5-on-5: Nuggets lineups in 2013-14

Denver Nuggets training camp is still over a month away, and plenty of time remains for the front office to make additional offseason roster moves. Yet the rumor mill has gone quiet, and by all appearances it seems that Tim Connelly and Josh Kroenke have – at least for now – settled on the 15 players who will constitute the Nuggets roster at the opening of the upcoming season.

Denver has an intriguing, if in certain ways perplexing mix of players on the roster, and at this point it’s extremely difficult to foresee how the minutes and rotations will shake out.  And with the coaching change, our lack of a concrete picture of the offensive and defensive systems Brian Shaw intends to implement only compounds the unpredictabllity of how things will unfold from here on out.

But despite the fact that we are facing more questions than answers, your trusty Roundball Mining Company writers now bring you, in our latest 5-on-5, our best and boldest predictions about which lineups stand to fare the best and worst, and which players stand to gain or lose the most in this uncharted 2013-14 season.

As always, feel free to play along and post your own answers to the questions, or any other observations and reactions, in the comments section below. (more…)

Q&A with Nuggets fans from Australia

For years I’ve be fascinated with the amount of Nuggets fans I’ve encountered who hail from Australia. Given the relative population of Australia compared to the rest of the world, it’s always seemed like abnormally large number. So, after a long period of distant admiration, I finally decided to reach out to some of these fans from Down Under to get a better understanding of how they became Nuggets fans — of all things. Here is their story…

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Saturday: sports equipment charity drive at Pepsi Center

As a heads up to our faithful readers in and around the Denver area, the Nuggets will be hosting the second annual Jessica Redfield Gawhi giveSPORTS charity drive on Saturday. If you’re able to donate some new or lightly used sports equipment to a great cause, it’s an exciting opportunity to meet some of the Denver Nuggets’ players and staff as well as Rocky and the Nuggets Dancers.

This is the second annual sports equipment charity drive the Nuggets will hold in honor of Jessica Redfield Gawhi, the former Altitude intern who was a victim of the tragic Aurora theater shooting in 2012. If you’d like to get involved and make a donation, here are the details of the event this Saturday at the Pepsi Center.

WHEN:          Saturday, August 24 (7 a.m. – Noon)

WHERE:        Pepsi Center – Camry Lot North (Enter via 7th Street from Chopper Circle)

WHY:            Jessica Redfield Ghawi, an aspiring sports journalist, was a victim of the 2012 Aurora theater tragedy.  A sports participant as well as a sports reporter, Jessica’s dream was to provide children who had lost everything with sports equipment.  Her dream became a reality in 2012 when Kroenke Sports Charities partnered with A Precious Child to collect/distribute more than 25,000 pieces of sports equipment to 150 non-profit organizations .

HOW:              New or lightly used sports equipment requested includes:   Baseball and Softball – Balls, Gloves, Catcher’s Gear, Bats;  Basketball – Balls, Nets, Shoes; Bicycles and Helmets;  Boxing – Gloves, Head Gear; Football – Balls, Pads, Helmets, Cleats;  Golf – Clubs, Balls, Shoes;  Hockey – Pucks, Skates, Pads, Goalie Gear, Helmet, Sticks;   Lacrosse – Balls, Sticks, Pads, Helmets;  Roller Hockey – Skates, Helmets, Pads, Sticks, Balls;  Roller Skating/Blading – Skates, Helmets, Pads;  Soccer – Balls, Cleats, Shin Guards;  Tennis – Balls, Rackets, Shoes ; and Volleyball – Balls, Nets, Pads.     In addition, monetary donations will benefit the Jessica Redfield Ghawi giveSPORTS Scholarship Fund which provides financial assistance for sports-related registration fees.

Lineups

The post-Melo Nuggets have always been defined by their depth. Denver didn’t just attack you with a killer lineup, they did it with waves of them. They were a machine full of interchangeable gears, a confluence of equally skilled players that elevated the whole through sheer numeracy, and yet whose uniformity ironically tended to serve as their downfall in the postseason. But perennial regular season success is clearly something this team is still trying to strive for and the various transactions of the offseason reveals a similar desire for the “next man up” depth that has been the team’s staple for three years.

A look at what Denver’s offseason reaping produced has unearthed a comforting familiarity in terms of the depth but some trepidation in how these particular gears fit together. Questions about potential lineups range from the mop-up crew all the way to the starting unit, and many of these queries center around Brian Shaw’s unique (and currently unknowable) set of principles, what does he value most in his players? The following is a list of potential lineups Denver could throw out over the course of the season, their pros, their cons, their function, and – most importantly – the likelihood of their success.

