Nuggets Bean Celtics At The Garden

Posted by Sean Stancill | Friday, November 14, 2008 | 0 comments »

Chauncey Billups' scored 18 points 7 assists and Carmelo Anthony notched another double-double (18 points, 13 rebounds) as the Nuggs' knocked off the C's 94-85.

Nene also had 14 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 steals for the 5-4 Nuggets.

Ray Allen led the Celtics' with 26 points, Kevin Garnett had 16 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks, and Paul Pierce chipped in 19-7-4.

The Celtics opened the game on an 8-0 run but had 8 turnovers in the first quarter, which resuscitated the Nuggets as Denver went on a 13-5 run to knot the game at 13-13. 

However the C's managed to hang onto the lead thanks to the hot shooting Ray Allen. Allen went 6-of-7 in the 1st, and scored 18 points to lead Boston.

Chauncey Billups went 4-of-5 from the field and scored 9 points in the opening 12 minutes to keep Denver in the game.

The 2nd quarter proved to be the deciding portion of the contest. 

The Nuggets went on a 19-2 run that seized the Celtics lead and made it 48-36, distancing themselves from the C's. Boston helped Denver by converting on only 1 field goal with 6:21 left in the 2nd.

Hoping to stop the bleeding, the Celtics went on a 6-0 run to close out the half, as Denver lead 48-42 at intermission.

Nene had 10 points, Billups had 9 points and 4 assists, and Carmelo had 8 points and 8 rebounds.

Ray Allen had 18 points (0 in the 2nd), Garnett had 9 points and 4 boards, and Pierce contributed 7 points and 4 rebounds for the Celtics at halftime.

Denver out-rebounded Boston 24-17 at halftime, including 11 offensive rebounds to Boston's 7.

The Nuggets continued their assault on the Celtics by opening the 3rd on a 9-0 run that pushed their lead to 59-44. However, Boston countered the Nuggets' run by executing a 21-5 tear that handed them the lead 65-64 going into the 4th via an Eddy House three pointer.

In the 4th though, Denver regained the lead thanks to the antics of J.R. Smith, Anthony Carter, and Linas Kleiza. Smith scored 6 crucial points for the Nuggets featuring a three-point play that tied it at 67 and a three pointer over Ray Allen that knotted the score at 70. As for Kleiza, Linas knifed around Ray Allen for a transition lay-up that gave Denver its first lead since the 3rd (72-70) and then converted on another three point play moments later that pushed the lead to 75-70 Denver. Moments later, J.R. Smith swished another bomb, making it 78-70. And what about Anthony Carter? He was the ring leader doling out 

After the two teams traded baskets, the game was once again deadlocked at 84. However, the Nuggets went on a late 8-0 run to close out the game and give Boston their first home loss this season (5-1). 

Kenyon Martin made a driving lay-up, Nene stripped Kendrick Perkins and Billups' gobbled up the ball and drove the ball to the basket. Chauncey was then fouled by House and completed a three-point play that pushed the lead to 89-84. A series later, Carmelo drained a three pointer sealing Denver's win.

A very impressive win for the 5-4 Denver Nuggets as they defeated the defending World Champs.

Billups' Complimenting Nuggets In Many Ways

Posted by Sean Stancill | Wednesday, November 12, 2008 | 0 comments »

When the Denver Nuggets and Detroit Pistons executed the most monumental trade since February, no one quite expected the results.

Allen Iverson 1-2 with Detroit and Chauncey Billups 3-0 with Denver a lightning rod for The Nuggets’ latest surge.

However as correctly predicted, Billups’ has upgraded Denver with his captain and his exceptional floor vision.

Denver forced a season best 22 turnovers against the Mavs’ in Billups’ debut, Chauncey posted his first double-double with the Nuggets’ in over a decade and contributed in a all-around team effort, halting the Charlotte Bobcats to a season best 80 points on Sunday.

Opponents are only shooting 39.6% against the Nuggets and Denver has a +4 rebound margin.

In the 2nd quarter over the past three games, Denver holds a 72-64 advantage points-wise but that feat is inferior compared to their 3rd quarter accomplishments.

The Nuggets have outscored their opponents in the 3rd quarter of every game with Billups’ as the new overseer, by a combined 26 points translating into three consecutive victories.

He’s also transcended the play of his teammates. Take Nene and Carmelo Anthony for example.

Since the trade Melo’ is averaging 25.6 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 3.6 APG and Nene not to be out done, has posted 19.6 PPG, 9 RPG, 3 BPG, and 1.6 SPG in the last 12 quarters.

Billups’ himself has registered 15.6 PPG, 6 APG, and 2.6 SPG since his awaited arrival.

