Nuggets Considering Lineup Changes


DENVER – Coach George Karl, noting his team did not play with the necessary energy in Game 2, strongly indicated Wednesday the Nuggets will make one lineup change and possibly two when the series with the Warriors resumes Friday in Oakland.

Karl is “definitely thinking” about putting Kenneth Faried, who came off the bench Tuesday in his return from a sprained ankle, back in the opening lineup. It is a especially predictable move with the two days off before Game 3 giving Faried additional time to regain his stamina.

But the Nuggets are also weighing the possibility of benching center Kosta Koufos after his Game 2 of two rebounds, two fouls and zero points in 14 minutes.

Asked after Wednesday’s practice at the Pepsi Center how strongly he was considering the change at center in addition to the expected move with Faried at power forward, Karl said, “Probably enough to bet on it in Vegas.”

The Nuggets have several options to replace Koufos. They could promote JaVale McGee – Karl likes him with the second unit – or reach deeper into the bench for Timofey Mozgov. Or they could put Faried at center and hope his relentless energy compensates for giving up four inches to Golden State’s Andrew Bogut and keep Wilson Chandler at power forward.

No matter what, Karl wants to see increased energy in the wake of the 131-117 loss that tied the best-of-seven series at 1-1 with the next two games at Oracle Arena.

“What I told the team, I thought we played a regular-season game in a playoff intensity,” he said. “I think we’ll learn. We’ll learn that desperate teams are dangerous and desperate teams that shoot the hell out of the ball are really dangerous. I think we’re OK. I think we’re fine. I never thought this was going to be anything except a close series. Every game we’ve played has basically been a fourth-quarter (outcome) or a very small differential. The process depends on the momentum of the series. It changes back and forth. Now it’s our turn to change the momentum back when we go to Golden State.”

So why didn’t the Nuggets bring the proper energy?

“It’s not the proper energy,” Karl said. “I think we played hard. We just didn’t play playoff hard. There’s a difference. Desperation, urgent teams, it happens all the time. Chicago outworked Brooklyn the other night. I think we’ll learn our lesson and it won’t happen again.”


  1. Pat says:

    Sounds to me like the nuggets should just pack it all in and call it a season, apparently they have no chance

  2. cdubb says:

    This series is a chess match. And it just happens mark Jackson is winning it. Let’s look at game 1. The warriors were getting use to the altitude and had a weak first half. Then got their legs for the second half. They dominated the rest of the game but came up one basket short. Now game 2 they were ready from the opening tip and didn’t let up. Game 3 they don’t worry about altitude and have the oracle fans to help.

  3. Warriors Fan! says:

    First of all, don’t panic! Denver didn’t become the 3 seed by accident. Second, keep the pressure on Curry. Third, create fast break opportunities, that’s what makes Denver hard to beat and that begins with disruption on the defensive end. Somehow, Denver lost it’s defensive edge in that game, they’ll need to get that back in game 3. And lastly, when Denver can’t get out and run, the Warriors still can’t seem to stop Andre Miller in the half court sets. I still don’t know why, the guy doesn’t even get off the ground. He just okie-dokes the Warriors all night long. That’s my take from the other side. Go Warriors!

  4. JaValeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!! the G.O.A.T. HANDS DOWN.

  5. Denzo says:

    McGee is not a beast. He is when he does a highlight block.. but he is the same guy that will peg the ball into the stands by mistake..

  6. wooderson says:

    oh as a warriors fan i say please put faried at centre, andrew will eat him alive! nuggets no answer for bogut right now, mcgee can do random good things among his array of idiotic activity but the worrying thing for the nuggets is that bogut hasnt even tried to get his offensive game going and if the warriors decide to throw it down to him every possession who is going to stop him? warriors are not just a one trick pony with the shooting of klay and steph. bogut can have his way with this series if he can play 40 mins a night

  7. DubFan says:

    I find the comments by Nuggets fans pretty interesting. They all sound like the comments they were making after game 1. The game they barely won. Now they are still talking the same way after the blowout in game 2. Reminds me a lot of the comments from Mavs fans during the We Believe series. As a Warrior fan, I’m not going to make some crazy prediction that the Warriors will win the series by game 5. I know well enough that the Nuggets are a pretty tough team, and that the series will be tight the whole way. Nuggets fans though should show some humility. Your team just got ran off of your own court. There’s a reason that happened, and it’s not just because your team played badly. Your team’s opponent also had something to do with why the first game was so close and that the Nuggets got beat soundly in game 2.

    • Daniel William says:

      Yeah this series isnt going to end in 5 bt it will end in 6, with the nuggets. You cant tell me the warriors are going to soot 65% from the field again..come on. Curry will still get his 20 but the rest of the team wont and i gaurantue that jufos wont have another horrible game like that this series

  8. s31b says:

    Starting lineup of
    G Ty Lawson
    G Wilson Chandler
    F Andre Igoudala
    F Kenneth Farried
    C JaVale McGee

    Start McGee, McGee is a BEAST!

  9. Spire says:

    mcgee, faried, chandler, andre, lawsone…this lineup is the best from what i see. fournier and andre miller and koufos can come off the bench along with brewer. thats all that is needed.

  10. Gary Payton says:

    Nuggets will take it, great coaches make changes and win!

  11. Frodo says:

    Guess its gonna be a series.

    • deegee says:

      Its tricky nuggets find it hard to accommodate returning player than lose him in first place.
      Golden state state’s burst yesterday sapped them of all their energy and add curries foot twist to it ……this series is for nuggets to lose …..nuggets and championship winng pistons(ben,wall,rip,tyshaun,chansey) look ominously similiar in their
      execution atleast in playoffs ……
      wish the nugggets could grow as the pistons did and win the championship.

  12. TWizz says:

    Karl needs to start Faried. The starting lineup of Lawson, Iggy, Fournier, Faried, and Koufus is fine.

    Stop with the small lineups. Miller and Lawson should never be in the game at the same time. They just do not work well together. Lawson is already short, so PGs/SGs can shoot over him. Miller’s defense is suspect, and gives 3 point shooters wide open shots all the time. Some teams you just cannot match up small with, and Warriors are one of those teams, as they proved yesterday.

    Yesterday’s game: Mozgov – DNP, McGee – 14 minutes, Koufus, 13 minutes. But you complain about them not having enough rebounds, etc? What was the small lineup doing in the 4th quarter? Giving up rebound after rebound, dunk after dunk. Utilize your big men. That’s what they are there for.

    • I agree with you TWizz on utilizing the bigs, but I don’t agree with you saying that miller and lawson should never be on the floor together. Lawson is a very speedy point guard, and in case he’s not working, move miller to the point and since he’s a veteran point guard, have him run the show and settle the team down.

  13. NBA1 says:


  14. longwayback says:

    if the nuggets start faried and mcgee the warriors and bogut are gonna be flat out keeping them off the boards. i don’t like the lawson/curry matchup. i think u gotta put someone bigger and stronger on him. the nuggets d will b better and the warriors won’t all collectively shoot like that again. makes for a good series. nuggets in 7