3-on-3: Past, present, future

In Roundball Mining Company’s first postseason reflection piece we’ll be taking a look at the evolution of the Denver Nuggets over the last year and examine what we’ve learned about the team throughout the process. Though the Nuggets have laid the foundation for the future through savvy front-office dealings there’s still quite a bit of uncertainty surrounding the roster. Therefore, our most recent 3-on-3 aims to analyze certain aspects of the present, past and future. As always, feel free to hand out your answers to these questions in the comments section below.

1. What aspect of the Denver Nuggets has changed the most since the start of the season?

Kalen: The progression and similar decline between Arron Afflalo and Danilo Gallinari. While neither of these guys had their best showings in the playoffs, there’s no denying that as a whole, they shifted positions between the start of the regular season and its conclusion in April. Remember, through the first month of the season Gallinari was averaging close to 19 points per game while shooting roughly .47 percent from the field and .88 percent from the line. In addition, he set a new career high with 37 points in what was, at the time, the biggest win of the year against the Knicks. It was by far the best month of his career.

Meanwhile Afflalo was a borderline pariah amongst fans and frequent victim of hypothetical trade machine deals after he got off to a slow start averaging only 10 points per game on .415 shooting from the field and .692 from the line over the first month of the season. Fastforward to April (the last month of the regular season) and Afflalo was carrying the team on his back through the midst of a playoff hunt, averaging about 19 points, four rebounds and 3.4 assists per game on .521 percent shooting from the field, .45 percent from downtown and .84 percent from the line.

While many will point to Gallinari’s injuries as the downfall of his season — and rightfully so — you still have to acknowledge the fact that he had close to a month to get back to his original form from the beginning of the year, yet he only averaged 12.6 points per game on .37 percent from the field during this span. Seeing how much these players changed over the course of the season should pose as a harsh reminder to fans that judgement is meal best served with a side of patience.

Jeremy: Expectations. When the Nuggets started off 14-5 there was a good portion of Nuggets Nation that believed the boys in blue were a contender. As the season wore on and injuries took their toll, the focus shifted from winning the West to just making the playoffs. By the end of the season, despite having a full complement of players (sure Wilson Chandler missed the playoffs, but he was never a factor in the season including the 14-5 opening) fans were no longer hoping for a shot at the finals, but rather a couple of wins before being eliminated.

The front office showed they knew the Nuggets were not contenders with the Nene trade, and when Denver forced Game 7, fans who were talking about a deep playoff run were now content to enjoy the second most successful playoff “run” in 18 years. I think heading into the offseason everyone is on the same page, Denver is a very good young team, but they are a player or two away from being a true contender. Some may believe that those players are on the roster and just need to mature, but I doubt anyone will be proclaiming Denver a preseason favorite to make the finals next year.

Charlie: The Nuggets identity. I think this shortened season was the first true test of whether the post-Carmelo model had any prospects for sustained, long-term success. Last summer there was the idea that trading Melo for an ensemble cast of role players was all the rebuilding the Nuggets needed to do in order to start competing for a championship.

Despite the temptations to use injury and inexperience as an excuse, Nuggets management did a great job of realizing they had built a mediocre team and needed to commit to player development in order to move forward. I do not mean to disparage George Karl for his overall coaching performance this season, but early in the year there was a serious disconnect between the way this team was constructed and the way it was being coached. The Nene trade ultimately got everyone on the same page and moving towards the common goal of developing a young core capable of lifting the Nuggets to new heights.
2. What is the most valuable lesson the Nuggets learned in the Lakers series?

Kalen: Never back down; always have confidence in your abilities. I know it sounds cheesy, but it’s so true. For whatever reason the Nuggets have always been intimidated by the Lakers. As a result, they’ve never played their best basketball against them. I honestly believe that if you changed the Lakers uniform, looks and names of the players and put the Nuggets up against them, it would be a totally different series. The Nuggets played nervous and insecure in the first two games, which ended up costing them in the long run. The good thing is, they finally seemed to understand that they too are professional basketball players and on any given night can compete with anybody in the world. This will be invaluable moving forward, especially a year from now when they’re back in the playoffs once again.

Jeremy: While it was good to see Denver make the shift from regular season intensity to playoff intensity between Game 1 and Game 7, I think the biggest lesson is seeds matter and thus every game in the regular season matters. Denver lost plenty of games they should have won this season, even though they were shorthanded on many nights with the attitude that making the playoffs would suffice. If the Nuggets want to be taken seriously in the playoffs, they cannot be content to blow regular season games as they did in Toronto, against New Orleans (twice) and Cleveland. If Denver wants to be more than a one-and-done playoff participant, they must put more of an emphasis on winning every game possible to ear the highest seed possible. It’s no coincidence that the one time this millennium Denver made it out of the first round of the playoffs they were a two seed.

Charlie: Hopefully it will teach the Nuggets to never be satisfied with themselves. After being out of the playoff picture at the All-Star break, Denver finished strong to move up to the sixth seed and definitely entered the postseason too complacent with what they had achieved. The result was a Game 1 in which the scared Nuggets didn’t look ready to play and basically laid down while putting the Lakers in the drivers seat for a series win. Even as the Nuggets toughened up and perhaps were the better team in the latter part of the series, they did themselves in by getting behind the 8-ball early. In the regular season, the Nuggets can settle for winning one out of two on the road or having their deep bench make up for some lackluster performances by their best players; in the playoffs, that just doesn’t fly. This team isn’t going anywhere past the first round until the coaches and players take that to heart.

3. What’s must the Nugget do to ensure they improve even more next season?

Kalen: Say the course. Since the Melo trade the Nuggets front office has spent the last year and a half constructing a team with the exact DNA this current Nuggets squad possesses. Now that it’s finally arrived it’s important to see where this roster can go. Obviously the Nuggets will continue to make moves in order to put them in a position to win more games, but outside of moving Chandler and a few other small pieces, I think it’s crucial that the Nuggets keep the starting five in tact and run with this youth movement. Let Jordan Hamilton, Julyan Stone and hopefully another talented rookie (similar to Faried) become vital parts of the rotation in addition to the veteran presence of Al Harrington and a possible stabilizing free agent. Although young, there’s an enormous amount of talent on this roster and it would be disingenuous to break it up before we really get a chance to see how it can play as a cohesive unit.

Jeremy: There are plenty of areas where Denver can improve from their recent campaign. My No. 1 suggestion would be to commit to playing defense. While the Nuggets have had a reputation as a poor defensive team over the years due to their high points per game average, for much of the Carmelo era the Nuggets were a staple in the top ten of defensive efficiency. That changed in 2009-10 when the Nuggets sank to 16th. This season Denver finished a pathetic 19th in defensive efficiency, the lowest they have finished in that category in a decade. Denver has size, athleticism and young legs plus George Karl has proven he can coach defense. The Nuggets should be a fantastic defensive team and if they want to be successful in the future, they better make playing defense a priority.

