Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 105 Los Angeles Clippers 117

The Nuggets fell behind early and never led in their penultimate game of the 2013-2014 season, a 12-point loss to the Clippers in LA.

Denver Nuggets 105 Final
Recap | Box Score
117 Los Angeles Clippers
Kenneth Faried, PF 28 MIN | 7-12 FG | 7-8 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 21 PTS | -22

The numbers just don’t come close to telling the real story with Faried. Defensively he was eaten alive by the Clippers’ bigs inside. Although Faried continued his (weirdly efficient) offensive tear, he was a negative everywhere else and the Nuggets were badly outplayed with him on the floor.

Quincy Miller, SF 33 MIN | 4-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 11 PTS | -10

Miller needed a good showing after failing to do much with his opportunity to make an impression for next year. He was still a bit lost defensively but contributed a few nice blocks and some solid energy in an acceptable 33-minute outing. At this point in his career Quincy still can’t really do anything on offense and that is troubling for his prospects next season.

Timofey Mozgov, C 32 MIN | 6-10 FG | 6-7 FT | 11 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 18 PTS | -13

Mozgov held his own against one of the most fearsome inside duos in the game. He was a factor on the boards and Denver’s most efficient starter. What makes Mozgov’s recent surge even more impressive is the fact he’s done it without the aid of good playmaker setting him up.

Aaron Brooks, PG 42 MIN | 6-12 FG | 4-4 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 9 TO | 19 PTS | -3

For every good play he made there was also an incomprehensibly bad one. The nine turnovers were no mistake — at one point in the first half he turned the ball over from a standstill dribble without anyone guarding him. Welcome to Aaron Brooks running an NBA offense full-time. It’s been… pretty hard to watch.

Randy Foye, SG 33 MIN | 2-12 FG | 7-7 FT | 4 REB | 7 AST | 4 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 11 PTS | -25

If you look at his numbers this season they bear out an interesting truth — Foye is a huge negative on the court when he doesn’t hit threes. Tonight was one of those nights. Although Foye tries on defense and isn’t fundamentally horrible at it, he is just not a difference maker on that end.

Jan Vesely, PF 20 MIN | 4-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | +1

Vesely showed some fundamentally solid play and probably should have been on the court a bit more. Shaw might have been worried about the thin big-man getting pushed around inside as he heavily favored Faried and Wilson Chandler at the four. Honza kept the fouling under control and put up one of his better efforts.

Wilson Chandler, SF 26 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 7 PTS | +7

We should expect more than seven points and six boards out of Chandler, but he was one of the Nuggets most effective players, stretching the floor and forcing the Clippers’ bigs to leave the paint once in a while. Unfortunately the Nuggets just need more actual production out of Chandler, who has not been a factor on offense all year.

Evan Fournier, SG 26 MIN | 3-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | +5

Can we just say it? Fournier is a really bad defender. Although he lacks polish and creativity he is a solid offensive option. Once again he was wildly up and down and came off as a bit of a chucker tonight.

Brian Shaw

Shaw had only eight players available so it’s hard to assess him one way or the other — he played the guys he had and it just wasn’t enough to challenge a great team. Despite having nothing to play for, Shaw’s skeleton crew of bench players continues to put up quality effort and avoid embarrassment. That’s something

One Thing We Saw

  1. The season mercifully comes to an end tomorrow night at home and personally, I welcome it. There were bright spots and signs of development late, but ultimately this season should be remembered for what it was – a once relevant team taking a head-first dive into mediocrity. Whether that is the start of a long-term trend or a mere bump in the road remains to be seen. It’s up to Nuggets’ management to avoid the decisions that led to these circumstances or stay the course and blame injuries. Either way, there’s a pivotal and interesting offseason ahead.
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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.

