Report: George Karl wary of playing Faried and McGee together down the stretch
George Karl wary of playing Faried and McGee together down the stretch
The Nuggets struggled offensively in Thursday nightís loss to the Heat, but one player who didnít seem to have trouble scoring for Denver was JaVale McGee. Yet he was curiously absent from the floor in crunch time, where his team needed offensive production the most.
McGee was 9-of-12 from the field on the night, and finished with 18 points in just over 21 minutes of action. He also grabbed six rebounds and blocked four shots in his limited chance, so it would seem logical that when a player has it going on both ends of the floor like that, you find a way to get him into the lineup.
But McGee sat the final 7:39 of the fourth quarter, a decision that George Karl said it was fair to second-guess afterward.
ďThatís fair to second-guess,Ē Karl said after the game, ďI just donít feel comfortable playing JaVale and Kenneth Faried in defensive schemes (down the stretch), I think we make too many mistakes. I thought JaVale played great and when I took him out (with 7:39 left), I was initially thinking about putting him back in the game (OH, WERE YA THINKIN, GEORGE? ). But the matchups for me, I was choosing between Kenneth and JaVale, and I went with Kenneth.Ē
Faried and McGee were together for just nine total minutes on the court in this one, but their lineups were a combined +11 during that time. So why not give them some more run, especially with Danilo Gallinari struggling with his shot, and with the team so desperately in need of some reliable scoring options?
Karl said in Phoenix earlier this week that heís still experimenting with lineups, and that itíll be 20-30 games into the season before he has an idea of which combinations will work best in specific situations.
GK went away from the only lineup that kept us in that game and went back to the thing that put us in a hole every time he used it (small ball). Given the situation it actually made no sense. Failure to adapt.
Every time McGee was inserted into the game (already down by a dozen) then the Nuggets would go on a run and get to within 1 or 2 points of the Heat. Then he'd be taken out and the Heat would again drive up a lead on us. Happened every single time.
Early in the 4th the Nuggets made yet another run with McGee on the floor, getting to within 1 point of the Heat again before McGee was again pulled out with 8 minutes remaining and benched the rest of the game. The rest is history.
McGee's +/- was excellent (+14). Higher (by far) than any other Nugget.
Yeah, so George always has his reasons, but his logic is highly questionable. It was obvious what was working vs the Heat and what wasn't (small ball), but in the end the coach went with what obviously hadn't worked all night. He went with the thing that gave us the least chance of winning the game.
I've always supported George Karl as the Nuggets coach, but this season something's getting in the way.
Has the game finally passed him by? Is it his ego that's getting in the way?
He's not getting the best out of this team. He didn't arrive here yesterday, and it should not take as he said 30 games into the season before he gets "an idea" of who to play together given a particular game-time situation.
Karl is so concerned with the spacing the opposing offense brings that he just shutters to think of the option of putting McGee and Faried together to close a game.
To his credit- anytime Faried and McGee have to guard away from the bucket...it's a pretty poor sight to see. Faried just can not stay with his guy on the corner and McGee likes to do crazy things away from the bucket.
But here's the thing, his lineups he is using right now is not doing all that better.
If you're not going to use Faried and McGee to close it out....then use them to start it off.
McGee can't just be getting 20 minutes a game when he is playing well. In the past, Karl used incredibly small lineups to close out games (that didn't work) because that particular lineup "helped them get back into the game."
But when the lineup involves a big....his mentality changes.
yea but we can't really say he doesn't motivate or shows the passion anymore. He certainly doesn't do it during the game (at times) but we don't know that for sure obviously.
During the Miami game it was hard to have both Faried/Mcgee out there because Battier did spread the floor. However, during other games in which you could play both he doesn't. The biggest problem is that by not playing them late in games will only hurt the team in the playoffs. These guys are the future and they must learn from their mistakes so they DO NOT make them when it really counts.