Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 98-Charlotte Bobcats 105

Thanks to the Nuggets complete inability to defend good players the Bobcats led for most of the contest and defeated the Nuggets 105-98. Al Jefferson dominated anyone the Nuggets tried to throw at him while Gary Neal and Kemba Walker took turns killing the Nuggets when Jefferson needed a blow.

Grades are below the jump.

Denver Nuggets 98 Final

Recap | Box Score

105 Charlotte Bobcats
Kenneth Faried, PF 31 MIN | 7-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 15 PTS | -2

Faried scored one point and grabbed two rebounds in the second half. His first half production was nice but it is hard to give him anything above a C when he did almost nothing in the second half.

Wilson Chandler, SF 31 MIN | 3-13 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | -4Wilson Chandler had nine points with 4:09 left in the first quarter. Wilson Chandler finished with 9 points. This guy is supposed to be the Nuggets second best player right now. Tonight was another night of struggling to fill that role.

Timofey Mozgov, C 20 MIN | 4-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | 0

Mozgov got lit up by Al Jefferson fairly regularly. Then he got put on skates by Kemba Walker in the pick-and-roll. He also lost the handle on a wide open dunk and fumbled his fair amount of passes like normal. Starting Mozgov was a good idea but he hasn’t played up to the role yet.

Ty Lawson, PG 40 MIN | 9-19 FG | 4-6 FT | 3 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 24 PTS | -2

Lawson did everything he could to get and keep the Nuggets in the game in the second half. He got to the rim, made threes and got looks for others. But he wasn’t all that productive in the first half and it dug a hole that the Nuggets couldn’t come back from.

Randy Foye, SG 33 MIN | 4-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 9 PTS | -7

Foye has to make threes to make his full impact. He didn’t tonight. He wasn’t terrible but he also wasn’t good.

Jan Vesely, PF 13 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-3 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | -4

The Airwolf plays hard. He isn’t good but he plays hard. He is like Anthony Randolph but more athletic and somehow less skilled. And more fun. WAYYYY more fun.

Darrell Arthur, PF 9 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -5

I don’t remember Arthur being in the game, which doesn’t say anything, really good or bad about his nine minutes. So he gets an incomplete.

Anthony Randolph, SF 4 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +1

Was anyone surprised when Randolph’s two jumpers missed badly? Anyone? No? I thought so. He played hard though.

J.J. Hickson, C 19 MIN | 2-7 FG | 7-10 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | -5

JJ gets a C for two reasons. First he went 7/10 from the line which for him is a minor miracle. Second, in the first half Luke Ridnour drove straight across Hickson’s face and Hickson who was playing I believe Cody Zeller around the elbow lost him so bad he never realized Ridnour was going to the rim. It was spectacularly bad and I laughed really hard.

Aaron Brooks, PG 24 MIN | 5-11 FG | 5-5 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 16 PTS | -2

Brooks gets a better grade than Faried because the majority of his contributions came in the second half as Denver tried to claw back into the game. He was really the only one helping Lawson at points in the fourth quarter.

Evan Fournier, SG 16 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -5

Fournier picked up three fouls very early on defending Gary Neal and all of them were legitimate continuing a recent and really mostly season long trend of being bad on that end. If Fournier wants to stick in the league and be productive he needs to add something besides shooting to his game. Right now it is tough to see it happening, at least to me.

Brian Shaw

Shaw tried everything he could to get his team back in the game, experimenting with different lineup combinations and defensive strategies. At this point in the season, with nothing at all to gain, it makes sense to try things. Except Anthony Randolph. It never makes sense to try him.

Two Things We Saw

  1. I was very critical of Kenneth Faried’s offense earlier this season and recently he has me coming around. It will never look great and isn’t something I would ever go to late in games but it has been at a level I never expected, especially his jumper. It makes the contract decisions coming soon even more interesting.
  2. The Knicks won again tonight which is a problem. Denver isn’t going to fall all the way down to a potential top five pick so any wins that the Knicks get move Denver farther and farther away from that. That isn’t a good thing for the Nuggets who desperately need a superstar via the draft thanks to the problems with the roster construction and salary cap usage.

Next up: Wednesday, Mar. 12, 5 p.m. (MST) at Orlando. Going to the game? Save money and get cheap Denver Nuggets tickets here.

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  • Darian Williams

    Now that was a tanking loss. Once again Mozgov disappeared in the 2nd half. Maybe if we had hit a little more than 5/24 3 pointers we would’ve had a chance. A nice 0-5 for this trip will definitely help us.

    • LBJ

      All the Karl haters claimed he wasn’t developing young talent. Shaw must be developing Q by making him watch a guy who can’t play. Of course, having Randolph jack up some 3s is a great tanking maneuver.

      • Nugman

        Shaw’s developing Randolph because he sees all that potential

  • Sharkboy242

    Good loss but it looks like the Knicks are going to make the playoffs. This season has been a total bust.

    • Pickles1731

      I wouldn’t say the Knicks are a for sure thing for the playoffs. They are in the middle of an insanely soft schedule (their last 3 wins are the Jazz, Cavs, and Sixers). The Knicks still have to play the Pacers, Suns, Warriors, Heat, Bulls, Wizards, Nets (twice), and Raptors (twice). They will be lucky to win 3 of those games. They are still 3 1/2 games back for the 8th seed with the Cavs and Pistons right there too.

  • Dan Sivertson

    The two point guards did amazing! They both got B minuses! The heads of the class! Yeah!!!! LOL!

