The Nuggets put together a quality team win over the Phoenix Suns last night with a final score of 109-92. Arron Afflalo led the way with 20 points, but it was the team effort that really won the game for the Nuggets. How about Chris Andersen with 16 points and 6 blocks and Kenneth Faried with 13 points and 9 rebounds (4 offensive)? Sure, the Suns didn't have Steve Nash, but the Nuggets were without Danilo Gallinari, Nene, and Timofey Mozgov.
Check out the box score from last night's game to see the balanced attack utilized by Denver last night: box score here.
Denver only finished with only 19 team assists, I say only because it felt like Denver was passing the ball freely and doing so often. To start the game, the Nuggets jumped out to a quick 33-21 lead by sharing the ball, turning up the defense a little bit, and finishing plays at the rim. The Nuggets' three-point shooting wasn't great, 4-14, but it also wasn't the focal point of the offense and that is the right move.
We've seen the Nuggets get shot happy and not do what they need to in order to win games. The Nuggets play at their best when they are attacking the rim (25-34 on freebies) and using their defense to set up fast offense (13 blocks and 13 steals).
The Suns are a very average team without Steve Nash and to an extent without Grant Hill too, and the Nuggets deep squad took care of business and never really allowed the Suns to get involved in the game. With Nash out, guys like Marcin Gortat are rendered somewhat useless (he did have 14 rebounds) as he scored just 10 points and averages 15.3 ppg on the season.
I continue to be impressed with Faried as he gets more comfortable on the floor. His rebounding and defense are proving to be quite useful, his free throw shooting is showing improvement as well (5-6 on freebies last night), and his offensive game is starting to pick up new tricks ... how about his up-and-under last night(?!). The man Faried is taking minutes away from, Chris Andersen had another good throwback game. The issue ... the Nuggets can't really afford to sit Birdman for 2-3 games and then play him, he's making too much dough for that. A nice bounce-back game for Bird who has been racking up a lot of minutes on the bench this season.
The Nuggets got a little sloppy at times last night, allowed too many second chance opportunities for the Suns (18 offensive rebounds), but were able to get a win on their home floor for the first time in five tries. Good win for Denver ... next up is Dallas!
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