Pickaxe Pulse for November 17, 2013

Taking the pulse of the Nuggets every weekend

During the preseason, NBA analysts, pundits, and fans were predicting the Nuggets to finish anywhere from a low playoff seed to near the bottom of the league. After nine games, the 4-5 Nuggets have done little to change anyone’s mind.

Ty Lawson’s current averages of 21 points, 4 rebounds, and nearly 9 assists are all career highs. Wilson Chandler has been shooting extremely well from outside, and Timofey Mozgov has been a force on defense and in the pick and roll. The Nuggets have had fourth quarter leads in all but two games. On the down side, long-term injuries to Danilo Gallinari and JaVale McGee will keep the Nuggets from reaching full strength until January or later. Aside from Ty Lawson, the rest of the Nuggets’ guards have played inconsistently on both ends, with only a couple of good games each. The defense is still a work in progress, particularly in the frontcourt. Coach Shaw continues to run experimental lineups that are sometimes successful but more often terrible. With three tough tests coming this week, the Nuggets will need to improve quickly to keep pace.

Current record and standings: 4-5 (3-2 home, 1-3 road), tied with Memphis for 10th place in the West.

Upcoming games: Monday @ Oklahoma City, Thursday vs Chicago, Saturday vs Dallas

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Tom Darrow

Fourth generation Denver native, stay-at-home dad with a masters degree in applied mathematics, and all-around geek with a passion for Nuggets basketball.
  • Andrew

    Despite the expected loss to Houston, I am actually a bit more optimistic about this team than at the beginning of the year, considering Gallo was out, Chando got the hamstring issue, and Iggy was gone.
    Also, I kinda sorta get what Shaw is doing (given the same rotation issues others have), but the personnel issues overall are not his fault, and the team should look decent after Gallo and McGee get back. Though McGee hasn’t grown into the starting role, Mozilla looks better than I thought he would.
    It seems Faried’s best role would be a 6th man (he can really go to work when things get a little looser with the backups), and the Nuggets need to replace Hickson and Foye with legit starters at some point. I would not trade Faried. Unless a middling team offers up a potential lottery pick for next year, Nuggets won’t get good enough value for him, and I honestly think he is a key piece to a championship team with his motor.
    I hope the Nuggets find a way to trade Hickson at the deadline, rather than Faried, and get a pick from a middling team. Hey, would the Knicks bite on Hickson for Shumpert?! Ha ha, ok, doesn’t hurt to ask. Sadly, unless they luckily pull one of the top three picks next year, Nuggs may have to trade away Gallo or Chando at some point to get to the next level.
    I don’t know. Just my two cents.

    • LBJ

      I would love to see us dump Hickson for Shumpert – but the Knicks want a big ASAP and we can’t deal him until December 15.

  • heykyleinsf

    I sure wish I lived in Denver to watch the game with the Nuggets dancers at Stoney’s tomorrow night!