Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Previewing Your 2008-09 Denver Nuggets

(Boulder-CO) At last I give you my submission to the NBA Blog Previews!

Last Year's Record: 50-32

Key Losses: Marcus Camby, Eduardo Najera

Key Additions: Nene, Chris Andersen, Renaldo Balkman

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?

Obviously, the Denver Nuggets are one of the most potent offenses in the NBA. They boast the highest scoring tandem in the NBA with Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson averaging over 50 points combined from last season, one of the fastest game tempos, and were the only team in the league last year to have four separate players record a 40+ point game. With those three things combined Denver has a trident of offense of which to rely on and they have only added a low post scorer in Nene.

3. What are the team’s biggest weaknesses?

Team defense and leadership are the two biggest question marks for the Nuggets. With the loss of the league’s leading shot blocker two years running and second best rebound collector from last season there is a lot of slack to be picked up on the defensive end. This could either prove to be just what the Nuggets needed to have happen in the sense that a perceived safety net which Marcus Camby provided no longer exists and everyone is held individually accountable for their defensive assignment or a task too tall to be completed and the Nuggets will once again allow one of the highest opposing ppg in the league.

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

Go Nuggets!


btalk said...

Wow...I'll take a double of whatever you were drinking when you wrote this!! First of all, the chances of Nene "the Big Porn" lasting the season are slim at best. This will be the season that J.R. "Geico" Smith will show that, in fact, as athletic as he is, he just doesn't get it. K-Mart, possibly will last most of the season as his contract is running out and he needs to entice one more team to pay him more than his I.Q. plus some zeroes. Our Nuggs will be competitive most nights but their undoing will come from the lack of chemistry and the missing leadership you mentioned. Oh, and no true point guard that doesn't have stock in the Ace Bandage company.

Then again, they could be one of those surprise "teams" that figure the whole idea out and go on to make it deep into the playoffs with the 44 wins you predict....Nah. Just give me a double of what you're drinking and I'll shut up.

Robert said...

I grew up in Telluride, and I lived for a few years on the Gulf Coast. And so I've grown up in the uncomfortable position of being a Nuggets fan and, unfortunately, a Saints fan.

It's hard to rely on the Saints, as evidenced by the last couple years. Every time you think they've got something good goin, they manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. But you watch, and you root, and you hope. You hope because really, when they do finally figure it all out, you don't want to be caught having doubted it. And because it's a lot of fun.

I only write this to describe why I've developed so little patience for assclowns like this guy, who write "their" team off before the season even begins. Amazing things happen in sports, and as much as I hate New England fans, I admire their ability to continually believe that.

I'm certainly not advocating a sense of entitlement. But don't set up your season so it's easier to deal with when things go sour. Because then there's no reason to be a fan. I don't want to be surprised, or proven wrong, when the Saints win the Super Bowl. I want it to feel like I helped them get there. And this is after 4 long decades of mediocrity.

I haven't been a Nugg's fan for too long, just 3 years now. But I can feel the obsession growing all the time, and it's great. I don't really care to predict what's going to happen this season, but I think AI deserves greatness, because he's spent a career giving his best. And they're the most tattooed team in basketball! That's got to count for something. I am going to watch, and hope, and enjoy, and the Nuggets are going to get out of the first round of the playoffs.

And you, btalk, can F-ck off.

Sean T said...

Good Dr.,
Great assesment of the team, I couldn't agree more. I think its time for Melo (with help and guidance from AI) to step up and make this team his.
And about JR, kid is sick on the offensive end, but he is also a huslter on D, and being that he can jump higher then giraffe pussy, he should get his fair share of blocks this season. I look to JR and the Bridman to step up the Nugs defensive game this season.
As for the Nuggests goal this season, I think the paramount concern is just not to be a disappointment. Exactly what that means reamains to be seen....

Looking forward to the season man! We should definitly hit up some games!!

btalk said...

"I want it to feel like I helped them get there" said robert. Are you kidding me?? What are you going to do....suit up? Fans like you keep professional athletes in mortgage payments. If you have little patience for people (I won't use your adjective cuz it helps display your ignorance)that express an honest opinion, how can you have patience for the well-paid, underachieving, athletes? The saying goes..."Past performance predicts future behavior"...It's not like we haven't seen enough "past performance". Again, the NBA and the Saints appreciate your commitment to past performance. I'll blindly support them when they play well, play as a team, win or lose.

Robert said...

All right, well put sir. To put it in a less "ignorant" way, I appreciate your position on being a fan with a very logical sense of the history of this team.

I am simply saying that being a sports fan is a lot like love, in that logic shouldn't have a lot to do with what you expect. Otherwise you'll be defeated before the first tip, which you sound like you are.

I am also saying that you are an assclown.