5-on-5: Draft day analysis

After two days of postdraft analysis from every writer in the basketball blogosphere, it’s time RMC takes the pulse of its own contributors (and one fan) to determine just how high Tim Connelly and co. got our heart rates going on June 26. In our latest 5-on-5 we hand out draft grades, trade grades and a few kind words to Nuggets’ management all while assessing where Denver goes from here. Joining us again is loyal reader Frederick Barteldes. As always, feel free to leave your thoughts on the following questions in the comments section below.

1. What letter grade would you give the Nuggets’ draft and why?

Tom: A. Gary Harris has the mentality and the physical tools to become a Tony Allen-like defender with a better shot. I would have been happy with him as the 11th pick. Getting an extra asset in Jusuf Nurkic while clearing Anthony Randolph from the books was a savvy move. Both Nurkic and fellow Adriatic League big man Nikola Jokic are raw and inexperienced but have shown good development over the last two years.

Charlie: A. The Nuggets turned the 11th pick into two lottery-caliber talents and a future second rounder, in addition to shedding the wholly unnecessary Anthony Randolph. From a value standpoint, that’s a win. Tim Connelly could have made the safe play with McDermott, whom I liked, but instead took the long view with three developmental picks. Nurkic, Harris and Jokic are three of the youngest players in the draft with a great mix of physical tools and upside.

Joel: A. The Chicago deal was a masterstroke. By trading down, Denver got a two-for-one without losing out on Harris, their primary draft target at 11. Both he and Nurkic were steals, falling lower than most mocks projected, and Connelly prognosticated that development very well. Moreover, packaging Randolph not only opened up a roster spot and got his dead weight off the team, but also helped the Nuggets cut nearly $1 million in guaranteed salary in 2014-15.

Frederick: The excitement might still be carrying over but I give it a solid A, not only because I had a blast but because they did everything they set out to do. I thought their biggest weaknesses were perimeter scoring and perimeter defense, and they acquired both in spades. I would have been perfectly content to snag Harris at 11, but trading down to get him at 19 means Nurkic was somehow free, a bonus that was awarded to the Nuggets for their foresight. After listening to the interviews with these guys (Harris in particular, since Nurkic’s English is a little shaky), I’m convinced they’re serious competitors and high-character guys, which I put a premium on considering the Spurs’ model (also because I’m getting old). The last offseason felt bad and turned out bad; this one feels good.

Kalen: Considering the Nuggets drafted the best remaining players on my Big Board in both the first and second rounds, I can’t give them anything but an A-plus. I studied all year long and wrote upwards of 10,000 words on this draft. I’m not saying my opinion is more valuable than anyone else’s, but I feel fairly qualified in assessing the talent Denver acquired on draft night. McDermott may end up being a stellar shooter in the NBA, but he was considered a second-round pick for three years leading up to 2014 and still has major question marks about his athleticism and defense. Meanwhile the Nuggets got not one, but two of most every expert’s favorite late-lottery talents in this draft and shipped out Anthony Randolph in the process. How is this anything but spectacular?

2. If you could change one thing about the Nuggets’ draft what would it be?

Tom: In keeping with this year’s theme of drafting 19 year olds, I would have used the 16th pick on Tyler Ennis. He and Harris could have made a potent backcourt duo.

Charlie: It sure would have been nice to unload the contract of Anthony Rand… oh, that happened too, didn’t it? Forgive me for drawing a blank here, but short of just having a better pick, I like what the Nuggets did with the assets they had.

Joel: Honestly, given the assets the Nuggets had to work with, I’m not sure it could realistically have gone much better. That said, draft night is a golden opportunity to swing trades, and I have it on good authority that every time the Nuggets pass up the chance to trade Hickson, a puppy dies.

Frederick: I’m not sure I would. I’m concerned about the next phase of the offseason, really. This feels a bit like the Nuggets of the season before last — save George Karl — which comes with familiar philosophical questions about what an NBA team needs to be. I believe the Nuggets are a very good team with the current roster; they had some clear weaknesses last season and I think they patched them up beautifully. But it’s easy to look at them from a different angle and see a glut of good-not-great players at every position and the team feels suddenly flat, and you wonder if it really is possible to win without a “star player.” I hope the front office doesn’t act on that, and that the current roster gets a chance to play for a while.

Kalen: I’d change the way people responded to the Nuggets’ two overseas selections. Quite frankly, I was disgusted with some of the things I was reading on Twitter and in the comments section of this blog. It verged on xenophobic, with no justification whatsoever for the entirely undeserved, flat-out ignorant criticism of Nurkic and Jokic. As a blog owner with writers from around the world, I take great exception to this type of commentary and hope fans learn from this draft to avoid future embarrassment.

3. What letter grade would you give the Arron Afflalo trade and why?

Tom: A. The Nuggets’ most glaring hole coming into the season was the lack of a starting shooting guard. Randy Foye is a fine backup, Evan Fournier was inconsistent and Gary Harris (or any other shooting guard drafted in the mid-first round this season) will need time to adjust to being in the NBA. The Nuggets filled that hole with a solid veteran on a nice contract, and got him for a very good price. That also allowed the Nuggets to trade picks with Chicago, rather than feeling like they had to take Harris at 11.

Charlie: B+. Fournier didn’t seem to be on a steady track towards improvement with Brian Shaw, so moving him for a known quantity in Afflalo is a big upgrade in the short term. Afflalo’s size and efficient scoring are a welcome addition, but he’s never started for an above-average defensive team. As a supposed perimeter defender in Orlando and Denver, the best defense he’s been a part of were the 16th-ranked Nuggets in 2010-2011. That’s a worrying trend when you consider what the Nuggets are asking him to do next season.

Joel: B. The Nuggets get better in the short term with an unquestionably legit starter at the two. Fournier had a disappointing season, making his ceiling appear lower, and flipping him for Afflalo is great value. The biggest downside is financial. After this trade and the draft, Denver’s about $9 million over the salary cap and just $4.5 million under the luxury line. Extending Faried and staying out of the luxury tax is now impossible without further trades.

Frederick: A+. I love Fournier and still think he could be a great player, but Afflalo is my guy. He is a workhorse, a level-headed competitor, the kind of veteran that I’m proud to have on this team. Honestly, even with Harris on the roster, I hope Denver can retain ‘Flalo after the following season. I’m obviously a huge fan of this dude (I’m thrilled that my navy-and-gold Afflalo jersey is no longer just a throwback), so maybe that weakens my point, but I think it’s worth repeating that this trade powerfully addresses the team’s biggest needs (perimeter scoring and perimeter defense), while adding a guy that could very easily be considered a star on a team that’s getting enough attention. (He’s an assassin, after all.)

Kalen: A. Remember, the Nuggets acquired the trade exception used in this deal through the Iguodala move last year. So kudos to Tim Connelly for actually utilizing the full extent of his assets, unlike the previous regime. Afflalo is one of the top-10 3-point percentage shooters in the entire NBA and can be an elite defender when not carrying a heavy scoring load. The original Iguodala trade was always way more dysfunctional than people realized. It’s fantastic to get such a high-character guy like Afflalo back in a Nuggets uniform.

