Tuesday, November 20, 2012
The Feed: Denver Nuggets vs. Memphis Grizzlies [11/19/12]
The Denver Nuggets edged out the Memphis Grizzlies for a 97 to 92 victory that snapped Memphis's 8 game winning streak. The Grizzlies that lived in the paint and grabbed every single rebound just got outworked by the Nuggets. They gave up 50 points in the paint and allowed Denver to grab 47 boards, 21 of which were offensive. Where as Memphis only had 12 offensive rebounds of their total 33.
The Nuggets defense held the Grizzlies starting front court to only 28 points. Zach Randolph (12 points (6 of 15 shooting) and 13 rebounds) didn't even get to the free throw line once and his partner, Marc Gasol (16 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists) was not given enough touches (only 7 shots attempted).
Despite the early season struggles, Danilo Gallinari finally found his shooting stroke today, leading his team with a game high 26 points and 5 rebounds. Javale McGee added 15 points and 8 rebounds off the bench. Denver's second unit combined for 34 points, outscoring the opposing bench by 11.
Down in the first half, the Grizzlies fought back with a 11-2 run that re-inserted themselves back into the game. However, in the final minutes of play, they suffered a drought, and allowed the Nuggets to end the game on a 8-0 run. Memphis had an opportunity to take the lead in less than a minute to play. In a 1 point deficit, Rudy Gay was forced into a bad pass by Andre Iguodala. The costly turnover turned into a game sealing three pointer on the other end by Gallinari.
Memphis failed to consistently post up their big guys, if they don't get 20 points from at least one big, they are unlikely to win. The usual open shot from a kick out in the post just didn't fall. Their bench have finally returned to Earth, and the spectacular three point shooting in the 8 game winning streak crumbled. They did score 29 points on the Nuggets' 17 turnovers.
Denver survived off the charity stripe, hitting 20 of their 28 attempts. Gallo was aggressive to the basket and earned 10 points off the line. The offensive rebounding led to quite a bit of points. When this team pushes the tempo, they are at their best. In the half court, only Andre Miller can find something, Ty Lawson could not help his team on offense in any way.
Kenneth Faried's overall activity on both ends on the floor is amazing, he never stops moving, has great ball awareness and is the only person that can go toe to toe with Zach Randolph in rebounds.
The Grizzlies transition defense was awful, they allowed easy layups and scrambled to find their defender. Although Ty Lawson did not do much damage, he got to weave inside paint without any pressure. The lack of boxing out is very unlike this Grizzlies team, 21 offensive rebounds for the Nuggets is just unacceptable.
The Nuggets did a great job of collapsing on the Memphis front court, if it wasn't for the terrible perimeter shooting from the Grizzlies, they might not have pulled out with the victory. Kosta Koufos is a solid post defender, and Javale McGee was there to help.
George Karl tinkered with his line-ups during the game, defensively McGee and Koufos was the best. It was weird when he inserted his small line up that included neither of the above players, but he realized it early and made the substitution.