So this has been a weird season for my Nuggets and now I'm really questioning the Legitimacy of us being a playoff team next year. Apparently we favor Indiana's Shaw as a coach, which I think is a good pick but with a lack of experience as a head coach I feel we may suffer in our first year. Then there's the fact that we lose Gallinari for most of the season and we may be losing Iguodala (I really don't see him coming back since he won't take the extension that would give him 16 million next year).
I was alright with the firing of Karl, mostly because (as most Nuggets fans would agree) we are sick of the first round. But Karl's system worked in a way that I feel inflated our teams wins and stats. With a more regular basketball system I see this team being much different. I have yet to see Ty Lawson in a regular offense where he controls the team (would love to see him excel and become more of a superstar for this team but I'm not sure how he'd transition). I love Kenneth Faried but his offense is so limited to quick dunks and putbacks, I love his motor and fire but I'm not sure he can really be a starter without an offensive Center. Andre Miller is a great backup, and I think he would do well if we could slow down the offense for him as he really has no speed anymore. Wilson Chandler is one of the most inconsistent players I've ever seen, one night he drops 30, the next he's nearly scoreless and he's just a horrible passer for a SF averaging just above 1 per game even as a starter (while not being a high scorer). Chandler was 35% in the playoffs against the Warriors as a starter, basically he let Harrison Barnes school him on both sides of the ball.
Our defense was so atrocious last year, we literally just let teams shoot open shoots and let teams get into the lane quite often. I wonder if a new coach can really rework our mindset and get us to actually play defense.
Now onto my main point, How much wins do we lose with this new team.
New Coach/offense = - 5 to 9 wins (can of course be lessened with the implementation of a fitting offense and right coaching)
Losing AI = -3 to 5 wins
No Gallo for most of year = - 4 to 6 wins (this is more than AI because it just leaves us with even less depth and relying on Chandler to assume a role he isn't capable of)
This really makes it so we have to have guys like Evan Fournier, (our draft pick, somebody like Glen Rice Jr. could help) step up and give us a few wins back and our new coach really has to implement a system that works better than our last and can help us win in the playoffs. We're still a really deep team and we can still do damage but I just wonder if we'll struggle with all these new things with the team. If we lose 16 wins (middle of my calculated losses), we fall to 10th place about. The West is only getting stronger with teams like Houston, GS, etc. I really see Utah, Portland, and Minnesota all making huge strides in the win column next year.
What our Depth Chart looks like for most of Next year if we lose AI
PG - Lawson/ Andre Miller (He's aging well, wonder if it continues)
SG - Fournier/Brewer/ (our draft pick?)
SF - Chandler/Jordan Hamilton (that's pretty bad right there, maybe if we got more out of Hamilton)
PF - Faried/Randolph
C - Koufos/Mcgee/Mozgov (altogether a good group)
Where's our offense coming from? We lose nearly 30 points without Iggy and Gallo.
Koufos averaged 8, 7, and 1.3 blocks in 23 mins, while Javale averaged 9 and 5 and 2 blocks in 18 (2 blocks in 18?! Damn..) Javale is a knucklehead on the court some of the time but of course he has a ton of potential. I think we have to trade one of these guys here as both seem starter-ready and we may need to make a trade to fix a few holes. (Javale of course still has his weird antics that need to be taken care of)
Now am I looking too far into this? Am I overrating the loss factor of a new coach after losing a guy like Karl? Anyone in FA you see us picking up? What do you guys think?
They really have no low-post scoring, it really should be something that they address.
It will be interesting to see what direction this team heads in. How often do you see a great team lose so much front office personnel after a great season?
Connelly isn't well known, but I think he will be a great GM. Very analytical and has been involved with the game in many different ways. Very young too. Those Connelly's must be coveted NBA personnel, Pat just went from wizards to the Suns. I believe the Wizards still have a 3rd Connelly on their staff as well.
Losing Karl would definitely hurt the Nuggets, he is the heart and soul of the team, although you can't just say Shaw will not perform well. Brian Shaw should be a very good coach he is a seasoned veteran and should have a smooth transition. As far as player personnel goes the talent level drops drastically by losing Iggy and Galinari. I doubt the transition play will not continue as the team is built perfectly for run n gun offense. Denver is very deep and young with guys like Hamilton, Fournier, and Chandler being able to step up and give an opportunity to shine, and with having a new coach each player will have new expectations. In other words whatever Karl wanted them to do to earn minutes and what Shaw or whover wants them to do is different, so they can play hard and prove they deserve minutes confidently without Karl's earlier expectations. I expect them to be a competitive team that misses the playoffs winning 35 to 38 games.