Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 102, San Antonio Spurs 133

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.

San Antonio Spurs 133 Final

Recap | Box Score

102 Denver Nuggets
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.

Brian Shaw
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.

 

You can follow me on Twitter here: @denbutsu

 

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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Joel is a long time Denver Nuggets (and Broncos) fan from Colorado who's been living in Japan since the mid-90s, and blogging about the Nuggets since 2008. You can contact and follow him on Twitter: @denbutsu.
  • LBJ

    Sounds like Shaw had the boys ready to play tonight! My preseason prediction of 35 wins in serious trouble!

    Thanks for the great product Joshy – you have really turned the franchise around!

  • Robert

    My issue is with Shaw. Pop shows coaching and fire when they are up 30 while Shaw sits his ass on the bench and is seen smiling? WTF. I love POP. Show some professionalism and fire and maybe you will get the same from the players

  • Ryan

    Good job, good effort

  • Richard Pesicka

    San Antonio, great team. Great coach. I feel bad for the Nuggets are worth a crap. Perhaps it’s time for a knight in shining armor to swoop in and buy the Nuggets up and move them away and save them. Listening to half the crowd root for the Nuggets was fun.

  • gimpcom187

    At the game. I really understand how some people were suggesting the “comeback” wednesday was more about the nuggets rather than a lack of concentration on the spurs part. Really I feel this loss was a fluke. The nugs shoulda had it. Spurs arent a better team. Next year when they’re healthy nugs by 31.

    On ghe plus side the nugs cheerleaders did great.

    • LBJ

      Did you see Kyle?

  • Nugman

    I was at the game and several things jumped out:

    With about 3 minutes left in halftime the teams returned to the court. The Spurs were all business. All their players were on the court shooting shots and working on their game. They weren’t talking or wasting warmup time. On the other hand, only two Nuggets, Moz and Vesley, were shooting. Foye and RA spent the 3 minutes chatting in the corner and all the other Nuggets wasted the time walking around and talking. This is indicative of the lack of structure and discipline we see under Shaw and explains a lot why the Nuggets are such a failure this year. Anyone who has been around basketball sees this in poorly coached middle school teams

    Foye try’s to block every shot. He blocks 1 out of 20 and it really looks cool. But the other 19 times he gives the opponent a wide open shot that generally results in points. This is terrible defensive basketball. The fact that Shaw has let this go on all season is another indication of poor coaching. If he would’ve benched Foye a few times early in the season Foye would’ve stopped it. Foye is NOT great!

    The Nuggets do a terrible job of closing out on shooters. They either run at them too fast and fall for the ball fake and get beat off the dribble, or close out too slow and give up an open shot. This is again indicative of poor coachg. After 73 games if coached properly they would close out much better.

    Shaw says the team has settled on a system to defend the screen and roll, but it’s not evident. They hedge and recover too slow and don’t help. It’s not as complicated as Shaw makes it seem.

    The Nuggets do not play with the intensity of the Spurs or GKs teams. They do not move their feet well, fight hard over screens, hedge hard, etc. this is all about coaching. A coach has to demand intensity and Shaw obviously doesn’t. And intensity is different than effort. It’s what the coach creates at practice. But it’s obvious by the Nuggets play and their halftime antics that there’s no discipline, structure or intensity being taught by Shaw.

    • Sharkboy242

      I’m almost to the point where I feel sorry for how obsessive you seem to be but I’m not quite there yet due to how annoying you are.

      I can’t imagine the amount of travesty you’d be going through had you been born a Milwaukee fan.

      • gimpcom187

        I agree nugman is a littleobsessive. Part of it is the insanity of some of the idealist/delusionists. That said there isnt really anything to quibble with what he said. It was good analysis which is likely why you insulted rather than refuted.

        Milwaukee’s last good coach was adecade ago. I was at the game too. It was laughable. On 3 occassions ginobli ran pnr with splitter and he was wide open 2 feet from the rim. Literally 2 feet. 3rd time he took a misstep too close to rim pivoted and the layed it up. Anugget never got within 5 feet of him. They shouldve called him for 3 seconds and a nugget NEVER got within 5 feet of him.

        • Sharkboy242

          Yeah sure what he said is legit but when you look at the big picture, (our roster) the Nuggets are right around where you’d expect them to be.

