Rapid Reaction: Portland Trail Blazers 100 – Denver Nuggets 95

Kind of a perfect loss, if one such exists. Denver showed the heart and effort that’s been sorely lacking the last few games and they kept their tank train going at full speed. Everybody wins! Grades will be up soon

Portland Trail Blazers 100 FinalRecap | Box Score 95 Denver Nuggets
Kenneth Faried, PF 22 MIN | 4-10 FG | 3-4 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | -11

Faried’s back to back scores in the post late in the game were fun but otherwise this was a subpar performance from the Manimal. Him having his back turned the other way as Denver attempted to run Elevator Doors pretty much summed up his night.

Wilson Chandler, SF 26 MIN | 3-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | -23

Chandler’s getting frustrating to watch. At his best he can cop Gallo’s style and level of impact but it’s perhaps telling that he had his best year playing the four in an ultra small-ball lineup under Karl last season. Thats not his role on this team and he doesn’t seem to be fitting the one he’s supposed to.

Timofey Mozgov, C 25 MIN | 5-8 FG | 4-4 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | -12

Mozgov gets the start tonight and has a solid game usurped by Hickson’s ridiculous performance. He committed a few questionable fouls and got lost a bit guarding the pick and roll but at this point he’s just analogous with rim protection. I wonder if Shaw will stick with Timo as the starter long term.

Aaron Brooks, PG 30 MIN | 7-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | -16

Brooks has a Hicksonian way of compiling a really solid stat line without doing much by way of positively impacting the game. His poor defense is a given but a really never felt he was a threat in the pick and roll at all, even if he’s still a far superior option to the next player

Randy Foye, SG 41 MIN | 7-15 FG | 0-2 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 17 PTS | -3

Poor Randy Foye. This is starting to feel a lot like his early Minnesota days where everyone thought he was a more dynamic player than he is. He needs to be on the floor to give Denver some semblance of spacing, thus the 41 minutes, but he can’t spend the majority of the time being the primary ball handler. Get well soon, Ty.

Jan Vesely, PF 12 MIN | 2-6 FG | 1-4 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | +9

#AIRWOLF was #AIRWOLFing it up in this game. At one point he pump-faked despite being wide open, picked up his dribble, and then jab-stepped air before bricking an 18-footer. It was magical.

J.J. Hickson, C 30 MIN | 6-16 FG | 4-6 FT | 25 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 16 PTS | +6

Hickson has perfected the art of getting stats, mostly rebounds, but never having them correlate to positive things on the court. This game was different. He had 8 offensive rebounds (13 overall) in the fourth quarter alone. He kept Denver in this game.

Brian Shaw

After torching his team in a way we haven’t seen a coach do publicly in a long time, the players responded. Shaw seems resigned, as we all should be at this point, to the fact that this is a lost season. He is struggling, however, with the need to “beg” his players to play hard. How much this matters in the long term or how much this means the players “hate him” is hard to know but, early in the fourth quarter, Denver could’ve quit on this game and they didn’t. That’s something, I guess.

One Thing We Saw

  1. If I could personify what my ideal rest of the season would be for the Nuggets, this game would be it. It had a nice, if not a bit sloppy, flow and was generally entertaining to watch. Whether or not a blowout constitutes the narrative that a team has quit is a debate for another day but it’s an objective fact that watching your team get decimated is no fun. We want Denver to lose but, ideally, we want them to lose entertainingly.

 

 

Next up: Thursday, Feb. 27, 8:30 p.m. (MST) vs Brooklyn. Going to the game? Save money and get cheap Denver Nuggets tickets here.

 

  • Richard Pesicka

    I could not have done a better job of losing if I’d been coach tonight. Nice job.

  • Heisenberg

    The Tank is rolling, losing 8 out of the last 9! Not quite the 76ers but we’re getting there.

    • LBJ

      LMA – no problem! Wow, do we suck! Shaw has got the tank in high gear!!!

  • Sharkboy242

    Excitement whilst tanking, what more could a Nuggets fan ask for?

    Please don’t say George Karl.

    • Poz303

      You just said it :P

      How about JJ Hickson. Damn, Monster game. 15 offensive rebounds, NBA record this year.

