Staking a Claim: Season Reaction

Staking a Claim is a column that takes a look at all things Nuggets through the eyes of an outsider. As those who follow me on Twitter know I am a Bucks fan, so it will give Nuggets fans an opportunity to see things through the eyes of someone who follows the team closely but isn’t necessarily a fan.

A little over a week ago the Nuggets season came to a disappointing end in a Game 6 loss to the Golden State Warriors.

Over that time I have thought a lot about how to classify the Nuggets season.

Was it a success or failure? How much can be built on and how much should the team get away from? Can this roster compete for a title with a few tweaks or is there a major change that has to happen?

And finally after watching the Warriors continue their, to steal a term from Matt Moore, nova shooting against the Spurs things started to become much clearer to me.

The season as a whole was a great success for the Nuggets, even despite a disappointing ending.

Before we get to that disappointing ending it only seems right to look back on the regular season.

Things started rough for the Nuggets as they had a brutal early season schedule filled with road games, not the best thing for a team trying to incorporate a new starter with the role Andre Iguodala had as defensive stopper, part creator, part rebound, and really basically part everything.

But eventually things started to work out for the Nuggets and everything turned around once they got home. Everything came together perfectly though and the Nuggets reeled off a fifteen game winning streak that got lost in the historic 27 game streak the Heat had at the same time.

It all resulted in a 57 win season and the three seed in the West, an amazing accomplishment for a team like the Nuggets.

You see, I have been saying lately something that was creeping up in the back of my mind as we got ready for the playoffs here at RMC but I always pushed it to the back of my head figuring I was overreacting a bit. The Nuggets roster, as great as it is set up for the future, had some significant flaws.

The Nuggets couldn’t shoot. They couldn’t defend the three point line. They had a backup point guard who didn’t fit the rest of the team but was given an incredible amount of leeway from the coaching staff. They had three bigs who all did one thing very well and a lot of things average or below. They really had three above average defenders on the roster and one of them was injured late in the season.

But they made it work. They made it work to the tune of 57 wins and that I believed would carry to the playoffs; that they would win a series and push the Spurs in round two.

Then the series started and things became problematic.  It quickly became apparent that the Nuggets ran into the worst possible matchup for them, and then David Lee got hurt and it became worse. Even worse, that horrific matchup shot the ball like they were playing NBA Jam and everyone was on fire.

The Nuggets didn’t shoot well from three in the series. They didn’t defend the three point line well. Andre Miller came in, slowed the game down, played hero ball, missed a lot, got killed on defense and yet was rewarded with more minutes than he should have played. The three bigs all did their one thing well; Kosta Koufos making rotations, Kenneth Faried rebounding, JaVale playing with energy and dunking. But they also did those things they didn’t do well. Koufos playing physical, Faried generating offense or making proper defensive rotations, JaVale playing the pick-and-roll well, none happened, just like for most of the year they didn’t happen. Finally, defensively the Nuggets had no answer for the Warriors perimeter players. Andre Iguodala took turns slowing down one Warrior just so another could pick on Ty Lawson or Andre Miller or Corey Brewer and get hot. Wilson Chandler did all he could to contain players from Andrew Bogut to Steph Curry.

It was a series Danilo Gallinari would have made a huge impact in. The shooting, the defense, the rebounding he would have brought would have made life much easier on Ty Lawson and Andre Iguodala, the two Nuggets who consistently showed up in the series.

But fate intervened and decided it was one of those what if questions that the Nuggets and their fans would have to deal with for the rest of the year. What if Gallo was healthy, would it have mattered? Could this team have gone to the finals, especially now that Russell Westbrook is out?

In the end it doesn’t matter because the injury happened.

But there are questions to be asked, questions that will have plenty of different answers.

What do you take from this Nuggets season? Was the season a success?

To me the answer is clear.

Yes, the season was a success.

The Nuggets started something that seems to have a bright future. They took a team that had significant flaws, flaws that were obvious all season and won 57 games, including 15 in a row. They posted the best home record in the league and did it in a fun way.

They did it because the team played hard night after night, because the team understood its limits and played within them, because the team generally seemed to enjoy playing with each other.

Take it from someone who roots for a team that fails on every one of those points. The Nuggets have something special.

Sure the playoffs ended things on a sour note but most of it wasn’t the Nuggets fault.