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  • Nugman

    Good moral victory for the Nuggets. They kinda almost beat a playoff team on the road. Like what I see. The guys played hard for Shaw and that’s all he asks. Shaw is great coach and should get an A- for doing all he could to try and win the game with his injury plagued team. However, he doesn’t get an A+ because he didn’t run a play late in the game for a Moz 3. We all know that’s a real threat and we should run it every game so we can win. Moz will hit one soon because he makes a lot in practice, maybe.

    I think that covers it all

    • heykyleinsf

      i think you’ve said the same thing a billion times already.
      But hey.. thanks again for your input.

  • heykyleinsf

    We so definitely need a good SG. Neither Foye or Fours are worth starting. Offseason priority numero uno. Please fall to us Gary Harris.

    • Heisenberg

      If they had tanked maybe they wouldn’t have to hope for Harris to fall…..

      • heykyleinsf

        I think he’s well within our range.
        He’s projected anywhere from 10 to 14.
        Right now.. between us and the Knicks..
        who won tonight btw…
        we have the same record with nobody
        else to fight for the spot.
        Knicks didn’t help us it turns out..
        but we are both notched at 11..
        so getting Harris is totally possible.

        BTW JR smith haters..
        He was a +17 tonight..
        and a starter through the last 10 games
        that took them on a 7-3 run.
        so .. yeah.
        I didn’t respect your hate yesterday.,.
        but some how I respect it even less today.
        Did I mention Melo wasn’t playing the last 3 they won?

        • mike gomez

          im not to big on harris, he looks like another foyle but better defense.

          • heykyleinsf

            Mike this draft turns out to be nothing special after after all the hype. IDK who you may be big on..
            but this turns out to be a so so draft overall

            • mike gomez

              I say find a bigger guard that could defend or just the best player available. this is what i found on harris “Needs to improve as a ball handler. Often has a loose handle … At
              6’4″, is a bit undersized for a shooting guard, his most natural
              position … Could improve his efficiency inside the three-point line
              and become more consistent on mid-range jumpers … Not a great
              off-the-ball player, Harris needs to use screens better to get open for
              shots … While being a very solid prospect without a sizable basement,
              his ceiling is not as great as some other prospects”.

              • heykyleinsf

                but for the need.. he may help. IDK
                Did you see the reviews on Faried out of college btw?
                how about Darko back in the day?
                but anyway… like I said..
                I thought all year long.. the idea of trashing a season for
                the chance at a player that wouldn’t be that great anyway was a dumb idea..
                like I said..
                Find me someone with shining recommendations
                who will fall to us around 11…
                I can’t wait to meet him.

                edit.. this above is why I write like I do.
                all the words get isolated in the sentences

              • mike gomez

                i dont see nothing special in our spot, i think the best player that could be available at that spot is lavine.

              • heykyleinsf

                We’ll have to see if the balls roll our way or NY’s way because we are tied with them. But it looks kind of like 11th overall. I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad draft.. just not that great of one especially with all the hype it was given.
                Lavine kind of looks too raw for me..
                but if we did draft him.. I would still hope. we won’t know until he plays.

              • mike gomez

                this draft is just hype on potential, that top 5 player could be franchise players, i guess we just got to way and see.

              • heykyleinsf

                here are a few players that were picked mid to low and turned out pretty good. In theory.. all these guys would be available to us at #11 overall..
                Gilbert Arenas 30
                Kobe Bryant 13
                Tony Parker 28
                Zach Randolph 19
                Tim Hardaway 14
                Steve Nash 15
                Marc Gasol 48
                Nick Van Exel 37
                Vlade Divac 26
                Sam Cassell 24

                Then in comparison
                Kenyon Martin 1
                Anthony Randolph 14
                Marvin Williams 2
                Adam Morrison 3
                Jay Williams 2
                Anthony Bennett 1
                (it’s early but it doesn’t look good)
                Hasheem Thabeet 2
                (good defensive player.. but for 2nd overall.. bust)
                Kwame Brown 1

                This is why I think tanking is ridiculous.
                But I will stay on the hopeful side.
                I don’t believe in expecting any draft
                saving the team.
                It’s a total crapshoot.

