Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A Fiasco has Broken Out!

(Boulder-CO) I have been previewing an event called, "The Opening Night Fiasco", for a about a month now and it has been masterfully planned to drop on not only the exact day that the 30 in 30 ended, but also in coincidence with the 2006-07 season opening night. Big thanks goes out to Jim Dunn over at www.the-nba-today.blogspot.com for putting it all together. Head over to his site to check out all the festivities. Enjoy, and drop your favorite team and blogger a line.

Ryan McNeill and Toronto Star Show Love

(Boulder-CO) Ryan McNeill is the main man over at www.hoopsaddict.com. Ryan McNeill also loves The Nugg Doctor. Trust me when I say the feeling is mutual because I have loved being a contributing writer for Hoops Addict. McNeill gave The Nugg Doctor a shout out in his interview with the Toronto Star, and you can read the rest of the article by clicking on this link: http://thestar.blogs.com/jabs/2006/10/the_bloggers_ro.html. Thanks for the props Ryan, and keep up the good work!

Passin' the Time AKA Melo-in' Out

(Boulder-CO) There isn't much to talk about before the Nuggets tip-off the season Thursday night. So to pass the time, I present a really entertaining youtube clip featuring our boy 'Melo. Love that groovy tune, but what is the guy saying after, "They call me mellow yellow?" To me it sounds like, "Quite right, slick," but this throwback is way before my time... Let me know if you've got the lyrics on the back of that wax.

Monday, October 30, 2006

The Final Update on 30 Teams in 30 Days

(Boulder-CO) Unless you have been under a rock for the last 30 days, you have been doing your homework and scouting the rest of the league by means of the 30 Teams in 30 Days. Jeff is to to thank and you can catch him and his site at www.celticsblog.com. This event showcased some of the best basketball blogs in the game.

This is the final update, so get your last minute scouting report before it's too late...

Pacific Division:

Golden St. Warriors (presented by Golden State of Mind and lowpost.net)
Los Angeles Clippers (Presented by Clipsnation)
Los Angeles Lakers (Presented by Forum Blue & Gold, Showtime, and Jones on the NBA)
Phoenix Suns (Presented by Phoenix Suns Rising and Suns Gossip)
Sacramento Kings (Presented by Sactown Royalty)

Southeast Division:

Miami Heat (presented by Crazy from the Heat)
Washington Wizards (Presented by Bullets Fever)
Orlando Magic (Presented by Believing in Magic)
Charlotte Bobcats (Presented by Bobcat Bonfire)
Atlanta Hawks (Presented by Impending Firestorm)

Northwest Division:

Denver Nuggets (presented by The Nugg Doctor)
Seattle Supersonics (Presented by Sonics Central)
Utah Jazz (Presented by LowPost.net)
Minnesota Timberwolves (Presented by I Heart KG)
Portland Trailblazers (Presented by True Hoop)

Central Division:

Cleveland Cavaliers (presented by YAY!Sports)
Chicago Bulls (Presented by Blog-a-Bull)
Detroit Pistons (Presented by Detroit Bad Boys and Need4Sheed)
Milwaukee Bucks (Presented by Five Point Bucks)
Indiana Pacers (Presented by Donning Craig Sager’s Suit)

Southwest Division:

Dallas Mavericks (Presented by Mavs Moneyball)
San Antonio Spurs (Presented by Pounding the Rock)
New Orleans Hornets (Presented by Hornets247.com)
Memphis Grizzlies (Presented by Beale Street Beat)
Houston Rockets (Presented by Rockets Blast)

Atlantic Division:

New Jersey Nets (Presented by Nets Daily)
Philadelphia 76ers (Presented by Passion & Pride)
Boston Celtics (Presented by CelticsBlog, Celtics17 & CelticsStuff Live and LOY’s Place)
Toronto Raptors (Presented by Hoops Addict)
New York Knicks (Presented by Bench Renaldo)

Was This Really a Surprise?

(Boulder-CO) The Denver Nuggets official web site is reporting that the Nuggets have exercised contract options for both Linas “The Menace” Kleiza and J.R. “Still thinking of a moniker” Smith.
Smith’s fourth year option and Kleiza’s third year option were both announced yesterday by Nuggets Vice President of Basketball Operations Mark Warkentien.

I for one am extremely glad that J.R. Smith is a Nugget. He has enormous potential and is young enough to expect improvement out of. He was impressive from three point range, shooting 39% from the arch, and was the Nuggets 2nd leading scorer in preseason. Can you say steal of the summer?

As for Linas, I think that his game is coming around too! He has seemingly improved his ball handling skills and has shown a few times that he can finish in the lane. Like Smith, Linas has also shown that he can hit the trey ball. Both players are coming off productive training camps and preseason play and are looking to prove that they are the future for the Nuggets. I am glad to have both players on the Denver Nuggets and hope that their futures remain here in Denver for a long time.

It's Finally Here!

(Boulder-CO) A very good friend of mine, and the main man over at www.hoopsaddict.com, is happy to announce that the first issue of HoopsAddict: The Magazine is ready for hoops fans, or should I say addicts, to cop. The first issue is featuring an exclusive interview with Josh Smith and a great article on William Wesley by Henry Abbott of www.truehoop.com. I got to take a sneak peek at the issue and I wouldn't prescribe my fans to head over and check it out unless it was tight both in content and in visual aesthetics. Big kudos goes out to www.mattdyckstudios.com for his incredible efforts on the project. It all looks great fellas, keep up the good work!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Clippers Get Served Cold

(Boulder-CO) On tonight’s menu we have revenge served cold with a side dish of more to come for the Los Angeles Clippers. The Nuggets played without Carmelo Anthony, Nene, and Marcus Camby (who is reportedly going to be ready for the regular season opener) and demolished the Clippers tonight 112-86. The Clippers played all their starters and still couldn’t hang with the Nuggets.

Andre Miller barely missed consecutive double-double performances, but did pace the Nuggets with 15 points and nine assists. Other notables for the Nuggets were DerMarr Johnson with a team high 17 points and a perfect 4-4 shooting night from trey land, Kenyon Martin scoring 13 points and swatting two shots, and Reggie Evans who snagged 13 rebounds to go with five points.

The Nuggets need to keep up this trend of consistent contribution from a lot of different players every night. Carmelo is the big gun and everyone knows it, but this team will really set itself a part from last season’s by relying on each other to contribute in a variety of ways. Defensive guys like Reggie Evans and Yakhouba Diawara, specialists if you will, are the perfect compliments to guys like J.R. Smith and Earl Boykins. Everyone has a role and a purpose and they are fulfilling their obligation to each other.

I knew going into this season that all the new faces and fences that needed to be mended would be the dictating factor in how this team would develop chemistry. Now that the preseason is over, I’m excited to see this team seriously get after it because they seem to have coagulated successfully. George Karl has done a wonderful job righting a ship that at the end of last season would have appeared to be sinking fast.

The Nuggets finished this preseason with a 4-3 record and will kick off the season with a rematch of tonight’s game with the Clippers. Then they will open up the Pepsi Center for the first time of the year against the Minnesota Timberwolves to what I’m sure will be a packed house in Denver. Tell your friends the Nuggets are for real this year, and quit posing like you don’t like em!

Don’t Even Think About It

(Boulder-CO) Tonight the Denver Nuggets play the Los Angeles Clippers to finish out the preseason and hopefully for a little revenge. Tonight’s game is merely a side story really because there is a rumor going around that J.R. Smith might be on the trading block. Before I put this rumor under the microscope, let me just say that this would be the most ridiculous move the Nuggets could make at this point after watching J.R. in his last two games. The sky is the limit for the young offensive weapon, and I pray that the Nuggets keep him around.

