Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 132 vs Houston Rockets 114

After falling behind by double digits early, the Nuggets turned up the energy and outworked a tired Rockets team, outscoring them by 28 points over the last three quarters to win easily.

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5-on-5: Trade deadline

Well everyone, it’s that time of year. Late February. And you know exactly what that means. It means the NBA trade deadline is approaching; therefore, all our wildest dream scenarios about acquiring LeBron James for pennies on the dollar are on the brink of coming to fruition. OK, so maybe that’s not exactly correct. Maybe it’s the furthest thing from the truth. But here at RMC we’ll be damned to be robbed of our totally unrealistic trade fantasies. So despite Adrian Wojnarowski’s recent tweet about the Nuggets being “unlikely to make a deal,” we’ve decided to ride on into the blue and yellow sunset with visionary trade talk firmly on our minds, which we’re happy to share with you in our latest 5-on-5.

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Rapid Reaction: Los Angeles Clippers 112, Denver Nuggets 100

Denver Nuggets 100 Final

Recap | Box Score

112 Los Angeles Clippers
Danilo Gallinari, SF 24 MIN | 1-10 FG | 5-5 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 7 PTS | +3

Gallo has been about as inconsistent as you can be to start the season. In seven of the last 10 games he’s scored under 10 points four times and over 20 three times. His shooting stroke seems to be the root of his problems. When he’s hitting shots, everything is great; when he’s not, he’s virtually useless. Gallo is so talented in so many ways, which makes it all the more frustrating seeing him pigeonhole himself into a one-dimensional shooter’s role.

Kenneth Faried, SF 33 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 6 PTS | -4

Faried is another enigma on the season. He didn’t have a bad game but he started off on pace to have an epic one — then it was as if his motor ran out of gas in only five minutes time. This is becoming quite the trend with Faried. His energy just isn’t what it was most of last year.

Kosta Koufos, C 27 MIN | 8-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 16 PTS | -4

Koufos was the Nuggets’ best player. That’s basically all you need to know to figure out how this game ended. He’s been steadily improving throughout the year and is now legitimately giving McGee a run for his money as to who’s the best center on the team. His defense and toughness were especially impressive against the Clippers.

Ty Lawson, PG 32 MIN | 5-11 FG | 4-6 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 15 PTS | -8

It’s hard to dock Lawson too much as he was one of the only players actually trying to make something happen. His passes need to be more precise but other than that he was pretty solid.

Andre Iguodala, SG 27 MIN | 4-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 9 PTS | -1

I still can’t figure this one out. Anybody know what the deal is with Iguodala? Please, share your secret because right now I’m dumbfounded. I knew Nuggets fans overvalued him from the start but I really thought he’d be a lot more impressive than what he’s shown thus far. Against the Clippers he was nearly lifeless. His nine points were a result of easy fast-break points, and that’s about all he did.

Anthony Randolph, PF 4 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | +6

He’s clearly talented. He’s played well this season and had a few nice buckets against the Clippers.

Jordan Hamilton, SF 17 MIN | 7-9 FG | 0-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 16 PTS | -4

Hamilton was the second best player tonight (maybe the best?) and tied Koufos for the team lead in points despite having played only 17 minutes. If this was not a “wake up” game for Karl and the rest of his teammates, then I don’t know what is. Hamilton played with confidence against the Clippers and it showed. Not only was he scoring at a rate which none of his teammates could match, but his decision-making and vision were in top form. He made some nice passes and didn’t make the “rookie” mistakes he’s been known to fall victim to. The fact is: On nights like this, when nobody is stepping up to score, Hamilton is a great option to play 30-plus minutes because scoring is all he knows.

Quincy Miller, SF 4 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 PTS | +6

Miller had a few nice dishes and played good defense. As always, I’d love to see what he could do with a few games of solid playing time.

Corey Brewer, SF 21 MIN | 0-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 2 PTS | -29

Brewer was just not on. He’ll have games like this every now and then where he’s totally MIA.

Timofey Mozgov, C 4 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | +6

Mozgov got hit in the face with the ball because he couldn’t handle the speed of a pass. That’s all I remember from his run.

JaVale McGee, C 19 MIN | 4-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 9 PTS | -23

The stats don’t tell just how frustrating this game was from a fan’s standpoint. McGee made numerous decisions (mostly passes) where I couldn’t even begin to understand what he was trying to do. He also had several incredible blocks and nice post-ups, but I could not escape how bad his decisions were on this night.

Andre Miller, PG 23 MIN | 4-9 FG | 4-5 FT | 2 REB | 6 AST | 12 PTS | -14

Miller started off the game great with lots of aggressions but seemed to fade as it went on. Still, it’s nice having someone who gets up for big games on a consistent basis.

Evan Fournier, SG 4 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | +6

Fournier was impressive as usual. Not a lot of time, but he made the most of it.

