Denver gets a hard-fought win.
|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.|
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.