              • Heisenberg

                Okay. Now some other guys that were top 5 picks. Old school and present.

                LeBron James (1st)
                Hakeem Olajuwon (1st)
                Shaquille O’Neal (1st)
                Magic Johnson (1st)
                David Robinson (1st)
                Allen Iverson (1st)
                Dwyane Wade (4th)
                Chris Paul (4th)
                LaMarcus Aldridge (2nd)
                Kevin Durant (2nd)
                Russell Westbrook (4th)
                Tim Duncan (1st)

                Oh yeah, and the GOAT Michael Jordan at 3rd overall.

                Not a bad list of names. The numbers don’t lie, it’s better to be picking at the top of the draft than the middle to bottom.

              • heykyleinsf

                Of course it’s better to have the highest pick possible.
                But throwing away a season to do that..
                is the dumbest idea ever.
                That’s all I was saying.
                Tanking is so stupid.

              • Heisenberg

                It’s much harder to get a star after the top 5-6, which is what the Nuggets really need.

                They should have tanked this season once Gallo was considered out for the season. They could have been looking at a 10+% chance of getting a top 3 pick, instead of being at a 3% chance.

                Nobody is saying they should have tanked over multiple years. This year? They absolutely should have. The talent in this draft is still better than most years, even if it was a bit overhyped.

              • Aaron Durkin

                I would rather not build from the draft and trade this Pick for sure fire NBA talent.
                You almost have a better chance of getting struck by lightning then having your NBA draft pick contribute.

              • heykyleinsf

                I would agree. This draft class isn’t that great.
                IDK why everyone was hyping it up so much.

              • gimpcom187

                That’s called being irrational and shortsighted. glad you found each other. :-) Now if you had said package it with some players to get a guy with all-star potential then I would agree.

              • Heisenberg

                The Nuggets don’t need anymore rotational players. They need a star, and the only way they’re going to get one is through the draft.

              • Aaron Durkin

                Wow get of the ESPN star thing. You sound like Collen Cowheard. The majority of the teams in the playoffs don’t have your ” star”.

              • gimpcom187

                Well let’s look at the WC: Spurs 3 HOF, Thunder two top 10 in NBA, LAC 2 top 10, Houston two all-star both top 10-15, Portland 2 all-star, GSW- 1 top 10 (and two other guys who have been to all-star though they are more borderline all-star types), Dallas 1 HOF-all star, Memphis- Gasol is all-star/mvp candidate last year with injuries keeping him out this year and both Conley and randolph are borderline all-star types.

                The Nugs roster has 1 ONE player you could contend is a borderline all-star (Ty). So the clear understanding you should take is you BETTER have 2 all-star/HOF players to have a decent shot at just MAKING the Western Conference Finals. And at least one clear All-star type player to have a good shot at making the playoffs.

                This is the issue with you FANATICS. You hope the nuggets will magically become a title contender with whatever roster they put out as you define that as “supporting” the team. It’s OK to be honest, analytical and critical of a team and still like it. The combination to getting to the WCF (and hopefully beyond) for the nugs was CLEARLY put together in 2009 (unfornately Karls health and Melo’s misguided decision to go to NYK led to that team not getting a fair chance to get back). But the blueprint is there.

                Also regarding your post about getting a good player in the lottery/draft as equal to getting hit by lightning is silly. A few weeks ago I spent 30 minutes correcting Kyle in SF (what’s new) about the draft. I looked at All-stars obtained in the first 10 picks from 2001-2011 (more recent drafts not valid as players haven’t gotten near career peak). In those drafts about 60-70% of first picks become all-stars. about 30-35% of picks 2-5 become all-stars. about 20-25% of picks 6-10 become all-stars. about 5-10% of picks 11-20 become all stars. About 1-3% of picks after pick 20 become all-stars. You don’t have to be a math whiz to figure out that if you don’t have a top 10 pick your chances of getting an all-star pick are pretty low. And within the top 5 the chances are very solid.

