Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 101 Utah Jazz 94

In a less-than-meaningful game between two lottery-bound teams, bad offense ruled the day. Then, the second half came along and Denver exploded for 67 points, defeating the Jazz for their third straight win.

Utah Jazz 94 Final
Recap | Box Score
101 Denver Nuggets
Kenneth Faried, PF 42 MIN | 11-19 FG | 2-3 FT | 21 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 6 TO | 24 PTS | +8

The first 20-20 game of his career is more than enough to cancel out the bad, like his slow start on offense and six turnovers. Faried’s weakness remains his less-than-stellar defense on aggressive post players, but it hardly matters when he so badly outplays his man on offense like he has.

Quincy Miller, SF 14 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -5

One player who hasn’t been in on any of the Nuggets’ good vibes as of late is Quincy. He was no match for Gordon Hayward defensively and didn’t come close on either of his two three-point attempts. With Wilson Chandler back in the fold Shaw couldn’t find a good reason to keep Miller out there after his bad start.

Timofey Mozgov, C 33 MIN | 4-11 FG | 3-6 FT | 10 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 11 PTS | +5

Mozgov had another double-double but started slow defensively and actually didn’t grab a defensive rebound in the second half. He continues to have trouble against athletic bigs but when he produces at this level, Mozgov is a positive force. He has handled the increased minutes well but needs to find more consistency throughout the whole game.

Aaron Brooks, PG 41 MIN | 3-13 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | +9

In the past two games Brooks has shown he will struggle against bigger and more athletic teams. A trigger-happy guard who doesn’t ever pass out of pick-and-rolls is a much better asset of the bench. With Brooks as a primary facilitator the Nuggets offense has been abysmal.

Randy Foye, SG 40 MIN | 7-13 FG | 9-9 FT | 4 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 26 PTS | +5

A team shouldn’t be any good with Foye as a primary scoring threat and lead playmaker as well. Despite that Foye continues to put up heroic efforts night after night. The two-way role player forced into a starring role continues to respond with his very best effort night-in and night-out.

Darrell Arthur, PF 2 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | 0

Arthur went down early with a left knee problem, the same injury has kept him in and out of service all season. It seems likely he could be done for the year with only two games left.

Jan Vesely, PF 17 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 0 PTS | 0

I enjoy Vesely, but I don’t share the same appreciation for his skill or basketball instincts as others. A scoreless night with 5 fouls and 3 turnovers in 17 minutes just isn’t good. But Vesely was there, hustling and violently flailing around whenever the ball got near him. Overall he probably didn’t hurt.

Wilson Chandler, SF 21 MIN | 3-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 9 PTS | +1

Chandler was rusty in his first action since missing 10 straight games with a hip ailment. He took some bad shots and silly fouls but just having another bonafide offensive threat on the floor proved to be a huge upgrade over Quincy Miller.

Evan Fournier, SG 31 MIN | 7-16 FG | 6-7 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 23 PTS | +12

Much like the Golden State game Fournier had a very poor start before exploding to hit some of the biggest shots of the night. Fournier presses a lot with the ball in his hands and struggles to make the right play. When he is used off the ball as a spot up threat and cutter he is much more effective. He also did a good job limiting Alec Burks, who has hurt the Nuggets before.

Brian Shaw

Shaw eased Wilson Chandler back into action off the bench and continues to show more trust in the improving duo of Mozgov and Faried. Whereas he typically used guys like Hickson and Lawson as a crutch in big moments, injuries have forced Shaw to play the guys he should be playing and it has paid off with a lot of his young guys finally showing development.

Two Things We Saw

  1. After scoring just 34 points in the first half the Nuggets exploded for 67 in the second. Kenneth Faried got things started in transition by attacking the slow feet of Kanter and Favors. Foye followed up by catching fire from outside. Without a true playmaker available the Nuggets have had to rely on guys like Faried and Foye to score off isolations, which in turn gets the pace going where the rest of the players can shine.
  2. The Hawks winning tonight officially eliminated the Knicks from playoff contention. With the Pelicans also losing their eighth-straight it virtually locks them into the 10th lottery spot, meaning the Nuggets will likely pick 11th or 12th depending on where Denver and New York land. Although the swap with New York is just a one pick difference, the Knicks in the lottery is good for Denver. It essentially means the Nuggets will have double the lottery odds — if either team moves up in the May 20th drawing, Denver will be the beneficiary and receive the better pick.
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Charlie Yao

Contributor at Roundball Mining Company since 2010. Unhealthily obsessed with Nuggets basketball since 2002. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram at the links on the left.

