Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 107, New Orleans Pelicans 111

The Denver Nuggets blew a double-digit lead and lost to the New Orleans Pelicans in overtime after Anthony Morrow made the game-tying basket over Ty Lawson at the end of regulation. Game grades can be found below.

Denver Nuggets 107 FinalRecap | Box Score 111 New Orleans Pelicans
Kenneth Faried, PF 39 MIN | 9-12 FG | 4-6 FT | 14 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 22 PTS | +9

Faried has been a beast lately, and he continued to play very well against the Pelicans. An efficient double-double, drawn charges and aggressive play in general was on the agenda for the Manimal. His defense is shaky as always, but if he plays like this on the other end, you can give him a pass. He did blow an open layup and committed a silly foul in overtime, which hurts his grade.

Wilson Chandler, SF 46 MIN | 6-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 14 PTS | +1

Chandler’s offense, as per usual, came and went throughout the game, but he had an acceptable performance nonetheless. His defense was very solid all night long, and he did a good job on Davis late in the fourth quarter, stopping the ball handlers in pick-and-rolls and recovering to Davis in time to hinder him

Timofey Mozgov, C 20 MIN | 4-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 10 PTS | +5

A pretty dismal performance by Mozgov and he didn’t play that much. To his credit he did stay in front of his man with his hands up, but Anthony Davis was just too tough of a matchup.

Ty Lawson, PG 44 MIN | 3-12 FG | 9-11 FT | 0 REB | 12 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 6 TO | 15 PTS | -10

With Ty Lawson in the lineup, the Nuggets are actually a fun team to watch. The offense is clicking and Ty’s playmaking has gotten so much better. Unfortunately, after a solid first quarter, Lawson couldn’t get his drive-and-kick game going, running into the Pelicans’ towers in the paint.

Randy Foye, SG 45 MIN | 3-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 7 PTS | -6

Foye was ice cold all night. The Nuggets’ offense really depends a lot on Foye making his shots, and shooting 1-9 from deep just doesn’t cut it.

Jan Vesely, PF 8 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +4

Vesely is athletic. He dunked twice. He drew a charge on Anthony Davis. That’s about it.

Darrell Arthur, PF 9 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -8

When Arthur isn’t making his mid-range jumper, it can be hard to justify playing him, even considering his defense.

J.J. Hickson, C 19 MIN | 6-9 FG | 0-2 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 7 TO | 12 PTS | -13

A mixed bag for Hickson in this one, which is nothing new at this point. For all the hustle plays and buckets on offense, he made up with blown rotations, soft fouls leading to and-one plays and silly goal tending on defense. He also turned the ball over a bunch.

Aaron Brooks, PG 22 MIN | 4-9 FG | 5-5 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 15 PTS | +2

Brooks threw up a nice lob in the first half to Hickson, but waited until the fourth quarter to do most of his damage. He essentially filled the role of Nate Robinson, providing some nice hustle with an offensive rebound, drawing a foul on a three-point attempt and knocking down some big shots. He had huge impact in the fourth quarter, but went cold in overtime.

Evan Fournier, SG 13 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -2

Fournier didn’t get a whole lot of playing time, and wasn’t really involved that much when he was on the floor.

Brian Shaw
Shaw probably deserves some credit for the Nuggets actually playing hard, but some of his lineup choices were questionable. Playing Hickson and Faried together is a proven disaster, yet Shaw opted to do just that for a little while. He also left Lawson in the game on the Pelicans’ final possession in regulation, and Anthony Morrow could simply pull-up and shoot over Ty. In overtime, the Nuggets looked like headless chickens on offense coming out of timeouts.

Two Things We Saw

  1. The Nuggets committed 27 turnovers. They turned the ball over in various ways, sometimes by being sloppy, other times by driving into traps and throwing the ball away with nowhere to go. Those turnovers contributed a lot to the Pelicans’ comeback, as they scored easy baskets in transition.
  2. Anthony Davis is a beast. He tore the Nuggets apart on both ends of the floor. That is all.

Next up: Monday, Mar. 10, 5 p.m. (MST) at Charlotte. Going to the game? Save money and get cheap Denver Nuggets tickets here.

