32's Two Minute Ramble: DENVER NUGGETS

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 10:10 pm
Denver Nuggets

Where They've Come From...

You gotta give Denver credit; they're doing better than they have in a long time. They've had their share of draft picks turned above-average-players in the past decade (Dikembe Mutombo, Antonio McDyess, LaPhonso Ellis), but they never seemed to keep any of them. Denver has gone from being a last place team to a playoff runner.

B+

Where They Are...

Carmelo Anthony rejuvinated this team and transformed them into a new franchise. As Denver continues to build around Anthony, it'll be interesting to see if they can piece together the right blocks. For example, Marcus Camby plays amazing for the Nugz... when he plays! One of only 9 NBA players to average a double-double last season, he was also a league-leader in blocked shots. Trouble is, the kid's more injury prone than anybody else on the roster. Meanwhile, their free agent snag of Kenyon Martin last year proved to be a bad one, as K-Mart didn't make Denver better or worse. Without a Jason Kidd to harness the talent and athletic ability that Martin has, Kenyon came up short on the Nuggets expectations of him as an independent player. When he can play off a star point guard, he's great... but Andre Miller is far from Jason Kidd. Speaking of A-Miller, if his scoring increases, his value will shoot. 7 assists is not bad, but Denver wants him to average more than 13 points a contest. Voshon Lenard's 33% from beyond the arc last season was disappointing, too (despite only playing in 3 games). Denver is a good team, but they have a lot of holes to plug.

B-

Where They're Going...

Unfortunately, unless Denver makes a stellar draft pick (not likely for a playoff team), grabs another free agent worth grabbing (do they have the money? I doubt it), or piece together a blockbuster trade (which is the most likely choice), I don't see Denver making a run at the Conference Finals. As good as Carmelo is, the kid can only score buckets. He'll get a lot of them, mind you, but he wont get you much else (such as rebounds, steals, or assists). Denver wont trade him (he's got too much potential), so they'll just have to hope he improves his game. Kenyon Martin has proved to the league last year that he can't perform any better than he already is, so (odds are) no one will be willing to take a trade with him while he's bringing that huge check with him. He's not a bad guy to have, but he's not worth breaking the bank for either. Their most likely players to develop are Nene, an Andris Biedrins caliber player stat-wise with the quickness of Hakeen Olajowan, and Julius Hodge, a good finishing player who can force steals on the defensive end, ala Mario Elie. Unfortunately, niether have the future of the players they're compared to. Denver looks like they'll suffer the same fate as the Knicks 90's dynasty; they'll get close, but they'll never win the big one with this squad.

C+
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 3:30 am
The best thing Denver has is a great coach (unless his ego gets in the way), other than that, they're a decent team, with enough talent to reach the playoffs, but who (right now) lacks the players to be a contender.

So, pretty much we agree on everything.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 6:38 am
I really do believe that the Nuggets are championship contenders. After the way they played against the Spurs in the playoffs and the fighting spirit they showed, they are for real! Only downfall coud be injuries and getting ahead of themselves. This team has the pieces to be champions but a few other teams do as well and there can only be one champion every season
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 8:36 am
I disagree, migya... in my eyes, the team's most solid shot blocker is injury prone (and has been for, basically, his whole career), their star is strictly a scorer (he can't do anything else well), their shooter is pretty brittle, too, and their point guard is only slightly above average. Don't even get me started on Kenyon Martin; he's a decent power forward, but he's not a Top 5 PF (definately not worth the money). And history has shown that George Karl can only coach so long until he starts making problems with his players (even last year, he benched Carmelo for like 2 games!). On paper, they look like a great team... but in real life? They'll fall short. Championship contenders? They couldn't take the Spurs, the Suns, the Pistons, or even the Pacers on their best night. Don't give these guys too much bennefit of the doubt.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 5:28 am
Sounds like your letting your dislike of some of the Denver players get to your head! The Nuggets fought the CHAMPION Spurs every game and could have easily won that series. They did that not with a pretty bad team but with a great team! They should go far this year, barring injuries which happens to all teams, and they with the youth in their team, (Camby is the only major player in their team that is getting on in age), they should get better and be contenders for at least the next 5 years.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 5:55 am
But they still have no dependable sg, Lenard is a great shotter, but weak in other aspects of his game. Dermarr ain't the solution, neither. Maybe Julius Hodge, I like this guy, we'll see how he evolves.

And there's been rumors of trade involving Andre Miller for quite some time, and even more with the Watson signing. Seems they're not sold on him.

