Danilo Gallinari, Ty Lawson, Timofey Mozgov, Arron Afflalo. They all have missed game this season with an ankle sprain. Some have been serious (Gallo) some have been much less so (Afflalo). However, I think I speak for Nuggets fans everywhere when I ask, “What is with all the ankle sprains?”
Let me propose two potential causes that are the two pillars of Denver’s offense, pace and paint points, two categories in which they lead the entire NBA. Maybe the Pepsi Center should be known as the Danger Zone. (more…)
For those not following us on twitter, there’s been a couple more rumors swirling around the ongoing Wilson Chandler saga. The first coming out of hoopshype stating that the Toronto Raptors are actively trying to free up space for an offer sheet by trading Leandro Barbosa. The second and most compelling rumor causing much consternation amongst Nuggets fans is out of Sportando, an Italian basketball website which is reporting that Chandler’s agent Chris Luchey is “in serious talks with an Italian team to seal a deal for rest of season.”
Both rumors are sourced only to twitter and it’s fair to say they’re rooted in speculation more than anything else right now. As we’ve gone through several times with the Chandler situation, he is in a unique position and only able to negotiate in earnest with one team — the Denver Nuggets.
I would not put a lot of stock into the Leandro Barbosa rumors. He’s been on the trade block for a while and the Raptors know that desperately giving him away in a hurry is a questionable move considering there is no guarantee Denver does not just match their offer sheet. As has been reported by ESPN and Hoopsworld, the Raptors seem resigned to the fact that putting together an offer sheet at this late stage is not likely to work out well.
The rumors of Chandler’s agent negotiating with Italy only reinforces our view that Denver holds all the cards in terms of Wilson returning to the NBA. It’s clear that he wants to be in the NBA, even going so far as to negotiate an early release from his Chinese team and seek an early letter of clearance from FIBA. As we have assumed for a long time, Denver has no interest in signing Chandler short term and granting him the holy grail of unrestricted free agency in exchange for a few months of service.
Wilson must feel he is being forced over to Europe due to Denver not willing to accept a one year deal. Chandler can certainly apply pressure by threatening to head over to Europe for the remainder of the season, but Denver would still own his rights whenever he returns. Not to mention Chandler runs the risk of serious injury while he remains a free agent and there is no guarantee he will be rewarded with the richer contract he’s seeking by waiting till the summer.
The Nuggets are playing hardball with Chandler, as expected. All it means as the process will be longer and more drawn out as Chandler exercises his leverage and continues to test Denver’s resolve to give him the long-term deal he seeks. The Nuggets clearly seem more interested in protecting themselves rather than just getting him on the floor and it looks like a 50/50 proposition in terms of whether or not he’ll be back.
I highly recommend following us on twitter, as I often discuss Chandler stuff there and the situation is such that we won’t post about every future development as it occurs. You can follow me here and go ahead and give Kalen and Jeremy a follow as well.
On to the current links and Nuggets news, bullet-style this time for convenience.
The new year started out kind to the Nuggets, especially after beginning January with a franchise best 12-3 record. Although they went on to lose their final two games in January, coach George Karl still called it “maybe the best month I’ve ever had” as the Nuggets were talked about as legitimate contenders for a top four seed in the Western Conference.
That was three weeks ago. Even the worst case scenarios back then might not have predicted the precipitous slide the Nuggets would go on after losing those final two games in the month of January. Unfortunately the nightmares have come true as the Denver Nuggets limp into the All-Star break reeling and out of the playoff picture altogether. To say they have fallen on hard times would be a massive understatement.
The injuries have gotten so bad moral victories have the Nuggets feeling pretty good about themselves despite going 1-5 in their last six games. It seems ridiculous, but the optimism is not misguided. To say the Nuggets have a favorable schedule coming up would be putting it lightly. 10 of the next 12 are at home and the Nuggets will be playing on at least one day of rest for ALL of them. Let’s take a look.
While surfing the Web last night I came across highlights (if you want to call them that) of the Chinese Basketball Association All-Star game which Chandler was scheduled to appear in last Sunday. After viewing the video, I’ve made peace with the fact that after playing two months in the CBA, Chandler will probably be doing his best rendition of the Anthony Carter third-row lob pass for quite some time.
According to NBA.com’s Aaron Lopez, the Nuggets will send out a starting lineup against the Dallas Mavericks that consists of Nene, Chris Andersen, Julyan Stone, Arron Afflalo and Ty Lawson. This is Birdman’s first start since the 2008 season and Julyan Stone’s first start at small forward since joining the Nuggets. Meanwhile, Corey Brewer is still out due to the tragic death of his father. Our thoughts and prayers are with Corey and the rest of the Brewer family.
Let’s be clear about one thing — at 14-7 even after two straight losses the Nuggets’ greatest strength is their depth.
When the Nuggets assembled a roster featuring two starting lineups and a couple of NBA-ready rookies behind them, they instantly gained a big advantage over every other team in a lockout-shortened NBA season. They’ve dealt with injuries better than just about anyone and built the second-highest scoring bench in the league.
Denver is going to be a great regular season team behind their depth. They can afford to limit their starters to 20 minutes per night if need be. In many cases there is little to no difference between the second and third string guys at every position.
I still think there is an intelligent debate to be had about whether too much of a good thing can actually turn out bad. George Karl has said the first 20 games of the season are essentially training camp, and at about one-third of the way into the season we’ve reached that point. The rotation should be shaping up nicely and guys should be settling into their roles as the Nuggets prepare to really start hitting their stride.
