ESPN’s Marc Stein is reporting that the Denver Nuggets are targeting 33-year-old 3-point specialist Mike Miller, who entered the free agency market after being waived by the Miami Heat:
The Denver Nuggets have emerged as a new suitor at the forefront of the free-agent pursuit of Mike Miller, according to sources close to the process.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Nuggets are now getting strong consideration from Miller along with the early frontrunners in the race to sign him: Oklahoma City and Memphis.
The Nuggets, however, will be facing some stiff competition in the Miller sweepstakes. (more…)
A look at the rollercoaster year of Nuggets basketball
Hopes were high for the Nuggets at the end of the 2012 offseason, with some analysts predicting up to 59 wins and a top two playoff seed. Masai Ujiri had acquired Olympic gold medalist and star defender Andre Iguodala in a trade, and extended Ty Lawson and JaVale McGee with long-term contracts. He surrounded the team’s young core with veteran Andre Miller and cheap talent like Anthony Randolph and Evan Fournier.
But a difficult early schedule loomed. The Nuggets would play 22 of their first 32 games on the road, including 8 sets of back-to-back games. By the end of November, the team had a pair of four game winning streaks sandwiched in between three losing streaks of three games each, including worrying losses to the lowly Suns and Magic.
Tonight, the Denver Nuggets went into the house of one of the league’s elite teams on the second night of a back-to-back in what most Nuggets fans and NBA observers thought would likely be a scheduled loss. But they defied expectations, extending their winning streak to an NBA franchise record 13 games, in their most impressive victory of the season.
|Danilo Gallinari, SF 33 MIN | 4-17 FG | 3-4 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 13 PTS | +13
It seems that Gallinari has found his way back into a shooting slump at the worst possible time. Fortunately his teammates (especially Wilson Chandler) have thus far been able to pick up the slack in offensive production, but it will be extremely difficult for the Nuggets to get out of the first round if he can’t get back his mojo. On the plus side of the scale, Kevin Durant’s 34 points seemed very quiet and contained. He’s always going to get his to a certain extent, but he never really seemed a threat to take over the game, and Gallinari played an important role in that, as evidenced by the fact he was +13 despite some very poor shooting.
|Kenneth Faried, SF 34 MIN | 5-7 FG | 3-4 FT | 15 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | +5
Faried’s rebounding was key in this win. And while he’s more well known for his offensive rebounding, it was his work on the defensive glass in the second half that really paid off bigger in this game. His energy and physicality were a spark for the Nuggets that helped them weather the Thunder’s attempts to cut back into the lead Denver had most of the game..
|Kosta Koufos, C 16 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +7
Koufos largely redeemed his pretty-bad first half with more focused and energized play in the second. He was struggling to finish at the rim most of the night, but he did at least find a way later in the game to be more effective in the defense and rebounding departments.
|Ty Lawson, PG 36 MIN | 8-13 FG | 7-7 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 25 PTS | +12
Lawson carried his team through much of this game, even if it was in a slightly understated manner. He played a measured, controlled game that seemed to create a levelheaded, no panic temperament for his team. He only had four assists, but he also had no turnovers. In a game where early on it looked like sloppy and mistaken play could cost Denver the game, Ty’s ability to limit the errors was crucial.
|Andre Iguodala, SG 36 MIN | 5-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | +17
Iguodala has the green light to shoot 3-pointers at will, but it remains unclear why George Karl considers this a good thing (desperation go-ahead three in Chicago notwithstanding). He’s incredibly efficient at the rim and as a playmaker, so much like Andre Miller, when there’s time on the clock and he gets the ball at the arc, passing, driving and posting up should really be his only options. With that little rant out of the way, the good news tonight, as usual, was his defense. He captained an excellent team defensive effort that resulted in just 38 second half points for the Thunder, and similarly to Gallo had a high +/- (the highest, in fact) despite his poor shooting.
|Corey Brewer, SF 23 MIN | 5-11 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 4 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 11 PTS | -6
Brewer also got in on the poor 3-point shooting tonight, but that was offset to a point by his four steals that helped disrupt the flow of the Thunder’s offense and keep them off balance. Beyond that, however, he really had a minimal impact on either side of the floor in this game.
