Denver Nuggets 120 – Orlando Magic 112

Denver gets a hard-fought win.

Denver Nuggets 120 FinalRecap | Box Score 112 Orlando Magic
Kenneth Faried, PF 32 MIN | 11-18 FG | 4-8 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 26 PTS | +10Faried’s averaging 20 and 10 in March and has basically been a force of nature. His post game still looks ugly, and getting him the ball on the extended wing is still a bad idea, but he is now rewarding Shaw’s designed post ups with efficient play. We’ve come a long way from Faried looking like he was drowning in a system ill-suited to his skill set.

Wilson Chandler, SF 31 MIN | 8-17 FG | 2-3 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 21 PTS | +10Denver’s still rather aimless offense benefits no one more – on a shot attempt basis – than Wilson Chandler. Sets that go nowhere often end with him open, or guarded but that usually doesn’t matter to Chandler, for a midrange jump shot that he is more than happy to take. But when he boards like he did today and converts on his corner threes, all can be forgiven.

Timofey Mozgov, C 22 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | +5Vucevic pretty much destroyed Mozgov in an irrevocable way in the first half on both ends of the court. Any big with an amalgam of range and athleticism is a tough cover but they’re doubly so for Mozgov. Its games like these that make me miss JaVale, for all his antics he always seemed to take games against bigs with similar skill sets personally. The fireworks, good and bad, that commenced were usually worth the price of admission.

Ty Lawson, PG 31 MIN | 6-14 FG | 3-3 FT | 3 REB | 12 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 17 PTS | +14Its really hard not to just sing Lawson’s praises every game. Quite simply he is the Nuggets right now, he makes them semi-competative, he makes a ugly roster respectable, he makes an unwatchable team entertaining.

Randy Foye, SG 26 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | +14Pretty forgettable game from Foye. If he’s not making shots, there’s not much use for him now that Aaron Brooks has taken over secondary ball handling duties.

Darrell Arthur, PF 17 MIN | 5-6 FG | 2-3 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 14 PTS | -2The jumper looks back, which is great news. If he can give Denver anything on offense he can justify his presence on the court, which is always a boon for the defense.

Quincy Miller, SF 17 MIN | 3-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -4Quincy’s minutes have enter Jordan Hamilton-level fluctuation. He’s the guy Shaw will turn to when everyone else is failing him. We saw where that unenviable position got Hamilton.

J.J. Hickson, C 24 MIN | 8-14 FG | 4-5 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 20 PTS | +5J.J.’s been riding high stats-wise since Shaw relegated him to the bench. He told Hickson he’d have to earn his spot back, and while it looks like he’s doing just that, keeping him as a bench guy may be the best way to maximize his impact.

Aaron Brooks, PG 20 MIN | 3-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 7 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 9 PTS | -6I’m kind of liking the Lawson-Brooks pairings on the court, the defense is predictably horrendous, but it unlocks some fun two-man-game stuff on the other end. They play off each other well, and both of Brooks game-sealing plays tonight came off Lawson recognizing where Brooks was going to be before he got there.

Evan Fournier, SG 19 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -6*sigh*. That’s all I got for Fournier at this point. At best he’s a spot up shooter with a dash of an off-the-dirbble game that’ll keep opponents honest. At worst, he is what he is right now. Talent that’s too stretched thin, asked to utilize it in its totality rather than hone the one thing he really has.

Brian Shaw
His rotations make him look as though he’s a drowning man floundering around for a buoy, but he seems to have clicked in with the new status-quo for this team. One that will lose more often than it will win due to a helplessly porous defense, but one that’ll still put up a fight through a relentless offensive attack. Shaw seems to now know what he can and can’t ask his team to do. As long as they deliver on these newly adjusted expectations, things should go smoothly. At least until the season’s up.

 

Next up: Friday, March 14, 7 p.m. (MST) @ Miami. Going to the game? Save money and get cheap Denver Nuggets tickets here.

 

  • Sócrates Manzoni

    let’s get elway working for the nuggets. KD, Lebron and Chris Paul will be in Denver by the end of next season.

    • Bryan

      Dream on, dream on, dream on, Dream until your dream come true

    • ryanvdonk

      but there’s no sonics to lose to in the end…it could work!

  • Nugman

    So why doesn’t Shaw try to plug up that porous defense? Maybe he could try a zone occasionally, or double team post players. Or, are you blaming it all on the players David?

    • Sócrates Manzoni

      they played zone in some games last month, it did not end well at all. They looked like the Knicks out there.

