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…)

Reports: Nurkic, Green signings to top off Nuggets roster at 15 players

Barring any further trades which would open up additional roster spots, the Denver Nuggets may well be finished with free agency this offseason.

Today it was reported by Mark Deeks of ShameSports.com that Denver has signed first round draft pick Jusuf Nurkic following the successful completion of a buyout with his Croatian team earlier this month. Additionally, Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post also reported that the Nuggets will soon sign last year’s second round pick Erick Green, who played in Italy last season and showed significant improvement in his Summer League play.

When completed, the signings will top off the Nuggets roster at the maximum 15 players. (more…)

2014 NBA Draft: Three sleeper picks for the Nuggets

The draft is just two days away, and with it comes the beginning of a new NBA season in earnest. We’ve already covered the basics pretty extensively — with a full roster hopefully returning to health, the Nuggets don’t have a ton of room to add prospects. Bearing that limited (immediate) flexibility in mind, it’s important to zero in on how the Nuggets can best improve with their lottery pick. We’ve already done some detailed analysis of this year’s crop of shooting guards – a strong group in this draft which just happens to line up with Denver’s biggest need.

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Shaw: “I’m happy where I am”

The recently reported rumors that Phil Jackson might try to lure Brian Shaw away from the Nuggets with an offer to coach the Knicks caused a minor stir, and raised the specter of yet another bout of offseason upheaval among the Pepsi Center’s top ranks. But if Shaw himself is to be believed, it appears highly unlikely that he will, in fact,  so quickly abandon his new team. (more…)

Grading Tim Connelly’s first year as Denver Nuggets General Manager

On June 17 last year, the Nuggets announced that Tim Connelly had been tapped to take the helm of Denver’s front office. In the month preceding his hiring, owner Josh Kroenke had overseen a turbulent start to Denver’s offseason, and Connelly joined a Nuggets organization reckoning with the startling departure of Masai Ujiri for Toronto and the firing of Coach of the Year George Karl. Exacerbating the chaotic atmosphere, Andre Iguodala – who the Nuggets clearly had expected to return – opted out to become an unrestricted free agent just eleven days after Connelly’s arrival, and it quickly became clear that he did not intend to re-sign with Denver.

From day one, Connelly’s rookie year as general manager has been a trial by fire, albeit a fire he enthusiastically jumped into.

To many, including a fair share of the writers here at Roundball Mining Company, it seemed unrealistic that the Nuggets would be able to replicate (let alone surpass) the previous season’s success (more…)

Nuggets News: Jackson eyeing Shaw, Nuggets eyeing PGs?

According to ESPN.com, New York Knicks president Phil Jackson might turn his efforts towards prying Brian Shaw from the Denver Nuggets after missing out on Steve Kerr, who reached an agreement with the Golden State Warriors on May 15. Per ESPN:

Sources close to the process told ESPN.com that the most likely scenario, even after Jackson was snubbed by the only candidate he has considered for the position since taking the Knicks’ job in March, remains hiring a younger coach Jackson has worked with previously and can mentor…

Sources said Jackson also intends to explore whether the Denver Nuggets are in any way amenable to releasing Brian Shaw from his contract in exchange for some form of compensation. Shaw is a longtime Jackson favorite who, after missing out on numerous head-coaching jobs, just completed his first season with the Nuggets, posting a 36-46 record despite numerous injuries to front-line players.

But Shaw told the Denver Post on Thursday: “I’m not interested in doing anything other than what I’m doing right now.”

Had Shaw not taken Denver’s job last summer, sources say he would have been at the top of Jackson’s list with Kerr — and conceivably above Kerr — for the Knicks’ opening.

Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post has reiterated multiple times through direct quotes that Shaw is not interested in coaching a team other than the Denver Nuggets at the moment. Of course, quotes are just quotes. It’s actions that count in the NBA, and until Jackson has concluded his search and Brian Shaw remains a Denver Nugget, this situation is worth monitoring.

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Brian Shaw: Wanted man

In the past week Brian Shaw has been tied to some interesting story developments. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, part of the absolutely baffling decline of the Indiana Pacers could be a result of Brian Shaw’s absence. Per Stein:

ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard reports that sources with knowledge of the Pacers’ locker room dynamic have been insisting for months that Indiana would miss the presence of assistant coach Brian Shaw, who left the club last summer to become the Denver Nuggets‘ head man.

