There's two whipping boy's of the Denver Stiffs community. You know, the players people fall back on when they believe things aren't going the Nuggets way. Those two players are Andre Miller and Corey Brewer, followed closely by George Karl. It's understandable at times. Both Miller and Brewer are high risk, high reward players. Particularly Brewer. Both players, however, came up big in different ways ... particularly Corey Brewer.
First, here is tonight's box score:
Isn't that a pretty score? Nuggets pulled away from a clearly tired Hawks team in the fourth quarter. This is the kind of game that Brewer thrives in. Tired teams with no legs are perfect pray for a player who gambles for steals as much as Brewer does because their passes aren't as crisp and their coordination isn't as sure. It held true to form tonight as C-Brew finished with a game high 22 points with 4 rebounds and 2 steals and a ton of fast break points. It was interesting to see how the Hawks were unnerved by Brewer on the court, particularly Devin Harris who took offense to C-Brew being C-Brew.
Andre Miller's stat line isn't going to impress anyone. He finished with 4 points and 9 assist but in reality was the catalyst for the Nuggets frenzied attack in the second quarter to put the Nuggets ahead for good. Lob pass after lob pass was followed by a baseball like pass down the center court to a streaking JaVale McGee (who had 9 points of his own and a highlight reel block in the second quarter). While there are things that frustrate us about Dre, I'd say most of these frustrations come from his coach playing him more minutes than he should. For this reason I tend to give Dre a pass. Nice effort tonight.
Additionally Ty Lawson had a good game after a slow start, he had 18 points and 8 assists. Kenneth Faried also started rusty and finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds...but was rather abused on the defensive end by "the player who shall not be named". Danilo Gallinari continues his work to get back from injury. He did look like he wasn't running with a limp for the first time in a week and a half, and I thought played better overall finishing with 7 points and 5 rebounds. Once Gallo starts shooting more, the pieces will fall into place again. It's a bit maddening to watch how slowly he rounds back in to shape though.
Wilson Chandler had an ok game with 13 points. It highlights how BAD the Thunder defense was on Will on Friday. Chandler was covered every time he had the ball (unlike on Friday) but it was encouraging to see him share the ball a bit more and work more within the flow of the offense. That defense forced Chandler to adjust and I think he was better off for it. More well rounded.
Overall, a kind of ho-hum game with C-Brew leading the way.
Nuggets of Wisdom
Team needs to buck up and get ready for an improved Sacramento Kings team tomorrow night. The Nuggets should still win even on a back to back, but it will be tougher than other trips into Sacramento. This would be the perfect game for Gallo to break out of the post-injury doldrums and make a statement. Hope he does.
Twitter: @jmorton78 https://twitter.com/#!/jmorton78
Save the Date - 3/19 March Madness Stiffs Night Out!
On Tuesday, March 19th we're going to kick off March Madness by watching the Nuggets take on the Thunder in Oklahoma City at 6pm from Jake's Food & Spirits. Free appetizers and 2-for-1 drinks will be served.
We will be distributing NCAA brackets for $10, with all of the proceeds going to the Denver Hooperz, a local non-profit that provide after school basketball programs to at-risk youth. Prizes - including Nuggets tickets - will be given out to bracket winners. Also, the Colorado Sports Guys (Nate Timmons and Ross Martin) will be live podcasting throughout the event - and it's Nate's birthday!