      I much prefer this lineup with Mozgov starting at C

  • Paul Griggs

    Another grinchly game, we could still lose 57 this season

    • LBJ

      My preseason prediction of 35 wins is looking out of reach.

      • Darian Williams

        I’m thinking 30 hopefully 28

        • LBJ

          I hope your right. Too bad the Lakers and 4 teams in the East have moved into tanking overdrive.

          • Darian Williams

            ya the east will be tough to beat out but I bet we can move down two more spots before the season is over

          • Darian Williams

            Unfortunately Shaw will probably still ride Lawson 40 minutes when he gets back which doesn’t help our odds

  • Nugman

    David, what about Evan and Q? I’ll give Evan a B for being a playmaker and his hustle and effort. Q gets a C because he really is an 11 or 12 man or D-leaguer.

    • LBJ

      David is tanking, too….

      • Andrew

        Ha ha. Nice work.

  • Shannon Smith

    It’s quite sad that we are only a few wins ahead of the Jazz and the Lakers who are clearly tanking. We are just a terrible team.

    • Nugman

      And maybe we have a terrible coach.

      • Heisenberg

        Jazz won’t. Lakers might if Kobe comes back.

      • Poz303

        I like GK and miss those days but I am not a Shaw hater.

        I dont think he is a terrible coach. What worries me is that he is now going to the media to air dirty laundry and the players seem to not buy in.

        For someone who was touted as a “players” coach he sure seems to have gotten off on the wrong foot.

    • Ben Aubrey

      Cmon now. That is a ridiculous statement. We are lacking 4 of our best players. When you are starting a guy who was 4th string for another team less than a week ago at point guard what exactly do you expect?

    • Kyle Henson

      I don’t know what you expect when Ty, Gallo, and Javale are all out. There isn’t much this team can do given the talent they have.

    • Poz303

      I have to say that with all the injuries we should not be expecting much. So tonights game was good. The effort was there, just fell a little short. Chandler has been M.I.A last few games.

      I dislike it when Nuggets lose without effort. And that points to the coach and players not being on the same page.

  • alex47666

    Where is fours?

  • alex47666

    Portland I believe is the most overrated team in the nba, this team is worse than the last years nuggets. If they even win 2 games in the playoffs I will be shocked.

    • Heisenberg

      Portland might have the best starting 5 in the NBA.

      • alex47666

        I will admit they have a great starting 5, but they have the worst bench in the nba. They are just as bad as the nuggets when it comes to defense. tonight showed if they arent hitting out side shoots they will struggle and in a NBA playoff environment the game really slows down. Which will hurt them because they like to push the pace

        • Heisenberg

          The bench is terrible but depending on their matchup they could have take someone to 7, or even win their series.

          They didn’t have Aldridge out there tonight either.

          • alex47666

            I know they didnt have him tonight , but still I dont view this team a threat of getting anywhere near the WCF.

    • Ben Aubrey

      Their total lack of depth on the bench is killing them. That will really tell when the playoffs come around.

  • CDeavs

    Nuggets have won 3 games in February, one on a ridiculous buzzer beater that misses 8 out of 10 times and twice against the Bucks. That is how you tank!

    • alex47666

      Tank for wiggins, I hope it isnt to late

  • DraftGuy

    How good of a pick do you think that we could get in the draft? :D And which player would be the best for the Nuggets ?

    • Heisenberg

      Anywhere from 1st to 8th.

      If they get a top 3 pick, Parker, Wiggins, Embiid (assuming he enters), or Randle would all be fine. They could even take Exum…..the only thing they don’t need is a PG, which would rule out Smart (which is fine because I’d rather have any of the others listed anyway). If they’re in that 6-8 range, Vonleh, Gordon, or Gary Harris would all be decent options.

      • DraftGuy

        thank you

      • Andrew

        I was looking at it today, and it seems they have a cumulative (Knick’s balls plus Nuggets’ balls) 3.5% chance of getting a lottery pick (Top 3). If they do not get a top 3, they fall back to their position (which would be the Knick’s position) AND any teams behind them that do win a top 3 pick. I think that means they would either get 1-3 or 8-11. The more teams that the Nuggets and/or Knicks fall past, the better their odds and the lower that 8-11 range gets. Maybe somebody else can verify that.