But there other things that have been sparked by Denver’s new found success. Carmelo Anthony’s hustle has not gone un-noticed as he gravitated to loose balls against the Mavs’ on Friday. With 7:13 left in the first quarter against Dallas, Anthony missed a three pointer but hustled and collected his offensive rebound and slammed the ball through the net. Laziness cured. Melo was greeted with a slap on the rear and a word of acknowledgement by Chauncey and Kenyon Martin as Carmelo hustled back on defense.

Denver is now 4-3 and tied with the Portland Trail Blazers for 2nd in the NBA Northwest, with their next game against Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Nuggets Beat Mavs' in Billups' Homecoming

Posted by Sean Stancill | Friday, November 07, 2008 | 0 comments »

Carmelo Anthony had 28 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists and newcomer Chauncey Billups had 15 points and 4 rebounds to lead the Nuggets' over the Mavs' 108-105.

Dirk Nowitzki had 23 points, Jason Kidd has 22 points and 9 assists, and Jason Terry added 20 for the losers.

On the game's opening possession, Billups came up with a steal, advanced the ball up the floor and launched a three pointer that rimmed out, his first shot in a decade since playing for the Nuggets.

His second shot on the Nuggs' next possession however, did go in. Billups criss-crossed behind a Nene screen before stepping back and burying a three pointer.

Dirk Nowitzki lead the Mavs first quarter charge, producing 9 points and 3 rebounds to keep the Mavs' close.

However both Erick Dampier and Desagna Diop obtained 2 fouls and the Nuggets capitalized by attacking the paint, translating into 12 free throw attempts by Denver in the opening period.

Kleiza led the-new-look Nuggets with 8 points in the 1st including  5 points in which he scored in :42 to give Denver the slim lead heading into the 2nd, 26-25

The Nuggs' engineered an 8-0 run early in the 2nd quarter, thanks to contributions by Anthony Carter and Nene. The spurt pushed the Nuggs' lead to six, 36-30, as superstars Chauncey Billups and Carmelo Anthony absorbed rest.

Dallas however would counter Denver's run by going on a 10-0 spree, to grasp control of the lead 42-38, spearheaded by Jason Terry's 5 point contribution.

Denver and Dallas battled and the Mavs took a one-point lead going into halftime, 59-58.

Nene led Denver with 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting and Chauncey Billups had 5 points on 1-of-7 shooting at the half for the home team. 

Jason Terry scored 12 points and snatched 2 steals for the Mavs' and Dirk Nowitzki added 11 points and 5 rebounds for the visitors, after the first 24 minutes.

Billups scored 7 points and doled out an assist in the 3rd to repair his tarnished performance.

Midway through the third, Dirk Nowitzki knocked knees with Nene, sending the Brazilian into an instant fit of anguish. Two seasons ago, Nene missed 81 games because of a torn meniscus in his left knee.

The Nuggets went on a 11-2 run sparked by Melo's 6 points and 4 assists in the quarter helped Denver reach the biggest lead of the game, 77-67.

The 3rd quarter ended with the Nuggets' holding on to a marginal lead 79-72.
The 4th was filled with excitement and antics. Both the Mavs and Nuggets fought for the lead and it came down to the closing moments. After a Denver field goal made it 99-98, Jason Kidd advanced the ball down the court and drove in for a layup while getting fouled by Carmelo Anthony.

The basket made it 103-102 DEN, but Jason Kidd's free throw clanked off the front of the rim and Carmelo Anthony grabbed the rebound.

Chauncey Billups was then fouled and made 1-of-2 to make it 104-102 DEN.

On the ensuing Dallas possession, Nene slapped the ball away from Brandon Bass and Carmelo alertly found the ball, got fouled, and nailed a pair of free throws to secure the win for newcomer Chauncey Billups, 108-105.

Billups' Arrival In Time For Nuggets

Posted by Sean Stancill | Thursday, November 06, 2008 | 0 comments »

With the Iverson debacle concluded and his name extradited from the Nuggets' locker room, Denver can finally begin rebuilding—thanks to Chauncey Billups.

Billups is a truer image of a point guard, and will begin to purify and instill pass-first initiatives, whereas Allen Iverson failed.

Iverson created a schism between George Karl's methods and his own personal ideologies and style of play.

He also was incapable of playing defense, electing to dogtrot until the offense resumed.

Iverson's lack of size hurt the Nuggets on defense. His six-foot stature at shooting guard was by far the most diminished in the league at the position.

Along with Anthony Carter, Denver had the shortest guards in the league, with Carter ironically being the taller of the pair.

Many fail to realize that with Chauncey, the Nuggs' now have the tandem of Billups (6'4") and presumably J.R. Smith (6'6") at shooting guard, boosting their backcourt size to one of the tallest in the league.

