Summer League Recap: Nuggets advance to second round

Playoff atmosphere?

Maybe not, but the intensity on display Wednesday was certainly something different from what we’ve seen in the summer league so far. The Nuggets defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 87-82 in their first “playoff” game in Las Vegas, advancing to the round of 16 in the tournament with their first win in four tries.

The game was marked by physical play and tighter rotations by both coaches. There’s no doubt guys were trying to win and coaches had a little less patience for the evaluation process than they did in the earlier part of summer league.

Jordan Hamilton returned to the team after taking a leave of absence to attend a funeral in Los Angeles. He came out firing on all cylinders, setting the tone early with 18 first quarter points. From then on the Nuggets nursed their lead while fending off Pelicans runs until a competitive fourth quarter in which the Nuggets pulled out the victory behind timely scoring from the sophomore contingent of Quincy Miller and Evan Fournier.

“We wanted to come out really aggressive and set the tone early, and obviously Jordan Hamilton shot the basketball and played with great confidence. He set the tone for us and led by example — we needed that” said Melvin Hunt, who assumed most of the coaching duties for Wednesday’s game.

“We lost three in a row. Our mindset was just to win, regardless of anything else” said starting point guard CJ Harris, who hit all three of his shots and was instrumental in finally getting the Nuggets some offense inside the paint.

When Darius Johnson-Odom was asked what was different about Wednesday’s mindset, he replied “We just wanted to win. It’s the start of a new day with the tournament and we needed a win. We got us one and now we just wanna keep going.”

The other big story of the game was the lights-out perimeter shooting of Quincy Miller. The 6-10 combo forward was on fire, shooting a perfect 5-for-5 from deep and delivering the timeliest makes of the night. The Nuggets looked to Quincy when they needed big fourth quarter buckets and he showed an ability to hit big-time shots under pressure.

Erick Green added 14 points off the bench, shaking off a lot of his earlier struggles and looking much more confident and composed in a secondary scorer’s role.

As a result of the win, Denver moves on to the next round of the tournament where they will face the #6 seed Toronto Raptors on Thursday at 4:00pm MST. It will be the Nuggets fourth game in as many nights. As the Nuggets look to advance in the tournament tomorrow here’s a sampling of Nuggets news and notes from around the gym at summer league.

CJ Harris Q&A

I talked to CJ Harris after his solid performance as the starting point guard, and the rookie told me he’s making the transition to more of a pure point guard role in the NBA. Here’s what we covered in the short Q&A session.

Q: For people that haven’t seen you play before, describe your game
A: I do a little bit of everything. Coming out of college, I was strictly a shooter. That’s probably my biggest strength. But throughout the summer I’ve learned to play the point guard position, find open guys and take shots when I’m open.

Q: Why do you think the offense struggled so much in the first three games?
A: Yeah, it was tough getting our chemistry. First time we’ve all been together and it took us a while to gel. We did a great job sharing the ball today and it paid off.

Q: Do you think you could be a 40% three-point shooter in the NBA?
A: Absolutely. Yeah, that’s the definite strength of my game. I haven’t gotten too many three-point looks out here yet, but I’m thinking I’ve made all of them so far.

Q: What’s the secret to being efficient shooting the ball? Is it just taking good shots?
A: That and being confident. I think confidence is really big in shooting. I definitely have a lot of confidence in my shot.

Q: What have the coaches been stressing in terms of concepts and the system they want?
A: Defense and being really agressive. We want to get stops and immediately push. Setting up the plays comes secondary. That’s what they’ve been harping on.

Q: When they do call plays, what do they want you to run?
A: It’s a little bit of pick and rolls. We’ve also got Jordan, Evan coming off down screens. We’ve got Q picking and popping, stuff like that. Just utilizing everybody’s strengths.

Melvin Hunt on Quincy Miller’s development

Talking to coach Melvin Hunt after the game, I asked if Quincy’s summer league success as a stretch four meant the Nuggets would look for him to play that role in the NBA. Hunt said the Nuggets are still in an evaluation process in terms of what he can do and that they’ve always viewed him as a guy who will play multiple positions.

“Quincy’s a basketball player, a new-age basketball player” said Hunt. “He’s long, athletic, can play multiple positions and gives us multiple skills. He’s just a new-age basketball player.”

When asked about his development from last summer to this one, coach Hunt said “He’s gotta continue to keep showing us different things. One thing coach Shaw has assessed since he’s been here is that we’re gonna make mistakes, so how about we make new mistakes? We want to see growth and development out of all our guys. With Quincy, we don’t want to see him making the same mistakes he was in the beginning of the tournament and [repeating those] towards the end of the tournament. We want him to make new ones. This is just the summer league.”

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Charlie Yao

Contributor at Roundball Mining Company since 2010. Unhealthily obsessed with Nuggets basketball since 2002. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram at the links on the left.
  • Scott

    WE GOT OUT OF THE FIRST ROUND!!!

    • Evan Woodruff

      The curse is broken.

      • Jakester

        kiss it karl!

  • Ernie

    I guess Charliemyboy can now admit he was wrong, and that this team is now ready to win in the playoffs after all the changes made by Josh even if it means a worse regular season.

    OK, I don’t believe any of that. But it was nice to see Quincy and JHam playing much better.

    • Charliemyboy

      I am playacted but cautious. They played well and I saw significant improvement after incredulous initial disappointment. But what was I wrong about? The fact that they lost and some were making excuses about losing against teams they should have been competitive against? That Karl was a great coach and a great man?Jakester can kiss his own if he can find it.

      Listen, If JHAM could ever get consistent, I’m sold. He is a monster. If. If Qunicy can gain some weight, what incredible potential. So Karl should have played them. I just tell it like it is.
      I think the coaches decided whatever they were doing was embarrassing. They finally coached and got the players attention. I would love to win in the playoffs, but we won’t know for almost a year, will we. Now, if we equal the 57 wins, I can admit I was wrong and drinks are all on me.

      • TRfromNoCo

        Honestly, this needs to be squashed once and for all…

        WHO CARES ABOUT 57 WINS WHEN YOU LOSE IN THE FIRST ROUND!!!

