The Nuggets seem to think that they have arrived and should be in the mix for the coveted veterans who are bought out and/or released by the terrible teams that they are playing for. So far there are two players who might fit that mold, Sam Cassell and Mikki Moore although neither is worth much on the court.
George Karl has spoken about his desire to bring in his old buddy Cassell to add all of those special things that veterans can add. Apparently the special veteran point guard/coach on the floor/championship experience Chauncey brought to Denver is wearing off. More importantly with Nene and Kenyon Martin having missed games in the last couple of days the search for additional big man insurance, apparently the safety blanket that is Johan Petro is not keeping the nightmares away, and Denver was hot and heavy after Moore. Surprise, surprise, despite the Nuggets best efforts, Moore signed with the Boston Celtics.
The other big man that all the contenders are panting over is Oklahoma City’s Joe Smith. Of course Denver is interested in him too. In the effort to save the Nuggets’ front office a lot of work and disappointment I have crafted the following note:
There is a good chance that the Thunder will release Joe Smith and you will envision how much high quality veteran-ness he can bring to the Nuggets. Treat the potential addition of Smith to the Nuggets roster as a fleeting thought like eating your weight in Thin Mint cookies or pushing the person next to you onto the light rail tracks right before a train approaches. No good will come of your efforts. Smith’s agent will take your call and make you feel warm and fuzzy, but there will not be a second where he will consider joining the Nuggets.
Denver is not on the same level as true contenders such as Cleveland, Orlando, Los Angeles (not the Clippers), San Antonio, Boston or even New Orleans. Do not take solace in the fact the Celtics have signed Mikki Moore. Even though that is one fewer team you must compete with it will not change a thing. As long as any of the previously mentioned teams have interest in a player, he is not coming to Denver.
Approaching Smith’s agent will only serve to remind you, and us, that Denver is still not considered an elite team, nor is it an elite destination. Whatever time you put into the pursuit of Smith, or any other quasi-useful veteran player will be time that could have been better utilized doing something else. You might as well try finding a cure for cancer because as unlikely as it is that you might be successful the chances are better than the 0.000% chance you persuade a waived veteran whose play is worth the contract he signs to join the Nuggets.
I hope you find this advice helpful, but more than that I hope you follow said advice.
P.S. Sam Cassell will probably sign with you should you make the inane decision to offer him a contract. Do not let that go to your head.
Nene out one or two weeks
As expected it was determined that Nene did not have any structural damage to his knee. Unfortunately, the bruise is bad enough that he might miss up to two weeks (see link above). Considering the Nuggets Pythagorean projected record is 3-79 without Nene in the lineup this season missing him for two weeks, with Portland and Utah breathing down our necks is not something I want to think about.
Let’s move on.
I certainly did not give Rajon Rondo enough credit for his play last night. He is quickly developing into a player who can do whatever he wants on the floor. He has tremendous instincts, a great handle, superlative vision and has a mean streak. He is afraid of no one and did not think twice about challenging Chris Andersen for rebounds or attacking Birdman off the dribble. Rondo is quickly making a name for himself and has been endorsed by TrueHoop contributor Kevin Arnovitz and Henry Abbott’s mother.
When rough is not tough
Another thing I forgot to mention in my game recap for the blowout to the Celtics was how after already having been manhandled by the Celtics the Nuggets tried to get physical. Kenyon was called, and I think rightly so, for a flagrant one on the shot he gave Ray Allen and Anthony Carter ran through Allen on a three point attempt late in the third quarter. Maybe both Nuggets felt like they sent a message and felt like they had exhibited toughness.
To me the player who exhibited true toughness was Ray Allen who after getting knocked off the court by Martin made both free throws (the start of what ended up being a five point possession) and on the play he was drilled by Carter he made the three and the free throw.
Sports movie Oscars
Denver Post Nuggets beat writer Benjamin Hochman put together a great post on his personal list of nominees and winners for the all time sports movie Oscars.