loss at home. The Raptors cruised to an easy win while the Nuggets continued to struggle offensively, committing 26 turnovers and notching just 6 fast break points. The worst news of the night however came early in the first quarter when the Nuggets announced that Nate Robinson is out for the season after undergoing surgery for a torn ACL.
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BREAKING NEWS: Nate Robinson Out for Season with Torn ACL

According to Chris Dempsy, Nate Robinson had surgery this afternoon to repair a torn ACL, an injury that will keep him out the rest of the season.

Ty Lawson Not Selected as an All-Star

In news I predicted yesterday Ty Lawson was not named a 2013 Western Conference All-Star.

Lawson was beat out by Damian Lilliard, Chris Paul, Tony Parker and James Harden in a vote done by NBA coaches.

It is hard to make a great case for Lawson being in over any of those guys as the Nuggets are behind each player’s team in the Western Conference standings and each player has had a spectacular year. Paul will be the player that many Nuggets’ fans disagree with but when healthy he has been the one player that constantly finds himself on the top of Lawson in almost every stat, advanced stat and Sports Vu stat.

Lawson probably won’t be taken as an injury replacement either, as Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Goran Dragic and Mike Conley all probably are more deserving for their great work this season. In fact Davis and Cousins became the only players since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to not make the roster after posting PERs over 26.

Lawson and the Nuggets will now turn their focus to the rest of the season as they battle their way towards the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

What are your thoughts on the choices? Did Lawson get snubbed? If so who should he have made it over? Let us know in the comments below. 

Timofey Mozgov, the rise of Denver’s hidden gem

Mid-way through the 2011-12 season, Masai Ujiri decided to take a risk. In return for the ever-steady Nene, Ujiri and the Nuggets would get to inherent all the problems and promise of the raw yet gifted JaVale McGee. The initial risk morphed into a long-term investment in the form of a 4 year, $44 million deal that banked on McGee’s enormous pool of untapped talent to make it a worthwhile endeavor by the time the contract reached its back-end. Big men take awhile to develop, after all, and what’s a few years of limited production if the ultimate gain is an elite big man?

And yet, ironies of ironies, as Ujiri is off cavorting in Toronto and McGee is bench-ridden with injury, it is another raw big man who’s reaped the rewards of quiet development. It’s the forgotten cog that – at the time – almost laughably derailed the Melo trade, who has risen up this season to champion hope for the future.

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Rapid Reaction: Charlotte Bobcats 101, Denver Nuggets 98

Sans the steady hand of Ty Lawson, Denver’s offense stuttered down the stretch as they drop a tough one on the road to the Bobcats.

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Is he an All-Star: A look at Ty Lawson’s case and chances to be in New Orleans.

Before NBA action starts on Thursday night, the reserves for the 2014 All Star Game will be announced and debated over and over and over again.

This season those announcements actually will have something to watch for Nuggets fans for the first time since Chauncey Billups was named an injury replacement in the 2009-2010 season, as Ty Lawson has placed himself in the conversation thanks to a stellar first half of the season.

Things won’t be easy for Lawson though as the Western Conference is stacked with worthy players and may be minus a deserved roster spot due to the fans voting Kobe Bryant as a starter in the game, as it has been rumored that Kobe may play just a few minutes in the game for fear of a fine if he has returned by that time of the season.

So with the decision looming it is time to take a look into Lawson’s candidacy.

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Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 125-Sacramento Kings 117

The Nuggets went into Sleep Train Arena the night after knocking off the NBA best Indiana Pacers and took advantage of a few key Sacramento injuries to defeat the Kings 125-117.

Ty Lawson led six Denver players with double digit points with 27 points while Nate Robinson contributed 12 points and eight assists to lead the bench.

Grades are after the jump.

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Rapid Reaction: Nuggets 109, Pacers 96

[Note: Unfortunately, I couldn't get the Rapid Reaction generator working, so a regular, old-fashioned recap follows the jump.]