        I must have been living under a rock most of my life, but unless I’m mistaken, I don’t believe they give out any championships based on regular season results. It’s easy to do good when you have an 82-game season; where is the pressure in knowing you’re playing a game the next night, or night after, or night after…I liken it to a well-mannered dog. In the open (regular season) the dog is nice and calm, but drive that same dog back into a corner (playoffs) and find out what happens. This brings me to my main complaint with the GK era: THE DOG NEVER BIT BACK.

        Look, I understand losing is a part of sports. It has to be. There is always guaranteed to be a winner, so there obviously must be a loser. I get that. But year after year, after year, after year, you fail to at least COMPETE in the playoffs, There is a huge problem with that. Again, failing with new “systems”, new ideas, new rotations, I get that. You saw a change must be made to advance, and at least made an attempt to adapt. But year after year, after year, after year we failed with the exact same “system” ran the exact same way. THERE IS A HUGE PROBLEM WITH THAT.

        So saying 57 wins and a first round exit is a great achievement rings hollow, because in my opinion all I can make of it is one DAMN BIG DISAPPOINTMENT; and honestly I’m tired of the annual agony.

        • Charliemyboy

          Go for it. I’m encouraged with not being in agony after finally winning one of the first games and with the play of JHAM and Quincy. Will their play translate into the rotation? They should have let George go after 3 years with no advance in the playoffs. Right? He couldn’t coach after we lost Melo, could he? I think Josh is on the right track after making his moves, don’t you? (Oh, sorry, I’m an apologist). Tell me about our new players… give them a chance. Are you excited? But wait, let’s see what happens. Don’t be in agony, we may do better than 57 wins and a first round exit. Just sain’ I sure did like the team the way it was; just wondering what they could have done, healthy. They beat everybody last year. We’ll see what the changes bring. Are they going to beat Toronto tonight? What are your odds?

        • toluene hawk

          Annual agony?

          Nuggets games were such high octane fun to watch from November to April- how is that agony? The Pepsi Center was rockin’! It’s great to go there and know that the Nuggets are probably going to win. My Pepsi Center Nuggets record is 8-1 (1 loss = the Cleveland Lebron’s), I wouldn’t call that agony.

          Typically someone in Denver can say “Hey, want to go watch the Nuggets win tonight?” whereas a poor [insert other mid-market team here] fans have to say “want to go see a basketball game tonight?”

          Think about it- what about your life would change if the Nuggets won a championship? If you answered anything to this question then you should re-evaluate

          • Charliemyboy

            I like it. This is why my effected mode is heightened with a win and 57 out of 82 is a lot of heightened wins. I pray we do that or better and am taking odds.

          • sherlock

            TR is right, winning when it matters is what counts. Anyone with any competitive juices wants to win when the trophy is on the line. There is no trophy in the regular season, and winning 57 to only get run out of the playoffs (in the first round especially) is exactly that, agonizing.

            TR highlighted my feelings about the changes dead on. I’m tired of great regular seasons, going into the playoffs thinking “this is the year.” Only its the same as last year and the year before, a first round thumping. Are we going to win 57 next year? Probably not, but we are trying to figure out how to get better, to achieve the ultimate goal, the Finals.

            • toluene hawk

              Again, you shouldn’t let a sports teams’ success affect your attitude.

              • Trevor

                Why shouldn’t we derive joy out of our favorite sports teams. Everybody has things that strum them emotionally and for a lot of men sports are one of those things. It feels f!#$in awesome to win a championship as a player or fan. You have a different mentality and that’s great for you but it doesn’t make it right and us wrong for being emotionally invested in sports teams. Breaks up the doldrums of daily life.

              • toluene hawk

                A decent point, I understand.

              • Bricks

                Good comment, Trev. And 50+ win seasons and the playoffs are a heck of a lot more fun than 1995-2005 when our Nugs made the playoffs two times, losing in 1st rd. twice.

      • Ernie

        I said I didn’t believe it, was just joking. Again it’s summer league. Nothing really gets decided.

        • Charliemyboy

          I understand and like to win. I saw active coaching on the side lines instead of let the new guy try to get them together… and we won.

          • loops

            Active coaching? Are you referring to summer league or last year? We had pretty much zero active coaching when karl was here. It was just “Go out there and run guys. Keep running. Keep running.” That’s not coaching, that’s just telling the players to run the court and figure it out. We never ran plays under Karl. If we didn’t beat them on the break we were completely lost in the half-court. We may have had the worst half-court offense of the league.

    • Bricks

      JHam loses his pants goin to the hoop. Painful watching him tryin to look cool with his pants down . . . http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/07/18/nuggets-jordan-hamilton-loses-his-shorts-during-summer-league-game-video/

  • Tom

    If no offense veesly tore us apart with his size Big Jonas V is gonna be hard to contain…

  • Charliemyboy

    Thanks Ray! (quote)…
    “But the evidence pretty clearly points to Karl and his coaches/system being ridiculously successful with players. Faried/Ty.Fours and to a lesser extent Kleiza were all low draft picks who have exceeded their expectation under Karl’s system. Gallo got a ton better by advanced metrics, as did Wilson and Javale. AAA wasn’t that good in Detroit, was good here, and then bad in Orlando. The underlying theme is that players play good in Denver, and worse elsewhere. The same is true for Kosta, and to a lesser extent JR. I can go on and on about other players, but I think it’s a safe assumption that players have typically had their best seasons under Karl’s watch, and this goes back years. Whether it was him, the system, or his assistants is up for debate.

    I never wanted to find out what will happen to these players without Karl, but it’ll be a cool experiment to see if those guys regress, improve, or stay the same.”

    • toluene hawk

      You can’t forget the K-Train!

      • Charliemyboy

        I’m moving on w/o choice, but I think credit was deserved and am glad others feel the same way and will not cry when we have 40-45 wins and an 8th seed this year.

        • toluene hawk

          I won’t cry, but I will be bummed. A Nuggets win excites me more than a Broncos win excites Commerce City.

        • Bricks

          Don’t think 40-45 gets you seeded in the West next year. But 35-40 will definitely get you in in the East . . .

      • Bricks

        K-Train?

        • toluene hawk

          Linas Kleiza man! He was Koufosing before Koufos was in high school! I remember the night K-Train went off for 30+ points.

          • Bricks

            Oh yeah, forgot we called Kleiza K-Train. I was at that 30-pt Kleiza-fest game. Good call, and I believe LK had his best years in Denver. He was just amnestied in Toronto, BTW.

