Outside Look: A Scout’s Take on the Nuggets Success

Last night ESPN’s Marc Stein talked to a bunch of scouts to get their takes on a lot of NBA early season happenings for Stein Line Live.

All the takes can be found here and are all very interesting, but the one that will be most important to Nuggets fans can be found here.

Stein talked to an Eastern Conference scout on why the Nuggets turnaround has happened. The answer was mostly that Denver was running again, though the part that sticks out most is the scout’s take on JaVale McGee.

“The other big reason they improved is because JaVale McGee went down. I hate to say it, but that’s been a bonus for them. They were originally trying to go inside-out with McGee, but they aren’t built like that. I think that’s why [Ty] Lawson was out of whack, but Brian — to his credit — saw that they didn’t have the post presence to play that way and let them go back to what they’re good at.”

Plenty of people had mentioned in the comments and on Twitter that the JaVale injury could have been helping Denver but to see a scout say it just emphasizes the problems that Denver can face when McGee gets healthy. With so much money invested in JaVale it is hard to see the Nuggets just giving up on him but if such a big part of the turnaround is just his absence things can get confusing  and difficult when he is healthy enough to play.

What were your takes on the scout’s opinions? Feel free to let us know in the comments below.

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  • ny nugs fan

    oh no not another article finding a way to bash mcgee… just give it a rest

    the same people bashing mcgee are the same ppl who were crying crocodile tears when we let koufos go and decided to extend and finally play mozgoz

    i will tell you this… if the nugs had had mcgee last night i think we win that game against the celtics; we needed somebody to send a couple of that whack ish the celtics were doing into the 5th row, thank you very much

    the nugs will be better when they get a healthy mcgee back along with mozgov… mozgov can’t do it by himself, ok

    and the nugs were right to sign mcgee to the contract he got when they did… i’m sure it will prove itself out

    thanks

    • MacKenzie Pantoja

      I think the problem is that when we get McGee back, Mozgov will remain the backup center, Hickson will go to backup power forward, and Darrell Arthur will be stuck on the bench in spite of his brilliant defense

      • ny nugs fan

        that’s because mozgov is better suited coming off the bench

        people have somehow gotten amnesia that mozgov has been prone to injury and having him bang down on the block is a risky proposition; this guy is best when he’s pulling the center from under the basket and dropping that mid-range bomb from 15-18 feet; mozgov can be just as effective and get his minutes coming off the bench doing what he does best; right now with mozgov you’re playing with fire and i’d personally like to see him play a full season

        • MacKenzie Pantoja

          I don’t know what point your trying to make, but I’m saying that when McGee comes back Arthur will likely be completely eliminated from the rotation. I don’t like that idea.

      • herpderpnuggets

        i think that we should honestly trade javale…..

  • googergieger

    The only good thing that came with McGee going out is that it helped with the rotations a bit. As Mackenzie said, it opened up minutes for Arthur and Mozzy. You can be a better team that plays this type of basketball with McGee back. Just make him a defensive presence that will on occasion give you something in the post. As has been said by others, either Hickson or Faried have to go. Cause Shaw is always going to play both of them over Arthur.

  • Marv

    I hope McGee gets 15 minutes a game when he comes back. I wanted McGee to shine more than any other Nuggets fan, but I’m coming to the conclusion that will never happen. He brings down the team with a starting role and extended minutes. Its a shame.

  • MacKenzie Pantoja

    I didn’t know where the best place to post this would be, but it should be noted that Joffrey Lauvergne, the second round pick we got from Memphis along with Arthur, is leading the Euroleague in rebounds. Comfortably, I might add

    • herpderpnuggets

      Evan + Joff = unstoppable

    • NuggZeit

      Ok, you got me excited so I looked at the EuroLeague stats – now I’m less excited.