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Vytis Lasaitis

Latest posts by Vytis Lasaitis (see all)

  • Sharkboy242

    Excellent tanking loss by the Nuggets. Just enough effort to make it an entertaining game. Still wish they would have loss to the Lakers though…

    • Andrew

      I know. As much as I love beating the Fakers, that really ended the Nuggets’ shot of finishing higher than 10. Now the Knicks have won 3 in a row…ugh. What happened to our beautiful Tank Train?!

    • Bryan

      Hey, the Lakers beat the Thunder today, so all hope is not lost.

  • Andrew

    So, regarding the whole tank situation, when I think of tanking, I don’t think of players and coaches tanking. I think of teams’ front offices making a series of moves/non-moves to ensure that their team will not be able to compete for a playoff spot. This seems to be the case with, what, 8-10 teams tight now including the Nuggets (assuming you think Josh and Connelly are smart enough to have made their missteps on purpose)? I don’t like it any better than anyone else, but given that the only teams that seem to win championships are teams that are led by lottery picks, is there a better way to do this? I don’t know, I am just wondering if anyone has any ideas…Perhaps RMC could devote a post to potential alternatives for the NBA.

    • Pickles1731

      In my opinion I think that the whole “tanking problem” is overblown. Yeah, this year there are like a solid 6-7 teams that intentionally made themselves worse. But most years you only see 2-3 teams tank after the all star break. It’s bad this year because the top 4 guys (Wiggins, Embiid, Parker, and Randle) are going to be all-stars in this league. Teams know that grabbing one of these guys will immediately help to turn around your franchise. Last year tanking wasn’t an issue because the best players available were Nerlens Noel, Otto Porter, Victor Oladipo, and Anthony Bennett (only one has played/is good). It’s not a huge deal, but the system can be changed so that the Eastern conference doesn’t give up before the season starts in years like this one.
      Also, I agree that players/coaches don’t tank. They are trying to win and play for their next contract. The Sixers blow, but it’s not because they don’t try hard. Their front office gave away two of their best players and got nothing in return. The Heat would beat the Sixers 99 out of 100 times and it’s because the front office has not given this team the players to actually compete, not due to lack of hustle.

      • Aaron Durkin

        More then one scout is saying that they miss read this draft and it is way overrated. Many of the big time scouts are saying that there is potential two extremly good players ( Randle and the forighen kid) and two good players ( Wiggens and Imbid) but no franchise players. If our front office has any brians we trade this high pick for a proven player IE kevin Love. I really dont want to become Clevland west

  • LBJ

    Good loss. Shaw was coaching like he is on the tank train (even though sometimes it’s hard to tell). I like going with the 3 midget offense in OT.

    • Pickles1731

      It sucks that we are looking forward to “good losses”, but at least this draft gives us something to get excited about. Wish we had a GM that had some direction and didn’t sign Hickson, Foye, and Nate so that he could “make some moves.”

    • Darian Williams

      He’s not trying to tank thats the thing. Unless he knows how to get 16 point leads then just blow them, I’d say its just bad coaching. Who cares anymore, we will most likely get the 7-9 pick maybe even 10th seeing as the knicks are winning now too. I believe this season is actually just as bad as last year’s. We had the option to go down various paths that all would’ve lead to better places then where we are now. Unless we get lucky with our pick, we will probably get another bench player.

    • Nugman

      You mean the 3 midget Defense, don’t you?

      • LBJ

        Yes. But I’m not sure why Foye was in on offense either – he had a horrible shooting night.

  • Pickles1731

    Love how Faried is playing right now. I am still unsure about re-signing him though. I don’t want to overpay him like $10 million a year and have him become another albatross contract like Javale or Hickson.

    • Darian Williams

      3 year 24mil partially guaranteed would be good wit me

    • Furious_Stylez

      FYI: Hickson only has 2yrs- $11m on his deal after this season and it can be traded easily. It’s actually a pretty good deal. I know everyone hates him on this board, but he gives good production for his average NBA salary. He was never supposed to be a starter. Gallinari’s deal is more of an albatross because he’s hurt all the time.

      • LBJ

        I suspect we are going to have a hard time trading Hickson ($5.5 million) to anyone. Teams just aren’t in the market for guys who can’t play defense, turn the ball over constantly and commit bone-headed fouls.
        There is no way he is signed to a “good” deal – especially in comparison to Gallo’s deal.

