Monday, July 30, 2007
The Denver Nuggets have sucked for so long that their most recent successes have been like sweet nectar to the soul.
So much for that.
With Carmelo Anthony came trips to the playoffs, followed by first round exits. In '03-04 the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs knocked off the nugs in 5. '04-05 brought the hottest team in the league, Minnesota to the Pepsi Center and we went down like a sack of potatoes. '05-06 the ever lowly Clippers embarrassed the sweet and creamy's by dominating the glass and out everything else-ing us. Finally, we met San Antonio just a few months back. Well, you probably remember that debacle.
So what's the theme? Why out in 5? Bad luck in the seedings?
The answer---Shooting. Specifically 3 Point Shooting. Here are some stats.
This year 3pt% in playoffs
Denver 32% vs. San Antonio 38%. (Includes an 0-12 performance from our best shooter JR Smith.)
Ranked dead last in NBA. .325 (ooouch)
26th of 30 teams. .340
21st in NBA. .336
That my friends is tossin' up some bricks.
So here is the list of band-aid 2 guards since Bzdelik walked the sidelines.
Voshon Lenard, Jon Barry, DerMarr Johnson, Rodney White, Greg Buckner, Wes Person, Julius Hodge, Linas Kleiza, Earl Boykins, Bryon Russell, Ruben Patterson, Howard Eisley, JR Smith, Yakhouba Diawara, Anthony Carter, Allen Iverson and the recently signed Chucky Atkins.
That's one frickin pathetic list. Outside of Person, Lenard and Barry, I can't see any actual shooters on this roll call of 30% bombers.
Now I realize that the likes of Ray Allen, Dirk Nowitzki, Michael Redd, Gilbert Arenas, Peja Stojakovic etc come at a great price, and that there are only so many of them out there. But our team is one of 6 over the cap teams this year. So it's not for lack of spending by the ownership.
So we might have the mid-level exception at best. The following players made over 75 3's last year and shot at over 40%.
Raja Bell, Mike Miller, Leandro Barbosa, Luther Head, Shane Battier, Kyle Korver, Brent Barry, Anthony Parker, Bostjan Nachbar, Matt Carroll, Jason Kapono, Cuttino Mobley, Ime Udoka, and Eddie House.
(I know for a fact that Udoka is available right now. This guy did the best job of gettin' in Melo's head all year on the defensive end, and he can stroke it from outside.)
You're telling me that none of these guys are available at the mid level or less? You're telling me that the answer is Chucky frickin'Atkins? I thought we traded away Earl Boykins because there weren't enough basketballs around for AI, Melo and Boykins. Now you get ballhog Chucky Atkins? I'm sorry--do you think you'll turn him into a distributer and spot up shooter?
So right now I'm waiting. Waiting to see if the nuggets brass will pull their heads out.
It looks like a mess right now.
Let's hope for a .500 record and .35 from the arc.