        • Heisenberg

          I expect New Orleans, Detroit, and Cleveland to pass Denver. Maybe Sacramento but I doubt it.

          Knicks are going to miss the playoffs so that’ll help. Utah and Sacramento might pass them.

          When all’s said and done they should have a 5-10% chance at the top pick, and at worst be 8th.

          • DraftGuy

            Sounds good to me !

        • DraftGuy

          thanks man !

          • Andrew

            You’re welcome. Thank you for bringing it up. It helped to clarify it for me when I wrote it. Top 3 or 4 are obvious, but I like most of the top 8 guys for the Nuggets. Even that Vonleh kid from Indiana seems pretty good

  • Erlingur Grétar Einarsson

    I thought Shaw’s ripping on his team was spot-on. If you’re getting paid millions of dollars to play basketball, you should have more pride in your effort than most of the Nuggets have shown recently. If he follows it up with actually rewarding the players who give effort and want to improve and buy into his system, he’ll go a long way to prove himself as a legit coach. This first game is a good sign, regardless of the result.

    And please, continue starting Mozzy over Hickson. Seems both players are benefiting from it.

    • Nugman

      Shaw needs to take some of the accountability himself. It’s the head coaches job to motivate the players through leadership. His constant blaming of players doesn’t demonstrate any leadership. But I do agree it would be nice if he followed one of his comments with action. But then wouldn’t that be leadership?

      • Erlingur Grétar Einarsson

        Good comment. I agree. He is the coach. He is their boss, their superior, their office line manager. He has to have direction, and it seems that now he’s realising that he hasn’t been assertive or clear enough to his staff how to do what he wants, and that they need to be reminded what they’re hired to do. What happens next will be very interesting and will tell us a lot about the character of both this team and Shaw.

    • Poz303

      I like him FINALLY staring Mozgov at center and JJ at PF (off the bench) but some of the things he has said publicly should really be kept in house.

      Even after last nights game a reporter asked him if he was proud of the effort the players gave and he said he was not proud of it. They should bring that effort every night.

      That is true but if you are trying to encourage the players, win back that locker room, maybe, just maybe, some positive feedback would be nice.

      • LBJ

        I’m pretty sure that potential free agents are noting his propensity to “coach” through the media. I suspect that this will not be viewed as a positive for them to sign with the nuggets.

      • Erlingur Grétar Einarsson

        Good point. Most often, things like this are said in closed team meetings. But of course, we don’t know what’s been going on behind the training facility’s doors. Maybe he’s been telling them this in private without any results so he’s decided to kick their behinds in public a little bit. If you go public with comments like this, you must be pretty frustrated.
        His point of criticism was that one game they would show up and the next they wouldn’t, so it doesn’t surprise me that he refrains from praising them for showing up for one game instead of a few in a row. If they put together a strong effort in the next 3-4 games, I’d be surprised if he wouldn’t change his tone with more positive comments.

  • Michael

    I have to agree with LBJ’s comment of “David is tanking, too….”. Not only did you miss two players in the review, I feel some of the positives of players such as Brooks and Vesely were neglected. Aaron scored 8 or 10 straight points at one stretch to help keep Denver in the game and although I wouldn’t call him a great defender I don’t believe he is as bad as you make out, he at least tries to fight over screens (causing a turnover at one point) and is active with trying to provide help D.
    Vesely clearly needs help with his offensive game but that is not what is getting him minutes and he is also playing out of position at C to allow Hickson to play PF. Jan looks competent on D, he is active, rotates, boxes out and had a bunch of deflections which lead to turnovers.
    From what I have seen in just the couple of games he has played with Denver so far I believe Jan has some value. I know people will say that he did nothing whilst with the Wizards but name me one player over 6,6 that has been drafted by the Wizards in the last 10 years that has been developed properly or played well whilst with the Wizards? McGee showed improvement as soon as he left, as did Blatche who is now a key player for the Nets off the bench. I’m not saying Vesely is going to live up to being the No. 6 pick but he at least is showing that he wants to contribute and has been doing so on the defensive end. Watching him shoot, I think he can be helped without too much change, he has the tools but he is disjointed (unlike Kidd-Gilchrist who cocks his wrist badly). Jan just needs to get one fluid motion all the way through instead of straightening his legs fully then pausing before engaging his upper body.
    I do agree that this was a good loss, in that the young guys got plenty of run/experience, the team finally showed some heart and they fought to the end to peg it back and give themselves a chance.