Billups has made three consecutive All-Star appearances (dating back to 2006) and averaged 17 ppg, 6.8 apg, 1.3 spg, and shot free throws at a 91.8 percent rate last season.

Because of the newfound growth spurt, Denver will improve on defense and be able to effectively match up against opponents—as opposed to the Lakers-Nuggets first round matchup in which Iverson was bullied by Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher.

Lethal guard J.R. Smith will see an increase in his role in Denver's rotation as the starting shooting guard. Given the proper amount of playing time, Smith is an explosive, multifarious assassin that can reduce the effect of The Answer's departure.

Newly-shaven superstar Carmelo Anthony will also benefit from the arrival of the Denver native. Anthony will be able to choose his own shots and where they're positioned at on the floor, no longer forced to be stationed on the outskirts of the perimeter. He will feed off of Billups immaculate leadership and passing.

The benefits though will also trickle down to the remaining starters—Kenyon Martin and Nene. Both are agile big men who will learn to be more efficient in a more tranquil offense.

Nuggets Vice President of Basketball Operations Mark Warkienstein orchestrated the trade after only 144 minutes into Denver's season, though many thought ideas of an Iverson trade wouldn't begin brewing until weeks before February's trade deadline.

Luckily, Mark executed the deal early in the year, allocating ample amount of time for Billups to undergo team-bonding and chemistry.

Billups makes his first start in a Nuggets uniform since the '98-99 season Friday at home against the Mavericks.

Nuggets Set Suns In Indian Wells

Posted by Sean Stancill | Monday, October 27, 2008 | 0 comments »

Despite frigid temperatures and even frostier shooting percentages, the Denver Nuggets beat the Phoenix Suns 77-72, in the league's first outdoor exhibition game in over three decades.
Shooting guard J.R. Smith led the Nuggets in scoring with 14 for the second consecutive game as the team improved to 2-0 in exhibition matchups.

Steve Nash led the Suns with 16 points as Phoenix fell to 1-2 in preseason competition.
With the And 1 apparent style setting, the freshet squads adapted to their surroundings nicely and provided a entertaining game by preseason standards, despite Carmelo Anthony, Allen Iverson, and Amare Stoudemire all adjacent.

As expected by notoriously speculative online betting community, Nene seemed stale and sluggish in the opening minutes, but mustered enough courage to post seven points and three rebounds in the first.

Lumberjack Robin Lopez was a fixture in the paint, blocking two shots within 50 seconds after being inserted into the game early in the opening quarter and he proceeded to disallow any attempts along the baseline.

He produced two points, a rebound, and two blocks in six minutes—a lion-hearted effort.
Lopez concluded the first half with 10 points, five rebounds, and four blocks (PHX 6 total) on 4-7 FG shooting. The 15th overall selection in the June draft finished the evening with 10 points, five rebounds, and six blocks.

The Nuggets executed a 12-1 run in a three minute span, regaining them the lead. Linas Kleiza's six points while camp invitee Ruben Patterson and Chris Andersen accounted for the other half. Kleiza, did however, miss four free throws, pertaining to a point of emphasis when their practice resumes.

Phoenix responded by going on a 13-0 spree, grasping the lead into halftime, 41-37.
As the third quarter began, the Nuggets desire to win emerged and swallowed the loping Suns on both ends of the floor.

Disorientated Shaquille O'Neal swapped spots with Robin Lopez in the starting lineup, as the big cactus sat down with two points and five fouls with 6:43 left in the third. Shaq later fouled out with 9:46 remaining, having collected two points and seven rebounds.

Surprisingly, the Nuggets defense stifled (contrary to lackluster allegations) the Suns offense, holding them to 11 points in the third, while producing 23 of their own.
At the end of the third quarter, the Nuggets led 60-52.

George Karl's team continued to maintain their lead throughout the final portion of the game, but almost faltered down the stretch as their defense turned ghostly and their offense turned sour.
Raja Bell's three-pointer in the fourth snipped the deficit to a basket—65-63 with 6:36 remaining.

Denver however managed to survive the late run and hung on 77-72.

Nuggets Nonsense: The Future For Denver

Posted by Sean Stancill | Friday, September 05, 2008 | 0 comments »

After a much-anticipated offseason for the Nuggets, they once again disappointed loyal fans across the country.An uneventful summer is heading toward a conclusion, and a beginning to the 2008-09 season is rapidly drawing near.Unlike in my previous articles, I won't make any predictions and simply relax and watch the events occur.Here is what I expect from the Nuggets in the upcoming months.My projection of the 2008-09 Nuggets roster looks like this:

Starting Lineup
PG—Allen IversonSG—J.R. SmithSF—Carmelo AnthonyPF—Kenyon MartinC—Nene
BenchPG—Anthony CarterSG—Dahntay JonesSG—Sonny WeemsSG/SF—Linas KleizaPF—Chris AndersenC—Stephen Hunter

The re-signing of JR Smith should play a role in a number of decisions over the next couple years. Let's take a look at the three major areas impacted.