                It doesn’t guarantee anything but what is guaranteed, And this draft is DEEP is all-star talent. Kyle may be right that the draft is disappointing in terms of the extreme hype it got before the year as one of top 3 in history of game. No one looks likely as a top 10 MVP type with embiid and wiggins likely the only ones with even an outside shot. But there are 3-5 guys beyond that who have scouting and statistical profiles to suggest they have legitimate all-star type talent. And there are a few euros that are considered high ceiling too. Getting out of the top 8 makes it extremely unlikely they will get one of those 5-7 guys most likely to become all-stars. Given this season was OVER (in terms of playoffs) in January this 12th place is a worst case scenario. The chances of a top 3 pick from lotto (both knicks and nugs picks counted) is less than 5%.

                PS what type of talent do you think the 12th pick gets?

              • Aaron Durkin

                I am not going to debate with you over the concept or merit of a allstare or HOF but I what I can say is yes we can win with out a flopping self centerd baby that most of the NBA allstars are. The example is none other then our very own Nuggets. Is there any doubt in your mind that we dont make a run last year if gallo does not go down. If he does not get hurt I bet vegas has your very own nuggets favored in every series.
                so yes I think you can build a TEAM with out drafting a 19year old kid and have to watch our team coddle and baby him in tell he finally grows up and becoems what we hopeed then he leaves or we over pay fo him. You see it with every loser frachise the same equation draft high lose for years trade player for draft picks lose even more.

              • gimpcom187

                The nuggets aren’t beating the spurs in round two if they had beaten GSW. Even with gallo you are looking at 5 games and bye bye. There’s not a chance in hell they would have been favored over a healthy spurs or OKC team. Memphis is probably pickem. That is what I am talking about in terms of unrealistic. If gallo were LEbron James or Durant then I could agree with you, but he most assuredly is not close to either of them. But that’s the point isn’t it. The team doesn’t have the talent even FULLY healthy to be a top 4 team in the West at this point.

                For some franchises that don’t have good management, ownership and some is just luck yes they suck for long periods. For organizations that have a clear plan, find a good coach and stick to it they are the teams that win. We’ve gone over this a million times. Essentially every team that has made the conference finals in the past decade has one of their top 2 players from the draft and almost always it is a guy drafted in the top 10. Detroit and to a degree memphis (who drafted their 3rd best player Conley and at this point he is pretty similar in value to randolph). We went through the top 20 US born players in PER and all but 3 were picked top 10. That’s why I call it magical thinking because you come up with 1-2 examples versus 15-20 examples that I can come up with. It doesn’t guarantee anything, because there is luck involved (you get the number 1 pick in a year Anthony davis is available rather than Anthony Bennett, etc). LAC-Griffin, Spurs-Duncan, OKC-Durant and westbrook, Houston (the exception though they got Harden for 2 lottery picks and an above average starter), Portland-Aldridge and Lillard, GSW-Curry, Dallas-Dirk, Memphis-Conley, Miami-Wade (which is the ONLY reason Lebron and Bosh came), Indy-Paul George, Toronto-Derozan, Chicago-Noah, Washington- not a real contender but Wall, Brooklyn-not a real contender but OK. So maybe 2 teams in the top 12 of the league did not have a top 2-3 player on their team drafted top 10. And one is clearly not a REAL contender and the other used multiple lottery picks to GET a top 3 pick in a draft under unusual circumstances.

        • Heisenberg

          JR shot 37% tonight. They’re winning because of Amare, not JR. I like how you ignore JR’s first two months where he shot 35%. Him playing better over the last 10 doesn’t erase that.

          Harris is probably 8-10. Won’t fall to Denver.

          • heykyleinsf

            JR was a plus 17..
            the biggest + on the Knicks by far
            and that 37% is 3-8
            you are so ridiculous
            you’re silly.

            I don’t respect your opinions if you
            want to go this far out of your way
            beyond petty dude.
            Come on.

            dude..

