Nearly everybody on the roster came to play in what turned out to be one of the Nuggets’ best team performances of the year. Kenneth Faried scored a new career high, while Ty Lawson got back into the double-double category and Aaron Brooks put on yet another show off the bench. Now if the Nuggets could only do this for 82 games…
|Kenneth Faried, PF 27 MIN | 14-19 FG | 6-8 FT | 13 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 1 TO | 34 PTS | +17
Faried set a new career high in points, but it wasn’t only his scoring that was impressive. He was all over the court blocking shots, hauling down rebounds, running the break and finding open teammates with point guard-like passes. This was without question the best overall game I’ve seen Faried play. It now seems like centuries ago (when in fact it was just a few months) when we were openly questioning Faried’s value outside of Karl’s run-and-gun offense.
|Quincy Miller, SF 22 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +7
Miller blended in yet again. He has got to be more assertive if he wants to grow.
|Timofey Mozgov, C 26 MIN | 5-11 FG | 4-4 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | +14
Mozgov had his token missed dunk of the game, but outside of that he played really good for the second contest in a row. His defense inside was much needed and he even hit another 3-pointer to make up for his botched one in the final seconds of the game against the Grizzlies.
|Ty Lawson, PG 33 MIN | 3-7 FG | 8-10 FT | 3 REB | 12 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 14 PTS | +29
Lawson only took seven shots but he was much more aggressive driving to the hoop where he often found his teammates for easy dunks or shots.
|Randy Foye, SG 30 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 7 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | +19
Foye wasn’t deadly from long range but he had a solid game overall. He hit several midrange jumpers and distributed nicely, evident by his seven assists on the night.
|Jan Vesely, PF 21 MIN | 5-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | +16
I give Vesely a lot of flack, but the truth is, he definitely has some talent — and that talent was on display against the Pelicans. He still had plays where I questioned his legitimacy as an NBA player, but he also had some pretty incredible blocks, passes and scoring opportunities. If he could get his body under control, his mind one step ahead of the next play and move with more fluidity, he could be a pretty damn solid NBA player. Unfortunately (or fortunately), that process likely won’t unfold in a Nuggets uniform.
|Darrell Arthur, PF 17 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | +18
Arthur had a really good under-the-radar type of game, as he usually does. He stretched the floor, hitting two 3-pointers, and played good man defense.
|Anthony Randolph, SF 9 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 5 PTS | -1
Randolph owned garbage time, you will pay taxes this month and the sun will rise tomorrow. All guarantees.
|Aaron Brooks, PG 30 MIN | 9-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 24 PTS | +18
I love Aaron Brooks. I am not afraid to say it. I’ve followed the Nuggets and watched almost every game of every season (outside of this one) for the last decade. I’ve seen role players come and go and have grown fond of some while loathing others. Although I’ve only watched a small fraction of his career, I can comfortably say that Aaron Brooks is one of my favorite role players the Nuggets have had over the last decade. He’s intelligent, crafty, unselfish, an excellent shooter and plays hard on both ends of the floor. Count me in as a member of the “Re-sign Aaron Brooks” party.
|Evan Fournier, SG 24 MIN | 5-13 FG | 0-1 FT | 4 REB | 7 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | +13
Fournier had an up-and-down game. He started off slow, then heated up and scored some silky 3-pointers; but he also missed his fair share of shots, got blocked at the rim several times and fumbled the ball on more than one occasion — sort of a microcosm of his second season with the Nuggets.
Everybody played well from the start. There was great ball movement from everyone and things just seemed to be clicking. These are the types of games that make me have faith in Shaw. Unfortunately, they don’t happen near as often as I’d like, but given injuries and this being his first season as a head coach, I’m willing to give Shaw some wiggle room. Let’s just hope the Nuggets can have a few more games like this down the stretch.
Three Things We Saw
- This season may be lost but I still enjoy watching the development of many of the players. Mozgov, Faried, Lawson, Arthur, Foye — these are guys who have shown great strides in their game and should give fans hope for the future.
- The Foye-Brooks backcourt is something to watch when its clicking. These guys are both deadly from long range and when their shots are falling they can really provide a scoring spark that’s difficult to withstand from an opponent’s standpoint.
- Not to be a Debbie Downer, but it’s hard to ignore the Knicks moving up into eighth in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Knicks have been hot lately, and on the exact opposite projectile as the Hawks. At this point, it’s looking more and more like the Nuggets are going to be using their own pick in the upcoming draft.
Next up: Friday, April 4 @ Memphis, 5 p.m. MST. Going to the game? Save money and get cheap Denver Nuggets tickets here.
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