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.

Charlotte Bobcats 101 FinalRecap | Box Score 98 Denver Nuggets
Kenneth Faried, PF 28 MIN | 3-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -11

Faried had a rough night on offense, his drives at the rim were battered back with ease and his quick duck-ins were stifled through some well timed rotations from Charlotte.

Wilson Chandler, SF 32 MIN | 3-10 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | -1

Chandler’s line is somewhat surprising to look at as it seemed he played a much better game than what the stat sheet portrays. As one of the few ball handlers the Nuggets could use in this game, he did a fair job of getting into the lane. The meal really belonged to Foye and Fournier, though, and Chandler just set the table for them.

J.J. Hickson, C 24 MIN | 3-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | -18

It’d be easy to lay Al Jefferson’s offensive explosion in this game solely at Hickson’s feet, and by no means did he help matters with his usual poor defense, but Denver’s unwillingness to double combined with the jumper falling for Big Al had more to do with his 35 points than anything else. Still, Hickson failed to exploit Jefferson on the other end of the court and if he can’t leverage his size for an upper hand on offense there is little reason for him to be out there playing the five.

Nate Robinson, PG 6 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -11

The basketball gods took you from this game far too soon, Nate.

Randy Foye, SG 40 MIN | 12-21 FG | 6-7 FT | 3 REB | 7 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 33 PTS | -4

As Nate Robinson’s first start (tragically) ended so prematurely, the universe, imbued with karmic purpose, gifted Randy Foye with the powers of NateRob. From careening off screens and into the paint with wild abandon to taking contested, fall-away, one foot on the line, jumpers that miraculously cut through the net, Foye gave us the Nate show we were unjustly robbed of.

Darrell Arthur, PF 17 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | +6

It was good to see Arthur back out there, even if his jumper still looks a little broken. Shaw has dubbed him the team’s best defender and Arthur’s team-leading net rating would suggest an intrinsic value he brings that goes beyond the stat sheet. It’s usually a cliche but in DA’s case, it’s really the little things he does that helps make the team go. It was good to see his play rewarded with crunch time minutes, even if the end result was not all that favorable.

Timofey Mozgov, C 27 MIN | 6-10 FG | 3-3 FT | 14 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 15 PTS | +17

Denver is getting more and more confident running the offense through Mozgov in the low post and Shaw actually trusted him enough to close the game out with him at center. I would’ve liked a bit more aggressiveness from him in attacking Jefferson down the stretch but overall he had another good offensive game. Defensively he had about as much an effect on Big Al as Hickson did, but the effort was there at least and he did a solid job deterring Charlotte’s ball handlers from getting to the rim.

Evan Fournier, SG 38 MIN | 8-21 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 19 PTS | +10

Despite finishing with more shots than points and responsible for the shot game-ending shot that barely grazed the rim, Evan Fournier had perhaps his most encouraging game as a pro. In dire need of ball handlers, Denver turned to Fournier to – at times – take sole responsibility as pick and roll operator and he responded with an encouraging amount of fervor. We’ve seen flashes from the Frenchman before, a nifty spin move for a layup here, a perfect pocket pass to a big there, but we’d yet to see him put everything together in one game. Evan earned all 38 minutes he got, and seems to have aptly capped off a stretch of play that cements the case that he belongs in this league.

Brian Shaw

Growth in coaches is hard to see, we usually assign improvements in the team to a narrative that involves players, opponents, or the schedule. Coaching in general is hard to judge because we only see a part of what the job entails, everything off the court is a mystery. But, after weeks and weeks of trotting out JJ Hickson at the five in crunch time, Shaw instead resorted to his best statistical pairing in Arthur and Mozgov to close out the game. It was a move that didn’t ultimately pay off in a win but one that suggests Shaw is learning, and beginning to develop a trust in different players. Amid all the unseen complexities that goes into to grading a coach, this is something tangible that can be lauded as a real improvement.