Charlie: The Nuggets just need to keep doing what they’ve been doing — namely building a strong foundation around youth and athleticism. Denver has a good thing going as the kind of farm system where developing players can see their raw talent realized in the form of on-court success. It’s amazing to me how an often ridiculed player like JaVale McGee was able to make huge strides in such a short time and become legit in the basketball community’s eyes with a change of scenery. Beyond that, I just think the Nuggets need to continue adapting their style of play to the personnel and cutting ties with what they were traditionally known for during the Carmelo Anthony era. Even in the span of this one shortened season the Nuggets have gone from a fairly average rebounding team to one of the league’s elite. With a good locker room free of any troublesome egos, this team has the ability to be even more fundamentally sound and assuming they are able to develop their size a little more, the next step might be playing a little bit slower and perhaps even becoming a more defensive-minded team.

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Kalen Deremo

Kalen was born in Durango, CO, in 1988 and graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2013 with a degree in journalism. He's now an itinerant hoping to travel as much as possible before eventually succumbing to the "real world." Aside from writing Kalen likes movies, music, spicy food and the great outdoors. Edward Abbey is his current idol.

Latest posts by Kalen Deremo (see all)

  • Aaron

    TOTALLY agree with the regular season consistency argument from Jeremy.

    We can talk all day about how Andre Miller stepped up against the Lakers, but if he and a few other guys would’ve shown up in February, we don’t even see the Lakers until the CF’s!!!

    That’s been a problem for years under GK and his “I think 3 wins on this trip would be a good trip” mentality. The last year of Carmelo is the biggest example. . . we had just come off the conference finals and couldn’t get higher than a 4 seed.

    The problem is that OKC isn’t going anywhere, so we’re going to be down there in the 4-5 range at best. But, if you look at this year, that would’ve been ok, as we’d have a much better time with LAC or Memphis , than the Lakers. Even one seed, 3-4 wins make a HUGE difference and it’s time we start playing like that. Every team has off nights. . but not against the Cavs and Hornets at home. . . gotta win the games you should win. All the time.

    • ryanvdonk

      the year after the conference finals? GK coached the team for the first half of the season, where they were in the number 2 position until he had to leave due to cancer…after that they slid back

    • aaway1

      1) Grit. The team showed a willingness to fight, even when losing to lesser teams. The loss of JR, K-Mart and Melo did not take away any toughness. The road record was impressive, its like they forgot to handle home court though.

      2) That whole loss of confidence thing is a waste of time. I think most true, non star struck, hoop fans would have rather seen the Nuggs push the NW division rivals to six or seven as opposed to the Lakers looking like the sad team we made them look like for three games.

      3) I agree that nothing should necessarily change. The Chandler experiment should continue and no need to shut down on Rudy as a sharpshooter. The nine that finished in LA plus Chandler, Rudy, and Koufus should be allowed one full and somewhat healthier year together.

      Karl needs to continually trust the bench. There is absolutely no benefit to a deep team if there is no willingness to play eleven. Even if is to use up fouls and rest your vets. Part of trying to be a gun slinging deep team is to consistently run eleven, even is some guys only get 8 mins. How can you expect the team to play good D after pushing every opportunity if the vets are consistently playing thirty or so minutes? This is a must f your going to run and play pesky D throughout a season and playoffs.

  • Landry

    Glad you guys are glad with our core of players because we’re gonna have to go ala Chauncey’s 2003-2004 pistons if we want to try for a title.

    This means a commitment to defense and an actual half-court offense which we know GK can coach, even though we all know how he likes to improvise.

    I like that GK is such a flexible fellow because defense was not going to get the Knuggets to the playoffs with this lock-out season. With no team stability or practice, offense and the fast-break was our only hope. Like Masai said, this was a season for experimentation and in so doing, the Knuggets have rid ourselves of two blended teams by ridding the Nuggets of all the pieces of CMelo with the trade of Nene.

    Hopefully with a full regular season we can reestablish a defensive mentality that we lost with KMart because we’ll finally have the tools to become dominant once again if the Nuggets can re-sign McGee.

    Finally, I hope that the FO doesn’t allow GK a crutch like Andre Miller to hamper Lawson’s growth. This is because we need to just throw him to the dogs of the NBA and not allow him to stay passive. After all Lawsome is now in his senior season in the NBA and either needs to do or die.

    Hopefully Ujiri realizes this now that we can have J. Stone out of the GK dog house. J. Stone is clearly a part of the youth plan and we can use him as our new back-up PG without Miller. In so doing, we can use the Andre $ to sign Mcgee!!!

    Glad to see us fight at every big moment of this shortened season and I hope that we can carry that mentality to next year. The key is to stay healthy next year because the injury bug has hampered us for two straight seasons… oh well not gonna happen.

  • Thomas

    Let’s not kid ourselves, our team won’t make any significant inroads with GK at the helm. It’s plain to see that we will never maximize our potential with him calling the shots.

    This is not a reflection based on the results of these playoffs. This is an unescapable conclusion that one makes after seeing an obvious pattern, with different players and story lines each year – yet with the same predictable outcome at season’s end.

    Behind the worthy optimism of the bloggers, I am certain that there is a shadow of doubt and logical thinking among you guys that question if it’s possible to achieve a different outcome with this “mastermind” at the helm.

    It’s not.

    • Sam

      Torn between seeing GK stay or go. Given how the players bought into his system towards the end of the playoffs maybe he deserves another chance. I still dont know if its sustainable to have players run like crazy all season and expect them to have anything left in the tank for the playoffs. Hard to decide.

    • Charliemyboy

      I think you’re dreaming. George is staying and one of the top 8 coaches in the league by his peers… are you ready to start driving from the back seat? We have limited perspective on his challanges. Look what he had to work with and what he did. Be patient… if, after two more seasons we are not competing for the title there needs to be restructure. OK took 4 years…

  • Mel

    Nuggets have to see what they can get for Wilson Chandler. Corey Brewer makes him expendable. Chandler should be a reasonably hot commodity. After all, Nic Batum is/was, and they are as close to identical as players as 2 players can be. Long wings who can defend and shoot always have a place in the NBA – the Nuggets just have 1 more than they need. (Or trade Brewer and keep Chandler…but I think Brewer’s enthusiasm and positive atttitude are really valuable to the team chemistry.)

    Birdman is just dead weight at this point, unfortunately — probably the only bad contract the Nuggets are carrying. Maybe he can be unloaded with Chandler in some kind of deal that returns a useful player. Use that money to lock down McGee. Tell McGee he’s the starting center for the indefinite future and that we expect great things from him

    Consider going with Rudy Fernandez (or someone else) as the backup pg and letting Miller go. The front office may need to protect George Karl from himself when it comes to Andre. Miller has a genius basketball IQ, but he’s an old man and his attitude is at least questionable.

    Try to find a half-court scorer through trade. Pau Gasol comes to mind. If Lakers get creamed by OKC, they might bite at a trade package that includes Manimal.

    • andrew

      Trade Manimal? Are you insane? He’s one of the brightest spots for the Nuggets this year, and part building-block of what hopes to be a long-term roster.