  • Makkon Farstriders

    I’m surprised at some of the comments on this page by “Nuggets fans”. Many of you think we suck- when we objectively don’t. The Nuggets are an injury riddled team. You would be hard pressed to find a roster in the NBA that could have a winning record while sustaining as many key injuries as the Nuggets have. In addition, Denver is playing in the tougher (by a wide margin) conference. Were Denver in the East, we would without a doubt have a playoff spot. These aren’t excuses for a lousy record, this is a clinical explanation for the mediocre record the Nuggets currently have.

    Some of you are insinuating that we never should have fired Karl. I disagree. I would like to see Denver make the playoffs, but frankly, there isn’t much of a difference between being the 10th seed in the West (and roughly the 14th/15th best team in the league) and being another one and done playoff team under the previous leadership. More than half of all NBA teams make the playoffs every year- it’s not that much of an accomplishment to boast that you got knocked out in the first round every year over the last decade (save once). During that playoff streak, Denver got only as far every year as most of the rest of the league. That is the textbook definition of mediocrity.

    A lot of you are now second guessing not Riggin’-for-Wiggins all season. I could not disagree more that it would have been better for the Nuggets to blow it up at the start of the season and rebuild. Injuries cannot be predicted. With a full and healthy roster, Denver likely has a winning record and maybe a playoff spot right now. 45 wins seems likely. At the start of the season, Denver- more than any team I can think of- was in a good position to rebuild without blowing up the team and tanking for a high pick. We had young talent that was trade-able, we had draft picks, we had a lottery pick courtesy of the Knicks, and we had a team that mostly represented what won nearly 60 games last season. There was no need to blow it all up.

    Give Shaw time. This season was a slight rebuild/testing the waters year anyways. If we made the playoffs, that was gravy. We all knew this roster probably wouldn’t go deep anyways, regardless of who the coach was. Shaw needs a couple years to install his plays, draft his guys, and make a few trades. This isn’t a quick process to actually compete for a Championship. Let the chips fall where they may, I would rather see this team win some games and allow the coaching staff to figure out which players are staying, and which ones are going. I don’t wanna suck for the lottery, we don’t need too.

    If this team comes back healthy next year, with a couple decent draft picks and a couple trades, I bet we surprise people and win a bunch of games within Shaw’s system. This is not a bad team that is struggling right now. This is a good team that hasn’t caught any lucky breaks- much like the Avs were last year. The Avs were the top pick in the draft, but they were not a bad team. They were injury hit, had a poor coach, and were playing below expectations. We also got a lucky lotto pick for MacKinnon. The Avs weren’t terrible, and this Nuggets team isn’t either.

    • Furious_Stylez

      I agree that this team isn’t very far away from being a strong force in the West, but this season is over. Too many injuries to key players. The tanking is a good thing.

      If this team can do the following, they will be a very good team again: 1) Get a decent player in the draft that’s ready to contribute asap (preferably a SG or PF). 2) Let Vesely and Brooks walk after the season, which frees up 2 bench spots. 3) Either buyout or trade Randolph. He’s useless and is taking up a valuable bench spot this team will need to get back to the playoffs. 4) Get players through FA or trades that will fit with Shaw’s vision.

      Don’t listen to the “prisoner of the moment” types about their hatred for Shaw. Most of them are just GK lovers and can’t comprehend why he got fired. They don’t seem to get that Shaw was saddled with a bunch of players that never were taught about NBA defense (even the guys from the Melo trade came from a D-less D’Antoni system). When the Nuggs are back in the playoffs with solid offensive system and a strong defensive game, those same clowns will be claiming they loved the Shaw hire from Day 1.

      • LBJ

        Are you serious – a strong force in the West? In reality, we are in danger of getting passed by the Kings, Lakers and Jazz next year.

        Even if we some how land a top pick in the draft, a 19 year kid isn’t going to come in and dominate the NBA – it’s going to take awhile.
        Losing the salaries of our scrubs isn’t going to land a big FA – at most we might get another MLE (which Joshy and Timmy filled last year with JJ).

