Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Disarray of Others

(Boulder-CO) I would never, ever, say I was happy to hear about an injury of a player from the Nuggets, (or any other team for that matter), or the disgruntled sentiments from personnel on an opposing team. But the current situation shaping up in the Northwest Division is looking quite good for the NBA’s Mile High franchise.

Unfortunately, Greg Oden is going to be sidelined with knee problems for the entirety of the 2007-08 season. I say unfortunately because I really did want to see what the Portland Trailblazers, with the ancient looking big man and the rest of their young team, could really do this season. However, the one thing that Greg does have going for him in his favor is youth (presumably). Just look at Amare Stoudemire. He took his time, and a whole NBA season, to recover from a similar surgery and he was able to return to an All-NBA status. So here’s to hoping that Oden can do the same because not being able to enjoy such a promising NBA career would not only be a tragedy for Oden, but also for the rest of us who enjoy watching quality lowpost play. But on the other hand, the Nuggets shouldn’t have to worry about the Blazers too much because I am pretty sure that any noise out of the great northwest is going to be nothing more than static out of the basement of the division.

And as for the Nuggets biggest competition out of the great state of Utah…

The reports of discontent from Andrei Kirilenko are certainly enough to shake any Jazz fan to the core. He is reportedly willing to give up a full-size pick-up truck worth of Benjamins just to get the hell out of the great state of Utah. And I know what you’re about to say, “But AK-47 didn’t even have that great of a season last year, Doc”, and in these sentiments you would be partially correct, but what you are overlooking is AK’s impact that doesn’t make it into the box score. Kirilenko is a player that does all the little things both offensively and defensively that annoys, disrupts, and destroys continuity of the Jazz opponent. So, in any event, if the reports of Andrei not willing to play for the Jazz for any compensation due end up being true it is a good thing for the Nuggets.

And what about that situation up in Washington?

All the most current reports are leaning towards Seattle not having a basketball team in the next couple of years. The team’s ownership is still trying to bail on the final two years of their lease at Key Arena and nothing makes a team move faster than it’s ownership wanting out. Period. Now, they do have the most obvious favorite for NBA Rookie of the Year in Kevin Durant. But, what they do not have is anyone on the roster to compensate for Durant’s offensive skills on the defensive end, and trust me; they’re going to need it. The youngster may be the next best thing to George Gervin the NBA has seen since basketballs had three colors, but on defense, well, Wes Unseld he is not. And there is no way that he is going to make up for the Sonics management trading both Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis in just his first year in the NBA.

And who can forget the Timberwolves?

Sure they have a completely new team. Sure Al Jefferson is a beast. And sure they have little to no clearly defined player roles, but what is Kevin McHale going to do when the T-Wolves drop 10 out of their first 15 games and the finger pointing starts? Because the way that I see it is all the problems that all those former Celtics tried to leave in Boston are almost certainly going to follow the same cast of characters to the frigid lands of Minnesota. And without Kevin Garnett’s wide shoulders to carry the load...
Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?

Probably not the Nuggets or anyone else in the NBA.

So, the Northwest Division could arguably be the most twisted division in the entire NBA. Injuries, malcontented players, owners wanting change in scenery, and the departure of two All-Star caliber players from Seattle all seemingly mean good things for the Nuggets. But in keeping things honest, the Nuggets have their own problems to figure out. Fortunately, we seemingly have all the answers, (pun intended), in one shape or form.
But how, when, and where they all come about is another story.


Jon-Michael said...

Despite Utah's digruntled AK47 wanting out of SLC, the Jazz still look pretty solid. The HUGE factor for their success last year and this next year is Carlos Boozer staying healthy. He's as injury prone as Nene and Kenyon Martin here. Last year was his first healthy season in 3 years. If he misses any significant time, Denver's a lock to win the division.

That being said, if Denver plays this season the way they finished the regular season last year, they are going to be tough to beat. They just need to play smart at home and not let the doormats come in and beat us (ie: Charlotte, Memphis, etc.).

Anonymous said...

Heh, totally off-topic, but I just secured my 10-game package seats and couldn't be happier. We're in one of those single-row sections (333) that are about 20 feet lower than the rest of the upper level seating. So awesome.

Anyway, had to share my jubilation. Between that, The Office season premier, and NBA 2K8 coming out next week, I'm a happy man. Hey Doc, has camp started yet? I want some reports about Nene, because I fear that his lack of conditioning and lingering injury might screw us over in the early part of the season (especially if K-Mart isn't up to par)... anything to share?

nuggsfan15 said...

So whats your take on the rumors of Marion possibly going to the Jazz, Doc?

Certainly would make things tougher for our good ol' Nuggets as far as winning the division.

As mentioned above, Boozer is still a force to be reckoned with. Of course, having Nene and or Kenyon healthy certainly counters that if you ask me.

Nugg Doctor said...

I've heard about as many rumors as humanly possible in the last 24 hours concerning Marion and the only one that really concerns me is Marion to the Lakers.

Deron Williams and the Jazz are not the Phoenix Suns when it comes to putting up 100+ points a night and Marion's numbers would surely dip playing in that kind of offense. However, if he was teamed with a ballhawk like Kobe Bryant, in an offense that is geared towards getting out and running the floor he could be very dangerous.

Thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor

@slushygutter said...

yo, it's right there for the Nugs this season. About 20 games versus the division. A nice 15-5 or better record and they will cruise to the title. Jazz are still stout though, Andrei and his 8" pipes werent much of a factor in their run.