            • Heisenberg

              Plus/minus is a terrible stat that doesn’t accurately reflect a player’s contributions.

              • heykyleinsf

                WHATEVER.
                saying 3-8 is horrible for a SG is ridiculous ok?
                would you like to see how Foye did tonight?
                HOW DOES 2-12 GRAB YOU????

                btw
                Harris is projected at 14.

                Want to be any more out of your way silly tonight?

              • Heisenberg

                Where did I even talk about Foye?

                They both suck on defense. JR has been marginally better on offense this season.

              • heykyleinsf

                In comparison for shooting guards.
                Find me your favorite 50% shooter on the year.
                You pick oranges too along with those cherries?
                like a religious zealot plucking convenient parts
                from the bible.
                convenient.
                Suited to your “reality”

              • Heisenberg

                There’s a big difference between shooting 35% and shooting 50%. JR played horribly for most of the year. He isn’t a legit starter at all. He’s streaky as hell and can’t play a lick of defense.

                JR is a 6th man or worse on a good team. There’s at least 20 shooting guards that are better.

              • heykyleinsf

                I really don’t care for your opinion on JR Smith.
                Clearly you don’t like him.
                I could say there’s at least 20 QBs better than Peyton Manning.. does it make it so?
                No.
                You don’t like him.. and you use phantom rationales why.

              • Heisenberg

                Harden, Wade, Kobe, Klay Thompson, Manu Ginobili, Monta Ellis, Stephenson, Jimmy Butler, Tony Allen, Joe Johnson, Gerald Green, Dragic, DeRozan, Hayward, Sefolosha, Danny Green, Korver, Miles, Crawford, and Hinrich. And that’s not even bringing in guys like Oladipo, Beal and the Greek Freak that will easily surpass him in 2-3 years.

              • heykyleinsf

                Great job at pulling a long list of shooting guards names …
                what does it mean?

                Nada.

              • Heisenberg

                They’re all better than JR.

                Not sure what you remember about JR but he isn’t as good as you think.

              • gimpcom187

                Gary Harris draft prediction:
                8th http://www.nbadraft.net/
                10th rated ESPN
                CBS: 10th, 10th, 15th
                bleacher 10th
                draftexpress 13th. so btw that mean’s most think he will be drafted by 10th. Pick.

                Having seen Gary Harris and looking at his stats I would not be very interested. He looks like a decent player. JJ reddick/eric gordon type impact. This team needs all-stars. rather have a boom or bust Euro with the lack of high end talent on the team.

                And your contention is 37.5 isn’t that bad given he only shot 8 shots small sample. Go ahead and ignore you are giving him significant credit for his TEAM beating another despite the fact he played less than half the game. Not to mention Jorge guitierrez played 30 minutes in that game for the nets and they got blown out the next night to end up with avoiding a first round matchup with the bulls and probably hoping to get the Heat in round 2 since that is their nemesis. I am aware you don’t believe in tanking… but let’s just call this a severe case of not caring if they win.

  • etlord1

    The offseason will be interesting. I don’t expect any dramatic changes. If Harris doesn’t fall to us, then I think trading the pick might be the best option. I don’t like LaVine or Young. There’s too much uncertainty with them, so I’d do something strange. (1) Trade the pick and Hickson to a team drafting in the 20s for their pick and a 2nd rounder. (2) Draft Nurkic if he’s on the board and hope he stays overseas for a couple years. That way we’ll save cap space to sign Faried to an extension, rather than waiting next year and having a bidding war in free agency. By the time Nurkic decides to come to the league, both McGee and Mozzy will have expiring contracts. Having Nurkic would relieve the pressure of re-signing both Mozzy and McGee. Losing Hickson will be a good thing: we dump a horrible contract, we get rid of the horrible chemistry of him and Faried being on the court at the same time, and we open a slot on the roster for Lauvergne who is arguably the most improved player in the Euroleague. If there is a feeling (before the draft) that Lauvergne doesn’t decide to come to the NBA next year, then trade one of the 2nd rounders to Philly for Varnado. He has a favorable 4 year contract, and would add much needed defense to the 4 position that Hickson hasn’t been able to give.

