Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 101 Utah Jazz 94

In a less-than-meaningful game between two lottery-bound teams, bad offense ruled the day. Then, the second half came along and Denver exploded for 67 points, defeating the Jazz for their third straight win.

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Rapid Reaction: Utah Jazz 118, Denver Nuggets 103

After winning five games in a row the Nuggets must have thought they were automatically exempt from playing NBA-caliber teams for the rest of the season, because that’s how they played tonight against the Jazz. It was embarrassing, for everyone involved — bust mostly the players and coaches.

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Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 100, Utah Jazz 81

In Utah, both Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried registered double-doubles, and the Nuggets blew out the Jazz 30-13 in the fourth quarter to secure their second win of the season, and first on the road. (more…)

Film Room: Randy Foye video scouting report

In our previous Roundball Mining Company Film Room installment, we took a look at one of the four Nuggets offseason roster acquisitions, power forward Darrell Arthur. Today we move on to shooting guard Randy Foye, traded to Denver from Utah in the three-way deal that sent Andre Iguodala to the Warriors.

“This team needs shooters,” was a frequently uttered mantra among Nuggets fans last season, and Foye, a .377 career 3-point shooter (.410 last season) certainly should help bolster Denver’s woeful shooting from the arc. The real question, however, is whether he can do much else.

Not to put too fine a point on it, a cursory look at his stats (from Basketball-Reference.com) suggests he’s an awful rebounder; a below-average distributor whose assist rate has steadily worsened over the last four seasons; a fairly terrible mid-range shooter (his 3-point percentage was actually higher than his 2-point percentage last season); a player whose very good free throw shooting is largely negated by his inability to get to the line (he has averaged fewer than two free throw attempts in over 26 minutes of play over the last two seasons); and a subpar defender. His low turnover rate seemingly does little to redeem his other apparent shortcomings.

But is he truly so one-dimensional? Is 3-point shooting really the only thing he brings to the table? (more…)

Salt City Hoops’ Andy Larsen talks Randy Foye

According to ESPN.com, the Denver Nuggets have finalized a three-team deal that will send Andre Iguodala to the Golden State Warriors in a sign-and-trade for a $9 million trade exception. Additionally, Denver will receive free agent shooting guard Randy Foye from the Utah Jazz, who took back draft picks as well as Richard Jefferson, Andres Biedrins and Brandon Rush — all of whom possess expiring contracts — from the Warriors. From the Nuggets’ standpoint, Foye will bring much-needed outside shooting to Denver, as he ranked seventh last season in the NBA in 3-pointers made with 178 on a 41 percent clip from beyond the arc. But aside from his long-distance shooting prowess, not much else is known about the journeyman combo guard; therefore, RMC reached out to fellow TrueHoop blogger Andy Larsen of Salt City Hoops.com to learn more about the newest addition to the Denver Nuggets.
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Woj: Nuggets nearing 3-way trade to S&T Iguodala to GSW for TPE, acquire Foye

Adrian Wojnarowski has an update on the Iguodala situation at Yahoo! Sports, reporting that “the Golden State Warriors are in advanced discussions on a three-way, sign-and-trade scenario centered on delivering a trade exception and Utah Jazz free agent Randy Foye to the Denver Nuggets”: (more…)

Nuggets well positioned to seize first round home court advantage

The Denver Nuggets recently clinched a berth in the 2013 NBA playoffs, meaning that they will soon be making their tenth consecutive postseason appearance. And while this is a very impressive streak, what they’ve managed to do less often is finish the regular season with a good enough record to secure home court advantage in the first round. (more…)

Rumor: Nuggets interested in Millsap?

According to FoxSportsOhio.com’s Sam Amico, “Brooklyn, Milwaukee and Denver are among the teams that might make a play for Utah forward Paul Millsap at the deadline.”  Whether Amico includes Denver in the running for Millsap by first-hand knowledge of trade discussions or simply because the Nuggets have the pieces to make a trade, is obviously up the air. Nevertheless, it is interesting seeing Denver mentioned in connection with Millsap, as the Nuggets already have a very similar power forward in Kenneth Faried and are, of course, a division rival of the Utah Jazz.