      • Guy

        Totally agree with you on Manimal. He is undersized but I think it’s amazing how much this guy has improved in such a short period of time. On a Championship caliber team you may have to bring him off the bench, but what an asset to bring off the bench. If we’re going to make a move with older players for the next couple of years I would just as soon go after Kevin Garnett whose better defensively and more of a leader. That being said I would just as soon the Nuggets build a longer lasting contender through youth like OKC and the Spurs so many years ago.

        • J.J.

          You guys are a little too hyped on Faried. Great attitude, energy, and rebounding (and even some scoring), but his size will doom him from ever being more than just a good player. He’ll look great mid-season against teams without dominant bigs, but in any games that matter (and at the end of games that REALLY matter), he’s too unreliable on offense and small for rebounding.

          Not trying to knock him, and I really hope he stays, but if you could get Gasol for Faried and another player (Chandler?), you do that in a second.

          • Corey

            You must have seen a different playoff series than I. Faried out rebounded Gasol 10.0 to 9.1. Faried is 19 in all the NBA in PER. That is not hype–it’s stats. Pau provides MAYBE a bit more overall offensively taking into account his playmaking; however, he is making 19mil the next couple years vs Faried at 1.5 to 2mil over the next 4!! And you want to throw in Chandler as well?? Crazy!

  • Phil

    I’ve heard several analysts say that Chandler, when healthy, will be the 2nd best player on the Nuggets (behind Lawson). I’m not sure why he’s the guy people want to get rid of.

    • steve

      love the 3 on 3s. Great read guys!

      The ppl that said Chandler is 2nd best obviously aren’t watching games. Gallo is much better than chandler all around. Chandler hasnt performed well at all since being a Nug. Honestly, why would we want to keep him at 7+mill per year and play 25 minutes per or pay brewer and hamilton half of that combined.

      To me we resigned chandler just to keep him as an asset this offseason. MY offseason plan is trading him to Houston for the 14th pick. Houston might do this because they have both 14 and 16 and they need a wing like Chandler to compliment KevMartin and have lots of cap room. We use that pick to draft PF/C Moultrie who has the size to guard any big spot with some added weight. He also has an inside outside game on offense which is needed. Great rebounder. avg’s almost 5 offensive rebs per 40 min which is insane. He is not a shot blocker though by any means which is what hurts his value.

      with the 20th pick, id love Wroten or Marshall as the backup pg position or Ross or Waiters as lights out shooters at the sg position to backup AA.

      drop miller and Rudy F, amnesty birdman because hes useless and last candidate we can use it on anyways and we can sign a solid vet FA on a 1 year deal as a nice veteran stop gap.

      i feel comfortable in whatever our staff doesand will back up any moves. but this is my plan :D

    • Aaa

      I’ve been saying this since forever. Finally someone agrees. I’m not saying he’s better than gallo or gallo is better than him but people need to start considering the possibility that maybe you keep both or trade gallo

  • Jeff

    “Although young, there’s an enormous amount of talent on this roster and it would be disingenuous to break it up before we really get a chance to see how it can play as a cohesive unit.”

    Not to be a hater, but I don’t think you meant to use “disingenuous.”

    • Kalen

      No, I did. Disingenuous to the fans, players and structure of the team. You put together such a solid starting five and bench, then just blow it up at the height of its construction, that’s being disingenuous, dishonest, unfair, deceptive, misleading and whatever other synonyms you’d like to use.

      • Guy

        I don’t want to blow up the team but we need a star or 2 if we’re going to get anywhere in the playoffs. The Thunder are going to be the top team in the West for the next decade unless they lose Harden and/or Ibaka to free agency. I say keep Lawson, Faried, McGee & Brewer (He has a nice role on this team) and explore offers for the rest. The Nugs are going to have to take some risk if they are going to move to the next level and not be just 1st round playoff fodder. By the end of a players 4th year you usually know what you have in a player and I just don’t see Afflalo, Gallo, Chandler and any of the rest, with maybe the exception of JHam, getting a whole lot better. If the FO can get a draft pick for a player they covet they should take a chance and go for it. The Nuggets don’t play in a vacuum, teams like Dallas, Portland, Houston, and even the Lakers aren’t going to stand pat and let us stay ahead of them or pass them by. The Lakers and Dallas play for Championships not just to make the playoffs. The Nuggets FO did nothing after the Western Conf. Finals in 2009 when there were obvious weaknesses in our front line and because of that we took a step backwards and lost to Utah in the first round with home court advantage. The FO needs to recognize what they have and that’s a good team but not a championship level team. As a fan I want them to take some risk and go for it. In the short term it might be a step back if they increase the youth of the team but if they get the right players the payoff could be worth it.

        • http://nuggets.proboards.com LotharBot

          > “The Nuggets FO did nothing after the Western Conf. Finals in 2009″

          Nothing? They replaced the three weakest links on the team (AC, Dahntay, Kleiza) with better players (Ty, Afflalo, Joey “at least I don’t think I can shoot” Graham). I think the 2009 team would’ve got past the Lakers if they’d had Ty instead of AC.

          The 2010 team was on pace to be just as good or better until GK got cancer. Even so, they finished only 4 games behind the top seed in a very competitive western conference. And then Dantley got outcoached by Sloan. Really hard to pin that on the FO.

          The current FO does need to make some moves this offseason, but I don’t think they have to be “go get an all-star” type of moves. They just need to shore up weaknesses — replace Dre, Moz, Al, and maybe Brewer (and their combined 5500 minutes) with a guy like Kendall Marshall and a solid backup PF.

          • Guy

            The Nuggets biggest weakness against the Lakers in 2009 was up front where they were dominated by Bynum & Gasol, especially in games 5 & 6. The FO (and G. Karl) in charge back then told us that they were satisfied with what they had and that Nene & Birdman would improve. That never happened. The FO that was in charge back then put themselves in a box by giving big contracts to Martin, Nene and then Birdman giving us very little flexability. It seemed to me they were satisfied that they got to the WCF in 2009 and didn’t care if they went farther as long as they continued to sell tickets. Hopefully this current FO wants more.

          • Guy

            The Western Conference is alot stronger than the East. There’s no way the Nuggets are getting by OKC, the Spurs, Lakers, Clippers, Memphis and yes Dallas without at least 1 all-star. That’s a pipe dream. Mark Cuban’s not going to sit still in the off-season, I expect Dallas to make a move. The only Western Conference team I see moving down is Phoenix, especially if they lose Nash. We need to keep pace and increase our talent level or we could fall back. The Nuggets were in this same position back in 1994 and they kept telling us to just wait, the team is young. It never happend. They passed up a trade for Scottie Pippen and 2 or 3 years later they were blowing up their team. It’s time to stop lying to ourselves about our talent level and what it takes to go far in the NBA playoffs. We don’t have it yet but we might have the pieces to get what we need.