1. Linas Kleiza will soon be traded or let go..........

Three of the five shooting guards on the Nuggets roster signed new deals this offseason, leaving Kleiza and Allen Iverson the only two guards on the team with expiring contracts after this season.
Sonny Weems, Iverson, Dahntay Jones, Kleiza, and JR Smith are the fearsome five Denver shooting guards.The chances the Nuggets resign both Kleiza and A.I. are non-existent, with the loaded free-agent core coming up in 2009.

That free-agent class includes Lamar Odom, Rasheed Wallace, Carlos Boozer, Shawn Marion, Richard Hamilton, and Kobe Bryant. Additionally, role players Paul Millsap, Kyle Korver, Jamario Moon, Jamal Crawford, Charlie Villanueva, Quentin Richardson and Brandon Bass will be available.

Not to mention Josh Childress’s possible return from Greece.If Denver allows Iverson and Kleiza to walk, they will have more than $22 million open to entertain with.Bittersweet with the loss of Kleiza, but a consolation of prize of perhaps Mike Bibby will smooth things out.

2. The Nuggets will draft a...
With the 2 and 3 spots in the lineup locked for the next three years (Smith three years, Carmelo Anthony four years), the primary focus of the Nuggets front office will be to shop for a point guard, whether through the 2009 NBA Draft or through next year’s free-agent pool.

Initially, many thought that was the goal of this offseason, but, after presumed point guard of the future Ty Lawson withdrew from the draft, the plan was deemed a failure.Denver has two first-round draft picks next season via the Bobcats and the team's own selection.

Stephan Curry, Ty Lawson, Jeremy Pargo, Brandon Jennings, Ricky Rubio, Edgar Sosa, Levance Fields, Lester Hudson, Ronald Steele, and Darren Collison are the premier point guards that will be available in the draft, and all would be welcomed in Denver.

Or perhaps the Nuggets will go another route and select a big man in the draft. Hasheem Thabeet, Blake Griffin, Al-Faroq Aminu, Tyler Hansbrough, Jarvis Varnado, BJ Mullens, Patrick Patterson, and Jordan Hill are the headliners in this category.

However, only about two of the possible selections will most likely still be on the board when the Nuggets make their selection.

The odds are heavily in favor of the ball-handlers.

Or the Nuggets could easily take both positions.

3. The center position remains a question mark Because the Nuggets failed to sign an effective big man to compensate for Marcus Camby's departure, they will suffer greatly inside.

Nene will finally be placed on center stage, and one more injury could mean the end of his tour.

The Brazilian averaged 5.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 0.8 blocks per game in 16 contests for the Nuggets before missing 62 games due to a testicular tumor.

If there is any indication of talent, Nene has career averages of 10.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game.

It's safe to say that the no-identity Nuggets developments will be an enjoyable bunch to watch in the future.

Denver Close To Signing Jannero Pargo?

Posted by Sean Stancill | Thursday, August 07, 2008 | 1 comments »

After the Ty Lawson mishap in June and Anthony Carter's resigning a little over 2 weeks ago, the Denver Nuggets are making headway towards obtaining a respectable floor general.

The Nuggets have been in talk with former New Orleans Hornets backup point guard Jannero Pargo.

Pargo was scheduled to make $1.08 million in the 2008-09 season had he not opted out of his contract with the Hornets.

The speedster also has been in talks with the San Antonio Spurs, the team who ousted New Orleans in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals.

In 5 seasons, he's averaged 6.9 PPG, 2.1 APG, 1.6 RPG, and 0.5 SPG featuring brief tenures with the Lakers, Bulls, Raptors, and most recently the Hornets.

Jannero had a career year, averaging 8.1 PPG, 2.4 APG, 0.6 SPG backing up star Chris Paul at point guard during the 2007-08 season. In addition, #2 shot an applaudable 87.7% from the free throw line last year.

Pargo's finest hour as a member of the Hornets came against the Dallas Mavericks in the postseason, averaging 14.4 PPG, 2.4 APG, 2.4 RPG, and 1 SPG. He also shot 50.9% from the field and 45% from behind the arc.

The Chicago product relies on his excellent agility to dictate tempo, score a large percentage of his points, and on defense in his efforts to disrupt other ball-handlers.

If the Nuggets signed Pargo, their starting line-up would resemble this:

PG Jannero Pargo
SG Allen Iverson
SF Carmelo Anthony
PF Kenyon Martin
C Nene

Pargo’s younger brother Jeremy, who’s the starting point guard on the Gonzaga Bulldogs, is also expected to be on the Nuggets radar during the season until the upcoming 2009 NBA Draft in which the Nuggets have two first round draft choices.