4. How has the 24 hours surrounding the draft changed the way you view Tim Connelly?

Tom: Tim Connelly’s earliest moves with the Nuggets were of mixed quality, and his philosophy was unclear. His draft day moves were uniformly excellent. Each move made sense individually, and the moves made sense as a whole. I also had the opportunity to chat with him briefly about the salary cap and came away impressed.

Charlie: Connelly has proven to be shrewd and patient in the draft, twice opting to stretch his picks into multiple assets by trading back. I find the long-term, process-oriented additions of Harris and Nurkic a welcome departure from last year’s focus on low-risk, low-reward veterans. Only time will tell if the assets Connelly has acquired can provide the means for the Nuggets to become a contender.

Joel: Favorably. My mantra last season was “give him the benefit of the doubt until after next offseason,” and his opening moves help alleviate that doubt. The draft and Afflalo trade were both successes. More importantly, the latter was only made possible by the Iguodala sign-and-trade traded player exception (TPE). Connelly deserves credit for not letting Iggy walk for nothing, and using the TPE well when the chance came. Hopefully he won’t stop with the draft, and will impress us with further moves this offseason.

Frederick: Last time, I said I didn’t know enough about him to really make a judgment, but I am very happy with what the Nuggets did on draft night. He made a savvy move and got a great return. I’ve heard a lot of people say he’s going to try to swing for the fences, but I no longer hope he will. What the front office did on draft night was subtle and powerful, and it feels like the ship that rocked so violently last season has been righted again.

Kalen: I’ve turned 180 degrees on Tim Connelly. For the past year I’ve repeatedly said we must be patient and wait until he has a full draft and free agency period to prepare for before judging him, yet even I was growing skeptical and somewhat cynical. The J.J. Hickson signing is still bad no matter how you slice it, and I wasn’t a fan of the Nuggets moving back in last year’s draft, but outside of those moves Connelly’s quietly shown some very impressive savvy.

5. Given their increased array of assets, should the Nuggets stand pat or continue their pursuit Kevin Love in free agency?

Tom: The Nuggets should continue to pursue ways to get better. A likely one-year rental of Kevin Love isn’t the right way to get better. There will be other players for the Nuggets to pursue in trades and free agency.

Charlie: The Nuggets are somewhere in between full on win-now mode and developing for the future. They’ve kept all their picks and possess a good mix of assets and reasonably priced talent entering their primes. However futile, the Nuggets must continue to put everything on the table for a star.

Joel: This Nuggets regime is intent on building a highly competitive roster which can soon contend, which raises the question of where they fall in the pecking order of the ultra-stacked West. And despite improving with the Afflalo trade and draft, it’s implausible that the current squad could be much more than a low playoff seed. So whether it’s Love or other high-impact players, yes, the Nuggets should aggressively pursue top talent to help take them to the next level.

Frederick: Stand pat. Slip out the back, Jack. Love still smells funky to me; I don’t think the Nuggets would retain him for more than a season. I know there aren’t enough minutes to go around, but I want to see the current roster play. Maybe Denver has the pieces to pull off a blockbuster trade, but I want to see who rises to the top. Karl was great about reinforcing how starting roles (and even minutes) must be continually earned; Shaw is poised to send the same message to this team. I want to see who rises to the top and who the clear trade chips are. When you take into account how badly the Nuggets were struck by injuries last season, you’d think they’d want to keep the depth anyway.

Kalen: As tempting as it is to want to see what this roster can do, I’m all for going after Love now. This draft solidified Connelly as a shrewd negotiator in my mind, and now that the Wolves have Zach LaVine, I doubt they’d be insistent that Denver include Afflalo — who deserves to remain a Nugget for a long time. If the Nuggets can swing a deal for Love without giving up a Knicks-like ransom, Denver could become a hot spot a for another top-tier free agents given their sensational depth.

  • MacKenzie Pantoja

    As a Nuggets fan, I will never fall in love with another general manager again… In a year of two from now, Connelly will win executive of the year then get hired by the Pelicans, his former team.

    • CD Pascual

      LOL I hope not

  • Cory

    Loved the draft. Nothing more they could have done. If they do anything else i think it’s for a player in free agency via sign and trade. We have a ton of assets and can use some relief cap wise. Love this team, and would hate to see players go but we have to get better. If that doesn’t happen I’m all for feeling out this roster. Thumbs up to the DEN organization, giving us multiple ways out instead of locking themselves into a dead end.

    • Cory

      Although i love LaVine and wish we could have snagged him. I hope he becomes a great player in the years to come.

  • Heisenberg

    1.) B+. The Harris pick was great, but the Nurkic pick is disappointing, considering the talent available. Napier, Hood, Kyle Anderson, and Capela all would have been better picks. Second round picks are a shot in the dark anyway, so no complaint on the Jokic pick.

    2.) See above. Also Kalen some of the criticism around Nurkic was fair (maybe a tad harsh/overboard, but fair). There was some serious talent that the Nuggets passed on to take Nurkic.

    3.) A+. I like Fours as much as the next guy but Afflalo is a clear upgrade. The second round pick will likely amount to nothing. Honestly the trade helped both teams and improves the roster for the Nuggets. Also AAA is a decent trade chip if the Nuggets feel frisky/serious about trading for Love.

    4.) Slightly more favorable. The Harris pick and Afflalo trade were nice, but I’m not a fan of the Nurkic pick. The good here still doesn’t wash out the bad, (Hickson signing, along with the couple journeymen brought in) but it’s a start. I have more faith in Tim than I did before the draft.

    5.) Trade for Love. This roster still isn’t good enough to seriously contend in the West, even if Shaw improves as coach. They’re basically capped out until 2016 Free Agency. A trade is the only way they’re going to get better. Love may not be LeBron or Durant, but he’s still a very good player who is probably top 15 in the league. Trading for Love is also the only chance Denver has of getting outside the first round. And, as I’ve said before, they can always trade him later. I say go for it.

    • MacKenzie Pantoja

      I don’t know why you aren’t a fan of the Nurkic pick… everything I have read about him screams Nikola Pekovic

      • Heisenberg

        Pekovic came over when he was 24. Nurkic needs quite a bit of work and he’s not going to get a whole ton of minutes. While I think overseas development is overrated, he’d be better off staying there for a couple years.

        • MacKenzie Pantoja

          He had a PER of 44.5 in the Adriatic League last year… Frankly, he could hardly play better against Adriatic League competition… the fact that he didn’t average a ton of minutes is a reflection of his stamina and foul tendencies (the areas in which he has legit question marks). Nurkic doesn’t need that much work… and frankly, anyone who has a PER of 44.5 needs to play in a new league.

          • Heisenberg

            He does. He isn’t that good with his left hand. A lot of his game is based on strength. He plays “below the rim” which is different than the game in the NBA.

            • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com/ Kalen

              The Adriatic League doesn’t have the best competition top to bottom, but it is still a good league that hosts several of the best teams in the world outside the U.S. In this draft alone six of the 11 Euros selected came from the Adriatic League. Doing simple math, that means more than half the players plucked from Europe came from the Adriatic League. The Nuggets second-round pick last year, Joffrey Lauvergne, was also from the ABA. These facts alone should tell you all you need to know about the talent coming from the ABA.

