Nuggets players in the ESPN player rankings (201-500)

The ESPN/Truehoop 2012 NBA player rankings (which you can follow at @NBAonESPN using the #NBArank hashtag) have now counted down to players 201-220. Continuing with our look at where Nuggets players were ranked, here is an updated list including two new names, Timofey Mozgov at 220 and Corey Brewer at 203.

Here are the Nuggets players who have appeared thus far:

  • 203 Corey Brewer (up 5 from previous rank of 208)
  • 220 Timofey Mozgov (up 86 from previous rank of 306)
  • 269 Anthony Randolph (down 49 from previous rank of 220)
  • 274 Kosta Koufos (up 74 from previous rank of 348)
  • 337 Jordan Hamilton (up 43 from previous rank of 380)
  • 395 Quincy Miller
  • 410 Evan Fournier
  • 473 Julyan Stone

And as a basis for comparison, here are last year’s previous rankings for the Denver players who have yet to be named:

  • 34 Andre Iguodala
  • 64 Ty Lawson
  • 68 Danilo Gallinari
  • 75 Wilson Chandler
  • 89 Andre Miller
  • 99 JaVale McGee
  • 331 Kenneth Faried

We will keep you updated as the next tiers of rankings are released. In the meantime, please feel free to share your reactions and predictions in the comments.

Nuggets players in the ESPN player rankings (261-500)

As many of our readers are already aware, ESPN and the Truehoop network are currently counting down the rankings of all the players in the NBA from 500 to 1, announcing them one by one on twitter at @NBAonESPN using the #NBArank hashtag. Over 100 contributors, including several of your own Roundball Mining Company writers, participated in the voting. And with the latest installment of players 261-280 we have nearly reached the midway point.

So which Denver Nuggets players dwell in the bottom half of the rankings? Here’s a look at the names which have appeared thus far:

  • 269 Anthony Randolph (previous rank: 220)
  • 274 Kosta Koufos (previous rank: 348)
  • 337 Jordan Hamilton (previous rank 380)
  • 395 Quincy Miller
  • 410 Evan Fournier
  • 473 Julyan Stone

Of course, the rankings for rookies or a player like Stone who hardly saw the court are somewhat arbitrary. But as we approach the top they’ll become more meaningful, and it will be interesting to see how the general consensus stacks up the better Nuggets players against the rest of the league.

As a basis for comparison, here are last year’s rankings for the Denver players who have yet to be named:

  • 34 Andre Iguodala
  • 64 Ty Lawson
  • 68 Danilo Gallinari
  • 75 Wilson Chandler
  • 89 Andre Miller
  • 99 JaVale McGee
  • 208 Corey Brewer
  • 306 Timofey Mozgov
  • 331 Kenneth Faried

We will keep you updated as the next tiers of rankings are released. In the meantime, please feel free to share your reactions and predictions in the comments.

When the Manimal devoured the Celtics on St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2012. The Boston Celtics at the Pepsi Center in Denver (with all too many traitorous green jerseys in attendance). The only matchup between the Nuggets and C’s in the lockout shortened season. And Denver jockeying for playoff positioning as the season drew closer to an end.

It was a huge game for the Nuggets. And despite the hype surrounding the St. Patty’s-Boston imagery, the most important symbolism of the game was when George Karl uncharacteristically entrusted a rookie, Kenneth Faried, to close out the final minutes of a closely contested contest.

And the Manimal delivered.  Scoring 18 points on perfect shooting, including five of five from the field and eight of eight from the line, Faried also grabbed 16 rebounds — 6 offensive — with a steal and a block on top. Beyond the stat line, he was the engine that fueled the team’s energy and drive with infectious, relentless effort. And he played a crucial role in earning the Nuggets victory.

Future contract options for Iguodala and the Nuggets

When Andre Iguodala made his much anticipated post-trade appearance with the Nuggets brass at the Pepsi Center, he spoke in upbeat tones about the prospects of a long term tenure with his new team. On the question of his future in Denver, Iguodala explained that he and executive Masai Ujiri were both on the same page:

We aren’t coming in to this thinking this is just a one year deal we are looking to the future and definitely looking ahead looking to see how we can go forward so this isn’t a quick stop for me.

On the surface it seems simple enough. Iguodala has two years remaining on his contract at $14,968,250 and $16,154,750 respectively, with an Early Termination Option (ETO) for the final year. This allows at least one or two years for he and the Nuggets to work out a new deal which will keep him around long term.

But what, specifically, are are the possibilities for Iguodala and the Nuggets going forward, and which of these various scenarios is most likely to play out in reality? (more…)

Corey Brewer and the Denver Nuggets at the crossroads

The two big stories in Nuggetsland this August have been the trade for Andre Iguodala and the personalized training that JaVale McGee and Kenneth Faried are receiving under the tutelage of Hall of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon. Recently however, my thoughts have turned to another player who will undoubtedly be of lower profile in Denver’s 2012-13 season, but in several ways will still be of great importance.

