Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 80 – Indiana Pacers 119

The Denver Nuggets were blown out by the Indiana Pacers on Monday night, losing by 39 points and dropping their third straight game. Game grades can be found below.

Denver Nuggets 80 FinalRecap | Box Score 119 Indiana Pacers
Kenneth Faried, PF 26 MIN | 3-8 FG | 2-4 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | -24

Regardless of what Faried did offensively and on the glass, he was once again abysmal defensively. David West dominated him in the post, his rotations were mostly non-existent and he was lost against whoever he guarded.

Wilson Chandler, SF 30 MIN | 6-19 FG | 3-4 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 17 PTS | -29

With Ty Lawson out, Chandler obviously had to step into a bigger offensive role. He mostly took off the dribble jumpers or spot-up threes and wasn’t all that efficient, but still led the team in scoring.

Quincy Miller, SF 27 MIN | 0-5 FG | 0-2 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 0 PTS | -27

Miller started, but was mostly ineffective, turning the ball over and missing shots.

J.J. Hickson, C 28 MIN | 5-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 12 PTS | -16

Hickson had a couple of good shots and hustled on the offensive glass, but picked up two quick fouls and couldn’t stop either Roy Hibbert or West. Just like his starting frontcourt partner, Hickson didn’t bother to ever really help or rotate defensively.

Randy Foye, SG 34 MIN | 2-13 FG | 4-4 FT | 0 REB | 10 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 9 PTS | -26

Despite shooting 2-13, Foye was arguably Denver’s best player. He filled in at the point guard position and did an admirable job finding open guys. His bounce passes to rolling big men were crisp and he also created some easy looks for his teammates off penetration. He had 10 assists, but could easily have had 15 if others made the shots he created for them.

Darrell Arthur, PF 12 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -5

Arthur hit a jumper early and was significantly better defensively than both Hickson and Faried, yet didn’t play many minutes when they actually counted and the game was still within reach.

Jordan Hamilton, SF 25 MIN | 4-12 FG | 2-3 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 11 PTS | -13

Hamilton hit a couple of shots, but like many of his teammates, had very little impact on the game.

Anthony Randolph, SF 15 MIN | 1-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -12

Randolph was mostly invisible in the few minutes he played over the first three quarters.

Timofey Mozgov, C 24 MIN | 4-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | -24

Mozgov didn’t show anything special. He was up against arguably the best rim protector in the league, so you wouldn’t expect him to accomplish much offensively. Shaw threw Mozgov on an extremely hot West early, but a decent portion of his minutes were in garbage time.

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

Fournier played limited minutes when they actually mattered and was mostly lost defensively. The majority of his minutes came in garbage time.

Brian Shaw
When you don’t have a point guard available, your best offensive player is injured, and you’re up against a team that has only lost at home twice all season long and boasts the best defense in the league, there isn’t much you can do. That being said, Shaw didn’t make adjustments quick enough when the game was still within reach. There is also something worrying about seeing your head coach laughing on the bench and seeming indifferent when his team is getting blown out and embarrassed.

Three Things We Saw

  1. The fact that the starting frontcourt of Faried and Hickson has been a defensive disaster this season has been well-documented at this point. There was one possession in particular which made it blatantly obvious why they should not be starting together. When the Nuggets decided to switch to zone defense, Lance Stephenson managed to beat his man off the dribble. Both Faried and Hickson were within range to come over and either contest the shot, or force Stephenson to give the ball up. Instead, both of them calmly stood and surrendered a completely uncontested layup.
  2. Faried started the game guarding David West, which allowed him to get going early. Even when the Nuggets threw Mozgov his way, it felt like it was a little too late. West scored 21 points on 10-12 shooting in the first half and barely needed to play in the second half.
  3. Depending on how much time Lawson misses, things could get even more out of hand moving forward for the Nuggets. Although Foye did a decent job filling in and finding teammates, his own looks offensively were nowhere near as efficient as when he shares the floor with Lawson. In general, the offense was often quite stagnant and mostly relied on off the dribble jumpers.

You can follow me on Twitter: @VytisLasaitis

Next up: Wednesday, Feb. 12, 6:00 p.m. (MST) @ Minnesota. Going to the game? Save money and get cheap Denver Nuggets tickets here.

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Vytis Lasaitis

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  • Richard Pesicka

    Hey Shaw, I don’t see anything funny about losing 3 in a row. Or losing by 39 points. Where and the hell are the replacement players at. Isn’t there something called the D league. Can’t we even afford to sign somebody to a 10 day contract. For gosh sakes. This isn’t funny at any level. Or is it?

    • Poz303

      The problem is Nuggets have 15 players under contract. no room on the roster unless they trade or cut someone. There is no IR in the NBA so they cant sign anyone from the D league unless they make room on the roster.

      Having said that, I think the FO needs to act quickly and either bring Andre Miller back (highly unlikely) or trade him for a PG.

      • LBJ

        I thought the morons in our FO were going to trade Andre within 48 hours?

        • Poz303

          Yes, maybe no one there owns a watch or a calendar.

          • LBJ

            No big hurry. Why would we need a PG?

            • Poz303

              True, we could now play Foye 40+ minutes a night. Nothing bad could happen. Right?

              • Richard Pesicka

                Funny stuff guys. No PG and they look worse and worse every game. It’s true mello, there is a team just as bad as yours..Well, almost.