      Yes, he is currently 1st in total rebounds but, there are 10 other guys in the top 50 who have better rebounding rates per 40 mins (and they all have a decent amount of playing time). So by that measure, he’s the 11th best rebounder in Euroleague – I’m skeptical how well that is going to translate to the NBA game. Haven’t watched his film (nor would I be a good film evaluator) but I think that stat speaks to need to significantly temper our enthusiasm.

      On the other hand, that does make him perhaps the most durable rebounder in EL, so that’s probably worth something.

      • MacKenzie Pantoja

        Hey, I’m not expecting much. He’s known as a good athlete and he clearly hustles on the boards. Offensively he makes his free throws. If we get a short-armed version of Tristan Thompson with a second round pick, I’d be happy. So sure, he’s not leading per 40 minutes, but he’s still over achieving beyond my expectations.

  • Native Nugget

    Not exactly on topic but not that far off – Omar Asik is being shopped around, IMO he would be a good upgrade. In some ways he is similar to Mozzy offensively but he’s a better defender by a large margin, a decent rebounder, a great outlet passer to spark the breaks, and he get’s up and down the floor. I’d rather have a first class defensive presence with an improving offense to anchor our team than Mozzy or JaVale.

    JaVale appears to be a long term project at best. Haven’t seen any evidence he can play starting minutes without getting gassed. Haven’t seen much evidence he has the head for being a consistent player. For the foreseeable future he should play 15 to 20 mins off the bench until the neurons in his noggin finish developing over the next 2 to 5 years.

    Not to mention Omar’s contract is friendly enough (better than Javale’s) to still go out and look for another big upgrade at another position.

    • MacKenzie Pantoja

      I would agree that Asik is better than any center we have, but, when McGee does come back, what do we do? Do we take Mozgov out of the rotation? Hard to justify.

    • LBJ

      I was thinking the same thing. We get Asik (who only has 1 year left on his deal) and ship McGee to backup Howard – and get rid of his contract.

      • Fraser Nixon

        why would houston want to have $35M tied up in the center position though? No chance they do it

        • LBJ

          Under normal circumstances, I would agree But considering that is only $3 million more than they currently are paying their 2 centers – and one is not playing – it is not that unreasonable.

  • heykyleinsf

    Right on Buffs!!
    knocked back Wiggins!

    • Marv

      Wrong board.

      • heykyleinsf

        Grow up.

    • trank

      if you had also said go nuggs, too, you’d be on the right board.

      fantastic game! they FINALLY got good fans- when i was going to the games, for years and years, i could sit just about anywhere and the only time people (other than me and few others) would cheer was when they were ahead and scored a basket. it was pitiful. any team from a neighboring state, and kansas, would draw bigger crowds.

      • heykyleinsf

        It was a great game.. and there has been talk about Wiggins on this board. I don’t care if people are too retarded to get the association or have to big of a stick up their ass to talk about other things.. after all .. it is still basketball.. it’s not like I brought up Miley Cyrus or the Pope or something. Jesus.. people need to get over themselves.

        • Marv

          Wrong board.

  • Guest

    “Hey guys, seriously. I was misinformed about the beginning of the season. This is GK’s nuggets. Seriously look, someone is talking about running. If it’s running, it’s GK’s offense.”

  • jt

    As long as Shaw realizes that this is Ty’s team and McGee is just a chess piece then we’ll be better with him. If we try and play inside out we’re done

  • James Murray

    Sadly 4 me this is the whole problem with the Denver culture …. its a running team and it’s been that way since forever. Quietly, i have a feeling Shaw knows this and he figures this was not probably a good fit for him, and also because this just won’t hold up in a playoff series. It’s so bad that it starts from he top. Look at how Marlowe and Hastings have that thing going where fans get a Taco for a $1 or whatever it is for Nuggets scoring 110pts. The focus is on scoring. Why can’t it be hold them under 90 and we get tacos. Offensive teams win games, defensive teams win championships. Until we actually start to think this way, no matter who comes in, the identity and success of the franchise will never change. And it starts from our best player Ty, as good as he is, you still see a lot of the bad GK habits wih him gambling on the defensive end.