The Denver Nuggets were blown out by the Indiana Pacers on Monday night, losing by 39 points and dropping their third straight game. Game grades can be found below.
Shaw versus Karl:
It’s no secret that there’s been an internal struggle between Brain Shaw’s Nuggets and and the ghosts of George Karl’s. Despite being fifty games into his era, and equipped with a (slightly) different roster, Shaw has found himself battling not only with his own inexperience, but the shadow of the coach he replaced. Karl’s basketball sensibilities still seem imbued in this team, and his championing of shots at the rim above all else has Shaw frustrated with what, to him, appears to be his team passing up easier shots in favor of driving at the rim. Here’s exactly what Shaw said after Wednesday’s game vs Milwaukee (taken from audio on 102.3 ESPN Radio):
I’m still on our guys about, if you’re open and you have space, shoot the ball. And I’ve never been around a group of guys that, a coach has had to encourage guys to shoot the ball when they’re open. A big part of it is, when talking with the guys last year, with George Karl everything was to the rim, to the rim, to the rim. And I think that, you know, sometimes you can do that but when your have a rim-protector like Larry Sanders, unless you going to take it all the way to his chest, its gonna be hard to finish over him inside…that’s why you have to take the open shots when you have it. You always think you can get something better but the best shot is the one where you have enough space to shoot it within the rhythm of the offense.”
Things went from bad to worse for the Denver Nuggets tonight. Not only did they get blown out by the Pistons the night after getting blown out by the Knicks, but injury was added to insult as they lost Ty Lawson late in the second quarter to a lower back strain. He did not return, and the Nuggets announced that his left rib was fractured.
More on Lawson’s injury, as well as the grades, are after the jump: (more…)
It’s getting tiring, folks.
According to a report from Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Javale McGee’s leg has not healed properly from the stress fracture he suffered earlier this season and the complications could keep the seven footer out for the remainder of the season.
The news is another bad blow for Denver who have already lost Nate Robinson and Danilo Gallinari for what has become for all intents and purposes a lost season. The news is doubly bad as Denver now must invest another season in deciding if McGee is a player that will fit in Brian Shaw’s systems on both ends of the floor.
It wasn’t pretty but thanks to six late points from Wilson Chandler the Nuggets beat a bad Milwaukee Bucks team 110-100. Denver led by 15 in the fourth but thanks to turnovers and a lot of jumpers they didn’t close things out until the final two minutes when Chandler got into the lane twice and got a nice bounce off the top of the backboard on a jumper to end the Milwaukee comeback.
Grades are below the jump.
Thanks to a career night from Kenneth Faried and a crazy, broken play three pointer at the buzzer from Randy Foye the Nuggets won a really fun back and forth contest against the Clippers 116-115. Blake Griffin did all he could to help the Clippers leave Denver victorious, finishing with 36 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal but the Manimal matched him step for step, finishing with a career high 28 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks and a steal to pace the Nuggets.
Grades are after the jump.
Unable to overcome the absence of every remaining point guard on the roster, a severely thinned-out Nuggets squad suffered yet another ugly loss at home. The Raptors cruised to an easy win while the Nuggets continued to struggle offensively, committing 26 turnovers and notching just 6 fast break points. The worst news of the night however came early in the first quarter when the Nuggets announced that Nate Robinson is out for the season after undergoing surgery for a torn ACL.
According to Chris Dempsy, Nate Robinson had surgery this afternoon to repair a torn ACL, an injury that will keep him out the rest of the season.
#Nuggets G Nate Robinson has had surgery this evening to repair a torn ACL. He’ll be done for the balance of the season.
— Chris Dempsey (@dempseypost) February 1, 2014
In news I predicted yesterday Ty Lawson was not named a 2013 Western Conference All-Star.
Lawson was beat out by Damian Lilliard, Chris Paul, Tony Parker and James Harden in a vote done by NBA coaches.
It is hard to make a great case for Lawson being in over any of those guys as the Nuggets are behind each player’s team in the Western Conference standings and each player has had a spectacular year. Paul will be the player that many Nuggets’ fans disagree with but when healthy he has been the one player that constantly finds himself on the top of Lawson in almost every stat, advanced stat and Sports Vu stat.
Lawson probably won’t be taken as an injury replacement either, as Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Goran Dragic and Mike Conley all probably are more deserving for their great work this season. In fact Davis and Cousins became the only players since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to not make the roster after posting PERs over 26.
Lawson and the Nuggets will now turn their focus to the rest of the season as they battle their way towards the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
What are your thoughts on the choices? Did Lawson get snubbed? If so who should he have made it over? Let us know in the comments below.
Mid-way through the 2011-12 season, Masai Ujiri decided to take a risk. In return for the ever-steady Nene, Ujiri and the Nuggets would get to inherent all the problems and promise of the raw yet gifted JaVale McGee. The initial risk morphed into a long-term investment in the form of a 4 year, $44 million deal that banked on McGee’s enormous pool of untapped talent to make it a worthwhile endeavor by the time the contract reached its back-end. Big men take awhile to develop, after all, and what’s a few years of limited production if the ultimate gain is an elite big man?
And yet, ironies of ironies, as Ujiri is off cavorting in Toronto and McGee is bench-ridden with injury, it is another raw big man who’s reaped the rewards of quiet development. It’s the forgotten cog that – at the time – almost laughably derailed the Melo trade, who has risen up this season to champion hope for the future.
Sans the steady hand of Ty Lawson, Denver’s offense stuttered down the stretch as they drop a tough one on the road to the Bobcats.
Before NBA action starts on Thursday night, the reserves for the 2014 All Star Game will be announced and debated over and over and over again.
This season those announcements actually will have something to watch for Nuggets fans for the first time since Chauncey Billups was named an injury replacement in the 2009-2010 season, as Ty Lawson has placed himself in the conversation thanks to a stellar first half of the season.
Things won’t be easy for Lawson though as the Western Conference is stacked with worthy players and may be minus a deserved roster spot due to the fans voting Kobe Bryant as a starter in the game, as it has been rumored that Kobe may play just a few minutes in the game for fear of a fine if he has returned by that time of the season.
So with the decision looming it is time to take a look into Lawson’s candidacy.
The Nuggets went into Sleep Train Arena the night after knocking off the NBA best Indiana Pacers and took advantage of a few key Sacramento injuries to defeat the Kings 125-117.
Ty Lawson led six Denver players with double digit points with 27 points while Nate Robinson contributed 12 points and eight assists to lead the bench.
Grades are after the jump.
[Note: Unfortunately, I couldn't get the Rapid Reaction generator working, so a regular, old-fashioned recap follows the jump.]
The Denver Nuggets came out strong, building a 19-point halftime lead, then weathered Indiana’s third quarter scoring barrage to hang on for one of their biggest wins of the season.
In facing a powerhouse with the best record in the NBA, their hopes were at least partly pinned on the fact that the Pacers were on the second night of a back-to-back, having gone into overtime against the Kings in a game that saw their starters average 40.6 minutes.
Denver took full advantage of this opportunity right out of the gate, bursting onto the court with defensive energy that was fueling forced turnovers and fast breaks. (more…)