Denver Nuggets - are they for real
I just watched the highlights of the Denver - New York Knicks game and I really have to say I love how this theam runs!
I'm a die hard Thunder fan but this team to me is the blueprint of how to assamble a group of players into a team.
Danilo has the freedom to fire whenever he wants on offense, is a underrated athlete and when he goes to the rim, he always goes hard.
Iggy doesn't have to carry this team offensively and you can really feel that he is loving not beeing the one who has has to carry it all.
Ty Lawson was just named the WC player of the week and is finding the consitency he lacked the whole year running this team.
McGee was and still is the a running joke sometimes but he is really tryin. You can see that he has realised what kind of role he plays in his limited minutes. Some people wonder why h isn't playing mor minutes and I actually don't know the reason but I read that he has a asthma problem and I often see him beeing exhausted when he plays too Many minutes. Don't know if this is the problem but per minutes he is playing very well - if you don't believe in +/- ratings...
Kosta Koufos is the perfect man in the middle for this team if you ask me. He was considered a disappointment for the last couple of years but to me he is a perfect fit for this ultra athletic team playing very fundamentally kind of basketball. He is very skilled, mobile and quick on his feet if you considere that he is a legit 7 footer. Not a DeAndre kind of quick, fast or explosive, but still a nice package all in all.
Andre Miller is running this team perfectly when he is on the court. We're always talking about how athletic a pg has to be now a days but he is the definition of durable and a ver smart player if you ask me. I really think he will one of the best coaches of his generation when he is out of the league as a player. He is setting up his teammates so well, maximizing the talent around hom and can always make the big and big shots.
Wilson Chandler, Brewer, Mozgov, Fournier, Randolph, Hamilton and last but not least Quincy Miller are rounding this out. To me this is by far the deepest team in the league. Remove Danilo or Iggy from the starting five and Chandler and Brewer jump in and everyone can defend!
I mean you can really see how well they mesh up and enjoy to playing with each other.
I have never been a fan of a team without a legit superstar with ambitions to go deep in the playoffs but to me they are the toughest matchup in the west not named San Antonio or OKC.
Six players are scoring in double figures right now, Lawson and Gallo leading the pack with 17 ppg.
8 (EIGHT!!!) players are scoring more than 9 points.
They are top 3 in scoring.
6th seed in points diff with +4
Have one of the best shot blockers in the league off the bench in McGee.
Players like Chandler, Brewer,Miller or even Mozgov could be starters on 10 other teams in the league
George Karl is putting this all together and one tof the most underrated coaches in the league. There are not many coaches who can run a productive offense like him AND know how to defend.
All they need is to play the same way on the road the same way they play at home. They are 27-3 at home (tie with MIA for the best home record), but just 14-19 on the road.
What I love most about this team is the joy they express playing together. There is always the exta pass if this is helpful, everyone is setting up the other for easy baskets, lacking offensive skills like Faried, McGee or Brewer is easily compensated with great ball movement. They are sharing and aside from the Spurs to me they are the most unpredictable team this year.
I really hope they can afford someone like McGee coming off the bench making 10 mil a year in the future.
Last year it was Memphis who was the team no one wants to face in the offseason and I really think it's Denver this year.
The Clippers are doing very well but are one CP3 or BG injury away from beeing swept. Oklahoma City is playing too much of hero ball of lately and I really like the way they are moving the ball. That don't have an elite rebounder or low post scorer.
I wouldn'tbe surprised to see the Nuggets reaching the western conference finals.
The West is loaded with teams that look good at home, and has two teams that consistently look good on the road (San Antonio and OKC), and maybe one can throw in the Clippers though I am not completely sold on them. Winning at home doesn't make a team good. Teams are supposed to win at home, especially a team situated like Denver where no other club is within 500 miles of them making regular season travel a pain, has the advantage of the thin mountain air, and play an up tempo style that accentuates their built in advantages. It is easy to say that "all they need is to play the same way on the road the same way they play at home" but that ignores the reality of why they are good at home. The problem for the rest of the West is that in addition to being the best road teams, the Spurs and Thunder also are every bit as good at home as Denver. This means that either OKC or San Antonio are better adept at beating Denver at home than Denver is to win at their place, and will have home court advantage in the series. Unless Parker fails to return to his old form or one of the other stars on those two teams go down, there is no good reason to believe there will be anyone else but San Antonio and OKC in the WCF.
I don't think any team wants to face them in the playoffs. They are extremely tough to beat at home. I believe they are tied with Miami for the best home record of 27-3 which is very impressive. If you have home court advantage against them then you have a decent sized advantage because they are only 14-19 on the road. I know they don't have a superstar, but they are 10 players strong every single night and everyone of their bench players could be starting for another team. If you play the Nuggets just make sure you are a higher seed.
I agree no team wants to see the Nuggets in the first round. Once they get going they are extremely hard to stop because they don't depend on just one person to get it done they spread the offense around. With Ty Lawson, Iggy and Gallinari leading the way I think they can make a run in the post season. How far? I don't know but they're gonna make some noise...
The Nuggets have looked good and they are solid at every position, but even with all that I doubt they get past the second round...assuming they make it out of the first. It will be tough for them to face off against Memphis assuming those two are the 4-5 match-up.