Latest posts by Charlie Yao (see all)

  • heykyleinsf

    They’re playing hard and they’re playing for Shaw and each other.
    This is getting old to say..
    but once again.. eat it haters.
    Choke on it.

    • Nugman

      We beat a 25 win team at home by a narrow margin and you get excited about it? You have some low expectations

      • mike gomez

        of course your going to see it that way because your going to hate no matter what the team does with shaw.

        • Nugman

          It’s not about hate, but reality. Are you suggesting the Jazz are a good team?

          • mike gomez

            no, im say he is getting the team to play hard and believe in themselves and what shaw is trying to do. their playing hard no matter who its.

  • David Acker

    Late in the game the Jazz were overplaying the 3 ball. The ball went to Mozzy and Favours had to come out to him which left Evan open in the corner. Quick pass Evan hits the three Nuggets up by 6. I wonder if Mozzy hadn’t been shooting threes lately if Favours would have come out?? Good coaching by Shaw?? Just giving the opponent something else to worry about. Maybe maybe not.

    Good fight when the boys didn’t play their best

    • gimpcom187

      I think you were thinking of burkes. I think he spent the rest of the game on the bench so im gonna bet the coaching staff was disappointed. Mozzy isnt even 20% from 3

    • Nugman

      They want guys to shoot shots they make less than 20% on. That’s the whole idea. Force your opponent to take their lowest % shots. Mozzy shooting 3s is what every Nugget opponent wants.

      • David Acker

        He hasn’t’ really taken enough 3’s to give you a proper percentage. It’s the threat. If he hadn’t been shooting threes lately it doesn’t make the other teams scouting report and more than likely doesn’t get defended. It was the threat of the shot that opened Evan up don’t be narrow minded see the bigger picture

        • gimpcom187

          As you see it. Were contending it was a huge mistake that the guy got benched for

        • Nugman

          Do you understand percentages? Basketball is all about your team getting the highest % shots you can and having your opponent shoot the lowest % shots. The teams that do that generally win. Moz is not a 3 point threat and any decent team will let him shoot them all day. The other teams scouting report will say let Moz shoot the 3! There is nothing narrow minded about it. It’s just the facts.

  • LegalizeDenverNuggets

    I did not see the beginning of the game, but in the second half Fornier, Faried, Foye and Mozgov all impressed me with their effort and offense, as they came back from a slow start for the win. Foye got hot from 3 and Evan made a couple key shots, as well as a circus with the and one (I’m sure you can see that in an espn highlight reel). Faried had some strong finishes, and continued to exhibit an improved post game. Faried was getting a lot of good looks in the flow of the offense, and even with his solid numbers, I noticed both Brooks and Chandler attempted to get Faried more lob dunks, but they missed horribly (As I recall, both were somewhat difficult lob attempts on the run, which tells me they are especially looking for those plays (perhaps as coached by shaw), but at the same time I was pissed that the lob attempts were so off the mark, because the area that they gotta put the ball in for Faried to nab that and dunk is quite a bit larger than the area of the hoop). While I can’t remember anything particularly great Brooks did on offense, I felt comfortable with him handling the ball (only 1 turn over in 41 mins) and he competes on defense. I admittedly was mostly selectively drinking while the Nuggets played D, but I felt like the effort was mostly there, and several pesky defensive plays and soundly defended shots caused turn-overs which helped turn the game in our favor (although #airwolf flailed around and was befuddled by why he got called for fouls as usual.) Q Miller was always very ready to give a team mate an enthusiastic celebration for a 3 point make, but I’ll be looking for him to be a bit more discerning in the future- I’m pretty sure he stood for both of Mozgov’s 3-point misses. He also held a funny pose for quite some time after a teammate’s make, stealing their thunder (I can’t even remember if Foye or Fornier made that shot) with completely unnatural celebratory sideline antics (I have mixed feelings about contrived sideline celebrations becoming a thing). Maybe Miller is looking to ride his recent internet fame, initiated by a murderous Igudala cross-up, into a positive thing for his #brand.

