Denver Nuggets (2) vs Minnesota Timberwolves (3) - 2024 WC Second Round

ragnarok725

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 28, 2003
6,565
Somerville MA
In the first two games, they weren't letting Jokic see the ball in the pick and roll game, completely staying home and then helping late on Murray.

KAT got burned like 5 times in the 4th trying to hedge. The moment the pass hits Jokic's hands the Wolves lose that possession. Whether he creates an easy floater for himself or makes an instantaneous pass to put them in heavy rotation, it's just over.

They have to stay home, make Murray finish at the rim or make the pass out himself. KAT has to be more disciplined.
 

TrapperAB

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 25, 2002
3,709
West Hartford, CT
In the first two games, they weren't letting Jokic see the ball in the pick and roll game, completely staying home and then helping late on Murray.

KAT got burned like 5 times in the 4th trying to hedge. The moment the pass hits Jokic's hands the Wolves lose that possession. Whether he creates an easy floater for himself or makes an instantaneous pass to put them in heavy rotation, it's just over.

They have to stay home, make Murray finish at the rim or make the pass out himself. KAT has to be more disciplined.
Great observation.

Of course, if one’s postseason prospects are reliant on KAT being disciplined on D…
 

The Social Chair

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 17, 2010
6,374
Minnesota with Edwards on the floor (45 minutes): +5
Minnesota with Edwards on the bench (3 minutes): -13

That's rough. He had about as dominant an effort as you'll see from a scorer, and Minnesota couldn't get within arms reach in the 4th quarter.
Kyle Anderson with a -18 in 6 minutes is unbelievable.
 

Sam Ray Not

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
8,956
NYC
Can we go back to thinking the Gobert trade was terrible for Minnesota? He's nine years older than Ant, and a marginally better player (of a similar ilk) to Walker Kessler. The Wolves bid against themselves and gave up Kessler plus not one, not two, but five unprotected first round picks, any of which might have been used to pair Ant with a young star (or two) and help turn the Wolves into a legit dynasty.
 

brendan f

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2019
340
Murray should have been suspended for his antics in game 2. The fact that he wasn't changed the entire series, and likely the outcome of the series.
 

benhogan

Granite Truther
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
21,159
Santa Monica
I think Denver scored on every possession he played in the 2Q including a couple of Holiday three’s.
Kyle just had to be on the floor for 25 seconds to be a -8 in Q2.

Hockey assists, deflections, screen assists, hustle stats, etc have more relevance in a 1-game sample size than +/-
 

PedroKsBambino

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 17, 2003
32,697
You really felt Jokic' impact in this one, such a great player. Also a great shooting performance from "playoff Murray"

Interesting that Braun closed rather than Porter - seemed like a wise decision to me, but interesting in the big picture.
 

HomeRunBaker

bet squelcher
SoSH Member
Jan 15, 2004
31,330
You really felt Jokic' impact in this one, such a great player. Also a great shooting performance from "playoff Murray"

Interesting that Braun closed rather than Porter - seemed like a wise decision to me, but interesting in the big picture.
I don't recall if Malone had done this before but last night was the perfect storm and like you say the logical choice to protect a double digit lead. Braun being so effective on both ends coupled with Porter being held on lock down made this seem simple but you never know what happens to Porter's psyche from here....the kid has been through so much the last month with each of this brothers.
 

HomeRunBaker

bet squelcher
SoSH Member
Jan 15, 2004
31,330
Kyle just had to be on the floor for 25 seconds to be a -8 in Q2.

Hockey assists, deflections, screen assists, hustle stats, etc have more relevance in a 1-game sample size than +/-
No doubt. He wasn't even involved in most of the actions that led to points....but +/- ya know. Slo-Mo is always going to "look" like a poor defender as he's positional and not wasted energy. It's funny how fans can criticize Slo-Mo and sometimes even Doncic, for being positionally responsible but if Pat Beverley had those same postional responsibilities and was doing standing jumping jacks we'd be hearing how "active" and "intense" he is. Same job, both fulfilled, two completely different responses from fans.
 

Auger34

used to be tbb
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2010
11,344
No doubt. He wasn't even involved in most of the actions that led to points....but +/- ya know. Slo-Mo is always going to "look" like a poor defender as he's positional and not wasted energy. It's funny how fans can criticize Slo-Mo and sometimes even Doncic, for being positionally responsible but if Pat Beverley had those same postional responsibilities and was doing standing jumping jacks we'd be hearing how "active" and "intense" he is. Same job, both fulfilled, two completely different responses from fans.
Oh boy....I'm not sure any fans are giving Pat Bev credit for that anymore!