  • Nugman

    It’s amazing you can watch this game and blame the lack of structure, discipline and fundamental basketball on injuries

  • heykyleinsf

    Welp…
    I’m more or less dosed on Darrel Arthur for life.

  • ZShelt

    Can someone please make a video of Mozgov’s dunk attempts tonight? I’d like to watch that some more… definetly the highlights of this game.

    • Nugman

      Rocky’s half court shot was the highlight

    • Guest

      I have no hope for that guy ever overcoming his completely pale clumsy whiteness.

      • LBJ

        Hey Kyle – why did you initially post this under your screen name and then go back and post it as a guest?

        • heykyleinsf

          no buddy I tried to erase it. I thought putting the “whiteness” part may have been offensive.. and I regretted saying it. Turns out you can’t do that here.. live and learn.

    • heykyleinsf

      He peaked at about 20 games deep in to the season this year.
      CLUMSY. At best.
      Always will be.
      I was done with him last year.

  • heykyleinsf

    Welp…
    nearly this time last year.. we had arguably the most successful regular season in 40 years of franchise history.. replete with Iggy “his indisputable highness” Igodalia…

    And still were embarrassed beyond recognition.
    Say what you want about a year with half the roster blown apart with injuries.

    It’s still a success in comparison.

    • LBJ

      Keep telling yourself that, Mr. Delusional.
      Or better yet, put down the crack pipe.

      • heykyleinsf

        one silver lining.
        At least GK is gone.

        • gimpcom187

          Looks like 70 games in you MIGHT have entered the bargaining phase in dealing with the death of that 57 win team. I say might as you are still clearly angry at karl iggy and miller.

          Id rather be a fan of a team that had no shot at the playoffs at the allstar break and likely will end up with a pick 2-3 picks short of a pick with a 60% shot at an allstar. Better than a very good team that was among the most exciting in the league to watch lose to a very good opponent in a relatively close series. Ok man. Who’s the pessimist now. Id rather not have a chance than be disappointed a team didnt advance.

          • heykyleinsf

            whatever.

            At the end of the day.. Karl, Iggy and Miller are no longer Nuggets.. so thank you super fan.. for telling me how I shouldn’t have my loyalty to players and coaches that actually work for this team.
            Thanks again.

            • gimpcom187

              Your welcome. I will admit its been difficult to remain respectful of you. I give myself a “b” ive let the snark out 20% of the time when you deserve 50%. Enjoy the rest of the glorious season. Cant wait to see you attempt to reframe next years 43 win season too.

              Im loyal to reality. I thought you were on that path but maybe im too optimistic.

              • heykyleinsf

                I can deny that it’s been fun Gimp.
                I’m sure we’re both fans or we wouldn’t be here.
                Only 9 more games to do this with you.
                You got to admit you’ll miss it too.

        • pgwarner

          You keep harping on Brooks. You might want to do a little research on him. He is like Nate Robinson in that they never stay long. They are a poison on the team and other players resent them before long.

          • heykyleinsf

            well you completely pulled that out of your butt.
            It’s not nice to lie about people

            • pgwarner

              You took a statement by me and instead of rebutting it you take a personal shot at me. Here…

              http://www.sportingnews.com/nba/story/2013-05-07/nate-robinson-bulls-heat-nba-playoffs-derrick-rose-joakim-noah-knicks-celtics

              An excerpt from this article…

              “Robinson, it is worth remembering that Robinson hasn’t always been so inspiring over the course of his eight years in the NBA.

              Not long after Knicks president Isiah Thomas pulled a surprise and chose Robinson with the No. 21 pick—acquired in a trade from Phoenix—it was obvious Robinson would be a handful. In November 2005, with reporters looking on, Robinson squared off at practice with 7-1 center Jerome James following a pickup game. Those tensions were quickly defused, but Robinson was at it again a month later, tackling teammate Malik Rose in the shower when Rose refused to pay up on a bet on a football game. On the court, Robinson was giving his first coach—Larry Brown—some grief, too, as Brown complained, “Right now, Nate thinks he’s a highlight reel.”

              • For Robinson as a rookie, the highlight—sort of—came during the All-Star game in Houston, where he won his first dunk contest. But thanks to a quirk in the rules, the win came after he missed 14 dunks in what is still, arguably, the worst dunk contest of all time.

