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.

Toronto Raptors 100 Final
Recap | Box Score
90 Denver Nuggets
Kenneth Faried, PF 32 MIN | 6-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 4 BLK | 3 TO | 12 PTS | +12

Although his numbers were bolstered by a fourth quarter surge in garbage time, Faried did come through with one of his more energetic outings in quite some time. He was active around the rim but once again allowed another average offensive team to get into the paint at will. He had some nice blocks and contested a lot inside but his weaknesses are a big reason why Denver can’t rely on their inside presence to win games.

Wilson Chandler, SF 34 MIN | 4-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | -9

After a solid start in January, Wilson has reverted to his Mr. Average persona. A perfectly average night from a veteran who increasingly looks like the most average player in the league. It wasn’t terrible but after the last two games you’d be hard pressed to find anything that separates Chandler from any other small forward in the league. He’s okay but he’s just… there.

J.J. Hickson, C 30 MIN | 7-10 FG | 4-8 FT | 13 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 18 PTS | +13

Hickson suffered from the same stuff as Faried. Although he played one of his better games and turned up the intensity late, it wasn’t enough to overcome all the things that make Hickson exactly who he is. Ironically, had they gotten the same inside help Mozgov had been providing pretty consistently, Hickson and Faried’s big nights might have translated into actual impact.

Randy Foye, SG 43 MIN | 4-13 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 16 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 8 TO | 10 PTS | -5

Foye looked like the one guard on the roster who actually understood the gravity of every single point guard being out. His shot wasn’t falling but he made a conscious decision to distribute and, for the most part, the Nuggets got good shots with him directing the flow. Unfortunately his shot wasn’t falling tonight.

Evan Fournier, SG 39 MIN | 7-20 FG | 1-1 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 7 TO | 18 PTS | +1

An awful follow-up to his encouraging 19-point outburst against the Bobcats. Fournier should have known he was going to be expected to establish tempo and distribute the ball. Instead he played a pretty selfish game, forcing a ton of aimless drives into traffic and finishing with 7 turnovers to a whopping zero assists.

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

Although he’s still working his way back into form Arthur picked a bad game to lay an egg at the same time as the usually solid Mozgov. The Nuggets badly needed his help controlling Toronto’s guard penetration and Arthur wasn’t providing it. I do find it odd and a little unwarranted that he was benched almost the entire second half.

Quincy Miller, SF 15 MIN | 3-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | -4

Quincy is another hard grade. I wasn’t thrilled with his shot selection but he was aggressive on a night where the rest of the bench was a total dud. The one thing Quincy has to do is be able to guard the perimeter if he wants a bigger role. His team-high 10 points off the bench were nice but it’s hard to trust him with more minutes until he develops some more control especially on the defensive end.

Jordan Hamilton, SF 11 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -13

Shaw said before the game he was looking for a scorer to step up into Evan’s old role with both Foye and Fournier assuming all of the primary playmaking duties. It seemed like a clear challenge to Hamilton who is failing to show he deserves any minutes. It’s a tough deal for Hamilton who hasn’t played much but he is in a role where he has to be aggressive and have an immediate impact upon entering the game.

Anthony Randolph, SF 5 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -9

Mozgov and Arthur were struggling in the second half and Shaw decided to try Randolph for a short stint as a result. It didn’t help.

Timofey Mozgov, C 18 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -23

It seems generous to give Mozgov even a semi-passing grade. He has done great work this season and made a convincing case for more minutes, but games like this cast serious doubt over just how much room he has to grow. He was a defensive sieve against the likes of Chuck Hayes and Patrick Patterson and became unplayable in the second half. Had he just rebounded and done anything right in that abysmal second half, Mozgov could have made a difference. The Nuggets certainly needed it.

Brian Shaw

Shaw looks like he’s running out of answers as his team sinks deeper and deeper into a state of mediocrity. Effort was low across the board and no one except Randy Foye seemed to have much of a role. Shaw is keeping his best remaining players on unusually short leashes while curiously letting Chandler and Fournier do whatever. It didn’t seem like Shaw had any sort of cohesive plan to get the Nuggets out of their current malaise.

