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Denver Nuggets

Division: NorthwestGM: Tim ConnellyHead Coach: Brian Shaw
2012-13: 57-25 (3rd in West)vs. division 11-5
Points106.1 (1st)
Rebounds45.0 (2nd)
Assists24.4 (3rd)
FG %.478 (5th)

New look Nuggets may have tough time repeating success

CHOOSE YOUR TEAM

Eastern Conference Atlanta Hawks Boston Celtics Brooklyn Nets Charlotte Bobcats Chicago Bulls Cleveland Cavaliers Detroit Pistons Indiana Pacers Miami Heat Milwaukee Bucks New York Knicks Orlando Magic Philadelphia 76ers Toronto Raptors washington wizards


Western Conference Dallas Mavericks Denver Nuggets Golden State Warriors Houston Rockets LA Clippers LA Lakers Memphis Grizzlies Minnesota Timberwolves New Orleans Pelicans Oklahoma City Thunder Phoenix Suns Portland Trail Blazers Shaqramento Kings San Antonio Spurs Utah Jazz

No team in the NBA lost more in the offseason than the Denver Nuggets.

Let's backtrack to where the unraveling began.

The Nuggets were upset in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs by the Golden State Warriors. It marked the ninth first-round exit in 10 consecutive postseason appearances.

The first domino to fall was Executive of the Year, general manager Masai Ujiri. He bolted for the great north to run the Toronto Raptors. Even his assistant, Pete D'Alessandro, left Denver for the general manager job with the Sacramento Kings.

The owner, Josh Kroenke, then decided to be the one making changes.

Next up, or down if you look at it that way, was reigning Coach of the Year, George Karl. After a franchise-best 57-win season, ownership wondered if Karl would be a bother with only one year to go on his contract. The brass fired him.

The last piece to leave the high altitude was Andre Iguodala, the prize acquisition of the previous offseason. He brought the wing defense and all- around play-making Karl loved. Iguodala left for the dreaded Warriors.

To sum up - the Coach of the Year, Executive of the Year and best player - all gone in one offseason.

Who's In/Who's Out

Additions: Nate Robinson, Randy Foye, Darrell Arthur, J.J. Hickson

Losses: Andre Iguodala, Corey Brewer, Kosta Koufos, Julyan Stone

Analysis: Erick Green played in the summer league with the Nuggets but will begin his pro career overseas.The Nuggets couldn't find a spot for him on the roster so he will spend a season with Italy's Montepaschi Siena int he Euroleague. This move could actually help his development as he will likely see more game action against quality opposition, whereas in Denver he'd be glued to the bench (-TSN.ca)

Round 2 46th overall Erick Green PG Virginia Tech

The Good

New GM Tim Connelly did well to hire Brian Shaw, the hottest assistant coach on the market.

Shaw inherited a good, but no longer great, roster, thanks to the defection of Iguodala. His importance couldn't be undersold. He's a top-five wing defender in the league and his offensive versatility fit beautifully into Karl's up- tempo style.

But Iggy is gone and so is that offensive philosophy. Shaw is a disciple of Phil Jackson and spent the last two seasons on the bench of Frank Vogel and the Indiana Pacers. Neither of those squads was what you'd describe as high- octane.

Northwest Picks


Thunder (55-27)

Title Contenders


Nuggets (48-34)

Expect a Letdown


Trail Blazers (40-42)

Outside Shot At Playoffs


Timberwolves (39-43)

Fighting For Eighth


Jazz (30-52)

Solid Young Pieces

With a healthy Danilo Gallinari, this roster is well above-average.

Kenneth Faried will be the best starter on the frontcourt. Last season, the boundless source of energy averaged 11.5 ppg and 9.2 rpg. Those numbers could easily go up as he gets more comfortable offensively in the NBA. His rebounding (eighth in offensive boards last season) and defense make him a staple in Denver's lineup.

Ty Lawson meanwhile led the Nuggets in scoring last season. He's fast, quick and capable of scoring on his own. He always facilitated an offense that was unselfish and efficient. The talent is there to be a top-10 point guard. Here's something to like about Lawson - his scoring and assists both increased during the postseason.

The Not So Good

Andre Iguodala was the team's best palyer last season and the team did not bring anyone in that could be considered equal to his talent.

In addition to Iguodala's absence, Danilo Gallinari, one of the team's leading scorers, is not going to be ready for the start of the season after a partial ACL tear in early April.

The off guard spot is also a huge weakness for the Nuggets. Foye is the definition of adequate. Last season with the Utah Jazz, Foye only managed 10.8 ppg on 39 percent shooting. However, he did connect on 41 percent of his three-point attempts.

Nuggets Depth Chart

Power Forward

Kenneth Faried
J.J. Hickson
Darrell Arthur
Anthony Randolph

Center

JaVale McGee
Timofey Mozgov

Small Forward

Danilo Gallinari
Wilson Chandler
Jordan Hamilton

Shooting Guard

Evan Fournier
Randy Foye
Quincy Miller

Point Guard

Ty Lawson
Andre Miller
Nate Robinson

What To Expect

Denver could take the biggest fall of any team this season.

Iguodala is a huge loss on the floor and his move to Golden State should propel the Warriors past the Nuggets in the standings. Couple that departure with the Gallinari injury and Denver will be without two of its three best players from last season.

The on-court product will suffer, but the other major downfall for the Nuggets this season will be the loss of Karl. He is seventh in all-time coaching victories and his system brought out the best in the Denver personnel.

Can they run an up-tempo offense under Shaw? Do they even have the right players for that without Iguodala and Gallinari?

Shaw will be fine...in time. This team is probably still strong enough to make the postseason, but the Nuggets won't finish higher than the seventh seed.




Big Tour

A Historic Event

It was Canada's night at the NBA Draft as four players from north of the border were selected.


1. Andrew Wiggins - Cavaliers

8. Nik Stauskas - Kings

18. Tyler Ennis - Suns

45. Dwight Powell - Hornets


2014 NBA Draft Tracker

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