Tomasson: Heat could pursue Mozgov

According to Fox Sports’ Chris Tomasson, the Nuggets are looking to deal center Timofey Mozgov. One team Tomasson suggests could be in the running is the Miami Heat. While the Heat don’t have a bevy of assets to offer, Tomasson highlights a first-round pick owed to the Heat from the 76ers as a possible trade chip. In all likelihood the Nuggets will have to include additional assets in order to successfully complete a deal with the Heat alone. With the Nuggets still in much need of a deep threat, two players to keep an eye on are sharpshooters James Jones and Rashard Lewis, both of whom currently remain outside the nightly rotation in Miami.

Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 93 Miami Heat 98

Miami Heat 98 FinalRecap | Box Score 93 Denver Nuggets
Danilo Gallinari, SF 31 MIN | 5-12 FG | 2-4 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 13 PTS | -9
Here’s a fun fact: Gallo’s only shot attempt in the fourth was a J.R. Smith-esque airball from three with the Nuggets down by one and only 1:05 left on the clock. It was a momentum-killing mistake that resulted in a dagger three at the other end. Gallo was the highest scoring starter and had one of his more efficient games thus far, but he was tentative the entire second half and essentially chucked away Denver’s best chance at a lead without playing much of a part in the comeback. It’s too tough to give him a pass.
Kenneth Faried, SF 36 MIN | 5-16 FG | 6-10 FT | 20 REB | 0 AST | 16 PTS | -8
Another beastly night from the Manimal, who notched a career high 20 boards despite a rough night shooting the ball. Faried was everywhere and looked like the only fresh player the Nuggets had in a totally flat first half performance. Faried seems to be graduating towards heavy starters minutes with the all-out effort he’s giving each night.
Kosta Koufos, C 14 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -10
Koufos turned in a so-so performance in the “14-minute starter” role Mozgov occupied last season. He did have a nice block on LeBron and seems to improving his defense around the rim, but Koufos wasn’t on the floor when this game was competitive.
Ty Lawson, PG 36 MIN | 0-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 8 AST | 0 PTS | -11
This isn’t fun for anyone, but I haven’t seen a worse game out of Lawson or any decent starting PG in recent memory for that matter. While he did have 8 assists to just 2 turnovers, Lawson went scoreless in 36 minutes which just shouldn’t ever happen to a capable starter in Denver’s system. The Nuggets did the right thing and stuck by Lawson to the bitter end, but this was nothing short of embarrassing. The Heat owned Lawson and he just wasn’t able to adjust or respond in time
Andre Iguodala, SG 36 MIN | 4-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 10 PTS | -11
He’s been playing well lately and just didn’t seem to have another big offensive night in him. Shot selection was good but Denver just looked slow and out-of-sync to start this game. I have to admit it’s a little upsetting Iguodala’s defense didn’t get a chance to be more of a factor after the Nuggets made one too many costly mistakes in the final minute
Jordan Hamilton, SF 21 MIN | 4-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 11 PTS | -2
A really solid performance from Hamilton, who was one of the Nuggets hardest workers in the offseason and has yet to see a real shot at keeping a role in the rotation. Once again, he gets out of control off the dribble a lot and gets a little too loose with his shooting, but he’s the best floor-spacer on the team and is almost guaranteed to put up points with more minutes. That’s something Denver’s having a lot of trouble finding consistently.
Corey Brewer, SF 19 MIN | 1-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +6
A sub-par game, but one of the few Brewer’s had all season. While Brewer is not often going to hurt you in 19 minutes of play, you have to wonder if he’s being miscast as a sixth man scorer he’s really not. We saw some of the old Corey tonight – turnovers, ugly shooting, and overzealous defense galore.
JaVale McGee, C 21 MIN | 9-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 18 PTS | +14
You can’t expect a bench player to do much better in 21 minutes of action. McGee has had his struggles in training camp and early season games, but the Nuggets are playing a dangerous game by keeping a tight leash intact even after JaVale has started to settle down and improve. Bottom line, the Nuggets are sending the wrong message by sitting the hot hand down while the wholly ineffective Gallo and Lawson played the closing stretch.
Andre Miller, PG 26 MIN | 7-9 FG | 3-3 FT | 5 REB | 7 AST | 19 PTS | +6
He can be tough to watch, like the first half where Miller’s patented spin move to turnover made another early appearance. Then again, Miller has a way of delivering unbelievable efforts like this where he’ll basically spearhead a Nuggets run by himself. Miller played a lot in the second half where at times he looked like the best player on the floor at 36 years of age. The Nuggets made a lot of their comeback with LeBron James on the bench but Andre Miller was phenomenal regardless.

