Jordan Hamilton Video Inteview

The Nuggets wrapped up their 2012 Summer League season in Las Vegas Friday night with a loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. Jordan Hamilton was kind enough to chat with Roundball Mining Company after the game, discussing his overall experience, personal growth, and his expectations for next season.

Many thanks to Jordan Hamilton for taking the time. Follow Jordan on Twitter here.

Stone out five months

As is being reported by Charlie (yes, our Charlie), Julyan Stone will be sidelined for five months due to a labral hip tear — the same injury Wilson Chandler is currently recovering from. Not much else is known at this point in time. Stay tuned for more updates as Charlie has the inside scoop on this particular story straight from the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

2012 Summer League Game 1: Denver Nuggets 74 Golden State Warriors 95

Summer league is all about experimentation. In a setting where wins and losses aren’t exactly of the utmost importance, coaches are using the opportunity to throw a bunch of darts at the wall in order to see what sticks.  While the results are a mixed bag that typically don’t lead you to any concrete conclusions, they’re often more interesting than the final score of the actual games.

That’s the way I feel about the Nuggets summer league opener against Golden State, which ended up turning into a blowout loss. While it certainly wasn’t fun seeing the Nuggets get throttled in a game they badly wanted to win, the entire team competed and there was plenty of individual growth that will help this Nuggets team evaluate how to get the most out of the summer league experience going forward.

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The Denver Nuggets sign Evan Fournier – What does it mean?

The Denver Nuggets have agreed to terms with Evan Fournier whom they selected with the 20th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.  Following the draft Masai Ujiri spoke of how the Fournier appealed to the Nuggets as a player they could stash overseas for a year or two.  The fact that they signed him brings a few interesting things to light.

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Breaking down the 2012 Summer League roster

Earlier today the Nuggets announced the 13 players Chad Iske will coach in the Las Vegas summer league next week. Nuggets fans should be pleased to know that every one of Denver’s draft picks from the last two seasons will be in attendance, only further proving that Masai and Josh are building an organization that values long-term player development. I’ll be heading out to Las Vegas this weekend to do some up close coverage of Summer League for Roundball Mining Company, and before our in-depth analysis gets rolling here’s a little bit of background on what we know about each of the prospects right now.

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Denver Nuggets Announce Summer League Roster

The Denver Nuggets have announced their summer league roster and it is complete with everyone Nuggets fans will want to watch.

Veterans Kenneth Faried, Jordan Hamilton and Julyan Stone are joined by all three draft picks, Evan Fournier, Quincy Miller and Izzet Turkyilmaz as well as last summer’s second round selection Chu Chu Maduabum.  I was dead wrong in my assessment that Fournier would not be on the roster due to the fact that he is still under contract with his French team.

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Denver Nuggets 2012 NBA Draft Options

I look forward to the NBA Draft every June.  I love it.  All 30 teams belly up to the craps table, some will win big and some will lose big.  Opportunities will present themselves, difficult choices must be made.  Of course, there will be many players drafted who never accomplish a thing, but that makes it all the more interesting to me.

The Denver Nuggets are poised to make a splash.  They have a roster full of quality players going two deep at every spot, fifteen picks over the next five drafts and a large trade exception.  They can be as active as they want to be.

So what should the Nuggets be looking to accomplish on Thursday night?  What do they really need?

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Denver Nuggets 2012 Summer League Schedule

The NBA just released the Las Vegas Summer League schedule, featuring 24 teams competing in 60 games from July 13-22. The Denver Nuggets will be participating in five games from July 14-20. Full schedule below

July 14 Golden State COX Pavilion 4:00 p.m.
July 15 Dallas COX Pavilion 4:00 p.m.
July 17 New York COX Pavilion 2:00 p.m.
July 19 Charlotte Thomas & Mack Center 8:30 p.m.
July 20 Portland COX Pavilion 4:00 p.m.

Chad Iske will coach the Summer League team this year, a position previously held John Welch in 2009 and ex-Nuggets assistant Jamahl Mosely in 2010 (summer league was cancelled in 2011 due to the lockout). The roster is yet to be announced but the Nuggets have confirmed second year players Kenneth Faried, Jordan Hamilton, and Julyan Stone will participate. The Nuggets announced on their website that all five games will be televised by Altitude with pre and post game coverage. NBATV will also broadcast all 60 games nationally, including 39 live from the Thomas and Mack Center and Cox Pavilion.

