5-on-5: The repercussions of Gallinari’s injury

After news broke that Danilo Gallinari would be sidelined for the remained of the year (and well into the 2013-14 season) with a torn ACL, questions arose in the minds of Nuggets fans across the globe. There has been talk about who will step up in his place, whether the Nuggets are severely weakened and even speculation about how this will affect the team’s roster moves this off-season. In RMC’s latest 5-on-5 our writers aim to address these topics in hopes of shedding some light (and perhaps even a little optimism) on how the Nuggets will fare moving forward without their starting small forward. As always, please feel free to post your answers to the following five questions in the comments section below.

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Pickaxe Pulse for April 7, 2013

Taking the pulse of the Nuggets every weekend

The Nuggets lost Danilo Gallinari to a season-ending knee injury this week and Ty Lawson has not yet returned to action, but the team rallied behind the play of Corey Brewer, Andre Igoudala, and rookie Evan Fournier to go undefeated over three games.  Wednesday’s game in Utah showcased the Nuggets depth, with seven players scoring in double digits in a seventeen point win.  Gallinari tore his ACL just before halftime the next night against Dallas and the Nuggets looked to be on the way to defeat after trailing for most of the game, but a late offensive rebound by Corey Brewer set up Iguodala’s go-ahead bucket and a last-second block by Brewer sealed the win.  Denver fell behind the Rockets by double digits in the first quarter on Saturday, but Evan Fournier and Corey Brewer sparked two big runs that turned the game into a fourth quarter blowout.

Record this week: 3-0 (2-0 home, 1-0 road)

Current record and standings: 53-24, third seed in the Western Conference, 1.5 games ahead of Memphis and 2.5 games ahead of the Clippers

Upcoming games: Wednesday vs San Antonio, Friday at Dallas

Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 132 vs Houston Rockets 114

After falling behind by double digits early, the Nuggets turned up the energy and outworked a tired Rockets team, outscoring them by 28 points over the last three quarters to win easily.

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Gallinari tears ACL

As was suspected from the beginning, Gallinari will miss the remained of the season with a torn ACL, according to the official Denver Nuggets website. Most ACL injuries require about a year for recovery so Nuggets fans should get used to not having Gallo around. We’ll have much more detailed analysis on this subject over the weekend, so stay tuned.

Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 95, Dallas Mavericks 94

In a hard-fought battle to the wire the Nuggets proved they’re a team that thrives off heart and passion, rather than one that folds under emotional turmoil. Iguodala had a huge drive capped by a game-winning layup at the rim to put the Nuggets ahead by one point with only a few seconds remaining, while Corey Brewer dazzled with his energy and refusal to lose throughout the contest; however, the story of the game without question is Danilo Gallinari and his ostensibly torn ACL.

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Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 113 – Utah Jazz 96

After a slow start that left the Nuggets up only 5 at the half, a combination of Andre Iguoduala and Danilo Gallinari helped the Nuggets blowout the Jazz in Utah.  No starter played more than 33 minutes and six of the top eight Nuggets rotation players played under 30 minutes on the first night of a back to back.

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Video: Evan Fournier scores a career high 19 points against the Nets

Last Friday, rookie shooting guard Evan Fournier introduced himself to Nuggets Nation in a major way. In only 21 minutes of action he managed to score a game-high 19 points on 6-9 shooting from the field (6-6 from the line) to go with two rebounds, two assists and two steals. After this performance and with Ty Lawson still sidelined due to injury, it’s safe to say this is likely just the beginning of Fournier’s most descriptive and telling vignette as a member of the Denver Nuggets.

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Staking A Claim: Andre Miller’s “Defense”

Staking a Claim is a new column that will be taking a look at all things Nuggets through the eyes of an outsider. As those who follow me on Twitter know I am a Bucks fan, so it will give Nuggets fans an opportunity to see things through the eyes of someone who follows the team closely but isn’t necessarily a fan. Please leave any subjects that you would like to see addressed in the future in the comments below or send them to me on Twitter @Matt_Cianfrone.

In the past few weeks there has been a dominant discussion in the comments section of just about every game recap: The staff here at Roundball Mining Company has been too harsh to Andre Miller.