Marc J. Spears, staff writer for the Denver Post, is responsible for the rumor. Spears writes in today’s edition, “One potential sign that the Nuggets, Lakers or both are getting some trade interest was a few Eastern Conference teams scouting the game. Atlanta, Detroit, Cleveland, Toronto and Miami were in attendance checking out Nuggets guard J.R. Smith. The Nuggets also have a commodity in excess big men”.

I have no problem with teams being interested because I think that J.R. could be the off-season’s best pick up. What I do have a problem with is the Nuggets potentially entertaining offers for him before they even know what they got. The wrap sheet on J.R. is he only needs a second chance to prove himself. Denver could be that place and George Karl could be the right coach to facilitate his proper development. After what I have seen so far, that development could be a short term project. J.R. has hit eleven threes in his last two games and has been showing desire to play pressure defense by denying the wing more consistently and sticking his man a few times.

By keeping J.R. Smith and continuing to allow him to develop in an ideal situation in Denver, the Nuggets are sure to not be last place in the league in three point percentage again this year. When the game necessitates a defensive specialist the Nuggets have the Yak to turn to, but please I beg you Stan Kroenke, do not get rid of J.R. quite yet.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Kobe-less Lakers Prove No Match

(Boulder-CO) The Denver Nuggets wasted no time showing that they are for real in their national TV debut. Granted they were playing the Kobe-less Los Angeles Lakers, but all signs are pointing to the Nuggets being on the up and up. With so many pieces of the puzzle fitting together tonight, it was no surprise that the Nuggets disposed of the Lakers 126-108.

Carmelo Anthony was offensively brilliant tonight and ended up being the game’s high-scorer with 32 points in 31 minutes of playing time. He was aided by a narrow miss of a triple-double by Andre Miller, who chipped in with 14 points, eleven assists, and eight rebounds. Other major contributors for the Nuggets were Linas Kleiza with 19 points and three boards, J.R. Smith with 14 points while going 3-8 from long distance, and Earl Boykins adding 14 points and four dimes.

On the offensive end the Nuggets were really getting out on the break and pushing the tempo of the game. Obviously by scoring 126 points the Nuggets were shooting a high percentage, (60%), which indicates that the Nuggets were getting to the hole and finishing said fast break. At certain times in the game the sea level Lakers looked winded as the high-octane, and high-altitude, Nuggets kept pushing the ball relentlessly. Needless to say, it worked out great for Denver.

On the defensive end the Nuggets dominated the glass and out rebounded the Lakers 51-31. Only Reggie Evans recorded double-digit rebound totals (10), but the rest of the Nuggets all did their part as many Nuggets had seven or more rebounds in the game. The Nuggets also limited the Lakers to 47% from the field, and anytime you can keep an NBA team under 50% that shows that your defensive effort was solid.

The Nuggets now only have one more preseason game remaining and it happens to be a warm-up match with the Clippers before both teams meet again to kick off the regular season. I’m going to be on the lookout for any, and I do mean ANY, funny business between Chris Kaman and Reggie Evans and I don’t think there needs to be any explanation as to why. Nice work Denver, now its payback time!

The Nugg Doctor on ESPN

(Boulder-CO) Thanks to Henry Abbott over at http://www.truehoop.com/, I have had the chance to get a little something published on ESPN.com. The spot was a fun question to answer and is part of ESPN’s Special Preview Edition for the Nuggets. Check it out by clicking on the link: http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/dailydime?page=dailydime-DenverPreview0607 . Big thanks to Henry for giving me a chance to contribute on this level of the game.

The Basketball Jones Podcast Spot

(Boulder-CO) Yesterday I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to get on the line with J.E. Skeets and Tas Melas for their pod cast previewing the Northwest Division. If you don’t know about www.thebasketballjones.net, I highly suggest you get familiar with it. It has to be the most entertaining spot for all your NBA news.

Anyways, the pod cast has dropped and is quite entertaining. Check it out by smashing the link: http://www.thebasketballjones.net/ and hitting up their right sidebar for episode 034.

More fun is coming, not to mention the Nuggets are playing the Lakers tonight on national TV! Hopefully, Sir Charles is in rare form too...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Parting Gifts at the Door

(Boulder-CO) The Denver Post is reporting today that the Nuggets have waived Anthony Carter and Antoine Hood. Carter is a bit of a surprise to me because the Nuggets are shallow in the backcourt, but Hood on the other hand is not. I predicted Hood would not be a Nugget this year in my previous post. My prediction was based upon his level of athleticism and college experience while playing down in Colorado Springs at the Air Force Academy. What is also interesting is that the official website for the Nuggets is not reporting such actions, but if history is any indication, they are just a bit slow in updating the page.

In a quote pulled from said newspaper, Rex Chapman had this to say in regards to the waiving. “(Carter is) a consummate pro,” said Nuggets director of player personnel Rex Chapman. “He'll be OK. Teams always need professionalism and work ethic. A.C. is a (heck) of a basketball player; he'll be fine. Antoine as well. He's a young kid. If he wants to play this game, he'll be able to do that if he sticks with it.”

These cuts now put the Nuggets at the league allowed fifteen players. Three will not be active, but can be activated if the situation necessitates such actions. Best of luck to both of these players in future.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Boy, Am I Going to Hear it

(Boulder-CO) For whatever reason, and I am not sure what it is, I can not seem to calibrate this team and what they are capable of night-in and night-out. I predicted the Nuggets to win by four points tonight, but instead they got pummeled by the Jazz 127-107. For now I am just going to put my side career as a game predictor on the back burner and stick to analyzing the Nuggets. Now let’s get down to the ugly dissection.

The Nuggets were looking good early with the game tied at the end of the first quarter, but then came out and fell apart in the second period. The Utah Jazz went on to score 37 points in the quarter and didn’t look back as the Nuggets continued to fall behind throughout the rest of the game. I am expecting a call from my Jazz-obsessed friends, who all happen to be brothers, on speaker phone sometime in the early morning tomorrow.

Even though the end result was quite disappointing for the Nuggets as a team. J.R. Smith and Yakhouba Diawara both made steps in the right direction for this organization. J.R. Smith showed that he is capable of putting up big numbers on the offensive end and more importantly it was how he did it. Smith finished the night as the game’s high scorer with 26 points, which included going 8-13 from long range. This type of contribution is exactly what the Nuggets, and Carmelo Anthony in particular, need as a second option scoring threat on the other end of the pass out of the double team.

In addition to J.R. Smith, the type of deep threat that Yakhouba is displaying is exactly what the Nuggets were missing last season. Yakhouba Diawara was also offensively effective in tonight‘s contest. The Yak scored 17 points, including a 3-5 shooting night from downtown, in his 24 minutes of action.

What this game boiled down to in the end was the Jazz had seven players score in double digits and had too much off the bench for the Nuggets to handle. Now I have to wait until January 6th, 2007, before the Nuggets get a chance at redemption against their, I mean my, most hated of all NBA foe.

Nearing the End of a Legend

(Boulder-CO) The 30 Teams in 30 Days has been an event of mythical proportions and is nearing the end of its glorious run. I have fallen a couple of steps behind of what has been going on, but that is no reason to not catch up on some of the best information on any team in the NBA. Since I last gave a shout out to the Utah Jazz, my arch nemesis, there has been a couple of great previews posted. This weekend showcased the Atlanta Hawks by http://hawks.mostvaluablenetwork.com/ and the Charlotte Bobcats by http://bobcats.mostvaluablenetwork.com/. Yesterday was the Miami Heat's turn to be forecasted and a fine job was done by http://heat.mostvaluablenetwork.com/. Today is the day that the Orlando Magic get their tricks revealed by http://magic.mostvaluablenetwork.com/. Keep up the good work everybody because these previews have been a blast to read and have taken some of the legwork out of knowing the competition.

