At various times throughout the 2012-13 regular season, usually during garbage time in blowout games, rookie guard Evan Fournier offered us some occasional glimpses of his abilities and potential. But it wasn’t until Mar. 29, after Ty Lawson had joined Danilo Gallinari on the injured list, that Fournier was given his first meaningful opportunity to make an impact.
And did he ever..
His career high 19 points in 21 minutes, his feisty defense, and a confident poise that went well beyond his young age were a revelation to Nuggets fans who hadn’t yet been given the chance to see him fully showcase his talent. In the following game against the Utah Jazz he scored 18, and two games later against the Houston Rockets 17 points, all at very efficient percentages. The message over this four game stretch was loud and clear:
Evan Fournier is the real deal, and he’s only going to get better.
In this latest installment of the Roundball Mining Company Film Room, I have set out to make nothing less than the definitive video chronicle of Fournier’s coming out party (more…)
During his days on the Washington Wizards, JaVale McGee became tragi-comically famous among NBA fans, known much better for his gaffe-packed blooper reels on YouTube than for the actual quality of basketball player he was. With frequent assists from Shaquille O’Neal’s “Shaqtin’ a Fool” segment on TNT, and the spread of the “That’s so JaVale!” meme, McGee’s many bizarre, head scratching blunders went viral, and the “knucklehead” label stuck so hard that he’s still trying to shake it off.
But he is in fact making progress, and many around the league – including Shaq – are starting to take notice that there’s more to JaVale than just being the NBA’s court jester.
Which is not to say he’s all the way there yet. He continues to be (more…)
A little over two months ago I posted a video piece on Andre Miller’s clutch play that helped seal Denver’s victory against the Indiana Pacers on Dec. 7. With eight points and an assist in just 104 seconds, Miller poured it on in crunch time to lead the Nuggets to a big road win at a time when they were struggling.
Unfortunately, we are back in the Film Room today to visit what essentially was the opposite scenario. In their heartbreaking road loss to the Celtics on Feb. 10, the Nuggets were down just two points with 48 seconds remaining in the game’s third overtime when Miller retrieved the rebound off a missed Kevin Garnett jumper. And as every Nuggets fan not living under a rock is well aware, from there the train rapidly derailed from the tracks.
The Film Room video, followed by analysis of Miller’s play and George Karl’s coaching, is after the jump.
In this latest Roundball Mining Company Film Room installment, we will take a look at how the Nuggets got Wilson Chandler open for a game-winning 3-pointer running their unconventional offensive system.
Prior to the beginning of the 2012-13 season, the Denver Nuggets hired new assistant coach Vance Walberg, famous in basketball circles for creating what’s known as the dribble-drive-motion offense. He officially joined the staff after having consulted for Denver the previous season. At that time Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post described how Walberge implemented his innovative system: as a high school and college coach: (more…)
On New Year’s Day versus the Los Angeles Clippers, JaVale McGee did something which for him was quite remarkable.
And no, this is not about his stunning buzzer beating 3-pointer, though that is certainly what will cement his performance permanently in the collective memory of NBA fandom.
But just as notably, he matched his career high of three assists. He had accomplished this only once before, on Mar. 20, 2011. Thus far this season, McGee has had 20 games with zero dimes, 12 games with just one, and now, a single game with three.
About a month into the 2012-13 season, I did a video scouting report calling for JaVale to make a more concerted effort to pass the ball out of the post rather than forcing so many hasty, contested shots. In this recent game we had a chance to see just how effective McGee can be when looking to share the ball, so it offers a great opportunity to follow up on the topic. (more…)
With just under three minutes remaining in yesterday’s game against the Pacers, the Nuggets trailed by three. They had just allowed a 7-0 Indiana run which reversed the lead Denver had held earlier in the quarter, and appeared to be on the verge of yet another fourth quarter collapse.
That’s when Andre Miller decided to take over the game. (more…)
When JaVale McGee is on the court he uses a big chunk of Denver’s possessions. According to Basketball-Reference.com, among regular rotation players, he has the highest usage rate on the team at 23.9 percent. Despite this, he also has the third lowest assist rate at 3.6 percent. Kosta Koufos has the second lowest, 3.1 percent, and Kenneth Faried the lowest assist rate, 2.0 percent. Naturally, all three of the Nuggets’ main frontcourt players earn their keep around the rim, finishing plays and putting back offensive boards, the big difference between McGee and the other two is that he actually spends a significant amount of time with the ball in his hands.
Compare his usage rate with that of Koufos, lowest among rotation players at 12.4 percent, and Faried, third lowest at 18.6 percent. (A surprising side note here is that Andre Miller is second lowest with a 17.6 percent usage rate that’s very modest considering how much he handles the ball). In short, Kosta and Kenneth should be given a free pass for their low assist rates, because the vast majority of the time, when they get the ball, they’re right there at the rim, and the best thing to do is immediately put it in the basket.
This is not always the case with JaVale, who handles the ball in the post much more than the other two. (more…)
Shortly after the big trade last August, we took a look back at a game in which Andre Iguodala and Andre Miller had helped the Philadelphia 76ers defeat the Denver Nuggets. Now it’s time for a similar retrospective of a game from a period when Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari were playing some of the best basketball of their careers: the first half of the 2010-11 season. The date was December 12, 2010, and the New York Knicks beat the Nuggets 129-125 just months before the Carmelo Anthony trade. (more…)
In a previous post on how Andre Iguodala may bolster the Denver Nuggets perimeter defense, a troubling fact was brought to light: In terms of field goal percentages allowed, in both long range 2-point and 3-point shots the Nuggets were dead last in the league last season. Allowing a long-two field goal percentage of 41.4 and an effective field goal percentage of 57.5 from beyond the arc, there’s really no two ways about it. When it came to defending outside shots, Denver was the bottom of the barrel.
The goal in making this video is to zoom in on the variety of ways in which Denver’s perimeter defense broke down in 2011-12. We should have more analysis on this later, but in the meantime, please feel free to pick these clips apart in the comments. For the time being, the only thing I’d offer as a general, overarching observation is that as I put this video together it became increasingly apparent to me that simply improving communication and decreasing confusion — ie. teaching the young players to develop a better understanding of rotating, recovering, switching, and knowing what to do when they get back in transition — could improve this defense by leaps and bounds. Given this, it may be the case that even more imp;ortant than his individual defensive skills, Andre Iguodala’s ability to quarterback a defense could facilitate a marked improvement in this team.
St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2012. The Boston Celtics at the Pepsi Center in Denver (with all too many traitorous green jerseys in attendance). The only matchup between the Nuggets and C’s in the lockout shortened season. And Denver jockeying for playoff positioning as the season drew closer to an end.
It was a huge game for the Nuggets. And despite the hype surrounding the St. Patty’s-Boston imagery, the most important symbolism of the game was when George Karl uncharacteristically entrusted a rookie, Kenneth Faried, to close out the final minutes of a closely contested contest.
And the Manimal delivered. Scoring 18 points on perfect shooting, including five of five from the field and eight of eight from the line, Faried also grabbed 16 rebounds — 6 offensive — with a steal and a block on top. Beyond the stat line, he was the engine that fueled the team’s energy and drive with infectious, relentless effort. And he played a crucial role in earning the Nuggets victory.