            • Trevor

              He had an awesome month and Karl refused to trade him for Ron Arrest… then he went back to mediocre and the rest is history. Chris Marlowe always called him Linas the menace.

              • Bricks

                That was at a time when the team already had so many personality issues with players — Melo, JR, KMart — and they weren’t interested in bringing in another, I’m sure. Also Kleiza was looking so promising that I didn’t want to see that trade either.

              • Trevor

                I really wanted it to happen. We would have had a starting 5 of AI, Artest, Melo, KMart, and Camby, with Nene and JR coming off the bench. Camby was averaging 13reb and 3.5blks, Melo and AI 25+ppg. Artest was averaging 20ppg 6reb 3ast 2.5stl and Kleiza was putting up 11ppg. Anthony Carter was starting and Yakhouba Diawara even got a few starts. We might have validated the Thuggets moniker a little but I think in retrospect you make that trade every time.

                Kleiza started at SG in the playoffs and was a big reason why Kobe killed us. I think Artest would have kept us from being swept and losing 3 of 4 by double digits.

                Yeah I’m bored at work.

              • Trevor
              • Bricks

                lol . . . I work for myself at home . . . writing on sports blogs is a nice deviation from the grind. Nice comments about the Thuggets and the almost-Artest scenario. That would have been an interesting, and probably very good, lineup. If I remember right, though, Artest was REALLY at his worst behaviorally at the time, I mean really Psycho Ron, and it looked like it would have been a HUGE risk for any team to gamble on him.

              • Trevor

                AI was only a season removed from the PRACTICE! Incident. Melo was threatening stitches for snitches. JR was well JR. Ron Ron was pretty rough but he was all about team and winning. Him and Kobe went at in next years playoffs, I think he was ejected twice. When KMart and Dhantay Jones got physical it worked real well for us.

                Why not go all in?

              • Bricks

                I think we got Chauncey the next year anyway and went to the WCF.

    • loops

      JR played better in NY (6th man of the year). AAA played on an Orlando team where he was the best player so that puts all the D focus on him. Wilson Chandler’s best years were in NY. Javale’s best statistical year was in Washington. Felton’s best year was in NY. Gallinari was just as good in NY as he is here.

      • Bricks

        I believe K-mart def. probably had his best seasons in NJ, as he was injured so often in Denver.

    • Bricks

      I think GK probably got the best all-around basketball from these players (and the ones loops mentions). They may have better stats with other teams, but Karl & Staff demanded that players perform at a high level on BOTH sides of the ball to the best of their abilities. Many players couldn’t stand GK because of how demanding he was of them to play well-rounded basketball. (Calling some of them out in the media prob. wasn’t a good strategy, but as we know, that’s George.)

      • loops

        Really? Did he? Because I sure didn’t see him demanding that we play any form of defense…ever

        • Bricks

          That’s the popular rap but it’s simply not true. Karl tried to implement an up-tempo, transition style of play to take advantage of the altitude — like any coach of the Denver Nuggets should do. But he did not do it at the expense of defense. This is extremely difficult to do, because most running teams do not pay tribute to defense at all. That’s why Iggy was so valuable to this team, best transition defender on the wing, maybe, in all of basketball. Did you listen to Karl at all last year in nearly every interview? Unless you thought he was just blowing smoke up everyone’s ass, all the man talked about was the need for better D, and the team’s commitment to it, game after game after game.

          • loops

            I listened all the time and He hardly mentioned it and when he did, it was clear he never taught it. That’s like citing Mike D’Antoni preaching defense on the sidelines. Talk is talk, he clearly never taught them how to walk the walk. We were garbage in defending the pick and roll and Karl never makes adjustments hence constantly losing in the playoffs. Everyone’s defense but ours gets tighter. Lets put two point guards on the floor that play different tempos of offe se and that can’t defend. Real smart #karlball

            • Bricks

              I will agree wholeheartedly — GK’s teams did not implement the pick and roll well and this year his team stunk defensively in the playoffs. But this past season the Nugs improved defensively during the season on a lot of fronts. And you are incorrect, Karl was committed to defense, and did not do a bad job last year considering his team was top 3 in transition scoring and points in the paint. Like so many others, it’s obvious you simply don’t like Karl and you’re pissed about his team’s playoff performance. But you let your emotional reactions cloud the fact that this team was getting much better defensively, and Karl & Staff were intensely committed to it.

              • loops

                So it was GK and not Iggy who improved the defense? What emotional reaction? You think I get emotional about one and done in the playoffs? I didn’t just become a fan of the Nuggets. One and done in the playoffs with GK is like taking a walk outside and getting some sun. It’s pretty much the norm. We were 23rd in allowed points tied with Orlando last year with 101.1 per game. The year before we were tied for 23rd again allowing 101.2 per game. We had a .1 improvement…that’s amazing. Bravo Karl, bravo

              • LBJ

                Coaching isn’t done in the huddles, dude. There is this thing teams do called PRACTICE (see John Wooden). Furthermore, in the NBA defense is played primarily by the team, not individuals. When you have rock heads that constantly blow their assignments – your good defenders (Iggy) get pretty damn frustrated. Nice misquotes on Karl (who was voted CoY this year in case you have forgotten). Karl drew up a bad OB plan 5 years ago, really?

              • loops

                Nuggets were featured on “The Association” just about every year on NBA TV the past however many years. These shows showed the practices on a weekly and sometimes daily basis for the nuggets. Maybe you should try watching them. Nice I like how you completely disregard his tterrible decision to play small ball when GS lost an all star PF. Or my reference to Fournier just last season. Karl is one of the most overrated head coaches in NBA history. This team is so much better without him. Watch and learn what happens when a coach teaches defense rather than “just run the court and drive to the basket.” Anyone with an inkling of basketball experience could see the nuggets rarely ran plays in the half court and when they did they looked completely lost. Karl was terrible at managing personalities. Those weren’t misquotes. Anyone could go out there and tell the nuggets to run the court like Karl, he should be counting his prayers for playing at altitude with the roster he had. Regular season means nothing when you can’t win when it counts. Yet idiots wonder why Karl is still out of a job

              • LBJ

                Idiots think that what they see on the Association comprises everything that occurs during a full season of practice.