Game Day Preview: Utah Jazz

(Boulder-CO) I happened to have a couple of very close friends that are huge Utah Jazz fans. So, when it is time for the Nuggets to square-off with the Jazz. There are more than just wins and losses at stake. For I will have to either defend myself from the bombardment of pro-Jazz rhetoric, or I will have the luxury of being able to talk trash until these division rivals meet again. Obviously, for those involved, (and you know who you are), there is a lot at stake tonight regardless of whether or not it is preseason.

The Nuggets are coming off a win against the Pistons in dominating fashion. Contrarily, the Jazz resemble an abused animal after being beaten in their last two outings. Be that as it may, the Jazz are still a dangerous 2-4 team. The one surprise that I have found is that Andrei Kirilenko has not been the force on the boards that I thought he would be. In his last two games, AK-47 has only grabbed two rebounds in each of the last two losses for the Jazz. And seeing how the Nuggets boast one of the most dominating front courts in the entire NBA, I doubt AK-47 is going to be breaking out against the Nuggets in this category.

The one hot spot for the Jazz has been Deron Williams. The Jazz point guard has been playing great in his last two games and has been the team’s high scorer in each of their last couple of outings. On Monday, Williams lit up Portland for 24 points and seven assists. Just a game before that he scorched Sacramento for 19 points and nine assists. If the Nuggets can find a way to slow down Deron Williams, and I’m looking in the direction of Yakhouba Diawara, I feel that the Nuggets are in great shape to send the Jazz home contemplating why they have lost three straight.

So indirectly, there is my pick. I’ve got the Nuggets by four tonight against the Utah Jazz. All the usual suspects should see game action tonight for the Nuggets, with the exception of Marcus Camby, and with the home court advantage. I am feeling pretty confident that Denver walks away with the win. Not to mention my sanity depends on it!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Victorious at Detroit

(Boulder-CO) Without a prediction, mainly because I can not be sure who is going to play and who isn’t, the Denver Nuggets defeated the Detroit Pistons last night 124-105. The Nuggets brought a balanced attack and proved to be way too much for the Pistons to handle. Scoring at least 30 points in each quarter was also effective and reminded me of the good ol’ days of Nuggets basketball.

The Nuggets were led by outstanding performances by Nene and Kenyon Martin. Nene played inspired basketball and finished with 14 points and twelve rebounds on 4-7 shooting. K-Mart was the leading Nuggets scorer with 19 points and added four rebounds and a block. When all was said and done, the well-calibrated Nuggets finished with seven players in double digits with Earl Boykins leading all non-starters with 17 points and seven assists.

Other areas of the game that deserve to be mentioned for the Nuggets were the limitation of total team turnovers and the improvement from three-point land. Denver only turned the ball over eleven times in the duration of the game, compared to the 17 by Detroit, and was moving the ball quite effectively. The Nuggets also combined for 28 assists illustrating that not only was the right pass made at the right time, but that guys were also ready to finish the play.

The three-point arch may also be an area where the Nuggets may have mended some fences. The long distance marksmen for the Nuggets were a combined 10-25, 40%, from downtown with J.R. Smith (3-7) and the Yak (2-5) leading the way. Some folks have been very critical of the decisions the Nuggets have made regarding the shooting guard position, but looking at the personnel that they had last year. And comparing them to the guys they have added leaves me no choice but to respectfully disagree with the nay-sayers.

The backcourt players the Nuggets lost this off-season in Greg Buckner and Ruben Patterson are soon going to be a distant memory. When Nuggets fans see what Diawara and Smith bring to the table and understand the potential that they possess. Denver fans are going to seem like Tina Turner and Barry White. Singing a different tune!
Overall, things looked good in this win. The Nuggets need to keep building on this type of victory and continue to evaluate everyone on this team’s role and position. The Nuggets have so many weapons it is actually quite promising, and even a little bit scary! Be afraid NBA, be very afraid...

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Starters Sit in Loss to Milwaukee

(Boulder-CO) The Denver Nuggets that didn't play against the Bucks would have made the difference. Carmelo Anthony, Marcus Camby, and Kenyon Martin didn't play for a number of different reasons and the Nuggets lost to the Bucks 119-108. Linas Kleiza was the high scorer for the Nuggets by finishing with 23.
This type of preseason loss doesn't really mean anything, not to take anything away from the Milwaukee Bucks, and doesn't really give me much to analyze. With that many parts missing it was no surprise that the Nuggets took the L.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Nuggets at Milwaukee: The Prediction

(Boulder-CO) The Denver Nuggets will be playing the Milwaukee Bucks tonight. Milwaukee has already played five preseason games and currently stands at 2-3. Denver on the other hand is a fresh 1-1 after getting what seems to be a late start against NBA teams this preseason. A side note to tonight’s game is that the ex-Nugget Ruben Patterson will get a chance to beat the team that dealt him.

My analysis of the rosters, and the experience level, of both teams has leaded me to predict that the Nuggets will be victorious tonight by at least five points. The Bucks are without Bogut and that spells trouble when you’re facing this enormous Nuggets team. I think that the Bucks should get out rebounded on the offensive glass and will have trouble with the Nuggets in transition.

My eyes are going to be on Yakhouba Diawara tonight. The young, “Yak”, played 21 minutes in the win against the Pacers, but didn’t leave much on the stat sheet. Diawara failed to score, steal a ball, or dish out a dime after getting the starting nod from Coach Karl. Kenyon Martin is also on my radar tonight. After taking a charley horse against Indiana it will be interesting to see how he performs. However, it is still just preseason and if Martin has a deep contusion in that thigh and isn’t available for much action. It will not be the end of the civilization as we know it. Go get ‘em Nuggets!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Thanks for the Props

(Boulder-CO) There is really no definative answer to who is writing the best hoops blogs on the internet, but www.dailybasketball.com, a fine blog in its own right, has come up with a list of who they think is tops in the game. To view their list go to http://www.dailybasketball.com/?p=131. Thanks for the nod on the seventh spot fellas !

The NBA Notices Nugg Doctor

(Boulder-CO) The NBA finally recognizes The Nugg Doctor today on their official website. The article that I am quoted in is at http://aol.nba.com/preview2006/onthespot_kenyon_martin.html. This is a big step in the right direction for what I set out to accomplish with this blog and much more is on the horizon. If you have been a long-time Nugg Doctor reader or have just started to enjoy my work. A big thanks goes out to you, my readership, for making any of this possible. I am truly grateful!

The Jazz-iest Preview Around

(Boulder-CO) Everyone who reads The Nugg Doctor should head over to http://www.lowpost.net/ and check out their preview for the Utah Jazz. Only because it could very well come down to the Denver Nuggets and the Utah Jazz for supremacy in the Northwest division this season. This way all of us Nuggets fans can know thy enemy! Not to mention because Lowpost is a rockin’ site with so much to offer any hoop head. So head over to http://www.lowpost.net/ because that’s what the doctor ordered.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

What About this Roster?

(Boulder-CO) As of this point in time the Denver Nuggets have a total of 17 players still on their roster. Under the new collective bargaining agreement. Each team is required to carry a twelve man active roster with at least one, and up to three, other players on the inactive list. Players on this inactive list are allowed to play in the NBDL and can be activated. They can also play in a NBA games as long as they are declared more than an hour before tip-off.

Thus meaning that two of the current players on Denver’s list must be waived. After looking at the box score last night to gather all my information for the game recap. I also noticed that a couple of the Nuggets didn’t play last night because of coach's decision. Those two players are Jamal Sampson and Antoine Hood. Both men have only appeared in one game thus far for a combined thirteen minutes and may most likely be the players that don’t make this year’s team.

Hood is a rookie from the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and is facing stiff competition at the shooting guard position. J.R. Smith, Yakhouba Diawara, and DerMarr Johnson are probably higher on the depth chart as of right now.