        • Charliemyboy

          The players will get better, sans injuries, until they are 27-30 physically, and 3-5 yrs after if the work hard and play smart. It is the team that makes wins. Look at SA now… perfect passes and positions with older knowledge and experience… Nuggets have all the talent they need… stardom comes from the complement pieces and time sometimes…

  • dynamo.joe

    Before people go crazy with the trade machine, here is a list of the people that represent a significant upgrade over our current starters. In the case I am defining upgrade as starter + 2.00 PER or higher.

    PG: Chris Paul, LAC, Derrick Rose, CHI, Westbrook, OKC, Tony Parker, SA, Kyrie Irving, CLE

    Chances of prying any of these guys from their current teams? Approximately 0.

    SG: Dwyane Wade, MIA, Manu Ginobili, SA, Kobe Bryant, LAL, James Harden, OKC, Joe Johnson, ATL, Monta Ellis, GS/MIL, Marcus Thornton, SAC

    You might be able to get Johnson, Ellis, or Thornton, but would you want to pay $18M for Johnson? or $11M for Ellis? $7M for Thornton seems reasonable and the Monta contract is only slightly unreasonable, but both are flawed players that you hope can develop more in a better situation.

    SF: LeBron James, MIA, Kevin Durant, OKC, Carmelo Anthony, NY, Paul Pierce, BOS, Danny Granger, IND

    Can you get Danny Granger? Probably not. Sure as shittin you ain’t getting any of the others. Plus, Gallo was playing better than all of these guys except Lebron and Durant before the injuries.

    PF: Kevin Love, MIN

    You ain’t getting him unless he decides he’s pissed about not getting the maximum contract extension.

    C: Dwight Howard, ORL, Andrew Bynum, LAL, Al Jefferson, UTAH, Tim Duncan, SA, Greg Monroe, DET

    You might could rent Howard if Orlando decides its wants to be done with the drama. If Bynum loses this series, Buss might be mad enough to shop him. Greg Monroe? I assume that Detroit is deep enough in the shitter that they would trade him for multiple starting caliber players.

    Thats basically 2 (maybe 3, depending on how you feel about Monta) guys in the NBA that you have a reasonable chance of getting, aren’t grossly overpaying, and don’t come with a giant sized load of baggage.

    Marcus Thornton and Greg Monroe, everybody!

    • Landry

      Good research and I heard the Kings are shopping Thorton!!! If we could trade straight up for Afflalo, Brewer, and a second rounder. The Kings then get solid defense!! and we get a Go-to scorer at shooting guard as it is the only position that doesn’t fit the GK plan of a top 10 at every position and top 10 bench ideal. Hopefully Masai is working the phone lines as I don’t see the same heart from Afflalo as he had with the Thuggets.

      • dynamo.joe

        I still like AAA. If we could go Chandler/Brewer/2nd I would be happier.

        Plus Afflalo would be destroying bench players.

        The big issue would be back court defense with Ty/thornton and maybe back court scoring on the 2nd team with Stone/AAA.

      • Ryan

        Thornton is a guy who gets his, but doesn’t really make the team better. Not the type of guy the Nuggets want/need, in my opinion

        • steve

          exactly…NO Thornton please. He’s a Nick Young, JR SMITH mold SG. He’s a ball hawg. I don’t even think he avg’s 2 assists per game. MUCH MUCH rather have AA.

          • dynamo.joe

            Well, I never said I wanted Thornton, just that you could argue he was better than our current starter and you could get him. Didn’t say he fit our scheme better. Didn’t say he wouldn’t have a negative impact on team chemistry.

            The real point of my post was to say “you aren’t getting CP3 or Wade or Lebron or Love or Howard, so let’s not have those completely unreasonable conversations”.

            These are the types of guys you could get let’s discuss them.

            Uhh….which is exactly what you were doing….now I’m not sure what the point of THIS post is.

            • Aaron

              I Would Probably Rather Bring McGee Back Without Loosing Anyone. InStead of Trading a Starter And A Key Role Player For A Center That Probably Isn’t As Good As Mcgee

    • Guy

      That’s why they have to take a chance with the draft. They’ll either overpay or won’t get the top free agents and if they do nothing we’ll have 5 more years of 1st round exits. Every team left in the West has top players at their positions. As good as Lawson is he’s not Chris Paul, Westbrook or Parker. We need someone at least one position that is at that level to compete with the OKC’s of the Conference. The only way to get that player is most likely through the draft.

      • ryanvdonk

        honestly ty could be as good as parker or westbrick, they both grew as players who were not the number 1 threat on offense, giving them a lot of one on one matchups, we see whenever ty gets one on one he beats his guy 90% of the time. the problem is he doesn’t consistently have another player to keep defenses honest, the second he makes a move good teams collapse on him, keying their whole defense on keeping him out of the paint.

        • Guy

          Can Ty be as good as Parker?? Maybe. If he keeps the arc on his shot he’s better than Parker from 3pt land but Parker is much better stopping on a dime and hitting that 15 footer. Parker has more lateral quickness than Lawson where Ty has more straight ahead speed. Ty can’t compete with Westbrook though. Westbrook’s an athletic freak whose just as fast as Lawson and can stop on a dime and shoot over defenders with that 15-18 footer. His only weakness is that at times he shoots too much. He also has the eyes of an assassin and has no fear which says something considering how much critisism he gets. I do agree with you about having a #1 guy (Like a Durrant, Duncan or even Ginobilli) to help Ty get more one on one match-ups. One on one Ty’s a tough match-up and I was encouraged by his improvement as the playoffs progressed.

          • Charliemyboy

            Gallo lost it with his injury. Even w/o his best the Nuggets changed when he returned and went 11-5 I believe… and he scored 37 at NY. He needs to strengthen his legs..

    • http://www.twitter.com/DenverThugget James

      Awesome research man. That really puts it into perspective. The draft is the way to go. Stay young, stay cheap.

  • al68

    Siempre pense que este equipo era muy bueno al principio de temporada jugamos muy bien rapido en equipo consiguiendo muchas canastas fáciles. Lo peor fueron las lesiones y el cansancio del equipo, para mi lo único malo de GK este año no sacar mas partido de los rookies.

    Hay varios puntos oscuros que me gustaria comentar:

    1.- Los buenos porcentages de Gallo fueron por la gran cantidad de canastas faciles y de fastbreak no de su tiro exterior.
    2.- La actitud de Miller fue vergorzosa durante todo el año excepto dos partidos. Recordad el tip-in del 4º partido que fue el que determino la eliminatoria.
    3.- Falta de vision de un coach como GK respecto de Faried, esperemos que no vuelva a pasar.
    4.- La vuelta al pasado con la falta de IQ con la llegada de Mcgee. Nos quitamos a Smith y Melo y pensamos que podemos cambiar a Javale, lo dudo aunque deseo equivocarme.
    5.- Decompensacion del equipo casi nulo juego exterior, afortunadamente no nos hicieron muchas defensas zonales, los entrenadores de NBA me parecen bastante malos en comparacion con los NCAA y algunos europeos.

    Respecto a las necesidades creo que nos falta claramente un tirador fiable un base suplente que defienda y ataque algo mas que stone y un PF-C.

