Nuggets at Clippers recap: Nuggets play a great first quarter ... that's about it

Victor Decolongon

Well, this one was over at halftime if we are honest. The Nuggets had a one point lead coming out of the first quarter, but kind of fell apart after that. Poor shooting from much of the starting lineup (which actually didn't play too badly) and horrendous play from the second unit doomed the team. Nuggets lose 112-100


Final - 12.25.2012 1 2 3 4 Total
Denver Nuggets 26 22 28 24 100
Los Angeles Clippers 25 42 26 19 112

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Get out the pitchforks and torches. Time to burn the village, angry mob style!

In all seriousness it's very easy to overreact to a loss like this. The Nuggets looked lethargic at times, disinterested at others. Danilo Gallinari continues his perplexing difficulties in Los Angeles (1-10 shooting) but somehow ended up as the only starter with a positive +/- rating (+3). Your guess is as good as mine as to how that happened. Gallo goes through these streaks where he's fantastic, then he's cold as ice. It's quite frustrating as someone who has supported him continuously since the Carmelo Anthony trade. Gallo, you need to shoot better consistently. I can only defend you against the angry mobs for so long if you can't shoot straight.

Kosta Koufos has been the Nuggets most consistent player in the last three games. Tonight he had 16 points and 10 rebounds and pretty much outplayed DeAndre Jordan. It's good to see K2 getting some easy baskets and playing solid fundamental defense. The same cannot be said for JaVale McGee, who had himself another "Bad JaVale" game. He threw away two outlet passes (awful, awful passes) and was consistently out of position for rebounds. It is frustrating to watch someone with McGee's talent be not only inconsistent, but go from dominant to utterly incompetent from game to game. JaVale finished with 9 points and 6 rebounds

Ty Lawson was completely owned by Chris Paul, but this isn't news. That was going to happen anyway, so you kind of discount that sort of thing. Ty can only do what he can, and at the very least he looked like he played with a bit more energy tonight than he did the last couple games. 15 points and 5 assists isn't great, but hopefully he can build on that and gain more confidence. Yet, when Ty went out of the game, it seemed like the only player on the court who could do anything at all was Andre Miller. While he had an unimpressive stat line of 12 points and 6 assists, his toughness and ability to post kept the Nuggets afloat when they couldn't hit a shot.

The Clippers are a good team, but you get the feeling the Nuggets made the Clippers look better than they actually are. There was some epically lazy defense happening out there, and to make matters worse, it was against a team that can rain down three point shots ala Jamal Crawford, Chris Paul and various other ruffians on that roster. However, you could kind of see that coming based on the Nuggets play coming in to the game. The writing was on the wall quite early and while this game wasn't a blow out, it wasn't competitive either.

Nuggets of Wisdom

I know being positive about the team is a bit anathema in some circles, but I'm actually quite encouraged heading in to Wednesday's game with the Lakers. Both teams are coming off back to backs. The Nuggets starters (other than Ty) basically didn't play the last quarter. In a weird way, the way they lost tonight will probably benefit the team when playing the Lakers.

In the meantime, as we enter in to this last tough bit of December, it's time for the Nuggets to grit their teeth and win some games. If they managed to take two of these last three games of December I will be quite encouraged going in to January's bonanza of home games. There is when we will be able to make an accurate determination of where this team stands. While the Nuggets are showing signs of all these road games catching up with them, there's no excuse to not be competitive. Buck up and get some wins, starting with the Lakers. You can do it Nuggets!

***

Denver Nuggets Tickets

Twitter: @jmorton78 https://twitter.com/#!/jmorton78

mortonagency@juno.com

Be sure and listen to Les Shapiro and Tom Nalen every Monday-Friday on 102.3 ESPN from Noon to 3 pm.

FNDfilms.com

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