Two Things We Saw

  1. If you want to make the case that Ty Lawson is an All star this year, this game should stand as your exhibit A. The offense was a flaming mass of endless dribbling, inert probing, and pick and rolls to nowhere. In crunch time Denver had no one to go to, and the ensuing panicked isolations illuminated how much Lawson’s guiding hand means to the team.
  2. There was a moment in the second quarter where Evan Fournier ran over to help Mozgov double-team Al Jefferson. I nearly spit up my water, it was like seeing Halley’s Comet streak ever so briefly across the sky. Pray that Evan survives Coach Shaw’s fury, pray.

 

Next up: Friday, January 31, 7 p.m. (MST) vs Toronto. Going to the game? Save money and get cheap Denver Nuggets tickets here.

  • herpderpnuggets

    Not a horrific result considering no point guards and jj hickson was on the floor. I’m still waiting for the nuggets to get a f–king friendly whistle every once in a while. As said before this team makes zero sense and josh mcroberts needs a haircut. Good night children. Also I would much rather have Dan Issel do the commentary than listen to Hastings stumble and fumble over words.

  • Aaron

    It must be said. . . Why is JJ Hickson playing the 5, ever. This was, in some ways, a coaching loss. Fournier and Foye did run out of gas, because we really didn’t have players as the game went on. But, Jefferson hit some amazing shots, Foye answered, and our bench was better. Too bad Mosgov, Arthur, etc. . . weren’t in the game. Mosgov was huge tonight.

    • LBJ

      Does anyone in the NBA consistently commit stupider fouls? Shoving a guy in the back on a screen and roll? Grabbing a guy’s jersey when boxing out? You would think a guy with that much time in the league would pull his head out of his ass.

  • Tyler Stevens

    Brian Shaw deserves a big fat F for this game. He gets props ONLY for putting in Mozgov and Arthur to end the game.

    Brian Shaw gave the ball to a player who shot 3/9(3/10 after the horrible play) to score a go-to bucket (Wilson Chandler) And a play for Evan Fournier who shot 8/20(8/21 after the ridiculous decision).

    HOW DO YOU NOT? Give the ball to Randy Foye who had 33points on 12/21 shooting? Inexcusable… Randy should have had all 3 chances at the end of the game, he was the single Nugget to really (no disrespect to Fournier but he shot rather poorly) play some ball this game besides Mozzy.

    • googergieger

      Evan was tired pretty quickly. Plays sporadic minutes at best and called on to do a lot tonight. He plays both ways too. Still he shouldn’t have had the final shot.

      • Guest

        I’m not saying Evan was bad, he was pretty great given his fatigue at the end. Foye should have had the ball those last 3 possessions but we split them between 3 shooters and 2 we’re having poor-to-semi-decent shooting games.

      • Tyler Stevens

        True, Evan played very well given the fact he was fatigued at the end(just like everyone else, but more-so). It doesn’t excuse the fact Foye was not given the ball for the final 3 possessions but instead we split them between 3 shooters and 2 we’re having some bad-to-semi-decent shooting games.

    • herpderpnuggets

      They did run a play for Foye to put then ahead but Wilson threw the ball out of bounds.

  • Aaron

    Also, WC deserved a FOUL CALL on this reverse layup with about 45 seconds left. Mosgov was blocked clean on the last posession, and then we run a play for the 3 when you always get a quick two there and extend the game, especially since they had some bad free throw shooters. This is on Shaw. . it’s almost like he knows better, but is trying to teach some guys lessons, etc. . .and it’s costing us wins.

    • Tyler Stevens

      I second this… Ridiculous.

    • Nugman

      And it was a terrible play!

  • Branden Gloudeman

    I seriously cannot believe the last play wasn’t drawn up for foye….. He was the one that carried this team to the 4th are u joking me?!?! I woulda went for the three but instead we draw up so iso Fournier euro step then lose balance and expect a call LOL….. I really hope nate is ok

  • Aaron

    It’s time to trade Faried. He’s not playing for Shaw. . this system isn’t for him. He’d be great in GS. But, he’s hurting us in the half court, and Shaw won’t play him with an F-ing 5 man so he gets defensively exposed. If Shaw would just start Mosgov, Faried would have a chance. Unfortunately, that’s not happening, thus Faried is ineffective whenever he’s in the game with JJ. Why does an uncle rico, wash up see this and the Nuggets brass doesn’t?