They played for the three seed figuring that it would leave them against a Houston team that they would have matched up well with and probably dismissed easily. Instead the Rockets collapsed and the Nuggets worst nightmare wound up in the sixth seed.

Then the Warriors went on a video game like shooting spree and the wounded Nuggets had no answer for it.

But there is incredible hope. The roster has clear building blocks in Ty Lawson and Gallo. If Iguodala returns they would have the best three players on the team locked up for years, and a front office that sure seems to be one you can put faith in.

The foundation is there. Now add a few shooters, a big man who can score a bit besides at the rim, a backup point guard who fits the roster better and a 57 win team gets clearly better.

Success has been tasted by those building blocks and they will be striving for it again. And maybe next year the Nuggets don’t have the injuries late in the year, maybe they get a favorable matchup.

Whatever happens, one thing seems clear. The Nuggets have something special building, and if it continues we all may look back on this year as the start of it all.

In the end this year may be a success to everyone, not just the few that it seems that way to so soon after a disappointing ending.

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  • Kyle

    “The Nuggets couldn’t shoot. They couldn’t defend the three point line. They had a backup point guard who didn’t fit the rest of the team but was given an incredible amount of leeway from the coaching staff.” Bingo

  • DAN

    Let Brewer walk. Love the energy but we need someone who can shoot playing his minutes. Trade Miller for anything and I wouldn’t mind Kosta finding a new home either, he is just too soft.
    Bring in shooters. Korver would be nice and a pg like Jaret Jack, or even Robinson. Though I shudder to think what Karl would do with two sub six foot point guards. I love his swagger.

  • Mike K

    Team needs shooters like Korver. Miller should be sent to the Siberian Basketball League. A back up PG who can play up-tempo would be nice. Get rid of Koufus and let McGee learn with Mozzy backing him up. Send both to Hakeem and bring someone in to work during the season on game-to-game prep. Oh, and sign Iggy and Masai.

    And bring in a coach that can take over for Karl after next season or in season if things go to crap early on.

    • http://espn herpderpnuggets

      I agree with keeping mozgov and letting koufos walk…mozzy was solid last year despite the injuries and then just stopped getting playing time, i doubt we get him to re-sign with us this year though since karl hates him.

    • Michael

      Why do you like Mozgov over Koufas? Not trying to be contentious just curious. They are similar players but I have always felt K2 makes fewer mistakes on D which over rides the (mediocre) mid-range game Mozgov brings to the table. Where do you see the differences?

    • Mike K

      Koufus disappeared in the playoffs the first time Bogut bumped him in the low block is why he should go. I don’t see Mozzy taking that shit from Bogut or anyone else. There’s also the mid-range game that other bigs have developed that is already a step ahead of either Koufus or McGee for that matter.

      I don’t want a big that disappears because he’s getting beat up a little down low. It’s gonna happen. Suck it up or get out.

  • DG Boss

    I loved the article I felt every key point was hit but I feel like just like everyone else and almost every nugget fan we want an excuse. Sure this match up of either the lakers, houston, we did not want GS. But there is no excuse for losing this series. Sure we lost gallo, but GK never played the right match ups. I know the nuggets were cursed with a plethora of talent. GK never ever played Randolph when we could see that Randolph of all the centers could exploit Bogut on the offensive side, Randolph was never going to play over 20 mins but if we gave him 12-15 to mix him playing McGee or even Mozgov the other 12-20 minutes. GK should of immediately started McGee after game 1. Sure just play him 20 minutes. But you know in those 20 you would of gotten at least 8 points, 6 reb, and 2 blks. Then you would of never had chandler trying to play bogut. That should of never happened. That is plain stupidity, a 6-8 220 guy vs a 7 foot 260+ center. Play big, let ty, iggy, chandler, then either faried/ moz/ rand. next to Mcgee. in game 2, then game 3 faried and Mcgee start. Have the bench of Andre only max 20 mins, mix of fournier, Brewer, and the small 15+ minutes that should of went to Moz or Rand. when Mcgee or Faried should of been the line up, with Lawson always playing jack or curry, Iggy playing only curry or thompson, Chandler on only thompson, jack, harrison, Faried on only Landry and Ezeli, miller only on jack, Brewer and Evan on only Green and harrison, and Rand. Moz McGee on Bogut, Ezeli, and Landry. Those matchups and only matching up those players to each other would of won us the series but instead we got mismatch of mismatch and GS took advantage like they should of but if we played that way our series would look more like this Spurs GS series and not this laughable one of GS vs the Nugs like we saw where GK got out coached didnt put his players in the right position which lead them to being uncomfortable and all the s#*! we saw because they didnt know what to do since there were mismatches everywhere. We could of played more 3-2 zone when we went big but no we never did. more 2-2-1 but we never did. we were never coached that. Sure it is a players league but when your the nuggets and you have so much talent compared to GS it shouldnt of been a 6 game GS domination we saw. There were just all the mismatches, never the correct lines to the right players. Thats why we lost.