The Denver Nuggets came out strong, building a 19-point halftime lead, then weathered Indiana’s third quarter scoring barrage to hang on for one of their biggest wins of the season.

In facing a powerhouse with the best record in the NBA, their hopes were at least partly pinned on the fact that the Pacers were on the second night of a back-to-back, having gone into overtime against the Kings in a game that saw their starters average 40.6 minutes.

Denver took full advantage of this opportunity right out of the gate, bursting onto the court with defensive energy that was fueling forced turnovers and fast breaks. (more…)

Staking A Claim: The Future

Last night’s loss to Portland marked the exact halfway point in the Nuggets season and finally has started to make clear exactly who this Nuggets team is.

In fact RMC’s own David Walker sent me a tweet that describes the team pretty well.

“Yeah, all things equal they’re aggressively average. But the randomness at least makes a boring season somewhat exciting,” he said providing one of the best descriptions of the 20-21, 2013-2014 Denver Nuggets I have seen all year.

All-in-all this season has taught us a few things, Ty Lawson is really good on offense and JJ Hickson is the master of misleading stat lines, and left us with some questions that seem harder and harder to answer; most notably has Kenneth Faried peaked and what should Denver do with Danilo Gallinari’s injury issues still ongoing?

It is probably time to add another question to that list.

Are the Nuggets headed for disaster?

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Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 105-Portland Trailblazers 110

Denver had absolutely no answer for LaMarcus Aldridge who scored 44 points, including the last 15 for Portland, while Ty Lawson was scoreless in the second half and the Nuggets blew a 15 point second half lead to fall in Portland 110-105.

Denver now moves to 20-21 on the season with a game looming against the NBA best Indiana Pacers on Saturday in Denver. So expect them to win that game because nothing this team does makes any sense. Game to game or half to half.

Grades are after the jump.

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Faried, but not Lawson, chosen for initial Team USA roster

Last June, Kenneth Faried and Ty Lawson had the honor of being invited to participate in the U.S. men’s national basketball team mini-camp for four days in Las Vegas.

Today, only one of them, Faried, made the cut for the initial roster. Still, there may yet be hope for Lawson to get another shot. According to NBA.com: (more…)

BREAKING NEWS: Danilo Gallinari Out for Season

In a season of ups and downs for the Nuggets, Tuesday afternoon brought with it another stomach punching loss. Adrian Wojnarowski has just reported that Gallo has undergone reconstructive knee surgery and will be out for the 2013-2014 season.

The enigmatic Nuggets – a search for coherence in a dissonant season

The NBA season is really just a string of smaller ones, held together by a unifying narrative we superimpose over all 82-games for the sake of coherence. It’s how we give meaning to the ultimate inconsequence of a mid-January game: What can we use in this one game to help fuel the overriding story of the season? It’s a practice that, despite being arguably irrelevant, helps both the fans and media talk about the regular season while playing the waiting game until the playoffs, when things start really mattering again. When a team plays harmoniously with what their narrative would dictate, even if that means getting blown out because they’re a tanking team, it becomes much easier to contextualize and, thus, far more comforting.

But sometimes there’s a team whose season is as tough to pin down as a water drop with a thumbtack. Every stab succeeds only in warping its shape.

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By the Numbers: Randy Foye

Ever since Ty Lawson has assumed the titular role of the Denver Nuggets’ best player, we’ve heard a phrase often associated with his name: The Nuggets go as Ty goes. Though this adage may have been true at one point in time (and still is to a degree), the numbers certainly paint a different picture this year. As I’ve stated multiple times on Twitter and in Rapid Reactions, the player who’s personal success seems to translate most frequently into wins is actually Randy Foye. And though it may be difficult to acknowledge for some, it’s time we all accept the fact that the Nuggets really go as Foye goes — at least for now.

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Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 103-Phoenix Suns 117

Denver fell behind 8-0 to start the game and never was able recover as they fell to a struggling Suns team in Phoenix by double digits 117-103.

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