Suns at Nuggets 11/16/2016 Game Notes
10:20 – Nurkic just lost his second rebound, fortunate to get bailed out on the foul call this time, but that was the second time he let one go, in addition to a missed layup he went up too soft on (which luckily Faried cleaned up), and it’s one of life’s great mysteries how such a big, strong dude can have such weak hands and weak finishes at the rim sometimes. Say what you will about Kenneth, but if he pulls down a board, nobody is taking that ball away from him, let alone just tapping it out of his hands.
10:20 – To say something nice about Nurkic, too, they just showed the replay of his hook shot style oop to Faried, which was a thing of beauty.
9:53 – Great steal by Faried leads to a Mudiay fast break layup. Faried may not be the highest IQ defender out there, but he deserves some real credit this season for putting in effort on that end more than he has in the past.
8:55 – First Faried, now Gallo whacked in the face and needing work. Who’s next?
8:55 – Marquese Chriss looks like he’s about 14 or 15.
7:49 – Another steal by Faried when he doubles PJ Tucker. Well played.
6:33 – Nurk gets switched onto Brandon Knight who pretty much freezes him at the perimeter and nails the jumper.
6:08 – Gallo with the corner 3, which is great to see. So far this season, 28% of his 3-point attempts (16/57) have been from the corner, a big increase from 12.7% (30/236) last season. This is a trend that really should continue, I’d love to see Gallo taking more corner 3s, and with Mudiay’s ability to penetrate and make cross-court passes, running hammer plays to get Gallo open looks from the corner makes all the sense in the world. In this case, the broadcast cut in late, just in time to see Gallo shoot, so I didn’t see how the play unfolded, but it was run off the inbound after a Phoenix out of bounds.
3:12 – Wilson with some great body control as he drives in off the Jokic screen and draws contact for the and-1. How much better he just looks physically compared to 2014-15 is pretty remarkable, and he’s such a better player for it.
2:44 – Nurkic with a nice little celebration off the bench after Jameer nails a 3. Good to see his head space there.
11:20 – Murray knocks in a 3 at the shot clock buzzer. Have a feeling we’ll be seeing many more of those.
11:02 – Nice feed from Chandler at the arc to Jokic inside on the fast break. Great example of making the most of bigs who can run the floor.
8:14 – Once again, Wilson Chandler with some really nice control on the drive, changed gears a couple times to get the defense off balance, finished with a fadeaway a couple feet out and drew the foul.
7:41 – Okay, Mudiay technically had no turnovers in this game, but that kind of gets an asterisk here Nurkic miraculously recovered the ball after bobbling it around for a few seconds on a pretty bad pass.
7:18 – Murray’s block looked clean to me. Booker misses his first free throw. Ball don’t lie.
7:00 – Love Gallo’s toughness. After putting a spin move on Booker from the post, runs right into Tyson Chandler but pretty much forces the shot right through him for the and-1.
6:36 – Wilson nails the 3. He can just do a little of everything in this game… or pretty much, this season.
6:18 – Nurk with a GREAT defensive possession inside, including a big block and recovery of the rebound without stepping out of bounds.
5:04 – Altitude stats music sounds like a cheap rip-off of Josie by Steely Dan.
4:07 – Great sequence here by Jameer, who’s having a really good game. Hits the mid-range jumper off the Faried screen, then recovers defensively quickly enough to draw the offensive foul on Bledsoe.
1:10 – Chandler for 3. Marlowe said he thought it might be the best half of Wilson’s career, and I think he may just be right.
9:28 – Booker nails a wide open 3. The Suns haven’t made all of them, but they’ve been doing a great job of using screens and ball movement (and conversely, Denver has been doing a shoddy job on rotations and fighting through screens) to create open looks at the arc on pretty much every possession.
8:28 – Is it just me, or has Malone aged like four years in one year? It’s almost as if coaching the Nuggets is as stressful as being president.
8:15 – Mudiay drives in, gets the ball stripped Suns get out on the fast break and Gallo strips the ball on the other end. I’m officially calling bullshit on Mudiay having no turnovers in this game. That was clearly a turnover.
6:47 – When Jokic is on the perimeter, the Nuggets really need to implement a different defensive scheme than switching on every screen. The Suns are really exploiting this, knowing the guard will get Jokic switched onto him, which pretty much gives him a clear path to the basket.
3:50 – Jokic, after getting the ball at the elbow, screens and gives it off to Murray, who in turn feeds it back to him right at the rim for an easy dunk with a crafty little bounce pass. Seems like there could be some potential for some good chemistry between those two.
1:19 – Continuation calls (or in this case lack thereof) are so damn inconsistent, and pretty much just up to the whim of the refs.
1:19 – Alonzo Gee makes his Nuggets re-entrance.
10:40 – Great dish out from Wilson to Juancho for a big 3 to stop the bleeding after a little Phoenix run. If Hernangomez develops to the point where the Nuggets can count on him to do that reliably, it’ll be so huge.
9:33 – Great drive by Jameer across through the lane to wrap his shot around the far side of the hoop. His scoring versatility is going to be so valuable to this Nuggets team going forward.
8:16 – Mudiay dribbles it along the baseline and gets bogged down around the low post, great cut by Jameer to bail him out with the easy layup.
6:58 – The Mudiay-Jameer-Gallo-Chandler-Faried (and no center) lineup is sputtering out on both ends of the court.
5:20 – Wild sequence as Faried gets the steal, dives for the ball, somehow gets it to Chandler who arcs a long pass to Mudiay, who manages to fling up the layup as he gets fouled. And-1, sinks the free throw. Big play, after the Suns cut the lead to 7, Denver extends it back to 10.
4:59 – Jared Dudley is such an incessant whiner. I think he just cracked my top 5 least favorite players list.
4:39 – Faried sinks both free throws after a dumb Len foul. After this game, Faried is 33/46 (.717) on free throws, up from .647 through first 5 seasons. Let’s hope he’s made some genuine improvement and this isn’t just a fluke that will see him soon regress.
1:20 – Nifty little backhand pass from Gallo to Faried. They’re just having fun now.
0:24 – Murray unconsciously hits a turnaround stepback 3 with time running out. Someday, he’ll probably be the guy on the Nuggets who they get the ball to for the last shot of the game.
0:17 – Booker just got ejected. Hastings complaining about him having an arrogance on the court he doesn’t need, but I’d actually call it confidence and I kind of wish more Nuggets players (cough, cough, Mudiay) carried themselves with the same self-assuredness.
00:00 – A great and much-needed home win for the Nuggets against a team that the conventional wisdom had doing better than them this season. A lot of this may be attributable to inexperience, but it’s still amazing to me how Jekyll and Hyde this team can be. But when things click, and they have more than one player in the groove like tonight, they can be pretty damn good.