Jamal Sampson is on the edge due to being lost in the shuffle in quite possibly the deepest front court in the entire NBA. The Nuggets have Marcus Camby as a definite starter, but also have Nene, Reggie Evans, Joe Smith, Kenyon Martin, and Eduardo Najera all battling for position at the power forward spot. Obviously, it is going to be tough to award everyone minutes, but that should also make for some very inspired play. The best man for the job, each and every night, is going to have a shot to prove himself and I just cant imagine Jamal finding a way into the rotation.

This is a tough decision to make, but from what I have seen in the box scores. And what, or should I say who, we haven’t seen on the court. It would appear as if Hood and Sampson are the closest to the edge as of right now.

Better Late than Never

(Boulder-CO) The 30 Teams in 30 Days continues to produce some of the best information you can find on your team regardless of where you live. Yesterday's efforts were focused on the Portland Trailblazers by Henry Abbott at www.truehoop.com. Today's feature is by http://sonicscentral.com/blog. If you think you might of missed your team. Check out the master schedule at http://nbapreviews.wordpress.com/schedule. Big kudos to Jeff at www.celticblog.com for putting all this together.

The Opening Night Fiasco

(Boulder-CO) Jim Dunn at http://www.the-nba-today.blospot.com/ is hosting an Opening Day Fiasco which will feature some of the best NBA bloggers making game day predictions for opening night. While some of the best are already signed up, there is still a need for a couple of teams to be represented. If you, or anyone you know, is writing a blog for any of the following teams and would like to participate in this giant post. Contact Jim at his website. The teams still looking for a rep are:

Dallas Mavericks
Golden State Warriors
Indiana Pacers
L A Lakers
Orlando Magic
Philadelphia 76ers
Sacramento Kings
San Antonio Spurs
Seattle Supersonics
Portland Trailblazers
It is sure to draw some traffic to your site and should be a good way to sharpen your game predicting skills!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Nuggets Win Against Pacers

(Boulder-CO) Before Kenyon Martin left the floor in the third quarter with a serious charley horse he was showing glimpses of his previous years. Attacking the basket with reckless abandon, hitting the boards, and even cashing in from long distance was a treat for any Nuggets fan to savor.

The Nuggets bounced back and redeemed themselves after they lost to the Warriors last week with a win tonight over the Pacers 114-102. Carmelo Anthony didn’t play due to his wisdom teeth, but the rest of his teammates picked up the slack. K-Mart went for 20 points, eight rebounds, a steal, and a block. Other notables for the Nuggets were Andre Miller with 13 points and seven dimes, and two players that didn’t get the start, Earl Boykins and DerMarr Johnson. Both players scored eleven points in the win.

On a side note, and it seems to be those kind things that strangely shape outcomes, this was a homecoming for both DJ and Kenyon because the game was held in Cincinnati, Ohio. Coincidentally, both men played their college ball at University of Cincinnati and probably had friends and well wishers at the game. They certainly didn’t disappoint and were both impressive in the first victory against an NBA foe for the Nuggets.

Next up in the Denver preseason campaign are the Milwaukee Bucks. The Nuggets will be the visitor when both teams meet on this Saturday. I didn’t get to predict the outcome of this game because of other business, but I send my apologies for the stagnation today on The Nugg Doctor. Tomorrow will feature numerous posts chalked full with analysis of the roster situation, more previews from around the NBA blogosphere, and without a doubt my prediction for the Bucks match-up.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Previews Keep Coming

(Boulder-CO) A friend of mine over at www.iheartkg.blogspot.com is previewing the Minnesota Timberwolves today as part of the fantastic 30 Teams in 30 Days extravaganza. I highly suggest you check it out because the Wolves are one the Nuggets biggest rivals. Not to mention they still have the Big Ticket!

Snip Snip, Who's Next?

(Boulder-CO) Mark Warkentien announced today that the Nuggets have waived guard Courtney Alexander. This brings the total number of players on their roster to 17. The key number is 15. Being as I have attended the finest institutions this side of the Mississippi. That means that two people have to get cut. When I look at the list, I see four players that are sweating the final snip. Rookie Antoine Hood from Air Force Academy, figurative rookie Julius Hodge, Jamal Sampson, and Anthony Carter should all be on thin ice in the next few days.

Monday, October 16, 2006

DerMarr Resigned at Last!

(Boulder-CO) So it finally has happened. The Denver Nuggets have inked DerMarr Johnson to an undisclosed contract. I caught wind of this yesterday, but wasn't going to make anything official till I saw it on www.nuggets.com. The Denver Nuggets now have 18 players on the roster, and as we all know, only 15 make the final cut. DerMarr has a lot of catching up to do with the Nuggets new offense, but I think that his previous chemistry with the team should accelerate the process. I didn't think DerMarr was going to make it back to the Nuggets this year, but I have found that when you're wrong. It is just best to admit it. Welcome back DerMarr, welcome back.

A Taste of the Big Time

(Boulder-CO) Thanks to Marcel Mutoni, contributing columnist for www.SLAMonline.com, I have gotten my first exposure on the main stage of the writing game. To read my interview with Marcel, go to http://slamonline.com/online/2006/10/nuggets-preview/. Thanks again for the opportunity to contribute to the best hoops magazine in the biz. I owe you one Marcel...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Denver Nuggets Season Preview

Team: The Denver Nuggets

Last Year’s regular season record: 44-38

Key Losses: Francisco Elson, Greg Buckner, Rueben Patterson, and DerMarr Johnson (maybe).

Key Additions: J.R. Smith, Joe Smith, Yakhouba Diawara, Jamal Sampson, and Nene (kinda).

Predicted regular season finish: 51-31, Northwest Division Champions.

In case you have been in a coma, the Denver Nuggets have had a very busy off season that you should be brought up to speed on. Francisco Elson jumped ship and is now a Spur, Greg Buckner is a Maverick, and Ruben Patterson plays for the Milwaukee Bucks via a trade that landed Joe Smith in Denver. With a couple of holes to fill, that prompted the Nuggets to acquire J.R. Smith from the Hornets for Howard Eisley and two second round picks in next year’s draft. Yakhouba Diawara, a summer league player, was signed after formerly playing for Climamio Bologna. And the signing of free agent Jamal Sampson brings another big body into the rotation.

The Nuggets also have the return of Nene from a knee injury that essentially voided his entire last season. His surgery was deemed a success and he has been working to get back into shape all summer long. Kenyon Martin wasn’t traded and has patched things up with Coach Karl after his suspension from the team due to conduct detrimental to the team, and Reggie Evans was resigned to dominate the boards with Marcus Camby.

Oh, and I almost forgot… Carmelo Anthony was named to the All-World starting five of the FIBA championships! He was the only American to receive that honor and was absolutely fabulous playing for the USA. Averaging 19.9 points (a team high), 3.7 rebounds, 1.9 steals, and 1.4 assists a game, while shooting 50.4 percent from the field was a treat to watch for any Nuggets fan.

Keys to success for the Nuggets:

-Carmelo Anthony’s emergence as the true leader of this team and his continued offensive excellence.
-J.R. Smith’s development as a shooting guard.
-Nene’s contribution off the bench and the potential to move into the starting line-up.
-Andre Miller’s continued consistency and durability.
-Pressure defense with the limit of lethargic lapses. They are inevitably going to happen, but do they have to happen every night?
Obstacles to avoid?

-Injuries, injuries, and more injuries. This team needs to avoid the injuy bug, especially those who have proven to be prone, and I’m looking in the direction of Kenyon Martin, Nene, and Marcus Camby.
-Relying too heavily on the fast break. I think that the Nuggets have the size to be comfortable in a more grinding half-court style of play.

Who is this year’s Denver Nuggets breakout player?