              • loops

                Oh, so you’ve seen it? You don’t need to watch a tv show to see that GK makes little to no adjustments every year in the playoffs. When he does, they are some of the biggest head scratching adjustments that exist.

              • Bricks

                loops, take your hands off the keyboard, sit back in your chair, take a deep breath, exhale, then breathe in some refreshing reality. GK is not Satan.

              • loops

                Who said he was? Why are we even talking about him? He’s gone! Get over it. This team needed to move on.

              • Bricks

                Again, it’s obvious you’re not going to give GK an ounce of credit for any positive strides the team took over the last couple of years. Sorry man, you’re exhausting to get into a rational conversation with. Look at 2012-13 the Nugs opposing team’s FG% and compare to 2011-12 — vast defensive improvement when you go from almost last in the league to 11th. Anyway, your Points Allowed stat means virtually nothing. Nuggets played a running style, transition scoring game — which means BOTH teams shoot a lot during the course of a game. If you play this style of game typically both teams will score a good number of points. Yep, the Nugs gave up 101 per game, but they scored 106, leading the league. Even better they won by an avg. of 5 points/game (5th in the league). You see my point? Probably not . . .

              • loops

                Rational conversation? What positive strides? Oh wait, getting to the playoffs and losing in the first round is a positive stride? Settling for mediocrity is a positive stride? Again giving credit to GK despite acquiring one of the top wing defenders and also neglecting that the nuggets sent their opponents to the free throw line more in 2012-2013 which any rational and logical person would understand means they fouled players more, resulting in more missed FG’s because of more fouls.

              • LBJ

                Why don’t you head over to the broncos board and talk about last years mediocrity? Tell everyone how Fox needs to canned.

              • loops

                Last I checked, John Fox has been coaching the Broncos for two years. Last I checked he won a playoff game his first year, went one and done his second. He didn’t have 9 years with the broncos, 8 of which were one and dones. Nice try though. Karl is gone. You should probably stop being a nuggets fan. Cry me a river. If John Fox goes one and done again you can bet your bottom dollar Broncos fans will be calling for his job. That’s because Broncos fans don’t settle for mediocrity. They understand what expectations are and how falling short over and over again is unacceptable. If BShaw doesn’t win in the playoffs in the next 3 years, he will be gone as well I’m sure. Funny thing is, you guys will probably have the least patience with him despite demanding patience after 4 straight years of one and dones with Karl

              • LBJ

                Last I checked, the Broncos were favored to win beat the ravens and pissed the game away – probably because the coaches didn’t tell raheem not to let the their fastest WR get behind him.

              • LBJ

                Didn’t the ravens win the super bowl????

              • loops

                Quite a few of the Broncos fans actually attributed it to John Fox calling the game conservatively. Rahim Moore was one single play. Anyone that watched the game would have seen the Broncos were in position with over a minute left twice in the game at the end of both halves with one of the best 2-minute qb’s in the game to drive down the field and instead they ran or kneeled the clock out. John Fox later took responsibility for having such a conservative game plan despite who his QB was. Not to mention, I didn’t see the Nuggets get beat on by the Miami Heat in the playoffs, did you?

              • LBJ

                Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s shit can him! Bring in Jimmy Johnson!

              • loops

                Again, you are comparing a guy who has made it out of the 1st round once in 9 years to a guy who made it out of the 1st round once in two years. You must be a child to really believe that comparison holds any merit. If the Broncos go one and done next year I will bet you my first borns name that Broncos fans will call for Fox’s firings by the masses and ESPN will be asking if he needs to go. Hell how about I go start a topic on the Broncos board and ask them. I guarantee the majority of the posters will say “Fire him.” Especially if it occurs after setting a franchise record for wins. Most definitely if it happened 4 straight years and 8 out of 9 years. Maybe you missed the Mike Shanahan firing.

              • Bricks

                loops you’re just too fun to rattle . . . They sure as hell were calling for Fox’s firing in Carolina. 3 playoff appearances in 9 years . . . GK could even do that!

              • loops

                First of all, we never brought up the Sonics so why bring up the Panthers? Second of all, Karl would have to make it to the nba championship game to match what John Fox did. Considering he took his team to both a superbowl and a conference championship in 3 years. Again, nice try. It’s truly sad how hard you are reaching here. I’m sorry they don’t mike GK flavored condoms bro. Don’t be mad at me for it.

              • Bricks

                GK’s taken 4 of his teams to the Conference Finals and once to the NBA finals. Can you say it . . . George might be a pretty good coach.

              • loops

                You brought up the panthers and compared John Fox’s record with the panthers to Karls with the Nuggets. Again, why are we discussing a coach who has been in Denver for 2 seasons, one of which he won a playoff game. Especially when that coach will likely be fired if he goes one and done next year and will 100% be fired if he goes one and done the year after that as well when we got a guy who’s been one and done here for 4 years? I just don’t get it.

              • TRfromNoCo

                Yeah, and he also lost to an 8 seed as the top seed….

                and oh by the way he just happens to be considered by most the WORST PLAYOFF COACH OF ALL TIME…

                Seriously man, your arguments are soo ridiculous I’m wondering if you have the ability to even conjure a rational thought.

              • LBJ

                You must be a child to suggest that the nuggets and the broncos both had the same opportunity to win a championship last year. The broncos had a veteran team and have mortgaged the future The nuggets had one of the younger teams in the NBA and one of best players (Gallo)was hurt for the playoffs. Even our GM acknowledged we weren’t ready to compete. The nuggets greatly overachieved – and the broncos underachieved by any definition. Your false equivalency isn’t even close.

              • loops

                The Broncos had one of the youngest teams in the league last year. What are you talking about? They literally have one of the youngest teams in the league. They did last year and they did this year and they did the year before that when they won in the playoffs. Nuggets overachieved in the regular season with wins, they underachieved in the playoffs. They were absolutely capable of defeating the Warriors, especially when they lost their all-star david lee. They weren’t saying we overachieved by making the playoffs. We overachieved by setting a franchise record for wins. Why are you continuing to speak about the Broncos? When this team had superstars we were still going one and done. Karl was not part of the future, Karl is the past. He wanted to win and wanted to win now. This team can’t compete with the Heat. This team needs time to develop. Karl didn’t care to develop that talent and he sure as heck wasn’t winning playoff games to justify not doing so. Do you get it now?