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[UPDATE] Lawson charged with physical harassment, according to The Denver Post

A few days ago I asked the RMC community to come up with story ideas because our writers were all out. Many readers submitted some fine ideas, which we plan on covering in the coming days, but none can compare to the real-life physical harassment and criminal mischief charges Ty Lawson obtained this past Saturday night.

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Send us your thoughts, questions — or chocolate-chip cookies

If you haven’t already noticed, things have slowed a bit around RMC lately. We try and think of creative ways to cover the Nuggets 365 days of the year; however, some of those 365 days fall in August and early September when virtually nothing is happening in regards to our beloved Denver Nuggets, and as a result, nothing tends to happen in the creative sections of our brains. Our well has run dry, so to speak. Or it’s barely dripping. Either way, we need some water, aka story ideas in this scenario. So, if you’ve ever wanted us to cover a certain subject or if there’s something on your mind you want answered, please shoot us an e-mail (where you can find up at the top right of the page) and we’ll try to process your requests in a somewhat timely manner. As always, GO NUGGETS!, and thanks for your ongoing support of RMC.

— Kalen

Is Denver’s Roster Deep or Just Full?

As time continues to pass on the Nuggets offseason and people start looking ahead to the coming season one ideal seems to be carrying the belief that the Nuggets will make the playoffs and be successful there; the Nuggets are just too deep to fail.

After all the team is full of good proven players like Kenneth Faried, Wilson Chandler, and healthy Danilo Gallinari and led by a really, really good player in Ty Lawson.

Next to those proven players they have even more guys, like Evan Fournier and Jordan Hamilton,  who at the moment are unproven but have shown tools that lead to the belief they can join the ranks of the good.

And just to make things even more complicated, rounding out the roster are the polarizing JaVale McGee, Nate Robinson, Andre Miller and JJ Hickson. Players that have led to a series of debates, especially on this site, as to whether  or not they are actually good.

Realistically someone could say that the Nuggets will be anywhere from 10 to 13 deep with good players once everyone is healthy and it wouldn’t bring much of an argument.

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Denver’s Screening Problem

One of the biggest obstacles I run into when trying to project what Denver will look like going into next season is the absence of any idea what the system will be like under Brian Shaw. The Nuggets have spent the better part of a decade running the sometimes varied but always unorthodox George Karl system, and the extent to which Shaw deviates from that remains to be seen. He has been on the record as saying he will ditch the triangle offense that his coaching had been pigeonholed into (a wise move) and that he will continue to utilize Denver’s unique home court advantage with an uptempo offense (another smart move), but other than that it is mostly a mystery.

However, I am pretty confident that at least a good portion of Karl’s dribble-drive offense will be replaced with a more traditional pick-and-roll centric system. I will defend Karl’s dunks-and-threes system till the day I die in terms of how well it succeeded in the team sense but it is undeniable that the Nuggets have many players who would thrive in a more pick-and-roll featured scheme (Ty Lawson especially). There’s just one problem. There are precious few Nuggets who know how to properly set screens.

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Have the Nuggets taken “the greatest risk a team can take”?

Recently, Mark Cuban wrote a very revealing and intriguing blog post on the Dallas Mavericks’ recent offseason maneuvers. This was brought to my attention by Matt Moore’s insightful reaction to Cuban’s post. As they are really great reads, I would highly recommend reading both in their entirety before proceeding. Cuban’s post is here at BlogMaverick.com, and Moore’s article is here at CBSSPORTS.com.

The central theme of both is the conundrum of what to do with an aging superstar, and how that decision may impact short- and long-term team building. Is it best to trade him for draft picks and other young assets, tanking for the hope of the next draft superstar and sacrificing current success for future gains? Or to take a win-now-at-all-costs approach and milk the value of that star for all he’s worth while you can? Or alternately, choose a middle ground in an effort to have your cake and eat it, too?

In 2011, under Masai Ujiri’s competent guiding hand, the Nuggets successfully delayed facing this music when (more…)

2013-2014 Denver Nuggets Schedule Released

The 2013-2014 Denver Nuggets’ schedule has been released by the NBA.

The team opens on October 30th in Sacramento against the Kings with the home opener falling two nights later against the Portland Trail Blazers.

According to a release by the team the Nuggets will be featured on national television 20 times this season with six appearances on TNT, seven on ESPN and seven on NBATV.

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Film Room: Darrell Arthur scouting report – video and in-depth analysis

In this latest installment of the Roundball Mining Company Film Room, we will take a look at Darrell Arthur, the player the Nuggets received in their surprise trade of Kosta Koufos.

But before getting to the analysis, it’s important to open with a major caveat: (more…)