ESPN recently concluded an extremely arduous process of codifying the NBA’s best 500 players. Our fellow TrueHoop family was highly involved in the process, sending in ballots, backing up their claims in the 5-on-5 series and explaining how certain elements weighed more heavily in their decision-making via video interviews which aired on the front page of the four-letter network’s website this past week. From our perspective — being a proud member of the TrueHoop Network — we feel entitled to give a Carmelo Anthony-like tip-of-the-hat to ourselves for all of our efforts, as ranking 500 different players is not an easy task; however, we conversely feel that it is our job to specifically analyze those players we know best, and determine if their individual Top 500 rankings are accurate in order to further understand how we can get better for next year. Including current free agents, the Denver Nuggets saw a whopping 16 players make their way to the #NBArank list. Whether they managed to land in the right spot is up for debate. In Part 1 of this series we’ll take a look at the Nuggets who landed outside of the Top 100. (more…)
OK I’ll say it. China. Ugh, that word has slowly morphed into one of the most despised in my entire vocabulary. Every time I hear it, all I see is the Nuggets chances for success in the 2011-12 season dwindling right out the window, and for a die hard like me, that’s the last image I ever want flickering in my head.
Two days ago, the Miami Heat looked unbeatable as they tore through the schedule with ease, winning 19 of 20 games including 13 in a row on the road. Meanwhile, the Nuggets shaky season was starting to come off the rails. After a 3 game losing streak, Josh Kroenke and Masai Ujiri seemed all but certain to blow the lifeless roster up, punching fans in the gut by trading their 2 best players away for future assets and savings. Last night the Miami Heat were the vulnerable ones and the Nuggets were the team doing the punching.
I said in the preview yesterday that the Nuggets seemed to be catching the Heat at their weakest, off a west coast back to back in which their best player was injured. Lebron didn’t play last night and the Heat didn’t have the energy or depth to overcome it. For the second straight game, the Nuggets execute a balanced offensive attack and ride a scoring explosion from the bench to an easy blowout win.
In the NBA typically talent wins out. The Clippers have some talented players, the future is brighter than usual with players like Eric Gordon, Bledsoe, Aminu and of course Blake Griffin. Chris Kaman is a solid player and the Clippers have added some notorious Nuggets killers from seasons past in Craig Smith and Rasual Butler (Ryan Gomes has had his moments in the past versus Denver as well).
The script was a typical Nuggets versus a team that does not possess their respect. In the first half the Nuggets get outworked, they showed some life prior to halftime and finally showed enough focus in the second half to get by in a game where Denver’s ten point fourth quarter lead felt like 25.