        I don’t even place the majority of the blame of this mess on Shaw – even though he hasn’t shown me anything that would indicate he will be a successful NBA coach. Front office incompetence is largely responsible for this mess – and the transition to Shaw’s team should have started as soon as he was hired, not a year later.

        • Furious_Stylez

          Have you forgotten about Gallinari w/ 15ppg? When McGee is healthy, he scores 10ppg. Lawson can drop 15-20ppg w/ 8apg. Nate is great off the bench w/ 10ppg. Add 1-2 free agents, a good young player from the draft, some lessons on defense, and this team can compete next season.

          Why do you even bother with sports LBJ? Based off your posts, there’s no point in trying to get better and unless the Nuggs have 5 Lebrons on the court, you think they’ll suck forever. Hating constantly makes you sound like a clown/troll.

          • LBJ

            Gallo is coming off ACL surgery and it remains to be seen how effective he will be. It certainly is realistic to anticipate a transition (see D Rose, Rondo). Nate Rob is also injured (and pretty much sucks when he is healthy).

            Apparently, you are a newbie – as my posts last year were almost all positive (and usually in response to Karl-haters like you). Pointing out that your Pollyanna-like posts don’t bear much resemblance to reality is not hating – it is simply recognizing the dire straights facing the nuggets.

            Perhaps you can enlighten me as to how we are going to sign 1-2 quality free agents – when we don’t have much cap space? Our how Shaw’s defensive lessons will work this offseason, when they did not last offseason?

            • Evan Woodruff

              LBJ you play for the heat, of course you don’t like the nuggets. Just join our team and we’ll be fine. cmon man.

              • LBJ

                I was considering it – but your FO used up all the cap space! :)

          • Nugman

            None of it will do any good without a decent HC

      • Duke

        The Nugs won’t have a strong defensive game until they change out a good portion of their roster.

    • Native Nugget

      I agree. Over the years I’ve noticed that comments on this forum can sometimes be reactionary and lacking in overview. The upside of that is they can be entertaining, the downside is they can be overly negative. I’m very optimistic about the Nugg’s future and consider the loss of key players to be a bonus on two fronts – we can now focus on developing our young talent (Q and Four have real upside for example) and we have an opportunity to score a real talent in the draft. IF we can make ONE trade of any significance in the off season and pick up a decent draft pick, we could be a legit team.

      • LBJ

        I haven’t seen a lot of potential from Q. He looks like an ordinary young guy – who left college too early – and will float around the NBA for a few years.

    • Nugman

      Your clinical explanation left out a first year head coach that is failing miserably. GK might not have been the answer, but he was definitely better than Shaw.

      I personally enjoy the Nugs playing competitive basketball like they did over the last decade. It was a lot better than what we have today. All you “fans” who wanted it blown up got your way so you should be happy. I just hope we don’t have to live through a decade like this year while searching for that elusive championship combination. Many teams fall from your “mediocrity” (57 wins) and spend a decade at the bottom.

      I’m the minority here, but I thought we were getting closer last year. Remember, most of those first round exits were with Melo who hasn’t lead the Knicks to the promise land either. With Melo gone we took a big step and if Gallo stayed healthy who knows. I thought it was worth giving GK and the Meloless group another shot with some tweaks.

      • LBJ

        Excellent analysis. I would divide Karl’s tenure into 2 segments – with-Melo and post-Melo. The Knicks are discovering what we know – Melo is an overrated scorer who shows little interest in doing the things necessary to win in the playoffs.

        The post-Melo era (which it seemed Karl enjoyed coaching more) was showing real promise – a young team, gradually improving each year and playing an entertaining style of basketball.

        Now we are stuck with this garbage.

        • Duke

          I definitely agree with these thoughts. The same excuses people are using to right off how bad we are playing now can be said for last year. How does that GS series turn out with Galo? Maybe we still lose, but honestly we could have matched their small ball game really well with Galo at the four.

          I would have liked to either have seen the Nugs stick with Karl another year, and try to upgrade the backup PG, and SG positions, or have the front office fully support Shaw (or another Defensive minded coach) and trade/aquire for players who will play defense effectively. Anyone who thinks that the players we have are suddenly going to start playing good defense once we get Javale and Galo back just doesn’t get it. Javale is a good shot blocker, but he constantly leaves his rebounding position to go for the block. Galo can be a plus defender, but he’s not going to slow down opposing point guards.