The breakout player of the year is going to be J.R. Smith. After escaping the dog house of Byron Scott, Smith is going to be put into a situation in Denver where he is going to get the minutes needed to really come into his own this season. Being placed with the best alley-oop passer in the league in Andre Miller should be a highlight reel all season for the athletically freakish Smith to embrace. The sky is the limit and the situation is right. Still have doubts about this guy’s game? Check out this link, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soEX62bK4Tw , and then you will understand why he might be the steal of this off season.

What you should expect out this team?

When you talk about the potential depth of the Nuggets playoff run this season you have to keep a few things in mind. First, The Nuggets are a team that is searching for an identity. They have the talent, the coach, the superstar, and the city of Denver behind them. They know what it takes to make the playoffs from the last three years, but it will be what they have learned from the first round disappointments in those three years that gets them to second round this season. The additions Nuggets management has made should make this team improve, and I think that and the maturation process of Carmelo Anthony should be able to get this team to the second round at least.

Projected Order of Finish in Division

1. Denver Nuggets
2. Utah Jazz
3. Seattle Supersonics
4. Minnesota Timberwolves
5. Portland Trailblazers

And there you have it, The Nugg Doctor Denver Nuggets 2006-07 team preview. With so much to talk about, I figured I would just hit the most critical points and most interesting topics. This 30 Teams in 30 days has been a great success and I am just happy to contribute. Much thanks goes out to Jeff at http://www.celticsblog.com/ for putting this whole thing together. Thanks for reading The Nugg Doctor.

Snooping Around for the Latest

(Boulder-CO) I have been sleuthing through pretty much anything that I can find concerning the status of DerMarr Johnson. What I found, all the way across the country, is pretty intriguing. Peter Vecsy dropped some knowledge on a spectrum of topics and one of them happened to be concerning DerMarr Johnson and Julius Hodge. His story dropped today at www.nypost.com.

According to Vecsy, DerMarr’s resigning is predicated on the Nuggets being able to “pawn” Hodge off on someone else. Interesting twist this all is indeed. Remember that the Nuggets are in quite a sticky situation with the league’s luxury tax. I highly suggest any hoops fan check out Vecsy's read here. I enjoyed it very much.

The Unfortunate Box

(Boulder-CO) As I reported last night, the Denver Nuggets lost to the Golden State Warriors 121-115. There was no box score last night, but this morning it was staring me in face. Some surprising numbers are recorded by some players, some not so surprising numbers by others. The game was not televised nor was there a real-time play by play so the arduous task of examining the numbers without seeing a minute of the game is a task for yours truly.

Carmelo Anthony led all Nuggets in scoring by posting 25 points in 27 minutes. He was complimented by J.R. Smith and Linas Kleiza both scoring 18 and Earl Boykins and Andre Miller also chipped in with 15 each. J.R. Smith was a respectable 4-8 from three-point land and his counterpart Linas “The Menace” was 3-5 from downtown.

The defensive monster for the Nuggets was, guess who, Marcus Camby. Marcus squeezed ten rebounds, rejected six shots, and swiped two steals in a meager twenty minutes of playing time. Nene did not play, and Kenyon Martin made a small splash with eight points and eight rebounds, but was a confusing 0-3 from three point range. Maybe there was some entertaining going on for the good folks in Monterrey, but I do not think that Kenyon Martin is the guy the Nuggets want bombing from long range.

Anthony Roberson torched the Nuggets for a game high 28 points and had a side kick in Baron Davis who scored 18 and dished for seven assists. This loss should sting for the Nuggets. They will have until Wednesday of next week to think about it and get the kinks worked out before they host the Indiana Pacers at the Pepsi Center.

The game was back and forth with the Nuggets trailing by as many as eleven at halftime due to a 41-point second quarter explosion by the Warriors. When all was said and done, the Nuggets turned the ball over three more times than G-State, shot a worse three-point and overall field goal percentage, had less total team rebounds, and were bettered by one assist. Not the outcome I really wanted, but hey, not the end of the world either.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Right Spread, Wrong Team

(Boulder-CO) The Denver Nuggets kick off the NBA preseason with a loss to the Golden State Warriors. The game was not televised nor is there a box score as of this time. I predicted the Nuggets to win this game by six points, but instead they lost by such spread. G-State takes home the victory 121-115. Rats!

Game Day Update: Who’s In, Who’s Out?

(Boulder-CO) Latest rumor circulating around DerMarr Johnson is that he is finally going to join the team…maybe. We have all been hearing this all summer long and I still stand firm on my position. Even if he does return, and I’m proven wrong, I still do not see where he is going to squeak any minutes this year. Yakhouba plays better defense. J.R. Smith is a better offensive threat. Linas backs up Carmelo and there you have it. Where does D.J. even fit in? Oh I’ve got it… A trade package!

On a quasi-related note, the Nuggets face off against the Golden State Warriors tonight. George Karl reports to the Rocky Mountain News that he is not sure if Nene or Kenyon Martin will play because both men have sore right knees. Kenyon’s is banged up from the exhibition with Efes Pilsen and Nene is just sore. First preseason game or not, folks, I’m biting my tongue on this one. That is a lot of money that was supposed to be spent on guys that were, “ready,” that are now questionable for action. That is all I’m going to say.

However, a couple of players that I can‘t wait to see play are ready for action. ‘Melo, Yakhouba, J.R., Reggie Evans, and Joe Smith should all log time tonight. I will be looking for budding chemistry between the new players and those returning. The tempo of tonight’s game should also be interesting. I’ll be looking for the Nuggets to shuffle a couple of different personnel looks at the Warriors, and hopefully use a big and small lineup at different times.

And finally, its time for the 2006-07 season’s first game prediction. I got the Nuggets winning this one by six. No special analysis, I just think that the Nuggets are a better team than Golden State. Plus, there is no way that Eduardo Najera is going to just let the Warriors beat the Nuggets up in front of his Mexican countrymen. Best of luck to the Nuggets, and as always, check back on The Nugg Doctor for the post game breakdown and analysis.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Montezuma’s Revenge

(Boulder-CO) Today is a travel day for the Denver Nuggets. They will be heading down to Monterrey, Mexico to take on the Golden State Warriors in their first match-up with an NBA foe. A little sun, an international flair, and a reminder to all the Nuggets, (especially Kenyon Martin) to not drink the water. Even the ice!

Kenyon Martin isn’t exactly thrilled about going south of the border. In his last visit to Mexico, Kenyon caught a stomach bug that he reports didn’t leave him alone till four days later. Kenyon said, “I got sick on my last trip to Mexico. I wasn't right for four days.”

Poor, poor Kenyon, I know what it’s like to get a touch of the funk when you’re down in Mexico and I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy. Best of luck to the Nuggets, and as always, I will be covering, breaking down, and giving Nuggets fans the skinny on the results of tomorrow night's game. Until then, keep it posted right here on The Nugg Doctor.

The Lighter Side of The Nuggets

(Boulder-CO) As we all know, Linas Kleiza is a bit of a jokester. Linas even got the nickname, "Linas the Menace," last season. He talked some friendly garbage to Carmelo in the FIBA championships and we have all seen him light heartedly play with Nuggets announcers’ Chris Marlowe and Scott Hastings. Now Linas has got a new target for is comic stylings.

Poking a little fun at the motor that makes the Nuggets run, Andre Miller, even had me laughing this morning when I took a read of The Denver Post. Linas reportedly thinks that Andre Miller might be expecting. Not expecting to lead the league in assists, as many might have assumed, but rather expecting a new born baby!

After Tuesday's game, Miller was stripped to his shorts in the locker room when Linas Kleiza spotted a mini-paunch. “Are you three months pregnant?" Kleiza joked at Miller‘s expense. Not saying that Miller is the new Khalid El-Amin, a paunchy fellow known for his mid-game snacks at the University of Connecticut, but maybe he does need a couple of extra wind sprints to tighten up that tummy.

