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
|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.
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
- 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.
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