Rapid Reaction: Nuggets 110, Jazz 91

Utah Jazz 91 FinalRecap | Box Score 110 Denver Nuggets
Danilo Gallinari, SF 32 MIN | 7-11 FG | 11-12 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 26 PTS | +6It’s such a boon for the Nuggets offense when they get this kind of production from Gallo. If he can find a way to score closer to 20 rather than 15 more frequently, it will go a long way towards helping the team maintain better offensive consistency. It was great to see him relentlessly attacking the basket tonight, and do a big chunk of his damage by hitting 11 of his 12 free throw attempts.
Kenneth Faried, SF 32 MIN | 7-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 15 PTS | +17The Nuggets did not come out of the gates with the kind of energy that might be expected in a revenge game with one division rival after a bad loss to another. But as is typically the case, Faried was one of the few making an effort to bring it. The Jazz got the better end of the offensive glass in the first half, but Faried did a fairly good job defending Paul Millsap, and played an important role in keeping the game close early until Denver opened up their big lead in the third quarter.
Kosta Koufos, C 29 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-1 FT | 13 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | +15Koufos has struggled in some recent games, and early on it looked like that trend might continue. But Kosta has a way sometimes of coming out with a surprising toughness, and he did a great job in the second half especially, coming up with some big rebounds and defensive plays.
Ty Lawson, PG 24 MIN | 6-12 FG | 1-1 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 14 PTS | +17If Lawson’s Achilles injury is bothering him, he did a great job of playing through it tonight. He was hitting his jumpers, and was able to find his higher gear with increasing frequency as the game progressed. Utah dictated the pace early on, but largely due to Lawson pushing it and playing with some aggression, the Nuggets were able to break the game open and play their style of basketball in the second half. Hopefully Ty is on the mend and we will see this type of performance from him more consistently from here on out.
Andre Iguodala, SG 31 MIN | 5-9 FG | 8-11 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 18 PTS | +20Iguodala played the role of scorer more than playmaker in this game, and did he ever put on a show. After seeing him turn the ball over so many times this season, I’ve learned to cringe when seeing him drive to the rim. But his skill in the open court was on full display tonight, as he made some truly remarkable crossovers and fakes that brought the house down. He and Gallo combined for 19 of 23 at the free throw line, and the more Denver can get of that, the better.
Anthony Randolph, PF 5 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -4Randolph was one of about five Nuggets players to get just about five minutes tonight when Karl emptied the bench, and he accomplished nothing in the short time he was on the court.
Jordan Hamilton, SF 6 MIN | 0-3 FG | 2-4 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -2Hamilton’s shot was not falling, though it should be noted that only one of his missed 3-pointers was a poor shot selection, while the other two were taken in the flow. Karl surely characterizes him as a “good-bad player”, and it seems J-Ham would help his own cause by not being over-eager to make a huge impact, and instead let the game come to him a little more.
Corey Brewer, SF 19 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 3 PTS | +12Brewer went completely cold on offense in this game, but was serviceable on the defensive end, including one nifty block from behind of an Al Jefferson layup on a fast break.
Timofey Mozgov, C 6 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -2Timo didn’t really make a big impact in his limited time, but three boards and a block in five minutes is solid.
JaVale McGee, C 23 MIN | 2-5 FG | 3-4 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 7 PTS | +14McGee really needs to toughen up when battling for rebounds. There are just too many times when he gets outworked on the glass in situations where, given his size and positioning, he should really have the advantage. For some reason, he seems to often struggle against the Jazz frontcourt, and this game was no exception.
Julyan Stone, PG 5 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | -4He played! It was great to see Stone get his first minutes this season. He was moving just fine, and hopefully we will get more opportunities to see what he can bring to the table. Tonight, he looked good, playing with control and doing a good job of distributing the ball to his teammates. His single assist in five minutes would have been more like four or five if the other guys were connecting on their shots.
Andre Miller, PG 21 MIN | 4-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 6 AST | 11 PTS | +11Had Miller’s grade been given at the end of the third quarter, it would have been in C/D+ territory. He was ineffective to the point of being a liability for most of the game. But after draining a big buzzer beating 3-poitner at the end of the third quarter, he found a way to at least partially redeem himself in the fourth with some pretty decent play that helped to step on Utah’s throat.
Evan Fournier, SG 6 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-2 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -5Of all the emptied bench players, the only one to really make a splash was Fournier. His stat line doesn’t look very impressive, but his hustle and energy made garbage time less trashy.
George KarlTo me, this win seems more on the players than the coach. But who knows? Maybe it ws an inspiring halftime speech that caused them to come out more energetically in the second half. The fact that Lawson, playing well, got only 24 minutes while Miller, playing pretty poorly, got nearly as many with 21 is, in this case, probably attributable to Ty’s injury.

Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 103 Utah Jazz 105

Denver Nuggets 103 Final
Recap | Box Score
105 Utah Jazz
Danilo Gallinari, SF 28 MIN | 4-10 FG | 2-3 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 12 PTS | -10

He’s apparently under the weather and still did plenty of great things on offense until the utter collapse in the second half. All things considered, Gallo put a nondescript, decent-enough role player type of performance when the Nuggets were looking for something more, especially after Iguodala’s ejection.

Kenneth Faried, SF 36 MIN | 8-12 FG | 5-6 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 21 PTS | +5

Another vintage ‘Manimal’ night from an energy standpoint, but we also saw another big front line post him up and shoot right over the top of the him. Defensively, Faried is solid but gives up too much size in matchups the Nuggets will continue to struggle with.

Kosta Koufos, C 28 MIN | 3-4 FG | 1-3 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | +5

Too many huge plays out of the Jazz bigs in the second half. Koufos is solid and did plenty to get the Nuggets off to a promising start, but the story of the second half was the Nuggets inability to control the paint they way they did in the first half.

Ty Lawson, PG 38 MIN | 7-17 FG | 2-4 FT | 5 REB | 9 AST | 16 PTS | -2

When Ty was aggressive, he got into the paint at will and came through with some crucial second-half drives to keep Denver afloat. Unfortunately, Ty continues to struggle on the court in a more featured role as he did tonight, failing to get the Nuggets a shot attempt with 3 seconds remaining and a chance to tie or take the lead.

Andre Iguodala, SG 25 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-2 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 10 PTS | -3

From what I saw, his ejection made no sense. Yes, Iguodala was frustrated and clearly responding poorly to Utah’s pivotal third quarter run, but he showed no contempt or disrespect in what looked like routine mouthing off in a tightly contested game. I guess you have to expect more maturity out of a leader, but it’s really tough to say he legitimately did anything to deserve two technicals and an ejection after disagreeing with a call.

Corey Brewer, SF 30 MIN | 4-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | +5

A solid thirty minutes for Brew even if it is way more than you’d expect to see him playing on this Nuggets team. He has embraced more of a scoring role this season and is working well off the bench with Andre Miller and McGee.

Timofey Mozgov, C 7 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -5

Mozgov put in some solid first-half work but ended his night with little more than a few scrap minutes of action. Physically, he seems healthy but is clearly on the precipice of not playing whatsoever, having seen his role steadily reduced since arriving in Denver two years ago.

JaVale McGee, C 20 MIN | 4-5 FG | 2-6 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | -7

It’s really a shame McGee was not able to stay on the court as he started out with one of his finest performances all season. JaVale looked dominant at times and utterly lost at others, but the bottom line is his own porous defense and emotional mood swings are the reasons he isn’t seeing more time.

Andre Miller, PG 22 MIN | 2-7 FG | 4-6 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | +2

Andre is off to a slow start. Physically, he isn’t in shape for an NBA season but that’s nothing new as Miller is known to work himself up to speed throughout the early season. Fatigue looked like it was a factor for Miller, who has not looked great in his chances at extended minutes thus far.

Evan Fournier, SG 7 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | 0

Fournier saw a surprise few minutes following Iguodala’s ejection before foul trouble and a close game led Karl in a different direction. He hit a three and looked fluid in Denver’s offense despite the Nuggets’ woeful second half performance.

Three Things We Saw

  1. Not even getting a shot attempt off on the final possessions hurts. So does the 56.3% free throw shooting in a two point loss, but ultimately the failure to even put up an honest attempt at tying or winning the game falls on Lawson, who mismanaged the clock and ultimately froze in the game-deciding moment.
  2. Andre Miller trying to change his game up at 36 years old to start shooting threes is not a recipe for success. He may have been open and Lawson may have given up his dribble too early, but that’s still a stab in the dark by one of the worst three-point shooters in the NBA.
  3. Another rough loss in which the Nuggets pretty much out-produce their opponent in everything and still manage to lose. These are the games solid teams put to bed no matter how many excuses there are to slip up. This one shouldn’t have been close, but it doesn’t kill the Nuggets’ upcoming trip and serves as a fitting reminder that this team isn’t performing any better than average and still has a long ways to go.

Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 104, Utah Jazz 84

Utah Jazz 84 FinalRecap | Box Score 104 Denver Nuggets
Danilo Gallinari, SF 25 MIN | 2-11 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 5 PTS | +13CRINGE. This is what Nuggets fans now do every time Gallo launches a 3-point attempt. Is it due to injury? A lack of confidence? Just a slump? Whatever the cause, Gallinari’s outside shooting has been flat out horrendous this season, and he really needs to start settling on it as a final resort after driving and passing. That said, he did put in a solid, effortful defensive effort.
Kenneth Faried, SF 28 MIN | 5-11 FG | 8-10 FT | 10 REB | 2 AST | 18 PTS | +19Faried was the player of the game, and the Nuggets are rapidly becoming Faried’s team. His energy sets the tone; his drive is infectious. From the game’s onset, it was clear Utah’s plan was to send Paul Millsap straight at him early and often. But Kenneth held his own and then some, with Millsap scoring just 11 points on 5-11 shooting. He aggressively attacked the glass and disrupted Utah’s flow near the rim. And perhaps most encouragingly, he hit 8 of his 10 free throw attempts.
Kosta Koufos, C 25 MIN | 6-8 FG | 3-4 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 15 PTS | +9Of course, right on the heels of my previous post arguing Koufos isn’t making much of an impact, he plays his best game of the season. His jump hook was money, and he played with some great energy around the rim (4 offensive rebounds) and on defense (3 blocks and 2 steals). JaVale remains the superior player, and it would be unrealistic to expect 15/9 performances on a nightly basis, but if Kosta can bring this type of effort more consistently, he’ll certainly be earning his keep.
Ty Lawson, PG 29 MIN | 4-12 FG | 1-4 FT | 2 REB | 7 AST | 9 PTS | +22Ty didn’t take one 3-point shot tonight, and that’s a direct result of his effort to drive and penetrate at every opportunity. Utah’s frontcourt is formidable, and he had a fair number of his layups blocked. But that’s acceptable when he’s continually breaking down their team defense and creating easy scoring opportunities for his teammates. Gallo should be taking notes, because the way Ty played tonight is the kind of thing he needs to do more.
Andre Iguodala, SG 31 MIN | 7-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 15 PTS | +7Iguodala seems to finally be settling into a comfort zone within the Nuggets offense. His mid-range jumpers were falling tonight, and he looks to be playing in better rhythm than some previous games. His single assist belies the reality that he did a very good job of moving the ball. His shot selection still could use some improvement, but he was feeling it tonight and he made some big shots early to help Denver extend its lead.
Corey Brewer, SF 20 MIN | 7-14 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 20 PTS | +4Brewer really outdid himself tonight. He was flat out on fire. When the Jazz were chipping away at Denver’s lead in the 4th quarter, he nailed two 3-pointers in a row to squelch their efforts (and those wouldn’t be his last). Of course he also was his usual feisty, pestering self on defense, full of energy and effort. It’s probably too soon, with too small a sample size, to say that Brewer has legitimately developed his shot. But if that does prove to be the case, he could play a Bruce Bowen-like role for Denver — defensive specialist who can knock down the corner three.
Timofey Mozgov, C 20 MIN | 1-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -2The extent to which Timo’s injury is affecting his game isn’t entirely clear, but tonight he sure looked like he wasn’t quite ready to come back. He did make a few good plays. But “rusty” would be an understatement, although if healthy and playing well, he can be an asset for the Nuggets, so it was good to see him get a little burn.
JaVale McGee, C 18 MIN | 2-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | +5McGee was frustrated in this game. He had a few tough calls not go his way, and it seemed to get to his head. He played hard, and made a positive impact on the defensive end altering shots and clogging the paint. But he couldn’t execute very well on offense. Although I just posted an argument to the contrary, I’ll readily admit that this is one game, based on in-game performance, where Koufos deserved his 25 minutes for playing better.
Andre Miller, PG 25 MIN | 2-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 7 AST | 6 PTS | +10Andre Miller blocked Derrick Favors.