              • LBJ

                I talking about guys that matter – that Manning guy or Bailey.

              • Bricks

                What point are you even making? That Fox deserves to remain the coach of the Broncos, or that he should be fired? Karl took responsibility for this year’s playoff loss. Let’s give him his job back . . . better yet, what the hell is my point in arguing with a guy who just enjoys arguing, at the expense any logic or reason. That’s just boring. Night, night.

              • loops

                The point I am making is that if Fox goes one and done again next year the conversation of him possibly being fired will storm through the broncos community.

                Karl took responsibility for this year’s playoff loss? Karl doesn’t take responsibility for everything. He finger points more than any coach in the NBA. That’s all he’s ever done. So wait, even if that were true, which it isn’t, Karl took responsibility for a single one and done out of 8? Wow, bravo Karl. Well played! Coby Karl, is that you? lol

              • Bricks

                Get your facts straight, dude. “The burden is on me,” George Karl on the playoff loss to GSW, Denver Post, 5/3/2013.

              • LBJ

                Quit confusing this doofus with facts!!!!

              • loops

                sounds like I’m the only one with facts. lol, nice try second profile of the same guy

              • Bricks

                Whuh?

              • loops

                time for you to respond as LBJ lol

              • loops

                I love that I caught on real fast that you literally post with two different accounts pretending to be one person. Take George out of your mouth, I can’t understand you. Post a few times, alternate s/n’s post a few times. lol

              • Bricks

                You caught me: Brad from Arvada is now Bricks. Wouldn’t it be exciting, however, if you were correct that I secretly pretend to be just ONE person with . . . wait for it . . . TWO accounts. Sorry, dude, just the one account now. Brad from Arvada has ceased and desisted. But it’s my eternal secret as to WHY the name change. Keep up the good sleuthing work, loops, and maybe you’ll discover why.

                Now admit it — GK wasn’t such a bad coach.

              • loops

                Never said he was a bad coach. He’s not the coach for this team going forward. He was a great regular season coach.

              • Bricks

                Well, we can agree on something. I wrote just last week that Kronk had every reason to fire Karl, and I support him for doing so. Karl had every opportunity in the world to prove he could win playoff basketball in Denver, and he failed to prove it. But I refuse to trash everything else about him because he didn’t have success in the playoffs here, like you and a few others do on this forum.

              • loops

                I’m not trashing Karl and saying he is a bad coach. I’m listing reasons why we had to move on. He was stubborn in terms of player development. His system was too simplified and he needed to teach his players a half-court offense because clearly it wasn’t working in the post-season when teams had longer than 2 days to game plan for us. He needed to make better adjustments in the game, for example we got killed every game by the pick and roll and got into a shoot out with Golden State which we shouldn’t have. We played small ball despite having the size advantage when David Lee was out, and as a result we got worked on the boards giving GS a lot more offensive chances. On top of a history of questionable adjustments. The Fournier thing starting him for 6 minutes and then benching him till the last 2 of the 4th not once but twice was completely questionable. His system didn’t put enough focus IMO on developing a strong defense. Yes, he asked for his players to play defense but it was a either do it or don’t get on the court without him seemingly make it a priority. You hear all the guys from the summer league talk about one thing, defense. When it was Karl it was all about being more aggressive on offense. Karl wanted to win and we don’t have enough developed talent to win anything of significance outside of one or two playoff series. Certainly not the finals or the conference finals. Karl was a good coach, but he had his faults. His faults have been amplified by a roster that needs time to develop.

              • Bricks

                You’ve been trashing Karl all night for far more than his playoff failures, and you did not pay attention to GK’s obvious commitment to defense over the last few years. Whether the team effectively implemented it or not, Karl was a defensaholic. Beckley Mason of ESPN.com wrote of Karl: “Over the course of his career he’s had more outstanding offensive teams. Still, his heart will always be with players who emulate his own ethic of toughness and pride on the defensive end.” http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/52027/the-book-on-george-karl

              • loops

                I never said Karl didn’t want a defense. Quite the contrary. I stated Karl was not patient to teach defense to young players and to allow them to experience mistakes here and there thus not allowing them to develop. He wanted perfect defense at all times and had no patience for any mishaps. He would sacrifice great abilities in favor of players who were rather one dimensional on offense (Which he didn’t care for any dimensions outside of running the court) rather than play them and go through growing pains even at the beginning of the season. Defense is something that you need game experience with.

              • Bricks

                That’s oversimplified. It’s popular speak on this forum to accuse Karl of not having patience in developing his players. It’s hard to find major minutes for young guys on teams that are winning 57 games.

              • loops

                Is it though? We found minutes for a guy like Fournier who Karl just loved the day they got him but what I felt was a better talent and more seasoned talent in Jordan Hamilton was neglected more often than naught. GK was very quick to put players into his dog house and leave them there. That’s my issue. And again, what’s the point of winning 57 games if we don’t win in the playoffs? Teams like the Spurs limit minutes for their main stars while allowing their young players time on the court to work out the kinks and down the road, they came in handy in the playoffs and when players got injured.

              • loops

                Never said he sucks. I just think he had overstayed his welcome and we needed to move on because he wanted to win now and this team lost it’s ability to win now when Carmelo Anthony left town.

              • LBJ

                While you are severely lacking in basketball knowledge (apparently, despite watching “the Association”), I will give credit where it is due – you are a speed merchant on the keyboard!

              • loops

                Karl said: “We had some situations throughout the series, maybe we should have done more. We lost it.

                “We didn’t lose the series tonight, this was a proud loss. We lost the series in game one and two. We didn’t play well enough to sustain some confidence. ”

                “In game one we won on a close game and game two we gave back everything we worked for, 57 wins to get the third seed we gave it back by having a flat game.”

                Sounds like he’s blaming the players to me. If you want, I would love to post the link to the INTERVIEW with him. Those were the words after the game. Not the words he spoke a week later when Andre Miller called him out. lol

              • Bricks

                Could it be that GK was interviewed more than once?

