Taking the helm: Ty Lawson alone should be Nuggets team captain

Leadership is getting players to believe in you. If you tell a teammate you’re ready to play as tough as you’re able to, you’d better go out there and do it… Leadership is diving for a loose ball, getting the crowd involved, getting other players involved. It’s being able to take it as well as dish it out. That’s the only way you’re going to get respect from the players.

–Larry Bird

So many games come down to who’s going to make plays. Who’s the guy who’s going to take that responsibility. So the leaders of this team are going to be the ones who take responsibility in winning. It’s not the responsibility of putting numbers on the board, it’s the responsibility of winning.

–George Karl

After the Denver Nuggets traded away Arron Afflalo and Al Harrington to land Andre Iguodala, the conventional wisdom dictated that while this move would bolster Denver’s perimeter defense, its 3-point shooting, and by extension its offense as a whole, would take a hit (an issue which Charlie deftly analyzes in his most recent post). Most of the buzz centered around whether, on the balance, this was an upgrade in basketball terms that would propel the Nuggets to the next level.

Less examined, however, is the fact that in trading Afflalo Denver lost its team captain, and in trading Harrington lost the player who by all appearances was the team’s true leader in the locker room. On the surface this might be considered an easily dismissible issue. Iguodala, after all, was not only team captain of the Philadelphia 76ers, most recently leading them to the Eastern Conference semifinals, but also boasting additional leadership credentials as an All-Star and Olympian. Leaders out, leader in, plug-and-play and they’re ready to roll. Simple enough.

Except that it’s not. (more…)

Do the Nuggets need to add a shooter?

With Denver’s roster currently standing at 14 players, an important deadline looms next week concerning the Nuggets’ final roster spot. According to the excellent CBA FAQ from Larry Coon (already updated for this season), second round picks must be offered a contract by September 6th or they become free agents.

This of course has great meaning for the Nuggets and Quincy Miller, the yet-unsigned 38th pick in the 2012 draft. While I believe the final roster spot should be earmarked for Quincy and I expect the Nuggets to sign him, there’s a growing sentiment among fans that the Nuggets need to add another shooter over a 19-year old who’s likely to spend his rookie season developing his raw talent rather than playing.  (more…)

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