Denver’s mess

Messes, such as the one in Denver right now, are not wrought solely by poor decisions or by poor luck but by an ugly amalgam of the two. You don’t just need a roster ill-fit to play under its rookie head coach, you need the talent on that roster to be decimated by injury. You don’t just need a team in the latter stages of an identity crisis, you need a first year head coach still in the midsts of his own. This is how bad teams become terrible, how a roster full of youthful athleticism wanes into exasperating lethargy.

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Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 89-Brooklyn Nets 112

The Nets lost by 44 points in Portland last night but as we have come to see the Nuggets were the perfect remedy for their problems as the Nuggets scored just 8 points in the first quarter and couldn’t stop the Nets all night ultimately falling by 23 points after trailing by 30 or more for parts of the second half.

Grades are live below the jump. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.

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Rapid Reaction: Portland Trail Blazers 100 – Denver Nuggets 95

Kind of a perfect loss, if one such exists. Denver showed the heart and effort that’s been sorely lacking the last few games and they kept their tank train going at full speed. Everybody wins! Grades will be up soon

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A farewell to Dre

Andre Miller has always been polarizing in his own unique way, he’s dichotomy personified. His favorable perception around the league, fed by a grouchy likability, stood in stark contrast to Nuggets fans constant exasperation with the veteran. To the layman, Miller is a fun, lob-throwing anecdote. To the basketball junkie he’s the embodiment of “old man” game, lauded for an evergreen post game imbued with doctoral ingenuity and a grumpy personality that old age tends to make endearing. But to the Nuggets fan, Dre was the point guard who perpetually took the ball out of Ty Lawson’s hands, never gave a damn on defense, and highjacked the offense for possessions on end whenever he felt like it. It didn’t help that the amount of slack on George Karl’s leash around him could’ve tied a bow around the globe.

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Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 95-Sacramento Kings 109

-Here we are again. Denver led by 13 points in the middle of the second quarter thanks to a combination of Evan Fournier and Airwolf Jan Vesely but ultimately things all fell apart in the third quarter when they were outscored 39-18 by a bad Kings team playing on the second night of a back-to-back.

Randy Foye tried as hard as he good to drag Denver back into the game and the Nuggets even cut the lead to 10 in the fourth quarter before the Kings ran away for good thanks to Isaiah Thomas, DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay to win the game by 14.

Grades are below the jump.

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Roundball Roundtable: Assessing the front office after the trade deadline

After a turbulent 2013 offseason which raised more questions than answers about the future of the Denver Nuggets, last Thursday’s trade deadline represented a sort of mid-term examination for their young front office. The test was not only to improve the roster, but also to clarify the team’s goals and plans moving forward, and provide at least a glimmer of hope for a future more promising than this increasingly frustrating season would seem to suggest.

And now that the deadline has passed, with the Nuggets making two trades – Jordan Hamilton for Aaron Brooks and Andre Miller for Jan Vesely – it’s time for us here at Roundball Mining Company to take measure of the front office, evaluate their deadline moves, assess how the new regime has done up to this point, and discuss what they need to do from here on out.

Five of your RMC writers give their take after the jump. (more…)

Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 89, Chicago Bulls 117

It was another blowout loss for the Nuggets, who trailed the Bulls wire to wire, and fell to their sixth defeat in their last seven games. If any silver lining could be found, it was that newly acquired point guard Aaron Brooks scored 17 points, and appears to be a very viable replacement for Nate Robinson.

The grades are below the fold: (more…)

Meet The Nuggets’ Best Defender: Darrell Arthur

The amount of control a coach has on defensive possessions is finite. He can scheme and plan to his heart’s desire, but in the end, the duty of execution rests on the players. The key to such precise execution, and therefore positioning, is communication.

“The veteran teams that you see, like Miami and Boston with KG, they emphasized talking a lot,” Nuggets forward Darrell Arthur said. “It’s all about communication out there.”

Arthur is the second unit, at times even the first unit’s coxswain.

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Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 101 – Milwaukee Bucks 90

Well the Bucks seem to be the cure for the common losing streak as Denver handled them with relative ease.

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Breaking News: JaVale McGee Out for Season

As if today wasn’t busy enough for the Nuggets, they have just announced that center JaVale McGee has joined Danilo Gallinari and Nate Robinson as being out for the year due to injury after having surgery on his left leg.

The news is another blow to a season that was supposed to be about figuring things out under new head coach Brian Shaw in relation to both style of play and which players were long term keepers for the Nuggets. It also was supposed to finally be the breakout year that people around the organization had been hoping for as he had supposedly become more professional and a harder worker since the end of last season.