Miller was candid and returned back with “Oh, I'll remember that one,” firing a half-serious glance in the Lithuanian's direction.

But on a more serious note, the Nuggets are really trying to push the ball hard this year. I’m not against that, but I just hope that with all of our big men we can find a way, and a line-up, that is comfortable when the game dictates a grinding pace. Other teams know what the Nuggets want to do. And as last year showcased, most of the games that the Nuggets lost were when the other team dictated the pace. It would be in the Nuggets best interest to be comfortable and adaptable in either pace. Run when it’s there, but when it’s not, don’t force it. That just leads to turnovers and frustration.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

DerMarr Still Chillin on the Block

(Boulder-CO) DerMarr Johnson does not own railroads. He does not have any hotels on Park Place or Boardwalk. DerMarr Johnson does not have the green light to go forward and collect two hundred dollars. He is still in a figurative stall out with the Denver Nuggets and a potential contract here in the Mile High. But the nagging question still remains about what is going to happen to DerMarr, and more importantly, the Nuggets?

As I said in my pod cast on http://www.hoopsaddict.com/, I do not think that DerMarr is coming back to this team. Denver is by no means just ready to sign this guy again and have him sit near the end of the bench and hang out with Kenyon Martin. This team is making serious moves, and for once, I actually believe that they are really striving to become a championship caliber organization. Not just a collection of players that will be happy with .500 ball (shivers run down my spine as memories of the Bernie Bickerstaff days are revisited!). So now I got to make a prediction and stand by it…

I think that the Nuggets are going to try and showcase Kenyon Martin as a healthy and cooperative power forward and combine him with the likes of an Eduardo Najera, Joe Smith, or Linas Kleiza for that desperately needed shooting guard. DerMarr Johnson just doesn’t really fit into what the Nuggets are trying to do. And with the addition of a guy like Yakhouba Diawara, I believe that the writing is on the wall.

At this point Johnson has not attended any of the training camp that went down in Durango. He wasn’t at the open scrimmage, or at least I didn’t see him there even in street clothes, and he didn’t play last night against Efes Pilsen. DerMarr is about as far removed from this organization as a guy who is waiting to be signed could be. The news can say what they want, but I’m calling the bluff.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Welcome Yardbarker to The Nugg Doctor

(Boulder-CO) www.yardbarker.com is going to be the next greatest thing to hit the blogging world since, well, blogger! The idea is pretty simple. Yardbarker is a company that is looking to promote the best bloggers in their sport to a wide variety of potential readers. When you read something here on The Nugg Doctor, or anywhere else around the NBA blogosphere, you can report it to www.yardbarker.com by becoming a member of their site. Don't worry it's free and super straight forward.

On The Nugg Doctor, and hopefully more sites will catch on quick, you will be able to submit your "vote" for content by clicking the, "Bark It Up," icon right next to the comment submission. The more times you "vote" for content, or sites, that you like. The higher that content, or site, gets moved up the rankings on www.yardbarker.com. If the article has already been submitted, it will take you directly to the post on Yardbarker so you can vote for it and, "bark it up," in the Yard. Top scoring articles on Yardbarker get read, emailed, and commented on much more than those with low scores.

I think that this is a great idea for bloggers to take advantage of and I highly recommend it. In the game of blogging it is essentially the goal to have your blog read by as many people as possible. Yardbarker has this in mind and is looking for the cream to rise to the top. Give it a try, what do you have to lose?

Nuggets Win Exhibition

(Boulder-CO) The Denver Nuggets had what it took to defeat Efes Pilsen of Turkey 118-102. No official box score as of yet, but I'm not going to be looking into this one too deep. One thing that I do know is that Kenyon Martin (Pictured on the left) did need Jim Gillen's attention for his right knee in the first quarter. The extent of the injury is not known as of this point. As the story unfolds... Well you already know the rest.

Karl Gets Exercised

(Boulder-CO) The Denver Nuggets decided to exercise a contract extension for George Karl to be the coach of the team through 2010. Really no surprise to me as he and Doug Moe are good friends and old North Carolina alumni. Yea that’s right, Doug Moe has still got pull in this organization from behind the scenes, (and the end of the bench).

Stan Kroenke offered up these statements on the Nuggets Official web site. “We feel this is a very good day for the Nuggets organization,” said team owner Stan Kroenke. “As we’ve said all along, we’re committed to building a championship-caliber team. The cornerstone of all championship teams is excellent coaches and players, and a passionate fan base. We believe today’s announcement, coupled with the moves we’ve made throughout the offseason will take us closer to achieving our ultimate goal.”

I’m excited to see some stability brought to the Nuggets. Coach Karl is the best coach this team has ever had and to see the Nuggets solidify his services is a good thing. Now they just need to handle business against Efes- whoever from- Turkey and get this year off to a good start. Congratulations to George Karl and family and hopefully this is just the beginning of a legendary run in Denver!

Monday, October 9, 2006

30 Teams in 30 Days: Update Part II

(Boulder-CO) Once again the brain-child of Jeff over at www.celticsblog.com has proven to be the one stop shop for all the NBA previews one's heart could desire. Since I last updated the 30 Teams in 30 Days behemoth's status. Writers from some of the top blogs in the game have been continuing to drop knowledge on the everyday fan. To catch up, start hitting up the links!
Cuban's bunch gets scrutinized here by www.mavsmoneyball.com.
Yao Ming and the Rockets get broken down at http://rockets.mostvaluablenetwork.com.
Grizz and company are looked at here by http://grizzlies.mostvaluablenetwork.com.
Today Chris Paul and the Hornets are under the microscope here at www.hornets247.com.
And finally tomorrow, Duncan and Co. are pounded by the folks at http://poundingtherock.com.
Now that finally catches me up on what happened this past week. To look forward to what's coming up we travel to the Central Division:
Oct. 11 - Chicago Bulls - Blog-a-Bull
Oct. 12 - Cleveland Cavaliers - YAYSports , Cavalier Attitude
Oct. 13 - Detroit Pistons - Need4Sheed, Detroit Bad Boys
Oct. 14 - Indiana Pacers - Donning Craig Sager's Suit
Oct. 15 - Milwaukee Bucks - 5-Point Bucks
After Milwaukee is revealed, it will be up to me to truly evaluate where the Nuggets stand in the Northwest division. I will be breaking down each of the Nuggets individually, and how the team will potentially fare in this rapidly approaching season. Until then, keep it posted here for all your Nuggets news on The Nugg Doctor.

Cut a Little Short

(Boulder-CO) So I went down to Metro State to take in the Nuggets White and Blue scrimmage, but left a little bit disappointed. Mainly because the information I gathered on www.nuggets.com and the newspaper were only partially accurate. The scrimmage was supposed to be from 1-3 pm, but it wasn’t. The first hour of the scrimmage was private to Denver Public School District elementary students. We all love the kids and all information up to this point was perfect. The only problem occurred when the scrimmage only lasted twenty minutes past two o‘clock! There was no second hour of scrimmage open to the public. I was just lucky enough see what I saw.

And what I saw left me with some questions. Questions that could have been answered with a little bit more than a peek of twenty minutes, but here you go…

Can Carmelo actually play more two guard than we all thought? I have to ask only because of the little bit of scrimmage that I got to see. And what I saw was ‘Melo handling a lot of rock and knocking the bottom out of the basket from anywhere he let it fly from. Anthony was hitting threes, taking his man to the basket, and caught a couple of great alley-oops in the final few minutes.

