Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 123, Golden State Warriors 116

In what was likely the most exciting and meaningful game of the season, the Denver Nuggets escaped from Oakland with a much-needed win. J.J. Hickson had a career high in rebounds while the Nuggets’ backcourt outplayed the “Splash Brothers” duo of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. But it was the diminutive Nate Robinson who really stole the show with an incredible fourth-quarter performance that turned even the most skeptical cynics (like yours truly) into full-fledged fans.

Denver Nuggets 123 Final

Recap | Box Score

116 Golden State Warriors
J.J. Hickson, PF 40 MIN | 6-12 FG | 1-4 FT | 24 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | +3

This was without question Hickson’s best game in a Nuggets uniform. He hauled down a career high 24 rebounds and essentially sealed the win for the Nuggets by nabbing a late fourth-quarter steal which resulted in a fastbreak dunk. He’s garnered a lot of criticism from Nuggets fans this year (guilty as charged) but the Nuggets don’t win this game without him.

Kenneth Faried, PF 17 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 4 PTS | -2

Faried didn’t do anything significant. He had a block — and that’s about all I remember. His defense was once again abominable.

Wilson Chandler, SF 39 MIN | 6-17 FG | 7-8 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 3 BLK | 1 TO | 22 PTS | 0

Chandler was huge for two reasons: (A) He started the game like a bat out of hell; and (B), he was about the only Nuggets player who even attempted to play help defense throughout the night — despite the fact he’s a small forward. Chandler was also really aggressive throughout the evening. Without him setting the tone early on I don’t know if the Nuggets get out to the fast start that helped give them confidence the rest of the game.

Ty Lawson, PG 43 MIN | 6-14 FG | 9-12 FT | 2 REB | 11 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 22 PTS | +4

Lawson continued his streak of double-doubles (seven in the last eight games) and played hard the whole night. He hit some huge shots and finished through contact on more than one occasion. Lawson is getting to the point where he’s actively seeking out contact and understanding how to finish after the foul has been called — which is a thing of beauty.

Randy Foye, SG 39 MIN | 8-12 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 21 PTS | +3

It’s no longer a debate. I’m not gonna ask anymore. It’s now a fact. The Nuggets go as Foye goes. It’s just the truth. When he plays well, the Nuggets play well as a team. His 3-point shooting gives this team an entirely new dimension. It gives them energy, it gives them confidence, it gives them assurance knowing no opponent’s lead is too great to overcome. In this game he was hitting all sorts of long-range shots (especially in the first half), and just like Chandler and Hickson, the Nuggets wouldn’t have won without him.

Quincy Miller, SF 3 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | 0

Quincy didn’t do much but he did have a really nice poster dunk for the second game in a row.

Timofey Mozgov, C 21 MIN | 5-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | +7

I never thought I’d see the day when Mozgov would mean this much to the Nuggets. When he fouled out in the fourth quarter it totally changed the game. He’s the Nuggets only consistent interior defender (outside of Arthur) and when he was sidelined the Warriors basically did whatever they wanted inside. As the season progresses Mozgov has to learn to stay out of foul trouble as he’s become a vital part of this team’s defensive identity.

Nate Robinson, PG 23 MIN | 9-12 FG | 3-3 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 24 PTS | +9

If I could give Nate a triple A-plus I would. Words cannot describe how insanely spectacular he was in the second half of this game, particularly the the fourth quarter where he dropped 14 of the most Nate Robinsonish points you’ll ever see. Nate was the energy that carried the Nuggets through a potentially momentum-shifting third quarter. When the Warriors made a run, he was there to counter everything they threw at the Nuggets. I criticize Nate a lot, but games like this make it impossible not to like the guy.

Evan Fournier, SG 15 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | +11

Fournier was under the radar the entire game outside of some good defense on Klay Thompson and one great play. In the final seconds of the third quarter he rotated on a Warriors drive, stole the ball, then dribbled it down to halfcourt and drained a 45-foot 3-pointer that was a huge momentum booster for the Nuggets heading into the fourth quarter. It was pretty awesome.

