Friday, October 5, 2012
10/05/2012 09:11:00 AM | Posted by Payton Wales | Edit Post
Photo edited by: Payton Wales
Head Coach: George Karl
We left off with the Denver Nuggets pushing top contender LA Lakers to the brink of defeat in the first round of the 2012 NBA playoffs. It was nothing short of spectacular for a bunch of mid-level guys who were considered to have little to no star power. But the youngsters made a push behind the splendid guard play of Ty Lawson and the overachieving JaVale McGee.
Additions: Andre Iguodala (Sixers), Anthony Randolph (Timberwolves)
Subtractions: Aaron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Chris Anderson, Rudy Fernandez
The Skinny: The Nuggets are loaded with talent but none of it at the superstar level. It will be up to the capable George Karl to develop someone into a superstar caliber player. On that short list would be Lawson. The fourth-year point guard has seen improvement in his numbers across the board over the past three years, including his explosion in the playoffs where he averaged 19 points, 6 assists per game and only 1.14 turnovers. Also poised to make the leap are Danilo Gallinari and Kenneth Faried. Gallinari has seen his numbers reduce in recent years but is more than capable of taking that extra step to being a star player. Faried has the potential to be a star on the glass and defensive end of the floor. Using his high energy to outwork, opponents was Farid's trademark last year and he looks to have the potential to be a top defender and rebounder in the league.
Pairing Farid with Iguodola will help Denver reduce their amount of points against, 101.2 (29th in the league), but will still leave questions about the points the Nuggets can put up. Relieving Iguodola of the pressure to be the No. 1 scorer could see him become better and more efficient.
One way or the other, Denver is here to stay, an all-around team game will give the rest of the NBA issues in the 2012-13 season.
The X Factor: JaVale McGee. If McGee rises to the challenge that Farid and Iggy will throw down for him, Denver could end up with one of the most feared defenses and frontcourts in the NBA. If McGee reverts to Bozo, YouTube will get thousands of hits this season.
Payton's Projection: 3rd in the Northwest, 6th in the Western Conference