They have a pretty good team, but not a contender (yet).
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 6:46 am
Andre Miller does great for the Nuggets. He is the sort of PG that goes well with their team system. He is an allround player. I like the fact that the Nuggets do it as a team - There is no one player, even Carmelo Anthony, that carries the team. Camby, Martin, Anthony and Miller are the core of the team and they all do their bit. Throw in Nene, Lenard and the guard tandems off the bench and they are very good
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:52 am
migya, you're looking too heavily at the positive aspects; you're not thinking about everything that could possible go wrong. What happens if George Karl and management get into a scuffle? How do think Karl is gonna react to that? Carmelo Anthony is simply a scorer, so he's not a franchise player (that's why there's not ONE player who carries them, like you said, because their 'best' player is one-dimensional). K-Mart is not as good as he's advertised, either. He'll rebound and defend well, but his offensive games needs direction. Voshon is a one-dimensional shooter... he's the 2nd coming of Dennis Scott. He's a good piece, but he's not a factor. Camby is a solid defender, but injuries are slowing him (not to mention this will be his 10th season). He has limited time left. Plus, who's dependable off the bench? Nene? Hardly. Their series against the Spurs was a fluke. If they repeat, I'll retract that statement, but I'm so sure they wont that I'm saying it anyways. The Nuggets got lucky in the playoffs. Big deal.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 8:03 am
Bad things can happen in any team.

I do believe Carmelo Anthony will be more than just a scorer, it's not like averages just 1 rebound and 1 assist............

The bench showed great heart after Karl took over and I expect that to continue.

Don't forget that the Sonics were a great team for years with George Karl. Payton wasn't even that good for some 5 years and Kemp was no superstar! That team did it as a team - No one player was that great. I believe the Nuggets will be like that with Karl.
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migya make the ring fall on ya
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 8:28 am
No, the Sonics had two of the best players of their time in Kemp and Payton. And also an All Star in Detlef Schrempf (sp?) and a good sg in Hersey Hawkins. The Sonics were a great team, that would have won a ring if they hadn't faced the Bulls in the '96 finals. It's not comparable to these Nuggets.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 8:49 am
Yeah, TMC... Nate McMillian with the D stops, Jim McLvain (sp?) swatting shots... plus, like he said, 3 all-star caliber players (Kemp's best career seasons, Payton's too, and Detlef's last hurrah), to go along with Hersey Hawkins. The West didn't have a chance at the time.

Besides, George Karl didn't seem to fix the Bucks, did he...? He can start a lot of problems. He's an amazing coach, thats for sure, but he's also cocky and stubborn. By way of a for instance, lets say he benches Carmelo (again) and management steps in to say let the kid develop (plus, the fans complain because they're not seeing their star as much)... BOOM, it all blows up there. Karl would go haywire and ruin the season for them.

That, plus the injury risk of Voshon and Marcus...

And Carmelo STILL has a lot of developing to do in other aspects of his game, as does Nene to be effective...

And K-Mart's not pulling anybody alone...

The Nugz are a long ways away
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 8:58 am
Jim McIlvane, good god, talk about overpaying. The guy played 8 minutes per game, grabbed a couple of rebounds, scored 2 points and picked up 5 fouls while earning over 50 million. Awesome. After remembering McIlvane I won't ever talk again over Foyle's contract.

btw, I think Earvin Johnson was the center during the Sonics finals run. McIlvane arrived the next season (if I'm not mistaken, which I can easily be).
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 10:26 am
Yes, Jim certainly is my idol as far as getting rich quick for doing nothing... but it just goes to show you what kind of pull big men have when it comes to supply and demand. Jim was over 7 feet tall and a proven shot blocker... a scarce thing in the NBA at the time. Others included Hakeem, David Robinson, Shaq, Zo, and Patrick Ewing... no wonder they threw him so much cash. Big men were either nobody's or superstars. There's no in between.

You may be right about the NBA Finals, but Ervin Johnson isn't a bad player (I'd say he's better than McIlvain was).
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 4:01 pm
The Bucks never wanted to play any defense!!!! That is the difference between them and the Nuggets. The Nuggets, like the Sonics, play good defense and don't just jack up shots from the outside like the Bucks did! They will get better and as long as their team stays together they will be among the top 5 teams in the West
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 4:11 pm
...? Aside from Camby and Martin, who on the Nuggets plays any defense? Miller, Anthony, and Lenard are all below average players on defense (and don't even bring up Nene off the bench, because he hasn't proven anything). Karl's only defensive team was the Sonics; that's why they succeeded. Besides, Camby and Martin both block shots... but don't do much else on D. Denver is purely an offensive team with two shot blockers (one of which is extremely injury prone).
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