Brian Shaw

Honestly, I felt this was a players’ win more than a coache’s win. Shaw had some really head-scratching lineups (four guards and J.J. Hickson for much of the fourth quarter) and it was mostly the players who individually stepped up their game in order to win. And for the thousandth time, the Hickson-Faried frontcourt simply does not work. The Nuggets had absolutely zero interior defense for much of the game, and had it not been for a few players’ heroic performances, the Nuggets would have lost their second game in a row due to lack of defense in the paint.

Three Things We Saw

  1. During the game I was getting flashbacks of the George Karl era (specifically the 2013 playoffs) as Shaw played small almost the entire contest and into crunch time. I cannot tell you how many times Klay Thompson, David Lee and even Steph Curry rose up for fairly easy jump shots over smaller Nuggets defenders. As I will always say, playing small should not be a permanent, philosophical approach to playing basketball in the NBA; it’s a short-term strategy that you should use to speed up the game. Granted, most of the Nuggets best players happen to be small, and Shaw has shown no inclination toward obsessing over this style of play as George Karl did, but it doesn’t change the fact that small ball comes with a price and should be used sparingly.
  2. I’m not trying to be a homer, and I usually don’t complain about this type of thing, but it was a little disappointing to see Lawson get overlooked as much as he did by the ESPN panel before the game. All they talked about was the “Splash Brothers,” yet Lawson was on the winning side of this game and is having by far the best year of his career. He’s third in the NBA in assists right now and is averaging 18 and nine on the season. While Curry and Thompson both had solid scoring nights, Lawson was the best guard on the floor for four quarters and it showed in the form of a “W” for his squad.
  3. Though the Nuggets aren’t the worst defensive team in the league, they also aren’t the best. It was nice to see them bring some defensive intensity in the third quarter, but their current defensive schemes aren’t a recipe for long-term success. Throughout the fourth quarter the Nuggets decided to switch on screens, which led to defensive breakdowns all over the floor. Because their interior defense is nonexistent, that only further complicated the issue. At one point the Nuggets had Ty Lawson and Nate Robinson guarding David Lee in the post on back to back (if I remember correctly) possessions with under two minutes to go in the fourth quarter. Naturally, Lee scored on both attempts. Brian Shaw has got to get a grip on these issues, as they’ve already cost the Nuggets one game this season. If Faried and Hickson continue to log heavy minutes together it’s only a matter of time before the Nuggets drop another game due to poor interior defense.

Next up: Friday, Jan. 17, 7 p.m. (MST) vs. Cleveland. 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.
  • heykyleinsf

    AWESOME WIN!!!!

    IGGY SUCKS!!! HAHAHAHHA!!!
    TOLD YOU ALL SO!!!

    • Poz303

      So sweet to stick to the MOLE. JJ was a beast tonight. Nate was huge. Ty, Foye and Chandler.

      Just a great win. SO glad to beat the Warriors. And suck on that Mark Jackson. Res were horrible but Nuugets stuck it to them too.

    • Ckwizard

      Sigh living for an “I told you so.” Guess I will have to save mine for Minnesota games…. But man I really dislike the warriors and Iguodala. Go Nuggets!

      • ABQPat

        Dislike Mark Jackson and so many folks adore Curry they forget he whined a lot last year … not just against the Nuggets.

        They needed Iggy’s defense … Curry cannot guard. Imagine him guarding Dwayne Wade in the finals, and this is not a young Wade anymore.

    • Charliemyboy

      We did control him. What are his stats this year?

  • Branden Gloudeman

    These refs really tried to hand the Warriors the game it was just sad to watch smh

    • Native Nugget

      It made it hard to keep watching. On one side of the court there was basketball happening – on the other there was free throws. Fouls limited our players and threw off the flow of the game. I’m with Goog on giving props to the Nuggs for fighting through it.

  • googergieger

    Probably should have been a blow out for us honestly. Definitely got the home calls going for them but we fought through. Great win. Though if both teams were playing at their best, that small line up Shaw used a lot, probably would have meant the death of us. It worked tonight though. Ty out played Curry. Wonder who gets talked about tonight? Ty who out played and who’s team won the game? Or Curry who gave Hickson a free dunk that sealed the game?

  • The Truth

    Trade JJ, he has no impact on games? Ok. Foye for Marcus Thornton? Ok. How many first year coaches are 20-18? Right. The organization is doing a solid job, this team is worthy of fanfare.