    Veo prescindibles a KK, Harrington deberiamos aprovechar que su valoracion a subido recordad que hace un año nadie lo queria y lo ibamos a amnistiar, y a Gallo que creo que esta muy sobrevalorado.

  • http://tshirtgroove.com Booker Addison

    This is good stuff.

    I have been noodling around with what the Nuggets should do in the off-season and I think the top priorities are…

    1. Let Andre Miller walk. Love him. But he doesn’t work on the same team as Lawson.

    2. Trade Harrington when his stock is high. Good scoring Game 7. Got votes for 6th man. People will look at his scoring numbers and want him as their stretch 4 off the bench. I won’t go as far as the stat geeks who absolutely hate him, but he has no business being on the court more than spot minutes on this team.

    3. DO NOT overpay Javale McGee. I trust Ujiri, so this shouldn’t be an issue. I’m thinking $9-$10 is ceiling. Or let him walk.

    4. Chandler and Gallo should not be on the same team. Gallo was disappointing late in the season, but I’m chalking it up to injury. I like his offensive game — passing, 3s, driving to the rim, FTs — a lot more than Chandler’s mid-range chucking game. And the defense is a toss up. Praying that Gallo isn’t just injury prone.

    5. Gasol is a dream pickup to me. I think he’s beat down from playing with ball hog and mind manipulator Kobe for too long. Plus, there just isn’t the space for him to work down low with Bynum. We need that passing and scoring from a big. Can we put together a package that gets him without breaking up the core?

    6. Ray Allen – If we get Gasol and still have Lawson, Gallo, Faried, then Ray Allen would look at that team as a contender and consider signing. Right?

    BTW – Marcus Thorton is terrible. Classic all flash, no substance dude. That’s a serious downgrade from Afflalo.

    • al68

      Como español Gasol me parece el mejor jugador que hemos tenido en la historia pero creo que al ser un jugador con pocas dotes atleticas se nota mas en el la edad, sus mejores años ya han pasado y creo que su declive va ha ser mas rapido que el de jugadores mas atleticos seria bueno como jugador de equipo no superstar.

      Sobre Thornton pienso igual que tu.

      Gallo es un buen defensor pero pienso que en ataque es muy limitado y ya conocen sus floppin y pitan menos faltas si no mejora su tiro creo que debiamos venderlo cuanto antes.

    • FinazzAus

      You make it sound like Its easy to get gasol and ray Allan. It won’t be. Gasol is owed 18mill next year (I think) so the money has to be close enought to make it work under nba rules. That would mean giving up gallo, AAA to get there. That’s clearly not going to happen, and for that fact the lakers will find it hard to move him (unless it’s for DH12)

      If you want to go a big. Garrett is your man

  • George

    The name I would like to see us get (for the right price of course) would be James Harden. Use him at SG, make him a starter, move AAA to come off the bench. Let go of Miller, and that would give us four guards (Lawson, Stone, Harden, AAA) to work with. If we can’t get Harden, then I would think we should try to get Jason Terry because he would give us solid scoring off the bench, a good vet presence, and a solid 3pt sniper (something we do not have at all).

    • steve

      I would looooove Harden, but it won’t happen. Honestly, he’s playing himself to a 12-14 mill per year deal. I’m not joking either.

    • FinazzAus

      If you want a guard. I know one. His name…………………..C. Billups.
      We can get him cheap, his family still lives in Denver, he would come back to Denver, knows our system and would understand his roll as a back up playing 25mins and leadership.
      C. Billups is our man.

      • TheWolfman

        It would be awesome to get Chauncey back, but I think he might still be mad at the Nugs. They’ve traded him twice, the second time after he said he wanted to retire here. I know he knows that is was business, but I’d guess that it still stung a bit too much.

        • Ryan

          I love Chauncey too, but recovery from a ruptured achilles in your mid-30s is not an easy task. Even if he comes back, he might be just a shell of his former self (see Brand, Elton). I would like to see him back with the Nuggets… as head coach!

          • FinazzAus

            If you pay him $2mill which is peanuts he then becomes a playing coach. Limited minutes and when we need him. It also give the chance to blood stone a bit more as well. It’s would be a massive win for Denver

  • Ryan

    I agree with Booker that Miller should be let go. He was great in Game 5, but there were too many times last season when he was disinterested and not putting forth any sort of effort defensively. Plus, it’s time for Ty to play without another PG on the floor, as he always let Miller control the offense for the most part when they shared the court. Ty is at his best with the ball in his hands, not when he’s floating around the perimeter. Stone is already the perfect complement to Ty: big, athletic, good defender. I think it’s time to see what he can do.
    I would pay McGee up to $12M for 5 years, as he has already had more memorable playoff games than Nene ever did, plus he doesn’t have an injury history like Nene did. Based on the progress he made in his brief time in Denver, that price could be a steal in a few years. Even if he doesn’t improve significantly, he still is an excellent shot blocker who changes the way other teams play offense and can rebound effectively as well.
    I think some people here are shooting too high with trade prospects: Harden, Gasol, sign Ray Allen. I really think the biggest piece missing from this year’s team was a deadly 3 point shooter. Not a superstar, just someone who can reliably hang around the perimeter and knock down open threes created by Ty’s penetration. We see how much success San Antonio has with this concept every year, why can’t the Nuggets try to emulate it? Brandon Rush, Anthony Morrow, Jared Dudley or drafting a Klay Thompson-like clone could fill this role relatively cheaply.
    Finally, I’m not sure if anyone knows this, but if Birdman is convicted of something, can the Nuggets get out of his contract without using their amnesty provision? Not sure how that whole process works, but if so, it would free up a lot of cap space without costing the Nuggets anything. Overall, I’m proud of this team and look forward to next year!

    • FinazzAus

      I was thinking the same think about Birman. But if he does get convicted it would take years. So the contact would be all but over anyway.

  • eddi0

    I agree largely with Charlie’s comments but I think some slight tweaks to the roster might be the best recipe.

    Keepers: C: McGee, Koufos, Mozgov
    PF: Faried, Harrington
    SF: Brewer, Hamilton
    SG:
    PG: Lawson, Stone

    Gotta Go: Bird

    Question Marks: The Gallo vs Chandler debate I think is the biggest question mark but one we can control. Gallo was not impressive against the Lakers and shooting at about 40% post injury doesn’t guarantee him a spot next year. I believe Chandler is more well-rounded but he needs to work on a consistent 3 pt shot. Flip a coin for the starting SF position.

    Afflalo and his somewhat over-priced contract would be hard to move but he did regress this year. Maybe worth some phone calls to see what we can get.

    Andre wants to start or play on a championship caliber team, two things he will not get with Den. I say we let him go and look for another veteran PG who is not so demanding (pass first with a 3 pt shot).

    Rudy is like untradeable so we might be strapped with him for another year. I think the shooting guard is are most glaring weakness, very little depth and very little “shooting” in our shooting guards. I think this is where we spend the majority of our time this summer, finding a suitable 2 guard who can shoot and spread the floor.

    For once we’re in the driver’s seat, just need a couple questions answered. Looking forward to next season.