|JaVale McGee, C 16 MIN | 3-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | 0
Like Koufos, McGee got off to a pretty bad start in this game. He did less than Kosta, however, in making up for it later in the game, as some sloppy offensive play and defensive lapses had an erasing effect on his positive contributions.
|Andre Miller, PG 23 MIN | 6-11 FG | 8-9 FT | 7 REB | 9 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 20 PTS | +4
On his 37th birthday, Andre Miller decided to take control of the game in the fourth quarter, making big shot after big shot, and sealing up the win at the free throw line. In an interview after the game, Kenneth Faried described an inspirational pre-game speech that Miller gave the team, telling them they had no excuses to lose this game. He took his own message to heart at the end of the game, and although I’d prefer to see the ball in other players’ hands more often when a big game is on the line, it was nice to see Dre shine tonight as he completed his 37th revolution around the Sun.
|Wilson Chandler, SG 23 MIN | 4-8 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | +3
Wilson cooled off after his huge 35-point outing in Chicago the night before. He was efficient in this game, but his production was rather limited. His defense was solid, however, and the impact he did have on the game was a net positive. Unfortunately, Chandler suffered a left shoulder separation late in the game and did not return. Hopefully his unjury will not prove to be too serious.
The Denver Nuggets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder on the second night of a back-to-back after a very exhausting overtime game in Chicago, and extended their win streak to a franchise record 13. Against odds that were dauntingly stacked against them, they got the job done. Mentally the Nuggets were in this game from buzzer to buzzer, not intimidated in any way, clearly confident they can not only hang with but beat the best of them. They were completely prepared to win this game, and they executed. This is just one of those cases where nitpicking rotations, time outs, inbound plays and the like just gets outshined by the results.In looking at the box score, it almost might be inferred that Karl’s game plan was essentially to let Durant and Westbrook get theirs but put a stranglehold on the production of the rest of the team. Only one other Thunder player — Kevin Martin with 14 points — scored in double figures. It’s almost as if Karl wanted to take away Oklahoma City’s “teamness.”
Koufos and McGee only played 16 minutes apiece, which meant we saw a whole lot of small ball in this game. And Denver allowed 50 points in the paint. But they scored 72 of their own, and Miller’s play in the fourth makes Karl look smart no matter where you come down on the tactical question of how much small ball is too much.
The only additional comment about Karl I’d like to make is that he took a technical foul to defend his players in the second quarter, after Westbrook had been politicking the zebras the entire game. It was good for George to show he had his guys’ backs, and surprisingly, the officiating down the stretch was not nearly as superstar-favored as one might expect.
The NBA world was rocked on Saturday night when the Oklahoma City Thunder traded away James Harden to the Houston Rockets. There is no doubt the deal made the Thunder a less dangerous team this season, but what does the trade mean from the Nuggets perspective?
The Nuggets fell to the Thunder 101-108 on Sunday and unfortunately none of our writers were able to view the game live. There is a chance a recap will be up later, however if there isn’t please feel free to leave your observations of the game in the comments section of this post. Thanks!
|Kenneth Faried, F 28 MIN | 6-9 FG | 1-7 FT | 10 REB | 2 AST | 13 PTS | 0
Outside of some really poor free throw shooting, Faried was the player of the game. He made game-saving play after game-saving play down the stretch, whether it was a crucial block on Russell Westbrook or a monstrous putback jam off an Arron Afflalo miss. Faried really showed why he’s a special player by managing to outplay bigger, stronger, and taller competition through sheer will and an unwavering desire to win.
|Danilo Gallinari, SF 34 MIN | 3-13 FG | 6-7 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 14 PTS | +1
Gallo had a disastrous shooting night and couldn’t find his rhythm against an Oklahoma City team that defended him well. Since his return from injury, the Nuggets have looked for him regularly and created plenty of opportunities Gallo just hasn’t been able to convert. He’s doing other things reasonably well, but sooner or later Gallo has to assert himself and step up to his role. I thought Gallo grew passive as the game wore on and was little more than a spectator in the Nuggets’ offense at the end of the game
|Kosta Koufos, C 17 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | -4
Koufos made Denver’s first two shots of the game and was quiet the rest of the way. He played very solid defense on Kendrick Perkins, who picked up four fouls in the third quarter and was a non-factor for the Thunder throughout the night.
