Andre Miller once said that he loves facing his former teams, it gives him a little more motivation. And Wednesday night, he was at his best as the Nuggets dealt the Philadelphia 76ers their first home loss of the season.
Miller scored a season-best 28 points and added 11 assists as he practically carried the Nuggets by the Sixers. He scored the Nuggets final 10 points of the regulation, including driving by his former teammate Andre Iguodala to put the Nuggets up by one with seven seconds left in regulation.
In overtime he hit back-to-back jumpers to give the Nuggets the lead for good and to get his own personal vengeance.
After the game, Miller wasn’t shy about his feelings,
They were looking at me as another older point guard. “Holiday will be here for a long time.
- Nene has officially shaken off the rust and has been on a roll over the last four games, but Wednesday was arguably his best game of the season. He went for 20 points and 12 rebounds for his second double-double of the season. Over the previous four games, Nene has averaged 17.3 points and 10.3 rebounds.
- Arron Afflalo scored a quiet 14 points and while he was still pressing in this game it seemed he let the game come to him in overtime. He worked off of his teammates and had four points in the extra periods. Afflalo is at his best working off the ball and is a great catch and shoot player. However, this year he has been trying to do too much with the ball in his hands.
- Ty Lawson has been in a slump shooting the ball since the Miami Heat game. His shots aren’t dropping and he hasn’t been as aggressive over the last three games. He has only made 15 of 42 shots and 6 of 8 from the free throw line. He also has had nine turnovers during the span.
- Danilo Gallinari was practically a no-show in Wednesday’s contest. He only shot the ball three times in 33 minutes and in the fourth quarter he was quick to pass the ball off to his teammates instead of shooting it. And while it worked against Philadelphia, it won’t work in the long run. For this Nuggets team to work, Gallinari has to be the guy who wants the ball down the stretch. He has to develop the go-to-guy mentality.
- The more minutes Chris Andersen gets the worst he looks. He did score eight points and grabbed three rebounds, but the box score did little to show Andersen’s struggles on the floor. He fouled out after playing 15 minutes, blew a fast break and in the second quarter instead of playing smart basketball Andersen jacked up an ugly 17-foot jumper. It seems Andersen’s athleticism has regressed over the last year, his confidence is shot, he no longer has the energy he used to have and team’s now have the scouting report on him.
Fans are wondering at what point will Karl bench Andersen, who seems to hurt the team more than help it when he is on the floor. This is very similar situation to the 2009 season when Karl stuck with Linas Kleiza instead of giving Dahntay Jones, J.R. Smith or Renaldo Balkman minutes. One reasoning for that was that Karl was worried about Kleiza’s confidence and he felt Kleiza’s versatility would help later in the season. That could be the reason why Karl is staying with Andersen, but truth be told Andersen is past his prime and needs to either adjust his game or be a good 12th man.
The Nuggets have now started their road trip 2-0, beating two teams, who formerly were undefeated. Up next is the Washington Wizards, who knocked off the Oklahoma City Thunder to get their second win.
Topics: Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Arron Afflalo, Chris Andersen, Dahntay Jones, Danilo Gallinari, Denver Nuggets, George Karl, J.R. Smith, JR Smith, Linas Kleiza, Miami Heat, Nene, Oklahoma City Thunder, Philadelphia 76ers, Renaldo Balkman, Ty Lawson