One Thing We Saw

  1. Nate Robinson is lost for the year with a torn ACL and the Nuggets find themselves facing a big dilemma in terms of how to replace him. With Lawson ailing the Nuggets probably need guard help, but they must create a roster spot via trade to bring in another PG. Andre Miller is a virtual lock to be traded and whatever the Nuggets do now could say a lot about the future direction of the team. It seems likely the Nuggets either make a sideways move for mid-tier help in a bid for the 8th seed, or they finally go young and shed some long-term salary while opening things up for player development. Either way, expect a move soon.
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Charlie Yao

Contributor at Roundball Mining Company since 2010. Unhealthily obsessed with Nuggets basketball since 2002. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram at the links on the left.

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  • Tyler Stevens

    What a demoralizing season.

  • Josh Chin

    Hopefully now management commits to tanking/developing the rest of the season

    • CoryW

      Liking your idea Josh.

  • LBJ

    That was humiliating. Thanks, Joshy!

  • alex47666

    did anyone else have a good laugh tonight cause I sure did

  • Aaron

    I was at the game tonight. . . .totally frustrating. I still put some of it on Shaw. Why, oh why. . would we not start Mosgov against his twin from LIthuania??? They were hot from 3 the whole first half but then cooled off and we couldn’t get a rebound. . again, a problem when Mosgov and Faried don’t play together. Why? Why don’t we play WC at the two and QM at the 3. I just think we could’ve been alot more creative with the lineups tonight, and it would’ve helped. Of course, without Nate and Ty we’re going to have problems beating anyone. . .so fair enough on that.

    • alex47666

      We need to develop fours and quincy , who really cares how we do this season. It would be a mistake to put chandler at the 2 and not start evan

  • Richard Pesicka

    Well, this is as good as it gets, or as it’s going to get. Time to give Shaw a raise and finish the season out. He must be doing a great job, he’s still coach.

    • alex47666

      LOL blaming shaw, hahaha what do you want him to do with all of these injuries

      • Richard Pesicka

        Get management off of their asses and pick up somebody. With Nate makes 4 players out. They better be shopping for somebody.

  • etlord1

    I don’t blame Shaw for this so far sub .500 season. He wasn’t dealt a great hand. Our owner should take the majority of the blame for the offseason moves. With that being said, I don’t believe in tanking. Denver needs to do whatever they can to get into the playoffs. In order to do that, their best chance is to be aggressive before the trade deadline (and overcoming injuries). Shaw’s offense/defense will not succeed without an inside presence, and Hickson and Faried’s defense is atrocious. Getting McGee back will help, but trading Faried should be considered while his value is still fairly high.

    • alex47666

      we should go after J smove, reports say that pistons want to trade him

      • etlord1

        I agree we need more at SG than Foye and Fournier, but I think Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon would be better, and either one can take over at the point too. The only problems I have with them is durability, defense and bloated contracts. Tim Connelly is going to have to make some tough decisions.

        • alex47666

          I like Fours, would rather have him than Gordan any day and the nuggets wont touch Evans contract

        • LBJ

          Timmy gave Gordon that bloated contract…

          • etlord1

            Good point. I didn’t even think about that.

  • John

    trade faried

  • Erlingur GrĂ©tar Einarsson

    This season, and the team with it, is unraveling this season. I don’t blame Shaw for the rotten hand he’s been given, but it’s obvious that this team isn’t going exactly going to be championship material even when Gallo, Nate, Pierre and Lawson are with it.

    I say either trade away for developing talent and aim for a top 10 pick in a ridiculously deep draft (as it seems the Knicks might actually make the playoffs this year, making their pick a lower one than ours, meaning theirs will be traded away) and build for the future, or ride out the season and package some of our extra “assets” for a star or two, clearing out disappointments like Pierre, even if it means we’ll have to give up one of the team’s better players with it.

    And no, you can’t use the “No stars want to come to Denver”-routine. It’s wrong. They traded for A.I. They traded for Finals MVP Billups. They got Kiki Vandeweghe in the ’80s. And then another team in town won out against several big franchises for this guy named Peyton a couple of years ago. Stars will go where they can win. It’s up to Connelly and Shaw to convince them that Denver could be that place. If Rex Chapman could do that, I wouldn’t count these guys out.