George Karl

Many players received bad grades tonight so it doesn’t make much sense to reward Karl. He’s the one who devises this skewed game-plan of being satisfied with playing like crap on the road as long as you can win most of your home games. While the Nuggets have had a tough road schedule, I still don’t understand how a team this deep and talented can be happy with a 7-13 road record. On a different (but similar) note, I ran into my old high school soccer coach a few days ago and he said he hates watching the Nuggets because they always have an excuse to lose. While the Clippers are on one hell of a tear these days, I can’t help but think Karl deemed this loss as considered “OK.”

Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 122, Sacramento Kings 97

Denver Nuggets 122 Final

Recap | Box Score

97 Sacramento Kings
Danilo Gallinari, SF 26 MIN | 6-9 FG | 5-5 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 18 PTS | +19

Gallo’s aggression to start the game really set the tone for what ended up being one of the better wins of the season. He continues to improve and score in a quiet but effective manner.

Kenneth Faried, SF 22 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | +27

Faried’s energy was where it has been most of the year; however, his minutes aren’t. Faried has endured a slump recently and it just so happens to come at a time when Karl has begun to limit his minutes. Odd.

Kosta Koufos, C 18 MIN | 6-10 FG | 0-2 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | +24

Koufos played good defense — that’s what matters most. He was often in the right place at the right time to finish plays, which resulted in a nice stat line, but his solid play on the defensive side of the ball is what stood out most.

Ty Lawson, PG 26 MIN | 4-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 7 AST | 11 PTS | +23

Lawson did a great job of pushing the pace. He hit a few big shots, but this was a night where his control of the Nuggets’ tempo shined most.

Andre Iguodala, SG 28 MIN | 4-7 FG | 3-4 FT | 8 REB | 8 AST | 11 PTS | +28

The points weren’t necessarily there but this was one of Iguodala’s best games in a while. He doesn’t always have to score, but he needs to be aggressive with the ball in his hands at all times. He did that against the Kings and it really showed in the form of several highlight plays and an overall excellent performance from his team.

Anthony Randolph, PF 7 MIN | 3-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -2

Randolph was great in his limited time. He’s had somewhat of an interesting reputation as a selfish player over the course of his career but that was nowhere to be seen against the Kings. He made all the right decisions and had a few very impressive offensive possessions.

Jordan Hamilton, SF 23 MIN | 6-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 15 PTS | -1

Hamilton was incredible in the first half — where all his points were scored. During one stretch he scored 12 straight points for the Nuggets. This hot shooting abruptly ended in the second half where he missed every shot he took. Hamilton has an enormous amount of talent but seems to only have one gear: score. If he can learn to shift every now and then he’ll be much better off.

Quincy Miller, SF 5 MIN | 0-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 1 PTS | -1

This was Miller’s first appearance in a Nuggets uniform. It was brief and pretty inconclusive.

Corey Brewer, SF 19 MIN | 2-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 6 PTS | +3

This was one of Brewer’s less impressive games in recently memory. It might be a small sample size but he doesn’t seem to fit well with Hamilton when they’re on the floor together. Brewer just seemed totally off his game against the Kings.

Timofey Mozgov, C 9 MIN | 2-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -6

Mozgov is definitely showing much more confidence in his game this year. He’s still a step slow sometimes but he appears to finally be adjusting to the pace of the NBA.

JaVale McGee, C 21 MIN | 7-9 FG | 5-8 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 19 PTS | +7

McGee was insane. He had three dunks in a row in the first half that nobody else in the NBA could execute. His skill level and potential were on display throughout the game and it was quite the sight to see. I really cannot stress just how impressive he was in the first half.

Andre Miller, PG 24 MIN | 0-1 FG | 4-4 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 4 PTS | +9

Miller was a total dud. After Lawson set the pace he immediately came in and killed what momentum the Nuggets had built up. This is somewhat of a reoccurring theme with Miller. He simply does not run the way his teammates do. He’s always looking for the easy outlet pass and if it’s not there he meanders up the court like he’s on a sightseeing excursion. Miller is no doubt an important member of the Nuggets and a great locker-room presence to have, but he has to buy into what the Nuggets are trying to do a bit more on offense.

Evan Fournier, SG 12 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 7 PTS | -5

Fournier looked great. You can tell he’s a smart basketball player with a gift for playing the game the right way and getting his teammates involved. It’s going to quite interesting seeing just how good he can be with a heavy dose of minutes.

Nuggets recall Miller from Iowa Energy

After less than a month in the D-League, the Nuggets have announced that Quincy Miller has been recalled from the team affiliate, Iowa Energy. In his three-game stint Miller averaged 14 points, 10.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.3 blocks per game. All of Miller’s performances can be seen for free on the D-League’s YouTube channel, which I have posted below.

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Nuggets assign Quincy Miller to D-League

In a move that should surprise nobody, the Nuggets have announced that Quincy Miller has been assigned to the D-League’s Iowa Energy. Miller has not seen a minute of court time with the Nuggets this year. In fact, I’m not even sure if he’s dressed for a game up to this point. Every cut away I’ve seen with Miller in it, he’s usually wearing a suit. Regardless, this is a good move by the Nuggets. It will be interesting seeing how Miller reacts to this opportunity. If nothing else, he should view this as a growing experience and unexpected confidence builder. Stay tuned as RMC will keep you updated on his status throughout his campaign in Iowa.