Rapid Reaction: Miami Heat 119, Denver Nuggets 116

Denver Nuggets 116 Final
Recap | Box Score
119 Miami Heat
Danilo Gallinari, SF 37 MIN | 3-17 FG | 6-9 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 13 PTS | -19

Gallo couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn in this game. His 13 points came from 17 shot attempts, and he went 1-9 from the arc. It’s easy to see that he wants to be the man on this team, but this seems to lead to somewhat selfish play at times. He needs to recognize when his shot’s not falling and try harder to set up his teammates.

Kenneth Faried, SF 36 MIN | 11-15 FG | 0-1 FT | 12 REB | 1 AST | 22 PTS | -10

The Manimal had his best game of the season tonight, and tied for leading scorer on the Nuggets with 22 very efficient points. It’s unclear why he, like so many other Nuggets players, was M.I.A. in the first two games, but the energetic, supercharged Faried we all know and love finally showed up. His performance was even more commendable given that he was assigned the daunting task of defending LeBron James, which he handled as capably as might be expected from a mere mortal.

Kosta Koufos, C 14 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -7

Koufos could do absolutely nothing to slow down the offensive onslaught of Chris Bosh, who tallied his highest score as a Miami Heat player with 40 points on 15-22 shooting. From the opening tipoff Bosh had his way with him, scoring ten points in the first eight minutes. Kosta wasn’t able to contribute much on offense either, and Karl only played him 14 minutes.

Ty Lawson, PG 41 MIN | 7-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 6 AST | 14 PTS | -2

Ty was very quiet to open the game, going shotless and scoreless in the first quarter. He did find a mode assertive mode of play as the game went on, however, and at times did a good job of driving to the basket. Still, he needs to develop more consistency. He seems to have an on/off switch when it comes to his effort and aggression, and when it’s off the Nuggets offense tends to sputter.

Andre Iguodala, SG 40 MIN | 9-15 FG | 2-4 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 22 PTS | -4

This was the Iguodala Nuggets fans have been waiting for. Andre did a solid job of defending Dwyane Wade, who shot 5-12 for just 14 points. It was by far his best offensive performance with Denver, as he tied Faried’s 22 points and notably hit two of his five 3-point attempts. In the fourth quarter he also showed signs of being a reliable go-to guy in the clutch, which should be important as the season rolls on.

Corey Brewer, SF 23 MIN | 4-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | +12

Brewer continues to earn his minutes with his effortful defensive play. It seems that Karl has given him the green light to shoot 3-pointers at will, but until he can demonstrate the ability to drain them more consistently at a higher percentage, it would be a mistake to have him continue averaging over six attempts per game. But his energy remains valuable, and he probably gains as many possessions for the team in steals and scrambling for loose balls as he loses with errant threes.

JaVale McGee, C 23 MIN | 6-9 FG | 4-5 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 16 PTS | +10

JaVale is another Nugget who had his best game of the season tonight. He delivered his 16 points with great efficiency, not only shooting 6-9 from the field but also (gasp!) knocking down four of his five free throw attempts. He played a more fundamentally sound game, which was nice to see. He did a good job of altering shots near the rim, but unfortunately he couldn’t do much better than Koufos in slowing down Bosh.

Andre Miller, PG 28 MIN | 8-10 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 17 PTS | +5

It’s somewhat odd to give such a high grade to Miller in a game in which he had only one assist, but Dre is a huge part of the reason why the Nuggets even had a chance to win this game. There were a couple of stretches in the third quarter when Miami started building a lead, but Miller did a great job of stopping the bleeding before things got out of control and keeping Denver in the game. And the play in the second quarter when he backed down Wade in the post and put in a short jumper right in his face was a thing of beauty.

