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.
|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.
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
- 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.