    • steve

      absolutely correct. I think we need a lights out 3 pt shooter. Honestly, i’d love to bring in Delfino. He can play decent D and also play either wing position. He’s solid in transition. Career 40% 3 pt shooter.

      I think we need 1 more big man with a little more size. I’ve been saying all along i’d want Moultrie in the draft but we might have to move up to get him.

      I think Gallo is much better than chandler. Gallo is just as good on D from what i see. Chandler is much more sloppy with the ball in his hands and i believe gallo has more potential to be a great 3 pt shooter. Plus, gallo wants to be here. Chandler just seems like he’s going thru the motions.

      • Guy

        I agree with you about Gallo’s defense. He has the ability to play better than average defense against multiple positions which is a big plus. That being said I would trade both Chandler & Gallo for the right package and that package does not include Marcus Thorton. I just hope that the FO doesn’t just find making the playoffs acceptable.

    • LotharBot

      Rudy is a free agent this year. We’re not “stuck” with him by any means.

      • FinazzAus

        His restricted. His owed 3 point Something next year. Unless another team offers more him more we are stuck with him

        • steve

          rumor has it if he doesnt get a long term deal from Nugs he will play in Spain next year. Spanish papers are already saying that he is almost a sure thing to play for Real Madrid. So, i think we can kiss him goodbye.

        • Aaa

          You don’t have to keep restricted free agents. You just don’t pick up their qualifying offer and they’re gone

          • Michael (anotheraussienuggzfan)

            depends if it is a team or player option, I think Rudy’s is player so if he wants to stay in the NBA he can, otherwise he will most likely play in Spain.

    • Charliemyboy

      We’re keeping Miller and losing Fernandez. I wish Gallo or Chandler could play shooting guard to start… Let AAA come of the bench…

  • Herman VanNess

    Going forward, the team needs to determine whether or not Gallo and Ty are true franchise cornerstones. Both lack consistency. They’re young but, I feel Gallo is closer to his ceiling and I’m beginning to wonder if that ceiling is good enough to be the top player on a championship caliber team no matter how deep it is.

    Sometimes Ty looks like an All-Star and other times he looks to be better suited as a change of pace, off the bench lead guard. He has to be more assertive as a leader getting his teammates in the right spots and learning how to orchestrate an offense in the half court while at the same time remaining aggressive. It’s a tall order but, it’s time for George to take the training wheels off and let Ty run the show.

    Gallo is somewhat perplexing. I don’t really like the way the Nuggets used him down the stretch. I thought they tried to make him a jack-of-all-trades and he ended up being a master of none. He needs to come off of screens and shoot. Too much ball handling/driving. He also needs to develop a post game. He should be really effective in the high post. He’s crafty enough. He needs to be a scorer in my opinion. He has to play with confidence and a scorer’s mentality.

    I love the McGee, Faried tandem. High energy, athletic, shot blocking, rebounding, and just scratching the surface of their potential. Only problem is those guys are limited offensively and too often when they were in the starting lineup Ty and Gallo weren’t aggressive enough and the team ended up needing the bench to bail out the starters on the offensive end.

    I think the Nuggets need shooters and a shot creator. Shooters in the form of stretch bigmen a la Steve Novak or Ryan Anderson or a swingman like a Gary Neal. And we need someone other than Ty that can beat someone off the dribble and create their own shot. I’d like to see if given a specific role as a scoring 6th man, if a Tyreke Evans may be available. Kind of give him the green light with the second unit and tell him to get buckets.

    I like Afflalo but, I don’t think he’s a great fit because he’s a limited athlete that’s essentially maxed out his talent. He is what he is and I feel there is a market for him even at his price tag. Will Hamilton be ready to step up? A Hamilton/Brewer combo could get the job done.

    I still don’t know what Wilson Chandler’s game really is. Is he a 3 only? A 4? Can he play the 2? I do think he’s good and deserves minutes.

    C- McGee, Mozzy, Kofus
    PF- Faried, Al, (Stretch 4), Gallo
    SF- Gallo, Chandler, Brewer
    SG- (New Player), (Slasher/Scorer/Shot Creator), Hamilton, Brewer
    PG- Ty, Rudy, Stone

  • dynamo.joe

    Two things.

    1. The majority of our off season improvement should and will come from improvement in the players we have now. That’s is THE advantage of having a good young team, they mature physically and mentally.

    2. People are still underestimating AAA. Is he 26? Yes. Has he reached his physical peak? Probably. Can he continue to improve as a basketball player? Yes! People who are willing to put in the kind of work AAA is reported to put in over-achieve (e.g. when he starts moving with out the ball in the half court offense not to create his own shot but to create mismatches for his teammates, the Nuggets are going to jump up a notch).

  • Ernie

    Jeremy,

    Before the season you wanted the Nuggets to “blow things up” and start fresh with new draft picks. Has the improvement of McGee and Lawson and the last 4 playoff games changed your view? A commitment to defense from these players is very different than trading players for picks.

    Also I would be curious from the all the commentators what should expectations be for next year?

    Also you guys do a great job and I appreciate the time and effort. Thanks.

    • http://www.twitter.com/DenverThugget James

      Forgot. Most IMPORTANTLY. Hire a good Bigs Coach. he should be working non-stop this offseason with JVMG, Manimal, KK, Mozzy and even Gallo. Can you imagine how good we could be?! Think of what Ewing did for Dwight Howard….

  • Omar

    keep the the team together, try to get a scorer to score off the bench(O.J Mayo,Brandon rush,Randy Foye). Get a veteran pg who only expects to play 15 minutes a night(jonny flynn,jordan farmar,beno udrih,dj augustin,aaron brooks) and get the best player available in the draft. preferably a stretch 4 to replace harrington when he leaves(quincy miller). Also maybe get a post scorer if necessary but mcgee and gallo should be working on their post game over the summer. Move koufos and both of our seconds to try and get a nice project big(Andrew Nicholson,Fab Melo,Fetsus Ezeli)

    Lawson/??????/Stone
    Afflalo/Mayo/Hamilton/Brewer
    Gallinari/Chandler/Hamilton/Miller
    Faried/Harrington/Miller
    Mcgee/Mozgov/Nicholson

    • Zack

      DJ Augustin will not want to only play 15 minutes a night. We would have the same problem we do now with Miller. We need a true backup PG. Why can’t Stone do that?

    • steve

      none of those pg’s are veterans except maybe beno. All of them will be looking for good PT and a nice paycheck since they are only 3-5 yrs in the league and still need that first big $. I honestly think we bring Andre Miller back one more year as he probably wont get a starting gig. The nugs are the next best thing for him since we give him 25+ min and a huge role.

  • http://www.twitter.com/DenverThugget James

    Can we please get real here. I like Stone as much as the next guy (from a personal stand point, I mean, who doesn’t like an underdog?), but if you believe he’s a realistic big minutes player in the NBA (like a regular backup PG), you’re out of your freaking minds. Barring some GIANT improvement in his game during the off season, this is beyond a dream. I hope I’m proven wrong someday, but I really don’t think I will be.