              • loops

                He was interviewed following Andre Miller getting pissed and saying they got out-coached following a reporter informing him of Karls words. Stating specifically they got out-played, out-coached, and out-toughed. Then a reporter asked Karl about Andre Millers words to which he said the “Burden” was on himself and the coaches and then went onto have a slight bruised ego by elaborating that some of what Andre said was true but some of it he would have to argue with. Typical GK, he has a huge ego.

              • Bricks

                Who doesn’t have a big ego in pro sports? I can’t find it online, but I saw an interview with GK in which he specifically said the GSW loss was on him. Call me a liar, but he said it.

              • loops

                Want the video of him stating the quotes I just said? Like I said, Karl did not take the blame for the loss until after Andre Miller said they were out-coached. Then and only then when confronted by reporters did he say “The burden is on me and the coaches” then went onto mention how he defends his record but it does speak for itself in the playoffs but then back tracks afterwords and says he would argue with what Miller said but doesn’t want to get into it.

                Time line of Events:

                1.) Nuggets Lose

                2.) At the post-game press conference George Karl blames the players for the loss and cites that they lost the series in the first 3 games because of the players

                3.) Andre Miller is asked to respond to George Karls comments a day or two later. Andre Miller states they were out-played, out-coached and out-toughed.

                4.) The media is ecstatic they have something to confront Karl with. A player citing coaching as one of the reasons.

                5.) A few days later when things start to cool down the media revs the temperature back up by confronting Karl with Millers comments.

                6.) Karl says the burden is on him and his coaches. Then he cites how he is always quick to defend his record because of the media scrutiny but acknowledges a poor playoff record.

                7.) Reporters egg on Karl to which he get’s defensive again and immediately states that some of what Miller said was correct but he would argue that some of it isn’t true. (Do we really believe that Karl would argue they got out-played or out-toughed? No? So that leaves out-coached. He initially stated his players got outplayed and out toughed in the initial post game conference. So why would he want to argue against it now? He didn’t cite coaching after the game)

              • Bricks

                That’s cool. For the record, so you know where I stand: George Karl’s coaching is the main reason the Nugs lost to GSW in the playoffs this year. He instilled panic in his players from the very first game and made unnecessary “adjustments” as a result. In my book, GK is a class-act, although he acted like a whiney ass in his “exit interviews” by the media just after he was fired. It’s been enjoyable tonight, only because you are so tenacious in defending your opinions, often to the point of being irrational and unnecessarily argumentative. Going to bed. Maybe see you in future posts. Go Nugs!

              • TRfromNoCo

                It’s alright loops, I have your back completely on this one. You have to understand, simple minds can only think simple thoughts. It’s impossible for them to see both sides of the coin, because their brain capacities cannot comprehend the events unfolding right in front of them. Don’t get mad at them, it’s really not their fault; they were simply dealt a difficult hand. These are the same people who take the same route everywhere they go, dine at the same restaurants and order the same meals, and chose to have drinks at the same bar every weekend. This is no knock on them. They are all tax-paying citizens and I’m sure a lot of them contribute positively to the world. It’s just some people must have comfort/security in everything they do, or they simply won’t do it. I understand fear of the “unknown” scares most of the population. They would rather stick to mediocrity than take a risk (which may take you lower than before, granted) in order to gain something MORE. Something GREAT. They chose mediocrity because it is normal; it is comfortable to them. They fear change; the things necessary to adapt and advance.

                I, for one, will never settle. Not for mediocrity, Not for second best. Why should we. With the talent on hand, why can’t we accomplish great things. David slew Goliath, right? Why play a game (or why live life for that matter) if you’re not solely intent on winning or being successful?? I feel sorry for those that disagree with me on this, as they will never fully understand a true accomplishment. I will NEVER bandwagon hop to another NBA team that “may” be set up for a deeper run. That’s just ridiculous and ludicrous. I understand the limitations our “small market” brings. But I also understand that it HAS been done before, and I will never give up hope that the next time it happens it will be in the Mile-High City.

                Call me crazy, but I love my Nuggets, and I know a bright future is ahead of them.

              • loops

                That is exactly how I feel. Through and through.

              • Bricks

                Read the whole conversation then opine eloquently your impressive rhetoric.

              • LBJ

                Most rational individuals would say that winning the most games in franchise history is a positive stride.
                But your blind hatred for Karl won’t let you acknowledge the obvious.

              • loops

                Again, valuing regular season over post-season. So tell me something, you are going to tell me it’s acceptable to win the most games in franchise history only to get beaten in round one of the playoffs, with home court advantage, and following the opposing teams all-star PF getting injured and out the entire time? So you would take 57 regular season wins over winning in the post-season? Man, you guys really do have blind love for Karl. 57 wins was great, but it’s only great when you don’t set yourself for those expectations only to lose to a team you have homecourt against that you beat 3 out of 4 times that same season.

              • TRfromNoCo

                t’s alright loops, I have your back completely on this one. You have to understand, simple minds can only think simple thoughts. It’s impossible for them to see both sides of the coin, because their brain capacities cannot comprehend the events unfolding right in front of them. Don’t get mad at them, it’s really not their fault; they were simply dealt a difficult hand. These are the same people who take the same route everywhere they go, dine at the same restaurants and order the same meals, and chose to have drinks at the same bar every weekend. This is no knock on them. They are all tax-paying citizens and I’m sure a lot of them contribute positively to the world. It’s just some people must have comfort/security in everything they do, or they simply won’t do it. I understand fear of the “unknown” scares most of the population. They would rather stick to mediocrity than take a risk (which may take you lower than before, granted) in order to gain something MORE. Something GREAT. They chose mediocrity because it is normal; it is comfortable to them. They fear change; the things necessary to adapt and advance.

                I, for one, will never settle. Not for mediocrity, Not for second best. Why should we. With the talent on hand, why can’t we accomplish great things. David slew Goliath, right? Why play a game (or why live life for that matter) if you’re not solely intent on winning or being successful?? I feel sorry for those that disagree with me on this, as they will never fully understand a true accomplishment. I will NEVER bandwagon hop to another NBA team that “may” be set up for a deeper run. That’s just ridiculous and ludicrous. I understand the limitations our “small market” brings. But I also understand that it HAS been done before, and I will never give up hope that the next time it happens it will be in the Mile-High City.

                Call me crazy, but I love my Nuggets, and I know a bright future is ahead of them.

