Preseason Game 2: Nuggets 110 - Suns 85

Denver Stiffs reader Army of Nugs predicted the Nuggets would finish 2-0 in the preseason. It might be time for a new Nuggstradamous! We'll see if his 66-0 prediction comes to fruition, starting next week. But for now, the Nuggets dominated the aging and mediocre Phoenix Suns once again. This time the final score was 110-85, so what do we think of this second win over the Suns? Let's go over some notes ...

While viewing tonight's game I wrote down a few notes on the players and I'd like to share them with you. Like to hear 'em? Here they go ...

Corey Brewer: This kid wants to play. Tonight he looked like he really wanted to impress George Karl and earn his role in the regular rotation. Brewer was hustling on the defensive end and looking for his shot early-and-often. And his shot was working to the tune of 8-15 shooting (2-4 from downtown) for 20 points and 2 steals. He was tonight's second leading scorer. I liked what I saw from Brewer on the offensive end and I'm not worried about him on the defensive end, at all.

Danilo Gallinari: He's a funny player. This kid just plays with no fear. Gallo doesn't seem to always possess the best court awareness or situation awareness - he'll take some shots that will make you cringe and sometimes he'll hit those shots. He took whatever shots he wanted tonight and showed the promise that I believe will lead to him being the Nuggets top scorer this season. He finished the night 6-17 shooting (2-7 from downtown and 9-9 from the foul line) and led the team with 23 points and pulled down 6 rebounds to go along with 3 assists. Gallo had some nice passes tonight too ... I'm liking his game more-and-more.

DeMarre Carroll: Kid plays defense and it looks like he's been working hard offensively too. He's weaker on the offensive end still, but he plays with great effort and it translates for him. He had 14 points on the night on 4-7 shooting (1-2 from deep and 5-5 from the foul line). I don't know if he'll make the team, but he should be on somebody's NBA roster, he can play.

Arron Afflalo: He's out of shape, just doesn't have his legs under him and that frustrated him. His next chance to play will be in the regular season opener ... yikes - we might see some sloppy basketball. Al Harrington joined Jason Kosmicki on the radio for the second quarter and talked about how AAA needs to get his legs under him so he can do what he's accustomed to on the offensive end. I liked hearing Big Al on the radio ... funny guy. AAA played just 16 minutes and was 1-6 from the floor for 4 points.

Kenneth Faried: I think Manimal will struggle to see extended minutes this season. I was excited to see what he was going to do on the defensive end and was hoping for an eye-popping dunk or two as well. Hakim Warrick got off a couple shots on Faried with ease and the Rookie looked a bit lost on defense. On the offensive end, he needs to learn how to set a solid screen, all the Denver bigs were out of sorts on screens a bit, and work on a jump shot. If Faried doesn't play a lot it's because the Nuggets play 4-on-5 on the offensive end when he's in the game. Rebounding is an asset, but Faried needs more. He got just 11 minutes tonight, not sure if that means anything.

Julyan Stone: The rookie out of UTEP is intriguing. He has great size, but he's not confident in his dribbling abilities and he picked up his dribble quite a bit when he got pressured and threw some high-risk long passes to get rid of the ball. He does have promise and could make the team, but in 20 minutes tonight he didn't help himself much. Stone finished 0-2 from the field and had just 1 assist and 2 turnovers.

Kosta Koufos: The Greek got himself into the starting lineup tonight, thanks to Nene resting. He made the most of his 25 minutes and was one of the stars of the first half. He finished the night with 15 points and 11 rebounds. He was extremely active when he was on the floor and his size just helps him rebound the ball ... along with desire. Koufos may not have all the talent in the world, but he's working his butt off and wants to be in the rotation. Oh and he fouled out and had 2 blocks.

Andre Miller: He looks like the same Miller that I remember from last season and pretty much every season he played before that too. He played 27 minutes and put up impressive assist numbers again with a team-high 10 dimes.

Jordan Hamilton: He didn't check into the game until there was about a minute left in the first half. Hamilton played just 5 minutes and was 0-1 from the floor. Brewer is making Hamilton's roster spot for this season an uncertain one. He has a long way to go.

Chris Andersen: Loves to go after pump fakes, missed an easy wide-open dunk as his elevation failed him, but also had a sweet reverse jam as well. Birdman is the Birdman. We know what we're going to see from him this season.

Timofey Mozgov: I'm the co-founder of the Mozgov Militia and I love this kid's potential. Moz is quick for how big he is, he had a couple nice steals, and he looks comfortable on the floor. He's very active and eager and that will lead to foul trouble, like he had tonight. Moz played just 15 minutes, but racked up 5 fouls ... this could be an issue for the Nuggets trying to get big minutes from Moz at the center position. But on a positive, he was 4-5 from the floor for 8 points, 5 rebounds, 1 official steal, and 1 block. His lone assist was Afflalo's lone made bucket, a very nice backdoor pass from Moz to a cutting AAA for an easy lay in. He will struggle to stay on the floor sometimes, but I'm ready to roll with the Moz - Mozgov Militia starting up!

Wow, so that's it. The preseason is over ... bring on the Mavericks Dec. 26th. I'm afraid we'll see some sloppy basketball, but tonight Denver's make-shift team did what they needed to. It'll be good to see Ty Lawson, Nene, Al Harrington, and Rudy Fernandez next week! Almost forgot they were on the team and it was very reassuring to remember they are on the squad!

Let's GO NUGGETS!

Full box score here.

Nate_Timmons on Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/Nate_Timmons
ntimmons73@yahoo.com

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