    Couple other notes since I’m on here:

    – Agree that Gallo and Chandler can’t coexist and it would be a waste of a trade asset. I like Gallo better but I wouldn’t be shocked in the “Trade Nene, Do whatch Gotta Do Front Office” sends Gallo away if his numbers don’t live up to his contract and he continues to have injury issues.

    – It breaks my heart to say it after such a great year but Big Al probably doesn’t fit this team anymore. It’s hard to have your PF sitting out at the 3 point line when you’re already a short team *Or at least the players that get PT are short, we’re actually pretty tall.

    – I still like Kufos better than Moz, But if we can keep Moz long term for a similar price, why not?

    – I’d be happy if Rudy stayed (he fits with the run and gun style) but I think it’s unlikely. I do like the idea (posted above) of having a floor stretching sharp shooter though. I think he’d have to be a back up SG, since I already hate having Al by the 3pt line chucking them up instead of Manimal down low creating second chance points like a 4 should be doing.

    – I really want JVMG here. Hoping $9-10mill sounds good to him… and it should, he hasn’t earned anymore yet, that’s all on potential. And can we PLEASE stop kidding ourselves and make him the starting center. That’s laughable. I half thought they did this as a plan to help with contract negotiations this summer.

    – Don’t even think of trading Brewer. He can change games, is a great ‘glue guy’ in the locker room and is a steal at his price.

    – Ty, Manimal and AAA should be considered an untouchable assets.

    – Id love to see J-Ham get some more burn. Young and cheap is the way to go. That’s how OKC did it. We have some extra picks the next couple of years, I hope we use them well and give those players the PT they need to develop. I have confidence that this Front Office will do that.

    – Good luck to Andre Miller. I had the biggest love/hate relationship with him but in the end, I really respected him. Love his sneaky ass game. Good luck wherever he lands. Upside for us is no more temptation to play two point guards.

    – Here’s the one I’ll get blasted for the most. If GK has one more lackluster season he HAS to go. I’m only cutting slack because of the youth on this team and the potential for him to develop them from the ground up. However, if there isn’t sizeable improvement, I want to see Melvin Hunt as the new head coach of the Denver Nuggets (Spend some time watching him on the sidelines, listen to what he’s saying. Dude is sharp. I don’t want to see another Scott Brooks walk out from under us.)

    – Two things ‘d like to see next year… Playing some D and SETTING SOME GOD DAMN SCREENS. How to we have an offense based on pick and rolls and set 3 good screens a game? It’s INSANE. We are easily the worst in the league. Take pride in that. It should be fun to lay your competition out! If we change nothing else about our halfcourt offense but hat we’d be a bare minimum 15% more efficient.

    – And finally FREE BIRDMAN (I mean that both from his current legal situation – she’s clearly a fake ass scam artist- and from his playing situation, either give him some PT or let him go. He doesn’t have too long left but he’s got some gas in the tank – I beleive he could have helped in several games down the stretch – and it kills me to watch him waste away and grow that disgusting beard at the end of the bench.)

    • Aaa

      See how fragile Washington are right now about trying to win to keep j wall happy. Could they trade their top five pick for gallo, maybe if we threw in our pick 20. Reunite good friends nene and gallo

  • Omar

    Gallo is a tough sell for me. The guy has never had a healthy season and nothing leads me to believe that he ever will be for a complete season. I wouldn’t mind if we move him to draft harrison barnes. Barnes has potential to be a great defensive threat and also be a good spot up shooter. By moving gallo we also clear up some cap space to make a move at a free agent like O.J Mayo. I love gallo and what he does WHEN he is healthy. Key part is when and this guy just hasn’t been able to do it.

    • Aaa

      If we could move gallo for Barnes I would be extremely happy. Barnes has his question marks but he has never been accused of not being able to shoot or score. Heck throw in KK Mozgov or whoever to get deal done

      • dynamo.joe

        Matt Barnes? You are an LA fan, I assume.

        • Cider

          Harrison Barnes, not Matt Barnes.

    • Ryan

      I like Barnes and think he would be a great fit, but GK never plays rookies. Maybe he would make an exception because Barnes is a UNC guy, but he would likely just ride the bench like Faried did until the front office forced him to play Faried. As long as GK is coach, might be better off getting a free agent. Anyone like the idea of freeing up some cap space by trading Gallo and making a run at Ilyasova? He is a better shooter, rebounder than Gallo. Plus, Ilyasova would brings significantly different skills than Chandler, making it less of an issue to have both.

  • ThomasDenverFan

    Any thoughts on bringing in someone like Jordan Hill he will be a UFA and yes he has his own personal cap but he did good against us and wait…..he can rebound as well which other than manimal and Javale we don’t have much there lets be honest KK and Moz have bricks for hands.

  • Thomas

    Hearing the latest interview from Masai, I will be very disappointed if he ends up doing what he says (keep our pieces, keep Andre etc).

    Right now we have several valuable trade pieces. No other team has so many pieces to offer in a big trade. We can offer Gallo, Mcgee or Moz, AAA, Andre, Harrington, Rudy – hell, we can even offer Ty Lawson if that means getting a big prize.

    Our team, as it is constructed and coached, will never contend for anything. The 2 point-guard line up will only bring us mediocrity. Our individual pieces right now fetch very good value for trade bait.

    Suppose Miami falters and are open to trade Wade, as proposed by Mike and Mike at ESPN. Wouldn’t you consider trading Ty, Mcgee and AAA for Wade, if you are Masai (if the trade works under the cap)? Or trade Andre, Mcgee and Gallo for Wade?

    Nothing should be off the table. Gallo may have reached his ceiling and Mcgee will fetch top dollars and is highly questionable if he can man the post consistently – not to mention his asthma problems in Denver’s altitude.

    • Charliemyboy

      Disagree.. if they didn’t have headlight deer complex starting against LA, and only had one year more maturiey, they would be playing OK, who they just beat on OK’s court. Also, who was the last team to beat SA before their streak? It will just take two to three years… again, I would like to try MeGee, Lawson, Gallo, Farid and Chandler to start….

  • Aaa

    Oj mayo intrigues me. Streaky shooter. All star potential. Irrational confidence guy who ain’t afraid of the moment. Obviously has been inconsistent. Ego gets in the way at times.

  • Aaa

    Another guy is tyreke Evans . Kings looking to trade him. Needs change of scenery . Has all star potential. Could you trade gallo for him maybe? I’m not sure who has higher trade value. The kings need a 3 and Evans seem to be the odd one out as cousins and Thornton get more touches. But if you could get a deal like that t could be a franchise changing move. Evans is prone to ball hogging but loves to get out in transition.

    Chandler Hamilton brewer could play the 3
    Afflalo and Lawson start in the back court with Evans playing combo guard off the bench similar to a James harden. Stones opportunites would increase as a defensive pg off the bench while he can share ball handling duties with Evans.