              • Charliemyboy

                40 wins,6th seed, out first round have been indicative of results in the summer league. Not impressed with changes so far. Don’t give me the evaluation and how JHAM is looking great and Karl didn’t develop him. Nugs are out coached and out played and it better not be indicative of culture.

              • loops

                Based on the summer league? You’re basing predictions on a summer league games? Where we have a bunch of guys who have never touched this team? Playing under the same auspices? Sorry but no. Some of these teams have perrenial high first rounders playing with them because they don’t make the playoffs every year. For example, Toronto had two top 10 picks playing on their squad and a 30 year old summer league vet. You are simply clawing for anything to complain about to gauge a regular season prediction on summer league. Where the coach on the sidelines is Karls hired assistant Melvin Hunt. C’mon man. That’s just silly. B Shaw has been here for how long again? 20-25 days?

              • Charliemyboy

                Of course the summer league doesn’t indicate the future, in total. But Karl turned 1-4 into 3rd best record in the league last year. And it doesn’t matter with the other teams, in the same venue, who demolished us with their overall program? Winning summer league teams do not all have lottery names. OK, reverse it: If you don’t look at the big picture about predicting this season, you might as well be a cheer-leader and hope for 60 wins and a banner. Do you believe this? Oh, that’s right, give them some time. But, say Hall-of-Famer Karl was given one year, Iggy therefore stay and Gallo got healthy. That’s where I was going before the firing of the top over all current coach in the NBA, as elected by his peers, and getting some so-so trades and so-so rookies. Then next year let him know up front that he’s gone if he doesn’t advance in the playoffs. But give us one more year of that terrific team. “It’s stupid”. It appears to be poor management decisions (we’ll know this time next year, won’t we, unless we keep apologizing about: ” oh, just give them another decade”). Note: it WAS Karl’s fault that he’s gone. He didn’t want to do what management wanted. It’s just that the whose scene is frustrating. Not sure we would have had different selections under Masai; look carefully what he is doing. For many reasons, Denver is at a disadvantage which Karl was able to overcome. Shaw seems poised, but a $2mil coach for a $5mil coach? Ok. I’ll wait for the 60 wins we could have had. The general consensus is we are teetering. Hopefully not. Just getting prepared to not be able to watch us lose. I like getting better, not worse. Great programs, SA, Miami, don’t do this. Do you like recording a game, finding out we lost and then watch it?

              • loops

                All I’m saying is, you can’t put a lot of stock into the Summer League for a variety of factors. We went 1-4 in SL last year and had a franchise record for wins. Teams that are at the top of the draft year in and year out have a better chance at performing in SL. We also have had a new coach for 20-25 days now. The majority of the SL guys will not sniff the active roster.

              • Charliemyboy

                I know. I’m still mad the way things were handled shattering my dreams with last year’s team. So I’m just _itching. I have to be patient. I just don’t like to lose when we were so close. I don’t want to get worse and tell my wife: “we lost again.” Period.

  • Trip

    What we did not stop to think about is the summer league is a time for the young guys to develop more. The coaching staffs are not trying ( or should not be trying) to play the best lineups at all times and have a short bench, anybody that is there should be seeing some playing time at least in the first three games. Now that it is a tournament win or go home style, Charlie mentioned this too, the coaches tightened up the rotations in an effort to win the game. It is a long shot for most of these players to make the roster, but early on the do need to see if they have a hidden gem that even the front office/coaching staff didn’t even know they had. Which is why I am not worried about the 3 straight losses but am encouraged at the play of yesterday’s game.

    • Ernie

      Actually most of us stopped and thought of summer league this way. But it stinks watching your team get beat, even if it’s summer league. And so some non-sensible emotions came out of a few people. No harm, no foul.

      • Charliemyboy

        Bingo. Other teams are doing the same and winning. Come on guys; treat the game as if it’s your last… it may be…

  • heykyleinsf

    where can I watch these games? Altitude covering therm?

    • sherlock

      I believe NBA TV is the only place to watch them, unless you can catch it streaming on the web.

      • heykyleinsf

        thanks Sherlock I guess I might try firstrow also

        • loops

          Firstrow is where I have watched every single one unless they are on ESPN3 in which you can watch it on their website for free or stream it on Xbox if you have it for free

        • Scott

          Altitude my man

          • toluene hawk

            Speaking of Altitude, can we petition Flatironns Subaru to buy Altitude a nice HD camera? The broadcasts leave a lot to be desired compared with an ABC or ESPN broadcast. Maybe the Kreonk-ster can buy them one to go with his new big screen TV?

    • Bricks

      Watched a couple games on Altitude. Not sure if they’re all on there . . .

  • Qmill30

    Random note: Smh when I read a writer or commentator call Fournier a lethal outside shooter. It’s just racist

    • Evan Woodruff

      What do you mean?

    • Bricks

      Whuh?

      • Qmill30

        A lot of ‘experts’ use outside shooting as one of Evan’s main strengths when describing him. These ‘experts’ are uneducated and racist because he isn’t that great a shooter, but they assume he is because he is euro

        • Bricks

          That reply doesn’t even deserve a response. Are you kidding me?

  • Bricks

    I miss the FA drama. What’s goin on with NateRob?

    • Trevor

      Nothing thank god. Lakers looking at him.

      • LBJ

        Unfortunately, they just signed Jordan Farmar as their #3 PG.

        • Trevor

          Well that leaves the wizards and bucks as his only other rumored suitors. Hopefully one of them hurries up and inks him.

          • Bricks

            NateRob discussion is kinda worn out for now. Doesn’t look like it’s gonna happen anyway. I don’t think he’s interested in Denver

        • Bricks

          What’s unfortunate about that?

          • LBJ

            It likely removes them as a possible home for Nate.

            • Bricks

              Ah, now I understand. Nate’ll prolly be a Knick or a Wizard. So, LBJ, who should KronCon be looking at for help at SG/wing, the position we REALLY need help at before next season?

              • LBJ

                Good question. There really isn’t anything on the free agent market that 1) we can afford or 2) would sign with us. Our only option is a trade with our TPE. If we sign Mozzy, we have a surplus at the 4, so that is where we should start.

              • Bricks

                Why does signing Moz give us a surplus at 4, he’s a 5? We already have a surplus there with Faried, Hickson, Arthur, Randloph and even QMiller. And wouldn’t you agree that Faried is our most valuable asset to trade right now if we are serious about getting help where we really need it?