    I vote for the draft, for this year at least. Maybe even trade for draft picks this or next year, if all else fails. Then, by having a solid young core, they can go for a star to round out the team next year.

  • steve

    With the Knicks making a big comeback and are back in the playoff picture, this team should trade some vets and try and get their pick top 10. The Knicks are hot and will probably play their way to the 5th 6th seed quite possibly. If they were still stinking I’d say make a run at 8 seed since we trade our lower to magic.

    Faried jham conditional 1st in 2015 for Greg Monroe… And chandler Hickson for asik Garcia. Boom I’d love these deals if they were even possible lol.

    • Sweaty Feast

      Neither of those picks is going to turn into lottery gold, so let’s take advantage of some teams that really want to make the playoffs (Charlotte, Detroit) and a team with a disgruntled center (Houston), and solidify a core that will be good for years. I like the idea of offensive minded Greg Monroe and defensive anchor Asik down low. We also need a wing stopper so I threw in MKG. Here’s a monster trade. Go get it KronCon (or is it ConKron) : http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=my25hzb

      • CoryW

        I like it. We get an exciting contract and hopefully picks come with.

  • alex47666

    No im pretty sure that was Foye job was to make sure people got the ball, fours was the SG. Yes he was asked to be the primary ball handler, but I dont expect him to try to get other players involved. Besides the 7 TO were a cause of him trying to the basket and half of those TO were fouls that werent called for him. Jesus christ he doest get anything from the refs.

  • Wes

    You have to tank, you can’t come out of this year without an above 500 team and no top ten pick, meaning of mediocre (nuggets for almost 40 years)

  • tsraider08

    We need to do all that we can to trade some assets to some of the teams in the East that have been on the fringe of the playoffs and need a final push (Bobcats, Pistons, Cavs). Greg Monroe or Dion Waiters could definitely be had as they clearly aren’t fitting with their current teams. Both players fill an exact need for us. Monroe as the post up big man we need with good passing, and Waiters as another playmaker who can take over games when Ty is not feeling aggressive.

    • Furious_Stylez

      I agree. Monroe would be preferable since there is zero paint protection currently on the roster. Waiters is okay, but he’s just another high volume scorer who bitches when he doesn’t get the ball enough. Waiters would definitely help out as a second scorer, but Monroe is the better value long term.

  • DraftGuy

    hey

  • DraftGuy

    Can you guys please help me ? I dont get the draf this year?!?! We got the Knicks first round pick, or are Orlando getting our pick?! Sorry for bad english ,,,

    • CoryW

      Orlando gets the higher pick and we keep the lower pick.

      • Ryan Chalstrom

        Nope we get the higher pick and the lower pick goes to Orlando. Please get your facts straight before posting.

        • CoryW

          When I said higher I meant lower. I knew which pick we had just explained it backwards because higher is better but the number is lower. Sorry. Just letting you know u follow and an very aware of the current state of things.

        • Sharkboy242

          He meant they get the higher pick number wise. I was going to comment with the same thing but i understood what he meant after thinking about it.

      • Sharkboy242

        Denver gets the better of the two picks

  • Spencer Haywood

    I don’t think Mozzy was a sieve at all. The -23 is misleading because in q3 the guards and others were turning the ball over time and time again. You mentioned Hayes and Patterson but those weren’t his men and he was helping out after his mates didn’t guard those guys. Could Mozzy have played better? Absolutely. But he played only 18 mins. He is usually very consistent and needs 36+ mins per game but instead Shaw every night stubbornly and to the Nuggs bad fortune sticks with Hickson usually no matter what. Interchange Mozzy and Hickson’s mins and then truly evaluate Mozzy. You will like what you see.

  • Paul Griggs

    With the Nuggets down to 11 players, has anyone heard if they are going to add someone? Gallo, McGee, Robinson and Andre Miller are on the roster but aren’t playing…

  • disqus_Zof8sHWvOp

    the writer of these grades is ASS

  • disqus_Zof8sHWvOp

    i cant wait until Chandler is traded to a contender