    • DG Painter

      Hey we never said trade Foye for Thornton we just need a bigger guard to be with lawson and Robinson and a shooter thornton does both

      • Furious_Stylez

        I agree. I never heard any Foye for Thornton rumors. However, if Sacramento offers Thornton for Miller, Connoly would be dumb not to pull the trigger. Thornton makes more money, but his scoring ability is far superior to Miller’s. Miller is done as a Nugget in Shaw’s eyes, so any player brought in would make more of an impact.

        • LBJ

          I see GSW improved their team yesterday by acquiring Jordan Crawford. Meanwhile our FO sits around with their thumb up their ass and can’t deal Miller. The Nuggets have been offered Thornton for Miller – and nothing happened.

          • The Truth

            Somebody on this thread was talking Foye for Thornton and all the Shaw haters were eating it up. Thornton’s D is awful, barely better than Miller – last thing we need.

            It is crazy GS got Crawford somehow, they seem to get anybody they want lately. They get a lot of calls from the refs like they won something too. They’re the new OKC, Curry has taking the NBA darling role from KD.

            • LBJ

              Or maybe their front office knows what they are doing – unlike ours.

            • ABQPat

              Curry is not equal player to KD. And after watching Miami here in Denver … I think the lack of calls by the refs award goes to Lebron.

              Curry is the biggest whiner of the bunch though.

      • ABQPat

        What we need is just a consistent shooting guard. Foye is inconsistent.

    • Nugman

      JJ had an awesome game and was probably the biggest reason for the win. However, before we name him JJGod let’s see if he can repeat this effort a few times. If he does, I’ll take back my feelings about trading him.

    • LBJ

      The season is 82 games – even mediocre players have good games now and then. If you think a team with Foye and Hickson starting and logging big minutes is going to make a deep playoff run, you need to put down the crack pipe.
      Phoenix has a first year coach – and has a better record than 20-18.

      • heykyleinsf

        OMG LBJ.
        You are the worst fan I’ve ever met.

        • LBJ

          Just acknowledging reality. Have you forgotten the Utah game already?

          • heykyleinsf

            Yes I have.
            Golden State was last night.
            Our biggest enemies.
            Isn’t this supposed to be fun?

            • LBJ

              I can name a lot bigger “enemies” – starting with the Lakers.

              • heykyleinsf

                Keep going.
                IDK why but I would be amused to see this list.

              • LBJ

                Celtics, Knicks

              • heykyleinsf

                For what ever reason for?
                Celtics?
                Knicks?
                They are in the East..
                Celtics?
                What Earthly connection is that from?
                Do you want to throw the Bobcats in there too?

              • The Truth

                Whaaat? The Grizz and Phoenix are more of a enemy now. The Lakers are a fallen dynasty that would of fell a lot sooner if not for GK’s playoff futility. See, this proves you’re all about so called star power and are not keeping up.

              • LBJ

                I have been a NBA fan for decades – not one year. The Lakers are some enough to tank this year, clear cap space and retool for next year.

              • heykyleinsf

                as long as Kobe Bryant is on the roster..
                I can not take that team seriously.
                He is aged and completely impossibly to be around.
                A guy like that.. who has a reputation of not working
                and playing well with others.. is always going to drag
                a team down….
                He did get along with Ron “Meta world peace” artest though… which says a lot on it’s own.

              • LBJ

                Yeah, Kobe has never won anything…
                Didn’t Jordan have a reputation for being an ass to his teammates?

          • Paul Griggs

            Gawd, I hope we don’t have to play Utah in the playoffs…oh wait, we aren’t even in playoff position right now. This team looks great for a few games and then stinks. Good win last night but that is one undisciplined team. Several players had great games and we barely eked out a win. GSW looked bad last night–partly do to Nuggets and partly their own fault.

      • The Truth

        Are you a Nugget fan or just one of those GK groupies? We’ll see where the Shaw/Hornacek battle ends up. The playoff race for the 7th and 8th spot in the West will be good as usual. If by deep run you mean the second round, I’ll keep the crack pipe. If you think near historic rebounding nights are mediocre, you may want to put the prescription pills down. They make you more loopy than crack, despite being more acceptable to the conformist masses who pine for so called “stars” all day and night like a baby for a bottle.

