Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 111-Miami Heat 107

In the absolute weirdest game the Nuggets have played all year they rode 18 points from Darrell Arthur, 24 from Kenneth Faried and 14 from Evan Fournier to defeat the defending champion Heat 111-107.

Grades are below the jump.

Denver Nuggets 111 Final

Recap | Box Score

107 Miami Heat
Kenneth Faried, PF 30 MIN | 9-15 FG | 6-8 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 24 PTS | -3

The insane month of March for Faried continued tonight with his 24 and 10. I have a post that will be up in the morning that touches on his offensive improvements but like he has all month he stayed within himself and played with more energy than anyone on the floor and yet again it translated to positive results.

Wilson Chandler, SF 22 MIN | 2-8 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | -9

His offensive output doesn’t look that impressive but outside of the first quarter Chandler did a great job on LeBron James. For that he gets an A.

Timofey Mozgov, C 16 MIN | 1-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | 0

I continue to be unimpressed by Mozgov since his move into the starting lineup. He fumbled away passes, lost Chris Bosh, didn’t protect the rim and only grabbed rebounds when Kenneth Faried boxed people out around him. It may be a confidence issue with Mozgov but whatever it is needs to be fixed soon.

Ty Lawson, PG 38 MIN | 2-7 FG | 9-10 FT | 5 REB | 9 AST | 4 STL | 0 BLK | 6 TO | 13 PTS | -17

Lawson was ok tonight. He struggled with the Heat size inside and made some rough decisions late but free throw shooting was a large part of Denver winning the game.

Randy Foye, SG 24 MIN | 2-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | -5

Foye didn’t make his threes and struggled to defend Dwayne Wade. I wonder if the minutes he has played this season are finally starting to catch up to him. We will see if he can bounce back soon.

Darrell Arthur, PF 24 MIN | 7-11 FG | 3-3 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 4 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 18 PTS | +6

Darrell Arthur made as many threes as any members of the Heat not named Ray Allen combined. As many of us have said in this spot this year if Arthur makes his jumpers he and the Nuggets are completely different. Tonight he did and it allowed him to play big minutes and he did what he always does, defend the pick-and-roll well. It was a great effort from him.

Quincy Miller, SF 14 MIN | 2-3 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | +18

Somehow Quincy made life on LeBron James tough for the most part despite being outweighed by an awful lot. The dunk was nice too. It all combined to an A worthy effort.

J.J. Hickson, C 26 MIN | 5-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 9 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 11 PTS | +4

The defense was typical J.J. Hickson defense but he rebounded the ball well and made the most of his shots. In the end he wasn’t massively counterproductive; in fact he probably outplayed Mozgov.

Aaron Brooks, PG 15 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | +17

Brooks did what Randy Foye struggled to by knocking down three three pointers to help spread the floor. He has fit fairly well coming off the bench since the trade and the Brooks/Lawson pairing has been very successful offensively.

Evan Fournier, SG 30 MIN | 6-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 14 PTS | +9

He fell back to earth hard in the second half (2 points and 1 assist) but if it wasn’t for his terrific effort in the first half the Nuggets probably don’t win the game. He was active and attacking off the dribble and early on showed the vision that seems to be his problem at times. It was a great building block type effort for a player who had been struggling a bit lately.



Brian Shaw

Shaw did a great job of sticking to what was working when it was working throughout the game. When Fournier and the bench were playing well in the second quarter Shaw let them go as long as he could. When Darrell Arthur was playing well in the third he left him in and let him get his shots off. It was a great job by Shaw who has this team playing really hard despite having nothing to play for.

Three Things We Saw

  1. This game was WEIRD. It was in a fun way but man it was strange. Ty Lawson won a jump ball, Darrell Arthur hit as many threes as every non-Allen Heat combined, Kenneth Faried banked in a free throw, Arthur was fouled shooting a three, and Arthur blew by LeBron James and dunked. Evan Fournier had as many points through three quarters as LeBron James. It was the kind of game that Denver needed to win and they got it.
  2. Tanking isn’t really an option for Denver at this point. They won’t drop past enough teams to make it worth it so enjoy games like tonight, when things are funky and Denver surprises with a competitive effort against a good team. Wins are just a bonus.
  3. Like I said in his little box I have a post coming tomorrow morning on Kenneth Faried and his offensive improvement. Please come check it out.

Next up: Saturday, March 15, 5:30 p.m. (MST) @ Atlanta. Going to the game? Save money and get cheap Denver Nuggets tickets here.

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  • Sócrates Manzoni

    playoffs here we go

    • Nugman

      I wish. I love playoff games!

  • googergieger

    Well we deserved that win. Evan and Hickson deserved more free throws. Glad Shaw seems to care all of a sudden. Even if it was just the one game. So Faried not playing with a poor man’s version of him is pretty good huh?