    Evans in a more successful organisation with a more defined role might be the turning point for him. IMO this is a great trade for both sides

    • Andrew

      Like this idea, but I would give up Chandler rather than Gallo. I know Gallo may have injury issues, but Chandler has no heart IMO (at least not for Denver). Tyreke Evans would be a really good pickup.

  • Aaa

    Untouchables on our team?

    Probably Lawson because he could be an all star next year if he stays slightly more consistent and any pg upgrades are unattainable.

    Faried. You just don’t trade guys who bring what he brings. Hustle, desire, willing to improve, hard worker, team player, fearless. And if that’s not enough he is far outplaying his rookie contract of about $1 mill

    Afflalo is close because he is such a great leader with his work ethic and defensive intensity. Only reason he would be traded would to make room for an all star type scoring 2 guard. Unlikely.but similar to fairied you don’t trade guys like this

    Brewer Hamilton and stone are good value role players who shouldn’t be traded.

    Big al veteran leader who is unlikely to be moved

    Bird needs to go. KK is another good value back up

    Mozgov could be traded in a package

    McGee under a good contract is untouchable simply because it is hard to find a decent centre these days especially one who protects the ring. However because of he is a RFA you can never count out some stupide team like the rockets offering him ridiculous money

    Gallo V Chandler. Do you pick one? Do you keep both? Personally I like chandler more and would like to trade gallo for someone like tyreke evans because I think the team is at a point where they need to take another big risk or two to escape being the perennial 4 or 5 seed. Opinions differ and I understand that, but one thing people agree on is that if we were to pull off a big trade it would have to involve one of these guys.

  • Marcel

    I got a radical proposition.

    What about Stoudemeier? Obviously New York is stuck in their situation and Melo is untouchable. What if we packaged Chandler, Harrington and Moz (or sign and trade miller) for Stoudemeier and and a first or second round pick? You could then have mcgee and stoudemeir for length and matchups up front, or stoudemeier and faried for scoring and boards. You would then have

    Mcgee/Stoudemeir/Koufos
    Stoudemeir/Faried/Stoudemeir/Gallo
    Gallo/Faried/Brewer
    AAA/Brewer/Jham
    Lawson/Miller (or other pg)/stone

    The starting lineup is a beast up front and the dept and lineup still has amazing depth, more defensive outside and inside. Brewer and Faried off the bench would be a powerful second wave that would wear teams out.

    With this lineup, Miller’s playmaking would be a big benefit, while Lawson would get tons of space inside to wheel and deal.

    I know its radical, but I see this team would compete with anyone.

    • Aaa

      Very interesting

    • dynamo.joe

      If the league would allow it, the Knicks would trade Amare for 3 sticks of already chewed juicy fruit gum.

    • Ryan

      That would eliminate any salary cap flexibility and give the Nuggets a consummate “get mine” guy who plays no defense and has knees that can’t be insured/back problems. How does this improve the team?

    • FinazzAus

      The FO wouldn’t do this for one simple fact. Stats contact (which is high and has a long time to play out) is uninsurable. Meaning the leagues insurance policy allows the insurer to nominate 5 player in the league NOT to insure. Stats is one of them

  • ChuckinJapan

    Just one thing that I haven’t seen mentioned in the hurry to rid ourselves of Andre Miller is what he does do well and how that fits. Dre is the best alley-oop passer in the league, and I’m not sure it’s even close. If Manimal and JaVale are to stay and become integral parts of our team, it makes sense to have the guy who basically put the ball in the bucket for them on a large percentage of their baskets.

    If you decide that Dre and Harrington both have to go, where does the veteran presence come in? Dre might be quiet, but you can put him in at the end of games and he handles his business.

    Harrington played so many minutes at the beginning of the year in all situations, blowouts in either direction with no Manimal on the radar at that point. It’s no wonder he wore down. Give him a smaller work-load throughout the year and you can get the production he was providing throughout the first 2/3 of the season.

    The comments keep saying that Stone can step into the backup pg role next year. Nice guy, but he’s just a basketball player not a pointguard. Who you gonna get better than Dre?

  • Guy

    I can’t decide on Miller. On one hand he played well against LAL but on the other his play during Feb.-Mar. showed a lack of effort and caring you’d expect from a veteran leader. He seems to fit our system but I wouldn’t want to pay him too much.
    I like the idea of trading with the Wizards for their lottery pick. Trading Gallo or AA/Chandler to move up and grab MKG or Beal is a risk I think the Nuggets need to take. The Wizards might want some veterans to put around J. Wall and although I like Gallo I wonder if he’s close to his ceiling. There’s also the injuries.

    If that doesn’t happen I’d like to see them move Chandler to Houston, Portland, or NO for their late lottery pick (or just out of the lottery pick in the case of Houston) and take a big man (Henson, Moultrie, Zeller) or take a gamble on Lilliard of Weber St..
    If they keep #20 I’d take a look at Harkless. He’s raw and for the moment can’t shoot a lick but he’s long, athletic and can defend and handle the ball. High upside and a good motor to go along with Faried.
    I’d also like to see tham package their two 2nd rounders (one may belong to Portland) and move into the late 1st or early 2nd and grab a shooter such as Jenkins from Vandy or Kevin Murphy. These moves would address most of the Nuggets needs, increase their talent level and most importantly keep them financialy flexible.

    • steve

      guy…im very much on the same path as you. Not quite sure about Dre. Part of me thinks we should bring him back just because of how much he gelled with Mcgee and Faried. Someone stated before that he can flat out pass and got us some exciting lobs. Not sure how many PG’s can do that. We need a backup PG anyways, im starting to think we should keep him 1 more year if he’s willing to come back.

      I also want to trade chandler. Houston was my logic since they need a SF that can defend next to Kmart. They own 14 and 16 picks with alot of cap room. I’d love to get Moultrie or Henson there. One more very good rebounder that can defend who also can step away and hit the Jay.

      i think we need to get a shooter in FA if we dont keep Rudy. Carlos Delfino is who i was thinking of. He can play either wing spot and defend some. he’s a career 40% 3 pt shooter. If we amnesty birdman which i think we should, we could use that cash to sign him.

      at pick 20, we can go so many ways. If we dont sign a shooter in FA, i could see Terrence Ross or Doron Lamb or even Draymond Green. If we do get a shooter, maybe a pg like Wroten or teague. I dont think any of the bigs we’d want will fall to 20.

      • Ryan

        I don’t like Draymond Green at all. Too small to play PF in the NBA, looks like Alando Tucker 2.0 to me. David Thorpe on ESPN thinks the Nuggets should take Wroten Jr. or Teague and groom them for a couple years so they can be Ty Lawson’s backup. That sounds dumb to me, especially if Miller stays. I say take the best SG available at 20 and hope you strike gold…

  • DAN

    What about Kendall Marshall as a Dre substitute? Think we would have to trade up to get him….but might be worth it.

  • microbrew

    out as soon as I got in. disappointing. thought this would be a place where intelligent fans could have a say. looks like kalen (masai?) is the spin master. out…..

  • microbrew

    amateurish. the whole organization has to step it up including the house blog if the Nugs are going to be taken seriously.