Lawson clowns Harden’s defense – can he back it up?

Ty Lawson put the smackdown on James Harden via his Instagram feed last week, and to date, Harden has made no response. Smells like Lawson may be on to something.

Plenty of players in the NBA get by on lackluster defense. This article posted on House of Houston comments on Harden’s defense, but also notes Nuggets great Alex English as one of those players lacking on the defensive side. (more…)

Nuggets release preseason schedule

The Denver Nuggets have released the team’s preseason schedule for 2014. Games begin October 6 against the Los Angeles Lakers in San Diego, CA, and conclude October 24 verses the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA. There will be eight games total, including one at the Coors Event Center in Boulder, CO, where attendees will reportedly be encouraged to “BYOB” (Bring Your Own Bud) for a throng-like smoking session prior to tipoff. The latter part of the last sentence is of course unequivocally fictional. Please do not bring weed to the game thinking it’s totally cool to light up outside the arena because Kalen from Roundball Mining Company told you to do so. Below is the full preseason schedule…

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By the Numbers: Hickson vs. Faried

There’s been much fan controversy in the preseason surrounding the battle at power forward between incumbent starter Kenneth Faried and summer transplant J.J. Hickson. This debate was taken to a new heights Monday night when the Denver Nuggets’ Twitter account published a tweet stating, “With Kenneth Faried just returning from hamstring strain, coach Brian Shaw leaning toward starting J.J. Hickson Wednesday.” Although many Nuggets fans (including yours truly) are admittedly partial towards the Manimal, Brian Shaw certainly is not. Brian Shaw’s primary objective is to win basketball games by implementing a system he believes in. If this means Hickson wins the starting job, that’s Shaw’s prerogative to decide. And though many fans may remain baffled by this development, the following series of numbers and charts should offer a reasonable explanation as to why Shaw’s leaning towards the decision he is.

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Recap: Chicago Bulls 94, Denver Nuggets 89

In what turned out to be an exciting game, the Nuggets ended up losing to the Chicago Bulls in the final few possessions after a back-and-fourth affair all night. JaVale McGee turned in an impressive performance with 15 points and eight boards in 25 minutes, while Ty Lawson looked dominant in the early periods of the game before succumbing to injury. The Nuggets finish the preseason with a 2-5 record and lots of room for improvement heading into the season. Here are a few more notes from Friday’s action…

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Mini Recap: Phoenix Suns 98, Denver Nuggets 79

The Denver Nuggets preseason has been up and down. That trend continued Wednesday against the Phoenix Suns. While the Nuggets had some bright spots, they were often overshadowed by plays that made you scratch your head. Though the game was affected by technical difficulties (at least on Altitude), and though our writers weren’t able to catch the entire first half, several aspects of the game stood out. Here are a few things worth noting…

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5-on-5: #NuggetsRank reflections

Around this time of year everyone’s doing some sort of rankings series. Pundits are ranking teams, players, players on teams (as we’ve done), coaches, general managers, mascots, they’re giving out preseason awards, they’re writing books. It’s kinda crazy, to be honest. And as you might expect from a fairly traditional sports blog, Roundball Mining Company got in on the craziness as well, in the form of our #NuggetsRank series which ran alongside ESPN.com’s larger #NBARank. But unlike most other outlets, here at RMC we like to occasionally take a step back and critique ourselves. Sure, we offer you our opinion in unbridled fashion and proclaim certain players to be “definitively” better than others, but we also realize those pompous proclamations are just our opinions. We know they’re the furthest things from facts; and so, in our latest 5-on-5 we collectively acknowledge the absurdity of rankings and immediately revoke all written analysis we may have previously stated as set in stone. As always, please join us in the comments section below to dish out your thoughts and opinions on #NuggetsRank, and be sure to let us know what we could do better next time to improve.

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Watch: Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose preview your 2013-14 Denver Nuggets

I don’t often use the term “must-see TV,” being that contemporary television mostly consists of pregnant teens, plastic housewives and half-ton parents, but this is as close as it gets. Do yourself a favor, set aside 15 minutes of your day and watch this. It’s also worth noting that Bill Simmons is pretty spot on with this analysis of the Nuggets’ tumultuous offseason.

Preseason Game 5: Nuggets 111-Clippers 118

The shorthanded Nuggets pushed the Clippers all night long before finally dropping the game in overtime 118-111. Some thoughts on the game:

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Five things to watch for this season

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

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Preseason Game 4: Nuggets 81-Thunder 109

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

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

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

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

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

Preseason Game 3: Nuggets 98-Spurs 94

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

First the good:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Media Day report

Every year, roughly one month prior to the NBA regular season kicking off, the Denver Nuggets host an annual Media Day press conference. This event gives media from around the Denver metro area the opportunity to (kindly) interrogate the players, coaches and team executives about all things Nuggets in preparation for the upcoming season. This marks the second year in a row that Roundball Mining Company has had the privilege to attend Media Day, and just like last year there was a definitive buzz about the arena given the changes that took place during the offseason. Here is a recap of the day’s action…

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Nuggets media day, training camp and preseason are upon us

It’s that time of year again, and after a long, strange offseason, the new incarnation of the Denver Nuggets officially begin preparation for the 2013-14 season this week. They’ll tip things off with media day today, training camp will run from the first through the fifth, and then they’ll open up the preseason on the road against the Lakers this Sunday. You can check out the full preseason schedule at Nuggets.com here.

And of course, keep checking back with Roundball Mining Company for training camp and preseason coverage, updates and analysis, as well as the second half of our #NuggetsRank series.