  • Ryan

    It was a nice regular season, but the real determination of whether it was the start of something great or just a mild peak in a decade-long plateau will come this offseason. A skilled big would be wonderful and a competent 3-pt shooter would make the team look even better on paper. All of the cheery optimism in this post, however, avoids the big, fat elephant in the room: Karl + Andre Miller. We know the “coach of the year” won’t be fired (although that would be an amusing and historical moment) and Miller is under contract. Lawson has proved that he can be a borderline all-star, but will never fully reach his potential until Miller’s minutes are adequately diminished or he is no longer with the team. Does anyone see this happening? Until the Karl-Miller pairing is dismantled, I see next year following the same “Groundhog Day”-esque theme of the past decade…

    • Mike K

      I think everyone above Karl realizes Miller is the anchor holding the team back. He’s bigger than even Karl since Karl is, in all likelihood, gone after next season save a deep (at least WCF) playoff run.

      It would be nice for both to be shown the door as I believe Karl is the #1 reason this team cannot and will not sign a star-superstar caliber player. It has nothing to do with market. We’ve seen superstars max out in smaller markets in recent seasons. No reason Denver can’t do it, but not until there is a new coach in town that realizes players run the league, not the coaches.

      No reason to trade Gallo or anyone of the core (Lawson, Gallo, Faried, McGee) if Karl is forced to play them, not crutch himself on someone like Miller (if he stays) or Chandler or anyone else. He has to be forced to play Fournier, JHam, and the other young talent. I think Masai and Josh need to make it clear that either they play or Karl goes. It’s a take-it-or-leave-it scenario that MUST be laid out.

  • alessandro

    please trade gallo to a decent and serious team, possibly in the east.
    cannot stand anymore stubborn karl and superhero miller.

  • Evan Woodruff

    What blog is he on? I prefer him over RBC atm, because he doesn’t constantly bash the Nuggets. It’s ironic how the “outsider” is more optimistic and positive then the RBC “fans”. If I wanted to hear Nugget trash talk I’d go to I come here for optimism and positives, but Kalen has sucked the life out of it with his skepticism. There is plenty of Nugget skepticism out there, we don’t need more. The team is a underdog, don’t make it worse. Give them credit, no one else EVER does.

    There’s my soapbox.

    • Mike K

      And there is reason for the dour taste in our mouths. We know Karl is back and Miller is under contract. He was just exposed on national TV for 6 games by Steph Curry and Klay Thompson as old and incapable of playing even horrible defense. Who the hell is going to take him off our hands now?

      As long as he is here, Karl will play him like he’s the 2nd coming of Michael Jordan. That’s why there is pessimism. Until either or both go, we don’t see anything changing. Not with Karl’s stubbornness.

  • Aaron

    Yeah, the Nuggets loss to GS is looking “better” as the playoffs go on. Basically, GS was under-seeded. Without Bogut they were a different team, and their current confidence is through the roof. They were the worst possible matchup for the Nugs (who else would the Nugs have lost to in round 1? . . maybe San Antonio. . I think we beat everyone else. . yes, the Thunder), and they’re growing up before our eyes. Even MJackson didn’t think they could do this. And, losing David Lee was actually a good thing for them, so that HBarnes and DGreen could come in and hit more threes for them. If they win today, they’re going to give Memphis a heck of a time. They might take Marc Gasol out of that series by going small. We’ll see if they go cold again. . . that’s the only reason SanAntonio won the other night. Pop said it well. . sometime the other team doesn’t shoot well. GS gave us that in two games and those are the two that we won.

    • Evan Woodruff

      Trade for David Lee. Win a championship. GS don’t need him anyway.