Even more intriguing are Shaw’s recent ties to head coaching vacancies in the bright lights of New York and L.A. According to The Denver Post’s Christopher Dempsey, the Lakers will gauge Kobe Bryant on his preference for new head coach and Shaw’s name could come up. From Dempsey:

“If it comes up, then it just comes up,” Shaw said. “My commitment is here. I’m not a disgruntled coach or anything like that. My loyalty to the Nuggets hasn’t swayed at all.”

Brian Shaw has had three stops in his brief coaching career: Los Angeles, Indiana and now Denver. Though much of this is hearsay, it’s looking as if all three still want him in some varying degree or another, while Indiana (Roy Hibbert, specifically) is in the throes of a complete meltdown without him. Brian Shaw had a rough first season with the Nuggets and certainly had an interesting record of job interviews before landing in Denver, but as the smoke clears one thing is becoming clear: Brian Shaw is a wanted man.

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Dearth of financial flexibility and open roster spots may result in a quiet Nuggets offseason

Although chaos ruled last summer’s Nuggets offseason, this year it may be defined by calm.

Going into the 2014 offseason, the Nuggets have a roster likely to remain loaded up at or near the 15-player maximum. Of their current 15 contracted players, only two are expiring – Jan Vesely and Aaron Brooks. Another two, Darrell Arthur and Nate Robinson, have player options but have both expressed interest in staying with the Nuggets. And Denver will surely hang onto the only remaining player whose 2014-15 salary is not guaranteed. The coaching staff and front office have highly praised Quincy Miller’s progress this season, and will be looking to continue his development.

So if the Nuggets let Vesely and Brooks walk, they will be entering the offseason with only two open roster spots. (more…)

Rapid Reaction: Golden State Warriors 116, Denver Nuggets 112

Welp, that just happened. The 2013-14 Denver Nuggets season has officially come to a (somewhat brutal) end. The Nuggets fought hard the whole game but just didn’t bring the right type of mindset from the start to win. Throw in Jordan Crawford scoring a career high 40-something points (no box scores are working for this game) and that’s pretty much the recipe for a terrible way to end the season!

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Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 105 Los Angeles Clippers 117

The Nuggets fell behind early and never led in their penultimate game of the 2013-2014 season, a 12-point loss to the Clippers in LA.

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Potential found in a lost season

Much has been made this season about what the 2013-14 Denver Nuggets are not. They’re not a good team, first and foremost. They’re not healthy. They’re inconsistent. They lack defensive fundamentals that are often a hallmark of championship-contending teams. But for everything the Denver Nuggets are not, there are many things they are — which deserve recognition as dusk approaches on the season.

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Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 101 Utah Jazz 94

In a less-than-meaningful game between two lottery-bound teams, bad offense ruled the day. Then, the second half came along and Denver exploded for 67 points, defeating the Jazz for their third straight win.

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Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 123-Houston Rockets 116

The Nuggets really, really tried hard to blow another game to the Rockets with a bad fourth quarter performance but they were able to hold on and defeat Houston 123-116. Randy Foye turned into a human fireball with 30 points, including a 22 points third quarter to secure their 11th straight record with a winning record in Denver.

Grades are below the jump.

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Rapid Reaction: Denver Nuggets 125-Houston Rockets 130

Denver had the upset in their hands thanks to a furious second half rally but ultimately they forgot how to handle double teams leading to turnovers and missed a big late free throw before falling in overtime to the Houston Rockets .There were bright sides for Denver though as Aaron Brooks and Quincy Miller had great games and Evan Fournier and Kenneth Faried had great second halves.

Grades are below the jump.

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What If Timofey Mozgov Made His Game Winning Three Pointer?

Much has been made of Brian Shaw’s decision on Monday night to allow Timofey Mozgov to attempt a game winning three. In what has become a lost season for the Nuggets it was a chance to steal a game against a potential playoff team and it was thrown away before anyone, including the Grizzlies, really had any idea what was going on.

I thought long and hard about what exactly Shaw’s motive was with the shot and came up empty. Until the other night when I was visited in my dreams by the ghost of Mozgov future and shown what would have happened if big Mozzy made the shot.

The following is the account of that trip.  (That never actually happened. Seriously I’m not crazy).

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