Quantcast 2011 Denver Nuggets Basketball: Denver Nuggets Season Preview

 

Denver Nuggets Eager to get Season Started

 

 

Now that the NBA lockout has finally concluded, teams have opened training camp and are preparing for a crazy NBA season, with a shortened 66 game schedule and major storylines to follow throughout the year.

One team hoping to benefit from the lockout and shortened season this year is the Denver Nuggets.

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The Nuggets have been busy during a shortened off-season. Kenyon Martin, J.R. Smith, and Wilson Chandler are playing in China due to the lockout, and will not be able to leave until the season there is over. The big move made by the Nuggets was re-signing Nenê to a five-year, $67 million contract. The Nuggets also made some trades in the off-season before and after the lockout. Raymond Felton, part of the New York trade, was sent to Portland in exchange for Andre Miller to solidify the backup point guard spot with Ty Lawson. After the lockout, Denver traded a 2nd round pick in 2016 to Dallas for guard Rudy Fernandez and forward Corey Brewer. Fernandez looked impressive in a intrasquad scrimmage on December 16, hitting 6-of-11 three pointers and finishing the scrimmage with 20 points and 10 assists. Corey Brewer provides a solid wing player who fits well in Denver's up-tempo style.

The players who played on the Nuggets last season and return this year may be the key to the season. Coach George Karl believes Nenê can be a go to scorer in the paint , along with a solid mid-range jumper. Power forward Al Harrington can provide an offensive spark, and has improved in his 3-point range. Ty Lawson, who many people consider one of the fastest players in the NBA, makes a perfect fit in George Karl's up-tempo offense at the point. And Danilo Gallinari, who was the centerpiece in the Carmelo Anthony trade, is being counted on to be a big-time scorer for the Nuggets.

 

 

The Nuggets also bring in two solid rookies this season. Denver used their 22nd pick in the 2011 NBA Draft on power forward Kenneth Faried. The two-time Ohio Valley Conference player of the year from Morehead State holds the NCAA career rebounding lead with 1,673 rebounds in his career. Faried scored 12 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in a second round upset in the NCAA Tournament against Louisville at the Pepsi Center last year. But Faried isn't the only first round pick by the Nuggets this past draft. Along with receiving Andre Miller, Portland also sent the rights for the 26th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, which Denver used to select Jordan Hamilton. The 6-7 guard/forward from the University of Texas averaged 18.6 points and 5.7 rebounds in 36 games for the Longhorns.

The Nuggets want to break the mold that a superstar is needed to win a championship. George Karl believes his team can win with the talent they have. After all, the Nuggets went 18-7 after the Carmelo Anthony trade in February. There are some good pieces for the Nuggets and their up-tempo offense. George Karl believes in this squad, and his confidence has rubbed off onto the players as well. They will get an early season showdown to see how good this rebuilt team will be, as the Nuggets will travel to Dallas to take on the defending champion Mavericks on December 26th.

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By: Brandon Boles
Pro Basketball Fans Staff Writer


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