              You have to remember that there are hundreds of proffesional basketball teams throughout the world. The concentration of talent is not like it is in the NBA, where only the very best of the best of the best survive. It is much more dispersed, with different team motives, financial restrictions and traditions. The Spanish and Greek leagues may have the best teams in the world, but they often don’t produce the best NBA prospects. You’re much better off looking at where players are from to identify their pedigree, and right now, outside of Canada, eastern European prospects are the most prolific foreign talents in the NBA.

              • Poz303

                Well said. I can’t understand how you could be upset about drafting a 6’11″ 280lb 19 yr old at 16th pick. I don’t care where he is from, what language he speaks or what skin color he has.

                He is widely regarded as the second best center prospect this year. The Nuggets have built a strong scouting network in Europe and they were obviously very high on Nurkic.

              • Heisenberg

                Fair enough. I admit that I am basing most of my commentary on what I saw in the highlight tape, which looked rather unimpressive (IMO). I do think he needs to get minutes (like most players) in order to improve, and am not sure how that will happen with him joining the team. Much rather see him stay overseas for a year or two until the McGee contract expires before having him come over. The fact that he’s coming over now even though he’s raw hurts his value IMO.

              • MacKenzie Pantoja

                He absolutely does need more minutes, but the problem is that he is in the Adriatic League, which is a good, not great, league. Anyone with a PER over 40 is too good for the league they are playing in. Its a waste of his time. However, a league like the ACB, for example, is undoubtedly the second best basketball league in the world. If he was in the ACB, he could actually get reps against high caliber competition and really develop. But he in all likelihood will be unwilling to play in the ACB for good reasons, as the pay increase will be mild at best and he doesn’t know how to speak Spanish. So the two options are bring him over, or let him dominate a league that isn’t good enough for him and only give him useful experience during Euroleague games

          • Sócrates Manzoni

            He played like 22 minutes a game though, that PER is off the charts. I personally dont think he is like Pek, he has the feet of a D. Cousins without the lazyness (abd the range)

  • Sócrates Manzoni

    What do you guys think will happen with Randy Foye? I would be upset if they sat Garry Harris all year to play AAA/Foye/Chandler at the 2.

    • Heisenberg

      He’s expendable. Have no idea if they’ll move him though.

      • Sócrates Manzoni

        I rather see chandler go than foye. Play AAA at the 3 until Gallo is fully healthy and then use Foye as the sixth man and guy to play at the 1 in late game defensive stops.

        • Heisenberg

          I’m not a Chandler guy either, but outside of Gallo there really isn’t anyone that can play SF. I wouldn’t mind seeing them re-sign Brooks and shopping Nate Robinson/Chandler for an additional SF.

          • herpderpnuggets

            Chandler Parsons is a free agent, but his price and the wanted playing time would be hard to guarantee him

            • Blue

              Would like Parsons or Ariza but sounds like there are several teams after both of them.

    • Zenbu

      I like Foye. He started off shaky but definitely turned into a player we relied on. The 30 mpg he played last year was too much. I’d like to see him play around 15-20 mpg. That might mean Gary Harris won’t play much but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. Give him time to study under Afflalo and hope he picks up a few good habits. I think it’ll put an even greater chip on his shoulder and motivate him to become the best he can be.

      • Sócrates Manzoni

        I worry that he will be buried every game like quincy and fournier were but at least George Karl isnt around anymore to play the Anthony Carters of the world ahead of them just because they are rookies.

  • Native Nugget

    Like the 5 on 5 comments, thanks guys. Loved this draft. Similar to Kalen and others I was feeling a bit cynical about Connelly but the draft eased that. Good to hear comments from other B-ball savvy sources about the well oiled machine behind draft day. The Nuggets possibly have a hard working and smart front office. Still holding out final judgement, but am more optimistic.

    Liked the Nurkic pick. Feels like time will be the only way to settle opinions but for now I trust the scouting of the front office over the posters on roundball. Hoping in two years we’re all feeling giddy about having a roughneck true center to be a lynchpin for Shaw’s offense.

    Still hoping we make one more move in free agency but am willing to be patient as we stock good players and contracts and continue developing them while waiting for the right moment to strike. We may actually get over the ‘small market’ myth with more moves like we saw in this draft.

  • CD Pascual

    JJ will be a better player next season since we have a 3rd center now (Nurkic). He may never be a great defensive player, but he’s still 25 (I thought he’s been in the league since time memorial). He just needs to be placed at the position where he really belongs: power forward. That’s what he was signed for: to be Faried’s backup. McGee should be the rim protector and JJ be the glass cleaner. A lineup of McGee-Hickson-Wilson-Foye-NateRob would definitely become a top 10 bench.

    About that Love boat, I agree with Tom. I haven’t heard Love say anything about Denver (but he did VISIT BOSTON – coincidence? I think not), and I doubt Tim would get a 1-year rental of Love at the expense of a Knicks-like package (three of our top 5 players and 1-2 first round picks). Love is a top-15 player blah blah blah, but I don’t care how talented the player is, what matters is that the player will act like a true professional and not like a diva (one who only prefers big-name cities). Love is definitely the latter. Even if Connelly happens to have up the better trade package, my crystal ball says Denver will end up like New Jersey in the Carmelo trade that Masai pulled the trigger on. Once again, Connelly will probably gut the roster in order to get Love – that will negate all the great things he did on draft night.

    I like the roster that Shaw now has. Note that the last season Arron played as a Nugget, we NEARLY beat the Lakers in a first round series (we fell short due to a lot of reasons, particularly Karl playing the soft Koufos in the first two games before he finally used Mozgov in the rest of the series).

    I highly disagree that the potential of this team is a lower seed. It’s as if some here are acting like Karl is still the coach. Even without Iguodala (who wasn’t the best player in his only year with the Nuggets anyway), the Nuggets played phenomenal until the injury bug bit us hard. And EVEN WITHOUT A TOP 15 player, the Nuggets have proven that they can win 50 games and end up as a higher seed. Given Shaw’s respectable performance last season (given all the injuries), I won’t be surprised that he finish next season as a Coach of The Year candidate (and a potential first round series win).

    I’d rather have high-character talented players (which we have) than gamble on a 25-year old who has YET to reach the playoffs unless Love would magically say this: “It’d be a exciting to play in the Mile High City! I’m looking forward to play with coach Shaw and these (new) teammates of mine.”

    • Heisenberg

      Name one team in the past 30 years that won a title (or heck, was a serious contender) without a superstar. And don’t say the 2014 Spurs, they have the greatest coach ever and a HOF PF that at 38, mind you, is better than any of the bigs on Denver’s roster.

      Who exactly can this current roster beat in a series? Let’s hear some teams. Certainly not the Spurs or OKC. Not Golden State. Not the Clippers. Not Portland. Houston’s a longshot (Howard would TERRORIZE Denver). That leaves maybe Memphis (which would be a coinflip), Dallas (though this could change based on FA), Lakers (see Dallas note), and Phoenix (for teams that realistically have chances at making the playoffs). For Denver to get a matchup like that, they probably need a top 2 seed. Not happening.

