Mar 10, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Jon Leuer (30) defends against Denver Nuggets forward Will Barton (5) in the second quarter at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Article continues below ...
The Denver Nuggets finally found the winning formula in tonight’s win against the Suns.
The Nuggets snapped a four-game losing streak tonight with a resounding 120-104 win over the Phoenix Suns. This win was hopefully one that kickstarts their season as it was their first home win to start a four game home stand.
Now 4-7, the Denver Nuggets have three more critical games all in front of their home fans which could propel them to a nice 7-7 record before hitting the road again. This win streak is almost a must in order to keep their playoff dreams alive.
Many Nuggets players contributed as the team showed flashes of their future potential throughout the game. However, the big story tonight was the outstanding double- double that Wilson Chandler posted.
He and Kenneth Faried stepped up and helped shoulder the load as the team and made the Nuggets fan-base rest easy for a bit and take their hand off the panic button.
Want your voice heard? Join the Nugg Love team!
Many players played well, but we will focus on the players who played the best in tonight’s win.
Oct 16, 2016; Portland, OR, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler (21) shoots against the Portland Trail Blazers during the first quarter at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports
Wilson Chandler had what may be the best game by a Denver player so far this season. He posted a double-double scoring 28 points and grabbing 11 boards.
Of course everyone knows about his defensive prowess as he stole the ball once, but what is being massively overlooked is the 5 assists. This is a great total for someone who plays on the wing.
The other bright spot of this passing display is that it shows the Nuggets may finally be turning over a new leaf after being one of, if not the worst passing teams in the league.
This is has actually been going on all year. Chandler has the most points per game besides Barton and Gallinari. His success hinges upon the minutes he gets and who Mike Malone plays with him. His 23.9% usage rate is also a nice reminder of how he impacts the game since he is only behind starting point guard Emmanuel Mudiay.
Chandler seems to be fitting his role off the bench perfectly and if he continues playing like this, then he will soon be in the running for Sixth Man of the Year.
Oct 21, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried (35) reacts after a play in the third quarter against the Dallas Mavericks at the Pepsi Center. The Nuggets won 101-75. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Kenneth Faried- A
Faried may be inconsistent, but he silently posted a monster double-double tonight which was overshadowed by Chandler’s great performance.
Nevertheless, he was surprisingly effective on defense which is normally where he is taken advantage of by opposing big men.
Outside of just his play, Faried has personally taken coming off of the bench as a wake up call.
Kenneth Faried on starting again: That's my spot. I didn't take too kindly to [coming off the bench] it was kind of a wake up call.
Faried posted 4 steals and a block to go along with a differential of 18. In addition he shot 80% from the free throw line. Faried is starting to build more trust with coach Malone as he was able to play most of the fourth quarter and help seal the game. The animal’s presence on this team will be key moving forward and more games like this against better competition will be key.
Faried and Chandler ignited the Nuggets tonight to a win against a struggling Phoenix Suns team.
Mar 10, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) guards Denver Nuggets guard Emmanuel Mudiay (0) in the second quarter at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
We have been rather critical of Mudiay lately, however he bounced back with a solid game tonight.
The one thing fans have been crucifying him for all year is turnovers and he was able to finish the game without any tonight. This is a promising sign for the growing point guard.A point guard who had people concerned he was on the verge of being a bust.
This game may have been a turning point for him and will hopefully boost his confidence going forward. While he may have only shot 41% from the field, one can easily forgive this statistic in light of the fact that he had 6 assists, which is virtually double his season average.
Virtually everyone knows that Mudiay can score.
However, if he can start averaging around 5 or 6 assists per game, then he will take the game to the next level.
Nov 12, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari (8) reacts during the second half against the Detroit Pistons at Pepsi Center. The Pistons won 106-95. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Gallinari has been one of Denver’s most consistent scoring threats this season. The good news is he has been injury free thus far, though it is still early.
In tonight’s game against the Suns, Gallinari had yet another 18 point game. This is consistent with his productivity.
In addition, he had the second best differential on the Nuggets squad, tonight behind Mudiay who had a total of 24 (Gallinari’s was 21).
What is really impressive is his ability to get to the line and convert. He went to the stripe 9 times tonight and converted all 9 of his free throws.
While Nurkic and Chandler have been lighting it up for the Nuggets this year, Gallinari has silently been one of Denver’s most reliable players so far.
Nov 5, 2016; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Jameer Nelson (1) drives the ball to the basket during the second quarter against the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Leon Halip-USA TODAY Sports
Nelson certainly has had his woes on defense, but he showed he can make up for it a bit on the offensive end.
In tonight’s game he shot 66.7% from the field and put up 17 points.
He impressively proved that he was able to control the tempo at times. His assist totals still need to improve, which is ironic since he also leads the team in assists.