By the Numbers: Do double-doubles matter?

Among many NBA fans, announcers, headline writers and – most especially – fantasy team managers, double-doubles seem to possess an almost mystical quality. They’re esteemed as a sort of litmus test of production, a reliable quick-glance measure of whether a player can fill up the stat sheet.

Analytics geeks and gurus, on the other hand, tend to dismiss the double-double as a rather arbitrary, and unelucidative stat. Sure, the set of players who average double digits in two columns is a fairly select bunch, but nobody’s going to argue that DeAndre Jordan (who’s in the dub-dub club this season) is even remotely close to the caliber of LeBron James and Kevin Durant (who are not).

Despite the fact that I lean heavily toward the latter camp (fantasy team aside), when both Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried put up double-doubles in Denver’s rout of New Orleans, it piqued my curiosity as to the team’s success rate when that happens.

As it turns out, it’s fairly impressive. (more…)

Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 103-San Antonio Spurs 108

The Nuggets tried. Oh man did they try. But ultimately putting yourself down by 19 points against the defending Western Conference champs and current best team in the NBA is a bad idea and Denver fell just short of completing their comeback by falling 108-103 and were officially eliminated from the playoffs.

Please leave your thoughts on the grades in the comments below.

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Roundball Roundup: Part III – Faried’s blossoming, Arthur’s bombing, and Denver’s pre-preseason

Faried’s blossoming post game:

Matt had a great write-up on Faried’s improvements but I thought it was worth reiterating it a bit here. Faried began the year a player adrift. The GM who coveted him when so many others had passed and the coach whose up and down offensive style seemed designed to maximize his athletic ability while minimizing his half court deficiencies were both gone. Trade rumors swirled around him and Brian Shaw seemed dead set on forcing him to go to work on offense with his back to the basket. Faried’s subsequent failures started costing him minutes.

And yet, something weird happened. Despite what seemed like irrevocable differences between play style and offensive capability between player and coach, Faried did the thing that Brian Shaw was always purported to be able to do to players, one of the core reasons he was hired. Faried got better.

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Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 118-Detroit Pistons 109

Thanks to 27 and 16 from Aaron Brooks (I know I’m confused too) the Nuggets used a second half rally following the ejection of Josh Smith to beat the Pistons 118-109. The Nuggets also got contributions from Randy Foye and Kenneth Faried on their way to the victory.

Grades are below the jump.

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Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 110 -Los Angeles Clippers 100

In a sloppy, miss filled, physical game the Nuggets outlasted the Clippers 110-100. Denver got big performances late from Ty Lawson, Randy Foye and JJ Hickson to end the Clippers 11 game winning streak.

Grades are below the jump.

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A Monster March: Why Kenneth Faried’s Recent Offensive Explosion is Encouraging.

Things clearly haven’t gone well for the Nuggets since the start of 2014. The team went into a tailspin, largely thanks to the injury bug that ripped through the team, forcing multiple games of Randy Foye at point guard and other drastic measures. But just because the team hasn’t been headed in the right direction doesn’t mean there hasn’t been any good to come of the season. In fact recently something very encouraging has been happening.

Since the start of March Kenneth Faried has been on fire.  The Manimal is averaging 21.1 points and 10.1 rebounds in seven games this month while shooting 64.5 percent from the floor and 70 percent from the free throw line. The stretch is probably the best Faried has played in his entire career and is encouraging for the Nuggets to see as they start to think about what kind of extension they will be offering him next season.

What makes things most exciting for Denver is how the growth has come in one of the places that it seems like Brian Shaw eventually wants to run his offense from—the post.

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Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 111-Miami Heat 107

In the absolute weirdest game the Nuggets have played all year they rode 18 points from Darrell Arthur, 24 from Kenneth Faried and 14 from Evan Fournier to defeat the defending champion Heat 111-107.

Grades are below the jump.

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Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 98-Charlotte Bobcats 105

Thanks to the Nuggets complete inability to defend good players the Bobcats led for most of the contest and defeated the Nuggets 105-98. Al Jefferson dominated anyone the Nuggets tried to throw at him while Gary Neal and Kemba Walker took turns killing the Nuggets when Jefferson needed a blow.

Grades are below the jump.

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Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 134, Los Angeles Lakers 126

In a high-scoring affair that didn’t feature much defense, the Nuggets ran up the score early on the Lakers and strung together their first consecutive wins in over a month. Kenneth Faried scored a career-high 32 points, and Lawson matched his career high with 17 assists. (more…)

Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 115 Dallas Mavericks 110

The Nuggets snapped a six-game slide with a 115-110 victory over the Dallas Mavericks at Pepsi Center. Outside of a poor second half in which Denver almost squandered the comfortable lead they held all night, the Nuggets delivered their best overall effort in a while.
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Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 96 Portland Trailblazers 102

The Nuggets put up a fight this time but still lose by a score of 102-96 in Portland. The Blazers swept the season series against the tanking Nuggets, who have now lost 10 of their last 11 games.

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Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 89-Brooklyn Nets 112

The Nets lost by 44 points in Portland last night but as we have come to see the Nuggets were the perfect remedy for their problems as the Nuggets scored just 8 points in the first quarter and couldn’t stop the Nets all night ultimately falling by 23 points after trailing by 30 or more for parts of the second half.

Grades are live below the jump. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.

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Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 95-Sacramento Kings 109

-Here we are again. Denver led by 13 points in the middle of the second quarter thanks to a combination of Evan Fournier and Airwolf Jan Vesely but ultimately things all fell apart in the third quarter when they were outscored 39-18 by a bad Kings team playing on the second night of a back-to-back.

Randy Foye tried as hard as he good to drag Denver back into the game and the Nuggets even cut the lead to 10 in the fourth quarter before the Kings ran away for good thanks to Isaiah Thomas, DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay to win the game by 14.

Grades are below the jump.

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Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets107-Phoenix Suns 112

Thanks to some technical difficulties with my DVR I missed the majority of the first quarter but the Nuggets fought back from an early deficit to put themselves in position to finally defeat the Suns this season. Up five with under a minute left all Denver had to do was hang out but they were unable to thanks to problems generating good looks on offense and grabbing rebounds on defense.

In overtime Denver continued to struggle offensively and ultimately JJ HICKSON SHOT A THREE TO TRY AND TIE THE GAME WITH 5 SECONDS LEFT and they fell 112-107.

Grades are after the jump and please before you yell about Hickson’s grade read the comments. Please.

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Roundball Roundup: Part II – Shaw vs Karl, Faried’s struggle, a farewell to guards, and Denver’s DOA season

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.”

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