      What I’ve heard from Love is that he wants to win. I’m sure anyone would be frustrated when their teammates are quitting.

      • Sharkboy242

        2004 Detroit Pistons.
        2014 Spurs (Arguable but HOF players aren’t necessarily superstars)

        During a live broadcast, Woj said on foxsports that Love told his agent he would not resign if he got traded to Denver.

        • Heisenberg

          The 2004 Pistons had a HOF coach in Larry Brown, a top 3 defense anchored by an elite (probably the best in the league) rim protector in Wallace. Also had several top 40 players in Billups, the aforementioned Wallace, Rip Hamilton…Sheed Wallace was good too.

          2014 Spurs also have Leonard who is quickly becoming an all star. And their Big 3 is still better than anyone on Denver’s roster. Not to mention again, the greatest coach ever. Denver has none of these things. They have arguably two top 40 players in Lawson and Gallo. Below league average defensively. And Shaw, after one year appears to be below average.

          As for Love, if Denver were to make the 2nd round with his Bird Rights I think there’s a very strong chance he re-signs. Most of the others wouldn’t have the room to bring him in.

          • James Duff

            Rating a coach after one year with 1/2 the team injured is pretty harsh. I look at the improvement he got out of faried as the season went on and hope to see more from gallo / mcgee this year that follows that trend. And nobody on the spurs this year is a current superstar, they are good players and well coached, but either young (kawhi) or over the hill…and I’d take several nuggets players over manu at this stage of his career.

            • Heisenberg

              What Manu does best isn’t really shown in the stats. He’s a brilliant passer, one of the best in the league. Also a good defender. Keep in mind Manu was extremely efficient even though he only got 22-25 MPG most nights.

              • Native Nugget

                Agreed that in order to get out of the first round we have to finish 4th seed or higher and that’s highly unlikely. I’m with you on the importance of a coach like Pop – makes everybody better. And while I would put our roster only a small step below the Spurs in terms of talent, we lack grit and basketball I.Q. The Spurs repeatedly outperform other teams due to the culture more-so than the talent.

                With all the points being made it comes down to the question of ‘can a team win without a superstar’ and the answer is yes but only about once every 25 years. The Nuggets appear to moving forward with a two pronged approach that I’m totally in alignment with: prepare as if you’ll have to be that unselfish Detroit/Spurs-esque team – but do so with an eye toward good players and contracts that make it possible to eventually trade for a superstar. Kevin has already been reported to say he wouldn’t re-sign with the Nuggs so I say we move on, improve the culture, win more games, make savvy trades/contracts and not go after any desperation trades (gutting our roster for an unclear one-year rental is by definition a desperation trade). Sooner or later the right opportunity will come along and Connelly will jump on it.

              • Heisenberg

                All fair points. There’s just a part of me that feels like the Nuggets are trapped between “win now” and “rebuilding” modes, which isn’t a really good place to be. Sadly, if you put this team in the East, they are contenders to make at least the Conference Finals. The West is just really tough, and the Nuggets don’t match up well with some of the top teams. It’s a bit scary to think what guys like Aldridge and Howard would do to this team in a playoff series.

              • mike gomez

                its doesn’t matter what one player could do, you got to do it as a team. one player doesnt win you playoffs series they might win you game but you need a whole to do it. if that was the case lebron would of have 8 champships

              • Heisenberg

                One player can change the outcome of a series. Also when a team’s offense stalls, you need a player to take over and get the team going again. Denver doesn’t have that star player capable of doing that.

                Portland and Houston also have several other very good players. Harden and Lillard are both really good. Then you have other solid players like Batum and Parsons.

              • CD Pascual

                what about the supporting cast and the coach. “Denver doesn’t have that star player capable of doing that.” – we used to have a star and his name is Melo, but he can’t get out of the first round (other than in 2009) to save his life. Why is it only because he isn’t good on defense? Remember the “don’t just sit in there!” incident with Karl?

              • Heisenberg

                Keep in mind most of the teams Denver was matched up with (Jazz in 2010 had clueless Adrian Dantley). Spurs, Lakers, Clippers (with Maggette, Brand, Cassell, and Kaman). Two of those teams have a player better than Melo. And the Clips had four pretty good players.

              • CD Pascual

                You were saying a star can change the outcome of the series and you are starting to value the supporting cast, what?

                Note that Kenyon wasn’t 100% in matching up with Boozer, who was essentially the reason why the Nuggets lost – no one can stop him, and it opened up for his teammates.

                “the Clips had four pretty good players.” – exactly. They have a better supporting cast, simple as that. K-Mart had his worst year as a Nuggets player in 2006, mentally and physically.

                “Two of those teams have a player better than Melo.” – is that so? The Lakers yes, but the Spurs absolutely not. Melo >>>> Ginobili and don’t ever compare Melo to Duncan (they play differently).

              • Heisenberg

                Even if you “can’t compare” Melo and Duncan, the Spurs have a HOFer in Duncan. Ginobili is also very under-appreciated. But Duncan is a top 15 player all time, something that will never be used to describe Melo.

                Brand was a monster for the Clippers that year, and in that season, could be argued as better than Melo (25 and 10 with solid D). The Clippers got a weak matchup in Denver (who, outside of Anthony, weren’t very good).

              • CD Pascual

                You just supported my point that a better supporting cast helps. And was Melo matched up against Brand?

              • Heisenberg

                Oh, so we can’t compare them either? Shucks. Well, I guess PF’s and Centers are excluded from “best in the league” discussion. Sorry Wilt, you weren’t the best of your time. Neither were you, Shaq.

                You’re right in that surrounding a star with garbage isn’t ideal. That being said, the amount of teams that have won starless is few and far between.

              • CD Pascual

                because it’s very hard to create a championship team by hiring a hall of fame coach (who preaches defense well), and a bunch of high-character players whose skill sets complement each other

              • Heisenberg

                And the Nuggets don’t have that. Therefore they are not a contender, and probably won’t get out of the first round.

              • CD Pascual

                because you just don’t trust Shaw and and you don’t trust the players (when healthy). Could you give me a legit proof that this roster has no potential to win a series if healthy?

              • Heisenberg

                I just don’t think they matchup well against most of the West. For them to get a favorable matchup, they would probably need a top 3 seed. We have no idea what Gallo will look like after 18 months of not playing a single NBA game.

                Put these guys in the East, and I’d be singing a different tune.

              • CD Pascual

                I’m not counting on Gallo to make it to the all-star game this season, but I’m not assuming Gallo will play atrociously like he used to. He has been doing well in his recovery, and is looking forward to playing again. And Shaw has been waiting for months to integrate Gallo’s skill set to his offense.

              • CD Pascual

                Melo’s game isn’t the same as Duncan, yet you compare them. Okay then, Stockton is better than Shaq. Shaq is better than Robertson.

              • Heisenberg

                Exaggerate much?

              • CD Pascual

                That’s why it doesn’t make sense to compare players of different positions. You are like comparing apples to oranges.