Three Things We Saw

  1. Emotions will be split on this game. The fact that Denver was so close to winning it makes the loss heartbreaking, and this 0-3 road trip to start the season will make for a long plane ride home. But perhaps more importantly, this game was full of encouraging signs that this actually is the team we thought it would be and not the confused mess we saw through the preseason and first two games. Chemistry finally started kicking into place on both the offensive and defensive ends, and nearly all the players seemed to rediscover their confidence and true identities. In that sense this was as close to a “good loss” as there can be, and when the Nuggets debut their new gold jerseys in the home opener against Detroit on Tuesday, they look poised to hit the ground running.
  2. The Nuggets got to the basket at will in this game, and dominated points in the paint with 72 to Miami’s 40. They also won the rebounding battle in a big way, with 46 boards, 17 offensive, to the Heat’s 33 and 7. But the game was lost largely at the perimeter, where Denver’s defense continues to struggle. The Heat made 10 of their 25 attempts (40%) to Denver’s 5-21 (23.8%). Also, the Nuggets only managed to dish out 13 assists on 49 made shots, or 27% of them. Compare this with last season’s average of 24 assists on 39 made field goals, or 62%, and it’s easy to see that this team still has some way to go in the ball sharing department. Granted it’s partly a function of the Heat putting up so little resistance at the rim, but it remains an area Denver needs to work on.
  3. In this game it appeared that Karl may have found a rotational pattern approaching what he’ll finally settle into. Despite Wilson Chander being out as part of his rehabilitation process, Jordan Hamilton, Evan Fournier and Anthony Randolph all got DNPs. Timofey Mozgov is expected to be okay to play on Tuesday, but if Karl continues in this direction, it’s doubtful he’ll see the court. This would leave the Nuggets with a regular 9-man rotation — the players who played in tonight’s game plus Chandler — that will probably be what Karl rolls with from here on out. It would be great to be wrong about this, as it’s important for especially Hamilton and Fournier to get their chances, but Karl has “his guys”, and he seems to have gotten closer to having decided who they are.

Denver Nuggets 2011-2012 Schedule Released (UPDATED)

This post is a compilation of analysis and breakdown of 2012 schedule in the hours after it was released. To view the official schedule visit the Nuggets website at NBA.com. If you prefer a printable version of the schedule to reference click here for a link to the PDF. Scroll down to read updates and new developments on all things schedule related.

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What the Denver Nuggets Must Do to Build a Championship Roster

How do you build a championship roster?

That is a question that General Managers and Presidents of Player Personnel must ask themselves every day.  What complicates things is while every team starts every season at 0-0 not every team is created equal.  What works in one market is not feasible in another.  Add in the fact that no two teams are at the same point in their process of building a team and the possibilities for every team are endless.  Every decision creates a ripple in the pool of NBA chaos.

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Examining the 2011-12 schedule and Carmelo Anthony’s return to Denver

The 2011-12 NBA schedules were released early Tuesday morning in the event that an NBA season does in fact transpire next year. The Nuggets, as usual, will open up on the road against a heated division rival (Portland) on national TV. Two weeks later, Carmelo Anthony will return to Denver in a non-Nuggets uniform on November 16. The crowd reaction that night will likely be the best gauge to date of how the Nuggets fan-base feels in regards to Anthony’s departure from Denver. Would you boo? Would you cheer? Would you — as I would — sit in silence, counterbalanced by an equal amount of appreciation and disappointment? Or would you simply, and nonchalantly, clap slowly just as you would any other player? (more…)

Linking you up before the Finals, while exploring Felton trade scenarios in the process

Though this is strictly a Denver Nuggets-themed blog, I don’t think I’d be going to far as to say most of the our readers are likely going to be watching the Mavericks and Heat go at it in the 2011 NBA Finals this year. So, Roundball Mining Company has dug up an assortment of different links to help you further get acquainted with the nuances of this historic series. (more…)

A brief diary of the 2011 NBA Draft Lottery

Quite a few storylines unfolded on Tuesday night in Secaucus, N.J., but none were bigger than the Cavaliers winning two of the top four overall picks behind the fortuitous, and confident, 14-year-old Nick Gilbert, son of Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and team representative for the night. (more…)

Prospecting: Digging for gold in the 2011 NBA Draft

With the Denver Nuggets already out of the playoffs and the NBA Draft a little over a month away, speculation on how the Nuggets will approach the draft and who it will take with the 22nd pick is firmly underway. Equipped with an enticing asset in Raymond Felton as well as the less attractive Al Harrington — both of whom are overshadowed at their respective positions by other teammates, thus making them somewhat trade-able — the Nuggets have the option to make a variety of moves if prompted. (more…)