  • LBJ

    Glad Joshy and Timmy gave up Koufus (with a good contract) for that stiff Arthur.

  • Richard Pesicka

    Laughing stock of the NBA

  • Nugman

    Gosh Matt, Shaw didn’t try double teaming Jefferson on the low block, so I guess he didn’t try “everything”. Most NBA coaches would throw at least an occasional double team on a post player they can’t stop. It might confuse them or make them a little uncomfortable. Can Jefferson pass from a double team? I guess we’ll never know because double teaming the post goes against Shaws “philosophy” hell or high water. He’ll give up 40 to a post and still not double team. Who cares if it costs us the game. Shaws philosophy is all that matters, right? Just really great coaching don’t you think?

  • DraftGuy

    I guess imma complete noob, lol ! When I look at the mock draft 2014, i can’t see Knicks’ pick ?! Only Denvers … So does it mean that everytime KNICKS loses we move up … or is it everytime NUGGETS lose that we move up???

    • Erlingur Grétar Einarsson

      Both. Kinda. It’s complicated.

    • TomRMC

      The Nuggets get whichever pick is better, and send the less-valuable pick to Orlando. So every time either team loses, the Nuggets improve their chances of getting a really good pick.

      • Thomas

        No. If the team with the better record loses and the one with the worst record wins, then the odds decrease.

        • Erlingur Grétar Einarsson

          What?

    • Furious_Stylez

      The Nuggets have their draft pick and the Knicks draft pick (from the Melo trade).

      Which ever pick is lower (1 is highest, 30 is the lowest) is sent to Orlando (an agreement made in the 3 team trade for Iguodala).

      Example: The Nuggets finish with the 9th worst record and the Knicks finish with the 13th worst record, the Knicks pick is sent to Orlando.

      Since the Knicks can smell the playoffs (3.5 games out of the 8th seed), Denver should be trying to lose every game for the rest of the season to ensure they make the lottery and get a chance to draft an impact player.

  • Blue

    Matt, if you think Hickson outplayed Mozgov tonight, you’re smoking crack. Both Faried and Mozgov got very limited minutes in the second half and therefore they did have reduced stats for the second half. That is more on Shaw than on them though. Shaw seems to limit Mozgov to about 20 minutes a game no matter if he is playing well or not. The worst player in the first half for me was Hickson, and he got the bulk of the Center minutes in the second half, go figure.

    • ryanvdonk

      then you weren’t watching how bad wilson chandler was last night, just kept jacking up threes and bricked every shot after the first. lazy defense too.

      • Blue

        First Half: Chandler 3-7 overall, 2-4 from three, Hickson 1-5 overall. Chandler did have a horrible second half, 0-6, all from three point area.

        • ryanvdonk

          i just can’t stand how someone who’s so athletic (and such a mediocre shooter) can be so in love with the three, but so hesitant to drive.

          • Nugman

            Doesn’t Shaw tell them to shoot jump shots rather than drive into the congested paint area? That’s what I understand. It’s another part of Shaws basketball philosophy.

            • ryanvdonk

              chandler has always done it, even under karl’s drive the paint at all costs philosophy.

    • Nugman

      None of Shaws moves make sense. It’s like he doesn’t have clue how to manage a game or his players minutes

  • Furious_Stylez

    40 minutes for Lawson? Why? There’s no reason to put that kind of milage on a guy that is expected to be the team leader for the next few years.

    This team is not good and running Ty into the ground is a really dumb move in a lost season, especially when he will be relied upon heavily next season when the roster is healthy again and will be looking to compete.

    • Nugman

      Another great coaching move by master Shaw

    • Dan Sivertson

      This is a great example of an area where Karl is a lot smarter than Shaw. It’s important to preserve your team for the playoffs and for the remainder of the season. It’s part of the reason why the Nuggets went to the playoffs for so many years in a row. Let’s see how Shaw does in the long run. There are so many people on this board that applauded Karl’s departure. Let’s see how Shaw does. Let’s let his record speak for itself.

  • jt

    totally agree with the Fournier statement, he’s kind of overrated as a “prospect”. Not athletic, not a ball-handler, and doesn’t see the court particularly well to kick or pass.

  • Nugman

    There hasn’t been a single game this season where people discussed how Shaws coaching won the game. But there have been many games when it was clear that Shaws coaching probably lost the game. It has become evident that Shaw cannot manage a basketball game as head coach. He uses players in situations they cannot succeed in, his substitutions (and lack of) have shocked fans all season and his allocation of playing time has bordered on the bizarre. Even his famed “system” has to be questioned because it shows few signs of success.

    Although some will argue this will change when he has his “type” of player, these are not personnel issues, but coaching issues. Better or different players won’t change it. And if this is how he coaches in the low pressure, low strategy of the regular season, it should be of great concern to all Nuggets fans how he could ever handle the high pressure, high strategy of NBA playoff basketball.

    • Furious_Stylez

      I believe Shaw, like all rookie coaches, deserves another year to prove his worth. I know it shouldn’t be excuse, but injuries do matter. Also, look at our DLeague bench. I doubt GK could have done much better with this group, noting half the bench are players he refused to give any minutes to the last few seasons (and now we know why).

      Under normal circumstances, Chandler and Hickson are bench players, which changes the dynamic of the team and the Anthony Randolphs of the league stay on the bench where they belong. If the team looks this disjointed with a healthy roster (and hopefully a good draft pick), I’ll be ready to jump on the “Fire Shaw” bandwagon next season along with you.