The Denver Nuggets are not supposed to be here. They should have been a lottery bound team after the departure of Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks. Paradoxically, their record has been better than the super team of New York Knicks. This year the Nuggets stand at 36-28 and the Knicks are 34-30. In spite of the Nuggets playing in the killer Western Conference.
This Nuggets team is lauded as being a great team. For want of a superstar and because of how well the scoring load is distributed among the entire team. Their best player is probably one who was acquired in the Melo trade, Danilo Gallinari. His game is built around the frame of Dirk Nowitzki, tall big man who lights it up from outside and can take it inside as well. While the Nuggets may not have a superstar they have been waiting for one of their stars to step up big in the clutch and carry them to the promised land. Danilo seems like the most likely candidate.
The second best player could be Ty Lawson. He is a 5”11 dynamo of a guard who can create havoc off the dribble any time. He’s averaging 16.3 points and 6.7 assists this season.
Wilson Chandler is done for the season, he needs surgery to repair a labral tear in his left hip. He was an integral part of the Nuggets lineup and in his absence they need the other wing players to step it up on both ends.
One explosive acquisition for the Nuggets has been JaVale McGee. Physically he is in the mould of Dwight Howard minus the muscles but with every inch of the hops. McGee was having a tough time in Washington and they were having issues with his erratic play as well.
That dunk led to him being benched. Soon after being traded to the Nuggets he did this:
McGee’s impact in the paint can be invaluable if George Karl can get the big man to play within himself and keep his sometimes erratic tendencies in check.
The Nuggets have another big man who can clean it up on the boards and man the paint. Kenneth Faried can be a sleeper pick for the Nuggets on defense, check out this block on a high flyer:
Coming to the coach George Karl, he’s done an amazing job this year getting disparate pieces to gel together and put out a winning product on court. The Nuggets lead the league in points per game with 103.67 and assists per game as well with 23.91. They employ a fast offense and as a team they move the ball very well with a bunch of guys who can give them 20 on any given night.
Come playoff time, their lack of a go to scorer can come to haunt them unless one of the guys, against the consensus my pick being Ty Lawson, steps up in the clutch and becomes the bailout option which every team needs.