Summer League will showcase the best young talent in the league, with 13 of the 14 teams in June 28th’s draft lottery set to participate. Presumably, the Nuggets will feature at least one of their selections from the upcoming draft as Denver currently has one first round and two second round picks.

For those thinking of traveling to Vegas in mid-July, tickets are $25 a day for adults and on sale now at UNLVtickets.com. Roundball Mining Company will be in Vegas covering games and posting content.  As always, we will continue to update you on developments as summer league rosters begin to take shape following the draft on June 28th.

 

Denver Nuggets to-do list

For the second year in a row Roundball Mining Company has organized a list of the Nuggets top offseason priorities. Ranked from most to least urgent, these are the adjustments the Nuggets should strongly consider in order to further improve its record in 2012-13 and beyond.

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2011-12 Denver Nuggets season review (and future outlook)

Heading into the 2011-12 season the Denver Nuggets were a mystery waiting to be solved. After coming off the most chaotic seven months in franchise history the team made monumental strides in the offseason to remain competitive even after parting ways with Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups. In addition, the NBA lockout saw key contributors Wilson Chandler, Kenyon Martina and J.R. Smith all vanish to the opposite side of the world until midseason, leaving even more questions marks about who would be with the team moving forward. But as the season progressed, piece by piece Nuggets fans collected clues about the identity and subsequent standards the team would possess, which ended up being very similar to years past.

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3-on-3: Past, present, future

In Roundball Mining Company’s first postseason reflection piece we’ll be taking a look at the evolution of the Denver Nuggets over the last year and examine what we’ve learned about the team throughout the process. Though the Nuggets have laid the foundation for the future through savvy front-office dealings there’s still quite a bit of uncertainty surrounding the roster. Therefore, our most recent 3-on-3 aims to analyze certain aspects of the present, past and future. As always, feel free to hand out your answers to these questions in the comments section below.

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Rapid Reaction: Los Angeles Lakers 103, Denver Nuggets 88

