i've been watching denver alot lately and I'm very impressed. whats interesting is they are the only team amongst all the elite teams that do not have a legit superstart like a lebron, kobe, dirk, duncan, durant etc.., but yet they continue to win. After watching them toy with my team the other night, I thought to myself can this team, without a legit superstar, actually win a championship? The last team to win a championship with a legit superstar was the pistons in 2003 so this would be rare if it happened.
It was 2004 when pistons won it all but close enough. But I really think the nuggets could if they had home court advantage but since they won't I just don't see it happening. I still think they should have drafted John Jennkins over Fornier because they lack that dead on spot up shooter who you can't leave on the perimeter.
Lol that is not going to be the difference between them winning a championship or not. Jenkins would be lucky to log 5 mins a game for the nuggets.
The Nuggets were one good center away from being real contenders. Maybe they've found him in Koufos?
I feel like we talk too much about the Pistons not having a bonafide Superstar, but they had three legit high level All-Stars in their prime. They had the two Wallaces locking down the paint, I was only 7, but I do remember Sheed doing a great job on O'Neal, or whoever it was he was guarding, Ben Wallace got hella boards and was playing DPOY he was, 2 years prior and two years after that. Sheed didn't score a lot, but you could always go to him for a basket in the post. Tayshawn was starting to come along in the playoffs, averaging 10 a game. Chauncey of course was big time all season long, and Rip Hamilton was a 20 ppg scorer during the playoffs that season. Yes they didm't have a Superstar or even a Star for that matter, but they had a complete team, with several guys who could get them buckets in the half court system they ran.
Now these Nuggets are interesting, very interesting. I'm starting to believe that they're a championship team. They're no joke. We talk about them having no Superstar and although that may not be true, two guys are becoming Stars right in front of our eyes. Ty Lawson is averaging 22 and 8 with 2 steals on 52% from the field and 44% from three. He is starting to turn into a top 7 point guard and is taking control of this team.
Gallinari has been scorching hot as well. Not counting the last 10 games where his minutes have been down due to injury(They've won 9 straight since losing to the Wizards) in his previous 24 games he had been averaging 20 and 5 on 47% shooting and 44% from three, with a block and steal per game. Corey Brewer, Wilson Chandler, Faried, JaVale, and Andre Miller are all averaging 9 or more points, and that's not including Iggy who's averaging 13, 5 and 5 and playing world class D. My only concern for them is that as a team they may have trouble slowing down and getting stops, but if they can get that down, than it is going to be scary. Every Yea there is this one team nobody wants to see in the playoffs, the Nuggets are that team this year. The Clippers can't beat them, noboday lower than them like the Warriors, Lakers, can beat them with the exception of the possibly the Rockets. They've won all three games against the Grizzlies this year, the Clippers can't beat them either, and OKC is going to have immense trouble with them. They'll have trouble with San Antonio, but if lawson and Gallo continue to play the way they have, I would't be surprised at all to see them playing in late May.
The Nuggets looked good. Koufos beat up Z Bo inside for points and rebounds. I like their team, especially with Gallo making long range shots. If he can stay hot from 3 then this is a very good team. Iggy is a solid guy but not really a perimeter threat. If Gallo and some others pick it up from deep this team can make a very good run.
The have the inside size and athleticism to match up with a team like the Thunder and Clippers. They also have two good point guards in Ty Lawson and Andre Miller.
The Western Conference playoffs will come down to matchups and who gets hot.
Jesus you were only 7!?!? I remember that series against the Lakers like it was yesterday. But my biggest issue with the Nuggets is Gallos consistency, he's the kind of guy that can go 10-18 and light it up but can also go 3-15 and contribute nothing.
