The Denver Nuggets possess one of the more efficient offenses in the NBA (currently fifth in the league in offensive efficiency). It is an equal opportunity offense that requires players who can create scoring opportunities for their teammates. The bad news is they are running low on players who are good passers.
With injuries to Andre Miller and Danilo Gallinari the Nuggets are going to be without two very good passers. For all of his faults Miller has done a solid job of setting teammates up with good looks. The two point guard offense is one that fans abhor, but when playing shooting guard Miller provided Denver with a well above average passer at that position.
Gallo has also developed into not only a solid passer, but a player capable of making difficult passes.
Nene is also a fantastic passer as a big man and Denver will miss that aspect of his game.
Looking at the players who are healthy and on the roster, I think you have to be concerned about the ability of the team to set one another up with good scoring opportunities. Go down the list and Denver is now saddled with rotation players who are below average passers for their position. Arron Afflalo, Corey Brewer, Wilson Chandler, Kenneth Faried, Al Harrington, Kosta Koufos, Chris Andersen and JaVale McGee are all below average passers. Julyan Stone is a solid player, but he is not the passer that Miller is. The only players who will be suited up for Denver against the Pistons who are above average passers for their position are Timofey Mozgov and Rudy Fernandez.
Add the difficulty of inserting two new players into the scheme and that complicates things even more. Much of passing is about familiarity. Knowing what a teammate is going to do before he does it. The Nuggets are going to need time to build those relationships. Even though one of the two new players is Chandler who played with the team last season, but his time was limited, not to mention the team has experienced significant turnover recently.
For a team that depends on offense to win games, Denver is going to have to execute exceptionally well in order to be successful. Ty Lawson is going to be under significant pressure to play at a high level. If he struggles to create offense when he is on the court through the upcoming seven game road trip, Denver will find themselves outside the playoffs looking in.
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