Most Nuggets fans very much enjoyed tracking the progression of last season’s team with the NBA TV produced documentary The Association: Denver Nuggets (and if you were living in a cave and somehow managed to miss it, please proceed to the Association page at NBA.com here, where all episodes can be watched for free). Going back through the series recently, I found the third episode to be particularly heartbreaking and inspirational.

Just as Denver was struggling through a bad stretch of injuries and losses late January and early February last season, Corey Brewer had to take a three game absence to mourn the passing of his father, who succumbed to a long battle with diabetes complications. Making an emotionally charged return on Feb. 11, he helped the Nuggets win a closely fought 113-109 road victory over the Indiana Pacers in one of his stronger performances of the season. (more…)

Minutes projections for the Nuggets: Karl will lean heavily on his heavies

“If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse.”

Many Nuggets fans will be familiar with the oft uttered refrain from Steve Hess, assistant coach in charge of strength and conditioning. It has become a meme which flows freely through the team’s culture, often surfacing in players’ post-workout tweets as what seems to be a slogan for the principle to which Denver is dedicated: getting better.

The Nuggets organization has firmly dedicated itself to a course in which, while engaging in a process of ongoing reconstruction following the Carmelo Anthony trade, will prioritize staying relevant and continuing to improve in an increasingly competitive Western Conference.

This team won’t be tanking. The recent acquisition of Andre Iguodala, even at the cost of fan favorite Arron Afflalo and coach favorite Al Harrington, represents how strong the Nuggets’ commitment to winning truly is. The players want to win. The organization as a whole wants to win.

There is no doubt, too, that head coach George Karl wants to win. And this will be enormously important in his decision making as he determines how his player rotations settle down through the 2012-13 season, and which players get the lion’s share of the sparse minutes which will be all too precious on his very deep roster. (more…)

Danilo Gallinari back on the court for Italy – Is he “Injury Prone?”

After missing all of the warm up games heading into the qualification round of EuroBasket 2013 Danilo Gallinari played in Italy’s opening contest against Portugal.  Gallo compiled ten points and nine rebounds in only 15 minutes as part of Italy’s 97-45 victory.

It is very promising to see Gallinari back on the court and performing effectively.  The Rooster has only appeared in 63% of the regular season games the Nuggets have played since arriving as part of the Carmelo Anthony trade in 2011 (57 performances over 90 contests).

(more…)

Takeaway quotes from the Drew & Scott interview with Masai Ujiri

Yesterday, Drew Goodman and Scott Hastings of Drew & Scott on Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan had an extensive interview with Nuggets executive Masai Ujiri, who was in Houston, where JaVale McGee is currently training with Hakeem Olajuwon. (On Twitter, please follow Drew here: @ROOTSPORTS_DG, and Scott here: @ScottHastings). They talked about the Andre Iguodala trade and The Dream’s work with McGee and Kenneth Faried.

Before reading further, please be sure to listen to their original broadcast here, as the transcribed quotes below are  only a fraction of of their discussion, and of course in writing much of the personal feel of the conveersation is lost. That said, in addition to listening to the interview, it does seem worthwhile to see some of what Ujiri said in writing, as he conveyed a lot of information rather quickly, and much of it is worth a closer look.

Excerpts from Ujiri’s answers* in the interview are after the jump: (more…)

When the two Andres defeated the Denver Nuggets [VIDEO]

On March 19, 2008, then Denver Nuggets guard Allen Iverson finally got his first opportunity to return to the place of his NBA roots and face the 76ers in Philadelphia. After having been traded for Andre Miller, Joe Smith and two first round picks in December 2006 to join Carmelo Anthony in Denver,  his dramatic homecoming stole the headlines.

The 76ers, however, got the win with the help of their two leading scorers in that game, who combined for 49 points, 18 assists and five steals. Nobody could have known at that time that the duo of Andre Miller and Andre Iguodala had just defeated a team they would find themselves reunited on over four years later. (more…)

Will Gallinari be healthy to start the regular season?

Hat tip to nycericanguy, who provided me with this link.

According to NBAEurope.com:

Italy are hoping to have Danilo Gallinari available for Wednesday’s EuroBasket Qualification Round opener against Portugal in Sassari, Sardinia.

The Denver Nuggets forward has missed all of Italy’s preparation games this summer.

Gallinari has struggled with a back problem and a right shoulder injury and has been out of action for 20 days.

If accurate, this is troubling news for Denver, to say the least. Hopefully we’ll hear more from the Nuggets’ medical and training staff.

