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.
|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.
|Jan Vesely, PF DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS |
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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