As the Rapid Reaction generator does not appear to be working, this will be a regular recap of tonight’s game. Denver shared the ball beautifully, scored in the paint at will and won with relative ease versus Charlotte, increasing their home court record to a league-best 8-1, and improving to 15-13 (.536) overall.
With seven players in double figures, no one player jumps off the box score as the player of the game, but most who watched should agree that that honor should go to Kosta Koufos, who did a wonderful job scoring around and defending the rim. His season high 16 points, as well as five blocks, led the Nuggets, but neither tell the whole story. “Energy” and “hustle” are words generally reserved for Kenneth Faried and Corey Brewer, but Koufos’ activity level in the paint tonight was, perhaps, the biggest factor in Denver taking an 18-point lead into halftime and keeping the pedal on the gas from there.
Ty Lawson and Andre Miller combined for zero points in this game, which has got to be a first, but that is far overshadowed by the fact that the team as a whole dished out a season-high 36 assists. (more…)
The Denver Nuggets fell to 1-3 in Summer League play after losing to the Bobcats Thursday night at the Thomas & Mack Center. There was a scary moment in the second quarter when Kenneth Faried went down hard after catching an inadvertent elbow from Quincy Miller, but Faried was back on the bench in the second half after receiving stitches.
While we are passing along hot rumors, a new article by Chad Ford reports that Oklahoma City GM Sam Presti told Florida shooting guard Bradley Beal the Thunder would look into trading up to draft him. Who cares? Not gonna happen, right? Well, a little further down the page Beal shares that another playoff team from the Northwest Division made a similar comment.
ESPN’s Chris Broussard is reporting the Nuggets are very active in Draft day trade talks, discussing a possible deal with the Warriors that centers around trading Chandler for the No. 7 pick in the first round. As part of the proposed deal the Nuggets would likely have to take on Dorell Wright and the last year of his contract at just north of $4 million.
When I sat down tonight to watch the Denver Nuggets take on the Charlotte Bobcats, I certainly did not expect to see the Nuggets pull off the fifth biggest margin of victory in franchise history. But… THAT JUST HAPPENED! (more…)
Carmelo Anthony may have only shot 8-21 from the field on Tuesday night against the Charlotte Bobcats, but he actually increased his shooting percentage over his previous eleven games from 36.2% to 36.4%. I was tempted to concoct a post about how efficient Carmelo had been to start the season until I remembered he has done this before. While Carmelo does not always get off to a fast start he is no stranger to posting big numbers in the first month of the season. The great start to this season is like mile high hair, nothing but a memory. Over his previous five full games Melo’s best shooting performance was his 7-18 outing against the Bulls. It is the longest stretch of games where he has made fewer than 40% of his shots since his second season in the league when his shot selection reached abysmal levels of absurdity.
If you have been following the bonanza of Carmelo Antony trade rumors that are exploding all over the internet the past 48 hours, I am sure you are wondering what you can believe and what you cannot. The real truth is that no one person knows exactly what is going on. This much is true, the Nuggets are set to receive Derrick Favors, Andrei Kirilenko and a pair of first round picks for Carmelo Anthony in a four team deal that also includes the Charlotte Bobcats.
I was very pleased with the Denver Nuggets 104-93 victory tonight against the once red hot Charlotte Bobcats. I admit I was a little worried heading into the game after finding out that Charlotte had actually moved ahead of Boston for the top spot in the defensive efficiency rankings as well as in points allowed per game. I had no idea the Bobcats were doing so well defensively and knowing the Nuggets would be without Carmelo Anthony due to a sprained ankle seemed like a dangerous combination.
Fortunately for Denver they still had a red hot Arron Afflalo and Western Conference Player of the Week Chauncey Billups who both continued their stellar play. Afflalo nailed shot after shot as the Bobcats vaunted defense struggled to rotate in time to slow him down.
Defensively the effort reminded me quite a bit of the previous game against the Hornets. Denver did a very good impersonation of a sieve for the first five or six minutes before getting their act together in time to put the clamps down. The Nuggets combined a switch and help scheme with a trap and recover style that kept the Bobcats off balance and succeeded in keeping them mostly on the perimeter.
After building up a double digit lead the Nuggets drove any thoughts of a Charlotte comeback out the window during a stretch of over five minutes spanning the end of the third and beginning of the fourth where they held the Bobcats to a mere two points.
Offensively the Nuggets racked up the assists thanks to the hot shooting of Afflalo and a running game that tallied 18 points against the team with the fourth slowest pace factor in the league.
The victory is made even more impressive by the ejection of Kenyon Martin in the second quarter. You can argue whether or not it was a good idea for Kenyon to clap vociferously in front of Ken Mauer immediately after Stephen Jackson missed a free throw following the first technical Mauer called on Martin. You can also argue the old adage that no one shows up to watch the refs officiate the game and Mauer surely could have let Kenyon’s enthusiastic response to the miss go.
