Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Two Minutes or Ten; Martin to Play in Opener

(Boulder-CO) Marc J. Spears of the Denver Post is reporting that Kenyon Martin will be ready for contribution, in whatever capacity that may be, in the Nuggets season home opener on Halloween, 2007. The article is very well written and I encourage all Nuggets fans to go read it simply due to the fact of how optimistically it presents Kenyon’s pending return.

I’m not going to steal Marc’s thunder and give you any quotes or summarization of the article, but I will say that I like the idea of Kenyon Martin donning his old number “4” from his days as the most dominant, athletic, and intimidating player the University of Cincinnati has produced since the turn of the millennium. I’ll admit that I was a huge Kenyon Martin fan back in the day and still stand firm that if he had not broken his leg that March the Bearcats would have won the national championship.

Kenyon needs to look at this upcoming season as a chance to transform from the clear-cut starter into the go-to guy off the bench in the Nuggets front court rotation. If he can do that, he gives the Nugget big men the reassurance they need so they can play extremely aggressive on defense, challenge every shot, not give up soft lay-ups, and most importantly make poor free-throw shooters earn their worth at the charity stripe while knowing they can rely on Kenyon to come off the bench and hold things down.

Just think about the possible combinations the Nuggets have in their rotation with Marcus Camby, Nene, and Kenyon Martin all on the roster: First off, you know that Nene can play either the four or the five with equal effectiveness on offense or defense and having that kind of flexibility is crucial when a team is in this kind of three-way split for minutes. Secondly, Marcus is sensational when playing help-side defense and probably makes 70% of his blocked shots in this fashion anyways making him a dual threat too. Then you have Kenyon, who is most adept to playing the four spot, so that means that there is no two-man combination that puts the Nuggets at a disadvantage. Marcus, Nene, and Kenyon can all do different things offensively and defensively; leaving George Karl in a game-by-game, situation-by-situation scenario that he is going to have to evaluate in the heat of battle. But anyway you look at it the Nuggets have the personnel to adapt to the opposition or whatever is working for them at any given time.

And if any of my foresight, or Kenyon’s alleged rehabilitation progress, is accurate that may put Eduardo Najera or Reggie Evans on the trading block by about the 20-game point in the season in an attempt to bolster the point guard situation that still seems a little bit unstable in my opinion. So, starter or not, Kenyon Martin’s impact to this team is still one to watch because if he can transform into the role that I just described he could be the missing piece of the puzzle in the Nuggets attempt to put a championship caliber product on the table. But, if he resists this metamorphosis he will continue to leave the Nuggets financially tied to the gigantic anchor that is his unmovable contract.


Z said...

if anyone is interested, I found this page that has up to date Nuggets news feeds

The Spin said...

The Nuggs have a great lineup, except K-Mart needs to stay healthy. He can be a lethal weapon off the bench, but I feel he goes to hard on his body, especially after so much damage to it. The Nuggs need to invest in a better strength and conditioning coach.

Nugg Doctor said...


Thanks for the link. It is always good to have more resources on the Nuggs. Not to mention, seems to think that I'm worth watching!

Thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor

Jason said...

the spin - about your comment. The Nuggets have one of the best, if not the best strength and conditioning coaches in Steve Hess. The guy is an absolute genious when it comes to player health and fitness. The way he was able to transform Nene last year was unbelievable.

The problem with KMart is he tends to be his own worst enemy, and a recent article quoted himself as admitting that. He is so passionate about basketball that he pushes himself to hard to get back. Now that this has happend, he has actually listened to Steve Hess and is making his rehab much smoother this go-round.

Players have to listen to their Strength and Conditioning coaches, and now KMart is. I am excited about what he will add to this team this year!

Anonymous said...

Actually, Steve Hess is the strength and conditioning coach/trainer that the entire NBA wish they had. He's apparently a miracle worker -- but nobody can do all that much with a guy like K-Mart who had had 3 knee surgeries (2 of which were the dreaded micro-fracture)... It just takes time to come back from those kind of injuries, and he rushed the process when he came back last year.

Everyone says, "Look at Amare, he had the surgery and came back as good as ever!" But Amare is 5 years younger than K-Mart, has less miles on the odometer, and he had the microfracture surgery before K-Mart had his most recent one... so by most accounts, K-Mart is taking the proper amount of time to rehabilitate from something like that. I just hope he has worked on the other parts of his game and realizes that the days of living off of his explosiveness and athleticism are basically over. Like Amare, it would be nice if he developed a mid-range jumper, but as long as he can continue to play good defense, I think he'll fill his bench role nicely. We have enough guys on this squad to destroy the rim, what we need is some solid interior defense, and I think K-Mart can provide that, even without his full athletic ability.

emmit said...

that picture gives me mad chills... thanks for the updates!

btalk said...

I agree Nugg Doc. K-mart would/could be a valuable asset next season. As you know, I have never been a big fan of his...I would like to be though!! He would have to be "less me" and more "we". Hopefully, he can do it.