          • Makkon Farstriders

            The big, obvious difference is that Shaw is coaching with a D-league roster, and Karl was only missing Gallo. Would the series have gone differently? Maybe, but what gives Karl the excuse with one missing player and Shaw having literally 1 active starter from last year playing right now but you guys being unwilling to cut him some slack for that? Insanity.

          • Evan Woodruff

            So you’re saying they had a great shot with the same players as GK coached last year, but they have no shot with the same players as last year because they don’t play defense. Interesting.

        • Makkon Farstriders

          Not really.

      • Sharkboy242

        First of all you’re comparing an NFL coach to an NBA coach. That is just moot point and it should not have to be addressed.

        Next you say “getting closer”. Somehow the rehiring of GK prevents every single injury that has happened to this team this season. Somehow the rehiring of GK gives us the same exact unit we had as last season.

        Let me hit you with a real fact: Our roster declined since last season. It doesn’t matter if GK was fired or not. Our roster declined. Iggy left and Gallo is injured. These are just things you can’t change. Its inevitable that we wouldn’t be as good as last season. So no – we weren’t getting closer. We won two playoff games last season yet somehow were supposed to do better with a worse roster?

        Please, get out of here with all the nonsense you spew. At best GK gets us the 8th seed in the west.

        Somehow you have convinced yourself that a first round playoff exit is more valuable to this team than a higher pick in the draft. This is what you constantly preach and really I’m sick of it.

        • Poz303

          Are you a moderator? Can you tone it down with the “get out of here with all the nonsense you spew” kind of quotes.

          Everyone has a right to an opinion. Perhaps you should just show a little more respect if you want others to respect your opinion.

          And I would hazard to say that GK would have the guys left on the roster playing with energy night in and night out.

          • Sharkboy242

            I’m not going to respect that troll. He goes around spewing the same crap after every game.

            “Shaw is incapable of leading a group of roleplayers to the playoffs!” Oh wow what a genius, so much thought. Cry about it more.

            Anyone who doesn’t want the team to lose at this point doesn’t want what’s best for the team. Do you want a high pick in one of the best drafts of all time or do you want to be a the 9th seed team in the West?

            • Makkon Farstriders

              I agree with all your comments except about wanting to tank. I still think there is value in playing to win, in playing to see which players to keep and which Shaw wants in the system he wants to bring in. No, we won’t make the playoffs now- too many injuries. But it wasn’t that way at the beginning of the season, and where you see tanking as the best way to rebuild, I see it as a crapshoot. I would rather rebuild like Houston, than risk getting stuck in an awful decade’s long rebuild like so many other teams (Sacramento, Charlotte, New Orleans, Toronto, Minnesota, Milwaukee, and even Cleveland). These teams have been mired in the lottery for years with no end in sight, because hitting on draft picks takes more luck than skill. Think about how awful the Thunder would be right now if Portland had taken Durant first and Oden fell to them instead? Draft picks are all about luck- and that is no way to rebuild a team in my opinion.

              • Sharkboy242

                I agree with what you’re saying also but I’m not talking about a along term tank. I’m talking about tanking for this season. I don’t know if you’ve read about this years draft but the top 6 or 7 picks this draft are expected to become all stars. Its such a deep draft… The chances of landing a franchise player tare at an all time high. Embid, Wiggins, Parker, Randle, Exum, Smart… If this happened and we come back with our healthy roster this season we’re back in the playoffs no doubt.

          • Makkon Farstriders

            We’re down 7 key players from last season’s roster right now. And we haven’t upgraded at a single one of those spots. I’m guessing Karl would have us around 20 wins with his fast paced small ball lineups right now, without a PG.

      • Heisenberg

        If we’re going to compare the NFL to the NBA, Seattle blew up most of their roster when Pete Carroll came in. I’d say it worked out well for them, just won the SB and have as good of a chance as anyone to repeat. And Seattle made the playoffs several times in the 2000s before Carroll got there.

        This Denver team wasn’t getting closer to winning a title. You need a superstar player; Denver doesn’t have that. It’s better to have 1 or 2 stars and a bunch of role players than a talented roster with no top 20-30 players.