      • Chris

        Trading for Lee would just contribute to an even more porous defense than we already have. The Nuggets can already score; they need a big who can be a shutdown interior force on D and still move in transition to get buckets. The trouble is, I’m not sure a guy like that—who’s name isn’t Howard—exists.

  • diehardnr1

    I see it as quite simple to fix Nuggets…and still keep Karl.

    Get rid of Miller, Move Fournier to bach-up PG…he is a “tweener” already, but his skill set is as a natural PG.
    Then package a big and a youngster for a proven veteran Center.
    Then package an underachiever with a pick or two and go get a consistent outside shooter.

    Make sure to keep Ty, Faried, Iguodala as the core…and try to keep Gallo, Chandler, Stone, QMiller if possible.

    Hire a free throw guru as a special coach to teach each and every player the importance of a set routine before charity shots. IMO this lack of routine at the line is a HUGE issue for Denver’s future chances.

    Then go get the 1 seed in the West…as HCA will again be vital to any Nuggets aspirations. (and hope the “we got this” attitude does not creep in like it did in Game 3)

    • dynamo.joe

      Fours, at this point, is not a PG. Look at the turnovers.

      I like a lot of the things he was doing when he got some time late season. He had improved dramatically from the early season, but the turnovers were still there. Maybe he can clean that up over one summer, maybe not.

      Why do you want to keep Stone if you think Fours should be the backup PG? Stone is a true pass 1st PG.

      I don’t think you need to bring in a coach to teach free throw shooting to guys who have been playing basketball since they were 8. You do have to make it clear how much you value free throws and that starts at the top.

      Andre Igoudala’s contract is up, for all intents and purposes. Go ahead and give him that 4/48 contract, but make a good sized chunk of it conditional on free throws. Say, 4/40 + $1M/year for 70%-80%, + $2M/yr for 80%+ (or even add that to the base 4/48, he would be worth $14M if he could make free throws). That makes it clear to everyone that free throw shooting needs to improve.

      Make it standard in all new contracts (are Stone and Hamilton’s contracts also up?). The guys under longer deals are all good free throw shooters anyway (Ty, Gallo, Chandler, YMCAndre), so you don’t need to ask for a renegotiation.

      Money Talks.

      • mike

        not sure on Fournier being a PG either, but paired with Iguodala he would probably be fine. He will need to learn to pass more and be able to set up players with things other than obvious passes. He does have good dribbling skills and body control.

        In terms of FT% a shot guy is probably a pretty good idea. As was said it’s about routine in a lot of ways. I haven’t ever seen any empirical evidence geared toward improving FT% after your first few years, but iguodala has obviously been much worse the last 2 years than previous 7.

        • dynamo.joe

          I agree that if he has someone like Iguodala or Gallo to share ball handling duties with he is probably OK. But if you want to make him the back up PG he has a lot of work to do and it may (probably will) take more than one off season.

        • chronosynclasticinfundibula

          I highly doubt Iggy’s agent would allow him to put a free throw percentage incentive in his contract and if he did he’d probably ruin his career as an agent.

          • LBJ

            Not to mention that it is probably a violation of the salary cap rules.

  • mitchell james

    how about trade miller, let brewer walk, trade for either love or horford, sign reddick or korver, draft peyton siva (who i think, after watching the big east and ncaa tournaments, would thrive in an uptempo system like denver’s). also resign iggy for as long as possible

    • http://espn herpderpnuggets

      Thats a tall order my friend, i think korver or reddick is definitely in the mix and same with iggy….we would have to give up a lot though for love and/horford.

    • Mike K

      And Siva doesn’t stand a chance of being on the board by the time the Nuggets draft.

      • mike

        Ummm Siva is a late 2nd rounder or camp invitee. He can’t shoot and he is short for an NBA PG. It will take HUGE improvements in his game offensively for him to be anything more than a 12th man/D-leaguer/Euroballer. Unless the guy is the second coming of Dikembe Mutombo The nuggets most certainly do not need another non-shooter on this team so it’s a moot point anyways.

  • steve

    Resign iggy obviously. Let brewer and Moz walk.

    draft – BPA – GM is best in biz. I trust whomever he takes. Maybe Nate Wolters if i had to choose. PG with a shooting stroke.

    FA – Veteran Big Man to fill Moz. Maybe Amundson.

    Trade Chandler, Koufos and Hamilton to the Suns for Gortat and Dudley.

