Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 108 Philadelphia 76ers 104 (OT)

Denver Nuggets 108 Final
Recap | Box Score
104 Philadelphia 76ers
Nene, C 38 MIN | 8-15 FG | 4-4 FT | 14 REB | 3 AST | 20 PTS | +9
It wasn’t the prettiest game, but Nene stuck with it and finished. Yes, he still shoots way too many underhand line drives at the rim, but Nene was the lone reliable big in this game. He secured the rebound that led to the game-winner and played the best defense he has all year.
Danilo Gallinari, SF 33 MIN | 1-3 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | +14
It’s hard to give Gallo anything other an ‘F’. He was benched for the final play of regulation and the entire overtime. He did nothing but tentatively stand around and hoist threes on offense. Gallo couldn’t even hold his own defensively against the wiry Thad Young and he was absolutely torched on every switch. He folded and turned in a truly spineless performance. Let’s hope it was a one time thing.
Kosta Koufos, C 7 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -6
The slow-footed Koufos had a rough start against the rookie Vucevic who simply overpowered him. He shoots too many soft hooks and floaters and simply wasn’t physical enough for his presence to be useful in this game. He didn’t see any action after the first quarter as the small lineups delivered the win. I’ll give Koufos a break as he hasn’t played in a long time, but he needs to be tougher.
Arron Afflalo, SG 44 MIN | 5-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 14 PTS | -1
Another frustrating performance by Arron, who was on track for his best game yet with a solid first half. He disappeared in the second half and reverted to forcing shots and generally being un-clutch and clumsy with the ball in his hands. Afflalo did make a big pull-up jumper late and hit two free throws to seal the win. Like Nene, he kept his cool and finished strong despite some poor stretches of play. That kind of guts and character goes a long way to winning games like these.
Ty Lawson, PG 45 MIN | 6-16 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 7 AST | 13 PTS | +13
Lawson was frustratingly inconsistent all night long and was thoroughly outplayed by Andre Miller. He is unable to get in a any sort of rhythm and is struggling mightily to finish layups. His turnovers are up and his scoring is down, but Lawson continued to play with confidence and kept attacking when the team looked ready to pack in it.
Al Harrington, PF 26 MIN | 5-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | -9
Harrington continues to do his job – stretch the floor and defend the post as best he can. Unfortunately he had to team with Birdman in the second half and with the Nuggets switching every screen after the first quarter he had trouble staying in front of the Sixers. I can’t fault Harrington’s performance and ultimately he stepped in for Gallo in overtime and played a huge part in gutting out the win.
Andre Miller, PG 39 MIN | 12-20 FG | 1-2 FT | 8 REB | 10 AST | 28 PTS | +18
He was clearly motivated against his old team and flat out dominated. Make no mistake, the Nuggets were dead in the water after a second half defensive meltdown fueled by turnovers – and Andre decided to go out and win the game. This was the best performance of any Nugget this season and I’m still fairly shocked at what I saw the 35-year old Miller just do to his old team on a back-to-back.
Chris Andersen, C 15 MIN | 2-4 FG | 4-6 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | -5
Andersen turned in another sub-par effort and the Nuggets won in spite of him. He played an acceptable first half and followed it up with his worst effort yet, which is saying a lot considering how up and down he has been. He mercifully fouled out early but otherwise played cowardly defense and contributed very little offensively after a first half in which he at least got to the line and scored some.
Corey Brewer, SF 18 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -13
Brewer knows how to play only one way and it’s all out chaos when he’s in the game. Things are either going great or god-awful terrible when he’s in and there’s no in between. Overall I liked Brewer’s energy a lot although the team defense was wildly inconsistent with him on the floor

Final Big Board, Kalen on ESPN & Nuggets being agressive in shopping Felton [UPDATED]

With the 2011 NBA Draft only hours away, things are starting to heat up, as the Nuggets have reportedly increased its desire to trade Felton for a top 10 pick. (more…)

Denver Nuggets Big Board 2.0

With the NBA Draft now less than a week away, it’s time Roundball Mining Co. unveils it’s top ten prospects, ranked in order, from the one guy fans should be dying to get, to just a flat-out solid prospect. Factors included in determining the player-rankings were mostly size, potential, athleticism and overall skill level. Keep in mind, all the players codified in this post are ones that will likely be available when the Nuggets select at No. 22. You won’t find Bismack Biyombo on this list, because 21 NBA teams are smarter than to pass up on a guy that talented, even if he is 24-years-old. So, without further ado, I give you the official Denver Nuggets Big Board 2.0! (more…)

Nuggets Draft Tweets

Ryan Feldman of The Hoops Report: “Source at Nuggets draft workout on Wednesday told me Iman Shumpert showed off his crazy athleticism and nice mid-range jumper.”

Also from Feldman: “Source at Nuggets draft workout on Wednesday also said Vucevic was more impressive than Jordan Williams, and Malcolm Thomas did really well.”

Vic Lombardi : “why the Nuggets have no interest in The Jimmer. None…still waiting on reason—->a certain coach doesn’t like his game”

My take: Shumpert is gaining some momentum with Nuggets fans as a popular J.R. replacement, and this showing should benefit his case. He tested out as basically the most athletic guy at the Combine and will likely rely on his supreme physical talent to up his draft stock. At a little over 6-foot-4 with a giant 6-foot-10 wingspan and incredible leaping ability, Shumpert will likely play the role of a combo guard his first few years in the league until he firmly establishes a position he feels comfortable with.

Vucevic, if you remember, was a guy I recently ranked 5th on the Nuggets Big Board but because of the similar traits to a Nugget already under contract — Timofey Mozgov — I stated that we should probably consider other prospects instead. Well, maybe I was wrong, as it appears he has continued his hot streak of performances under the watchful eye of NBA talent evaluators. It’s nice to know our front office is examining big men, as its a need we certainly should address in some form over the off season, whether it be through the Draft or free agency. The fact that Vucevic outperformed Williams is not a surprise, because keep in mind, this is the same guy who some scouts felt outperformed projected top-five pick, Enes Kanter, recently at the Combine.

The Jimmer quote just makes my head hurt to be honest. I’m not a fan of coaches interfering with the job general managers and scouts do. I think coaches often times have motives behind their evaluations where as scouts and general managers simply evaluate talent. Though I’d agree that Jimmer wouldn’t be the ideal pick at 22 (he’ll be gone before then anyways so it doesn’t really matter), I also don’t think we should bend our considerations based on what coach Karl thinks of him. Last I checked, this was the same coach Karl that vetoed a Linas Kleiza for David Lee trade a few years back. Just sayin’.

Nuggets Big Board 1.0

With the No. 22 pick in the first round of the 2011 NBA Draft, the Nuggets have a lot of options to consider. Should we go big, regardless of what talent lurks at our selection, or should we simply take the best player in the draft discarding any specific team needs? Though I believe it would be in the Nuggets best interest to select the best available big man, there’s no doubt that some of the most talented players hanging around at No. 22 will likely be wing players and point guards, therefore the Nuggets big board needs to take into consideration a combination of these two draft strategies. (more…)