Is J.R. Smith Headed Out Of Denver?

Posted by Sean Stancill | Tuesday, July 29, 2008 | 0 comments »

On Friday, the Denver Nuggets signed swingman Dahntay Jones to a one year contract filling the holes at shooting guard and further burying J.R. Smith on the depth chart if he returns.

Jones had previous stints with Sacramento, Memphis and Boston, with the Kings being his most recent. He averaged 3.2 PPG, 0.5 APG, 1.4 RPG.

In college, Dahntay split time between Rutgers and Duke, staying all four years.

Jones averaged double figures and over four rebounds per game, highlighted by his sophomore season, in which he shot over 50% from the field, and in his senior year; averaging a career high 17.7 PPG.

Jones will act as Smith's body double, inheriting the role of the Nuggets ''sparkplug'' off the bench.

Simply because of the signing, the Nuggets no longer need to pursue re-signing Smith and now are able to venture into other expeditions in bettering their team.

Another reason not to offer Smith a contract?

Why sign J.R. Smith to a one year $5 million restricted tag offer, when he will give way under the temptation of starting on another team and will be attracted to bigger money in the 2008-09 off season?

Let's look at the common ground between the two:

SG Dahntay Jones 6-6 210lbs

Drafted 2003

2007-08 Numbers: 24.4 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 2.4 APG, 1.1 BPG, 52.4% FG in the D-League

SG J.R. Smith
2007-08 Season Numbers: 12.3 PPG, 1.7 APG, 2.1 RPG, 40.3% 3PT FG

Playoffs 18.3 PPG, 1.8 APG, 1.8 RPG, 1 SPG, 31.3 % 3PT FG

J.R. Smith has career averages of 10.9 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 1.6 APG, 36.6 3PT FG

Dahntay has career averages of 4.9 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 44.1 FG%

Jones is also more coachable, and is a greater on ball defender then the often disgruntled Smith.
Dahntay Jones is just as explosive as J.R. Smith and at a cheaper price.

Aside from the Smith-Jones debate, the Nuggets are littered with shooting guards: Sonny Weems, Allen Iverson, and Linas Kleiza. All are armed to the teeth with a multitude of moves allowing them to score the baksetball.

While Sonny Weems is still unsigned, Denver invested a second round pick on him, being there's a minimal chance that he won't be signed to a contract.

By adding Jones, Smith's future on the Nuggets team is is in dire jeopardy.

Balkman Heading To The Nuggets

Posted by Sean Stancill | Monday, July 28, 2008 | 0 comments »

The Denver Nuggets have acquired SF/PF Renaldo Balkman and cash for PG Taurean Green, SG/SF Bobby Jones, and the 2ndround pick Denver received in the Marcus Cmaby trade.

A scrappy rebounder, Balkman averaged 3.4 PPG and 3.3 RPG for the New York Knicks during the 2007-08 season.

Renaldo's style of play is similar to that of Ronny Turiaf; a high energy-high emotion player who makes up for his lack of size (6'8) with intensity, hustle, and unbelievable passion.

Balkman replaces the hole left by defective Nuggets and current New Jersey F Eduardo Najera and will be an active member of the rebuilding phase in Denver, with his contract valid until 2010.

A surprisingly good move made by Nuggets President Mark Warkentien in effort to lower player personnel costs and still provide quality talent.

Balkman’s salary is $1.28 million and Green and Jones salaries combined are worth roughly $2 million. Also Denver obtained a bonus $1-2 million as part of the deal.

The Nuggets frontcourt now looks like this
PF/C Chris Andersen
SF/PF Renaldo Balkman
PF/C Nene
PF Kenyon Martin

The newly acquired Balkman's best performance came against the Portland Trail Blazers in which he had a season high 11 points, 10 rebounds (7 offensive) , and 2 blocks.

Denver Reunites With Chris Anderson

Posted by Sean Stancill | Friday, July 25, 2008 | 0 comments »

The Denver Nuggets signed PF/C Chris Andersen to a one year deal, close to $885,000 Thursday after Andersen had been banished from the league because of an relapsing drug problem.

Another move made by Nuggets President Mark Warkentien scheming towards slicing player personnel costs while still attempting to gain mediocre talent.

The reason for the signing: Solely to provide another big body for the Denver Nuggets for a small price, after they lost depth and defense by trading Marcus Camby to the Clippers.

Andersen was banned from the league during the 2006 season but was reinstated and starred in five games last season for the New Orleans Hornets, averaging 1.2 PPG and 1.8 RPG.
While Chris Andersen is a high energy player, however, energy is irrevalent if you can't score.