    I’m not sure what to take from this game, aside that I think Shaw is coaching the squad to feed the manimal. It was nice to see Fournier do well with some extended mins. The score was low at half time, and it seemed the Nuggets only got it in gear when I started watching- but one thing I noticed was that some Nuggets players, Mozgov in particular, seemed to be getting pissed at Faried for stealing rebounds. I feel like I saw Kenneth steal at least 3 rebounds rather blatantly in the 4th quarter alone, and at the very end of the game, Mozgov seemed to throw up his hands in frustration when Faried snagged the final rebound from him. Kind of a funny moment. In the end, both players performed well, and I can’t blame Faried for number hunting after being on the trade block mid-season #SorryMozgod.

    I am liking these end of season wins. I’ve found myself getting excited to watch games again, and I hadn’t been feeling that the past several months. As an ever optimistic fan, I’m convincing myself that with a decent draft pick and perhaps a good FA role-player signing, we aren’t in a terrible position moving forward, hopefully being able to retain much of the current talent. Go Nugs!

    • ryanvdonk

      the one thing you missed in the first half (and apparently the highlight guys were lazy about it) was Moz absolutely posterizing kanter.

  • heykyleinsf

    Add this to the top of what we’re seeing lately..
    A healthy Gallo back,
    An improved McGee along with an improved Mozgov, Fours, Brooks and Faried.
    A healthy Ty
    The Wilson Chandler off the bench he’s capable of being..
    and a healthy Robinson capable any night to shoot out the lights..

    Think about it.
    That’s what we’re getting next year.
    Hate all you can while you can
    Especially those of you that want to see the ship sink to drown the captain.
    It’s going to serve you right that you aren’t enjoying the party
    when you see that everyone else is.

    • gimpcom187

      Embracing delusion. I agree. Shaw will finally get the recognition he deserves as coach of the yearafter they win 68 games. I think faried and brooks become all stars and all defense players. Ty is the best backup in the league. They may just give shaw a nobel prize too. Iggy begs to come back including a taped message where he cries and apologizes directly to hey kyle in sf. Quincy miller starts getting durant comps. Mcgee gets a clue and becomes better than hakeem. Nate robinson starts and ends every game with a backwards flip dunk like its nba JAM the arcade game. Kyle gets an “eat it haters” tattoo on his forehead.

      • Nugman

        Doesn’t Melo beg to sign with the Nuggets for the minimum just so he can win a championship?

        • heykyleinsf

          Let’s roll with this further..
          Nugman and Gimp wear speedos, hold hands and skip down 16th street.

          • Nugman

            Are you 15 years old?

            • heykyleinsf

              do you live in a glass house?

      • heykyleinsf

        That whole diatribe just proved what an ugly imagination you have.
        You see things so nihilistic that such disturbing notions flow effortlessly through you.

        Your suffering is your own creation..

        just like that ugly thing you dreamt up.

        • Ckwizard

          Heykyleinsf I just want to say thank you for fighting the fight you do.

          • gimpcom187

            Dont encourage him ck. Hes not on your side. You and I have a reasonable disagreement of where this team is headed. Kyle gets on here calling others pessimistic, nihilistic, angry foolish, and telling them to suck it. And somehow misinterprets the scenario as hes the victim.its hilarious and im just having fun with it.

            • Ckwizard

              Well heck I don’t mind the good basketball conversation and Kyle has a history of being able to have them. Kyle is sometimes a little immature but he is not a troll but a troll fighter. However this site is a bridge and under that bridge is a troll that has squatted here for a little too long.

              • gimpcom187

                That’s OK. We disagree on how this team will do without a significant infusion of talent and the definition of a troll. OH well. Realism isn’t a troll though.