After 13 years of NBA service, it’s fair to say Andre Miller has been one of the more overlooked and undervalued point guards of his generation. His ability to produce well into his thirties places him in the rarified company of Steve Nash, Chauncey Billups, and Jason Kidd yet his lack of playoff success and individual accolades exclude him from being held in the same regard.
Playing with that chip on his shoulder has made Miller the successful, highly motivated player he is today. Unfortunately, it’s also put Andre at the center of another point guard controversy in Denver after candidly telling Chris Tomasson he’s unhappy with a backup role and prefers to go elsewhere in free agency next season.
After three straight solid home wins, the Nuggets are carrying nice momentum into their second road trip of the season. It’s a quick back-to-back in New Orleans and San Antonio against two teams which provide unique challenges for this new Nuggets team. While the Hornets and Spurs appear to be reeling from injuries, let’s not forget these are still road games against well-rested opponents.
For the second time in three days the Denver Nuggets have had a preseason game that both Altitude and NBA TV have neglected to air. This inexcusable programing has prevented me from analyzing the team in depth before the start of the regular season although this may not be the case for many of you. Whether the loyal readers of Roundball Mining Company have streamed Thursday’s night game against the Phoenix Suns online or actually attended the game in Arizona I encourage everyone who managed to watch the contest to leave your notes and observation in the comments section for your fellow fans to enjoy.
With the lockout mercifully ended after 149 days, it’s only natural to look back at the excruciating journey and wonder what it was all for. After an effort led in large part by teams like the Denver Nuggets, the NBA finally has a revised labor deal it has so badly wanted for years.
In fact, I can’t think of a team more impacted by this labor impasse than the Nuggets. After all, it was the expiration of the prior CBA that ultimately spurred Carmelo Anthony’s demand for a trade, which he ended up getting after a year-long public soap opera last season. It was also the reason Denver elected to put their future on hold, balking at signing valuable free agents like Arron Afflalo and Nene to contract extensions they most likely deserved. Now it’s time to play ball and answer some of the tough questions about whether a new CBA can indeed help level the playing field for teams like the Denver Nuggets.
Masai Ujiri and Josh Kroenke will open for business with a blank canvas to paint. With the amnesty clause at their disposal the Nuggets could potentially have the most cap space of any team in the league. How do they take advantage of the new CBA as we enter the next era of Denver basketball? What do they start building with right now when free agency opens on December 9th?
I just ran across this article and felt the need to post it since it’s so relevant to the Nuggets right now. If you have some free time, please check this out, as it will undoubtedly give you a glimpse into the many overlooked aspects of NBA players signing in China.
Usually this time of year NBA teams are engaged in a heated recruiting process over the top free agents of the summer. Last year was historic, with LeBron James turning the sports world (along with his own personal life) upside down with his TV special, “The Decision.” Now, only one year later the NBA is in a full-fledged lockout, basketball is nowhere to be seen and worst of all, nobody has any idea when the 2011-12 season will get underway. Basically, this sucks.
I’ll admit right off the bat, I’m not really a numbers/business/lockout type of guy. I watch sports because I like competition, athleticism, passion, etc. I don’t watch sports to hear Tom Penn monotonously break down why a bunch of millionaires can’t pull their heads out of their asses and sacrifice a few extra dollars so that one of the highest grossing organizations in the world can continue to operate. Quite frankly, I just don’t get it. Yeah, I understand what everyone’s arguing over, but does it really have to take that long to figure this thing out? You know that eventually this problem will be solved; the NBA isn’t just going to disappear, so why delay the inevitable? In the end life carries on, money is still only a materialistic good and basketball will be played. Just get it done for crying out loud!
Unfortunately for Roundball, this has kind of foiled our momentum coming off such an exciting season and promising draft. We’re ready to get into free agency, trades, re-signings, etc., but until the lockout concludes we’re a bit stuck. Naturally, we’ll still be on top of any breaking news or important issues regarding the Nuggets (such as a franchise player demanding a trade) and we’re going to continue forth with our “Should he stay or should he go” pieces as well as other feature stories, but I have to wonder how effective the material will be if the lockout is as serious as some are claiming. What happens if this thing really drags into 2012 or all the way to next summer? What are we supposed to do? I can only write so many extensively infatuated stories on Faried before the well runs dry!
So what I guess I’m trying to say is: Work with us. Obviously we’re going to try and keep Roundball firing on all cylinders, but I have a feeling it might get ugly. Occasionally we might reach for a story and attempt to dive into former Nugget, Anthony Carter’s top 10 worst passes of all time and how they’ve changed the lives of the fans who’ve unsuspectingly had their soda or popcorn explode all over their laps — but at least we’ll be keeping the investigative journalism side of things relevant. What we promise, is that Roundball will continue on, even if there is no Nuggets basketball to be played. So stay tuned as we’ll have some new stuff up shortly, and in the meantime, pray that at least the NFL lockout ends so that we’re not stuck with equestrian and curling.
Though this is strictly a Denver Nuggets-themed blog, I don’t think I’d be going to far as to say most of the our readers are likely going to be watching the Mavericks and Heat go at it in the 2011 NBA Finals this year. So, Roundball Mining Company has dug up an assortment of different links to help you further get acquainted with the nuances of this historic series. (more…)
The Denver Nuggets have a lot of decisions to make this summer. They sport one of the deepest rosters in the league, but many players have uncertain futures due to expiring contracts or the potential to clear up positional logjams via trades. Over the next few days we will be looking at certain players to determine who must stay, and who must go. We began the series looking at J.R. Smith. Today we turn to Wilson Chandler…