Nuggets at Hornets: The streak is over at 15, Nuggets lose to Hornets

USA TODAY Sports

It had to happen some time. The Nuggets put forth a sub par effort on all ends and lose to the NBA giant killer New Orleans 110-86

Brian Roberts had 13 points and 18 assists. A rookie point guard making a rare start for the New Orleans Hornets.

That tells you all you need to know about this game -- one the Nuggets would rather forget. Also, Eric Gordon and Greivis Vasquez sat out this game. So yeah. This wasn't to be on so many levels tonight, and if we are honest with ourselves we could see this one coming from a mile away. The only good note is the Memphis Grizzlies laid a giant egg as well tonigh, losing to the Washington Wizards who were basically without their entire starting lineup. So maybe it was just a Monday thing?

Danilo Gallinari had 24 points. Was 10 of 10 from the foul line and was taken out of the game with 3 minutes left in the third quarter and the Nuggets down 12. He didn't come back into the game until 8 minutes left in the 4th. He was driving the lane aggressively, getting to the foul line, and single handedly kept the Nuggets within striking distance in the third. Why he sat so long is beyond me. Why he only got one shot in the 4th quarter is simple. Andre Miller.

George Karl's crutch had one of the worst defensive game's I have ever seen. Not running out on threes. Losing rotations. These are things that are common with Dre Miller, what was unforgivable was the ball-stopping, one on one play that he went to over, and over, and over during the fourth quarter. If you want to know where the Nuggets lost this game, look no further than Miller.

Additionally, Andre Iguodala had a very ineffective, low energy, lackluster game. He seemed disinterested on offense and passive on defense. Many times covering Roberts haphazardly he finished with 6 points and 4 assists. He was just not there.

Outside of that, many Nuggets players looked like they were just going through the motions. Corey Brewer has played awful since his big game against the 76ers. He had 9 points but was completely helter skelter. Wilson Chandler came back tonight and was aggressive, and besides Gallinari seemed to be the only Nuggets player who was consistently aggressive. He finished with 11 points.

Kenneth Faried continued his adventures on the defensive end of the court. So much so that George Karl benched the Manimal to start the second half and played Chandler in his place. It was actually quite affective as that produced the Nuggets run to start the second half. Manimal was lost on rotations, couldn't cover the pick and roll and looked lost at times. Granted, he finished with 13 points and 7 rebounds. He played better when he came off the bench in the second half, so maybe lesson was learned.

Nuggets gave up far too many offensive and defensive rebounds. Those are effort stats and the Nuggets, outside of Gallo and Chandler didn't have too much in the effort category. The Nuggets also lost the points in the paint battle for the first time in over 50 games. A very disappointing loss to end the streak.

Meanwhile, Nuggets lost Julyan Stone when he twisted his knee. Hopefully it's not serious. This wasn't the crown jewel of George Karl coached games. Hopefully he comes back strong against San Antonio.

Nuggets of Wisdom

With all that I said above, let's keep things in perspective. While a loss to break the streak is disappointing, how they respond against the San Antonio Spurs will tell us alot about this Nuggets team. How they rebound will point toward character and mental toughness.

Now is time to start a new streak and get better for the playoffs. One loss does NOT a season make, and while this is disappointing it's not the end of the world. The Nuggets are on the verge of something special, and once they fix their "effort" things will be that much better. Gallo looks like he is regaining his aggressiveness, and that can only help as Chandler comes back from his shoulder injury.

Onward and upward. Hopefully Ty Lawson comes back soon.

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