              • Ckwizard

                Gimpcom187 you are not the “Troll” I am talking about… I enjoy the few conversations we have had because I might argue that “Gallo” is a good talent and I would argue night and day with Kyle because I witnessed how much better “Iggy” made this team. But this board has been taken over by Nugman and he has singlehandedly made this board a place void of quality Nuggets discussion and quality basketball discussion.

                I mean really, is there an “ignore” feature that can make it so I don’t even know that individual is on the board anymore because then I could tolerate this place.

                Is it your fault that your view and perception fall closer to Nugmans agenda… No not at all but there was a crowd last year of Kyle, Googergieger, and myself that saw the outcomes and were pleased with seeing Karl go… Nothing I have seen this year has made me think it was a mistake and there are plenty of things I have seen to give me a positive outlook… Next year may have me eating crow… But I really do believe we have something special brewing here and next year is going to be awesome.

            • heykyleinsf

              FIRST OF ALL…
              Never once.. Never once..
              Did I name you or anyone else specifically.
              Nor did I ever intend to.
              You tried the shoe on and took it from there.
              You have what is said in the psychiatric field..
              a delusion of reference.

              but why don’t you have enough faith in the way you see things to not need nor care anyone else to have their own opinion?

              And “He’s not on your side”..REALLY?
              What was that about?
              REALLY?
              Beyond the grandstanding..
              what side is there and how am I on it with anyone or against it with anyone?

        • gimpcom187

          Im not suffering at all. It’s a game I enjoy watching and analyzing. My optimism” was only one step up from your version. The nuggets won 3 straight. “We” doesn’t exist. Youre the only one who says he hates people on these posts. Iggy, Karl, the refs etc. I say Id like for people to look at this team realistically. You actually said you preferred the end (and had more optimism about the team) of this season to last. Not sure what to say about that. You come on here suck it fools etc not me. I put out one funny mock up of the optimism after the 5th time you have put up essentially that exact same post. Sorry, it apparently hurt your feelings more than I intended.

      • mike gomez

        still a bigger shot than karl getting hired and taking his team out the first round and wins multiple championships.

        • gimpcom187

          Im not interested in the karl discussion anymore as there isnt one. If you dont see karl as clearly better than shaw at this point then I cant respect your opinion on nba basketball and nugs. Its like people who still debate kobe as better than jordan or lebron.

          • mike gomez

            well i know he is not better than karl right now, as he is a rookie coach. its unfair the crap you guys give him as he is and have do high expectations for him because of what the team did last season. let him prove himself next season with healty roster

            • Heisenberg

              His minute allocations, these ridiculous Mozgov threes, his player interactions (which GK was criticized for) have all been very bad. It took him over 60 games to realize that Mozgov was better than Hickson.

              • mike gomez

                well its not like shaw is going to let him do next season if he cant hit them. he is just experimenting, as he said, he want to see what he got and what the players are capable. well karl never realized it because he love kusta kofus so much.

              • Heisenberg

                Because Koufos is a pretty good rebounder and doesn’t have those Shaqtin a fool moments that McGoof has. Shaw is still coaching to win, and having Mozgov shooting these late game threes makes absolutely no sense.

              • mike gomez

                if koufos was all that, then were was he in the last two playoff series with denver?? mcgee might have some of those moments but he makes his presents felt with his shot blocking. he has helped win us some playoff games. he never saw mozgov as player he would have in his rotation

              • Heisenberg

                Well Karl benched KK in the Warriors series. Management wanted McGee to get more minutes. Koufos barely played in the series against the Lakers. This isn’t even mentioning how having a guy like Koufos complements Faried better than McGee. Koufos is a much better rebounder, just look at his rebounds per 48.

                It’s too bad because JaVale has the ability to be great, but doesn’t have the IQ and that will never come.

              • mike gomez

                yes he benched because he was garbage, by that time it was to late. koufous is a more discipline but he couldnt even rebound the ball in those series. when we had mcgee and mozz as our centers in the playoffs good this happen. he might not be what we want him to be but he still big body that could reflect alot of shots and bring energy

              • Heisenberg

                Management basically demanded that GK would play him. Ask guys like Pop, Phil Jackson, or heck, even Thibs about McGee. They would all HATE having him on their team.