        • LBJ

          I’m a Nugget fan that realizes that we need a significant talent upgrade to compete in the post season. The best way to do this – especially this year – is through the draft. “Winning” the 7 or 8th seed will get us a 4 game (maybe 5 game) ass kicking. Meanwhile, the Lakers will be landing Jabari Parker, Randle or Wiggins.
          The real truth is that stars win in the NBA – not journeymen.

          • LBJ

            I’m not sure about your criteria for a “near historic rebounding night,” but for you NBA newbies, here is a little perspective.

            The NBA single game record is 55. Both Chamberlain and Russell averaged more than 22 RPG. During the 1960s, for 8 consecutive years, the leading rebounder averaged more than 24 per game.

            • ABQPat

              And the average player was significantly smaller than either of these guys and not the gym rats of today. We could go back to the 1920’s when there was not a black man in the league and remember Dolph Schayes who was 6’8″ and dominated.

              And Oscar Robertson averaged a triple double one season. Seems he and his fairly new to the game Center ate Chamberlain’s lunch just before he retired.

              • LBJ

                Considering the NBA didn’t start until 1946 – I’m not sure why we would go back to the 1920s?
                My point is that 24 rebounds in a game isn’t “near historic.”

              • ABQPat

                You are the one who brought up what happened in the NBA 50 years or so ago … so I merely went back further in the history of BBall. What he did was not historic but it was against both Lee and Bogut. Chamberlain was huge but did not play against the players of today. Try scoring close to 100 pts in the current bball era. In most rankings today Chamberlain ranks 3rd or 4th as an NBA center behind Jabbar and Olajuwon despite his rebound and scoring records.

              • LBJ

                That was my point – it wasn’t historic, just a good game.
                I’m not sure I have seen Olajuwon ranked ahead of Wilt, but they were both great players.

              • The Truth

                He’s one of three guys this year to get 20 or something D boards. In today’s NBA 24 is a monster number, and it only ties his high. I understand the need to recognize Wilt and them but that was then-modern era.

          • The Truth

            Ass kicking from who? Do you see a dominant team in the West. I really fear no team in the WC. It would suck to see SA, no one else. OKC, bring that. And I’m just talking bout the current roster with McGee back. If this team gets a spot, nobody wants to see them because they would of earned it and be ready to mix it up. This is parity, the good stuff – truehoop. Its not just a few marquee orgs that are politically favored living on the Bird/Magic residue.

            • LBJ

              We have played half a season and we have 2 wins over the top 6 seeds in the West. A lot of the games have been ass kickings – and we haven’t even competed. Hell we have lost to Utah TWICE and don’t think we have beaten Phoenix, both teams that are tanking, We won last night when we hit everything we chucked up there. The shooting percentages from last night are not sustainable.
              Bird/Magic residue? I guess LeBron, Dirk, Timmy D-Wade and Durant are never in the finals. Do you even watch the NBA?

              • The Truth

                Yes, parity. The residue I speak of is the need for the NBA to get behind certain budding stars – the politics and finances of the game. Let’s not be naive. Some of those you mentioned -stars – flat out earned it, some receive favor and then earn it. This team has the ability and pedigree to go earn it. We only talk of “stars” once they step up. And stars don’t win without “journeymen” on their side. The 04 Detroit team – pedigree.

                Do I expect this team to win it all? No. But only a fool would be surprised if the made the second round once earning a playoff spot.

              • LBJ

                I have no idea what you are talking about stars “earning or receiving it.”

                The fact is we need some stars – even the 2004 Pistons (apparently the only team you can locate without a superstar in the last 25 years) had five very good players. We don’t.

                Sounds like you need to head to Vegas and bet on the Nuggets making the second round. I bet you can get some pretty good odds – there must be a lot of fools in the sports books there.

        • Paul Griggs

          I’m a George Karl groupie/realist–great in season coach, didn’t get results in the playoffs. I support Shaw–if we were going to get rid of Karl, I thought Shaw was a good choice. However, most of the off-season moves were bad. None of the new players are very consistent and the team goes from being great to lousy. Hopefully we end up being better than we were last year but I doubt it will be this year. This team isn’t winning 57 games and might not make the playoffs. If we do, hopefully this team will do better in the playoffs.