    • LBJ

      After a 40 point ass kicking, I don’t expect to see our coach yucking it up with the other team. Way to establish a team atmosphere!

  • Poz303

    I didnt get to see the end of the game… long story but one thing that was very frustrating was how Shaw utilized Fournier. Ok, the season is pretty much lost so whats the ONE thing we could, as Nuggets fans, look towards for a silver lining? The development of our young players. Playing Q. Miller at SG and playing Fournier (limited minutes) at PG … DOES NOT HELP ANYONE.

    And, beyond that, yanking Fornier early in the game for whatever reason while he is playing out of position is counter productive.

    I did not see Shaw smiling on the bench but I am glad I didnt cause I dont think I would have enjoyed that at all.

    • sherlock


  • etlord1

    I don’t understand the offseason acquisitions. It was as if the early offseason was so hectic, and the front office realized that things were so bad that they had to pick up a few random players (Foye, Hickson, and Robinson) to tell the fans, “Hey look we actually did something!” If you look at Josh Kroenke’s accomplishments on Wikipedia, they’re laughable. “He loves reading Harry Potter and eating breakfast at McDonald’s.” “Before he became president of the Aves and Nuggets, he worked for Lehman Brothers.” The Global Estate Group that collapsed and caused the worst crisis that our country had seen in three generations. Let’s face it, the reason he’s our team’s president isn’t because he’s qualified. You can probably guess why.

    • etlord1

      *However, he’s done a good job with the Aves, so he’s not all bad.

      • LBJ

        Unfortunately, he didn’t sit on the bench for his college hockey team…

      • Richard Pesicka

        Season isn’t over yet. Give it time.

      • heykyleinsf

        Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy have done a good job with the Avs. The Kroenkes deserve minimal credit for that. Joe hired St. Patrick and drafted the likely Calder trophy winner McKinnon with the first pick. If you want to give Kroenkes credit… thank them for being cheap on Ryan O’Reilley so we could tank hard enough to get the #1 overall draft pick.

        • COfoEVA

          So he gets all the blame for the nuggets losing (which he doesnt coach or manage) and no blame for avs success… ok you know nothing about sports.

    • LBJ

      This is what happens when a snot nosed punk inherits your professional franchise. The think they know more than Hall of Fame coaches and the Executive of the Year.

      • Furious_Stylez

        Just so you know, Josh Kronke is not the GM. He doesn’t make trades or acquire players. He also doesn’t play in the games. Not sure why you incessantly whine about him everyday when he’s not coaching the team or not playing on the court. The man you need to start hating on is Tim Connolly, the general manager. He traded for Arthur, got Foye in a sign and trade, and waited until the very last minute of free agency to pick off the scrap heap (and got lucky signing Robinson).

        Ujiri left, remember? He wasn’t fired. Denver was capped out and he wanted to build a team. GK had to go. There’s no point in employing a coach that cannot win when it counts. Get over it already.

        • LBJ

          You need to pay closer attention. At the press conference when Ujiri left, Joshy said he was involved in all the nugget player transactions – and they “worked as a team.” I suspect this meddling is probably one of the reasons Masai left. Your claim that “we were capped out and he wanted to build a team” is nonsense. Masai has created cap space in Toronto (see Rudy Gay, Bargani deals). He could have done this here.

          Ujiri should have been extended a year ago. To make things even worse – instead of hiring from within (Pete D), he hires Timmy (a guy with a great track record in NO) to dismantle the team.

          Firing Karl – who got more out of our roster than virtually any other NBA coach – was just another stupid decision by Joshy. We see how that is working out this year — and the next several years.

  • Wes

    Shaw is laughing at the pathetic defensive effort, I did too!

    • Poz303

      and had JHam playing point while he kept Fours on the bench as Foye got his ankle checked out.

      Had a line-up out there with no PG and no SG. Yeah, I tried to laugh but…

      • Wes

        How did you not laugh at jhams “d” on lance, shaw can’t do nothing with these bums

  • Paul Griggs

    Bad loss

  • Wes

    Does any of our players start for any other teams? Its been a while since we’ve had nothing but bench players, not much we can do. I’m feeling lottery lucky but then again the league wouldn’t give us the #1 pick when we won 11 games. Now that’s something to laugh at!!

  • nugzin2040

    glad someone else noticed shaw laughing on the bench. really pissed me off.

  • heykyleinsf

    Is anyone really surprised that this team looks like this without Ty, Gallo, Mcgee, Robinson and no point guard at all period? Shaw laughing is totally unacceptable. But there’s nothing left on that team. That score was about right. Indiana is in the best position to win a championship. Right now? We have to be among the worst positions. It’s nothing to laugh about Shaw.. but really.. can’t imagine what to do.

    • nugzin2040

      yeah, not surprised with the losses. just thought there would be a little more fire from the coach and the team. Expected the players, and certainly the coach to not be happy, and it didn’t seem to be that big of a deal to them

  • Furious_Stylez

    Shaw knows it’s over for this season. The Nuggets bench is straight pathetic. It’s full of rejects from other teams (Arthur, Randolph) and underdeveloped players (Hamilton, Mozgov, Fournier, Miller…Thanks GK!). This team will be lucky to win 10 games the rest of the season. If tanking is now the goal (and it should be), start the process now.

    I held out for as long as I could when this team hovered around .500, but now there is no hope. Grinding down Lawson during a lost season is stupid and not worth it. Start the fire sale.