(But point taken, I just had to get a swipe in at Pat Bev)
 

PedroKsBambino

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 17, 2003
32,697
I don't recall if Malone had done this before but last night was the perfect storm and like you say the logical choice to protect a double digit lead. Braun being so effective on both ends coupled with Porter being held on lock down made this seem simple but you never know what happens to Porter's psyche from here....the kid has been through so much the last month with each of this brothers.
I am just not a Porter believer - he's a bit like Tobias Harris value-wise in that you can explain and feel ok about the contract and the fit/role but you also are always going to feel like there should be more (realize on-court they are pretty different---just talking value/contract/expectation wise). He's tantalizing as a shooter/scorer in a way Harris never will be , and he also just seems to disappear a lot. Plus lurking back issues.

My guess is they look to move Porter in offseason if they can get value back.
 

radsoxfan

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 9, 2009
14,187
Can we go back to thinking the Gobert trade was terrible for Minnesota? He's nine years older than Ant, and a marginally better player (of a similar ilk) to Walker Kessler. The Wolves bid against themselves and gave up Kessler plus not one, not two, but five unprotected first round picks, any of which might have been used to pair Ant with a young star (or two) and help turn the Wolves into a legit dynasty.
It's amazing how badly he seems to get exposed in the playoffs. Happened multiple times un Utah as well.

I'm not sure I've ever seen someone considered so elite in one aspect of the game (4x DPOY!) that ends up not even being useful in many critical games.
 

radsoxfan

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 9, 2009
14,187
I am just not a Porter believer - he's a bit like Tobias Harris value-wise in that you can explain and feel ok about the contract and the fit/role but you also are always going to feel like there should be more (realize on-court they are pretty different---just talking value/contract/expectation wise). He's tantalizing as a shooter/scorer in a way Harris never will be , and he also just seems to disappear a lot. Plus lurking back issues.

My guess is they look to move Porter in offseason if they can get value back.
Agreed on Porter, I think he lucked into the Jokic sphere of influence.

He obviously has talent but he's also a pretty limited player who I think would have a tough time on most other teams if asked to be a top 2-3 option.
 

Auger34

used to be tbb
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2010
11,344
I am just not a Porter believer - he's a bit like Tobias Harris value-wise in that you can explain and feel ok about the contract and the fit/role but you also are always going to feel like there should be more (realize on-court they are pretty different---just talking value/contract/expectation wise). He's tantalizing as a shooter/scorer in a way Harris never will be , and he also just seems to disappear a lot. Plus lurking back issues.

My guess is they look to move Porter in offseason if they can get value back.
100%. They are going to be paying 4 players a lot of money (Murray, Jokic, Gordon and Porter) and Porter is the most logical candidate to get rid of.

He doesn't really raise the game of any of his teammates and he's not great at any of the "small things" on the court.

The question is, what could they get for him? He's got the injury history and a pretty big contract. I'm not sure who would want him
 

chilidawg

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 22, 2015
6,432
Cultural hub of the universe
You really felt Jokic' impact in this one, such a great player. Also a great shooting performance from "playoff Murray"

Interesting that Braun closed rather than Porter - seemed like a wise decision to me, but interesting in the big picture.
Gordon seemed to me to be the 2nd best player last night for Denver, playmaking like I haven't seen before and making all his shots, offensive rebounding and defending. Just a great all around game. Murray hit some tough shots but doesn't impact the game in all facets like Gordon did last night.
 

HomeRunBaker

bet squelcher
SoSH Member
Jan 15, 2004
31,330
It's amazing how badly he seems to get exposed in the playoffs. Happened multiple times un Utah as well.

I'm not sure I've ever seen someone considered so elite in one aspect of the game (4x DPOY!) that ends up not even being useful in many critical games.
Denver exposes his flaws. Gobert is an elite elite weak side defender and pretty good in iso….but not against Jokic. He’s marginally better than Kornet in this matchup and I’m only half joking.
 

PedroKsBambino

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 17, 2003
32,697
From their scheme, pretty sure Minnesota wouldn't dispute that about Kornet - they work pretty hard to have Gobert not end up one on one with Jokic, and with good reason. KAT and Reid both have better lower body strength and do better vs Jokic.
 

