Thursday, December 22, 2011

2011-2012 NBA Preview #16: Denver Nuggets

Aloha... Ryan resumes the West with the extremely interesting Denver Nuggets...

Roster Breakdown (Starters in Bold)
  • PG - Ty Lawson, Andre Miller
  • SG - Arron Afflalo, Rudy Fernandez
  • SF - Danilo Gallinari, Corey Brewer, Jordan Hamilton, DeMarre Carroll
  • PF - Nene Hilario, Al Harrington, Kenneth Faried
  • C - Timofey Mozgov, Chris Anderson, Kosta Koufos (ed: I have no clue whatsoever if Denver will play Nene at the 4 or the 5, move along)

General Thoughts

This team was definitely a head scratcher to me after the Carmelo trade last year. Usually what happens when a star is traded from a team: the team that loses the star... becomes terrible... almost unwatchable... until they get another star player (usually through the draft), rinse and repeat. This didn't happen at all... they held, then improved on their record winning 50 games and being a 5th seed last year (18-7 without Carmelo). Since I can't really explain it then... how can I project it now?...well its easier to breakdown the pieces of this team.... Getting Nene back was the biggest offseason move for them... he's not a superstar but he's the rock of this team. His rebounding, post presence and scoring will be relied upon for this team to go anywhere. If I told you to pick the guy who averaged the most FT attempts from this group: Dirk, Paul Pierce, Monta Ellis, Chris Bosh or Danilo Gallinari; who would you pick (without knowing the context of this particular preview)?... Danilo Gallinari averages just over 6 attempts a game... getting easy points is the underrated name of the game and he does that well. I'm looking for him to breakout a little bit this season. And lastly I'll talk about Arron Afflalo. His numbers last year don't jump out at you (12.6 pts,3.6 rebs,2.4 asts) but he's the quintessential "glue guy." He can hit the big shot, defend the other team's best player and make the big play when you needed it most. He's also the guy when you are watching the game and he has 24 pts you turn and say "How did he get that?".. not because he's incapable, it's because you didn't notice.


I'll say Ty Lawson has the chance to make a huge leap forward in the point guard rankings when given the minutes. Andre Miller wasn't re-traded to the Nuggets to sit around and chat. He knows the system and could be a real help to Lawson or in turn deflate some minutes away. Regardless Lawson has unbelievable speed and actually uses it to get to the hole. But that's not to say he can't shoot either. He shot 50% from the field and 40% from 3 and we'll see if those numbers hold steady as his shots increase (9 shots for the year). (ed: This is the hardest preview to write in the whole league IMO, well played sir)

Predicted Finish

8th in the West

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