A Forgettable Ending

On a day when Carmelo Anthony gave the Denver Nuggets an assist in the MeloDrama, the Nuggets couldn’t didn’t return the favors.

Instead Anthony got to witness as Nene, who hadn’t miss all night, attempted an off-balance fadeaway jumper as time expired. Not a play that gives a shining light to the Nuggets future as they return home today on a two-game losing streak to face Dallas and then travel to Memphis to face the much-improved Grizzlies on Sunday.

While Melo wasn’t throwing his team under the bus after the game, one has to wonder if this ate at him as his team suffered another painful loss in a game that didn’t resemble much defense.

It was a very questionable way to end a game, especially with the Nuggets having a timeout and the Golden State Warriors not showing any hints of stopping the Nuggets offense – not to mention Melo’s ability to score in those situations.

Outside of that play the Nuggets could do little wrong on offense:

  • Nene finished the game with 17 points, including converting on five 3-point plays
  • Al Harrington scored 18 points under the bench and was more efficient than usual inside the arc
  • JR Smith finished with 16 points and six assists
  • Anthony was practically unstoppable, scoring 37 points on 11 of 21 shooting

The only downfall was turnovers were working against the Nuggets the entire game. Kenyon Martin, who also missed two questionable shots to start the game, was called for traveling and then an offensive foul which led three points going the other way.

The Nuggets as a team had 18 turnovers which led to 26 points, including six turnovers that led to nine points in the third quarter.

GRADES

  • Nene  B+, The Brazilian center was more aggressive than he has been recently and took advantage of Andris Biedrins more than couple times in the paint.
  • Kenyon Martin  D, Martin has really struggled since returning from injuries and got himself in trouble a few times offensively. He had four turnovers that led to five Warriors points and two of misses led to a pair of baskets going the other way. His play may have been a reason Karl held him out of the game in the fourth quarter.
  • Carmelo Anthony  B, Melo has been nearly unstoppable the previous two games, shooting almost 60 percent from the field. He also has blocked five shots in the last two games, including a LeBron-esque block on Dorell Wright’s shot. Anthony did show little effort in stopping Dorell Wright though on defense.
  • Arron Afflalo  B-, Afflalo was one of the few players in the game that showed hustle on defense, diving for a steal in the third and battling to grab six rebounds in the game. While he struggled to stop Monta Ellis, there are few in the NBA that could shut Ellis down Wednesday night.
  • Ty Lawson  C+, Lawson, who was filling in for the injured Chauncey Billups, did show his youth with the last second play, but he did battle for seven boards and pushed the ball most of the night. He still struggles with his leadership skills and deferring to Anthony or Martin.
  • Chris Andersen  C, It’s hard to give Birdman a grade, because he was just average once again. His energy has been missing as he too struggles with an energy.
  • Al Harrington B, Harrington tends play well against his former squads and that didn’t change Wednesday. He chipped in eight boards to go with 18 points, but he was one of the main culprits for the Nuggets bad defense too.
  • Gary Forbes B+, Forbes may have only played eight minutes, but it was a meaningful eight minutes. He nailed a 3, attempted to guarded Ellis and found JR Smith for a three.
  • Smith B-, Smith has really come into his own the last few games and put together a solid all-around game (16 points, seven rebounds and six assists) and it’s hard to fault him for not calling a time out or finding Anthony in the closing seconds of the game.
  • Anthony Carter B, AC is the energizer bunny and at 36 he still doesn’t stop. While he still isn’t the ideal backup point guard he does make things happen. He played physical defense on Ellis and played hard the entire time he was on the floor.
  • Karl C, while Coach Karl was trying to give some of his players (Anthony, Martin and Nene) a rest in a back-to-back situation. You still have to question his call to close out the game, it is only a good call if the Nuggets score the basket.

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Tags: Al Harrington Anthony Carter Arron Afflalo Carmelo Anthony Chauncey Billups Chris Andersen Denver Nuggets Gary Forbes George Karl Golden State Warriors J.R. Smith JR Smith Kenyon Martin Melo Nene Ty Lawson

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