              • Heisenberg

                SF to PF is a lot more comparable than C to PG. Also Melo has been playing more PF over the last few years.

              • CD Pascual

                Duncan is not a true PF (he’s nearly 7 ft tall). He’s more of a forward-center. He has been viewed as a PF because he’s been placed there for most of his career (all the way back when he’s teammates with the Admiral).

          • CD Pascual

            So what’s your point? The Pistons have a superstar? You were asking us what team in the past 30 years has a superstar and you come up with an explanation that the Pistons have a hall of fame coach. That is playing safe.

            The Pistons don’t have guys with big egos, their skill sets meshed blended with each other, but they still did not win a championship with a so-called “superstar.”

      • CD Pascual

        2004 Detroit Pistons – that team destroyed a star-studded Laker team. They made it to the Finals or the East Finals in the next four years (but they made it to the East Finals in 2003). And that’s considering Larry Brown left the team in 2005 and is replaced by an offense-only coach (Saunders).

        And when was the last time Howard “terrorized” Denver? I can’t remember a game where he dominated and won. And like I said, all this lack of trust on the roster is influenced by Karl’s first round exits. I believe in Shaw.

        “What I’ve heard from Love is that he wants to win” —-> Yeah so does Melo, and Iggy –> Notice the pattern? And again, in order to get Love you need to give up a big package and when that happens, it won’t make as much of an improvement for the Nuggets (a recipe for disaster if you are hoping Love would re-sign). Therefore, it’s better to stay with the roster.

        I don’t know what negative things to say about this roster other than you can’t trust this because “they don’t have a star and most of them are coming back from injuries.” They’re all what we need on defense and offense. They are going to play at the roles they are best suited for.

        I doubt LA gets a star free agent due to Kobe’s contract, and I have doubts about Portland (they’re essentially a good jump shooting team but porous defensively). Melo will probably go to the Bulls (the perfect fit for him). Phoenix is good but that doesn’t mean the Nuggets will have no shot at a higher seed.

        • Heisenberg

          For 2004 Pistons, see below.

          Dwight this year was out in 2/3 matchups. Other one he had a pretty good night (25 and 7). Last year he had a game of 28 and 20. Another one 14 and 26. Another one 15 and 14 with 4 blocks. And keep in mind he wasn’t even 100% for most of last year. Dude would dominate in a playoff series against Denver. Same with Aldridge (who I fully believe would average 35 per game with Faried/Hickson guarding him).

          It’s funny people are still blaming Karl. He got 57 wins out of a team that shouldn’t have won much more than 50. GS had the best player on the floor (and it wasn’t close) in Curry. There was more talent on GS than on Denver. The Nuggets have never really had the talent to win a playoff series (outside of 2009). There aren’t many guys who can exceed the talent in the postseason.

          Love can always be traded later. And I do believe Denver would have a good chance at re-signing him if they made the second round.

          As far as the Lakers go, I have no idea what they’ll bring in. I don’t think they’ll bring in any huge names either, but I could see Bledsoe (who I think is a future stud) and Deng/Ariza (not sure if Ariza is interested in returning, but it’s possible). It’s hard to not see them doing something.

          • CD Pascual

            Phoenix would be dumb to give up Bledsoe. Goran can play the starting shooting guard role and so far, he isn’t butting heads with Eric.

            “And I do believe Denver would have a good chance at re-signing him if they made the second round.” -> Good luck with that.

            In order to get Love, Tim will have to gut out the team. If that happens, the Nuggets will make it to the playoffs only to get swept… which guarantees that Love will leave. In order for Connelly to not get sacked, don’t even dare to get a player like that. And Flip will laugh at a package containing only Faried, Chandler, and a first round pick. I don’t know how smart he is as a GM, but he certainly isn’t like Dolan.

            Curry has talent on offense, but he can’t guard Ty and he was able to capitalize. Faried wasn’t 100% and it just so happened that Karl made some dumb decisions like playing Chandler as center and starting Fournier (who wasn’t ready to start in a playoff game). And Koufos is just so charmin’ soft. If Karl would have made the CORRECT coaching decisions, that Nuggets team WOULD WIN that series, even if they didn’t have their best player (Gallo). That’s the 999345th time Karl has been outcoached by a someone of less coaching experience.

            • Heisenberg

              Bledsoe probably won’t move, but I’m sure the Lakers will throw a ton of money at him. I was a bit surprised at how much cap space Phoenix has, though.

              A package of AAA, Faried, Chandler, and a pick seems more than fair for Love. Minnesota probably won’t get a better offer than that. Even if GS includes Thompson, they’d have to take Lee’s contract.

              That same Warriors team (minus Jack, mind you) took a very good Clippers team to 7 this year. Also took last year’s Spurs team to 6. They were better than their record indicated. While they underachieved in the regular season, Denver overachieved. GS didn’t have Bogut for over half of the regular season, and he’s very valuable to GS. In reality GS was probably closer to a 55 win team healthy while Denver’s talent was closer to a 50 win team. That doesn’t even take into account the fact that GS had the best player on the floor.

              • CD Pascual

                “same” Warriors team – LOL that team has Iggy, Speights, Steve Blake, and O’Neal what are you talking about? Of course the Clippers had a hard time against them. And you have totally ignored the facts that the Nuggets had a bad schedule, no Chandler for the first 2 months, no Gallo, and George Karl choking in the playoffs. When David Lee went down, George decided to play a LOT of smallball, resulting to a lot of defensive nightmares. Even without Gallo, that Nuggets team was at least talented enough to win the series, but they were outcoached.

                And there’s no way Minny will accept that package even if it’s the better offer. Love just came off one of the best individual seasons in NBA history and you give up a package like that? Chandler, Faried, a 1st-rounder, and a 29-year old Afflalo aren’t enough. Faried’s defense leaves a lot to be desired and I don’t see Minnesota benefiting from that trade package. Also, in trading Arron and Chandler, the bench weakens and Foye will be the starting 2-guard -> we all know how that turned out. What’s worse is that Minny would give also give up K-Mart (a starter on cellar-dwelling teams and isn’t much of an upgrade over Foye). Even with Love, the resulting roster won’t be good enough to win in the first round (or maybe even make it to the playoffs).

              • Heisenberg

                If anything GS got worse outside Iggy. Blake is good but Jack is much better. Landry is far better than Speights. O’Neal’s decent, but not better than what they lost. They went 7 and didn’t even have Bogut. And again, went 6 against SA last year. Much better talent than the Nuggets. GK’s biggest mistake was leaving out Andre Miller for too long but I’m not really sure it would have changed anything. Denver wasn’t talented enough to win the series. GS had the best offensive and 2 of the 3 best defensive players.

                So Minnesota will let him walk for nothing? No wonder they’re screwed up. Then again, we are talking about an organization that took 3 PG’s in the First round….A Harris/Foye timeshare seems promising (I do agree Foye is best on the bench). With a trio of Love-Gallo-Lawson, they’d have a much better chance of advancing then as is.

                I’d like to think Denver isn’t THAT undesirable of a place to play.