|Arron Afflalo, SG 40 MIN | 6-15 FG | 2-3 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 15 PTS | +6
Like all of the Nuggets’ perimeter players, Afflalo struggled at times against the length and athleticism of OKC. He played very under control as he once again shouldered a huge part of the load on both ends of the floor. Afflalo’s solid perimeter defense helped spark the crucial fourth quarter run and his all-around contributions on offense produced the second-most points and assists on the team.
|Ty Lawson, PG 36 MIN | 8-15 FG | 6-8 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 25 PTS | +3
Lawson has now scored at least 20 points in seven of the last nine games. He’s been on an absolute tear and continues to keep the Nuggets afloat through thick and thin. Every time the Thunder found a surge of momentum, Lawson seemed to answer with a mini-run of his own. He’s playing at an unbelievable level right now and proven he can go toe-to-toe with the best scorers in the league.
|Al Harrington, PF 23 MIN | 3-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | -1
Harrington’s lack of mobility only further hampered his ability to match up against OKC. While Harrington did his best and sank his threes early, he was a defensive liability with the Nuggets switching all pick and rolls in the second half. Harrington was visibly struggling to keep up and was eventually pulled mid-fourth quarter out of necessity.
|Andre Miller, PG 21 MIN | 2-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 6 AST | 5 PTS | +1
Miller took too many shots (including two three-pointers), but generally played solid off the bench and had success igniting the sputtering Nuggets’ offense, finishing with a team-high six assists. I’ve come to expect the worst when it comes to Miller’s defense, but he was surprisingly decent against the Thunder, which was no doubt helped by the fact OKC relied heavily on Derek Fisher in the absence of James Harden.
|Corey Brewer, SF 23 MIN | 5-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | +12
Brewer is another player coming on strong at the right part part of the season. His energetic hustle was a key ingredient in Denver closing the game on a 7-2 run. Brewer played excellent defense on Russell Westbrook late and made the biggest shot of the game with a banked free-throw line jumper to put Denver up five with less than a minute remaining.
|JaVale McGee, C 18 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-1 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | +7
McGee flat-out changes the matchup with the Thunder, who rely heavily on Nazr Mohammed and Nick Collison off the bench. Neither of them could match the athleticism of McGee and both ended up contributing next to nothing. McGee on the other hand scored all ten of his points at the rim, where the Thunder had been able to keep the Nuggets’ relatively quiet. If he can keep up these types of performances in an extended role, McGee could be a series-changing talent for the Nuggets.
With their decisive victory over the tanking Portland Trail Blazers the San Antonio Spurs have locked in the top seed in the Western Conference for the second straight year. With it they have may have solidified the Denver Nuggets’ hold on the sixth seed.
It the latest edition of Roundball Mining Company’s 5-on-5 series we explore which potential playoff scenarios could benefit or hinder the Nuggets success in the postseason. Fellow readers T.J. McBride and Mitchell Carroll have been selected to participate this time around. If you’d like to contribute next time, be sure and follow Charlie, Jeremey and Kalen on Twitter. As always, please feel free to leave your answers to these questions in the comments section below.
In Roundball Mining Company’s latest edition of our 3-on-3 series, we examine what lies ahead for the Denver Nuggets in the near future. There are 13 games remaining on the schedule: seven on the road and seven against teams currently at or below the .500 mark. Right now the Nuggets sit in seventh place in the Western Conference standings and would face the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the Playoffs. Is this the same position the team will find itself in roughly three weeks from now? If so, would it be able to handle a well-coached Spurs team in a seven-game series? These questions and more are detailed inside.
|Kenneth Faried, F 20 MIN | 3-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 8 PTS | -7
There wasn’t much to write home about in a game like this, but Faried was clearly a bright spot. Great energy, great hustle, and nonstop aggression on both ends of the court. The fact he saw the fewest minutes of all starters is a travesty. With Nene out of the picture, George Karl has to come around to him eventually for the Nuggets to have a chance at success.
|Danilo Gallinari, SF 32 MIN | 6-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 15 PTS | -5
32 minutes is a great sign. Physically, Gallo looked much better than he did in his first few games back from injury. It’s tough to complain about this performance, but I do think 7 three pointers and no free throw attempts is a bit too unbalanced. Gallo is ready to be more aggressive with his offense and the Nuggets need him to take on a larger role.