    • Branden Gloudeman

      We shoulda took iman shumpert for him and a Draft pick smh

      • Tyler Stevens

        I’m not sure I would really want Iman despite I think he’s very solid. He can 3 and D but Foye is no scrub and Fours needs development.

        • Aaron

          If Shaw won’t play Faried properly with a 5 and use him at his strengths, running, open lane, defending guys his size, etc. . . . it doesn’t matter who is offered. He’s hurting the team. I, of course, wish Shaw would use him well, . . .but since that ain’t happenin. . .

          • Tyler Stevens

            We need to trade him, JJ is just a better slightly taller version who will cost us less than Faried.
            Starting Bigs: Arthur & McGee (cause you know he will start over Mozzy regardless)
            Bench Bigs: Hickson & Mozgov

        • Branden Gloudeman

          Iman has a lot of potential tho they don’t use him right at all In ny

        • gimpcom187

          Yeah Iman is a horrible idea. He’s slightly better than replacement level on offense and his defense is above average (the pick literally can’t be anything of real value as they can’t trade their first rounder for a long time). That report was just the knicks trying to drum up interest just as the Melo Griffin deal was ludicrous.

          LIkely the nugs are waiting until the deadline to make sure this team is as mediocre as it clearly is and then they make some trades with multiple pieces either for picks or in a pipe dream some type of Greg Monroe deal (chandler, faried,??? enough) It doesn’t matter if the team does it now or in 3 weeks. The team IS NOT GOING ANYWHERE. It’s BEST case scenario is 5 game beatdown from OKC as the 8th seed. And that is probably only a 25% shot.

    • Sharkboy242

      I totally agree and have said this before… Package him with Miller and one other player maybe. There has to be something out there for them, our GM is being so inept.

      • Tyler Stevens

        Miller, Faried, ( and if necessary a 2nd) is an ideal package to me.

    • Furious_Stylez

      Who are they gonna get to match the production of Faried at $1.4m? Answer is: Nobody. I agree that he has peaked as a player and hasn’t developed at all since being drafted, but the few things he does well he really does well. Remember who his coach was for his first few years (GK is not known for developing big men, which explains his lack of development. ). Keep him until he becomes an expiring contact and then trade him.

      • LBJ

        Funny how Faried played so much better when Karl was the coach…

        • Furious_Stylez

          That was based on the run and gun (aka no defense, just hover around the basket) system. Faried couldn’t D up or shoot when Karl was the Coach. If Faried ended up on a team with a half court scheme, he’d play 5-10 minutes a game as the 8th guy off the bench due to him being totally useless when more than 5 feet from the basket.

          • LBJ

            That “no defense” claim under Karl is nonsense. Seems we won 57 games last year by not “D’ing up.” I also don’t remember a piss poor team like the Bobcats conducting a layup drill like last night.

  • Andrew

    I join the chorus of people asking why Mozgodzilla is not starting and playing more minutes. It just doesn’t make sense.

    • Sharkboy242

      We were getting beat so bad in the first quarter until Mozgov was finally inserted into the game… Shaw needs to quit being so damn stubborn. There’s really nothing left to lose at this point.

      • Nugman

        Exactly. It would seem Shaw would figure out that once he went to the JJ and Faried starting lineup we started getting beat bad in the first quarter. This game was lost in the first quarter, not the fourth. If Mozzy starts this game we win. Can’t Shaw see how terribly out manned JJ and Faried are?

        • LBJ

          Plus, starting Mozzy would match him up against the other team’s first unit – and let JJ play against their scrubs.

          • Nugman

            Exactly! JJ would probably even have better numbers.

          • Sharkboy242

            It would make more sense to start Hickson over Faried though. The Ty to Hickson pick and roll has been very successful. It would be Faried coming off the bench.