              • CD Pascual

                There is this team that is desperate to get a superstar to help their best players and their name is the Houston Rockets. Because Houston wants a stretch PF to help Howard while Minny seems to love Parsons. They aren’t getting Melo (Houston won’t be much better with him anyway especially on defense), and getting Love makes more sense.

                Love-Gallo-Lawson is obviously a great trio, but what about others? A lack of depth is exposable in the playoffs and in getting Love, you will have to give up a lot of the Nuggets’ roster.

                The Nuggets on the other hand, finally have the depth since 2013. Their starting lineup is pretty set. All they need is a legit backup point guard. NateRob and Foye aren’t those.

                The Nuggets had Iggy who has all the talent in the world to contain Curry or his Splash brother, but instead he did not exert a lot of effort as part of his Benedict Arnold act (but Karl was playing small most of the time, they weren’t going to defend that well anyway). Wilson is supposed to be played at forward so he can contain Barnes, but instead he was forced to guard Bogut, and Barnes went nuts in the series. McGee may have his bonehead moments, but at least he’s a better defender for Bogut than Koufos. If Karl would have removed his bias for Koufos and give Mozgov some minutes, he could have shut down Bogut. Mozgov showed his rise last season under Shaw. And Curry is better than Lawson, but not that far off. Just shows how overrated 3-point shooting is these days.

                Bottomline: Better talent, but outcoached.

              • Heisenberg

                Outside of Love-Gallo-Lawson, they’d still have NateRob (agree he’s not a backup PG, but decent scorer, even though I wish the Nuggets had more defense at PG), Foye/Harris (decent timeshare), Mozgov/McGee (far from perfect, but acceptable). No, they wouldn’t beat the Spurs or OKC. But just about anyone else? I think they’d stand a fair chance with Love.

                As far as Iggy “not extending effort,” the facts say differently. Iggy did a pretty good job guarding Thompson and posted an 18/8/5.3 line. Had Gallo not been injured, he probably would have guarded Thompson and Iggy could’ve guarded Curry. Ah well.

                Also Pop himself has basically said that it’s a player’s league. Very difficult to exceed the talent in the postseason.

              • CD Pascual

                Read my comment again. Did you just ignore Chandler being miscast as a center? The Nuggets need a big who can help when the Warriors make some screens, and Koufos is just too stiffy to rotate. Again, Karl went small, the result was the Nuggets played like headless chickens. If Karl played less smallball, the results would have been better.

                “Also Pop himself has basically said that it’s a player’s league.” – he was just being humble -> obviously the coaches aren’t responsible for making layups, blocking shots, etc. but all in all, coaches are what makes the groups of players tick.

              • Heisenberg

                Then why did the Bad Boy Pistons never beat the Celtics until Bird got old? Daly is a far better coach than KC Jones….

              • mike gomez

                well the same could be said about jordan he started winning when boston and pistons got old

              • Heisenberg

                Sure, you could. I do think Magic’s Lakers would’ve posed a great challenge if he didn’t retire early.

  • Richard Pesicka

    Same Coach. Hmmm. What’s changed?

    • CD Pascual

      A healthy and more talented roster capable of making the playoffs.

      • LBJ

        Possibly capable of landing the 8th spot – but not likely. While the nuggets landed AAA, all our competitors are making BIG improvements Dallas is already better with Chandler – and likely will add another big scorer. NO picks up Asik and Anderson and Holiday return. GSW or Houston may add Love and the LAC may make a run at LeBron. Phoenix has a ton of cap space and will likely be improved.

        Last year our 36 win season was accomplished with about 7 teams tanking. We won’t have that luxury this year.

        • CD Pascual

          Chandler is starting to decline (he’s not who he was in 2011), Dallas has gotten better but not much. New Orleans may have gotten Asik, but they still have to improve their bench (and pray that Eric Gordon will become Iron Man and miss zero games next season). And when you’re playing the right role, there’s a bigger chance you’ll succeed, and getting a much-improved Afflalo gives Denver a bonus. The Nuggets managed to get 36 wins with a 2-guard who is not suited to start, which is not a bad accomplishment. And Shaw is only getting better. And the Nuggets are going to be healthy, which is A LOT better than they were last year.

          “Possibly capable of landing the 8th spot – but not likely” -> I don’t see this team being not likely to reach the playoffs.

      • Richard Pesicka

        That remains to be seen. Even a great looking bunch of guys ready for battle can be defeated. Ask Gen. Custer. If Shaw fails to deliver with a healthy squad, then the writing should be on the wall. I would really hate to see a season wasted.

  • Richard Pesicka

    NO star power on this team. No getting out of the first round. Hell, no getting into the first round. They had a chance to make some trades and made one. I see this team finishing the same if not lower in the standings.

    • Native Nugget

      Totally confusing. Every blogger and sportswriter in the country acknowledges the devastating injury bug that wiped out the Nuggs last season. Yet you project that with an improved starting 2 in AAA and a healthier roster we will not improve at all. By this logic you are essentially saying that without a star there can never be improvement on any team. Take a look at why Love wants to leave if you believe having a star is a guarantee for success.

      • Heisenberg

        Or we can look at LeBron James. After he left Cleveland, they went from best record in the league to the worst. While Love certainly isn’t as good as LeBron, he’s still a very good player and more than capable. Considering that Minnesota’s point differential without him was worse than Milwaukee’s, I’m sure Minnesota would sink to the bottom as well if they trade him.

        I’d rather have 2 stars (or one star and another really good player) and scrubs than what the Nuggets have. History shows that teams with stars advance.

        • Native Nugget

          I agree with both of you about having stars. Would love to have them. My comment to Richard was in regards to his stating that he sees us finishing lower in the standing this year. That’s a separate issue. Seemed like the want to have stars is clouding Richard’s perspective on the Nuggs progress next year.

        • Native Nugget

          I’m in total agreement that it would be nice to have stars. I was responding to Richard’s “lower in the standings” comment. It seems to me that wanting a star is clouding Richard’s judgement as to whether this will be an improved team next year.

    • Ckwizard

      If this actually happens then it is on Shaw. In my eyes the nuggets will be better on offense and better on Defense, so there is no way they can be worse than last year even with the same injury situation. Shaw needs to prove why he is the coach for this team this year because the front office did a good job strengthening the team star or no star.

  • Mac Smith

    I would give the nuggets an A++ for the moves they made this week.

    AAA for fournier and a 2nd round pick was a excellent trade. AAA was coming off a career season and fournier was coming off a bad season.

    Also the 11 for 16 and 19 trade was another great trade. I think if the nuggets had picked harris with 11 it would be considered a good draft for the nuggets. You can’t consider Nurkic a bad pick just because he is European. I think nurkic can develop into an above average starting center if he develops like he is supposed to.

    Honestly I think the nuggets could become a top 8 team this year given all the depth that they have at every position. If faried keeps improving and mozzie or javale has a good year I think this team could contend for a championship if they stay healthy.

    • Heisenberg

      Gimpcom is right. This team might need a bad season so people can open their eyes. Championship contender? They aren’t even top 5 in the West.

      • mike gomez

        why cant they be, this team is now more loaded than the 57 win team in my opinion.

