Thanks to an unstoppable night from DeMarcus Cousins and a late Ty Lawson miss, the Nuggets dropped their 2013-2014 season opener 90-88 to the Sacramento Kings.
Well after much deliberation during preseason, Brian Shaw has finally announced the starting five that will take the court Wednesday in Sacromento. And boy, it’s a doozie.
If Lawson plays, Shaw says he will start, along with Randy Foye, JJ Hickson, Anthony Randolph and JaVale McGee. #Nuggets
— Denver Nuggets (@denvernuggets) October 29, 2013
Wilson Chandler’s absence was somewhat expected, due to his reported hamstring injury, but his replacement came as a minor surprise. While Randolph got a lot of run in the preseason it hardly seemed feasible he would contribute any more than he did last year, mostly as a garbage time player who might play some meaningful minutes in emergency stopgap situations.
Why do we watch? Why do we invest so much in something that so rarely rewards us with anything tangible, especially when the toll is so emotionally draining? Sports, by their very design, traffics on competitiveness, on the need to win. And yet the system is cruelly rigged to reward but one team out of thirty, leaving 97 percent of fans cold at the end of every season.
Even worse, the NBA is – again by design – a top-heavy league and as fans with neck-braces from perpetual star-gazing can attest, the bottom is a much more familiar place to most. So why care, why even pay attention? On the precipice of a new season, the question must be asked, and answered, anew.
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:
Every year around this time ESPN introduces its annual #NBArank series codifying all 500 players in the NBA from least to most valuable. Last year Roundball Mining Company decided to get in on the action and began ranking each of the players on the Denver Nuggets’ final 15-man roster in the same fashion. We’ve polled all seven of our writers, asking them to arrange each player on the Nuggets roster from one to 15 (one being the best, 15 the least valuable), then we added everyone’s scores together to come up with a single, definitive list of the 15 “most valuable” Denver Nuggets. Kenneth Faried comes in at No. 4, maintaining his ranking from last year. (more…)
Every year around this time ESPN introduces its annual #NBARank series codifying all 500 players in the NBA from least to most valuable. Last year Roundball Mining Company decided to get in on the action and began ranking each of the players on the Denver Nuggets’ final 15-man roster in the same fashion. We’ve polled all seven of our writers, asking them to arrange each player on the Nuggets roster from one to 15 (one being the best, 15 the least valuable), then we added everyone’s scores together to come up with a single, definitive list of the 15 “most valuable” Denver Nuggets. Checking in at number 10 is Darrell Arthur, the second of the four offseason additions to join the rankings.
The post-Melo Nuggets have always been defined by their depth. Denver didn’t just attack you with a killer lineup, they did it with waves of them. They were a machine full of interchangeable gears, a confluence of equally skilled players that elevated the whole through sheer numeracy, and yet whose uniformity ironically tended to serve as their downfall in the postseason. But perennial regular season success is clearly something this team is still trying to strive for and the various transactions of the offseason reveals a similar desire for the “next man up” depth that has been the team’s staple for three years.
A look at what Denver’s offseason reaping produced has unearthed a comforting familiarity in terms of the depth but some trepidation in how these particular gears fit together. Questions about potential lineups range from the mop-up crew all the way to the starting unit, and many of these queries center around Brian Shaw’s unique (and currently unknowable) set of principles, what does he value most in his players? The following is a list of potential lineups Denver could throw out over the course of the season, their pros, their cons, their function, and – most importantly – the likelihood of their success.
If you haven’t already noticed, things have slowed a bit around RMC lately. We try and think of creative ways to cover the Nuggets 365 days of the year; however, some of those 365 days fall in August and early September when virtually nothing is happening in regards to our beloved Denver Nuggets, and as a result, nothing tends to happen in the creative sections of our brains. Our well has run dry, so to speak. Or it’s barely dripping. Either way, we need some water, aka story ideas in this scenario. So, if you’ve ever wanted us to cover a certain subject or if there’s something on your mind you want answered, please shoot us an e-mail (where you can find up at the top right of the page) and we’ll try to process your requests in a somewhat timely manner. As always, GO NUGGETS!, and thanks for your ongoing support of RMC.
One of the biggest obstacles I run into when trying to project what Denver will look like going into next season is the absence of any idea what the system will be like under Brian Shaw. The Nuggets have spent the better part of a decade running the sometimes varied but always unorthodox George Karl system, and the extent to which Shaw deviates from that remains to be seen. He has been on the record as saying he will ditch the triangle offense that his coaching had been pigeonholed into (a wise move) and that he will continue to utilize Denver’s unique home court advantage with an uptempo offense (another smart move), but other than that it is mostly a mystery.
However, I am pretty confident that at least a good portion of Karl’s dribble-drive offense will be replaced with a more traditional pick-and-roll centric system. I will defend Karl’s dunks-and-threes system till the day I die in terms of how well it succeeded in the team sense but it is undeniable that the Nuggets have many players who would thrive in a more pick-and-roll featured scheme (Ty Lawson especially). There’s just one problem. There are precious few Nuggets who know how to properly set screens.
As first reported by Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post Nate Robinson has come to an agreement with the Denver Nuggets on a two year deal. According to Sam Amick of USA Today, it is shaping up to be for Denver’s bi-annual exception, which amounts to $4.03 million over two years with the second one being a player option.
Adrian Wojnarowski has an update on the Iguodala situation at Yahoo! Sports, reporting that “the Golden State Warriors are in advanced discussions on a three-way, sign-and-trade scenario centered on delivering a trade exception and Utah Jazz free agent Randy Foye to the Denver Nuggets”: (more…)
As first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, J.J. Hickson has agreed to sign a three-year, $15 million contract with the Nuggets.
An Overview -
Hickson is a 24 year old, 6-foot-9 center-forward who started for the Blazers last year. On a pure numbers level he looks solid, averaging 15.8 points and 12.8 rebounds on 56 percent shooting (per-36 minutes). His offensive game is made mostly out of his post-game, where he is middling, his pick-and-roll game, where he excels, and off put-backs through his offensive rebounding (sound familiar?).
In the midst of draft day fever, the Denver Nuggets almost inconspicuously swung a trade to ship out the starting center of their 57 win team. They acquired Memphis Grizzlies forward Darrell Arthur and the rights to the 55th pick, which turned out to be the rather unfortunately named Joffery Lauvergne.