Denver Nuggets 88 FinalRecap | Box Score 103 Los Angeles Lakers
Kenneth Faried, F 28 MIN | 4-8 FG | 2-3 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | -7
In the first playoff game of his career Faried played decent. The problem is, decent won’t necessarily cut it this time of year. Faried can play better than this and the Nuggets desperately need him to play better. His energy has been one of the team’s most prized assets all year long and against the Lakers it could end up countering some of Bynum’s electric blocks.
Danilo Gallinari, SF 36 MIN | 7-14 FG | 5-6 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 19 PTS | -17
Gallinari was about the only Nugget who came prepared to play for the playoffs, not the regular season. This was especially interesting considering how long it’s taken him to regain his form since returning from injury. He attacked the basket early and often, utilizing a variety of spin moves in the post that we haven’t seen in quite some time. He also knocked down shots when he was open and played good defense for most of the game. In the postgame press conference he admitted his team was hesitant on offense and that they need to figure out ways to score (i.e. getting out on the break) before Bynum gets set on defense. Clearly Gallinari understands what it takes to win against teams like the Lakers in the postseason. Now if he can just get his teammates to grasp this concept…
Kosta Koufos, C 12 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -8
Koufos hardly made an impact. He started, as usual, but didn’t see many minutes after his initial stint. Karl said during a timeout how he needed his team to play up to it’s potential so he could understand whether his gameplan was working or not, but drastically cutting Koufos’ minutes seems to be hypocritical and counterproductive in that sense. Koufos has been a fairly large part of the Nuggets DNA over the last several months and is one of the few players on the roster who has the size and defensive aggression to possibly stifle Gasol or even Bynum. Seeing him play only 12 minutes doesn’t seem like enough time for a detailed evaluation of where he stands.
Arron Afflalo, SG 33 MIN | 3-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 9 PTS | -7
Afflalo played great defense on Kobe… for about half the game. But once Kobe got going he never slowed down. Guarding the NBA’s second best shooting guard of all time is not an easy task. Afflalo did well for the most part but he still has to shoot better than 27 percent from the field. Anybody who takes pride in their defense knows it’s extremely difficult to lock down your opponent on one end and attack with aggression on the other, and sadly that’s what the Nuggets are asking from Afflalo. Still, if anybody can do it, it’s him.
Ty Lawson, PG 31 MIN | 3-11 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 7 PTS | -21
There was quite a bit of fuss on Twitter regarding Lawson’s performance. Clearly he was intimidated by the Lakers front-court duo of Bynum and Gasol and avoided penetrating the lane virtually all together for much of the game. But before we overreact and jump to conclusions (after only one playoff game nonetheless) let’s keep a few things in mind: First, Lawson was the Nuggets best player in the playoffs last year against Serge Ibaka and the Thunder. Second, Lawson has fared extremely well in terms of bouncing back after bad scoring outings this season, having scored in single digits on back-to-back occasions only once all year. Finally, the Lakers are just a flat-out bad matchup for the diminutive point guard. Ty Lawson is 5-11 on a good day; the Lakers front-court duo is 7 feet every day. Lawson relies heavily on dribble penetration and most importantly, finishing around the rim. When he has two 7-footers watching his every move, it’s extremely tough for him to play this way. I’m not trying to be an apologist, but I’m level headed enough to understand that just because he struggles against the best power forward-center combo since Duncan and Robinson doesn’t mean he’s not the Nuggets point guard of the future.
Al Harrington, PF 22 MIN | 4-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | -4
Harrington was bad. He didn’t play his game and attempted to force shots up when they weren’t falling in true Mamba-esque fashion. This is not the type of performance the Nuggets need from Big Al. At some point he needed to sever ties with shot attempts, as none of them were falling, yet he just never did. Look for Harrington to bounce back next game.
Andre Miller, PG 27 MIN | 5-13 FG | 2-3 FT | 8 REB | 7 AST | 12 PTS | -5
Miller’s stat line is impressive, however it’s difficult to recall any one thing he did extremely well that helped the Nuggets in their attempt to win this game. He filled in for Lawson during stretches he normally wouldn’t — due to Ty’s struggles — and did a solid job all things considered. Hopefully Lawson finds ways to score next game so that Miller can revert back to the distributor he’s been lately that benefits the Nuggets most.
Corey Brewer, SF 23 MIN | 3-6 FG | 3-3 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | +3
Brewer was certainly a bright spot on a dull, dispirited afternoon. He played great defense on every person he was assigned to guard and was one of the few Nuggets who tried to embrace the fastbreak. His defense could end up playing a key role this series, especially if Karl decides to place him on Bryant.
Timofey Mozgov, C 9 MIN | 2-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -3
For the second game in a row Mozgov played better than he has for most of the season. Perhaps the key is only playing him 10-12 minutes per night as he seems to top out at “Maximum Productivity” after that point. I still think Koufos deserved about half of Mozgov’s minutes, if not more, for the simple fact that he isn’t a liability on offense and has been a major contributor for the Nuggets down the stretch.
JaVale McGee, C 17 MIN | 0-6 FG | 2-4 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -10
Sunday was a struggle for McGee. Like many Nuggets, this was his first playoff game and it showed in the form of nervousness. He was fumbling the ball as if it were going out of style and couldn’t finish anything within two feet of the rim. But also like many of his teammates, he should bounce back on Tuesday with a more dominating performance.
Julyan Stone, G 2 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 0 PTS | +2
N/A
Jordan Hamilton, G 2 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +2
N/A

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Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 131, Minnesota Timberwolves 102