My bad, when I said O'neal, I meant Jermaine, I believe that was the year they played them in the Conference Finals, right?
all i know is that they looked realllly good against the clippers last week. i know its only 1 game but they really have all the tools to win. dynamite PG, good wings, galinari can shoot it, faried is good down low. they might night have the best players at each position but they are pretty complete if you ask me
The Nuggets are a classic great regular season team. They win most games that they should win because they have great depth and play with unmatched effort most nights. When it gets to the playoffs and teams really start to buckle down and the game slows down Denver will struggle because they don't have that go to guy to get big buckets. Lawson is their best one on one player and while he attacks the basket relentlessly he doesn't have a consistent enough jump shot to be a go to scorer for a championship caliber team. Gallo isn't much for creating his own shot and Iggy is very inconsistent with his jumpshot and assertiveness. Andre Miller is probably their 2nd best shot creator and he isn't known for outside shooting either.
I love the Faried and McGee has been playing tremendously this year but in my mind Denver isn't a true contender until they get a guy who can get them 20 a night and hit clutch buckets. Imagine this team but instead of Iggy they still had Carmelo...that would be a scary team.
I agree with you 100%.
When teams shorten their rotations/stars start playing more and the game slows down... Denver is screwed.
I'm also still not a believer in this team defensively.
A team can win without a superstar if built like the 2004 Pistons with Rasheed Wallace, Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Ben Wallace, Corliss Williamson, Elden Campbell, Lindsey Hunter, Mehmet Okur, and Mike James where they have an elite defense combined with a very skilled, intelligent, unselfish offense where everyone on that team except for Ben Wallace was an offensive threat. There is a reason their guys made so much money.
Hamilton- 14 years, $108 million.
Billups- 16 years, $104 million
Rasheed- 16 years, $158 million
Ben- 16 years, $88 million
Prince- 11 years, $65 million
Williamson- 12 years, $43 million
Okur- 11 years, $73 million
James- 10 years, $32 million
Campbell- 15 years, $69 million
Hunter- 17 years, $35 million
Ham- 8 years, $7 million
Darko, 9 years, $47 million
The 12 guys who appeared for Detroit in the 2004 playoffs have made $829 million in salaries over their careers, and then tack on Larry Brown and the crazy amount of money he has made as a coach. It might not have been a superstar, but it was a $900 million collection
Denver IS NOT THAT TEAM. They are a lousy road team. The West has 12 teams that are good home teams. Winning at home doesn't make someone special. Denver is on a nice run, but they are probably going to lose their next two because they go to Chicago and to OKC. They simply aren't that good, and if they have to go on the road in the playoffs for 4 of 7 they probably won't get out of the first round.
The Pistons of 2004 had 5 of the best 50 players in the NBA at that time. Offensively I think these teams are very comparable with two guys averaging around 17 and a handfull of players averaging around 10 points. Defensively they are not even close to the same level. Ben Wallace was a monster, Rasheed is one of the most underrated defenders I have seen in my years of watching basketball and Tayshaun was a elite perimeter defender. Denver has some good defensive talent in McGee, Faried and Iggy but not to the level of the 2004 Pistons.
However I think the biggest difference is in the coaching. George Karl is no doubt a great coach but he has always been known as an offensive coach. Coaches like Mike D'Antoni, Don Nelson and Rick Adelman are great in the regular season but when it comes down to playoff series where defense takes precedent they often come up short. Larry Brown is a defensive guru. He got the 2001 Sixers to the finals without anyone outside of Allen Iverson averaging 12 points a game. The Pistons defeated a Lakers team with Shaq and Kobe in their prime (or at least very close) 4-1 in the Finals. They also had two other hall of famers in Payton and Malone who although being a combined 75 years old were still very capable players.
The old adage of "Defense wins championships" is true and the stats back it up.