The 2004-05 season, was kind to Andersen as he averaged career highs in points and in rebounds with 7.7. PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.1 BPG while playing in 65 games for the New Orleans Hornets.

Chris has career averages of 5 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 1.3 BPG/

The Nuggets now have a frontcourt that resembles this:
PF/C Nene
PF Kenyon Martin
C Steven Hunter
PF/C Chris Andersen

Between Kenyon Martin, Nene, and Andersen the trio has only played in 64.2% of their games over the past three seasons, and their combined time missed from the court?
Injuries and other reocurring issues have claimed 176 games from them and from their teams, the Nuggets and the Hornets.

This will be his second installment with the Nuggets, and if Andersen is able to stay healthy and focused during his one year tenure in Denver, he should be a solid contributor to a team just beginning a rebuilding phase.

Chris Lofton Leaves The Denver Nuggets

Posted by Sean Stancill | Monday, July 21, 2008 | 0 comments »

PG Chris Lofton signed a one year contract to play in Turkey Sunday evening.

After staying and enjoying all four seasons at the University of Tennessee, Lofton entered the 2008 NBA Draft.

At 6-2 200lbs, Chris Lofton was a deadly long range shooter, but went undrafted in the June draft, because of his lack of IQ at his position.

Hoping to play the role of the dark-horse, Chris joined the Denver Nuggets Summer League roster where he averaged 2.3 PPG, 0.3 RPG, and 60% 3pt shooting, coming off the bench in 5 games.

Here is a list of Lofton's accomplishments while at Tennessee:

Led the Volunteers to the Sweet Sixteen during the 2006-07 season

Captured and set the All Time record for three pointers made at the University of Tennessee with 431

2006-07 SEC Player Of The Year

2nd Team All-American during the 2006-07 season

3rd Team All-American during the 2007-08 season

At 6-2 200lbs, Chris Lofton was a deadly long range shooter, but went undrafted in the June draft, because of his lack of IQ at his position.

Chris joined the Denver Nuggets Summer League roster where he averaed 2.3 PPG, 0.3 RPG, and 60% 3pt shooting, coming off the bench in 5 games.

The Denver Nuggets meanwhile, find themselves on the losing side of this transaction, one point guard short.

The best of luck goes to Chris Lofton.

Denver Nuggets Beat Lakers In Summer League Finale

Posted by Sean Stancill | Sunday, July 20, 2008 | 0 comments »

The NBA Summer League is higly regarded as a talent show, a stomping grounds, for future franchise/NBA All Stars, that are put on parade for the fans to see.

The Denver Nuggets claimed no stars in June's draft, and only had a brigade of undrafted rookies and unsigned veterans to bring to put on display.

Even so, the Nuggets went 4-1 in the NBA Summer League; coached by Assistant Coach Chad Iske.

DEN 95-89 PHI
DEN 90-79 TOR
MIL 79-67 DEN
DEN 105-104 HOU
DEN 92-79 LAL

Their play was a fair representation of the youthful core belonging to the Nuggets, however only a few will still be linked with the team.

My analysis:

Dahntay Jones weakened his chances of landing a spot on the Nuggets roster; finishing with 6 points in the finale against the Lakers.

Jones really needed to close out the Summer strong and make a statement, unfortuanetly he failed to.

In his defense, his mintes were cut in half, as he played only 12:30 in the finale, but came into the contest averaging 26:04 minutes per game, leading the team.

Also, in all 5 Summer League games, he came off the bench, and still managed to lead the team in scoring. That will definitely be a factor in his favor come decision day.

Sonny Weems and Taurean Green rebounded from their back-to-back lackluster efforts, to score 7 points apiece against the Lakers.

Green however has downgraded his play throughout the 5 games and his role on the Nuggets squad is in serious jeopardy.

If Chris Lofton progresses this offseason through drills and team workouts, he maybe able to leap frog Taurean, and battle for the starting job with current point guard Anthony Carte.r

Weems didn't quite play the way some had expected but he will be given time to adjust to the NBA during course of the 2008-09 season, whether it is in the NBA Developmental League or with the Nuggets.

I still believe Douglas-Roberts was the smarter choice; who was chosen with the 40th pick, and Weems the 39th.

Here are stats from major contributors and the most notable players on the Nuggets Summer League team:

(Bench) SG Dahntay Jones 18.4 PPG, 1 APG, 2.4 RPG

PG Taurean Green 6.4 PPG, 1.6 APG, 0.8 SPG

SF Bobby Jones 10 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 1.6 APG

C Elton Brown 13.4 PPG, 10 RPG

SG Sonny Weems 9.2 PPG, 3 RPG, O.8 APG
(Bench) PG Chris Lofton 2.3 PPG, 0.3 RPG, 60% 3pt shooting

Surprise of the Nuggets Summer League:
Elton Brown was a hardnosed rebounder out of Virginia and carried that into NBA competition. Brown averaged a double-double this summer, but he is only 6-9 and didn't block a single shot in his league.

