Unselfish play another indication of progress for Nuggets

Nuggets guard Randy Foye was waiting at the scorer’s table preparing to re-enter the game when teammate Evan Fournier started to find a groove.

In a matter of minutes, two points turned into four and four turned into seven, prompting Foye to walk back toward the Denver bench.

“Coach,” Foye said to Brian Shaw. “You might as well leave him in. He’s hot right now.”

Shaw stuck with the hot hand Thursday night, and the decision was validated when Fournier scored nine points in a 4-minute stretch of the second quarter of Denver’s win over the Chicago Bulls.

In the locker room and during his postgame press conference, Shaw made a point of praising Foye for his unselfishness.

“I would want somebody to do the same thing for me,” Foye said Friday. “It comes from knowing what it takes to win. Everybody has to be pulling for each other. You can look at Evan as playing the same position and he’s taking my minuets, but I don’t look at it like that. I wanted him to keep that confidence because it’s better to have 15 strong players instead of 14 strong players.”

When Foye got back on the court in the second half, he picked up where Fournier left off, hitting 3-of-4 shots, including two 3-pointers that helped Denver gain some separation in an 97-87 victory.

As it turned out, Fournier didn’t play in the second half because teammate Nate Robinson hit two 3-pointers to open the fourth quarter and Shaw again stayed with the hot hand.

Shaw later apologized to Fournier for not being able to reward him for his strong play in the first half.

“I told him I played the best defense on him out of anybody that was on Chicago because I didn’t let him get back in the game,” Shaw joked.

It’s all a part of figuring out the rotation on an extremely deep team that is still without two starters – forward Danilo Gallinari and center JaVale McGee.

Shaw played 11 men against the Bulls but would prefer to cap it at 10.

“It’s still unsettled,” he said. “Still a work in progress.”

He will have another chance to mix and match Saturday when the Nuggets face the Dallas Mavericks at Pepsi Center.


WHEN: 7 p.m. MT
WHERE: Pepsi Center, Denver
TV; RADIO: Altitude; AM-950

DENVER (5-6)
F Wilson Chandler
F Kenneth Faried
C J.J. Hickson
G Randy Foye
G Ty Lawson

DALLAS (8-4)
F Shawn Marion
F Dirk Nowitzki
C Samuel Dalembert
G Monta Ellis
G Jose Calderon

DENVER: Danilo Gallinari (knee) and JaVale McGee (fractured left tibia) are out.
DALLAS: Devin Harris (foot surgery) and Brandan Wright (fractured left shoulder) are out.

The Nuggets have won 14 of the past 22 meetings against Dallas dating to the end of the 2006-07 season . . . Denver has posted multiple wins against the Mavericks five times in the last 16 seasons, with four coming since 2007-08 . . . Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki is the last Nuggets opponent to record a triple-double (34 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists at Dallas on March 29, 2010). He was one of only three players with a triple-double against Denver that season.