Many people see his offensive line and wonder how we could give Andre such a good grade because he “kept the Nuggets in the game,” others say docking him for his defense as much as we do is not fair because he is old, slow and generally nonathletic.

What we keep trying to get across though is that the grades aren’t because Miller is bad at defense, again we don’t expect him to shut down Tony Parker or Chris Paul, but the problem is just a lack of effort.

Thanks to help from Cole Patty from the Portland Roundball Society, I have five videos from the first three quarters of the recent game against the San Antonio Spurs; which I recapped and was criticized for my grade on Miller because of his defense, to show just exactly what I am seeing that makes me kill Miller’s grades so much.

The videos will start from the simplest problems, those that you can live with if they happen once and a while and gradually get worse and worse; unfortunately the final three are just head scratchers that should not be happening.

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Report: Andre Iguodala likely to opt out, weigh his options

Chris Tomasson, former Nuggets beat writer for the Rocky Mountain News now with Fox Sports, is  reporting that Andre Iguodala is leaning towards opting out of his contract this summer, forgoing the roughly $16 million remaining on his final year in favor of a longer term deal which offers more security.

Tomasson also reports that it’s not a sure thing Iguodala will remain in Denver: (more…)

Pickaxe Pulse for March 30, 2013

Taking the pulse of the Nuggets every weekend

The Nuggets’ franchise record winning streak of fifteen games came to an end Monday in New Orleans.  The team looked disinterested in a 110-86 blowout loss, giving up 17 offensive rebounds and 14 made three pointers.  JaVale McGee led the way with a double double in San Antonio on Wednesday, and the Nuggets had a chance to win, but Andre Miller missed a tough shot at the buzzer and the Nuggets dropped their second straight, 100-99.  Back at the Pepsi Center on Friday, Evan Fournier and Kosta Koufos helped the Nuggets get back on track against the Nets in a 109-87 win.  Ty Lawson played sparingly all week due to a foot injury.

Record this week: 1-2 (1-0 home, 0-2 road)

Current record and standings: 50-24, third seed in the Western Conference, 0.5 games ahead of the Clippers and 1 game ahead of the Grizzlies

Upcoming games: Wednesday at Utah, Thursday vs Dallas, Saturday vs Houston

Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 109, Brooklyn Nets 87

At a time when Nuggets fans are seeing dark clouds forming over Denver’s playoff prospects due to recent news of Ty Lawson’s plantar fascia injury, a silver lining emerged in the form of Evan Fournier. Seldom used this season, he led all Nuggets in scoring with a career high 19 points, and sparked the second quarter surge that put the Nuggets in control for the rest of the game. (more…)

Nuggets well positioned to seize first round home court advantage

The Denver Nuggets recently clinched a berth in the 2013 NBA playoffs, meaning that they will soon be making their tenth consecutive postseason appearance. And while this is a very impressive streak, what they’ve managed to do less often is finish the regular season with a good enough record to secure home court advantage in the first round. (more…)

Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 99, San Antonio Spurs 100

The Nuggets dropped a heart breaker in San Antonio tonight as they struggled for stretches to contain Tony Parker and Danny Green. Denver had a shot at the buzzer but things broke down and Andre Miller was unable to hit a difficult shot in the lane. (more…)

JaVale McGee is a good dude

JaVale McGee has had an up and down season. He often has up and down games. Almost every time he steps on the floor McGee does amazing things followed by lackluster mental lapses. Sometimes players like McGee — who’s play on the floor fluctuates so wildly and frustrates his coaches — make bad decisions off the floor as well. But McGee is not that type of guy. (more…)

Rapid Reaction: New Orleans Hornets 110, Denver Nuggets 86

This one was a loss from the start, as the Nuggets came out flat and never really recovered. Defense was nowhere to be found (especially from beyond the arc), offense was tough to come by and in the end the Hornets simply out-played the Nuggets in nearly every aspect of the game. Unfortunately for Denver, one game after losing to snap their franchise-record winning streak the Nuggets must go on the road to face one of the best teams in the league in San Antonio.

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