    • Nugman

      Shaws worried about his job

  • googergieger

    Oh yeah.


  • Blue

    Nice! The one thing that makes me sad is that Birdman should still be a Nugget. Happy he got a ring though. Go Nuggets!

  • gallogallo88

    This team is so confusing and weird. The win is so unexpected. Makes me look forward to next season with gallo and mcgee back + a good draft pick.. :) GO NUGGETS!!!!!!!!

  • Darian Williams

    Talk about mediocre. Talk about inconsistent. No one on this team can do anything consistent for 3 days in a row. Foye, Chandler, and Mozgov didn’t even get double digits. This win was more about the Heat not taking us seriously and our bench playing well. I do like to see fournier and Qmill getting time though. Just sucks to see our draft pick falling and falling after each win. Especially with the Knicks winning now. We aren’t gonna make up 9 games with 17 left to get into the playoffs. Its pointless.

    • Blue

      If the Nuggets ever needed to lose a game, it’s tomorrow against Atlanta. Help keep the Knicks out of the playoffs.

    • Nugman

      Q, Evan and Moz should be getting starter minutes since the season is lost. But Shaw keeps giving the minutes to Foye and JJ. I think this shows Shaw is more worried about looking good than developing his young guys. Playing Ty 40 minutes a night demonstrates the same thing. Shaws ego is more important than the team

  • Sharkboy242

    I think Lawson was trying to tank in that 4th quarter.

    • Nugman

      Or maybe he was worn out from his 21 minutes in the 2nd half

  • LBJ

    Except for Bird and Allen – the Heat played like they could care less. Spo coached like it too. Playing Oden for some of the worst 5 minutes I’ve seen in a long time. Hope they are counting on that stiff for anything in the playoffs.

    • heykyleinsf

      Wow .
      You seem so happy.
      Like we beat the fkg world champs or something.
      Cheer up, yeah?

  • Richard Pesicka

    Atlanta by 19..

  • Jay Lorance

    Wow. Great win. Hopefully this is a nice building block moving forward.

  • heykyleinsf


    EAT IT.

  • heykyleinsf

    “Tanking isn’t really an option for Denver at this point. They won’t drop past enough teams to make it worth it so enjoy games like tonight, when things are funky and Denver surprises with a competitive effort against a good team. Wins are just a bonus.”

    Thanks Matt.

    I never understood the concept of wanting your team to lose.
    Strange “fans” if you ask me.

    • Sharkboy242

      The idea of landing an all star prospect is not appealing to you? Really?

      Its really not hard to understand why that’s appealing to some of us… Don’t you know that being a 6th-8th seed is pretty much the worse place to be in the NBA?

      • Paul Griggs

        So much for integrity

      • Nugman

        And how do the Spurs keep staying on top with late first round picks every year? Why do you think the only good picks come from the top of the draft? There are many “star prospect” busts at the top of the draft and many “stars” chosen later.

        • Darian Williams

          Because the Spurs have a system where every player fits in perfectly. And they have had the same 3 players for more than a decade. How does getting young talent make you worse? We don’t have a bad team but we do have a lot of injuries and it was pretty obvious about a month or two ago that our playoff chances were slim. Why fight to get swept by the Thunder? What does being mediocre get you? Tanking one year doesn’t mean you’re gonna tank for ever.

          • Nugman

            This “system” argument is getting a little old. All it is is a justification for Shaw failing. What are the Nugs going to do, trade Ty, Faried, Gallo, McGee and get the 5 best defensive players in the NBA so Shaws “system” will work? Forget it! The Nugs aren’t going to trade those guys and they won’t be able to acquire the best defenders in the league. The coach has to be able to coach this group and Shaw hasn’t yet shown the ability to do that. Screw all this “system” crap. If Shaw can “coach anyone” then he needs to do it and quit talking about it!

            And the big 3 in SA are past there prime and only Parker still helps carry the team. It’s late first round picks like Kwami who are carrying the team now. And if the Nugs coach had been coaching all year rather complaining about effort and not having players for his “system”, the players maybe developed after 65 and wouldn’t get swept by the Thunder. But we’ll never know because the great player developer hasn’t developed the players or team.

            • Darian Williams

              I’m not talking about the Nuggets having a system, they obviously don’t, no matter what Shaw says. Having a system doesn’t mean stuffing guys on your team and telling them to do something they can’t. Its about finding guys that fit what the coach wants to do. You think Pop would just try to put the Nuggets players in his system? No. Good coaches can adjust their system to the players’ talent. They make smart draft picks that fill the holes in their system. Honestly, the Nuggets rarely make smart draft picks except for Ty, Fournier, and Faried. Everyone they draft just has potential, not actual skills that will translate immediately. Karl had a system. Shaw doesn’t. But how can you blame him? Having Gallo and Mcgee would’ve been absolutely necessary for him to implement anything that could’ve stuck. Shaw will get one more year no matter what so we’ll just have to wait and see.