        • Heisenberg

          That team overachieved. And regular season games are a lot more different than postseason. The Nuggets also don’t particularly match up well against several teams (Howard and Aldridge would both destroy the Nuggets).

          This team is probably headed for around 50 wins, barring injury. And that’s if Shaw sees considerable improvement, and everyone returns well. Both big question marks.

          • mike gomez

            so just because we dont have no one to stop Howard and la we cant win. well even the former defensively player of the year had no answer for aldridge but yet you value them high.

            • Heisenberg

              Why do you think Denver lost to the Lakers in 2009? Because they had nobody who could guard Kobe. Replace JR with someone who can actually defend, and Denver has a much better shot of advancing.

              The reason the starless Pistons (and 2014 Spurs even though they don’t really count) won is because they were amazing defensively. Denver is not. A lot of teams are capable of scoring in today’s NBA.

              • mike gomez

                well denver did a great job in making this team better defensive by adding perimeter defense by adding arron and harris. then adding gallo to the mix would only help.

              • Heisenberg

                But they can’t defend down low, which is a big problem.

              • mike gomez

                well not like very contender has a big that capable of scoring 30 plus points.

              • Heisenberg

                Well OKC and SA are pretty good anyway and would probably sweep Denver in a series. Clippers have Blake Griffin, and Warriors beat the Nuggets when Iggy was on Denver……nuff said.

              • mike gomez

                that doesn’t answer anything, we had held our own against the spurs and thunder with healthy. well we beat the warriors twice last season with injured roster, your point

                .

              • Heisenberg

                Again, regular season. The Suns of a few years ago also “held their own” in the regular season against the best of the West. How did that turn out in the playoffs again?

              • mike gomez

                then what has blake,la, or howard done to us in the playoffs, because you saying that they will kill our bigs and all. as remember when we when 7 games with the lakers mcgee and faried out played two of the best skill big man in bynum and gasol in some of those games

              • Heisenberg

                They aren’t as good as those three. Especially LMA, who would hit post fadeaways all day against the shorter Hickson and Faried.

              • mike gomez

                he will hit them regardless, you just got to help he misses. not even with two top defensive centers that hoston had la still put up 35 on them.

              • Heisenberg

                Take away the first two games and Aldridge’s stats aren’t quite that wacky. But yes, he did a good job against Houston. He would do even better against Denver, who doesn’t have the personnel to guard a player like him.

              • mike gomez

                well again its going to take more than him to win, other players got to show up, its not just about one player.

              • Heisenberg

                Aldridge singlehandedly won the first two games against Houston. It’s not about one player, but they can change the outcome of a series.

              • mike gomez

                two games but not the series. it still takes a team

              • Heisenberg

                Honestly if Portland loses one of those games, they probably lose the series. Going into Portland up 2-0 was huge.

              • mike gomez

                they still had the better team regardless, and la going off only help but you don’t without the rest of the cast. if howard had help they would of probably move on.

              • Heisenberg

                Portland’s bench is awful. Their starting 5 is better, though.

                Harden is what cost Houston the series. He was flat out terrible.

              • mike gomez

                Portland bench might be awful but they still had better team than houston. harden shouldn’t even be called superstar, in my opinion he the third best player on the team. he is just better j.rsmith

              • CD Pascual

                Mozgov says hi. Faried is only 24 and will learn some defense under Shaw. And put Hickson in PF and you get better results than him at C.

              • Heisenberg

                Mozgov is a decent but unspectacular rim protector. Faried and Hickson would have to improve a lot for this team to become merely above league average on defense.

              • CD Pascual

                No. Denver lost that game due to 1) some bad late game decisions by Karl 2) JR choking when the team needed scoring 3) they just don’t have a true center to contain Gasol and Bynum.

                LA was just taller than the Nuggets. They can live with Kobe scoring, just don’t let the other players become more effective.

              • Heisenberg

                What did Karl do wrong, exactly? The talent disparity was large. LA won 65 games that year. Kobe had an incredible series and knocked down a clutch, ridiculous 3 over JR that was big in winning Game 3.

                If anything, Karl extended the series. LA had far more talent and probably should have won in 4 or 5.

              • mike gomez

                it wasn’t a big gap in talent the only lard gap was coaching and decision making.

              • Heisenberg

                Yes it was. What didn’t help was JR being destroyed by Kobe. The surrounding talent on LA was pretty good too. Bynum, Gasol, Ariza, Fisher….

              • mike gomez

                well denvers talent wasnt really that far apart with billups,smith,k-mart,nene,and birdman

              • CD Pascual

                Gasol > KMart (due to height)
                Bynum > Nene (due to height)
                Melo > Ariza
                Billups >>> Fisher

                BUT P-Jax >>>>>>>>>>> Karl

                The main issue of that Nuggets team is that they don’t have a true center. Karl is not a coach you count on using a great true center in playoff games.

                And just because they are WAAAAAY taller than you doesn’t mean the talent gap was huge. Last time I checked, Nuggets fans used to complain about having a lack of a true center.

              • Heisenberg

                And Kobe >>>>>>>>> JR Smith (or anyone not listed). Take Kobe away and the rosters are even, maybe a slight advantage to Denver. With him and LA is a much, much better team (and it isn’t all that close).

              • mike gomez

                you take karl out and put a coach that knows how to make smart adjustments it would of gone gone 7 or denver making their first final appearances

              • CD Pascual

                this. before Karl can outcoach a guy of Jackson’s caliber. he needs to outcoach someone like Mark Jackson or Scott Brooks.

              • Heisenberg

                lol, okay. Even though the Lakers won 65 and had Phil Jackson coaching. Maybe Pop would make it happen, but that’s about it.

              • CD Pascual

                Yeah just like the Spurs winning 60 games in 2011 and got upset by Hollins’ Grizzlies. Because Hollins is better than Pop…. oh wait.

              • Heisenberg

                You mean when the Spurs were injured?

              • CD Pascual

                That isn’t really your main point.

              • LBJ

                Gasol wasn’t just taller than KMart – he was a much better player.

              • CD Pascual

                Anthony Carter – enough said. Instead of using a much taller player to make an inbounds pass, you go with AC passing over a smart Odom. The Nuggets had a total meltdown in game 3, it wasn’t only about the Kobe making a shot. And again, JR didn’t show up in the series (except game 5) because of his calf injury.

              • Heisenberg

                K-Mart wasn’t much better at inbounding…..

              • CD Pascual

                because he’s shorter by 3 inches

              • sharkbait

                They had nobody to guard Kobe, true, but the biggest reason was that the Lakers finally figured out that we had nobody to guard Bynum and Gasol and we couldn’t keep them off the offensive glass. It was so obvious and yet that off season Karl told us that players like Birdman & Nene would get better and we didn’t need to go out and get another big man. They never got better and Karl insisted all we needed was a 3rd string PG. What a waste. The rest of your point I agree with completely.

        • sharkbait

          This isn’t the same team as the 57 win team and even that team almost got swept in the playoffs. You’re overlooking the fact that most of the playoff teams from that year along with teams like Houston, Portland and Phoenix are better than they were then. NO and dare I say Sacramento should also be better. No Iggy, no Karl and a tougher Conference will be problematic for anything but a 6,7 or 8th seed at best.
          I wasn’t for the Love trade at first but seeing the direction we’ve decided to go now, I say go for it and hope Love stays. I don’t like losing Faried but I don’t think we have a choice unless we want to stay mediocre forever.

