2011-12 Game 3: Denver Nuggets 102 Portland Trailblazers 111

Box Score | Highlights

The Nuggets played the first of what will undoubtedly be many ugly games in Portland tonight. It was a messy affair from the start, dominated by fouls, turnovers and questionable shot selection. Ultimately the game came down to a 2-minute stretch in which the tougher, more composed Blazers held it together and came out on top.

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2011-12 Game 2: Denver Nuggets 117, Utah 100

For the second straight game the Denver Nuggets handily defeated its opponent by at least 17 points. Spearheaded by stingy defense and a flurry of steals, the Nuggets continuously got out on the break and never let up. One wave after another eventually collapsed the opposing players and ultimately left the Jazz feeling “kind of blue.” (more…)

Notes from Friday’s scrimmage

On Friday the Denver Nuggets kicked of the 2011-12 season with a free-to-the-public team exhibition. The crowd was lively, the players were energetic and at the sound of the final buzzer only one point separated the two squads. Here are some first impressions from a fun-filled night. (more…)

A Day of Action – Nuggets Re-sign Nene and Trade for Two

Well Nuggets fans, you wanted activity, how did today treat you?  In addition to adding Rudy Fernandez, Corey Brewer and DeMarre Carroll today, Denver has reportedly reached an agreement with Nene on a five year, $67 million contract.  The fifth year apparently was a key to sealing the deal as the average salary is well shy of what was available to him from other teams.

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UTEP blogger, Adrian Macias, weighs in on Stone signing

After Stone signed a two-year deal with the Nuggets last night, I reached out to MinerRush.com’s Adrian Macias, to get his thoughts on the all-conference standout. Here is what he had to say:

Julyan Stone first entered the radar of most NBA GM’s and fans when he turned some heads at the Portsmouth Invitational. But Miner fans have known Julyan was a special player since he earned the starting point guard spot at UTEP as a freshman. Even then, we could recognize that Julyan was a very gifted ball handler and distributor. Julyan is undoubtedly a “pass-first” point guard who doesn’t care if he gets a shot in a game as long as the offense is being run in a functional manner. On the floor he is perhaps the most unselfish player UTEP has ever seen.

When Tony Barbee was the head coach at UTEP, Julyan ran the dribble-drive offense perfectly. He knew the strength of that offense was to find ways to allow UTEP’s slashing guards, like Randy Culpepper, to attack the rim. When Tim Floyd came to El Paso, Stone recognized that UTEP needed his 6-6 frame inside. So, defensively, Julyan moved down to the block and was usually matched up against an opposing team’s best low post scorer. Julyan adjusted his game, worked on his interior defense, and ended up leading UTEP with 7.5 rebounds per game as a senior.

Julyan was never known as a great outside shooter. He would have hot streaks — and cold ones — but understand that while his offensive stats might not jump off the page, he was never asked or expected to be a scorer. While the system he played in may have limited his offensive growth, he will definitely have to become a more consistent shooter in order to succeed at the next level.

Athletically however, he has all the tools to succeed in the NBA. He can use his length to compensate defensively against quicker guards and runs the floor with the best of them. If a team wants an unselfish point guard who thrives on running an offense and finding the open man, they would be fortunate to land Julyan Stone.

Additionally, Dan Barton of the IMG Basketball Academy — where Stone has been training the last six months for the draft and free agency — also reached out to us and offered up this video that features Stone and an in-depth examination of what the Academy is all about. From the looks of it, Stone was in great hands and Nuggets fans should be all the more excited to see him in action after witnessing the type of dedication and hard work put in by those under Barton’s watch.

Is Stone a diamond in the rough?

Yesterday, the Denver Nuggets made its first free agent signing of the 2011-12 season. No, it wasn’t the front-court anchoring, 6-11 Nene, nor the soft-spoken, loyal Arron Afflalo. Instead, the Nuggets signed an undrafted rookie out of the University of Texas El Paso by the name of Julyan Stone. Now, if you’re not a big draft head like me then you’ve probably never heard of Julyan Stone in your entire life — unless of course you happened to stumble upon the list of Tom Cruise monikers that didn’t make his final cut. But considering the fact that Stone signed a contract for not one, but two years (at $1.1 million dollars), I think its fair to say Julyan Stone is name you’ll be hearing a lot over the next several seasons. (more…)

Free Agency Digest: Day One

Free Agency hasn’t started yet, but that has caused no shortage of drama in what is sure to be the craziest NBA offseason ever. By now you’ve all heard news of the Chris Paul deal that wasn’t. The league office will open for business at 12pm MST today and it will be very interesting to see how fast the frenzy will unfold one day after the infamous Veto. This post will be updated with any Nuggets developments and our thoughts on them, so check back throughout the day.

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