          • ABQPat

            So how many starters and players are left from that team you just described. Golden State won 9 games in a row to tie their team record. Nuggets won 15 in a row last year which would have been better recognized if Miami did not have like 23 in a row.

            Curry shot lights out last year against the Nuggets and the Spurs. Teams are learning better how to guard him. The Boris Diaws and JJ Hickson’s of the world allow you to not have to double team him. The NBA will solve the Curry problem pretty quickly. Now the Nowitski (7ft tall) step back jump shot … that is much harder to contain.

    • gimpcom187

      how many first year coaches are coaching a team that went 57-25 the season prior? (the answer would be NONE) AND the TRUTH is PHX has a better record right now with a first year coach. Memphis is 19-19 which is essentially the same. Atlanta is 20-18 with a first year coach so the answer is 1 team has a 20-18 record. one team is better and one team is one game behind.

      It’s an up and down team. I’ve been saying this since October. People get way up on the few good games and way down on the bad streaks. It’s a classic decently talented 38-47 win team. No more no less.

      • ABQPat

        I predict that Golden State will be out by the second round. They can be beat by Clippers, Spurs and Portland. Their series against the Nuggets had 2 games that could have gone the other way pretty easily.

  • Sharkboy242

    Best win of the season for sure.

    Wilson, Robinson, Foye, Hickson and Lawson all came to play

  • Andrew

    Love it! Great win for the Nuggs! That said, it will be hard to repeat a night like that. Foye and Nate a combined 17/24? That is smokin’.

  • Trevor

    Screw the Warriors! Go Nugs!

  • Poz303

    Just WOW. What a great win. 24 rebounds (20 defensive) for JJ. Now that is worth an A+.

  • Nugman

    Great win for the Nugs! Nate was big and so was JJ. It was probably his best game of the year. JJ even blocked out a couple times! The Nugs obviously came to play tonight. But I still have to question why Shaw had Nate in the game on defense after the Warriors last two timeouts. They kept running the high screen with Curry and Lee and the Nugs kept switching leaving Nate or Ty on lee. Up one with a minute or less left Shaw needs to have Evan or Q in to give more size against Lee on the switch. Leaving Nate in was a big liability because of his size, not his heart. I will give Shaw credit for putting Will on Curry to provide more size on Lee after the switch following the 1:04 timeout and it worked. But the situation called for more size defensively all around. Shaw still confuses me when he doesn’t make the matchup subs at end of games

  • herpderpnuggets

    Ah yes sweet revenge. Man do we miss Arthur though, our depth is a little thin at the moment.

  • Richard Pesicka

    I admit I went to bed at the end of the 3rd quarter. I had a gut feeling that here’s another loss for the nuggets. I’m eating some crow here, I stop believing. I’ll admit it. This team just plain baffles me some times. I should have stayed up and watched this game. I let myself down. This team has heart. I’ve not seen this much heart since…Since GK. Who knows.

    • ABQPat

      I hope you at least recorded it. Just to give you a lift before bedtime tonight.

  • heykyleinsf

    I’ve never enjoyed anything whatsoever about ESPN in connection to the Nuggets. I can count on them every time to be at the least ignoring any credit they deserve and usually being outright disparaging. I just prevent from a bad mood by avoiding any ESPN opines on the Nuggets.

    • Evan Fiala

      oh i agree. worst part of watching the game was having to deal with all the commentary just about GS. i mean we were up most of the second half and its “the nuggets are battling hard” as if it was a complete surprise that we were actually in the game. and the stupid game highlights on nba.com are just curry hitting long shots in practice and warm up.

      i hate GS. i hope we meet them in the playoffs.

      • heykyleinsf

        Nobody mentions either..
        the greatest defensive player who ever walked the Earth..
        got smoked by Robinson, Chandler and Foye.
        Iggy is the most ridiculously over-rated player to ever walk the Earth.

        • Paul Griggs

          Iggy wasn’t guarding them. His team scored two more points than the Nuggets when Iggy was on the court. Hate him all you want but he’s a good team player.