MVP of the Nuggets Summer League:
Dahntay Jones was hands down the best player on the Nuggets roster, and led the team in scoring besides being also apart of the second string unit.

Nuggets Fall To Bucks In Summer League

Posted by Sean Stancill | Saturday, July 19, 2008 | 0 comments »

The Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Denver Nuggets 79-67 Thursday Night, thanks to a horrendous 2nd quarter by Denver, in which they only managed to score 7 points.

Ramon Sessions and Roderick Wimont had 13 to lead Milwaukee, while rookies Joe Alexander and Luc Richard Mbah A Moute, both had 10 points towards the Bucks' 2nd win of the Summer League.

For the Nuggets, Dahntay Jones had a game high 20 points, Sonny Weems and Taurean Green had a disappointing 4 points apiece, and Elton Brown's double-double streak was snapped at 2 games as he finished with 8 points and 8 rebounds.

The contest got underway with Dahntay Jones scoring 9 of his 20 points in the first quarter, as the Nuggets led by a slim margain, 17-13.

The 2nd quarter was disasterous for the Nuggets, as they were only able to produce 7 points (thus being outscored 18-7), in the entire 2nd quarter, and shot a frugal 2-17 from the field. The Milwaukee Bucks took a seven point lead into intermission, 31-24.

By the 3rd quarter, the game was already decided. The Bucks went on a early 9-4 run, with scoring contributions from every starter except for Joe Alexander. The run gave Milwaukee the biggest lead of the game: 42-28. The 3rd quarter, thankfully ended for the Nuggets, with their team trailing 57-49 going into the last portion of the game.

The 4th quarter resumed the Bucks beating of Denver, with George Karl's team continuing their shooting woes, as they shot 5-16 from the field and were also outrebounded 16-8, unable to stop bleeding.

The Nuggets suffered their first loss of the NBA Summer League, falling to 2-1, and with the win the Bucks improved to 2-1.

My analysis:

Dahntay Jones continued to fill up the stat sheet with another good performance, 20 points, 2 rebounds, 10-12 Ft shooting, making a solid campaign for the role as swingman on the Nuggets roster.

Rookie PG Chris Lofton was only given 5:43 seconds of playing time, which bothers me because he is the most skilled guard on the Nuggets Summer League roster.

In his limited action, he scored 3 points: One point shy of starting point guard Taurean Green who scored 4 points in 25:45.

Lofton deserves more playing time.

Sonny Weems and Taurean Greeen both have been a little of a disappointment; posting two consecutive 4 point encores; scoring in double figures in one out of the three Summer League games, both with highs of 17 points.

NBA Summer League: Nuggets Beat Raptors, Improve To 2-0

Posted by Sean Stancill | Monday, July 14, 2008 | 0 comments »

Coming off a win against the Philadelphia Sixers, the Denver Nuggets hoped to continue their summer success.

Well, they did.

The Nuggets squashed the Raptors 90-79 to bring their NBA Summer League record to 2-0.

Point guard Taurean Green had a game high 17 points, and 4 assists, and Dahntay Jones had 16 points and 3 rebounds on 6-10 shooting.

Center Elton Brown continued his outstanding play, finishing with another double-double: 11 points and 10 boards, while other rookie Sonny Weems followed up a strong 17-point performance Saturday, with only 2 points on 1-7 shooting.

Joey Graham led the Raptors with 16 points, while John Lucas, Hassan Adams, and Sean Banks all had 11 apiece.

The game began with the Nuggets jumping off to an 11-2 spree, spearheaded with three pointers by Green, Bobby Jones, and Mike Hall.0

Jones scored 8 of his 10 points in the 1st, and Denver built on the lead, making it 28-14 at the end of the first quarter.

In the 2nd quarter, The Nuggets defense of old reared its ugly head, as Toronto outscored Denver 19-11 in the 2nd, to make it 39-34 Denver, going into intermission.

The 3rd quarter started and so did the increase of the Toronto Raptors will to win.

Toronto went on a 6-2 run early in the quarter, to limit the deficit; 42-40 Denver. Bobby Jones though went on a personal 7-0 run to push the lead back out of reach, 55-46. The Raptors responded by outscoring the Nuggets 12-6 capped off by a Lucas-Banks Alley-oop, to once again make it a one possession game, 61-58 Denver with 1:25 remaining.

Meanwhile, Taurean managed to keep Denver afloat, posting 14 points alone in the period and the Nuggets graciously took a four point lead into the final section, 67-63.