        GK was an above average coach, and I appreciate him, if for nothing else, the 2009 season. But his style doesn’t win championships. You look at Phoenix in the Nash, Stoudemire, and Marion days, and they won in the regular season only to lose in the playoffs. Without looking, I don’t think they ever reached the conference championship.

        There was NO excuse for losing the 2010 series to the Jazz, Denver had a better roster and homecourt advantage. Even though last year’s team didn’t have Gallo for the playoffs, GK was brutally outcoached by Mark Jackson, who, after the showing GS has had this year, doesn’t seem to be that great of a coach. It was time for him to go.

        • LBJ

          Yes. Let’s blame Karl getting cancer and losing the 2010 series to the Jazz.

          • Heisenberg

            Mistakenly thought he returned for the series.

            GK has consistently underperformed in the playoffs throughout his coaching career. His teams do great in the regular season and flame out in the playoffs.

            A truly great coach would have found a way to actually win a playoff series now and then. A great coach knows how to develop players (which Karl never did). He’s slightly above average.

            • LBJ

              Karl doesn’t develop players? That’s nonsense. What about Koufus and C Brew (just to name 2)?

              • Heisenberg

                Both are role players, and Brewer developed in Minnesota anyway.

              • LBJ

                Get a clue. Minnesota (and several other teams) just gave him away. C-Brew can attribute a lot of his big contract to Karl.

              • Heisenberg

                Brewer’s best year was in Minnesota.

                Minnesota just gave up too soon on him. His third year in the league showed he could be a contributor and that was done in Minnesota.

              • LBJ

                Right. That’s why we were able to get him (and another guy) for a second round pick (after he sat on the bench for a full season for Dallas).
                Go back to blaming Karl for getting cancer and causing us to lose the Jazz.

              • Heisenberg

                I made a mistake. Guess you’ve never made a mistake, please teach me how to never make a mistake on a message board, maybe some of your greatness could rub off on me…….

                Dallas never played Brewer in the playoffs because they didn’t need to, they already had Marion and Stojavoic covering SF.

              • LBJ

                Just read and learn, Walter. Combine that with hard work and maybe some day you will reach the promised land.

              • Heisenberg

                Remember when the Mutombo Nuggets beat the top seeded Sonics? Guess who the coach was……George Karl.

                Or when he was in Milwaukee and had a 3-2 lead on Philly and lost to a lineup that was total garbage outside of Iverson. GK had Cassell, Ray Allen and Glenn Robinson and STILL couldn’t get it done.

                Being the best regular season coach is like being the hottest virgin in town….

              • LBJ

                What is your analogy for a coach that takes a 57 win team and turns it into a 35 win team?

              • Heisenberg

                Yeah, because it’s not like the Nuggets have had any injuries this season or anything…

              • LBJ

                Come on – after your “hottest virgin” comparison, I know you can do better than that!

                Do I need to call you out to the press for a lack of effort??

              • Heisenberg

                Your boy Karl was terrible when he started coaching.

                Then he goes to a good Seattle team that had Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp and STILL loses in the first or second round 5 out of 7 years including losing in the first round as the top seed.

                While the Shaw experiment hasn’t been the best so far, this also isn’t a roster really built for his style of coaching, and has dealt with a lot of injuries. I’m willing to give him some more time before writing him off as a terrible coach.

              • LBJ

                Karl has coached 5 NBA teams – and amazingly all 5 of them improved after he arrived. He has won more than 1,000 games in the NBA. There is a reason he keeps getting hired – he knows what he is doing.

              • Heisenberg

                And Denver was his last stop….you’d think the Clippers or Grizzlies would have hired him. Now he’s an analyst, and there’s a reason for that.

                It’s the same thing with Peyton Manning. Guy is great in the regular season only to fall flat on his face come playoff time.

                Marty Schottenheimer of the NBA. He’s lost as a 1 and 3 seed. He’s lost several playoff series even though he’s had a more talented roster.

              • LBJ

                Just because Karl didn’t get a job the day after he was fired doesn’t mean he is done. I suspect he is content to monitor the NBA for the right opening (while letting Joshy boy pay him his $4.5 million).

              • Makkon Farstriders

                The Manning comparison is ridiculous. Again, apples and oranges- the NFL is a different beast and there are completely different reasons for why Manning’s record hasn’t been great in the postseason.