          • heykyleinsf

            here we go to the rescue wow what a game IGGY had isn’t he great.. he held everyone to -22 points and had a triple double. You’re full of shidt. Watch the game over.
            IGGY SUCKED LAST NIGHT.
            Yes he did guard Chandler, Foye and Robinson.
            Who the F do you think he is going to guard..
            Faried and Hickson?
            Who did he guard?
            I call complete BS
            Pathetic to apologize for him.
            No two ways about it.
            I hate him because people who call themselves supposed Nuggets fans let him walk all over us.
            have some pride.

          • ABQPat

            Yes he is but he was not quite giving 100% in the playoffs last year, and Brewer just disappeared.
            People forget that despite Curry, Thompson, and Jack drilling all those 3 ptrs, Harrison Barnes made the real difference in 2 of the playoff games. Now Barnes is off the bench, which appears to be a waste of talent to me.

            • LBJ

              You are truly clueless if you think Iggy wasn’t giving 100% in the playoffs. He was probably our most effective player in the series. He elevated his scoring from the regular season and played quality D. He just didn’t get a lot of help from his teammates.
              Also, what does that say for our front office who offered guy who didn’t give 100% a $12 million a year offer?

              • heykyleinsf

                No matter how you want to look at the playoffs…
                Last night Iggy played like he did us a favor..
                finally.. maybe he finally realized what a jerk he is.

              • LBJ

                Iggy moved on to a better situation for him. Get over it.

                Just curious – what is your opinion on Melo? A guy who was offered a max deal and still hated it so much he demanded a trade. Talk about a jerk!

              • heykyleinsf

                polar opposite
                Melo made his intentions known instead of scheming.
                we STILL get a first round pick out of it..
                and got Mozzy, Chandler and Gallo plus etc

                we got not only got zero from Iggy.. we lost a first round pick.

                Polar opposite situations we should throw Melo a parade.

              • LBJ

                I agree they are polar opposites. Melo is a loser, who was offered a max deal by the Nuggets. We recovered quickly because we had Ujiri and Karl to maximize the return for him.
                Joshy and Timmy botched the Iggy deal. first, by not outbidding the GSW, then by getting nothing in return.
                In other words, blame the front office – not the payer.

  • Furious_Stylez

    Big win on the road. Of course due to ESPN’s obsession with GS, the Daily Dime only talked about the GS loss, not Hickson’s 20+boards and Lawson’s ascension to being a top 5 PG in the NBA. At least they gave Nate some props. This was the signature win of the season so far.

  • Charliemyboy

    Kalen, I understand your criticism of small ball. I didn’t watch the game. But, when Lee scored with undersized guards on him, what happened on the other end? Could GS keep up with our small ball? We shouldn’t criticize a decision without covering the reason for the action. Perhaps we wouldn’t have scored on the other end with bigger players? Perhaps the intensity would have shifted? I don’t know. You tell me. We won, didn’t we? Why are two good coaches using that approach at the right time?

    • Josh G

      Just noticed this after I posted, wondering the same thing! Haha

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

        Golden State’s primary lineup closing the game out was Lee, Thompson, Iguodala, Curry and Barnes. It’s a small lineup but outside of Chandler everyone else the Nuggets had out there was smaller than their counterparts. Thompson often dribbled into the key and just shot over whoever was guarding him. Lee had his way with whoever was guarding him and had 12 points in the fourth quarter. Foye played almost the entire fourth quarter but only hit one shot.

        As I said in the recap, the players the Nuggets had out there in the fourth just so happened to be the hottest ones all game long. At the same time they were the smallest. Robinson carried the Nuggets through the fourth. Without him the Nuggets lose. But the Nuggets played almost perfectly to win that game. On a normal night that won’t work. I guess that’s what I was trying to say.

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

          Also, I guess I’m just scarred from a decade of small-ball failure during the Karl era. Any semblance to small ball in the fourth quarter just scares the crap out of me!