    I’m a firm believer that the suns go get Bynum. It just makes too much sense with their training staff which is best in league and them needing to sell tickets. Therefore Gortat will be expendable in a move for an impact SF. Chandler has modest salary which is similar to Gortats. Dudley is a 3 pt shooting veteran (who isn’t all that old) who is smart and is a team player. He’d fit perfectly on this young team and also has a manageable salary. Koufos is a throw in to give the suns a backup C with insurance to Bynum along with hamilton to fill a young 3 pt shooter.

    • Cullen

      Trade Chandler, Koufos, and Hamilton to the Suns for Gortat and Dudley?!?! Are you kidding me?!

      I get parts of that, although I love JHam… but trade CHANDLER?! Are you kidding me?! How is that a good idea? I would rather trade Gallo before you trade Chandler, although I think you should keep both. When Chandler is coming off the bench for Gallo they are a deadly combo. As he gets more minutes and stays healthy he is going to develop into one of the best players on the team, although he already is. I definitely do not think getting Gortat or Dudley is the answer… maybe Dudley would be a good addition, but I don’t think Chandler is a fair give up for Gortat.

      • http://NuggetsRoundball Colin

        I think Chandler has become very expendable again. I don’t doubt that he is a very good player, its just hes too inconsistent and will be relegated to back up minutes again as soon as Gallo is back. He clearly deserves starter minutes and just doesn’t seem to want to be here more than any player on the team. Furthermore, he has decent value right now and could be used to address more pressing needs i.e. a competent big man and a knock down shooter.

      • steve

        Chandler is expendable. I actually didn’t care for the way he played in the playoffs. he’s not much of a passer and he makes alot of mental mistakes.

        Gortat is the type of big we lack. He’s athletic and can run the floor, good rebounder and shot blocker but has a nice mid range game and post moves. He would actually give us something down low and would not slow us down. He’s still relatively young and contract is manageable.

        I think chandlers game is replaceable with gallo, iggy, randolph, dudley etc.

        Dudley would be a great 3 pt shooter to add plus he’s a big time team player. He’d fit perfectly on this squad.

        Lawson Iggy Gallo Faried Gortat to start with Mcgee Fournier Dudley Miller off the bench is pretty damn good and i think better than this years squad.

        • DAN

          Love Gortat. Wouldn’t mind trading him straight up for Chandler at all. Think we would be better playing Iggy at the 3 and Fours at the 2. Bring in Korver for shooting and hope Gallo gets healthy for the playoffs.

  • http://NuggetsRoundball Colin

    SPENCER DINWIDDIE!!! CU prospect is for real- he can shoot, defend, excels in transition, and plays very under control and relaxed ala Evan Fournier. He’s projected to be a lottery pick next year but if we could some how get our hands on him he would be a perfect fit and could immediately back up Ty. I’m looking way ahead but thought I’d share

  • Gorillabuddy

    I’ve had a hard time coming up with a way to get Kevin Love, but what do y’all think of this?

    • Ryan

      Atlanta gets kinda screwed in that trade. I’m not the biggest Kevin Love fan either, he makes Faried look like a lock-down defender. Just seems like a good stats-bad team type of guy to me… who breaks his own hand… twice

    • dynamo.joe

      Why do the Twolves want Horford? Are they sposed to get rid of Pek?

      • LBJ

        First of all, I don’t think Atlanta wants to trade Horford. Especially not for our leftovers.

        Second, if for some reason they did – we should keep Horford. Why bother trading for Love – a guy who wants a max deal and is not worth it.

    • Mike K

      Why everyone has a hard on for K-Love I’ll never understand. He’s big, he has a so-so outside game, can’t defend a corpse, and is whinier than my 3 year old nephew when he doesn’t get his way.

      Beyond that, he’s EXACTLY what the Nuggets need to make a run to a championship. Love wants LA. He’s a UCLA kid. LA can have him.

      There are other pieces that are better fixes coming up in 2014. I think 2013 is a transition year. The big prizes of FA, and not just LeBron, is 2014.

      • mike

        Well there are a lot of reasons to like love. He is a decent defender in terms of feet and lateral quickness. He is shortish and has limited athleticism so there are issues but he is certainly at least equal with anything the nugs have currently because of his incredible rebounding. His previous two seasons he turned himself into a stellar shooting big. He would be a devastating combo in pick in roll with any of iguodala, Gallo or Ty. And the main issues for the nuggets is half court offense and shooting. He provides both. He is very good on the boards. I can’t remember where I saw it (probably Lowe on grantland) but the video/computer stuff says he runs at full speed the most in the entire league so effort is not an issue.