                Bogut was kicking McGee’s ass anyway.

              • mike gomez

                if he was kicking mcgee ass, then he must of murder koufus. maybe they would but not for that contract. he still good player that could impact a game

              • Heisenberg

                He turned it over a lot in that series. Neither guy played that well.

                Hopefully Mozgov starts next year over McGee.

              • heykyleinsf

                you forgot three come from behind wins in a row.

  • Nugman

    The Nuggets are the best team in the NBA and Shaw is the best coach because we barely beat a terrible 25 win Jazz team.

  • Erlingur Grétar Einarsson

    Shall we dispense with the hate, please?

    Every Rapid Reaction comments section for the last three months has devolved into a figurative shouting match between figures of certain opposite opinions, to the point that it seems we’re not even talking about the game at hand, but just yelling totalitarian arguments about the state of the Nuggets in general at each other.

    It’s obviously driven a lot of people away from commenting regularly, and I for one can’t see how either of the extremes (“suck it haters” vs. “Shaw sucks”) is conducive to a healthy or constructive environment for us Nuggets fans to talk about our team.

    I love the Roundball Mining Company’s dedication to the Nuggets, because it’s not just blind fanboy-ism, but blind hate is no better.

    Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but hijacking every comment thread (even those who try to talk about Actual Basketball, like the Mozzy-to-Fournier-3-point-play) to preach The Gospel of the Reanimated Poltergeist of George Karl or Visions of the Inescapable Fiery Death of Brian Shaw Haters is just plain old trolling. And I know you shouldn’t feed the trolls, but I can’t sit on this any more.

    So, how ’bout that Fournier and-one? More Champagne, anyone?

    • Andrew

      Totally agree. Loved that Fornier shot, too! Shooter’s luck…you can’t make it if you don’t throw it up.

    • heykyleinsf

      that’s not fair if it’s in my direction.
      Look on each thread besides this one.
      I post comments about the game.
      Maybe they’re “one-sided”
      but hang on …
      let me check..
      going to scroll up so I’ll be right back..

      OK.. I’m back. I double checked.
      Yeah.. that’s what I thought.
      THIS IS A NUGGETS FAN SITE.

  • Andrew

    I know this draft has been downgraded, but I’m still excited about the prospect of one of those Nuggs’ or Knicks’ balls dropping Randle or Vonleh in our lap. I also hope Chando goes for double doubles these last two games and convinces a team out there to give up something of value for him.

    • Heisenberg

      Randle won’t fall to the 10-12 range. I wouldn’t mind seeing Nik Stauskas. He’s looking like the next Klay Thompson.

      • gimpcom187

        Id take a shot on the swiss kid capella. They need a major upgrade. Ihavent seen him play so if the thought is vesely 2.0 then nevermind but his profile is impressive.

        • Heisenberg

          Sounds like (according to NBADraft.net) the biggest knock on him is his basketball IQ. If that is true then I want no part of him.

          • gimpcom187

            Yeah it’s odd they say he has a good instincts on the defensive end and passes well for “a player like him” but then calls out his bball IQ. Passing is a high level skill. (although vesely occassionally throws in a good pass he gets too many turnovers too). The shot needs to be reworked apparently.

            Meh Id certainly consider him given the team is 2 all-stars away from real contention.

            • Heisenberg

              I do agree about going with guys that have a high ceiling versus those that project to rotational players. I haven’t watched Capella either, so maybe the criticism isn’t entirely accurate. I do think Stauskas could be a nice player to add as the Nuggets also have a need at SG.

        • etlord1

          I’d rather take Jusuf Nurkic. He reminds me of Pekovic. By the time he’s ready to come to the NBA, Mozgov’s and McGee’s contracts will be expiring, so Denver can afford to lose one of them to free agency. I agree that getting an international player would be best in terms of the salary cap. Denver’s cap situation is bad because of many unnecessary contracts. Owning the rights to an international player would free up cap space in order to extend Faried before the deadline in October.