            • Andrew

              Good point. So, who is going to call Shaw and inform him we’re going with either a Moz/Hickson or Moz/Faried starting lineup, with Hickson/Faried off the bench? He apparently hasn’t been reading the RMC site! ha ha.

  • googergieger

    So Evan is good to great when not partnered up with a very ball dominant pass the ball as a last resort Nate? Mozgov is our best two way, well our only center…

    Shaw still doesn’t know how to use those pesky time outs? Welp, let us see if Shaw finally decides to use Evan and Mozgov a little better.

    • Aaron

      I don’t think it’s too early to be done with Shaw. Maybe he’s sending a message to the brass that he wants different players or something. . but he looks downright inept with these guys in these roles. It’s on him.

  • David Acker

    Shaw closed with Mozgoz and Arthur so he must get props for that. He probably didn’t go to Foye because if you were the Bobcats that’s what you would expect. Not a bad effort considering you were missing your top three point guards(if you include Andre Miller). People are bagging Faried but he was on McRoberts who plays outside. His hedging was better tonight than it has been for most of the year. Ease up people not many teams could be that competitive without their point guards on the floor running things

    • Aaron

      good points. . .but this was still the Bobcats. bad loss. If Shaw won’t match the other team (Jefferson was in the starting lineup right? aren’t those given out 45 minutes before the game????) we’re at a disadvantage.

    • LBJ

      They were missing their PG too. Sessions pretty much sucked – no D, no hustle and missed about 5 layups.

      • David Acker

        We are really limited in the 4 and 5 department. Mozgov is the only big that has an all round game. They were missing 1 point guard we were missing three. I don’t care who we were playing that is really hard to overcome

        • LBJ

          We didn’t lose because of our guard play – our guards outplayed their guards. Our front line (except Mozzy) was horrible and got pounded by Jefferson and a bunch of scrubs. These are the games good teams win – they find a way to beat inferior opponents.

          We aren’t “missing” Miller – Shaw, Timmy and Joshy don’t want him to play.

          • David Acker

            They let Stone go and kept Miller so yes we are missing Miller. I agree that he shouldn’t be playing but the roster was designed with him on it so he is technically missing in action. I thought Evan and Randy were off the charts tonight. Our problem was defense as it has been all year and for that matter the last 4 or 5 years.

            • LBJ

              Saying that Miller is missing assumes that Joshy and Timmy actually had a plan when “designing” this this roster.
              Miller isn’t MIA – we choose not to play him. If these two clowns knew anything about operating a NBA team he would have been dealt by now.

              • David Acker

                Yeah I agree with you there. Their “plan” sucked! In saying that though we agree to disagree. I am just as frustrated as you right now however I see a coach that is learning and improving with a thrown together roster and a long injury list. I see Ty turning into an All Star right before our eyes. I see Evan and Quincy being developed because they play hard and have potential. I see Jham not getting minutes because he has to do more than just shoot when he is on the floor. I see a lot of positives. Short term pain for long term gain. That is what I see. Anyway that is what I choose to see. “This” team isn’t going anywhere but Shaw is building a base for the future.

              • LBJ

                While I’m not overly excited by Shaw’s coaching, I will agree that he is not being given much of a chance to succeed by the FO clowns. Pretty much every move that Joshy and Timmy have made since last season ended has been harmful to the long term success of the franchise.

  • Tyler Stevens

    How do you completely miss the fact Shaw (even knowing that the Bobcats would expect to have Foye handle the ball) didn’t give Foye the ball 2/3 possessions at the end. The ONE time he gave him the ball at the end was a incredibly difficult pass and it showed as it was called out of bounds(replay showed Foye on the balls of his feet and probably inbounds, but I can’t blame the ref for that considering his POV).