Next of my queries has to do with who is going to be the starter at the two spot, (or maybe it’s Carmelo?) Lets assume for a second that ‘Melo has not changed positions. That then leaves Yakhouba Diawara and J.R. Smith in a battle for the starting role… The question is this; Why couldn’t, “The Yak”, be the starter? He plays great defense. Hit a couple of three pointers. Finished an alley-oop. Not too shabby of a showing by any means. Starter or not, Yakhouba is quickly becoming a favorite of mine if you haven’t noticed. He just has this style when he plays that gets me excited. Kind of a chip on his shoulder that lets the guy that he is guarding know that he has no fear.

The final question that I have is probably the one that matters most in the long run. While the scrimmage was entertaining and fast paced. I have to wonder what kind of tempo the Nuggets will really be most comfortable in. The Nuggets have a ton of big players, no secrets there, and it would seem to me that Carmelo is better in a half court set. Don’t get me all twisted here, Carmelo is great on the break, but I would much rather see him raining down 15-footers consistently than finishing on the push once and awhile. It just might be time for the Nuggets to think about not relying on the fast break so much. Get out and run when it’s there, but be comfortable in both situations. They have the personnel to really go either way and I think that being multi-dimensional is always a good thing.

So it wasn’t everything that I wanted it to be, but the peek that I got was worth the trip. Not much defense was played, but hey, it was for the kids. The Nuggets square off with the Efes Pilsen team tomorrow. Efes who? I better just shut up. Ask the Clippers!

Let the Waiving Begin

(Boulder-CO) As I predicted before, with a picture metaphorically painted, the Nuggets have shortened their roster list and Jefferson Sobral was one of the sacrifices. Larry Ayuso, Corey Williams, and the aforementioned are no longer with the team.

Courtney Alexander, a former Division I leading scorer out of Fresno State, has been signed to perhaps provide the Nuggets with a third point guard. As a FSU Bulldog, Alexander averaged 24.8 points per game back in 2000.

He has bounced around in the NBA since then, but has a respectable average of nine points a game in the NBA. Alexander could be a smart pick-up this late in the preseason, and I hope to have a chance to evaluate his game later today at the Blue and White scrimmage. I will be back later this evening with extensive coverage right here on The Nugg Doctor.

The Blue and White

(Boulder-CO) Today I will be at the Nuggets Blue and White scrimmage being held at Metro State. After the event, I will be back on the home keys providing Nuggets fans with the run down. Who looked good, bad, and everything else in between will be covered upon my return. My first look at the Nuggets should be very telling as to where this team is going. Stay tuned...

Friday, October 6, 2006

Nuggets Needing Stitches

(Boulder-CO) Yakhouba Diawara is quickly becoming my new favorite Nugget. Reports of his conditioning, willingness to stick somebody on defense, and his outside shooting are all reasons that I have been giving “The Yak” his due. But now, I have even more reason to like him.

On a quick side note, I am a huge fan of horror movies, and on a day when the new Texas Chainsaw Massacre is being released. It’s a fitting coincidence that Yakhouba’s play has landed him a couple of stitches.

The Rocky Mountain News reports that “The Yak,” please let that nickname catch on, has received six stitches after biting his lip in the second practice of yesterday’s schedule. The injury occurred when Diawara was intensely attempting to swat a shot, but did not hinder his return to the rest of the practice. Anyone else psyched about this guy? I know that typically guys who get stitched up and return to games or practices usually wear skates, but “The Yak” is tough. And the fact that he got the stitches playing defense makes it that much better! The Nuggets need this type of toughness around the perimeter and I think that Diawara is the guy for the job.
Any of my readers also suffer from a touch of the Dionysian spirit?

Thursday, October 5, 2006

A Couple of Banged Up Nuggets

(Boulder-CO) The latest news out of training camp, not concerning the new basketball, is that a couple of Nuggets are banged up. Kenyon Martin has a sore back, Reggie Evans is sick with a stomach virus, Larry Ayuso has a slightly tender groin, and Nene is just tired.

Kenyon Martin said, “It’s [his back] a little tight,” and is attributing the pain to sleeping on it wrong. He is not worried though. With a little ice and afternoon practice off I’m sure he will be fine. Notice how I walk away from a potential chance speculate…

Long shot to make the team Larry Ayuso is playing through a slightly pulled groin. Probably because he knows that any sideline time will be detrimental to his chances of making the team. Good thinking too, because Ayuso could possibly make this team as a back up point if he shows that kind of toughness.

And finally, Nene is tired after completing the much more intense morning practice on Wednesday. Just goes to show you that the only way to get into NBA basketball shape is by playing NBA basketball. There is no way to simulate the constant change in speed and direction that basketball requires. You have to play and play before you can play some more.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

The Nugg Doctor Podcast

(Boulder-CO) I recently hinted that I was on record with Ryan over at www.hoopsaddict.com in my first podcast. To check it out click here and let me know what you think after you listen.

30 Teams in 30 Days: Update

(Boulder-CO) The NBA blog previews that have been covering every team, everyday, for the entire month of October have been amazing. If you haven't checked out some of the previews I highly suggest that you do. My suggestion is two fold. First, you don't want to be that guy in fantasy basketball that gets blown out the first week. Then has to stay up til 5 am getting his team straightened out. And secondly, and especially if you're the gambling type, you're wallet will thank you later. Anywho, here is what you have been missing if you haven't been checking out the previews thus far.
Monday was dedicated to the New Jersey Nets courtesy of www.netsdaily.com.
On Tuesday, Macel Mutoni previewed the New York Knicks at www.benchrenaldo.blogspot.com.
Philly was up next and the 76ers were covered by http://76ers.mostvaluablenetwork.com.
Tomorrow, www.hoopsaddict.com will be putting the Raptors under the microscope.
After tomorrow's post the Atlantic division will be a done deal. Up next is the wild wild west! Check out the complete schedule at http://nbapreviews.wordpress.com/schedule to find out when you favorite team gets dissected.

Quit Sleeping on the Job

(Boulder-CO) J.R. Smith’s athletic ability has never been in question. Any ball player coming straight out of high school has got to be a tremendous athletic talent. Size, speed, and agility are all things that J.R. has been blessed with. Some athletes would give up God knows what to have what some people squander.

In an article published in The Rocky Mountian News, J.R. Smith has been everything and more than the Nuggets could have expected on the offensive end so far in training camp. The only problem is that he allegedly falls asleep on defense. J.R., if your reading this, here are some things that you should keep in mind. You get paid millions of dollars to play this game. When you walk into a gym with Nuggets logos on your chest you are at your job. Part of your job description includes playing defense. DO YOUR JOB!

Defense is not something that is an enjoyable thing to partake in. It does however win games. It takes heart, desire, and dedication. All things that, regardless of whether or not your jumper is falling, should be given every single night you get paid to do a job. One last thing before I get off my soap box... Offense has off nights, defense doesn't!

DerMarr Johnson Still Not in Camp

(Boulder-CO) The Denver Nuggets started training camp in Durango on Tuesday. As we all know they have an overload of frontcourt players. Then with these two givens, why isn’t DerMarr Johnson with the team yet? Is he still in negotiations over contract particulars? Or is this stalling by Nuggets management because of something else going on behind the scenes? I want answers, and I would like them soon.

There is hope though that DerMarr might still be a Nugget. Reports of George Karl and good friend, and Cincinnati alumni, Kenyon Martin both thinking that DerMarr is going to return are promising, but this is the NBA. And in the NBA, nothing is a guarantee, except for contractual money.

In the mean time, DerMarr is missing critical chemistry building practices. There are a lot of new faces and this time is crucial for teammates to learn each others’ tendencies and preferences. The Nuggets management needs to make up their mind, not only for DerMarr’s sake, but for the sake of this team.

Harlem Globetrotter Signed to Camp

(Boulder-CO) Just when you think that Nuggets camp just can’t get anymore confusing. The Nuggets sign a Harlem Globetrotter to attend training camp in Durango. Jefferson Sobral, forward, signed to play with the Globetrotters back in 2005 after he played a brief stint with the Idaho Stampede back in 2005.

