The Nuggets snapped a six-game slide with a 115-110 victory over the Dallas Mavericks at Pepsi Center. Outside of a poor second half in which Denver almost squandered the comfortable lead they held all night, the Nuggets delivered their best overall effort in a while.
|Kenneth Faried, PF 32 MIN | 5-10 FG | 6-6 FT | 8 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 16 PTS | +4
Faried is quietly putting together a string of good performances for the first time all season. Simplifying what the Nuggets want out of him on defense seems to have boosted his confidence in a big way. He’s actually showing growth on offense and putting up points in a variety of ways.
|Wilson Chandler, SF 32 MIN | 6-17 FG | 6-8 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 21 PTS | +14
I suppose this is what constitutes a great game for Chandler nowadays, but in all seriousness he hit some really big shots and finally showed the kind of impact he can have on defense — the kind that had George Karl calling him a premier defender just a few months back. At some point it would be nice for Chandler to start producing with at least average efficiency. He continues to look pretty wild in Brian Shaw’s offense.
|Timofey Mozgov, C 21 MIN | 0-5 FG | 3-4 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | +3
He rebounded. He didn’t foul someone every 20 seconds. He stayed in the paint and tried to protect, with varying success. It wasn’t a total disaster. For Mozgov, that’s pretty okay. I’ll take it.
|Ty Lawson, PG 35 MIN | 5-12 FG | 8-9 FT | 6 REB | 7 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 20 PTS | -8
Lawson started off blazing, shooting 4-7 in the first quarter for 17 points and 2 assists. After that he was just 1-5 from the field for a paltry 3 points the rest of the way. That’s not bad but it’s the second straight game Lawson has wildly alternated between way below average and amazing.
|Randy Foye, SG 38 MIN | 5-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 16 PTS | -5
Foye has done a pretty good job making the massive adjustment to Ty Lawson’s return. He’s spotting up more, shooting off the dribble way less and generally just providing support while letting Ty create.
|Darrell Arthur, PF 14 MIN | 3-5 FG | 4-4 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | +12
He is not the best matchup for Dirk, but once again Arthur found ways to be effective and was the most consistent defensive presence among Denver’s bigs. Why he continues to get the shortest leash of the bunch as the most capable player remains really baffling.
|Quincy Miller, SF 8 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -11
Miller got some token minutes but didn’t really do anything noteworthy.
|Anthony Randolph, SF 1 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -4
The Nuggets must have thought they were gonna close this one comfortably, but they are the Nuggets and they obviously didn’t
|J.J. Hickson, C 26 MIN | 8-10 FG | 0-1 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 5 BLK | 0 TO | 16 PTS | +9
If Hickson could play the rest of his Nuggets career in this kind of role I just might be able to live with the signing. He seemed to grasp Shaw’s new defensive concepts better than any big and was Denver’s most consistent presence inside. He delivered a couple of huge blocks and monster finishes at the rim. When Hickson lives in the paint all game, good things CAN happen.
|Aaron Brooks, PG 17 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 4 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +7
Brooks didn’t get in the game till the second quarter and hasn’t looked confident in his shot since Ty Lawson’s return. He’s still adjusting to his new team and it was nice to see him have a positive impact despite not really being a factor offensively. His 4 steals in 17 minutes were a nice surprise.
|Evan Fournier, SG 15 MIN | 3-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | +4
Fournier really didn’t have a great game, starting off with three quick fouls in an uphill battle for playing time the rest of the way. He did get it together for a nice fourth quarter in which Fournier looked under control and confident. Ultimately he needs to get more consistent to earn the bigger role Nuggets fans all want to see him in.
Shaw and his team have looked more and more uptight every game since the All-Star break, and nothing but losses have followed. Tonight seemed to mark a new, looser approach for both sides and the Nuggets responded with a solid overall effort. Shaw seems to realize his team is going to give up penetration and he has to leave guys in better position to do something about it. He also made decent adjustments against Dallas’ zone and used his timeouts wisely in preventing a second-half meltdown.
One Thing We Saw
- The Nuggets held the Mavericks to 43.5% shooting in the first half. After a total defensive collapse the Mavs shooting ballooned to 63.4% in the second half. That is the sign of a very poor defensive team, as there was no radical strategy change to catch the Nuggets off guard. They simply did their Nuggets thing in the second half and luckily had enough of a cushion to weather it and recover.
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