        And most importantly he is possibly available in the next 15 months. Horford likley is not. Most other very good to great bigs are not.

  • Kyle

    Here’s my idea, whether it works or not, who knows. Anyway, you package KK, Chandler, and Miller, for a lottery pick 5-10, draft victor oladipo or michael carter-williams, who can play point or the 2 being 6 foot 6. You let brew crew walk, sign korver. If iggy resigns that would be huge and give us a ton of flexibility

    • http://NuggetsRoundball Colin

      That seems like a lot to give up for 2 guys who are very limited offensively…might as well go for trey burke if you’re giving that much up. he could be a star

    • dynamo.joe

      Oladipo is gonna be a monster, but I think he is more of a small 3 than a 1 or 2.

      I still say DJ Stephens is a guy who will probably go late second or even undrafted who fits perfectly into our running offense.

      It also seems like we should be able to give up a lot less and get Kelly Olynyk. A big with range and a post game.

      Maybe you could get just outside the lottery for our 1st and 2nd to pick up Olynyk. Pick up Stephens if he is undrafted let Mozgov and Brewer walk.

      Your plan is probably better, cuz we get rid of YMCAndre.

      • Charlie

        Incredible athlete (Stephens)

        With the Nuggets already having so many young, raw bigs needing development (I throw Koufos in there even though he’s a 5 year veteran) I don’t see the Nugs drafting a big unless it’s a guy they believe is ready to help right away. Nicholson would have fit that profile last year. There are some guys in this draft that could do the same but it might require trading up.

        We’ll try to take a look at all the scenarios before the upcoming draft.

        • DAN

          What about Jeff Withey? He could replace Moz and Koufus as a tough rim protector.

          • LBJ

            That scrawny wuss??? Are you serious? ZBo/Gasol would knock his ass into the 10th row everytime they touched the ball!

  • slader

    I agree with Mike about Fournier: adequate as reserve PG if paired with Iggy (when Gallo returns, that is another good passer).
    Masai has the difficult job of deciding where we most need the big upgrade.
    PG? Well, not if Evan can step up.
    SG? Prolly, especially if Evan mostly plays point. But if he plays at 2…
    SF? We have a logjam already with Will, Iggy, Jham and Gallo returning.
    PF? No, if GK ad Masai believe in Randolph. If not, try to pry Amir johnson out of Toronto.
    C? Let Mozzy walk, we need the dough. Koufos will get stronger, McGee a little wiser. Start McGee.
    Emerging consensus: – Miller, Brewer, Mozzy; + Korver, draft pick, re-sign Iggy

    • Mike K

      Reverse Mozzy and Koufus and you’ve got it.

      Koufus is weak. We don’t need guys on this team who disappear because the opposing center hurt their feelings in a playoff game. Mozzy would have put Bogut on his ass a couple times. Koufus curled up in the fetal position and sucked his thumb that entire series.

  • Stephen H

    Trade miller for Bledsoe from clippers, don’t resign brewer or mozgov, resign stone and Quincy miller, sign korver or jj reddick, and of course resign iggy, and drop coach who only coaches regular season teams and not postseason teams.

  • Stephen H

    If iggy doesn’t resign sign oj mayo

  • EJP

    We need to get rid of koufos, he misses Layups that Kwame brown hits all day, trade him for cash considerations, we should try to package chandler, McGee, and Hamilton for Noah and bellinelli, Noah is energetic , shoots free throws at a 75% clip, rebounds, blocks shots, has a middy jumper, and is a great fit as well as belli as a knock down shooter, im
    Not sure what we would have to give for
    Noah but I feel he is a great fit and I would like the lineup of Lawson, iggy , gallo, faried , Noah

    • Stephen H

      Agree Koufus sucks but that trade doesn’t make sense for either team lets trade Koufus for a good back up center or draft picks that’s it

  • Mike K

    All you guys looking for draft pieces in THIS draft, why?!?! This draft is the weakest draft in as long as I can remember. The loaded one is NEXT year.

    Hang on to pieces and make the trades in-season or after next. Make some peripheral adjustments now like sacking Miller and wait and see where things go.