I don’t know much about Sobral, but what I do know a lot about is the Denver Nuggets. Imagine if you will, just for a second, a baby duckling swimming across the Nile river. That poor little duckling doesn’t have long to live, I think we could all agree on that, because a 20-foot crocodile is about to make a quick snack of him. Said crocodile is the already overcrowded front line of the Denver Nuggets. Said duckling is Sobral. Unfortunately for Sobral, I relate the chances of him making the team to about the same probability of that duckling making it across the river safely.

With this signing the Nuggets now have 19 players on paper. Only 15 players make the team. You do the math and wait for the feathers to fly!

Monday, October 2, 2006

Biggest Mistake EVER…Maybe

(Boulder-CO) When Kwame Brown voiced his negative opinion about the new NBA basketball I looked. Once. But now that the “Big Diesel” Shaquille O’Neal has gone on a verbal tirade about the new rock it is serious business. So what gives Shaq, what makes the ball so bad?

Well I didn’t ask the big man myself, but here is what he said, “I think the new ball is terrible. It's the worst decision some expert, whoever did it, made... The NBA's been around how long? A hundred years? Fifty years? So to change it now, whoever that person is needs his college degree revoked. It's a terrible decision.”

Damn Shaq daddy, tell us how you really feel!

“Feels like one of those cheap balls that you buy at the toy store, indoor-outdoor balls,” O'Neal said. “I look for shooting percentages to be way down and turnovers to be way up, because when the ball gets wet you can't really control it. Whoever did that needs to be fired. It was terrible, a terrible decision. Awful. I might get fined for saying that, but so what?”

Cheap balls that you buy at a toy store? Oh god, there is definitely going to be a fine for that one, and they better make it count too. The new ball is supposed to retail for a Benjamin Franklin and that’s just for a regular ol’ edition. If you want a commemorative rock. Be prepared to drop TWO C-notes!

Call me old fashion, maybe because I can remember kids senselessly being murdered for things like Starter jackets and Air Jordans, but if you show up to the rec center with one of these babies. You had better keep an eye on it because leaving for a second may lead to you leaving with tears in your eyes.

Breaking Down the Northwest Division

(Boulder-CO) As I previewed earlier today, The Big Lead has posted my article previewing the Northwest division in a semi-condensed version. Right here you will find the extended and complete Nugg Doctor edition. I want to be held to this, so there is your invatation.
The Northwest Division
Five Things to Watch Out For in the Northwest:

The first thing you have to watch out for in the Northwest division is Carmelo Anthony once again leading the division in scoring. I’m really not being a homer or going that far out on a limb because last season Carmelo led the division with an average of 26.5 points per game. Carmelo is undoubtedly going to continue his tear on the offensive end of the floor and could crack the top five in scoring league wide.

Second on the radar is eleven-year veteran Kevin Garnett. Despite playing for a Timberwolves team that only won 33 games last year. Everyone should expect quite possibly the most unique athlete in the league to once again have an enormous year. He is coming off a season where he quietly averaged 21.8 points, 4.1 assists, and 12.7 boards which was tops in the league. If the situation in Minnesota doesn’t improve by Christmas, I wouldn’t be surprised if the usually quiet and professional Kevin Garnett starts voicing his opinion to Kevin McHale for a change in scenery.

Third on the list are the Utah Jazz. I think that the Jazz will make the playoffs this year after a late season push in 2006 was just a little bit too little too late. They suffered a lot of injuries last season and consequently didn’t get to establish the chemistry they wanted to. The difference maker in this approaching season will be the play of Andrei Kirilenko. AK47, as he is known by, will most definitely be improving on his numbers. Last season he proved to be a hard positional match-up for centers because of his quickness and he is too big and long for power forwards. Kirilenko averaged 15.3 points, eight rebounds, and 3.2 blocks a game last season. Andrei is the motor that makes Utah go and with reports of AK devoting this off season to refining his game. I look for the Jazz to be giving teams headaches all season long.

Fourth area to keep an eye on is where the rain clouds are always forming. In 2004-05 the Supersonics won 52 games and then dropped a total of 17 wins last season. Talks of moving the team and stadium disagreements have been a nightmare for Sonics fans, but I think that the Supersonics are going to bounce back in the 2006-07 campaign. Proving to the city that they do have a basketball market and that Ray Allen is worth the price of admission. Especially after Allen’s record breaking accomplishments from downtown last season. Ray rewrote the record books by topping Dennis Scott’s mark of 267 trey balls made, and finished the year with a total of 269 while shooting 41%.

And rounding out the top five things to watch in the Northwest division is how many wins the Portland Trailblazers will have when all is said and done. After last season’s disappointing finish of 21-61, the situation has not gotten much better this off season. Picked to finish dead last in the division, and quite possibly going to give the All-Time losing-est record a run for its money, is definitely going to be an indication of the patience level of Nate McMillan. It is going to be a long, long season in Oregon. Much to the liking of the rest of the division.

Breakout Player and Most Underrated:

The breakout player of the year is going to be J.R. Smith. After escaping the dog house of Byron Scott, Smith is going to be put into a situation in Denver where he is going to get the minutes needed to really come into his own this season. Being placed with the best alley-oop passer in the league in Andre Miller should be a highlight reel all season for the athletically freakish Smith to embrace. The sky is the limit and the situation is right. Still have doubts about this guy’s game? Check out this link, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soEX62bK4Tw , and then you will understand why he might be the steal of this off season.

The title of most underrated player in the division goes to Mehmet Okur. The four-year veteran is coming off his best season ever after nearly averaging a double-double for the Jazz. The 6’11” Okur raised his scoring average from 12.9 points in 2004-05 six points to finish last year at a pace of 18 a game. He did similar improving in the rebounding department. He raised his average to 9.1 boards a game and is part of the two headed defensive monster in Utah. Why this guy flies so low on the radar is a mystery to me because he is potent on both ends of the floor every night.

Projected Order of Finish in Division:

1. Denver Nuggets
2. Utah Jazz
3. Seattle Supersonics
4. Minnesota Timberwolves
5. Portland Trailblazers

The Nugg Doctor Making House Calls

(Boulder-CO) lately I have been doing a lot of writing and making guest appearances for some of the top NBA blogs and hoops websites in the game. Along with my Big Lead divisional preview. I have also been put on record by Ryan over at www.hoopsaddict.com on a Podcast where I get to flap my gums on the Denver Nuggets. Look for that to be dropping soon and head over to HoopsAddict to hear it first. I have also helped Marcel Mutoni over at SLAMonline with an interview that will be published in the near future. I'll provide a direct link to that submission when it posts. And finally, the last of my preseason endeavors will be in contribution to a brain child of Jeff's over at www.celticsblog.com. He has come up with the idea to preview 30 teams in 30 days by organizing a schedule at http://nbapreviews.wordpress.com/schedule. My complete preview will be published on October 16th, right here on The Nugg Doctor. Stay tuned, keep your page "refreshed", and don't miss out on all the great things that I, and the rest of the NBA Blogosphere, have to offer this preseason.

Northwest Divisional Preview

(Boulder-CO) A little later today there will be a Northwest divisional preview written by your humble host, me, The Nugg Doctor at www.thebiglead.com. I break down the top five things to watch out for in the division, who is the most underrated, who is going to have a break out year, and the projected finish of the entire division. Once the preview is up I will provide a direct link, but until then, try not to let the suspense kill you.

Black Monday

(Boulder-CO) Sometimes I don't even know why I check for the Nuggets to be up to something on Mondays. Especially the Monday before taking off for training camp in Durango. All things are quiet right now on the Nuggets horizon. However, once the news starts breaking, The Nugg Doctor will be sure to bring it to you fresh, and direct, when it happens.