Well the Bucks seem to be the cure for the common losing streak as Denver handled them with relative ease.
|Kenneth Faried, PF 39 MIN | 11-15 FG | 4-5 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 26 PTS | +12
This may have well been Faried’s best game as a pro. He showed a poise in the post that we rarely see from him and the offense spent the majority of the second half flowing through his post-ups. The Bucks bigs did a poor job forcing him to use his offhand, a strategy the majority of the league has adopted and employed frequently against Faried, but the performance was encouraging nonetheless.
|Wilson Chandler, SF 32 MIN | 6-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | +4
Chandler’s shot selection was excellent in this game, everything came either at the rim or from the corner. This is Chandler at his most ideal, a wing that can hit spot up threes and break the defense down off the dribble when needed.
|Anthony Randolph, SF 28 MIN | 3-11 FG | 1-4 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | -2
Randolph was his normal Anthony Randolph self. Extremely energetic, exuded a lot of effort on defense but ultimately was rarely where he needed to be.
|J.J. Hickson, C 29 MIN | 6-9 FG | 2-7 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | +9
Hickson fed off the attention Faried eventually drew from the Buck’s defense and his lanes to the basket off pick and rolls were generally free-and-clear. He still made some patented JJ mistakes on defense but he was solid overall.
|Randy Foye, SG 40 MIN | 5-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 10 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 4 TO | 12 PTS | +18
The lack of available point guards in this recent stretch has affected no individual player worse than Foye. He’s asked to carry a load he isn’t built to burden and his strengths – mainly off ball shooting – are being mitigated for the sake running point. But tonight Foye had his best game as a PG, he got into the lane and kept the flow of the offense going.
|Darrell Arthur, PF 22 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | +3
The jumper still looks worryingly broken.
|Timofey Mozgov, C 23 MIN | 3-6 FG | 8-10 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | +5
Mozzy completed the trio of Denver bigs that just manhandled the Bucks on both ends of the court down low.
|Evan Fournier, SG 27 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | +6
Fournier still doesn’t understand the nuances that come with running a team, Faried was so exasperated with his lack of acknowledgment of the picks he set that I half expected him to strangle Evan before the game was over.
|Jan Vesely, PF DNP TRADE MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS |
Not much to say here, Denver – even as hobbled as they are – took care of a team they were supposed to. It will be interesting to see what Shaw does in this second half of the season, the pressure of expectations should – theoretically – be lifted with all the unlucky injuries the Nuggets have suffered. All he can do now is exceed lowered expectations. That’s not too bad a spot to be in.
Two Things We Saw
- The Bucks are the kind of team so bad that they create a very convincing illusion that everything’s all right. The Nuggets team that took the court tonight looked miles more energized and competent than the one of the last two weeks but how much of that credit belongs to the opponent remains to be seen.
- Its rather odd rooting for a team that doesn’t really have a hope to make the playoffs. Say what you will about the last eight years, they all featured at least a postseason appearance. This is a new kind of mediocrity, one that makes tanking not just a viable option but likely the best one. So how are we supposed to respond to this game, is this a bad win? Are supposed to be striving for “good” losses? What exactly is a good loss? What’s the point of watching if that’s the desired goal? It’s all pretty confusing.
Next up: Friday, Feb. 21, 6 p.m. (MST) @ Chicago. Going to the game? Save money and get cheap Denver Nuggets tickets here.
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