    I’m all about changing it up and making adjustments to the roster to get stronger, but not in such a weak draft.

  • eddi0

    Kind of surprised how many people are so high on Gallo. When healthy he’ll give you 15-22 pts/night, 2-4 rbs/game, and several turnovers. For a guy who is 6’10”, he should be at a much higher rebound rate and how about at least a block/game? Beyond all the statistics that we can argue back and forth for days, Gallo is made of glass. He has not had one healthy season, ever. This is by far his biggest injury and with our good friend, Kenyon Martin, as a good example, ACL injuries can make usually take you one of two ways. 1) Come back and have to change your game up considerably (Kenyon was an above the rim player in college/Nets and became a pesky on ball defender) 2) come back and never be the same again (read: early retirement). I could be proved wrong but I think we trade him by trade deadline as that he likely won’t play until late next season at earliest (see: Derrick Rose). I actually don’t mind Gallo’s game when he attacks to the rim or hits threes but I don’t foresee him penetrating that much after this injury.

    With that, here’s my plan for next year.

    Re-sign: Iguodala, Masai
    Don’t re-sign: Brewer, Mozgov (don’t match, restricted FA)
    Trade: Gallo
    Get in FA and/or trades: pure outside shooter who is a good 3 pt shooter and good FT shooter. Big/tall PF who can defend/block shots/rebound behind Faried. Stretch 4 who can shoot 3’s and hit free throws.

    It’s time for McGee and Chandler to step up and become our starting C and SF. We have all seen glimpses of how good they can be but throw them in the fire and make them earn their contracts starting next season.

    Starting lineup: Ty/Iguodala/Chandler/Faried/McGee
    2nd Unit: Miller/Fournier/spot up shooter/Big PF or stretch 4/Koufos.

    Our biggest weaknesses are improved with these line-up changes: Three point/outside shooting, FT shooting and by keeping Chandler/Iguodala/McGee as starters our defensive levels should be better as well.

    As much as I hear negatives on Andre Miller, he isn’t going anywhere. He’s a coach favorite and he’s under contract and not many teams would want him with his horrible showing in the playoffs.

    Voila, 2013-2014 Nuggets.

  • Mark from Charlotte


  • Roberto

    Ugh. Just ugh.

    I appreciate you telling me why I should have enjoyed another first round flameout.

    Last season we went 7 games in round 1, without home court advantage. So I don’t see how you can look at this year’s playoffs as anything but a regression.

    Can anyone remember a time that Karl has won a playoff series that he wasn’t absolutely supposed to win? Because I’m pretty sure we’re just playing out the numbers with George. On the other hand, he’s definitely lost a few that he absolutely was supposed to win.

  • prospector

    *******MASAI EMERGENCY****************





  • EJP

    Although miller loses some games for us we would of lost without him in game one, I think we should keep and just decrease his role. He still can be valuable just not as a big minute player like Karl uses him

    • Mike K

      There’s an issue with the logic. As long as he is on the team, Karl will play him significant minutes. Look at how Karl panicked in the playoffs. Instead of trusting the guys that got him 57 wins, he went with lineups that featured Miller as the offensive threat.

      There’s all kinds of young, unknown talent sitting on the bench that Karl refuses to play but gives us 25+ minutes of Miller who refuses to play defense. Mark Jackson allowed his team to learn, make mistakes, lost some games. Now they have an open path to the Finals possibly. Karl could stand to learn this. Hell, even Popovich, possibly more old-school than Karl plays rookies.

      Get rid of Miller. Give the young kids a chance to develop. Or get rid of Karl. Those are the only options that SHOULD be on the table.

  • Stephen H

    1. Let brewer and mozgov walk
    2. Resign Quincy miller and stone
    3. Trade Andre miller for pick or good back up point guard
    4. Sign a 3 pt shooter korver or reddick
    5. Start McGee
    6. Resign iggy and the Masai
    7. If George won’t start McGee and plays miller too much again this is his last season as coach for nugs
    8. If iggy doesn’t resign sign oj mayo to play the two
    9. Starting lineup Lawson, mayo/iggy, chandler till gallo healthy, Faried, and McGee
    10. Bench rotation: back up pg, korver/reddick, Koufus sparingly, chandler when gallo gets back, Randolph, Hamilton and Fournier
    11. Get out of first round and finally make run at a ring