InstaFace

The Ultimate One
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
23,314
Pittsburgh, PA
No doubt. He wasn't even involved in most of the actions that led to points....but +/- ya know. Slo-Mo is always going to "look" like a poor defender as he's positional and not wasted energy. It's funny how fans can criticize Slo-Mo and sometimes even Doncic, for being positionally responsible but if Pat Beverley had those same postional responsibilities and was doing standing jumping jacks we'd be hearing how "active" and "intense" he is. Same job, both fulfilled, two completely different responses from fans.
Yeah people were talking crap about him during halftime for his Q2 appearance, so when he got on the floor again (early 4th?) I kinda watched him for a while and he... seemed like he was doing fine? Was covering people and seemed mostly in-position, was cutting for the ball, seemed to hustle a normal, expected amount.

I dunno maybe there are particular plays he fell asleep on and people can post clips of those, but I don't think he was the problem last night. That game was pretty clearly Towns and Gobert playing like knuckle-draggers the whole night, and the Wolves as a team falling asleep on defense on several occasions.

It's amazing how badly he seems to get exposed in the playoffs. Happened multiple times un Utah as well.

I'm not sure I've ever seen someone considered so elite in one aspect of the game (4x DPOY!) that ends up not even being useful in many critical games.
Gobert had an excellent game 1 on both ends, IIRC. Then was out for Game 2 for the birth of his first baby, and was kinda shit the last two games. The two might be connected.

Or we could go with some narrative about him being "exposed", I suppose.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
35,735
Yeah people were talking crap about him during halftime for his Q2 appearance, so when he got on the floor again (early 4th?) I kinda watched him for a while and he... seemed like he was doing fine? Was covering people and seemed mostly in-position, was cutting for the ball, seemed to hustle a normal, expected amount.
Outside of the blowout game 3 I think Anderson has been unplayable in this series. He's a non-factor on offense so DEN can bring more attention to Ant, and he has nobody he can really cover well in this matchup. The only time all series he's looked playable was when they basically played him at C because Gobert was out. He can't defend any of the perimeter players (or Gordon) consistently, and they don't respect him as a shooter or driver on offense.

Bad matchup for him.

This is a nice example of how they're playing him on offense:
View: https://twitter.com/andrewperloff/status/1787672996796153988
 

InstaFace

The Ultimate One
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
23,314
Pittsburgh, PA
Yeah he's gotta hit those and make them pay.

Course, I've said that about the likes of Al Horford too, lately. Though the similarities kinda end there.

Anderson shot 41% from 3 last year, 34% for his career, and... 23% this season. Something is up with his mechanics or health. But I wouldn't guard him tight on the perimeter either.
 

radsoxfan

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 9, 2009
14,187
Denver exposes his flaws. Gobert is an elite elite weak side defender and pretty good in iso….but not against Jokic. He’s marginally better than Kornet in this matchup and I’m only half joking.
Agreed, but it's not unique to Denver this season.

I don't even remember the opponents, but the something very similar happened to him in the playoffs on Utah (multiple times).

A lot of teams in a 7 game series seem to expose the flaws of the "best" defender in the NBA.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
32,047
Yeah he's gotta hit those and make them pay.

Course, I've said that about the likes of Al Horford too, lately. Though the similarities kinda end there.

Anderson shot 41% from 3 last year, 34% for his career, and... 23% this season. Something is up with his mechanics or health. But I wouldn't guard him tight on the perimeter either.
OTOH, DEN is getting Gordon, who shot 29% from 3P this season, shooting 66.7% (8-12) from 3P this series and Holiday, a career 36.5% from 3P (though shooting 40.4% this season) shooting 62.5% (10-16) from 3P.

Almost seems like the playoff series are being decided by which unguarded player is going to make the most 3Ps.
 

Tony C

Moderator
Moderator
SoSH Member
Apr 13, 2000
13,830
Agreed, but it's not unique to Denver this season.

I don't even remember the opponents, but the something very similar happened to him in the playoffs on Utah (multiple times).

A lot of teams in a 7 game series seem to expose the flaws of the "best" defender in the NBA.
I know there are numbers that back up Rudy as the best defender in the league (+/- with him on/off the court, etc), but it isn't just Jokic who gives him fits. Embiid, AD...any time I see him he's great 1-1 vs okay players and as a help defender, but there's a reason why he's consistently so poor in the playoffs. Add in that he's embarrassingly uncoordinated offensively...
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
35,735
Agreed, but it's not unique to Denver this season.

