1. What significant moves were made during the off-season?
The most significant moves made (or not made) by Nuggets management were the re-signing of J.R. Smith, trading Marcus Camby to the Clippers in a move that was essentially financial, the free agent signing of Chris “The Birdman” Andersen, losing free-agent Eduardo Najera to the New Jersey Nets, and acquiring Renaldo Balkman from the Knicks. The acquisitions of Chris Andersen and Renaldo Balkman bring two high-energy hustle players who should resonate as fan favorites. At 6‘11”, “The Birdman” provides depth at center while the 6’9” Balkman is capable of guarding all three front court positions with his combination of length, athleticism, and determination. And with Denver brass’ decision to trade Marcus Camby to the Clippers for a 10 million dollar trade exception it’s important to talk about Nene. “Big Brazil” is going to play an intricate role this season as he is catapulted into the starting role of center after missing the almost the entire 2007-08 season while undergoing treatment for testicular cancer. Nene has all the tools to be an All-Star caliber performer, but needs to shake the injury bug to prove he is indeed the big man for years to come in the Mile High City.
However, the biggest move of the Nuggets’ off-season was the resigning of J.R. Smith for $16.5 over the next three years. “The Prodigy” is flat-out an electric talent with seemingly limitless potential and could very well find his way into the starting line-up of Coach George Karl.
2. What are the team’s biggest strengths?
3. What are the team’s biggest weaknesses?
A clearly designated leader of this team is also an area that needs to be cemented for the Denver Nuggets to improve. The guessing game of, “Who’s team is this?”, needs to answered. Carmelo Anthony could certainly assume the role by becoming more vocal and leading by example on the defensive end or “The Answer” could be Allen Iverson and his style of play. It’s been proven that when AI records a double-double of assists and points the Nuggets are nearly unbeatable and by sacrificing some of his own scoring he makes the rest of this team’s gold glisten.
4. What are the goals for this team?
The goal for this team is to not be content just making the playoffs, but to finally advance in the postseason. For five straight seasons the Nuggets have been one of only four teams in the league to make the playoffs in said consecutive years and are the only team to have not made it to the conference semis.
Predicted Record: 44-38