Now it pushes back another decision for Denver as they must wait and see how he responds and of the improvement he showed throughout the preseason was real or not.

Stay tuned to RMC for more news and reaction as things get more and more hectic in Denver.

Trade deadline update: Jordan Hamilton traded to Rockets for Aaron Brooks

As first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, the Nuggets have acquired point guard Aaron Brooks from the Houston Rockets in exchange for Jordan Hamilton.

As indicated in our previous post, it had appeared earlier that Denver was on track with the Knicks to trade J-Ham for Beno Udrih. Apparently, however, Tim Connelly and the front office were still busy working the phones, and found their preferred option in Brooks. (more…)

Breaking News: Andre Miller Traded To Washington. Jordan Hamilton Potentially Headed to New York.

After weeks of wondering when it would happen, Andre Miller has finally been traded out of Denver.

Miller heads to Washington as part of a three team deal that will send former Wizard’s lottery pick Jan Vesely to the Nuggets and Washington point guard Eric Maynor and two second round picks (one from Washington next year and one from Denver in 2016) to the Philadelphia 76ers according to Yahoo!’s Marc Spears and Adrian Wojnarowski.

The deal does nothing besides shed salary for the Nuggets as Vesely is nothing more than an expiring contract worth $3.3 million that does absolutely nothing well on a basketball court.

The deal also seems to be a precursor to another trade that will actually land the Nuggets a point guard for the remainder of the season, as ESPN’s Marc Stein is reporting that Denver is moving forward with a trade for unhappy New York backup Beno Udrih.

Udrih is nothing spectacular but he is capable of handling the ball and playing point guarde, something that the Nuggets desperately needed with Ty Lawson out with a broken rib, Nate Robinson out with a torn ACL and now Miller out of Denver.

Hamilton has started 11 games this season, including on Tuesday night but his inability to consistently play good defense had caused him to fall out of favor with Brian Shaw which led to his removal from the rotation. Denver also had declined Hamilton’s option earlier this season so he was due to most likely leave Denver at the end of the season anyway.

Baring a surprising move this seems to be it for Denver at the deadline meaning they come away from the Miller fiasco with a bit of savings and without a second round pick a few years from now.

What are your thoughts on the trades? Did Denver get enough for Miller? Is trading Hamilton a good idea? Let us know in the comments below. 

Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets107-Phoenix Suns 112

Thanks to some technical difficulties with my DVR I missed the majority of the first quarter but the Nuggets fought back from an early deficit to put themselves in position to finally defeat the Suns this season. Up five with under a minute left all Denver had to do was hang out but they were unable to thanks to problems generating good looks on offense and grabbing rebounds on defense.

In overtime Denver continued to struggle offensively and ultimately JJ HICKSON SHOT A THREE TO TRY AND TIE THE GAME WITH 5 SECONDS LEFT and they fell 112-107.

Grades are after the jump and please before you yell about Hickson’s grade read the comments. Please.

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Should the Nuggets consider Josh Akognon for backup point guard?

As reported on Sportando, the regular season of the Chinese Basketball Association has come to a close, making a small crop of new free agents available on the NBA market. There are some familiar (if not necessarily appealing) names in the bunch, including Delonte West and Hamed Haddadi.

One less well-known player, however, could merit the Nuggets’ consideration.

Former Cal State Fullerton point guard Josh Akognon has spent the majority of his five-year professional basketball career playing in China, with a fair degree of success. (more…)

Report: Andre Miller Hates the Nuggets. Won’t Return to Team.

According to a report by Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports Andre Miller has expressed to the Nuggets that he wants nothing to do with returning to the team. 

Spears talked to sources close to Miller who made it clear the decision is final.

“The vibe is delusional,” the source said. “It’s a burned bridge. No reconciliation. He’s waiting by the door with his bag already packed. The relationship is irreparable. Under no circumstances does he want to come back to Denver.

Apparently the Nuggets were looking to bring Miller back into the fold after the injuries to Ty Lawson and Nate Robinson despite the fact head coach Brian Shaw had no interest in Professor Miller’s return after the fireworks which led to his banishment.

Miller has been staying in shape with nighttime workouts at the team facilities which have been watched at times by general manager Tim Connelly.

Miller still wants to be traded and with Denver out of roster spaces and point guards it seems likely to happen by Thursday’s trade deadline.

Stay tuned to Roundball Mining Company for more news on Miller and the Nuggets as the trade deadline draws closer. 

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