Wow. I... Wow, what to say.
The Denver Nuggets, or whatever is left of the team this season, played the second night of a back-to-back against one of the hottest teams in the league right now in the Chicago Bulls, and the disparities in their situations shone through tonight, as the Nuggets lost 117-89. And I'm not sure the game was actually that close.
The Nuggets had one player in the "plus" of plus/minus categories in Darrell Arthur, at a +5. Darth's box line of the night: zero points, blocks, boards, assists and turnovers (yes zeroes in each). He did tally a foul before leaving the game with a hip strain.
Twice during the game, Brian Shaw trotted out a lineup of J.J. Hickson, Anthony Randolph, Kenneth Faried, Wilson Chandler and Randy Foye. Basically four power forwards and a shooting guard (I know, Chandler is a SF. Indulge me, he's played at the 4 for us a lot). During both of those short stretches, the Nuggets were outscored by double digit margins. Confusing lineup.
Aside from Randy Foye's 23 points, the other four starters combined for 20. Points. Combined. In 97 minutes of floor time.
Jan Vesely outscored Wilson Chandler.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter, down by 25, the Nuggets gave up a 12-0 run to the Bulls and did not score for the first 3:40 of the quarter.
Again, the Nuggets gave up 117 points. To the lowest scoring team in the league, averaging 92.3 a game.
I'd like to indulge you a little more in a linear thread of the game, and what happened, but most of my note sheet seems to be covered in cursing, tears and exclamation points. However, let's do talk about any bright spots we can.
Aaron Brooks came to the Nuggets today after playing last night at Houston with only his trip bag in hand, and was called on heavily to contribute. He only had one assist, but put up 17 points in 28 minutes of play, and brought a good deal more energy than most of the other players tonight. I'm not certain he's the Nuggets long term answer as a backup PG, but he'll play hard for a contract next season, and the Nuggets should see good things from him for the last third of the year.
Quincy Miller and Evan Fournier were solid contributors tonight in 13 and 25 minutes of floor time, respectively. Although they each only notched single-digit scoring (six points for Miller, nine for Fournier), they both played effortful ball when they were on the floor, and it showed in their plus/minus stats. Quincy left the floor dead even in +/-, and Fournier was a -9 (third best after Miller and Arthur)
Bizarro Faried showed up after last night's Manimal appearance, netting eight points and seven boards in 27 minutes on the floor, and "led" the team at a -27 in plus/minus. Aside from a flagrant one that allowed he and Joakim Noah to carp at each other and compare hair care tips, he was wildly ineffectual tonight.
Wilson Chandler. Four points, one block, one assist, no boards, one turnover, three fouls. All in 31 minutes, which led the team. Will was truly ill tonight.
It seems like we have a rough and bumpy ride to the end of the season, Nuggets fans (or the three of you who decided to stick around for a recap). Tell me what you saw. Let it all out. This is a safe place. Talk to me , Nuggets Nation.