          • Ckwizard

            Well this is a point of contention but I really hated GK’s brand of small ball last year because it included Miller, and Brewer both who are offensively limited and not a good pair on defense because Brewer ball watches and gambles too much.. Miller, Brewer, and Lawson got ate alive by Curry, Thompson, and Jack because of size and speed not to mention Miller and Lawson being poor Defenders. Foye, Robinson, and Lawson however have an advantage in speed and Foye and Robinson while small are decent defenders. 3 on 3 This line up is significantly better than lasts years even if they are smaller.

        • LBJ

          Why only 3 minutes for Q? He could have been matched up on Green or Barnes during the second or third quarters.

        • Charliemyboy

          I appreciate that, but don’t know what a normal night is. Each night is different. It isn’t a matter of skills or height, but of attitude. Our boys had an agenda. Robinson, Will, Ty, JJ, Faried; they can all carry us on any given night. Again, two different coaches go with the small ball during certain aspects of games; they may give things up, but more than benefit in return. Not always, but that is the coaches call. I’ve learned they know much more than I do. It appears to work more than not.

    • MacKenzie Pantoja

      It wasn’t exactly a harsh criticism. He gave Shaw a B, right?

      • Charliemyboy

        It was expressed as a fear without acknowledging the results of small ball on both sides of the floor. B? All things considered including instilling desire and focus, against a team like that on their floor? I think vengeance and Iggy got our team undeniable. Winners can do that most nights in and most nights out.

  • Josh

    Air got swept from Oracle left & right – love it. Kept looking at the score thinking how are they in this!?? Funny to hear Steph talk defense; I saw – live by the 3, death by D, done dirty. Anyone else see flashes of Kobe in Will Chandler, especially Q1 – stroken.

  • Josh G

    Nobody seems to want to explain WHY Shaw decided to go small. At the time he did it, GS was playing Lee at the 5 and had Green at the 4. What was Green doing? He was staying out on the 3 pointl line. shaw says ok, if all you guys are going to do is shoot 3s, then I’ll match you up with people that can defend the three. (Nobody is worried about greens post offense). Was it the correct strategy? Depends on who you ask. But it’s pretty important imo to see other’s reasonings before jumping to declare it was stupid

  • MacKenzie Pantoja

    One thing I want to say; if we lost that game, it wouldn’t have been because of our interior defense. It would have been because the Warriors went 29-33 from the line. We would have won by double digits had David Lee, Harrison Barnes, and Draymond Green not combined for 20-22 from the line. Ridiculously good free throw shooting from the Warriors kept it from being a double digit win.

    • Nugman

      I agree. They also got several questionable calls. But this is also an example of how small ball hurts on the defensive end. Nate and Ty have no option but to foul Lee, or even Thompson on the post when they are guarding them, otherwise it’s a sure two. GS kept pounding it down there in the 4th to take advantage of the switch. If Nate doesn’t go off it probably works for GS. But when Will switched onto Lee, Curry didn’t pass the ball because the matchup wasn’t as good for them. Curry then dribbled off his foot and the rest is history! It was the bigger defender on Lee that led to the turnover. I’ll give Shaw credit for that change out of the timeout. Small ball has its times, but special situations call for matching up with your best defenders,

  • Paul Griggs

    Anyone notice how the ESPN announcers for the game didn’t seem to know the teams, the players or their skills very well. I found it very distracting. Nuggets defense is frenetic but still very disorganized. The half court offense looks much better. GSW could not consistently figure out the top of the key pick and roll.

  • John

    i hate gsw with a passion

  • Steven Sumner

    I agree with this entire write up. Small ball doesn’t work when you have no anchor in the back. I’ll accept the over the top jump shots that the Warriors made. I don’t think most teams are equipped to shoot like that. I do find it unforgivable that Robinson and Lawson were stuck guarding a 6’10” All-Star big in the paint in the fourth quarter. I’d also like to see some more help defense. And by “help” I don’t mean slapping a guy for an and-one. Overall, best win of the season.

  • Blaze Gunn

    Let’s Be Honest we need to trade JJ hickson or Kenneth Faried now they both can’t play together there both undersized and Kenneth Faried is just Horrendous on Defense and JJ is below average when Mcgee come back there wont be minutes to go around for everyone and Mozgov has proven he needs to play more and with hickson if he can stay out of Foul Trouble and be aggressive on the boards