            • LBJ

              In reality, Karl OVER performs in the regular season.

              • Heisenberg

                In some years, he over performs in the regular season.

                He just gets outcoached in the playoffs.

              • LBJ

                “Outcoached” = showing up with a less talented team.

                I will give credit where it is due – Joshy fixed that pesky problem of getting “outcoached” in the playoffs every year.

              • Heisenberg

                He absolutely got outcoached by Jackson.

                The few adjustments Karl made were bad. Woody Paige said it best when he was reacting and not acting. Starting Koufos, leaving Andre Miller out too long defensively…..

              • LBJ

                Well why didn’t you say that Woody Paige said Karl got outcoached!!!! We know that he knows more than a HoF coach that has won almost 1,000 games!!!
                First, Koufos didn’t start every game in the series – so that is an adjustment that Karl actually made. So that makes no sense.
                Second, had we pulled Andre earlier – we probably don’t win game 1. Second, Fours isn’t exactly a great defender – and I don’t think you want a 20 year guy with little experience playing big minutes in a playoff series.

        • Poz303

          Shall we recap 2010 again? Was GK there for the playoffs? Come on now. You want to blame GK for getting throat cancer and not coaching his team out of the playoffs that year? If you are going to bring that kind of evidence to support your argument, perhaps do your homework.

        • Makkon Farstriders

          For every Seattle you have a Cleveland, Miami, Tampa Bay, Detroit, and Jacksonville. And the comparison of the NFL to the NBA draft rebuild is apples to oranges anyways because the NBA has a lottery which doesn’t guarantee the worst team the best pick. You can just as easily be Charlotte, Sacramento, New Orleans, etc.

      • Makkon Farstriders

        Of course he’s a first year coach. He will need a couple years before we can determine whether he has a good vision for this or not. You’ve given up on him in less than 1 season of basketball. We had a decade under Karl (and I loved Karl, but it was time to move on), and you were willing to deal with mediocrity that entire time rather than go for a championship. Why are you willing to give Karl so long, when the results were constantly the same- a fun regular season that turned into profound disappointment when the Nuggets were bounced in the first round and *everyone* knows they can’t win with that style in the playoffs. You claim Shaw is failing miserably- since when did important NBA decisions get made 3 months into the tenure of a coaching staff? Don’t you think you are jumping the gun by claiming he’s already done for?

        The McDaniels comparison is weak at best. Different sports, different organizations. Apples and oranges. At least my Avs comparison has the same ownership group. And I would remind you that while McDaniels had his critics, he also had a pretty good couple drafts for the Broncos, and the team as a whole made the playoffs the next season with a different coach.

        And I bet you enjoyed the last decade- forgetting of course the many disappointing playoff losses. There was never any improvement with Karl. Outside of one season, we never got any farther in the playoffs. Mediocrity.

        And I never wanted the team blown up. I just wanted a new coach. We lost Iquadala in free agency, but the roster remained mostly intact besides that. The problem facing the Nuggets right now is numerous key injuries. Karl wouldn’t have the Nuggets winning more right now with this banged up team.

        I don’t know if you are in the minority about Karl or not, but if we were getting closer last year, how come it ended so horribly (again)? Every year, another good regular season, another first round exit. We can’t even claim a power team knocked us out- it was *only* Goldenstate. Karl only didn’t have Gallo last year and we got bounced, and you think it’s Shaw’s fault that we have a losing record when we don’t have Gallo, AI, Miller, McGee, Robinson, and TY? I wonder how many wins Karl’s fast paced offense would get without a PG?

    • Evan Woodruff

      Didn’t we want to fire GK because he couldn’t win in the playoffs? And weren’t we excited about shaw because we felt his style would win in the playoffs? Okay, well let’s wait till next year when they make the playoffs to judge. (any team in basketball who loses 3 of their 5 starters and 6th man will miss the playoffs. Name one that wouldn’t, and by starters I mean top starters, dont give me the heat with LBJ and WADE healthy and the rest injuerd, No. The best starters.)

  • Wes

    I like the Shaw vs Karl debate. We should be fair, we all know what Karl did, let’s see what Shaw can do.

  • Richard Pesicka

    Nets by 19 tonight.