  • Poz303

    Really can not understand some of the poster’s negativity here. Obviously there is a difference of opinion but to continually bash this roster and the HC is getting old.

    Nuggets are deep and have talent all round. They are going to be a handful for ANY team.

    I was/am a GK fan, loved the 2012 Nuggets but this year I feel we are going to make some real noise. I look forward to seeing what Shaw does with this roster and, fingers crossed, what he can get out of Javale.

    I have only one area/position I would like to see strengthened, and that is the backup PG. I like Nate but I would be happier having a backup who plays better D and is more a distributor than a volume scorer. With Foye likely moving to the second unit, we don’t need a volume scorer at the backup PG position.

    Some PGs I would consider Livingston, Murry, Roberts

    • CD Pascual

      Thank you. I would love to Connelly to get Livingston.

    • Aaron Durkin

      Livingston would be a great pick up!!!

    • heykyleinsf

      it reminds me of the Tebow zealots.
      Maybe not as bad.. but it’s a similar kind of blind hate.

      John Elway was as much to one franchise in any franchise
      ever had in any of the four major sports.
      Elway did so much as a player and then was kind of
      amazing as a GM after that! Saved us again.
      The Tebow zealots could not have hated, blamed and
      wanted failure more for Elway, Manning, Fox, and everyone
      associated with the team.
      They loved the playoff loss to Baltimore and the SuperBowl
      loss to Seattle. Tebow was long gone, but the heiney hurt
      was still there as strong as ever.

      There’s no direct parallels to the situations, but it’s obvious
      a few people are anything at all but Nuggets fans at this time.
      That’s glaringly obvious after the good few days we had
      recently.. and it showed up during the year when they had
      a few good wins.
      I’m not saying there is the same thing going on…
      but just like the Tebow zealots..
      I can’t figure out the folks here that are nothing but dark clouds.

      • Heisenberg

        I don’t see what any of this has to do with the draft…

        PS (and my final post on the topic, since I really don’t have the heart to rehash): Sorry for keeping it real and having a different opinion. Apparently if you don’t constantly ballwash the Nuggets you aren’t a fan. I’ll probably get banned for this, but I really don’t care anymore. We’ll see what people have to say a year from now. If the Nuggets indeed suffer a first round exit, I hope people clamor for Shaw’s firing. Would only be fair since his predecessor was fired for the same thing.

        • heykyleinsf

          you totally proved everything I said about Tebow.
          I don’t want you to get banned and I don’t want you unhappy.. but it seems you want Shaw to fail.
          He hasn’t had a chance. GEORGE KARL DID.

          • Heisenberg

            I was gonna be done, but I feel compelled to respond to one point: That, according to you, I am rooting for Shaw to fail. That is not accurate at all. I would love for Shaw to become the next Popovich and make the Nuggets into contenders. But after watching him this past year, I have concerns. Most of the year was very rocky for Shaw. He may have gotten better at the end, but it is difficult to evaluate the extent of his improvement with teams tanking and playoff bound teams resting starters. Whether people want to admit it or not, Karl is an above average coach. 57 wins was a lot for the 2012-13 Nuggets. And while people can point to first round exits, Carmelo Anthony really didn’t get a (good) player that complemented him well until Chauncey arrived. Had Karl not gone out with cancer in 2010, there’s a good chance Denver would’ve gotten the top seed in the West (the Lakers only won 57 that year to clinch the top seed). I don’t think they would have beaten the Celtics in the Finals (too much experience), but that’s another subject entirely.

            As far as the outlook for the Nuggets is concerned, I think my viewpoints are entirely fair. According to the sportsbook 5Dimes (one of the largest and most well known sportsbooks, who have some of the best futures in the business), the Nuggets are at 32-1 to win the West, placing them at 11th in the conference (also, the Pelicans are listed at 32-1). They are 75-1 to win the title. While I do think 11th in the conference is underselling them a bit, it does show that the Nuggets aren’t as good as people on here want to believe. If I had to guess what Denver’s Over/Under win total will be, I’d probably put it around 47.5 (barring any major roster changes). Low playoff seeds usually don’t advance in the playoffs, and barring injuries wiping out most of the West, the Nuggets are likely headed for a low seed. A LOT went right for that 57 win team. The West also wasn’t as good then as it is now (Portland, GS, and Houston have all improved substantially).

            My comments appear one sided because many here seem to have the idea/thought that this team has a serious chance at advancing in the playoffs. I do believe this team has the talent to MAKE the playoffs. But it’s hard to win a series without homecourt advantage, especially when there are matchup issues. That all being said, maybe I have been a tad harsh. Hopefully the Nuggets and Shaw prove me wrong.

            • heykyleinsf

              OK I’m sorry then.

              Let’s see how the season goes ..
              keep cautious optimism and I’ll try not to be a jerk.
              I do learn a lot from you and the last thing I want to
              see is you quit posting because we don’t agree all the time.

              Glad you’re on this board Heisenberg.

      • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com/ Kalen

        Guys,

        For those treading on thin ice, you know who you are, and I’d strongly encourage you to tone it down. I’m getting really tired of having to leave these types of messages and
        I’m very aware that the quickest way to solve this problem is by banning
        people. I don’t want to have to do that, but if it keeps up like this, I won’t have a choice. You know the policy: two strikes and you’re out.

        That said… just because someone doesn’t constantly kiss up to the Nuggets doesn’t mean they’re not a fan. Berating your fellow Nuggets fans will not be tolerated. At the same time, we’re all humans here, and it does get really old when all certain people do is complain — constantly. It just never stops and I know a lot of longtime readers are tired of it. These people know who they are and as I’ve said before, I greatly encourage you to curb your commentary in a more constructive fashion as I won’t tolerate blind insults any longer.

        Critiquing the Nuggets is not a black and white issue, though many fans seems to see it that way. The Nuggets can be bad at certain things and good at certain things. That’s real life. Drudging in absolutes will render you delusional. So please, try and be as objective as you can in all facets of analyzing the team.

        Thanks.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com/ Kalen

    Guys, while we always encourage you to comment, I’d really appreciate if you kept it germane to the topic. I know we’re all Nuggets fans and like to project where the team will stand far into the future, but this article is about the draft. How Nurkic, Harris and Tim Connelly relates to the Lakers series three years ago and the Pistons in 2004, I’m not so sure…

    Also, please refrain from blatantly insulting the Nuggets without any form of constructive criticism. We welcome fair critiques of the team (I wouldn’t be here without them!), but just dropping in to lambast the Nuggets for no reason will not be tolerated from here on out. As Poz says, it’s getting old. I don’t want to have to warn people for this, but I will not hesitate if it keeps happening.

    I’m really making an effort to reinvigorate the comments section at RMC and if that means banning perpetual complainers, then that’s something I’m prepared to do. This commenting system was established for the purpose of thoughtful, intelligent commentary and I intend to steer it that direction.

    Thanks.