I don't even remember the opponents, but the something very similar happened to him in the playoffs on Utah (multiple times).

A lot of teams in a 7 game series seem to expose the flaws of the "best" defender in the NBA.
Utah was a weird one, because Gobert took all the blame, but when you watched those games, the real problem was that their guards were some of the worst defenders in the league (and lowest effort), in the regular season they relied on Gobert to clean up everything. In the playoffs teams just put a 3pt shooter at C, went 5 out and said "either we're getting to the rim at will or we get wide open corner 3s.... your choice. Gobert can't score in the post at a rate to punish that the way an Embiid might.
 

slamminsammya

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
10,386
San Francisco
Agreed, but it's not unique to Denver this season.

I don't even remember the opponents, but the something very similar happened to him in the playoffs on Utah (multiple times).

A lot of teams in a 7 game series seem to expose the flaws of the "best" defender in the NBA.
this was the narrative but ben taylor looked at the numbers and gobert’s defensive impact for utah was around what it was for the regular season in terms of +/-. people just decided to spin this yarn because they noticed he got switched out on the corner a couple of times.
 

radsoxfan

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 9, 2009
14,187
Utah was a weird one, because Gobert took all the blame, but when you watched those games, the real problem was that their guards were some of the worst defenders in the league (and lowest effort), in the regular season they relied on Gobert to clean up everything. In the playoffs teams just put a 3pt shooter at C, went 5 out and said "either we're getting to the rim at will or we get wide open corner 3s.... your choice. Gobert can't score in the post at a rate to punish that the way an Embiid might.
His playoff D rating numbers are bad over multiple seasons, much worse than regular season with the same supporting cast.

It seems like at minimum, teams with an elite big or teams that can play 5 shooters give him trouble.

I guess he is an elite defender in the regular season against bad/average teams? Otherwise he stinks? It's just amazing variance.
 

radsoxfan

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 9, 2009
14,187
this was the narrative but ben taylor looked at the numbers and gobert’s defensive impact for utah was around what it was for the regular season in terms of +/-. people just decided to spin this yarn because they noticed he got switched out on the corner a couple of times.
Interesting. Do you have the article by chance?

My quick googling earlier today just kept showing articles about how his D Rating is terrible in the post season over many years.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
13,564
Agreed, but it's not unique to Denver this season.

I don't even remember the opponents, but the something very similar happened to him in the playoffs on Utah (multiple times).

A lot of teams in a 7 game series seem to expose the flaws of the "best" defender in the NBA.
Yes, I prefer my 4-time DPOY who was traded for AllThePicks to give me more than weakside defense when everything is set up perfectly around him.

The true DPOYs (imo) are the Draymond/Kawhi wing gameplan-wreckers, or the hyper-athletic center who smothers everything in help while being able to stonewall his man (Hakeem, peak Dwight Howard).

Honestly, peak Jrue Holiday is a more useful 16-game defensive player for me than Gobert. He's not quite that guy now, but I prefer those mobile, physical Swiss army knives.
 

slamminsammya

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
10,386
San Francisco
Interesting. Do you have the article by chance?

My quick googling earlier today just kept showing articles about how his D Rating is terrible in the post season over many years.
yeah it’s a video. View: https://youtu.be/CDTrUdGRUvA?si=LenhyWojrxDlQHaY


i think it’s easier for teams to expose the joe ingles of the world in the playoffs. i find that more believable than gobert is actually not good against good competition.

lol rewatching i think i totally misremembered the conclusion of this video. it’s been a few years
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
35,735
His playoff D rating numbers are bad over multiple seasons, much worse than regular season with the same supporting cast.

It seems like at minimum, teams with an elite big or teams that can play 5 shooters give him trouble.

I guess he is an elite defender in the regular season against bad/average teams? Otherwise he stinks? It's just amazing variance.
DRtg is generally a team stat in terms of raw number. He's definitely worse in the playoffs where teams scheme to basically make him play 2 guys at once, but on a better team that is mitigated.
 

benhogan

Granite Truther
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
21,159
Santa Monica
Can we go back to thinking the Gobert trade was terrible for Minnesota? He's nine years older than Ant, and a marginally better player (of a similar ilk) to Walker Kessler. The Wolves bid against themselves and gave up Kessler plus not one, not two, but five unprotected first round picks, any of which might have been used to pair Ant with a young star (or two) and help turn the Wolves into a legit dynasty.
I never left Gobert Absurd Overpay Island, even with Connelly getting recent plaudits.

