Five things to watch for this season

As the 2013-14 NBA season approaches, many questions hover around the Denver Nuggets. Almost everything that made the team successful in years past (especially last season) has now departed. There’s no more George Karl, no more Masai Ujiri, no more Andre Iguodala — no more certainty. There’s still a deep and talented roster, however the players that comprise it are less known commodities and more bags of speculation and temptation. The 2013-14 Denver Nuggets are, more than anything, a team mired with uncertainty. Though five topics of concern are presented below, this list could very well expand to seven or even 10. But in honor of brevity and odd numbers, here are the five most compelling storylines to watch for this season.

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#NuggetsRank No. 2: Danilo Gallinari

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Every year around this time ESPN introduces its annual #NBArank series codifying all 500 players in the NBA from least to most valuable. Last year Roundball Mining Company decided to get in on the action and began ranking each of the players on the Denver Nuggets’ final 15-man roster in the same fashion. We’ve polled all seven of our writers, asking them to arrange each player on the Nuggets roster from one to 15 (one being the best, 15 the least valuable), then we added everyone’s scores together to come up with a single, definitive list of the 15 “most valuable” Denver Nuggets. Checking in at number two is Danilo Gallinari, up one spot from last season.

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Preseason Game 4: Nuggets 81-Thunder 109

Denver traveled down to Oklahoma City tonight to continue their preseason and things went really badly.

As I mentioned in the Ty Lawson injury post this morning the game was not televised at all and because of that we at RMC could not watch the game anywhere to recap it. Honestly, looking at the box score, that was probably a good thing.

Kevin Durant outscored the entire Nuggets starting lineup 36-31 for a general idea of how the game went.

If you did see the game, or even just want to talk about what you see in the box score, please feel free to do so below.

And be sure to check out our latest 5-on-5 at the ESPN.com NBA homepage where we lay down our predictions for the upcoming season, if you haven’t already.

Ty Lawson Questionable for OKC

According to the Denver Post’s Chris Dempsey, Ty Lawson is a game-time decision for tonight’s preseason game against the Oklahoma City Thunder with a back injury.

The report says that Lawson suffered the injury fighting through a screen during last night’s victory over the Spurs and is going to play the injury cautiously saying that if his back tightens up he will not play.

We here at RMC hope to have coverage of the game tonight but the game is not being televised anywhere. We will do our best to find a stream of the game and provide our thoughts on what happens.

Until then please check out my thoughts from last night’s game and leave your own on the recap post from the game. 

Preseason Game 3: Nuggets 98-Spurs 94

The new look Nuggets got a chance to show off for the first time in front of their home crowd and for the most part they looked good doing it.

First the good:

  • Kenneth Faried finally looked like his old self again. The Manimal entered off the bench and wasn’t force fed post up chances, instead he just found his rhythm in the flow of the game. He finished with 22 points on 10 of 12 shooting, nine rebounds and two steals. When allowed to just run and dunk like he has been in the past he seemed comfortable. He even made a nice move in the post that led to an and-one late in the game, albeit on a guy who probably won’t make an NBA roster. Faried will be successful if he is allowed to be himself. As I have said before, he is what he is and that is probably close to all he will ever be. Fortunately, that happens to be a player who can make a big impact on plenty of games. (more…)

#NuggetsRank No. 3 Wilson Chandler

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Every year around this time ESPN introduces its annual #NBArank series codifying all 500 players in the NBA from least to most valuable. Last year Roundball Mining Company decided to get in on the action and began ranking each of the players on the Denver Nuggets’ final 15-man roster in the same fashion. We’ve polled all seven of our writers, asking them to arrange each player on the Nuggets roster from one to 15 (one being the best, 15 the least valuable), then we added everyone’s scores together to come up with a single, definitive list of the 15 “most valuable” Denver Nuggets. Wilson Chandler goes from No. 7 last year all the way into the top three.

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Preseason Game 2: Nuggets 88 – Lakers 90

The preseason is a weird thing. Wins and losses don’t matter and teams play somewhere between 12 and 15 players for double digit minutes.

Really the preseason is a lot like summer league, where players take things that they worked on during the offseason and bring them into live action for the first time.