|Timofey Mozgov, C 12 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | -11
Tough to watch. Seriously brutal. Way too many minutes. Needs to pick it up soon. Running out of short sentences here. At some point he has to learn how to not body check his man every time he’s defending the ball.
|Arron Afflalo, SG 30 MIN | 4-11 FG | 2-3 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 10 PTS | -1
A really poor shooting performance, but I saw him giving significantly better effort than most of his teammates on both ends. Afflalo is at his best when he’s moving with out the ball, cutting to the basket and shooting off screens. There was no off-ball movement for Denver tonight and just looking at the box score doesn’t tell you how hard he was playing.
|Ty Lawson, PG 36 MIN | 4-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 8 REB | 5 AST | 9 PTS | -8
Lawson started slow and was never able to get himself going. He’s always been bothered by the Thunder’s interior defense which is part of the reason OKC is such a a terrible matchup for the Nuggets. Let’s hope JaVale McGee can run a pick and roll because Ty could use an occasional screen and some kind of effort by a big man to help him create.
|Al Harrington, PF 26 MIN | 1-8 FG | 3-4 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 5 PTS | -15
Harrington’s worst shooting game of the year, and another instance in which the Thunder just badly exposed the Nuggets for playing him so much. He was either stuck on Kevin Durant, Nick Collison or Serge Ibaka, none of whom he has any chance of guarding. Al also got hurt in the fourth quarter and I feel bad for him, but he played a brutally bad game.
|Andre Miller, PG 24 MIN | 7-9 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 17 PTS | -14
Probably Andre Miller’s second best game of the season, and it comes with 4 turnovers and a -14 in 24 minutes. This kind of outcome when Andre Miller has a good game isn’t all that unusual, and that kind of tells you the whole story when it comes 2012 season and Andre Miller.
|Chris Andersen, C 15 MIN | 1-3 FG | 3-4 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | +1
Birdman did his job. He provided energy off the bench and outside of Faried, was the best Nuggets big on the floor.He took several shots you did not want him taking, but Denver just had way bigger problems than Bird in this one.
|Corey Brewer, SF 10 MIN | 2-4 FG | 2-4 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -5
10 minutes, 3 fouls, and not a whole lot else. Brewer can be so wildly up and down each possession which makes it very difficult to evaluate him. With Rudy returning to the lineup, it seems like Brew is getting lost in the shuffle a little bit.
|Rudy Fernandez, SG 18 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 5 PTS | -9
Took some really questionable shots, made some really questionable passes, played some really questionable defense. On the other hand, Rudy did provide a nice spark off the bench in the first half. Can his presence have a consistently positive impact over an entire game though? That’s questionable.
|Kosta Koufos, C 16 MIN | 2-3 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 5 PTS | -1
It’s good to see Koufos healthy and back in the lineup. He made some nice hustle plays and also appeared to have a bit of rust on his game thanks to his extended absence from the rotation.
|Julyan Stone, G 1 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | +5
Got some good news that he won’t be waived to make room for Chandler. It looks like Rony Turiaf will be bought out of his deal to free up a roster spot for Wilson Chandler.
|Jordan Hamilton, G 1 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | +5
Garbage time hero.
|Corey Brewer, SF 30 MIN | 5-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 10 PTS | -10
Being so reliant on Brewer’s offense is not a good look for the Nuggets, I commend Brewer for doing his best, but he remains a limited player with negligible dribbling and passing skills. Brew didn’t have his shot going and while he played commendable defense, he was an offensive liability and couldn’t stay on the floor down the stretch. This is the wrong role for Brewer and he’ll be much more valuable when asked to do less. I do wish he’d pass up the occasional shot and focus more on working off the ball.
|Kenneth Faried, F 11 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -11
It’s baffling. After a career game, Faried can’t get the slightest bit of leeway with Karl. Nevertheless he again failed to make an impression out of the gate. His issues with defensive positioning and executing on offense are fixable. I honestly believe Faried would be better off were he not battling the incumbent Al Harrington for minutes. The only way he can get into games is to come out relentless on an absolute tear. It’s important not to overlook the fact Faried did have a very poor game and was overshadowed by Koufos and Birdman.