              • In December 2006 at Madison Square Garden, Robinson was one of the instigators in one of the worst on-court brawls in NBA history. It started when Nuggets guard J.R. Smith was taken down hard by Knicks guard Mardy Collins during a Denver blowout. With Smith and Collins squaring off, Robinson was the first outsider to enter the fray, and by the end of it, 47 games worth of suspensions were handed out, including 10 games for Robinson.

              • Coming into the 2007-08 season, there were high hopes for Robinson. He had shown leadership in running the Knicks’ entry in the Las Vegas Summer League, and won Most Outstanding honors in that tournament. Thomas, now coaching the Knicks, talked up Robinson’s improvement during training camp, but by mid-December 2007, Thomas had benched Robinson, and he would later get into a sideline fight with teammate Zach Randolph. Robinson did get back on the floor, and averaged 14.4 points in 26 games after the All-Star break—including 14 starts—but that was because Stephon Marbury was injured.

              I could go on but what is the point. Its common knowledge around the league about Nate. Look stuff up yourself. Don’t claim that he has changed. This crap has happened every place he has been.

              • heykyleinsf

                yeah. I guess you missed one of the most exciting playoff games ever last year. Triple overtime.

              • pgwarner

                That has nothing to do with my comment.

            • pgwarner

              Brooks is a ball hog. Always has been, just like Robinson. Players don’t like it. Harden didn’t in Houston. Do your research on him too. These guys bounce around because they don’t fit in.

              • heykyleinsf

                17 assists.
                Shut the complete F up.
                Please.
                Please.
                Shut up fool

              • pgwarner

                One game means nothing. Teams have gotten rid of him because he is a ball hog. Its common knowledge. You get all upset don’t you.

            • pgwarner

              Here is a more recent comment about Nate. He has not changed as I said. Don’t call me a liar.

              http://www.nj.com/knicks/index.ssf/2013/07/knicks_links_nate_robinson_wont_be_returning_to_new_york_according_to_multiple_reports.html

              “The Knicks’ free-agent options narrowed a bit yesterday as Nate Robinson signed a two-year deal with the Denver Nuggets for the bi-annual exception, according to multiple reports (including this one from Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports).

              It wasn’t as if Robinson was sorely needed by the Knicks, who are still in the market for a third point guard.

              The truth is, Robinson—who prefers scoring to passing and breathing—would have only been desirable for the veteran’s minimum, which is coincidentally all the Knicks can offer.”

              • heykyleinsf

                Nate came from the Bulls.
                Shut up liar.

              • pgwarner

                He came from the bulls because nobody would resign him. That is not my comment but a local reporters view. You can’t even read or is it comprehend..

                You are a child. You can;t read either. All you do on here is call people names. You have been doing it all year. You do not have any reasoned approach. I find your little tirade a joke, You are quite funny.

  • Andrew

    Man, this board is all doom and gloom. I am watching some of the tourney games and am going back to my early season wish. Julius Randle from Kentucky. If the Nuggets get lucky and pick him or pull off a draft day trade for him, I think the Nuggs are back in biz next year if Gallo comes back strong.
    I know everyone hates Shaw now, but I would predict playoffs with this lineup:
    Geezy/Moz, Randle/Faried, Gallo/Chando, Starting SG achieved through trade/Foye, Lawson/Robinson.
    I know, I know. It is EXTREME wishful thinking that we would get Randle and a starting SG through a trade (Chando/Hickson (who is injured)/draft pick), hope springs eternal, and if all you can foresee for the Nuggets is years of terrible teams, what is the point of wasting your time even following them? Shaw is here for at least another year, so if you think they have no hope next year, just go do something fun that you like and check back with the rest of us in 2016 or so. Life’s too short to waste it on a terrible product that you hate.

  • heykyleinsf

    Joel.. it’s getting to the point where you guys need to evaluate this roster and come up with ideas about who stays and goes. Hopefully getting Gallo, Javale and Nate back healthy to start the year. I would like to keep Brooks. Honestly I’m over Mozzy. I still can’t believe they gave him that contract. But we might be stuck with Hickson probably missing a good portion of the season. Ty is a given and Faried is the most improved player. Leaves me on the fence with Chando, Fours, Quincy, Randolph, Airwolf and DA. I never was a big fan of the Foye signing. This roster is a ragtag bunch right now. Interested in the admin consensus of what scenarios might be.