 

UPDATE: In a recent tweet, Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post takes the scare off this report:

Some sites are makin a huge deal about a Gallinari shoulder injury, but I talked w someone close to him who said he’ll be fine for camp

Hopefully that source is correct. Wilson Chandler is currently rehabilitating from the operation he had last spring, and ideally both he and Gallo will be back to full strength when training camp rolls around.

 

The importance of the Denver Nuggets 2012 training camp

With the curtains having closed on the Olympics we have officially entered the basketball doldrums, a time when we can review the past and speculate on the future, but must wait patiently for the return of live games. The silver lining this summer is that the NBA has returned to normal. The 2011 lockout is sealed in the history books, and we have a full 82-game season to look forward to, including a regular media day, training camp and preseason schedule.

But though the comfort of traditional routine has been restored in the bigger NBA picture, the Denver Nuggets find themselves in a uniquely interesting position. As a result of Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups being traded during the 2010-11 season prior to the lockout, combined with the subsequent trades of Nene and Arron Afflalo as well as the departures of Kenyon Martin and J.R. Smith in free agency, only two current Nuggets players, Andre Miller from 2003-06 and Ty Lawson from 2009-10, have gone through training camp at the Pepsi Center. And no two Denver players have done so together.

Remarkably, Ty Lawson is the only (more…)

5-on-5: Iguodala trade talk

With a new contributor, Roundball Mining Company will likely be doing more 5-on-5 pieces in the coming days. This means more opportunities for you, the reader, to participate by being featured as the fifth analyst in this series of articles, however this can only be achieved by following each of us on Twitter. In our first of many new 5-on-5s we highlight, what else, but the Andre Iguodala trade. T.J. McBride joins us this time around, but don’t let that stop you from posting your answers to these five questions in the comments section below!
(more…)

adidas Nations Wrap-Up

Ready for something a little different? We’ll continue our extensive coverage of the Iguodala acquisition soon, but the long-awaited conclusion to the Dwight Howard saga presents a great opportunity to change gears a bit and recap the recently concluded 2012 adidas Nations.

As I mentioned in my earlier reports, this year’s Nations had plenty of Denver Nuggets connections despite not being an official NBA event. I caught up with high-school senior Isaac Hamilton, Jordan’s little brother and one of top recruits in the Los Angeles area. On a more somber note, I also witnessed Arron Afflalo attend one of his last official functions as representative of the Denver Nuggets. Here’s the full rundown of these stories and my impression of the talent showcased at the 2012 adidas Nations. (more…)

Trade details

Many readers have asked, specifically, what the Nuggets gave up and received in Friday’s trade. Though I still can’t find a single article that confirms all aspects of the trade, I have been able to gather bits and pieces from various sources across the Internet. Here are my findings:

Received: Andre Iguodala

Sent: Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, a 2013 second-round draft pick (via Golden State) and a 2014 first-round draft pick (either Denver’s own or via New York)

Both of the picks sent to Orlando may end up being ones the Nuggets obtained from New York in the Carmelo Anthony trade. The 2013 second-round pick is from Golden State while the 2014 first-round pick will either be Denver’s own, or New York’s. According to CBSSports.com’s Ken Berger, the 2014 first-round pick conveyed to Orlando will be the least desirable of the Nuggets two picks that year.

Looking towards the future, the Nuggets now have two picks in the 2013 NBA Draft: their own first rounder and a second-round, top-40 protected selection from the Portland Trailblazers. Denver’s own second-round pick is conveyed to the Phoenix Suns and is also top-40 protected. Assuming the Nuggets re-sign Ty Lawson, they will then have three roster openings from the expiring contracts of Julyan Stone, Timofey Mozgov and Corey Brewer. If the Nuggets retain both picks they will then be left with one open roster spot to sign a free agent, however given Masai Ujiri’s penchant for perpetual activity, there’s a good chance the team’s current roster and draft-pick situation will change yet again.

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A new hope for the Nuggets perimeter defense

One cold hard truth the Nuggets were going to have to reckon with sooner or later was the fact that last season their perimeter defense was among the worst – if not the worst – in the league. Although their 103.4 team defensive efficiency rating was a lower-middling 19th in the league, a deeper dig into the numbers confirms what any Nuggets fan who has been paying attention already knows: All season long, opponents drained 3-pointers at will.

The opponent shot location statistics at HoopData.com reveal that Denver put together a respectable interior defense. The Nuggets were 8th best in the league in defending at-rim shots, as their opponents made 61.6 percent of their attempts. Holding steady in 8th place at short range, Denver held its opponents to a percentage of 36.2. Mid-range defense found them faring even better, 5th best with opponents shooting 35.6 percent. But 15 feet out from the basket is where the good news abruptly ends.

In both long range 2-point and in 3-point shooting, the Nuggets were dead last in the league, allowing a long-two field goal percentage of 41.4 and an effective field goal percentage of 57.5 from beyond the arc. None of this should come as a surprise (more…)

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