It only served to add to the quality of the victory as the bench was forced to play an even bigger role. When Kenyon was ejected the Nuggets were up 49-42 and just over 90 seconds later the Bobcats had clawed back to within one. The fact that the Nuggets pulled out an easy win over a decent team down two starters is a very good sign.
To me the biggest storyline from the game was the decision not to suspend J.R. Smith after his antics against the Hornets Saturday night. Smith came out focused and he drained two threes, both within the flow of the offense after entering the game late in the first quarter. George Karl had talked about how the goal of whatever decision the team would make was to help J.R. play better and stop being such a three point chucker. After those first two shots it appeared the staff made the correct decision as J.R. seemed to have derived confidence from the team’s choice to play him.
However, as the game wore on J.R. continued to shoot three after three and he finished the game having missed his final seven three point attempts. He did play hard on defense and did a nice job on the glass pulling down six boards and that is to his credit. However, the nine three point attempts were not a good sign. Karl mentioned that they needed to get J.R. less focused on threes and more focused on getting to the rim, drawing fouls and setting up his teammates, all things he can do. As long as J.R. plays as hard as he did tonight he will help the Nuggets. On the other hand if he keeps shooting threes at this rate he clearly did not learn much from the threat of being suspended.
Additional Game 44 Nuggets
I have been fortunate enough to hear him recount the horrific events of that day firsthand and it lead him to a relationship with Jesus Christ. I encourage everyone to read the book he penned called “Chosen to Live” that follows the bouts of depression and guilt that were spawned by the weight of dealing with such a tragedy.
Fortunately for Colorado sports fans Jerry is not going far as he will be calling Colorado Rockies games. I want to wish him good luck with the Rockies, but I hope he will know how much he will be missed.
Jason Kosmicki was already calling the road games on the radio for the Nuggets and I am sure he will continue to do a great job as he steps in for Jerry on a full time basis.
Welcome back Carmelo Anthony! If last night’s game was just a regular game for Melo I would have thought he did very well. Add in the fact that it was his first game back from a fractured hand and that makes his performance even better.
You could have found more rust on Stan Kronke’s money clip than on Carmelo’s game.
Melo did a good job mixing up his offense. He started with jumpers and then moved on to attacking the rim. He made a couple of nice drives both to the left and the right for easy scores. His jumper looked solid even though he went only 2 on shots outside the paint. He also passed the ball pretty well finishing with five assists highlighted by a touch pass into Nene who was diving through the lane to the rim. Melo also had a good showing from the free throw line as he made 9 of 11 attempts.
If Melo did display any rust it was handling the ball. He was called for two palming violations, which I do not expect to see many more of in the future, on his way to five turnovers. He also only pulled down two rebounds, but that did not seem to be related to any attempt to avoid contact. He was in the lane when he needed to be.
The truly good news was I did not ever see him rubbing his hand at all. He did have his fingers retaped at one point, but it did not appear to be due to any pain or physical issues.
As far as the rest of the team, they certainly did what we all expected of them. They jumped out early after forcing six turnovers in the first 4:36. In fact Charlotte only led for 34 seconds. Denver pushed the lead up to ten points at 34-24 with 8:50 left in the second quarter and Charlotte never got closer than the final margin of 11 the rest of the night. It really was a smooth game. The only run Charlotte made was in the first quarter when they fought back to get within one late in the first quarter.
Denver came out of this game healthy and confident. That is about all we can ask for.
Additional Game 47 Nuggets
Mindboggling Game Stats
Pace Factor: 91.1 – Somewhat slow for a game at the Pepsi Center. Entering the game the Nuggets had a pace factor of 95.2 at home. Charlotte is third to last in the league in pace factor though.
Defensive Efficiency: 108.7 – Charlotte stopped turning the ball over and Denver let up a bit in the second half.
Offensive Efficiency: 120.8 – The last time Denver cracked the 120 mark in offensive efficiency was the Pacers game, which as you know was the last game Melo played in.
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Month end at work = pathetically un-insightful preview, but you guys are used to those.
Charlotte has been very respectable lately, even accomplishing something the Nuggets are incapable of doing and that is beating the Lakers at Staples Center. However, Gerald Wallace suffered cracked ribs and a collapsed lung in that game. Fortunately he was discharged from the hospital today.
However, the news is not Charlotte coming to town, but Carmelo Anthony returning to the court for the first time since January fifth. Melo apparently has been working out (he looks pretty svelte in this picture) and reports are his shot is looking as good as ever. We will see tonight.
Update: One more quick note. With the return of Melo J.R. goes back to the bench, and hopefully that means that J.R. can soak up some of Dahntay Jones’ minutes. Adding Melo and reducing how much Jones we get should be a pretty good recipe for improvement.
Previous Matchup: Game 7 – Den 88 Cha 80
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