McGee and Faried aren't good defensive players, and Denver is a middling defensive team. There are blocking shots and being the supposed energy bunny, and then there is stopping people consistently. It is not comparable. When one looks at the West from 6-12, if I see teams that are 15-19, 15-20, 14-21, 13-21, 10-24, 13-22, and 9-23 on the road. Does anyone realistically think these teams could go into San Antonio or Oklahoma City and not only steal home court away and then hold on to it? Remember, San Antonio and OKC are just as good at home, they just also happen to be vastly better on the road. As impressive as it is that the Lakers beat the Pacers in Indiana, it is really on their third impressive road win (Dallas and Brooklyn) since they started winning games, and none of those teams are the Spurs. Barring injuries coming into play, I just don't see any of these other teams (however the rest of the season has them fill out the bottom of the bracket) knocking them off. To 2004 Detroit's great credit, they went on a 20-4 run to close the season (after the Sheed trade) that included a stretch of 11 out of 15 games on the road and had a winning road record in the playoffs. Last year's Heat team didn't have a winning road record in the playoffs. The same is the case for the Lakers in 2010 and Celtics in 2008. If a team is coming from anything but a top seed, then it cannot be considered to be a legit threat without being able to win big games on the road.
Why is this topic turning into a comparison between the two teams? He just said they did not have a superstar. It's unfair to compare the Nuggets to this team as they play nothing alike.
"Superstar" is a perception thing. A "great roleplayer" like Ben Wallace in his prime can have a bigger positive impact on a game than a "superstar" like Allen Iverson or Vince Carter.
If Gallo can get hot the Nuggets could get to the conference finals or farther.
It seems like they should matchup well with the Heat, Thunder, and Clippers. And they play the Grizzlies well.
But that's why you play the playoffs.
Denver have only lost 3 at home all season so if they do manage to get an early home season play off advantage they could progress beyond the first round this year. Interestingly Denver are really a collective scoring time as Aamir points out, despite their top scorer only averaging 16.8ppg, they are the third highest ppg scorers in the NBA after the Thunder and the Rockets both of whom have one or more 25ppg scorers on their roster. It's weird to think that Denver average more points per game than Miami with the Big 3.
Coach Karl has got a great collective offence working but without a go to scorer I wonder what will happen come play offs if the opposition big guns have 25 point games and they start getting their defence working well.
Still after the Melo years Coach Karl has kept Denver as a legit play off team and I wonder if he could be a dark horse for Coach of the Year and perhaps his HOF recognition will not be far away.
im not buying the nuggets as championship contenders.... theres no reason why we should trust teams that arent good on defense... especially come playoff time.... and if u cant win road games in the regular season.... good luck with that in the post season
Billups was a great half cout player esp. in crunch time you can't say the same about Ty Lawson.
Billups even when he was with Denver used to dominate some Pg's remember how he outplayed CP3.
Ben Wallace and Koufas, McGee there is no comparison there except the Nuggets have more height.
Wallace was a beast defensively and rebounding the ball.
Rasheed Wallace was a great player on defense, solid in the post and could hit the 3 as well.
Kenneth Faried is a geat energy player with his high flying dunks but he's not a star player like Sheed.
Prince was a shut down defender and could get baskets in the post when needed.
Galo can score but isn't the great 3 pt shooter ppl expected and on defense he's average.
Hamilton was a great mid range shooter and was huge for Detroit.
Iggy isn't that kind of shooter he's athletic can get to the rim but his defense is his strength.
The Nuggets play more up tempo are bigger and have more depth but in the playoffs the game is half court and you play your bench less. They were a tough out last year and might win a round this year but its doubtful they can stop other teams from scoring to go deep in the playoffs.
They didn't have a true superstar, but that postseason Sheed certainly played like one. Feeling insulted by being traded at the deadline, Sheed spent the last two months and postseason doing his best Timmy D impersonation with the added dimension of his 3pt range. It was (IMO) the single biggest reason Sheed fell in love with his J and never ventured into the paint on O again.
Detroit were built on blue collar defence and had 3 or 4 lockdown defenders whilst Detroit have Iggy plus Coach Brown would grind out lower scoring wins say 85-81, Coach Karl tends to thrive on high scoring wins.
Incidentally Coach Karl overtook Coach Brown on the all time NBA win list a few weeks back.