This season the Nuggets are also incorporating a brand new system for a brand new coach and through the first two games it is becoming very clear that that change is going to be radical.

And through those games, things, for the most part, don’t look pretty.

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Can Brian Shaw help JaVale McGee transform into a more conventional center?

“The anchor of the defense.” “Conventional.” “A presence in the middle.” “A true center.”

If you dropped these phrases on most NBA fans and asked them who came to mind, it’s a near certainty that none of them would answer, “JaVale McGee.”

And if in turn you surveyed them on how they’d describe McGee, you’d invariably end up with “bonehead,” “goofball” and “Shaqtin’-a-fool” on your short list of most common responses.

New Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw appears to be on a mission to change all that, however. (more…)

Recap: Nuggets down Lakers 97-88 in preseason opener

The Denver Nuggets kicked off the Brian Shaw era with a win Sunday night, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers 97-88 in their first game of the preseason. While the score was close for most of the game, the Nuggets were able to ride their superior depth and a strong third quarter surge to a comfortable win over the Lakers, who were playing on the second night of a back-to-back without the services of Chris Kaman and Jordan Farmar.
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#NuggetsRank No. 4: Kenneth Faried

Every year around this time ESPN introduces its annual #NBArank series codifying all 500 players in the NBA from least to most valuable. Last year Roundball Mining Company decided to get in on the action and began ranking each of the players on the Denver Nuggets’ final 15-man roster in the same fashion. We’ve polled all seven of our writers, asking them to arrange each player on the Nuggets roster from one to 15 (one being the best, 15 the least valuable), then we added everyone’s scores together to come up with a single, definitive list of the 15 “most valuable” Denver Nuggets. Kenneth Faried comes in at No. 4, maintaining his ranking from last year. (more…)

#NuggetsRank No. 5: JaVale McGee

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Every year around this time ESPN introduces its annual #NBArank series codifying all 500 players in the NBA from least to most valuable. Last year Roundball Mining Company decided to get in on the action and began ranking each of the players on the Denver Nuggets’ final 15-man roster in the same fashion. We’ve polled all seven of our writers, asking them to arrange each player on the Nuggets roster from one to 15 (one being the best, 15 the least valuable), then we added everyone’s scores together to come up with a single, definitive list of the 15 “most valuable” Denver Nuggets. Last year JaVale McGee was ranked at No. 5 and this season he remains at the same spot.

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#NuggetsRank No. 6: Nate Robinson

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Every year around this time ESPN introduces its annual #NBArank series codifying all 500 players in the NBA from least to most valuable. Last year Roundball Mining Company decided to get in on the action and began ranking each of the players on the Denver Nuggets’ final 15-man roster in the same fashion. We’ve polled all seven of our writers, asking them to arrange each player on the Nuggets roster from one to 15 (one being the best, 15 the least valuable), then we added everyone’s scores together to come up with a single, definitive list of the 15 “most valuable” Denver Nuggets. Checking in at number six is newcomer Nate Robinson. (more…)

ESPN hires Karl as analyst

For years George Karl has been praised for his expansive “basketball mind.” I always wondered what exactly that meant (doesn’t every coach in the NBA have an expansive basketball mind?) and why a mind so expansive never translated into more postseason success — but hey, that’s just the cynic in me coming out! The fact of the matter is, George Karl does possess one of the most knowledgeable basketball minds that have ever floated around in a person’s head on this earth. And now that he can’t find a job in the NBA, he’s sharing some of that knowledge with people like you and me who don’t know diddly squat about pick-and-roll defense. Because on Monday, ESPN announced George Karl would be taking his talents (for a second time) to their studios as an NBA analyst.

According to the Associated Press, Karl will keep his options open in case another coaching position opens up, and will make his first appearance this Friday on the 11 p.m. EST version of SportsCenter. I think I speak for all Nuggets fans when I say this should be awesome. Though Karl certainly had his critics here in Denver (yours truly, often being the most outspoken) it’s common knowledge that he’s a pretty down-to-earth dude who just loves talking about basketball. And that usually translates pretty well to the sports television world.

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