#NuggetsRank No. 14: Evan Fournier

Funny how things work in life. A mere three months ago Evan Fournier was the pariah of Nuggets Nation before even stepping foot on the court wearing blue and yellow. Then when he actually did, you know, start playing basketball — people come around. And fast.

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#NuggetsRank No. 15: Quincy Miller

Kicking off Roundball Mining Company’s 15-part #NuggetsRank series is Quincy Miller. At No. 15, he was a unanimous selection by our writers for this spot. Though young and still wildly in need of improvement, Miller is also teeming with the type of raw potential that very few Nuggets possess.

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Nuggets sign Quincy Miller

With training camp a little more than three weeks away, the Nuggets’ 2012-2013 roster appears to be set with Thursday afternoon’s announcement  that the team has signed second-round pick Quincy Miller to a multi-year contract.

Terms weren’t disclosed, but it appears to be a 3-year deal at the minimum. As is standard with a lot of second-round picks, Quincy’s contract probably contains partial guarantees or team options on the later years of the deal.

It’s good news that the Nuggets were able to come to terms with Quincy and lock him up for a three year period. I had the pleasure of meeting Quincy and getting acquainted with his game at Summer League, where it became apparent that he’ll be more of a long-term project. Quincy’s offensive skills are going to translate to the NBA, but he’ll really need to fill out his body and round out his game in other areas in order to be effective.

Expect Miller to spend a good bit of next season either inactive or with the Nuggets’ D-League affiliate, the Iowa Energy. With a year of strength training under Steve Hess and a little more seasoning in terms of his overall feel for the game, the Nuggets can get a head start on molding Quincy into a future rotation player.

For now, the Nuggets can enjoy some quality depth at the end of their bench while guys like Anthony Randolph and Jordan Hamilton stand ready to fill rotation roles when needed. Backcourt depth is the one area of potential concern as the Nuggets struggled to make shots last year and will be extremely reliant on the point guard duo of Ty Lawson and Andre Miller. Hamilton, Fournier, and Stone form the reserve corps of backup guards and have almost no combined NBA experience among them.

Do the Nuggets need to add a shooter?

With Denver’s roster currently standing at 14 players, an important deadline looms next week concerning the Nuggets’ final roster spot. According to the excellent CBA FAQ from Larry Coon (already updated for this season), second round picks must be offered a contract by September 6th or they become free agents.

This of course has great meaning for the Nuggets and Quincy Miller, the yet-unsigned 38th pick in the 2012 draft. While I believe the final roster spot should be earmarked for Quincy and I expect the Nuggets to sign him, there’s a growing sentiment among fans that the Nuggets need to add another shooter over a 19-year old who’s likely to spend his rookie season developing his raw talent rather than playing.  (more…)

5-on-5: Iguodala trade talk

With a new contributor, Roundball Mining Company will likely be doing more 5-on-5 pieces in the coming days. This means more opportunities for you, the reader, to participate by being featured as the fifth analyst in this series of articles, however this can only be achieved by following each of us on Twitter. In our first of many new 5-on-5s we highlight, what else, but the Andre Iguodala trade. T.J. McBride joins us this time around, but don’t let that stop you from posting your answers to these five questions in the comments section below!
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More Analysis on the Andre Igoudala Trade

First of all, what was Orlando thinking?  The centerpiece of the long anticipated Dwight Howard trade ends up being Arron Afflalo?  Yikes.  Thanks to Orlando’s generosity the three other teams involved in the reported four team deal that will be finalized later today all received much more than they gave.  Obviously the Lakers are thrilled with Bynum for Howard.  Philly has to be ecstatic to get Bynum for Igoudala, Nikola Vucevic and Moe Harkless.  Denver may not have made out quite as well as those two teams have, but this trade is a slam dunk for the Nuggets.

There are several different aspects of this trade to look at so let’s dive in.

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2012 Summer League Game 4: Denver Nuggets 86 Charlotte Bobcats 99

The Denver Nuggets fell to 1-3 in Summer League play after losing to the Bobcats Thursday night at the Thomas & Mack Center. There was a scary moment in the second quarter when Kenneth Faried went down hard after catching an inadvertent elbow from Quincy Miller, but Faried was back on the bench in the second half after receiving stitches.

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JaVale McGee re-signs with Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets just officially announced the re-signing of restricted free agent JaVale McGee. He signed the deal in Las Vegas with members of the Denver front office and his mother present.

Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports reported that the deal is 4 years for $44 million, a larger annual amount but a smaller guarantee than the previously rumored 5 years, $50 million.

With JaVale’s contract signed Denver’s roster now stands at a full 15 players, not including second round pick Quincy Miller. Julyan Stone has an unguaranteed year left on his contract and could be waived to create a roster spot. Stone had surgery to repair a hip labral tear in early July and is out five months.

2012 Summer League Game 3: Denver Nuggets 85 New York Knicks 81

The Denver Nuggets notched their first win of the Las Vegas Summer League yesterday, defeating the Knicks 85-81 in a close game that provided the first true pressure test for many of the young prospects here.

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