              • Nugman

                I agree Shaw has no system. But I’m not sure having Gallo and McGee will change that. Remember the Nugs kept winning last year after Gallo went down and McGee was only getting 12-15 minutes under GK.

            • Heisenberg

              I know I’m late to the party, but the Spurs have a top 3 coach of all time in Popovich. Unless the Nuggets land a coach like that, you really can’t expect to consistently churn out late 1st rounders into anything more than solid role players.

              George Karl’s style didn’t win in the playoffs anyway. The Suns had the same style with Nash, Stoudemire, and Marion. A big 3, with plenty of talent. Every year they crapped out of the playoffs. GK was no different.

              • Nugman

                I don’t disagree. My big problem is everyone keeps giving Shaw a free pass because of injuries and the he doesn’t have his type of players excuse. The fact is he hasn’t developed the team this year after 65 games and that should be a concern to all Nuggets fans. By now we should be seeing some real improvement, but we only see the same haphazard play we’ve seen all year

              • Heisenberg

                Fair criticism. I think Shaw deserves at least one more year where hopefully the core parts of the team are healthy. I’m not sure if he’s the guy yet or not.

      • heykyleinsf

        I give you the Kings, Raptors, Cavs, Pelicans and Bobcats.
        They tank every year and have for about ten years.
        Are their fans happy yet?
        It’s a crazy simpleton notion.

        then look at the Spurs and Heat..
        in the thick of it for the same ten years
        haven’t tanked once.
        Their fans are happy.
        It’s a total fallacy.
        We also got Lawson and Faried after making the playoffs.

        • Sharkboy242

          Those comparisons aren’t fair. Those are teams that actually suck unlike the Nuggets who have just had the misfortune of many injuries this season. It would have just been a one season thing. I never said we should tank for many years to come. Look at this draft, the top six or so picks have a high probability of becoming all stars. All you anti tank people act like this isn’t the best draft since 2003.

          Which leads me to my next point about the 2003 NBA draft and the impact it had on our franchise as well as others’. We got Melo, Miami got Dwayne Wade and Cleveland got LeBron. Are you seriously going to act like that one pick didn’t bolster the Nuggets into relevancy again? Miami went on to win Championships with Wade… The Spurs received Parker and Duncan through the DRAFT.

          You people act like were the Lakers or Celtics. No this is not a hot destination for FA to come… Its just the reality that unless we’re a piece away form contending no one is going to want to play in Denver.

          At this point it doesn’t matter though. You don’t always need a high pick to actually win the lottery. We just have to hope that happens.

          • Ryan Chalstrom

            What happened to you sharkboy? I almost never agree with you but today I read your posts and can’t help but to agree with every one. Well said.

          • Nugman

            Parker was like the 26th pick. Do you really believe that all the Nuggets problems this year are due to injury?

            • Sharkboy242

              My answer to that question is yes now that Hickson is out of the starting lineup (I mean, that is our immediate problem)

              Do you just not pay attention to how big a difference a single player can make? The absence of Ty just really drove it home to me how desperately this team needed a leader. Multiply that by three with the absence of Gallo, McGee and Robinson… Its really really hard to have any expectations for said team. I would say we’re just about where we should be (10th in a loaded west).

              What do you have to say for all the teams that are below the Nuggets–a lot of those teams are healthy–should all of them be firing their coaches? You may think that its an effort thing and you may be right. I just wonder why you so heavily doubt that next years team will lack effort when they know they’re more capable of being successful. Just like loosing and bad play are contagious, so is winning. I don’t doubt that next season’s squad will provide harder effort.

    • Nugman

      They probably like to buy life insurance too

  • Furious_Stylez

    As a Nuggets fan, it’s good to see a convincing win against a good team. All the clowns claiming Miami dogged need to shut it. The Nuggets, regardless of anyone’s opinion, are an NBA team with NBA players and can win games against good teams every now and then. They held a lead and never gave it up. This is what a team effort looks like.

    Nice win. If Faried can learn to play D and develop a close range jumper, he could become a top 5 PF with his skills and energy. Hickson is an asset when used off the bench. Fournier continued his up and down play, but was good in this game. A top 10 pick is out of the question now, so we have to hope Connolly does his homework and makes a pick that will help this team immediately.

    • Nugman

      If they’re an NBA team with NBA players then why do you keep saying Shaw will do better when he has better players? He can “coach anyone” so he should be able to coach this group of NBA players, right?

  • Nugman

    Too bad such a nice win means so little.