RECAP: Nuggets 109, Hawks 107

Cole Patty —  November 8, 2013


DEN(1-3) 109 – 107 (2-3)ATL

Key Performers:
P. Millsap (ATL): 29 pts, 10 reb, 5 ast, 2 stls
T. Lawson (DEN): 23 pts, 7 reb, 8 ast

Even though it is still in early November, this is a game that hurts. The Nuggets are a struggling team going under a coaching change of their own, and shouldn’t really be fighting for a playoff spot this season. In order to alleviate some of the growing pains that Atlanta is suffering with figuring out the new system and the rotations, these are the teams that they will be required to beat. It didn’t happen however, and poor perimeter defense is a huge part of it. Denver shot 14-for-25 from three, and Ty Lawson was devastating in the second half. This has seemed to be a recurring issue with the team, and hopefully they will figure things out on the outside on that end soon.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Al Horford: Al took advantage of the nice matchup he got with the Nuggets’ frontcourt. He finished with a line of 21 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 blocks. Was it a little disheartening that it took him 21 shots to get to those 21 points? Sure, but he also only shot one free throw despite playing inside a decent amount. His last shot of the game also could have been kicked out to Korver, but he was still solid on both ends despite those two critiques. 8/10

Paul Millsap: Millsap also took advantage of Denver’s frontcourt and he did so in a big, big way. Paul’s statline is above, but he was also 10-for-15 from the field and a solid 2-for-3 from deep. Everything that Millsap seemingly shot for a long period of the game was finding net, and he seemed to always grab his rebounds through traffic. Interesting to note that he missed split his late free throw and missed a late shot after going down with some sort of knee pain. One has to wonder if that affected how he finished, but regardless, he was stellar all night. 10/10

DeMarre Carroll: DeMarre had another tough night from deep, but finally found the bottom of the net with a right corner three in the third quarter. Still, he took another four tonight after taking four against the Kings, and if he can’t make more than one out of eight he probably should cool it on the deep ball. His cuts, however, were solid, and he gave Denver’s defense problems with his off-ball movement. Defensively, Carroll wasn’t the issue. He also wasn’t really a solution either, and needs to take a step up on that side of the court. 4/10

Jeff Teague: Offensively, Jeff keeps putting in strong nights as a play-maker. He had another 11 assists tonight, and seems to like what Bud has been giving him as a passer. Scoring wise, Jeff had more downs than ups. He was avoiding contact with JaVale McGee tonight, and kept trying to float the ball over the top ineffectively. He also got completely torched defensively by Lawson, and really needs to play to higher level when the guy across from him is so good. He also can’t be slow up and down the court like he was tonight, Denver air or not. 2/10

Kyle Korver: Kyle was the best perimeter player on the Hawks at both ends. He was efficient scoring, going 6-10 and 2-4 from deep. He also was clearly the best defensive perimeter player, as he didn’t look as lost off the ball as others did tonight. Adding in two steals and two blocks helps too. 7/10

Shelvin Mack: With Dennis Schröder out with a one game suspension, Mack was asked to step up in his place. In the first half, the team looked like it really missed the rookie. With Mack going 0-for-3 right out of the gate and seemingly lost on defense like the rest of point guards and wings. In the second half he seemed more settled, and would have had the biggest play of the night of the night with his 27-foot three pointer at the end of the shot clock. Alas, Ty Lawson’s ridiculousness out-shined Mack’s and rightfully so. 4/10

Mike Scott: He only got six minutes of PT. Meh. INC/10

Cartier Martin: Cartier was playing really strongly for the Hawks coming in to tonight, but the wheels really came off in Denver. He had a doughnut in the points department after going 0-7 from the field. He also wasn’t strong defensively, with attempting to take a charge while in the restricted circle punctuating his night defensively. Martin shouldn’t have a worse game than this one however, as most of the shots he took were ones he was making all year. Shot selection is vital for the role he is filling while Lou Williams is out. 3/10

Pero Antic: Pero was actually good in all facets of the game. Off the glass, he has some solid box-outs. He scored the ball well when called upon. He even had two blocks and a nifty pass. The stat-line won’t impress people who look at the box score in the morning, but there wasn’t much more you could ask of Antic in his role. 5/10

Jared Cunningham: Why is he in the rotation over Jenkins? Even if he only played four minutes, I think Jenkins should be getting those minutes before Jared. INC/10

Mike Budenholzer: Offensively, you have to enjoy what Bud is doing. Calling up Korver’s curls off screens and this nifty tic-tac-toe play for DeMarre is offensive creativity at it’s finest. On that side of the ball, there haven’t been too many complaints. Defensively it has been a different story. On the inside, there hasn’t been much of a problem and that showed against Sacramento. On the outside, it is a huge problem. The moment dribble penetration is achieved, Atlanta looks like a wayward heard of animals moving with no rhyme or reason. Maybe Josh’s perimeter defensive presence being gone has left a bigger hole in their perimeter defense’s identity than one would have though initially. Either way it seems like a large problem. 6/10

The opposition: Ty Lawson showed why he is a bargain at $10.79 million this year. JaVale McGee also picked his spots quite well in this one, scoring 13 points on mostly dunks. Give credit where credit is due on the threes, too. Sure, Atlanta giving them that kind of room helped a lot, but they needed to knock them down at the high rate they did to win tonight. They did and got the win because of it. 8/10


Next: Atlanta vs Orlando, Saturday, November 9th

Cole Patty


3 responses to RECAP: Nuggets 109, Hawks 107

  1. Teague with 14 PTS, 11 AST and a break-even plus minus and you give him 2/10? Dang… I thought I was the hard ass on this blog Cole… haha!

    • I think I influenced this rating a bit… Teague had the numbers, but he was SLOW on both sides of the court tonight. That’s not the pace this team needs from it’s starting point guard.

  2. Agreed this team is extremely reliant on its starters until some people get healthy/unsuspended.