Denver got shoved into the grind house by Memphis once again like Steve Buscemi in a wood-chipper. Grades will be up shortly.
|Kenneth Faried, PF 24 MIN | 7-13 FG | 3-4 FT | 12 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 17 PTS | -7I guess this is the point where we start to get grading Faried on a curve. 17 points and 12 rebounds are great, but those 5 turnovers were not just killers, but unnecessary killers. Faried having carte blanche to play point forward in transition is super entertaining, but his unwillingness (and/or inability) to pass the ball to anybody not on the other team is a rather big problem.|
|Quincy Miller, SF 13 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -17Not much to say here, unmemorable 13 minutes for Quincy. Shaw’s new small ball offense, usually playing Foye or Fournier at the three in the absence of Chandler, doesn’t really have a role for Miller at the moment.|
|Timofey Mozgov, C 28 MIN | 4-10 FG | 4-5 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | -4Mozgov’s numbers really haven’t done anything drastic since the Allstar break but there’s been a real regression. While JJ Hickson wasn’t really the alternative, Mozzy is just not a starting center. He’s too athletically disinclined and games where his size should make a difference on defense, like this one, he’s not doing enough in the post to keep the ZBo’s of the world away from the rim.|
|Aaron Brooks, PG 40 MIN | 5-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 11 PTS | -8Denver has a decision to make on Brooks this offseason. He’s played really well for Denver and having a secondary ball handler as competent as Brooks is a must in the league nowadays. But Nate Robinson renders Brooks a tad redundant, and its easy to forget how good NateRob was playing defensively before he went down. I’ve come around on Brooks but I don’t know if the roster can handle that many 6-foot and under guards.|
|Randy Foye, SG 39 MIN | 6-13 FG | 5-6 FT | 9 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 21 PTS | -11Foye’s been playing a lot of small forward lately and it’s been suiting him, on offense at least. He seems game to rebound like a three and, as long as Wilson Chandler’s defense stays as apathetic as its been this season, I wouldn’t mind seeing this becoming a more permanent fixture. Chandler’s always been better as a small-ball four off the bench anyway.|
|Darrell Arthur, PF 24 MIN | 1-9 FG | 3-3 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | +7Arthur is REALLY embracing this three point shot isn’t he? It’s still rather inconsistent but, as long as it’s taken within the flow of the offense I’m good with however many he’d like to take. They’re infinitely preferable to elbow jumpers hit at a similar rate. Still, his offense was struggling all game which is a shame because he was the only big Denver had who seemed equip to handle the Grizzlies’ front court.|
|Jan Vesely, PF 21 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTS | -12You can see shades of skill when Vesely comes off the pick at the elbow and launches a pass cross-court to an open shooter in the corner. But then you the rest of his palette when that pass sails into the fifth row.|
|Ty Lawson, PG 32 MIN | 3-8 FG | 10-12 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 16 PTS | +7This may be the last we see of Ty this season, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing other than the fact that these last hand full of games are going to be really tough watches. The season’s been over for awhile and Lawson’s probably exhausted from trying to keep this anchor of a team afloat. All we can do is hope it isn’t anything debilitating enough to bleed too far into the offseason.|
|Evan Fournier, SG 20 MIN | 2-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | +5I like Fournier at the three, but his shooting has to be better than this if that’s going to be his role on the team moving forward. He’s a solid pick and roll option if the initial play breaks down but his primary role needs to be coming off screens and making open shots.|
Shaw was heated at the officials and it’s hard to blame him. The game wasn’t so much officiated in favor of Memphis as it was inconsistently called. If you’re going to establish that this game is going to be called loosely, don’t switch it up mid-way through. As for the coaching itself, Shaw was solid I guess. He seems to have fully embraced small-ball (although his wanting to counter Memphis’ size probably accentuated it) in the back court. It will be interesting seeing what moves Denver makes going forward, Shaw’s defensive principles can’t be executed the way he wants them to with as diminutive a back court as the Nuggets are trotting out right now.