|Timofey Mozgov, C 21 MIN | 2-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -18
I don’t like how Karl managed his minutes, leaving him in almost the whole first quarter after it was clear he was too gassed to keep Ibaka under control. Mozgov makes a huge difference in the Nuggets being able to run an effective pick and roll offense. Unfortunately, he needs to be more consistent and at least prove himself capable of playing a more substantial amount of minutes. This is such an unenviable position for Karl to be in because there will be nights like tonight where Koufos is the much better option. How do you decide who to play?
|Arron Afflalo, SG 43 MIN | 10-21 FG | 5-6 FT | 7 REB | 5 AST | 27 PTS | -16
At times, like everyone else on the team, Afflalo struggled with defense quite a bit. OKC is such a poor matchup because Durant is too tall for Denver to use their best defender on him consistently. What was most apparent about Arron’s effort was his tenacity and commitment to staying aggressive. The shorthanded Nuggets actually played like the more aggressive team despite losing and I believe the bulk of the credit can go to Afflalo’s leadership, a quality he hasn’t displayed nearly enough this season
|Ty Lawson, PG 46 MIN | 8-17 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 7 AST | 17 PTS | -4
These are great numbers for any starting point guard, but without a win it just feels very forgettable. Lawson has no feel for where his teammates need the ball and he’s often reduced to getting everything off dribble penetration. Ty had the ball two crucial possessions down the stretch and failed to get off a quality look on either of them. We know Ty can create a quality shot whenever he wants and what’s so disappointing is that a signature game winning moment is still missing from his Nuggets career.
|Al Harrington, PF 32 MIN | 3-9 FG | 3-4 FT | 11 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | +3
Harrington had a double double, and managed to make two three pointers after he’s been unable to deliver offense for the better part of the month. That’s where the praise ends for me. I just don’t like where the Nuggets are going with Harrington in this huge role where he plays nearly the whole second half and defends the oppositions best player night in and night out. Harrington needs a much smaller role for the Nuggets to have any success going forward.
|Andre Miller, PG 36 MIN | 9-19 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 10 AST | 21 PTS | +3
It was refreshing to see Andre come alive off the bench and play with purpose. This was one of the fineest performances I’ve seen all season as long as we don’t include the overtime. Miller had 3 turnovers in the extra period and his frustration boiled over in the loss. I can’t praise Miller enough for giving the Nuggets an edge that should have won them the game in the second half. Andre seemed to know how poorly he played in the overtime period and was seen leaving the court in total disgust. We haven’t seen that kind of emotion out of Miller all season and hopefully it becomes a turning point for him. While he was abysmal in OT, Denver never gets there without him.
|Chris Andersen, C 29 MIN | 5-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 11 PTS | +17
Another energetic performance from Birdman. He made countless hustle plays and defended the rim with the type of tenacity that made him the best backup Center in the league 2 seasons ago. Consistency is underlying issue surrounding everything Birdman does.
|Kosta Koufos, C 13 MIN | 6-7 FG | 1-1 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 13 PTS | -3
Koufos was nothing short of a monster in his first half stint. He managed nearly a double double in less than a quarter. He was everywhere, from knocking balls loose and defending Durant at half court to throwing down jams in transition. It was a sight to behold considering Koufus might not have seen the floor had Al Harrington not racked up three quick fouls. Jeremy made a great point about how trusting the inexperienced Faried over Harrington may have cost Karl in Memphis and he seemed resolved not to reward Koufos tonight.
|Jordan Hamilton, G 4 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-1 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +9
Hamilton saw his first real minutes of the season and made a few nice plays as the Nuggets enjoyed a successful run. Then he was abruptly pulled from the game. There’s just not enough to judge here and I don’t know what to say other than Hamilton has decent size and solid offensive skills.
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…)
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…)
Tonight Vic Lombardi released this tweet in regards to Nene’s future as a Nugget: “Karl told me Nene WILL be here” (more…)
After five straight losses in April alone the Denver Nuggets finally managed to win a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. In a nutshell it was desperation and pride pushing Denver to overcome their struggles long enough to avoid an embarrassing first round sweep. Down three games to one it was certainly not a series-changing win but nevertheless it was a statement that this team has worked too hard to end their season at home on such a sour note.