        • Furious_Stylez

          Remember that Hickson was never supposed to start. He was brought in as bench depth. That being said, he would be viewed in a much different way of he only played 10-15mpg. His production for $5m is impressive if you look around the league and see what others are paid for the same stats. He will be moved easily in his last year to a good team that needs bench depth (Clippers, Spurs, Heat) when Connolly makes him available.

          The Gallo deal sounded great at first… until you realize he’s NEVER played an entire season for Denver. He got 71 games last year and then got hurt at the worst time possible. If he gets hurt next season and misses time, the deal will be a bust.

          • LBJ

            No one is handing out their full MLE for a stiff like Hickson. One of the benefits of the Iggy deal was moving the MLE we gave Harrington – who is a helluva lot better than Hickson.
            The Heat have zero cap space (they cut Mike Miller at the MLE) and thought twice about giving Chalmers $4 million. There is no way in hell they give Hickson $5 million a year.
            Unless the Spurs fire Pop, there is no way they take a knucklehead like Hickson.

            • Furious_Stylez

              You must have missed the “in his last year” part. The top 5 seeds in both conferences will be blowing up Connolly’s phone for Hickson when his deal is expiring. You may hate every part of his game, but those who are objective know he can score and rebound well if coming off the bench as the 9th or 10th guy. The teams I listed were examples and contrary to your belief, they would all call about Hickson if his deal was expiring.

              • LBJ

                If the Heat is still contending in 2 years – there is no way in hell that Pat Riley pays the luxury tax to make JJ his 4th highest paid player.

                Beasley makes $885k – and is better than Hickson. So is most of the rest of their roster. The only way we get rid of JJ is to take on an equally bad contract.

  • Richard Pesicka

    We make bad teams look good.

    • Darian Williams

      more like anthony davis makes a bad team look good

      • gimpcom187

        Youre both right

  • Nugman

    Brooks was in the game on the last play of regulation.

    Would someone please ask the coaching genius Shaw why he doesn’t make substitutions at end of games or overtime? This has been going on all season. There were no substitutions the last 5 minutes of the game and overtime. Yes, JJ came in for one free throw and Evan the last possession, but that doesn’t count. Damn, guys get tired and situations require different personal. It’s ridiculous! Does Shaw just loose control or is this some genius strata eggy he’s used all year?

    Mozzy left the game for some reason with 6:30 left in the 3rd and never returned. From that point on NO dominated the offensive glass. That lost us this game. I know tankers are happy, but if Shaw does this in regular season games he would be a disaster in the pressure of the playoffs.

    • Sharkboy242

      Shaw be like – I’m on that tank train.

      • Nugman

        He’s coached this way all season, so I guess he’s been tanking all season.

        • Sharkboy242

          I’m pretty sure George Karl did similar things the whole time he coached. Its one of the reasons I wanted him to get fired.

  • Nugman

    Shaw talks about all the offensive rebounds NO got during the the post game interview and blames the loss on that, but he’s the dumb SOB who played the small lineup and left Mozzy on the bench the last 18 minutes. Is he serious! Shaw, you’re responsible for all those offensive rebounds because of the players YOU had on the court, so don’t blame the players this time.

  • MacKenzie Pantoja

    Some of the grades seemed slightly unfair. For Vessely, for example, either give him an incomplete or give him a B. He went 2-2, had a block, a steal, a rebound, no turnovers, and he took a charge from Anthony Davis in his 8 minutes. If C is average, he deserved at least a B or an incomplete

  • Furious_Stylez

    Good loss. If this team wants a lottery pick, they need to tank every game going forward. NYK are 3.5 games out of the playoffs with 18 games to go. They only have the disjointed Pistons and the weak ATL Hawks in front of them. Both are bad teams and will easily lose enough for NY to slip into the playoffs, so it’s on us to get into the lottery.

    There are no points for looking good, so stop with all the dumb effort comments. Time to start playing the rotation of Hickson, Vesely, Randolph, Fournier, and Brooks big minutes. Switch exclusively to Shaw’s offense. It doesn’t matter if they lose by 2 or 20 as long as they lose.

    • Darian Williams

      Not gonna happen