In what turned out to be one of the more exciting (and odd) games of the season, the Nuggets ended up falling to the Grizzlies in quite, well, interesting fashion. Timofey Mozgov had a career night in more than one way, and Brian Shaw certainly assisted in helping Mozgov achieve this feat. If nothing else, this was a fun game worth staying up for… until the end. That was just awful.
|Kenneth Faried, PF 32 MIN | 6-14 FG | 5-9 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 17 PTS | +8
Faried couldn’t handle the Grizzlies’ bigs down low (who can?) but played great offensively. I continue to be blown away at how much he’s developed in one year. He’s running the floor, passing like a point guard and finishing on the low block like it’s his specialty. Faried’s continuing growth is worth watching alone.
|Quincy Miller, SF 18 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | -8
As Matt put it on Twitter, “I completely forgot that Quincy Miller played in this game.”
|Timofey Mozgov, C 32 MIN | 9-15 FG | 5-7 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 23 PTS | 0
This was one of Mozgov’s best games of his career. He was dunking with authority, finishing well around the rim, rebounding like a mad man and even shooting more 3-pointers! Well, maybe his three wasn’t the best idea in the world, but outside of that he was an animal.
|Ty Lawson, PG 40 MIN | 3-9 FG | 2-4 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | -1
Lawson has been in a major slump lately and this game was no exception. He played OK, but he wasn’t assertive. That was really his biggest problem. Lawson has to be THE GUY on a nightly basis. Slumps happen, but as has often been the case in his career, he was being entirely too passive.
|Randy Foye, SG 40 MIN | 6-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | +11
Foye had a solid game overall. He did a little bit of everything, and if he just hit a few more of his threes this game would have had a totally different outcome.
|Jan Vesely, PF 16 MIN | 3-4 FG | 2-4 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | 0
Jan Vesely is something else. I don’t know what, but he’s something. He’s the only player I’ve ever watched where I fear for his life every time he gets near the ball. He just starts jumping and making weird bodily movements that don’t really affect anybody or anything. I’m worried one of these times he’s gonna land wrong and maim himself. I don’t know, maybe he should just try and relax and play basketball instead of always trying to kinetically pluck invisible butterflies out of the air.
|Darrell Arthur, PF 16 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | -8
Arthur didn’t have a huge impact. In fact, he only hit a few long-range shots then disappeared for the remainder of the game.
|Aaron Brooks, PG 29 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | +4
I really like Aaron Brooks. Really, really. As a backup point guard, he’s exactly what the Nuggets need. He’s steady. He has range. He has vision. He’s intelligent. He plays hard. He gives it his all on defense. He does occasionally take too many shots, but who doesn’t? This is another guy who makes watching the Nuggets worthwhile.
|Evan Fournier, SG 17 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | -6
Fournier didn’t do much, but what he did do was nice. He had an impressive Euro-step drive to the hoop early on that was memorable and played hard all night.
So I like Brian Shaw. I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that I think he’s a solid coach, a solid dude. But letting Mozgov, who’s made one 3-pointer his entire career, shoot a potential game-winning three just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Was it fun? OF COURSE! Did I like the fact that Shaw thought out of the box? OF COURSE! But at the same time, this was a winnable game that he treated like practice. That’s a tough pill to swallow from a fan’s standpoint. Watching Mozgov take threes is great and all, but I think I speak for the rest of Nuggets Nation when I say, watching someone else actually hit a game-winning three is much better.
Three Things We Saw
- The last eight seconds of this game were ridiculous. First, you had the whole Mozgov catastrophe; then you had the last play of the game where Courtney Lee totally missed the rim on his free throw, which should have stopped the clock and allowed the Nuggets one last shot, but which the refs totally ignored. This game had so much zeal for the first 47 minutes and 53 seconds of action. Then time just stopped and I have no idea what the hell happened after that.
- Is it me or has Zach Randolph absolutely abused the Nuggets for the last half decade? And I’m not even talking about recently, with Faried and McGee guarding him. I remember when he was with the Clippers, he’d come into the Pepsi Center and seemingly have his way with guys like K-Mart and Nene. Unless the Nuggets get some much-needed defensive help up front this summer, I don’t see this trend ending anytime soon.
- It’s looking more and more like the Knicks are gonna make the playoffs in the East. If this is the case, then the Nuggets will retain their own pick for the upcoming draft. And if this is the case, then I hate to be the guy to say it, but losses like this kind of have a silver lining. Obviously nobody is rooting for the Nuggets to lose, but it’s certainly much easier to accept when you realize how talented the upcoming draft is and how much better the Nuggets will be next year.
Next up: Wednesday, April 2, @ 7 p.m. MST vs. New Orleans. Going to the game? Save money and get cheap Denver Nuggets tickets here.
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