Denver Nuggets 131 Final

Recap | Box Score

102 Minnesota Timberwolves
Kenneth Faried, F 32 MIN | 7-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 15 PTS | +11
Faried is improving every game. Against the Wolves he refrained from making “rookie” mistakes he often does. This isn’t to say he doesn’t still have a ways to go, but it’s certainly is nice seeing him begin to realize and understand different aspects of the NBA game, and just in time for the playoffs nonetheless.
Danilo Gallinari, SF 27 MIN | 5-7 FG | 7-8 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 17 PTS | +17
Gallinari needed a game like this. He’s been in a slump since coming back from injury and hasn’t seen his shot fall the way it was in the beginning of the year. If the Nuggets are to do damage in the playoffs Gallinari will have to be the type of threat he was against the Wolves, and then some.
Kosta Koufos, C 26 MIN | 3-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 11 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | +23
Koufos is one hell of a serviceable big man. He will fumble a pass and miss a routine shot here and there but does his job and does it well. He seems to be getting more comfortable in his role as the starting center and hopefully will bring some toughness to the Nuggets in the postseason.
Arron Afflalo, SG 30 MIN | 7-12 FG | 1-1 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 18 PTS | +13
Afflalo is the new Rip Hamilton in terms of his midrange game. It’s almost unbelievable how efficient he is in knocking down a wide variety of jump shots, including 3-pointers. Against the Wolves he hit numerous shots that kept the Nuggets lead steadily growing. If he keeps up this type of high-level play going in the postseason, it should be a delight to watch.
Ty Lawson, PG 25 MIN | 7-10 FG | 0-1 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 15 PTS | +28
Lawson had a great game all around. He shot efficiently from the field, had a few nice steals and penetrated with verve. Seeing the aggressive Ty Lawson was certainly nice this time of year.
Andre Miller, PG 21 MIN | 2-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 10 AST | 5 PTS | +10
Where has this Andre Miller been the whole year? When he’s distributing first, he’s an excellent asset for the Nuggets to have. There will be times when he’ll need to score but if he can be a distributor for the most part, the Nuggets as a whole will benefit greatly.
Corey Brewer, SF 28 MIN | 5-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 12 PTS | +19
In 28 minutes, 12 points doesn’t look like much, but Brewer was fantastic in terms of his energy. He got out on the fastbreak and had some nice plays across the board. This is the type of performance Brewer needs to turn in every night.
Timofey Mozgov, C 13 MIN | 7-8 FG | 1-1 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 15 PTS | 0
The same night I refer to Mozgov “maladroit” on Twitter, he has one of his best performances of the year. He missed only one shot and was all over the floor. He finished well around the rim and put back a few monster dunks. If he gets called upon in the playoffs hopefully he can play this good again.
JaVale McGee, C 18 MIN | 9-12 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 19 PTS | +17
This was probably McGee’s second best game as a Nugget. Once again he finished very strong around the rim and made virtually no mistakes. He’s already a totally different player than he was in Washington and is starting to show signs of becoming the player people thought he could be on draft night. This is excellent news for the Nuggets.
Julyan Stone, G 8 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 0 PTS | +2
Stone was impressive. He’s not the type of threat most point guards are on offense, but his intangibles and defensive prowess is promising.
Jordan Hamilton, G 12 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 8 PTS | +5
Had Hamilton been able to log around 20-25 minutes per game, there’s a good chance he would have made an All Rookie team of some sort. He’s got lots of talent, especially as a scorer, and it was on full display against the Wolves.

There’s not much left to say about this game. It was a complete blowout by the second quarter. The Nuggets did exactly what they needed to do in order to secure the sixth seed in the Western Conference Playoffs. They will face the Lakers in the first round, which is a decent matchup all things considered.

What is evident at this point is that the Nuggets are beginning to gel. They’ve hit another high point in the season and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Heading into the playoffs Nuggets fans have to feel good. It seems as if the team is thoroughly enjoying playing basketball right now and as a result, the fans are enjoying watching as well.

We’ll have much more coverage of the Nuggets over the weekend including video breakdowns and analysis so be sure to stay tuned!

Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 101, Orlando Magic 74

Orlando Magic 74 Final

Recap | Box Score

101 Denver Nuggets
Kenneth Faried, F 30 MIN | 5-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 11 PTS | +19
Faried wasn’t overwhelmingly impressive but like always, his energy made a difference. His defense is slowly coming along as well. Now if he could just set more solid screens…
Danilo Gallinari, SF 35 MIN | 6-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 17 PTS | +26
It seemed the Nuggets made a point of getting Gallinari involved early and often. He had numerous isolation plays in the first quarter and didn’t hesitate to pull the trigger on his shot. This was the type of game he needed to get back on track. Now that he’s got one under his belt it’s time for him to step up more in the last two games of the season in order to prepare himself properly for the playoffs.
Kosta Koufos, C 15 MIN | 4-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | +14
Koufos continues to improve. His hands will always be partially made of stone and his movement around the rim never be the quickest, but he’s showing strides in his game that Mozgov simply wasn’t. He showed off a few hook shots on Sunday that were really pretty and was efficient in only 15 minutes of time. If he can keep providing this type of production in limited minutes the Nuggets will be in good shape with their center depth.
Arron Afflalo, SG 37 MIN | 7-10 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 15 PTS | +19
Once again Afflalo logged the most minutes of any Nugget and quietly dropped 15 points in the process. His game is so professional and sound. He rarely takes a bad shot and lets everything come to him. Nothing is forced. He only missed one 2-point shot the entire night.
Ty Lawson, PG 34 MIN | 5-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 10 AST | 13 PTS | +23
It was nice to see Lawson get aggressive, if only for a few plays. There are times (usually when coming off a big performance in the previous game) that Lawson has a tendency to take a back seat in a major way. He was heading that direction before kicking it into gear in the second quarter. He took advantage of open lanes and gave the Nuggets a dimension to their offense they desperately needed: speed.
Andre Miller, PG 25 MIN | 3-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 11 AST | 6 PTS | -1
This was one of Miller’s best games in while. It doesn’t matter that he only scored six points on 3-10 shooting from the field; what matters is that he was engaged with his teammates, talking and dishing out some excellent assists, mostly to JaVale McGee who he’s developing some great chemistry with. The Nuggets are at their best when Miller is distributing first and scoring second, which is what he did on Sunday.
Corey Brewer, SF 25 MIN | 3-7 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 8 PTS | +14
Brewer won’t wow you with his stat line but his energy was certainly palpable. He still took too many outside shots, and in the playoffs that might cost the Nuggets, but against the Howard-less Magic, it can be overlooked. As long as he keeps getting out on the break and playing good defense a few bad shots can be tolerated.
Timofey Mozgov, C 9 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -2
Mozgov is tough to grade. He didn’t do much offensively — in fact, he was pretty awful — but he did play solid defense when called upon. For that he deserves credit.
JaVale McGee, C 24 MIN | 8-11 FG | 1-3 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 17 PTS | +7
Story of the game. One of the best performances I’ve seen from a Nugget big man in a really, really long time. Nene was able to put up impressive numbers from time to time but there was always one key aspect missing from his game: He never actually played like a big. On Sunday, McGee played like a big man is supposed to play. He took his fair share of isolation shots, showed a variety of different moves and most importantly, finished around the rim with authority and power. That’s what a true big man does, and when it’s done properly, it’s a thing of beauty. This was without question McGee’s best performance in a Nuggets uniform and one of the more encouraging performances we’ve seen from any Nugget this season. As I tweeted during the game, it was pure, unfiltered, sexy athleticism. Chocolate Thunder would be proud.
Julyan Stone, G 2 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | +8
Stone showed a desire to set up plays instead of run recklessly, and for that I salute him.
Jordan Hamilton, G 2 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | +8
Hamilton was pretty productive in two minutes time. Should Harrington not be able to go in the next several games, he might be called upon again.

Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 123 Golden State Warriors 84

Golden State Warriors 84 Final
Recap | Box Score
123 Denver Nuggets
Kenneth Faried, F 24 MIN | 12-18 FG | 3-3 FT | 17 REB | 1 AST | 27 PTS | +33

Complete and utter domination. Faried set new career highs in points, rebounds, field goals made, and field goals attempted in just 24 minutes. He was outstanding in transition and a beast in the paint on both ends. Defensively, it was by far his finest performance to date. I get the sense Faried is seen as purely an energy guy by the coaching staff, but games like this are a reminder he’s a much more complete player than he’s given credit for.

Danilo Gallinari, SF 30 MIN | 4-11 FG | 5-6 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 15 PTS | +25

Gallo’s welcome return was well-received by the Nuggets new starting five. For the first time in weeks, the Nuggets started a lineup with chemistry and cohesion on both ends of the court. A lot of the credit must go to Gallo, who clearly isn’t in game shape yet managed to get the Nuggets playing the best team basketball we’ve seen in weeks.