Encore to a Basketball Renaissance

With the first round of the 2011 NBA playoffs already underway and the Nuggets opening series against the Thunder not far behind, it’s time to look back, forward and all around at the season that has been and the playoff season that might be. (more…)

2010-11 Game 70 Recap: Denver Nuggets 98 Miami Heat 103

Box Score | Highlights

There are certain games at certain times of every season that I get a funny feeling about and just dread having to watch. In the past, it was the predictable slumps and offensive hell the Melo-era Nuggets so often fell into during big-time road games. After losing to Orlando in nothing short of heartbreaking fashion, it was an unwelcome case of déjà vu giving me that oh-so familiar feeling that tonight’s back-to-back in Miami would not be a fun one. It’s not that I haven’t been a believer in the remarkable strides this team has made in a short time playing together, I am just naturally skeptical of the Nuggets in big time “show up” games on the road. With that said, attempting to stay grounded about this team’s progress brings a certain understanding that maintaining an identity with grit and determination in a loss to a premiere team is nothing to sneer at. Call it complacency, but in my mind these last two losses are a sign that the NBA is taking notice and adjusting to a surprisingly tough team that is not without flaws – and crashing the new-look Nuggets party like this might be something that needed to happen.

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2010-11 Game 68: Denver Nuggets 102, Atlanta Hawks 87

It’s hard to understand (or even grasp the concept for that matter) what heaven must be like. Undoubtedly arriving in such a palatial and euphoric location would be blissful on the highest level. And though we can’t exactly embrace that feeling until we get there, we can certainly estimate as to how it might be. Watching the Denver Nuggets since the landmark Carmelo Anthony trade, one can only assume, is just like heaven. (more…)

2010-11 Game 66: Denver Nuggets 131 – Detroit Pistons 101

For two consecutive games the Denver Nuggets have outscored its opponent by at least 19 points. It’s too bad neither of those teams happened to be the Lakers or Heat, but taking care of business is taking care of business last I checked, no matter who the opponent is.  (more…)

2010-2011 Game 38: Denver Nuggets 130 Miami Heat 102

Box Score | ESPN Recap

Two days ago, the Miami Heat looked unbeatable as they tore through the schedule with ease, winning 19 of 20 games including 13 in a row on the road. Meanwhile, the Nuggets shaky season was starting to come off the rails. After a 3 game losing streak, Josh Kroenke and Masai Ujiri seemed all but certain to blow the lifeless roster up, punching fans in the gut by trading their 2 best players away for future assets and savings. Last night the Miami Heat were the vulnerable ones and the Nuggets were the team doing the punching.

I said in the preview yesterday that the Nuggets seemed to be catching the Heat at their weakest, off a west coast back to back in which their best player was injured. Lebron didn’t play last night and the Heat didn’t have the energy or depth to overcome it. For the second straight game, the Nuggets execute a balanced offensive attack and ride a scoring explosion from the bench to an easy blowout win.

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Win Free Tickets to Tonight’s Denver Nuggets vs Miami Heat Game

Our good friends at StubHub have offered up two free tickets to tonight’s contest between the Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat.

To enter simply email  me at the roundballminingco address above and to the right of this post and tell me why you want to go to the game in 40 words or less.  I will place the entrants in a hat and pick one.  The winner will have their reason why they want to go posted on the site here so keep it clean and try to be a little more creative than, “I want t win free tickets to a Nuggets game.”  If there are any other really good ones I will post them as well.

The cutoff time for entries will be 4:00 PM mountain time and in case you were wondering the game is tonight, but it is a late 8:30 PM start due to the fact it is the second of a TNT doubleheader.

The winner will be notified by email soon after the deadline so please do not email me asking if you won.

Good luck to everyone and thank you to StubHub for the tickets!

Update: Congratulations to Brian Lynch for winning the tickets and thanks to everyone who entered.  Here is the reason why Brian wanted to go to the game:

1.   Talk to Lebron and show him the correct way to use Twitter.
2.  Wear My Melo Jersey one last time before I throw it away.
3.  Root on the Nuggets in what could be there last meaningful game for years.

I will post some more of the better entries later on.

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