Minnesota had KAT, Naz Reid, & Kyle Andersen at Center while drafting Kessler when they triggered that deal.
Blasting out 5yrs of draft capital to play KAT at the 4 is a terrible roster move.

Paying $90M to a 32-yr-old Gobert over the next two seasons, for an ownership group that wants to get under the CAP, will be interesting.

View: https://bleacherreport.com/articles/10117968-gobert-jordan-poole-trae-young-dillon-brooks-voted-most-overrated-by-nba-players
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
13,564
The emergence of Ant, KAT, and Naz Reid has made the Gobert trade look a lot worse imo, even as the Wolves have taken a leap.

If Gobert were shutting down key guys like Jokic it would look different, but it's been the exact opposite.
 

Sam Ray Not

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
8,956
NYC
Obligatory:



One-play samples and one-game samples aside, the data suggests Rudy has been and still is a hugely positive player, overall. The questions for me are (1) why he’s been so much less positive in the playoffs than the in the regular season; and (2) if he was the right acquisition at the right time for Minny, given how much they gave up and his significant age misalignment with Ant.

Of course, Minny could always win the whole thing this year and put those questions to bed…
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
35,735
One of the things with Rudy is.... I think the type of player he is (on both ends) is a skillset that gets reduced in the playoffs.

We talk a lot about how in the modern NBA it's really tough to have non-threats on offense, usually we mean on the wings, but even at C, a guy who can't force the defense to really defend him is going to hurt. On defense... roving rim protectors are just less valuable. We've seen it with Giannis, we've seen it with Embiid. Playoff teams are usually good enough that they will force you to either defend on the perimeter or surrender 3s. It reduces the impact you can have. So playoff Rudy goes from amazing defender with little offense to good defender with little offense. UTA tried to have him play the rim role regardless of opponent, and they got buried by mediocre bigs who could hit 40% on open corner 3s. MIN has better defenders, so they do better because Gobert doesn't HAVE to protect the rim as much. You're getting less value out of him, but he's playable.
 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
23,388
Just watching the games, whenever you are playing the Nuggets, you really need a complete, connective-team defense approach, because Jokic's playmaking from all over the floor opens up any of his teammates for potential easy baskets if the defense isn't paying attention. I don't know how much of that is Gobert's direct fault, its his fault some of the time, but there are plenty of plays where KAT or Edwards or Naz Reid or anyone else is getting caught in no mans land, often trying to decide if they are going to go help on Jokic or stay with their man, and they get burned.

I think Gobert is not AS effective of a defensive player in the playoffs, when you play a series and teams get more savvy attacking his weaknesses. That is true for a lot of players though. I also think there is kind of a lazy narrative in play where you assume that Gobert should be able to slow Jokic down because they play the same position, but slowing Jokic down is a complete team effort and you can't put too much blame on any individual player.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 24, 2002
50,682
Watching teams defend Gobert it really feels like the book is to make him do something other than pass it when he isn't near the rim - they try to induce him to dribble or shoot. In games like yesterday he simply doesn't have the handle to evade all the grabbing playoff hands and he tends to turn the ball over with enough pressure.

Make quicker decisions! A message to you, Rudy.
 

HomeRunBaker

bet squelcher
SoSH Member
Jan 15, 2004
31,330
Agreed, but it's not unique to Denver this season.

I don't even remember the opponents, but the something very similar happened to him in the playoffs on Utah (multiple times).

A lot of teams in a 7 game series seem to expose the flaws of the "best" defender in the NBA.
Right. When teams have a big that is a tough 1-on-1 for Gobert they go at him bc that is not his strength defensively. He does get exposed by great iso bigs and he’s not the guy you can look at to lock someone up….that’s never been who he’s been defensively.
 

Sam Ray Not

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
8,956
NYC
Watching teams defend Gobert it really feels like the book is to make him do something other than pass it when he isn't near the rim - they try to induce him to dribble or shoot. In games like yesterday he simply doesn't have the handle to evade all the grabbing playoff hands and he tends to turn the ball over with enough pressure.

Make quicker decisions! A message to you, Rudy.
  1. Stop your messing around.
  2. Better think of your future.
  3. Time to straighten right out.
  4. Creating problems in town.