Kosta Koufos, C 17 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | +28

Koufos is capable of putting up better numbers, but still played a fantastically solid game that helped the Nuggets open up with perhaps their best start all season. Nothing was wrong with Koufos’ game, but he was somewhat overshadowed by the stellar play of McGee and Faried.

Arron Afflalo, SG 36 MIN | 6-14 FG | 2-2 FT | 8 REB | 5 AST | 15 PTS | +33

I supposed this is now what a poor game out of Afflalo looks like. It’s a shame this season feels so short because if this is what we can expect when Afflalo doesn’t have it, he’s well on his way to becoming a special player. His leadership and team-oriented play were a welcome sight on a night he could not carry the offense like he has in the past couple of games.

Ty Lawson, PG 21 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 10 PTS | +31

I hate to be harsh, but once again I did not like the timid, passive style of play we saw out of Lawson against the Warriors. Lawson did not do anything wrong, but he should play better against a sad Warriors back court full of no-names. Ty has it in him to take over these games if he wants to and it’s personally disappointing that he doesn’t show more of a killer instinct or a drive to assert himself against lesser competition.

Al Harrington, PF 12 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | +5

Harrington didn’t play much, but he did his job admirably when he did. Al was once again flame throwing triples from long range and wasn’t needed for more than a few minutes after the bench essentially put the game away in the second quarter. Bad news just came out that Al has a torn meniscus and has been trying to play through it the past few games.

Andre Miller, PG 28 MIN | 2-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 12 AST | 6 PTS | +16

Once again, I just really like the maturity and professionalism Andre is now showing on a nightly basis. Why this was missing for first 80% of the season I have no idea, but in the past month or so Andre has been one of the steadiest guys on the team outside of Afflalo.

Corey Brewer, SF 22 MIN | 5-6 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 13 PTS | +5

Brewer still has a place in the Nuggets’ rotation and he found that niche tonight. Corey was solid in transition and at the very least, less of a black hole on offense. I think his leash with George Karl had gotten a little too long and Brewer became too content to step outside of what he’s supposed to do best. He did a lot of good things in garbage time, but questions remain about his decision making on offense.

Timofey Mozgov, C 7 MIN | 2-2 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | +4

Mozgov got an extended garbage time stint after playing himself out of the rotation entirely on the Nuggets’ recent east coast trip. He was part of a twin towers lineup with McGee and hopefully, the dose of playing time will light a fire under him to make himself a more useful option should the Nuggets need him down the line.

JaVale McGee, C 23 MIN | 5-10 FG | 3-8 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 13 PTS | +2

Patience is the key with McGee. Admittedly I was not a fan and frankly, never believed the Nene trade had anything to do with the merits of acquiring him. Honestly, after getting an extended glimpse at JaVale and everything that comes with him, I’m impressed. Sure, he can be frustrating on a team that can’t afford any more inconsistency. Even so, the physical tools and multi-faceted skills he shows warrant a more patient attitude. This is a work in progress that likely won’t be complete by the end of this season, and there’s still plenty of good to be found in that.

Julyan Stone, G 12 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 0 PTS | +7

He’s an exciting player, but all of his minutes came against the Warriors reserves with the Nuggets up by 30. Still, Julyan played with a lot of intensity and displayed a keen sense for utilizing his length and athleticism on defense.

Jordan Hamilton, G 8 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 4 PTS | +6

Jordan was another guy who saw garbage minutes and ran up the score on a team that had already given up. It was nice seeing him sky high for a dunk and have success after a a sub-par game as a starter in his previous outing.

Chris Andersen, C DNP COACH’S DECISION

Gone, but not forgotten. Obviously this grade is N/A because he didn’t sniff the court yet again. I don’t think this is it for Birdman in a Nuggets uniform, but it’s probably a sign he will not play for the rest of the year. It has to be frustrating for Bird to be cast aside and given the Renaldo Balkman treatment, but it’s also a strong indication this team is moving in a new direction and making tough sacrifices for the sake of developing talent.

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