Denver Nuggets seem to never — or hardly ever — do well during the second leg of their back-to-back. Also, their opponent happens to star James Harden who has pretty amazing in his first few games as a Houston Rocket, so predictions were a mixed bag. However, huge games from Kenneth Faried and the tenacious defense from Andre Iguodala gave Denver the edge as they defeated Houston 93-87.
Outside of the third quarter, in which Denver was outscored by 10 points, most of this game was played with urgency — my word for the season — enthusiasm and actually showed some defense, well some anyways. Some may have wanted at least a 10-point win over Houston, but the fact is, Denver did improve in a few areas over the past few games; that’s something I like to see over a blowout.
Once again, outside of that third quarter, it was a nice road win for Denver and thanks to Iguodala and Corey Brewer plays incredible defense on James Harden, it went well.
Bringing back the NBA Mistress Game Ball and that will be shared between Kenneth Faried, Andre Iguodala, and Ty Lawson. Kenneth Faried was amazing with 16 points and 16 rebounds — his third career game with at least 15/15 — and was sensational. This was pure Manimal on 100; he was energetic, cleaning the glass, and was one of the key reasons why Denver was able to win a game. Iguodala accumulated 13 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists, but something the boxscore what reflect is his incredible defense on James Harden. You wanted aggressive Ty Lawson, that’s what you got during this game; he tallied 21 points and 8 assists, and when he attacks, Denver wins.
JaVale McGee had another productive outing with 12 points on 5-for-7 shooting, 6 rebounds during 20 minutes of play. Once again, McGee will not play more than 20 minutes until he is more conditioned. When casual fans noticed his problems with breathing and conditioning during the Miami Heat-Denver Nuggets game, it’s an issue. However, when Denver diehards don’t notice that he has a conditioning issue, that becomes an annoying issue that I have to rehash after every dang game. This isn’t rocket science, folks.
Corey Brewer is officially out of my doghouse; he was incredible efficient and effective during this game. He’s becoming a wizard on defense during most plays as his energy helps him run from player to players on the defensive end. He ended up with 14 points, but once again, it’s what he did on the defensive end that makes him a star during this game.
WHAT ABOUT ANDRE MILLER’s 3/4 COURT LOB TO MANIMAL!!! OH MY GOD!!! Who cares about him not scoring, it’s everything else he did that was PHENOMENAL!! Denver does so well when Miller is quarterbacking the offense and is an open court wizard. Last season, it was documented he would take off on the defensive end, but this season he has exhibited dedication to defending.
Gallo, Gallo, Gallo, what else is there for me to say? Luckily, he cleaned the glass or he would have been rendered useless. He isn’t driving to the basket, but taking horrible three-pointers. Matt Moore noted that when he plays with Andre Iguodala, he’s inefficient, and I for one agree. He has the tools, but haven’t used them.
Denver takes on the Utah Jazz at the Pepsi Center on Friday — the teams have the same record going into the matchup — and should be a better indicator of the Nuggets.