If the Nuggets are going to lose games in the 4th quarter, at least lose with the 1st unit on the floor!
The knock on the squad has been that they don't have a closer - don't have a superstar. Danilo Galinari is hurt. Ok, got that out of the way. #noexcuses
Tonite the Nuggets fell to the Raptors after Denver failed to connect on its last 15 field-goal attempts. This is not the first game that the team has struggled in the 4th quarter.
Kenneth Faried was on the bench down the stretch
Even more maddening is that Denver has lost by playing unconventional lineups, selected by George Karl. The coach does not trust his players to play their natural position and does not trust his young players to factor in late game situations.
After a 7-0 run midway through the 4th quarter coach George Karl substituted out rookie Kenneth Faried and recently acquired Javell McGee in favor of veterans Andre Miller and Al Harrington. The final line-up was outscored 15-2 to close out the game.
It is radical to close the 4th quarter with a redundant line-up featuring a starting and a backup point guard. No other team does it. From the perspective of the couch, it seems much better to lose with a traditional lineup than with an experimental one. It is easy to argue that the Nuggets coaching staff has often been outcoached down the stretch this season.
Denver's backup players are on the court - in the 4th quarter - against the other team starters - on the road !
No wonder we lost. They are call backups for a reason. If they were so good, they be starters. If they are needed to finish out the game, then they should start the game. REPHRASED - Why are Al Harrington and Andre Miller not good enough to start, yet they are good enough to finish ?
Seeing the barrage of missed jump shots at the end of the game, announcer Scott Hastings pointed out that the Nuggets were not attacking the zone and was settling for jumpsuits. The reason is, there were no post players in the game to attack inside. It's obvious, as Denver had inexplicably subbed out their starting frontcourt !
The small lineup is a 2nd quarter lineup, not a final 4 minutes of the game lineup. Hopefully this disastrous result down the stretch causes an AHA moment. There must be multiple post players in the lineup at all times against all opponents, it is the league standard.
There was one 4th quarter sequence when Miller rotated up to defend Andrea Bargniani and the Raptors player hit a deep 3-pointer with no contest. Its tough to take when fans know there are four seven footers and Kenneth Faried sitting on the bench.
Additionally why is Timothy Mosgov playing? He has not scored in double figures in the month of march. Why does he have such a long leash, yet Kosta Kofous, Chris Anderson & Kenneth Faried are yanked out quick ? There was a play where Toronto rebounded the ball 4 times in one possession and Mosgov never grabbed one. When he entered the game late in the first quarter, Toronto went on a run.
Mosgov finished with 2 points & 1 rebound today. He is not getting rebounds, scoring points or getting blocks. He is a non-factor who does not pass the "eye test." For what purpose is he on the court ? Mosgov has the lowest PER on the Nuggets roster. (Faried has the highest PER of all-time for a rookie and on the team)
McGee and Faried both had monster dunks in the 3rd quarter. They had energy. They played only 23 minutes each? They did not play enough minutes to lose us the game.
The sub of Miller for McGee lost Denver the game in the final minutes. The Raptors had a lineup with four players taller than 6'8 players, Nuggets had 4 players under 6'8". I want to know why intentionally create a size disadvantage for your team. McGee had just made the game winning put-back last week!
Nuggets staff has to improve at using their timeouts to stem momentum. Other coaches would perhaps be more proactive in calling timeout before the Forbes 3-pointer, when they initially felt the momentum shift?
You cannot win with small ball in this NBA. The players are high flyers, you gotta dunk that Afflalo if you want a foul call. No respect for lay-ups in the 4th quarter. Size is vital. Small players can't do it in this era. Only Allen Iverson and Chancey Billups have been point guard size and lead teams to the finals since 2000.
The Nuggets coaching premise for success is built on sand. Mismatches on defense caused by switching, constantly slipping screens on offense, small-ball instead of tall-ball. How can a team full of guards struggle against a 2-3 zone. Shouldn't the players be thrilled that they are open for jumpshots as they are shooting guards?
Thats why this has to stop. There needs to be a meeting. We did not trade away Nene and lose Kmart to have Andre Miller play in place of the power forward. It is about growing Faried and developing a dynamic chemistry with McGee.
Mosgov is no and so is andre miller. They have played themselves out of the line-up and George Karl needs to accept it, its a business, cut your loses, explore new strategies and develop new players.