Rapid Reaction: Utah Jazz 121, Denver Nuggets 102

Denver Nuggets 102 Final

Recap | Box Score

121 Utah Jazz
Wilson Chandler, SF 27 MIN | 5-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 13 PTS | -23
Chandler takes a lot of difficult shots and makes a decent amount. But he needs to work on scoring in the flow of the offense rather than relying on tough buckets all the time. He also needs to work on his consistency. Twenty seven minutes is more than enough time for Chandler to put up more impressive numbers than he did on Friday.
Kenneth Faried, F 22 MIN | 5-7 FG | 6-8 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 16 PTS | -15
Faried was energetic as always, especially from the start of the game. Then, for some inexplicable reason, George Karl decided to bench him midway through the first quarter and all the way though most of the second. Faried finished with only 22 minutes of playing time (the same amount as Corey Brewer and Arron Afflalo) despite being one of the most effective players on the floor.
Timofey Mozgov, C 18 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -15
Mozgov followed up one of his better performances of the year by disappearing against the Jazz. He was hesitant, aloof and as always, a step behind the action. Mozgov has had a lot of time to prove himself and is still wildly inconstant and timid. If he doesn’t show some signs of improvement, he could be moved this summer.
Arron Afflalo, SG 22 MIN | 3-9 FG | 7-7 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 14 PTS | -22
Yes Afflalo got ejected, but at least he showed some emotion. He was also one of the only players pushing himself and his team in the right direction by making something happen. Had Afflalo stayed in the game he likely would have eclipsed the 20-point mark for the third game in a row.
Ty Lawson, PG 31 MIN | 2-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 6 AST | 5 PTS | -17
Lawson was as bad as anybody. He had more turnovers than assists, was the antithesis of “assertive” and didn’t shoot well even when wide open. The fast-paced style Lawson employs requires a lot of energy, therefore fans shouldn’t expect him to be a “blur” every single night. But he MUST still control the pace of the game and act as a threat to the opponent, otherwise he’s no better than Derek Fisher.
Al Harrington, PF 28 MIN | 8-15 FG | 1-2 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 20 PTS | -1
Harrington came to play. Though his 20-and-10 performance came in a blowout, he still shot the ball accurately and played hard. He did everything the Nuggets expect and more.
Andre Miller, PG 27 MIN | 4-8 FG | 5-5 FT | 2 REB | 6 AST | 14 PTS | +4
And in our favorite part of the evening… For those who watched the game, you already know what it is: a typical Miller performance. Not enough ball movement, too much selfishness, the occasional highlight play, etc. He shot three 3-pointers, turned the ball over four times and did nothing to help the team win, yet somehow finished with an impressive stat line. The saga of Andre Miller continues…
Corey Brewer, SF 22 MIN | 2-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 4 PTS | +2
Brewer was just too wild. He gambled on too many steals, drove recklessly into the lane one too many times and never seemed to be in control of his wiry body. He needs to relax and focus on defense.
JaVale McGee, C 28 MIN | 5-7 FG | 1-4 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | -7
After the first half McGee was nowhere to be found, however, he was a monster before that. The best part of the evening was seeing McGee’s athleticism on full display in addition to his limited number of “boneheaded” plays. The more he can limit his mistakes, the better chance he has of reaching his potential.
Julyan Stone, G 2 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -3
Not much to say here. Stone only saw a few minutes and touched the ball sparingly. It would have been nice to see him get some more time considering this game was lost at the start of the third quarter.
Jordan Hamilton, G 12 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | +2
Hamilton deserved more time than he received. This was the perfect opportunity for him to get some more action under his belt yet Karl refused to give in. He played with heart and made a nice 3-pointer but also took a hurried shot as well.

2011-12 Game 2: Denver Nuggets 117, Utah 100

For the second straight game the Denver Nuggets handily defeated its opponent by at least 17 points. Spearheaded by stingy defense and a flurry of steals, the Nuggets continuously got out on the break and never let up. One wave after another eventually collapsed the opposing players and ultimately left the Jazz feeling “kind of blue.” (more…)

Nuggets vs. Jazz

After trouncing the defending world champion Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of the 2011-12 campaign, the Nuggets will look to capitalize on a young Utah team coming off a late-night loss against the Lakers on Tuesday. Though both teams have an above average amount of depth that will be on clear display throughout the evening, the Nuggets simply have more talent intertwined within its roster than the Jazz. Being that tonight is the home opener for the Nuggets, look for the boys in blue and yella to come out firing on all cylinders. Also, be sure and keep an eye on the front-court battle between Nene, Mozgov and Birdman versus Favors, Kanter, Jefferson and Milsap. Last night against the Lakers all four of the Jazz’s big men received ample playing time with the rookie and No. 3 overall pick, Enes Kanter, logging over 20 minutes of action. Should the young, 6-11 Turk receive roughly that same amount of playing time tonight, it would be wise for our bigs to exploit this opportunity and take advantage of Kanter’s inexperience. Please post your in-game comments, thoughts, observations and whatever else is on your mind here.

Kenneth Faried enters Beast Mode at Jimmer All-Star Game

On Thursday night Jimmer Fredette hosted a casual exhibition game in Provo, Utah that mostly consisted of NBA rookies and a few collegiate ball players. Though Jimmer was unquestionably the main attraction, Kenneth Faried reportedly stole the show.

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