    • Erlingur Grétar Einarsson

      I’d love to see Stauskas slide to our spot, or even Vonleh, as you say. Stauskas is smart, can shoot lights out and it just so happens that we could use a smart, sharpshooting shooting guard. It would have to take a LeBron Durant type of talent to convince me to take the superior athlete over the guy with a high basketball IQ. There are so many great athletes out there, but the ones that last are the smart guys.

  • heykyleinsf

    It boils down to this.
    Some people say there are no differences nor excuses with
    the team that had to make it through this season.
    FINE.
    We’ll see what happens next year.
    I’ll remind you of your “realism” this year..
    and how supportive you were of your “favorite team”.

    • Heisenberg

      Your last line makes me think that you hold this belief that you can’t criticize the team for ANYTHING. The Nuggets front office and Brian Shaw should be held accountable. I’d love it if the Nuggets came out and won 55 next year but it really isn’t likely. I have only seen you offer criticism for Foye.

      This team is a low end playoff seed at best. Sorry, but the NBA has shown that you need to be a top 5 team in the league to be a serious contender, and that is something that the Nuggets aren’t. The long term goal of every NBA team should be to win an NBA Championship. The Nuggets aren’t headed in that direction anytime soon with the way things are going.

      • heykyleinsf

        No..
        It just gets to the point when some people here..
        who have done nothing all season long..
        whether we win or lose games..
        trade players, acquire players in FA..
        everything and anything is just the darkest of doom
        and the dumbest, clumsiest, most hapless move or idea ever.

        I’ve criticized players.. Foye for most of the year..
        Mozzy for most of the offseason
        Iggy all last year..
        Shaw too.

        Some of us here think constant barrage of hate equates to
        “realism”
        Same people never have a good word ever..
        for their “favorite team”

        I’ve been getting stereotyped as a fanboy..
        People forget how critical I’ve been of coaches and players..
        honestly I started being like this just this season..
        people who have known me for the past couple years know that I am absolutely not someone who sees nothing wrong with the team whether I’m right or wrong about it..
        And that’s another point..
        People acting like they are some kind of basketball swami..
        it’s just an opinion.
        That’s all mine is .. that’s all your’s is.. that’s all anyone’s is.
        “realism” ..
        at least I’m not pompous.. fanboy or not..
        I’m not arrogant enough to go around saying I know more about basketball than anyone else.. whether it’s here..
        or if it’s Brian freaking Shaw..

        Brian Shaw knows more about basketball than anyone of us here. Including the administrators.
        The only “realism” that we need to get here..
        Is that we are FANS.
        Not NBA GMs or head coaches..
        we’re fans.. that’s all.
        That’s the “realism” that a lot of people don’t get here.

        • Heisenberg

          I don’t think you have to be an NBA GM or HC to see that Mozgov shouldn’t be shooting these 3 pointers. While the criticism toward Shaw may be a bit harsh, most of it is warranted. It looks like the players are finally starting to respect him so hopefully he’s better next year.

          Most of what I write about the Nuggets isn’t hate. I like most of Denver’s roster (with exception to McGee), I just think they need an all star to be a contender (assuming Gallo comes back strong). My criticism is directed toward Shaw and the front office because I don’t think they’ve done that great of a job.

          • heykyleinsf

            Iggy hijacked us though.
            He took a month to supposedly “decide”..
            when other FA were getting plucked away.
            That short circuited any plans.
            We were frozen from doing anything..
            waiting on him..
            while he never had any intention of staying.
            He’s a jerk.
            I hate that people both “respect him taking care of his family” COME ON THATS BS!!
            He took less money!
            and most fans don’t get how he hurt us.
            Either that or they don’t want to admit it to themselves.

  • alex47666

    Its sad, when nugget players are comparing Karl to shaw. karl is an experienced head coach, who chokes in the playoffs. Shaw is just a 1st year coach, who had to deal with an injury depleted team. yet lets compare the 2 coaches

    • Heisenberg

      I, for one, didn’t even want Shaw in the first place. There were several solid, experienced coaches available that would have served as fine replacements.