              • loops

                Why would we trade a developing Faried? I don’t understand that. This team isn’t beating the Heat next year so why not let these guys actually develop? If we do that, then you could realistically (If you wanted to) get loads more value out of trading Faried after the season when you maybe posturing to move up in a deep draft.

              • Bricks

                Not if Faried is sharing time with Hickson this year, which he will do. If we want to get value in return for Faried, now is the time. I love Faried, everyone does. Hope he stays, but realistically because of the glut at 4 (with Hickson, in my opinion, the better player), Faried is the guy to consider trading. This team needs help at SG/wing more than any other need right now.

              • loops

                He wasn’t sharing time with Wilson Chandler? Highly doubt his minutes will plummet and if they do by 4 minutes his development in the offseason will make up for it. Who are we going to get at SG or the wing that is going to put us over the edge? My guess is no one. No one is going to put us over the edge. What will is the development of our own guys.

              • Bricks

                No one’s lobbying for a Faried trade. Just a simple factual observation: If Nugs want to get value for a player they need at a postion where they are deficient (SG/wing) . . . Faried — by virtue of the fact that the Nugs are strong at 4 and because Faried has as much value now as he ever will (my opinion) — he is the only Nuggets player of value that we can trade to get that player. And yes I do believe that a Sefolosha or Tony Allen type of defending SG could put the Nugs “over the edge.” We are pretty solid at every other position (except a big ?? at C). No worries, loop, I don’t think there’s a 2 in the league who the Nugs could possibly get to fill that big gap that they have. Faried’s not likely to be let go.

              • loops

                I just think if we wanted to get Tony Allen, who I really wanted. We would have just signed him instead of considering he went for the same amount of money. However, maybe this front office likes Hicksons upside over Farieds. I personally as a front office guy (this is why I don’t get paid the big bucks) would have just signed Tony Allen and kept Faried and paid out a total of 7 million for the two rather than 10 million for Hickson and Allen. Then again, Hickson is the size of your prototypical power forward, shows more promise with the face up game, and plays with hustle like Faried. Faried was pretty terrible defending the pick and roll

              • LBJ

                Tony Allen (or Thabo) is not a fit for the nuggets. We need wing scorers – not defensive specialists. Plus Tony is 31. I am afraid that you are right – the FO prefers JJ over Faried. That is why I suspect Faried will be moved.
                Look at our roster. Who in the hell is going to score without Gallo?

              • loops

                Lawson. JHam could step up. Wilson Chandler is a fine scoring option. He actually tries to score opposed to a Gallo who is more concerned with drawing fouls for free throws than finishing.

              • LBJ

                I’ll give Lawson 20 and Chandler 15 – that is 35. So 65 points on young guys, oops and putbacks. Sounds like a plan. BTW- if we get rid of Miller, who is going to be throwing all the oops??
                Why is the weight on the player’s shoulders now that Karl is gone? When they didn’t develop when Karl was here – it was the coach’s fault.

              • loops

                The weight is on their shoulders to improve because they are hitting a transition period in their careers and if they don’t improve under a new coach then it dignifies the response people like you have had to Karls firing. Would you not agree? 65 points huh? I had no idea that Iggy was scoring 40 points a game

              • LBJ

                I would agree that players are always ultimately responsible for improving their game. That goes for whoever is coaching.

              • loops

                So you don’t believe a coach and his staff have responsibility for aiding in that development?

              • LBJ

                Where did I say that? I was simply addressing your absurd argument that only after we fired Karl – it becomes the player’s responsibility to improve. When Karl was coaching it was his responsibility.

              • loops

                It was always their responsibility. However, the head coach shared that responsibility. When your head coach voices to the front office he’s not concerned with developing players, he’s concerned about winning, with a team that currently without developments holds little hope of going to the championship then a change has to be made especially before a lame duck year.

              • LBJ

                That’s funny, I have never heard a single nugget (even J Ham) accuse Karl of “not being concerned with developing young players.”

              • loops

                Karl himself admitted to it and also it was cited as a large part of the reason for his firing. Any player that doesn’t wish to ever see the court period would come out and bad mouth the coach.

              • LBJ

                Karl isn’t the coach anymore.

              • LBJ

                They can say anything they want about him now.

              • LBJ

                So we only lost Iggy from last years’ team. Wow – you are quite the nuggets fan!

              • loops

                Excuse me, when did I saw Iggy was all we lost? Corey Brewer was just as inconsistent on offense as the rest of the squad. Koufos was practically non-existent on offense so why even mention him? He got hustle boards, that’s it. CBREW had a terrible 3 pt percentage but his court running factors into the same type of points you are discounting with guys like Faried. Who else did we lose? Moz never saw the court and he’s not 100% gone.

              • LBJ

                I’m just asking you who is going to score next year? I didn’t discount Faried’s court running points – I just said that we aren’t going to make up all our lost points by increasing his points. YOU are discounting KK’s hustle points (which must somehow be different from Fried’s)

              • loops

                Koufos didn’t have a lot of hustle points. I don’t have a crystal ball dude. None of us do. If we did we would use it to win the lottery. We can speculate all we want but do you really believe we will average 65 points next year? C’mon

              • LBJ

                No, I don’t. I do think we need more of an offensive 2/3 – and we are going to deal, that should be our focus. I think that is more important than a defensive specialist (Allen, Thabo).

              • Bricks

                You can bet they’re counting on Foye, and that’s precisely why they were talking to Robinson. Fournier needs to come through on the scoring front, and I hope people are seeing in these summer league games that Hamilton is not improving at all, and can’t be counted on for serious scoring.

              • loops

                Wait, Hamilton isn’t improving? Did you not watch the last two games after he went to his cousins funeral?

              • Bricks

                No. But I watched the first 3 games and wasn’t impressed. I will retract my comment, however, and give JHam a fair shake. Hope the dude can contribute this year. Nugs need shooting.

              • LBJ

                Without Mozzy, I assume JJ becomes our back up C – and will get a lot of minutes at that position.
                I would agree that Faried is probably our best trade asset. I suspect that the front office agrees also.

              • dynamo.joe

                Brewer. Ronnie Brewer.