    • Heisenberg

      No playoff team is trading for Hickson.

      I think Stauskas, Gordon, or hell, even Napier could be good pros.

      • etlord1

        He’s not a bad bench player if there’s a playoff team looking to add depth in the future, plus they’d move up roughly ten spots in the draft. All it takes is one player for a team to fall in love with, and they’ll go at great lengths to get them. There’s always free agency if Denver is looking to add a SG too. Drafting a SG just because you have a void there, doesn’t mean you should draft a SG no matter what. In many cases, it puts the team in a worse position because it’s just another contract for a player who doesn’t contribute. Saying that a player “could” be a good pro, isn’t always logical (just ask Michael Jordan about Kwame Brown). There’s way too much uncertainty when it comes to drafting based on potential.

        • Heisenberg

          I’d rather draft high risk/reward players than draft guys that don’t have as much upside but are less likely to bust.

          • etlord1

            There’s plenty of those kinds of prospects in this draft. I have no idea what this front office is going to do. They’ve surprised me more than once.

            • Heisenberg

              The worst thing they could do is nothing. It’d be great if they could get rid of Foye and Hickson, though it’s unlikely. And I would be ecstatic if they got rid of McGoof (again, unlikely).

              I’m not expecting much either. They should have done more at the deadline. Miller should have packed his bags a month before he was dealt.

      • etlord1

        I see what you mean about Hickson. He’s one of the few well-behaved players that I would describe as cancerous.

    • gimpcom187

      Your number 1 choice to trade down to rid themselves of hicksons deal is not good. This team isnt going anywhere interesting in next 2 years when hicksons contract will be done.

      Your second thought of picking a euro is smart. The front office and scouts will likely know better than anyone on this site who the best of those should be.

      • etlord1

        Getting rid of Hickson’s deal isn’t the only thing. I also said a 2nd round pick in return would be necessary. Hickson is not a bad player coming off the bench. If you look at how he played when Shaw took him out of the starting lineup, he had some value. A team looking to add depth to their bench might want him, but I could be wrong. If you do the math, signing a lottery pick and extending Faried’s contract to a six figure deal before the extension deadline is next to impossible. The cap situation is a mess.

        • gimpcom187

          2nd round picks rarely turn into even serviceable 8th men. Like 10-20 percent. Starters like 5%. Given this team has 5-7 guys worthy of being 6th-9th best player and they have limited trade value (ask the knicks about iman shumpert or tim hardaway jr) its borderline valueless unless you immediately trade it.

          Dropping 8-12 spots from lottery is a bad idea in any draft but especially in a deep draft like this. 11 will still give you a good shot at a starter and an outside shot at all star talent. 22nd essentially eliminates all star possibilities down to 2% and starter level by half. 11th pick doesnt even make 2.5 million per year. 21st pick makes 1 million less. That is ZERO concern.in addition faried makes 2.5 mil next yea r. An extension would only apply to 2015-16. And theyd be idiots to offer him more than 5-7 million per year. His size lack of shooting and defense preclude him from being a legitimate above average starter.

  • Richard Pesicka

    nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah nah, hey hey hey, Thank God goodbye.
    One more ass kicking and we can look forward to the next season. The next season everything will be different. Shaw will wear different shoes or something. And Mcgood might get 10 games into the season before sitting out the season and spending his money.

  • Andrew

    Supposedly, Manimal was the one who cracked Bogut’s ribs. Just desserts for that cheap shot in the playoffs last year?

  • etlord1

    I wonder if the NBA will ever get rid of back-to-backs on the schedules. I think getting rid of them would actually make the league more competitive each game.

    • gimpcom187

      doubtful given they aren’t going to get rid of any games on the schedule and the season is already LONG.