    • Nugman

      That cross court lob was out of a time out! It’s just another example of Shaw designing a terrible play in a timeout. He’s done it all year. Does he really think you’re going to throw a skip pass in the NBA across court to a player running away from the ball and he’s going to be able to catch it, stop his momentum, set his feet and get off a decent shot before an NBA defender recovers to contest the shot? Ain’t gonna happen! Even if he is inbounds it was an air ball. And how tough is it to throw that pass? Heck Peyton would have trouble completing that one!

      • LBJ

        Especially tough when the other team is defending against the 3…

  • Richard Pesicka

    If you stop Jefferson just a couple times you win the game. And they didn’t, couldn’t,. can’t, won’t..Nuggets lose. End of story.

  • heykyleinsf

    It’s not that Faried isn’t a good basketball player.
    It’s clear the Shaw has some difficulty figuring out
    how to modify his schemes to get the best out of him.
    Faried has a long NBA career ahead of him.
    Sad to think it won’t end where it began..
    I would think a little more of Shaw if he figured out
    how to include his talents.
    It’s a regression after two good years.

  • CoryW

    Good experience for Fournier. By the way why does espn have us drafting the point guard from Syracuse(Tyler Ennis)? What about Lawson?

  • Nugman

    Foye had a great offensive game and he deserves a lot credit for keeping us in this game. But his defense was atrocious. He didn’t hustle back on D in transition a couple times, he didn’t hustle after loose balls and Henderson destroyed him in the post. David, this game is played on both ends of the court and an A plus should be saved for guys who excel at both ends!

    • Cory

      He was the offense though. He was playing out of his role and when you are carrying a load you aren’t used to you get tired. Foye would have been exhausted had he ran the offense and played tough D all game, he has no physical advantage.

      • Nugman

        Jordan, Kobe, Lebron, Durant, etc have all scored over 30 on a regular basis and still excel on defense. It’s just putting forth the effort and Foye doesn’t put the forth the effort on D!

  • Charliemyboy

    Sorry, I want them to win like last year, so I’ll watch if they win. Why be punished at the whim of Josh? No reason or justification to lose to the Bobcats. After beating Indiana? Shaw doesn’t have a grip on this team, Ty or no Ty. That’s why we got Nate. Sit Andre, he can’t play. Ridiculous. We used to be talked in the same breath as the Clippers and upper echelon. Now? Why? Egos and stupidity. There is no other answer. Facts are facts.

  • John

    Q. Why is it that we are consistently torched at the PF position? A. Faried and Hickson are terrible defenders.

    • Andrew

      True, and neither of them ever will be very good defenders. Big PFs eat both of them alive. Either would be a very good option off the bench, but neither is starter material for a championship team. It is what is.

  • Cory

    Without our two only point guards right now why don’t we trade our assets. I like these guys as players but nothing is fitting. We have one power forward and one center, keep them. Referring to Mozgov and Arthur, you can throw McGee in there as well due to his potential, I can put up with him. McGee can have a Hibbert like affect given Shaw has spent time in Indiana he can teach him some things. Fournier is worth dealing with because he has skills that can be developed. I think he can be really good, but he doesn’t get enough burn. Chandler is what Chandler is skill wise but he has to get his mental right to produce the way we want him to. I say trade and see what these young guys have. We get a good pick in this draft and we see what we have. That’s what this year is all about.

  • The Truth

    Did I just read the comments and not see a mention about Nate going down? Had to miss it. Evan and Foye stepped up, WC and Mozzy not enough, JJ not on the radar tonight. I was at the game, no doubt Charlotte having more rhythm and being in their usual positions carried the day.

    I can’t see much to hang on Shaw except I’d like to see Moz and Faried play more together. DA didn’t have the rhythm or confidence to finish this game. The play for Evan was a bit of a head scratcher but to boost Evan’s confidence given the injuries was a sly move. I like Shaw, whether we make the playoffs this year or not.

    • CoryW

      Nice comment truth. I like Shaw too. And giving Fournier confidence with that last shot, make or miss, was good as well. Just hope either is or the Knicks tank but looks like we are both middling teams. I’m a fan but heading nowhere makes no sense. We can get a star and we have been holding on to assets forever time to go in a different direction with the shape of the team.