"He's not going to shake the boat," Karl said. "He's going to figure out how we like to play, and figure out what's a good shot and what's not a good shot."
McGee finished with 16 points while Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried each added 15.
The Pistons played their third of a winding six-game road swing. They return to California on Wednesday night to play Sacramento, before going to Oklahoma City and finishing up in Houston.
Rodney Stuckey came into the game in a shooting funk, hitting just 1 of his last 23 jumpers. But he found his range against the Nuggets as he finished with 17 points.
"He will always be a big part of our success," Monroe said. "We need him to play like he did tonight, attacking the goal, getting to the free throw line. It was good to see that."
Like Stuckey, Gallinari was struggling with his form. He spent nearly 90 minutes after Monday's practice going through shooting drills designed to restore his confidence. He had it going early, but fell off as the young Italian forward had eight points on 3 of 11 shooting.
The Nuggets led by as many as 10 points in the first half, but could never pull away from the pesky Pistons. Kenneth Faried scored 12 points in the first half to send Denver into the locker room with a 58-51 lead at intermission.
Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said he's trying to get his team to buy into the concept of being more unselfish.
"All the best teams are," Frank said. "Look, who's the most coachable player on the Spurs? Tim Duncan. Who's the most coachable player on the Celtics? Kevin Garnett. Who's the most coachable player in Oklahoma City? Kevin Durant. Who's most coachable player of the Miami Heat? LeBron James. This is not calculus. This is not trying to figure out the next Pythagorean theorem.
"This is easy: Your players have to unite and inspire by how they play. It's that simple."
Notes: Pistons F Corey Maggette sat out a fourth straight game with a strained left calf. ... The Pistons were 6 of 12 from behind the 3-point line. ... Former Nuggets F LaPhonso Ellis brought out the game ball before tipoff. ... The Nuggets avoided their first 0-4 start since 1998. ... Denver outrebounded the Pistons 21-8 on the offensive glass.