The Nuggets went into Dallas and got flat out run tonight. You can use the excuse of the second of a back-to-back and injuries if you want, but this was a bad effort. Denver goes down to Dallas again (2-1 on the season in the Mavs favor) 102-84 and if not for Denver's end of the bench guys ... it would have been a lot worse.
1st Quarter: 27-17 Mavericks. The Nuggets are off to a very sluggish start. Just 2-6 from three-point land, not a good sign that Denver is taking so many threes and MISSING them. Corey Brewer was having some success getting to the rim, along with his teammates, but the problem - Denver is settling for jumpers. Dallas is also 2-6 from deep, Dirk Nowitzki is leading his squad with 8 points and looks to be very comfortable shooting the ball tonight. Denver just 5-18 to start the game (5-11 from the free throw line) needs to find a spark.
2nd Quarter: 51-39 Mavericks (24-22 Mavs in the quarter). At the 8:47 mark, Denver cut a double-digit lead down to 31-26 with a little more active defense that set up some running opportunities on offense. But that good feeling didn't last long as the Mavs used an 8-0 run to balloon their lead up to 45-32 with just 2:41 left in the quarter. My opinion, George Karl rode his energy guys too much in the second quarter. Chris Andersen played nearly the entire second quarter without much benefit. Vince Carter caught a little fire and some creative defensive assignments could be useful, Kenneth Faried on VC? Why not? Wont happen. Carter is too big for Arron Afflalo and and Ty Lawson is intimidated by the coverage Shawn Marion is applying on him. Yes, Dallas is using Marion to cover Lawson tonight. George Karl has once again decided that the way to beat Dallas' big lineup is to go small and let the Mavs do whatever they want.
3rd Quarter: 83-54 Mavericks (32-15 Mavs in the quarter) A good sign by Karl to start the third quarter, he has benched Faried in favor of Al Harrington. This will cure Denver's defensive and rebounding woes for sure (sarcasm was used in that sentence). I like Harrington's energy tonight and his offense is needed, perhaps a good call - what do I know? Nuggets acted like Homer Simpson at an all you can eat buffet ... just let themselves go. Denver got beat in the quarter 32-15. This game is OVER. Total garbage that Karl went to Birdman over Faried. The rookie has earned minutes and got the old screw job tonight. I'm not saying that Faried would have been the difference maker in this laugher, but the rotation in Denver don't make any sense. Faried finally gets back in with Denver down 79-52. These Nuggets need some pride or anger or ... something ... anything. Embarrassing effort.
4th Quarter: 102-84 Mavericks (30-19 Denver, thanks to the end of the bench guys.) The Nuggets two point guard lineup will have to REALLY get hot in this quarter, not looking good with Ty "No Drive" Lawson and Andre Miller out there. The big question here ... down 90-60 to the Mavs, why are starters even playing? Where are the rookies? May as well rest when you can. With 8:52 left, Jordan Hamilton just checked in for Miller - nice call there Karl. With 7:00 to play, Lawson is out (thankfully) for Julyan Stone. Hamilton has looked pretty good in this one, he has a runner and a three go in and is showing some nice effort.
The garbage time game began at 90-60 ... say what you will about garbage time (I don't think a lot of it), but Stone, Hamilton, Brewer, Faried, and Kosta Koufos played the right way and looked pretty good with the energy, passing, and defense they showed ... too bad the regular rotation guys didn't bring that effort tonight. Nuggets end of the game lineup won their battle 24-12, not bad.
Views you can use:
- Shawn Marion killed Ty Lawson. He should be embarrassed by not being able to get by the 33 year old. Not sure if Lawson is injured or not, but as my buddy Rich pointed out, "He hasn't tried to drive all night." Is that aggression issues or injury? Lawson with 3 points and 2 assists in 28 awful minutes.
- Small ball wasn't pretty. Dallas bigs scored 58 points tonight.
- Nuggets three point shooting was again atrocious as they went 6-27 from deep. Free throws were an issue as well as Denver went 18-31 from the freebie line.
- I have defended Nene a lot for not being soft. I don't know how bad his heel and calf injuries are, but even Scott Hastings sounded skeptical of the big Brazilian's injuries. It's a long season, he's getting paid $13 million per season ... time to suck it up and get on the floor.
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