Thanks to a career night from Kenneth Faried and a crazy, broken play three pointer at the buzzer from Randy Foye the Nuggets won a really fun back and forth contest against the Clippers 116-115. Blake Griffin did all he could to help the Clippers leave Denver victorious, finishing with 36 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal but the Manimal matched him step for step, finishing with a career high 28 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks and a steal to pace the Nuggets.
Grades are after the jump.
Unable to overcome the absence of every remaining point guard on the roster, a severely thinned-out Nuggets squad suffered yet another ugly loss at home. The Raptors cruised to an easy win while the Nuggets continued to struggle offensively, committing 26 turnovers and notching just 6 fast break points. The worst news of the night however came early in the first quarter when the Nuggets announced that Nate Robinson is out for the season after undergoing surgery for a torn ACL.
In news I predicted yesterday Ty Lawson was not named a 2013 Western Conference All-Star.
Lawson was beat out by Damian Lilliard, Chris Paul, Tony Parker and James Harden in a vote done by NBA coaches.
It is hard to make a great case for Lawson being in over any of those guys as the Nuggets are behind each player’s team in the Western Conference standings and each player has had a spectacular year. Paul will be the player that many Nuggets’ fans disagree with but when healthy he has been the one player that constantly finds himself on the top of Lawson in almost every stat, advanced stat and Sports Vu stat.
Lawson probably won’t be taken as an injury replacement either, as Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Goran Dragic and Mike Conley all probably are more deserving for their great work this season. In fact Davis and Cousins became the only players since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to not make the roster after posting PERs over 26.
Lawson and the Nuggets will now turn their focus to the rest of the season as they battle their way towards the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
What are your thoughts on the choices? Did Lawson get snubbed? If so who should he have made it over? Let us know in the comments below.
Before NBA action starts on Thursday night, the reserves for the 2014 All Star Game will be announced and debated over and over and over again.
This season those announcements actually will have something to watch for Nuggets fans for the first time since Chauncey Billups was named an injury replacement in the 2009-2010 season, as Ty Lawson has placed himself in the conversation thanks to a stellar first half of the season.
Things won’t be easy for Lawson though as the Western Conference is stacked with worthy players and may be minus a deserved roster spot due to the fans voting Kobe Bryant as a starter in the game, as it has been rumored that Kobe may play just a few minutes in the game for fear of a fine if he has returned by that time of the season.
So with the decision looming it is time to take a look into Lawson’s candidacy.
The Nuggets went into Sleep Train Arena the night after knocking off the NBA best Indiana Pacers and took advantage of a few key Sacramento injuries to defeat the Kings 125-117.
Ty Lawson led six Denver players with double digit points with 27 points while Nate Robinson contributed 12 points and eight assists to lead the bench.
Grades are after the jump.
Last night’s loss to Portland marked the exact halfway point in the Nuggets season and finally has started to make clear exactly who this Nuggets team is.
In fact RMC’s own David Walker sent me a tweet that describes the team pretty well.
“Yeah, all things equal they’re aggressively average. But the randomness at least makes a boring season somewhat exciting,” he said providing one of the best descriptions of the 20-21, 2013-2014 Denver Nuggets I have seen all year.
All-in-all this season has taught us a few things, Ty Lawson is really good on offense and JJ Hickson is the master of misleading stat lines, and left us with some questions that seem harder and harder to answer; most notably has Kenneth Faried peaked and what should Denver do with Danilo Gallinari’s injury issues still ongoing?
It is probably time to add another question to that list.
Are the Nuggets headed for disaster?
Denver had absolutely no answer for LaMarcus Aldridge who scored 44 points, including the last 15 for Portland, while Ty Lawson was scoreless in the second half and the Nuggets blew a 15 point second half lead to fall in Portland 110-105.
Denver now moves to 20-21 on the season with a game looming against the NBA best Indiana Pacers on Saturday in Denver. So expect them to win that game because nothing this team does makes any sense. Game to game or half to half.
Grades are after the jump.
Last June, Kenneth Faried and Ty Lawson had the honor of being invited to participate in the U.S. men’s national basketball team mini-camp for four days in Las Vegas.
The NBA season is really just a string of smaller ones, held together by a unifying narrative we superimpose over all 82-games for the sake of coherence. It’s how we give meaning to the ultimate inconsequence of a mid-January game: What can we use in this one game to help fuel the overriding story of the season? It’s a practice that, despite being arguably irrelevant, helps both the fans and media talk about the regular season while playing the waiting game until the playoffs, when things start really mattering again. When a team plays harmoniously with what their narrative would dictate, even if that means getting blown out because they’re a tanking team, it becomes much easier to contextualize and, thus, far more comforting.
But sometimes there’s a team whose season is as tough to pin down as a water drop with a thumbtack. Every stab succeeds only in warping its shape.
Denver fell behind 8-0 to start the game and never was able recover as they fell to a struggling Suns team in Phoenix by double digits 117-103.
Denver stayed hot and destroyed a decimated Orlando Magic team playing the second game of a back to back 120-94. The game was never all that close as Denver got up double digits in the first quarter and built on that lead as the game went on. Everyone did a bit of everything in a game that included a Timofey Mozgov poster dunk, a Randy Foye transition block, a big Kenneth Faried steal and slam and the Nuggets setting a franchise record by hitting 12 threes for the fourth straight game.
It’s been a roller coaster season thus far for the Denver Nuggets. Early struggles preceded a seven-game win streak, while an eight-game losing streak has now led into a four wins in a row.
Crucial to this latest round of success for the Nuggets is Ty Lawson. The blur of a point guard was already enjoying a very good all-around season, but during this win streak, Lawson’s displayed a newfound aggression in looking for his shot, particularly beyond the arc. In the last four games, Lawson’s attempted 19 three-pointers, and while he’s only made six of them, the increase in attempts is encouraging enough. In the past three games alone, he’s hoisted five three point attempts per game.
The Nuggets got up big early, extended the lead to huge in the middle and coasted late on their way to an absolute destruction of the Celtics tonight in Denver.
At 16-17 with a seven game winning streak and an eight game losing streak to their names so far this season it is hard to see the 2013-2014 version of the Nuggets as anything more than a confusing inconsistent and mildly talented collection of basketball players.
When things go well and shots fall the Nuggets win, when they don’t and Denver turns the ball over, they lose. Through the first 33 games of the season it has become clear that Ty Lawson is far and away the best and most important player currently healthy on the Denver roster, meaning it seems like the play of Lawson more than anybody determines if the Nuggets will win or lose a game.
But a deeper looking into the win/loss splits of the main nine rotation players for Denver this year (Lawson, Randy Foye, Wilson Chandler, Kenneth Faried, JJ Hickson, Nate Robinson, Jordan Hamilton, Darrell Arthur and Timofey Mozgov) show that there are actually a few other players that make more of a difference in win or loss than Lawson. Below is a quick breakdown of some interesting splits for each of those nine players.
The Nuggets gave up 44 points in the second quarter and dropped their eighth straight game 114-102. Everyone gets an F tonight for grades because that is what happens when you get blown out at home by a team with nine (now 10) wins, and just two (now three) on the road. Below is a recap though.