  • heykyleinsf

    You can not deny…
    Kenneth Faried has been playing damn good and..
    damn consistent basketball.
    I think he’s showing some leadership.
    If he can keep going..
    We have an answer at the 4.

    And I agree David..
    hoping.. and basically thinking..
    Fours has hit a slump.

    • Nugman

      Could it be the coaching? What has happened to Moz and Will? And have we seen any improvement from Foye, JJ or DA?

      • heykyleinsf

        Ok.. what did GK do with Moz and Fours?
        Shaw still comes out ahead.
        I’m sorry.. I’m no fan of Foye.
        I think we need to do better at the 2 next year
        Chandler has always been streaky.
        He shouldn’t be a starter either.
        Darrell Arthur has improved from what he was in Memphis.
        JJ Hickson is streaky as well.
        We lost nearly every game when Ty was out
        We got the news after January that Gallo and Javale were lost for the year.
        Then we lost our 6th man Nate Robinson..
        The Andre Miller fiasco.

        You’re cherry picking against Shaw.
        If you want to blame him .. be a little more comprehensive.

        • Nugman

          I didn’t say anything about GK. How did he come up? One big complaint against him was he didn’t develop players, so we got the master player developer Shaw (Paul George). At least that’s what I understood, but he hasn’t developed any of the players after 64 games. Where are all his player development skills we heard so much about? It’s not showing up in the players or the team.

          I could write a book about blaming Shaw for this years Nuggets disaster, but I don’t have the time or desire. His failures have made the Nuggets irrelevant in every respect.

          • gimpcom187

            Nugman. How dare you ask for the karl haters to be logical or realistic? For shame.

          • Furious_Stylez

            You and the other Shaw haters are irrational, like us GK haters. You want him to be Phil Jackson from the get-go. Popovich won 17 games as a rookie head coach, so take it easy on how horrible Shaw is. Most coaches suck their first season. They come in with an idea of how things should be run and have to adjust. It’s the second season where you should expect better things. If not (especially with a healthy roster), they usually get fired.

  • Pickles1731

    Nuggets and Knicks win again. It looks like the odds of us getting a solid talent in the draft are slim now unless someone falls to us in the 10-12 range. We are in the worst spot possible for an NBA team, not a playoff contender yet not bad enough for a top pick. Being the most average team in the NBA really sucks.

    • Sócrates Manzoni

      easy there, let’s not panic. Good players can be found in the 10-12 range (Paul George! Giannis! Noah!)

      One big thing is that the type of players currently slotted in the 6-9 pick range is not the kind the Nuggets really need. Aaron Gordon, Marcus Smart, Noah Vonleh are three fantastic prospects that every team (including the Nuggs) would want but on the other hand, the Nuggets already have an undersized, athletic PF who can’t shoot (Faried/Gordon), a top-10 PG (Lawson/Smart)* and a big who’s all about size, length and potential (McGee/Vonleh).

      *Smart is an interesting case because he can do stuff Lawson can’t do. MS is a ferocious defender (Randy Foye should never be your best defensive player) and he is a great vocal leader. Smart’s major detriment is that he can’t shoot at all. IF he could shoot, he could be a great SG in a league with no SGs

      • Pickles1731

        Ya I agree that you can find good players in the 10-12 range (like you mentioned). I just think that based on recent mock drafts that Gordon and Smart won’t last past the 7-9 range.
        I personally love Gordon. Yes, he is offensively challenged like Faried, but he is an elite defender and jack-of-all-trades player that would be awesome to have. Kind of like Andrei Kirilenko back in his Jazz prime or Shawn Marion in Phoenix.
        Smart is risky because we already have Ty. But if Smart plays great as a rookie we could use him or Ty as trade bait. (I think it would be hard to play them together since neither is an elite shooter.)
        I like Gary Harris too. Michigan State players are always great pros and he fits a need at SG too. He has great upside.
        Vonleh is quite the unknown but he can at least shoot midrange jumpers from what I heard. We need that in a post player.
        I think if we don’t get that top 3 pick then it would be great to get Gordon, Harris, or Vonleh. It’s exciting to have a possible top 10 pick in a great draft!

  • EWilson

    I do wish people would give Fournier some time to develop instead of carping all the time. He’s only 21 with very limited NBA experience, and it’s not like he was drafted with the #1 pick of the draft. Plus, he’s playing for the third different coach in three years (counting his experience in France).

    • Nugman

      Sophomore jinx?

  • Daniel McDonald

    At this point I wish they would just start handing out starter’s minutes to the scrubs and try to move up in the draft.

    • mcz84

      yes I totally agree can we please go on a 28 game losing streak we cant beat teams beneath us