After a competitive start to the first quarter, the Spurs proceeded to thoroughly dismantle the Nuggets, extending a 19 point halftime lead to a 31 point blowout.
The grades are after the jump.
|Kenneth Faried, PF 27 MIN | 5-12 FG | 8-10 FT | 13 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 18 PTS | -17If there was one silver lining in this game, it was Faried. Or at least his offense. His improved post play and jump hooks continued to be on display, and he went 8-10 on free throws.|
|Quincy Miller, SF 24 MIN | 0-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 3 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -5It was a pretty rough night for Quincy. His inexperience was on fully display (Shaw took him aside more than once to scold him for failing to rotate on defense), and he just couldn’t get his shot to fall. He did have a few nice blocks, though.|
|Timofey Mozgov, C 21 MIN | 3-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 7 PTS | -12Mozgov had an up-and-down game tonight, but mostly down. He flubbed at least four dunks, and struggled on the defensive glass and in protecting the rim, as San Antonio scored 64 points in the paint.|
|Ty Lawson, PG 29 MIN | 5-11 FG | 3-5 FT | 1 REB | 5 AST | 4 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | -12Lawson didn’t play badly per se, but it was one of those nights where the Nuggets needed him to be more aggressive than he was. Though to be fair, that’s partly due to the Spurs defense doing a good job of containing him.|
|Randy Foye, SG 32 MIN | 7-13 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 20 PTS | -26Foye had a good shooting night, and if you only saw the offensive half of his game it would look pretty solid. But he got absolutely torched by Marco Belinelli, who scored 27 points with six 3-pointers, nearly all of them completely wide open.|
|Jan Vesely, PF 23 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-4 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | -21The Airwolf was his usual energetic self, and he made a few nice plays around the rim. His skills are limited, but he gave a spirited effort in a dispiriting game.|
|Darrell Arthur, PF 18 MIN | 3-13 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 8 PTS | -15It appeared early on in the second quarter that Arthur’s 3-point well had finally run dry as he missed his first three. He finally knocked down his fourth, but ultimately ended up 3-13 from the field, and was uncharacteristically of not much use on defense, either.|
|Anthony Randolph, SF 8 MIN | 2-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -10Randolph entered the game and immediately missed two contested 3-pointers. Even if he’s been given the green light, that doesn’t excuse poor shot selection. Like Vesely, though, he does get kudos for effort, but he really didn’t impact the game much in his eight minutes.|
|Aaron Brooks, PG 30 MIN | 2-5 FG | 3-4 FT | 0 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | -23Brooks played a mostly quiet 29 minutes, much of it in garbage time. To his credit, he was trying to be a facilitator on a night when the Nuggets shot .402 from the field (and the bench did worse), but on a night when Lawson’s productivity is limited he, like Ty, needs to be more aggressive in the scoring department.|
|Evan Fournier, SG 29 MIN | 6-10 FG | 3-3 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 15 PTS | -14In addition to Faried, Fournier was the other bright spot tonight. At least on offense. He did what should be done when his 3-pointeer wasn’t falling, and started taking it to the rim more, and he was the only bench player to make a significant contribution. As usual, when it came to the refs he remained the Rodney Dangerfield of the NBA. He don’t get no respect.|
Shaw did the only thing he could with the remnants of his injury-barraged roster: worked with what he had. It’s hard to give a coaching grade when the objectives are obscured. If the priority tonight was winning, green-lighting Miller, Randolph and Arthur to take so many 3-pointers was probably counterproductive. But if we (as most objective observers probably would) take it as a nearly forgegone conclusion that this would be a loss, then experimenting with things like that that could help with player development and scouting seems much more reasonable. One thing is indisputable, though: The Nuggets defense was an absolute mess, and that falls at least partly on Shaw.
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Next up: Monday, March 31 @ 7:00 p.m. (MST) vs. Memphis. Going to the game? Save money and get cheap Denver Nuggets tickets here.
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