Game 6 Preview: Why Harrison Barnes is Hurting the Nuggets

As George Karl was forced to make adjustments to counteract Stephen Curry and the Warriors new small ball lineup in the series, two main thoughts started to pop up. First let Curry get his points and limit his teammates and second play a big lineup, like Denver has done all season long with two traditional bigs instead of Wilson Chandler at the power forward spot.

Unfortunately for the Nuggets, despite a victory in Game 5, doing those things may not be possible together. One of the important parts of the Nuggets playing with two bigs is Kenneth Faried playing Harrison Barnes on the defensive end. But Faried has struggled a bit in that role as his unfamiliarity of defensive rotations has allowed Barnes to get a lot of open shot attempts, some he has knocked down and some he hasn’t. The following are four examples of the problems Faried has had, three makes and a miss, from Game 5 when Barnes had 23 points.

(more…)

Quick thoughts before a pivotal Game 4

After a thrilling loss like that, you need a day just to absorb everything. A 2-1 series hole looms over all the good in game three, where I thought the Nuggets did a better job reacting to small ball than they did in game two. Ty Lawson is turning a pretty good series into a great one but the Golden State Warriors and the emergence of Steph Curry are the definitive stories of this first round matchup. The Warriors weren’t pleased with their game 3 performance and are still in position to take a commanding 3-1 series lead on Sunday, which would effectively make the Nuggets a long shot to get out of the first round… again.

For all the good the Nuggets did in game 3, they still can’t defend the Golden State Warriors, whose offense sure came back down to earth – all the way from 74.3% eFG in game 2 to 57.5% in game 3. That just won’t get it done in the playoffs. Obviously there’s a lot to worry about but as bad as the Nuggets’ issues have been, they still have a chance to essentially hit the reset button on the series with a win tonight.

While we wait to see if the Nuggets can seize that opportunity in a pivotal game four, which is obviously huge, here are some bullet point thoughts on what worked and what didn’t in game three.

(more…)

Adjustments, adversity await Nuggets in Game 3

There are two ways to look at the Nuggets’ current 1-1 series tie to the Golden State Warriors. The cheery narrative gives a convenient regular-season excuse for Denver’s familiar playoff woes – it’s only one game, blowouts happen, and losing home-court advantage while squeeking out a 1-1 split really isn’t that bad.

It’s too bad this isn’t the regular season anymore.

(more…)

The trading post

As fans, one of our favorite things to do is play the role of NBA general manager. We love to analyze players, ponder team needs and above all, formulate trade scenarios that will facilitate the movement of assets towards the team we often fantasize about in the hopes these transactions will one day lead directly to an NBA title. In other words, we love trades. This article aims to celebrate that unbridled fandom by introducing three realistic trade scenarios involving the NBA Draft and of course, Roundball Mining Company’s favorite piece of trade bait: Wilson Chandler.

(more…)

Denver Nuggets Big Board: First impressions

It’s been nearly a year since Roundball Mining Company unveiled its last Big Board. The man who held the No. 1 spot on that list ended up being the man who the Nuggets drafted with the 22nd pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. That worked out pretty well. Now after months of scouting and analyzing the NCAA’s best prospects, I finally get the opportunity to do one of my favorite things in the world: speculate on the NBA Draft. This is Roundball Mining Company’s first Big Board of the year.

(more…)

Prospecting: In search of a more “content” Felton in the NBA Draft

In the upcoming Draft, the Denver Nuggets will likely steer towards selecting the best player available at No. 22, with small forward being the exception due to the current bounty already on the roster (Gallinari, Chandler & Harrington). Exercising this strategy means putting the franchise at risk of potentially taking a player who doesn’t necessarily fit a position of need. With Ty Lawson appearing to be the perpetual starting point guard of the Nuggets for years to come and Raymond Felton still on the roster (nominally, at least), the demand for another point guard isn’t quite a Mile High right now in Denver. But what happens if the best player available at No. 22 just-so-happens to be a point guard? Do we take that player and groom him into a back-up behind Lawson, who similarly played this exact role behind Billups? Or do forgo this opportunity in order to address a more pressing position of need? It’s tough to say, but just in case this situation plays out on draft night, Roundball has you covered as to which players might pose this conundrum, and which — if any — are worthy of selecting. (more…)

Again, Carmelo Anthony Will Be Traded

Just when it seemed like the Carmelo Anthony rumors were going to die down and let us move on with our lives Adrian Wojnarowski comes along and blows things up again.

According to a report on Yahoo! Sports by Mr. W. William Wesley told the Nuggets “weeks ago” that they needed to trade Carmelo and provided a list of acceptable destinations.  That statement would support the theory I promoted earlier this week right here so it must be true.

Josh Kroenke then met with Carmelo on Sunday in an attempt to convince Carmelo that he should remain a Nugget.  Apparently the meeting did not go well and the Nuggets are prepared to trade Carmelo.  The Knicks, Nets, Rockets and Clippers are still listed as possible landing spots along with Golden State.  Apparently Orlando has dropped off the list as I have not seen them mentioned lately.

(more…)