The 4th quarter proved to be the game deciding span.

The Raptors, however did tie the game up at 67-67 with 8:43 remaining, after a pair of Sean Banks free throws. But it was as close they got the rest of the way.

From that point on, The Nuggs outscored the Raps 23-12 to seal the game, and activated their inner Spurs; holding the opposing team without a field goal for a total of 6:08. From 9:44-5:44 and 5:44-2:52.

My analysis:

Taurean Green must have caught wind of my criticism and he delivered tonight.

If Green contiues to play like the way he did against the Raptors, it will be tough to deny him the starting point guard job.

Dahntay Jones continued his good play scoring yet again over the fifteen point plateau, and is certainly almost pressing for a spot on the team for the 2008-09 season.

Youthful Nuggets Beat 76ers In Summer League

Posted by Sean Stancill | Sunday, July 13, 2008 | 0 comments »

Dahntay Jones had a team high 21 points on 8-15 shooting and newly acquired Arkansas rookie Sonny Weems had 17 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists for the Nuggets, as the Denver Nuggets defeated the Philadelphia Sixers 99-85.

Fellow Denver rookie Elton Brown out of Virginia, joined in on the fun scoring 13 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.

Thaddeus Young had a game high 22 points in a losing effort, Marrese Speights scored 14 points and contributed 5 rebounds, and ''Mr. Versatile'': Jamont Gordon, had 12 points and a game high 5 assists.

The contest started off evenvingly matched with Elton Brown seemingly dominating with 9 of his 11 points coming in the first quarter to go along with 4 boards.

However, this proved to be an illusion as the Nuggets only managed a 28-25 lead going into the 2nd quarter.

Sonny Weems came alive and scored 8 points in the 2nd quarter and finished with 10 at the half, but the 76ers were determined to keep it the game close, going on a 6-2 run in the final 1:29, as the 1st half ended with the Nuggets nursing a slim lead 48-47.

The 3rd quarter proved to be the most pivotal of them all. Dahntay Jones was a sparkplug and poured in 12 points, including 9 of them in a crucial 11-6 run that put the game on ice for the 76ers.

The turning point came with 3:33 left in the third, as Jones started the run by slicing his way through a series of Philly defenders and dunked the ball; certainly reminisicng on his days at Duke.

The Nuggets continued their onslaught in the final period, leading by as much as 20 at one point: 97-77 with 1:34 left in the game, after Dahntay delivired yet another dagger with a tough layup.

The game concluded with the final score 99-85 Denver.

I am satisfied with the results of the win, although one gray area that got to me was Taurean Green: 4 pts, 2 ast, 4 TO, in 25 minutes.

Will Mike Conley Jr, Be Heading To The Denver Nuggets?

Posted by Sean Stancill | Tuesday, July 08, 2008 | 0 comments »

Conley Jr. averaged 9.4 PPG, 4.8 APG, 0.8 SPG in 53 games in his rookie year, after injuries, highlighted by a mild chest strain, shortened his season.

Here is my proposed trade between Memphis and Denver:

Marcus Camby
2009 1st Round Draft Pick
Mike Conley
Antoine Walker

Reasons why Conley has become tradeable and Memphis should aquire Marcus Camby:
1. O.J. Mayo has been rumored to be switching over to point guard ever since news surfaced about his possibilty of joining the Miami Heat.

Given the lineup of the Grizzlies, the scenario is a little different now after the departures of Mike Miller (Part of Love-Mayo trade) and Juan Carlos-Navarro (Five-year contract in Barcelona), leaving holes at shooting guard.

Regardless, converting Mayo to the point guard causes an automatic threat to any opposition.
How many 6'4" 200+lbs. point guards are there in the league?
Only two. Jason Kidd and Derrick Rose.

Also, if Memphis decides to take a shot at Ben Gordon or Andre Igudola this summer, O.J.'s conversion is guaranteed.

2. If the Mayo experiment at point guard fails, the Grizz still have Kyle Lowry.
Dating back to Feb. 21, Lowry was the hot item at the trade deadline, drawing interests from teams around the league.

Kyle averaged 9.6 PPG, 3.6 APG, 1.1 SPG last season. Aside from the bold stats (PPG, RPG, SPG) that shows Lowry has better numbers of the two, he also:
Has a lower turnover average, higher player efficiency, a higher field goal percentage, and has more experience than Conley Jr.

3. Memphis desperately needs a big man.

The only center currently on their roster is Darko Milic after Jason Collins was sent to Minnesota as part of the Mayo-Love trade.

They could go after Emeka Okafor this off-season, but he will be demanding in the area of $13-14 million per year, roughly about $50-60 million total.

The Grizzlies won't pay that considering the fact that they are still attempting to get underneath the cap even more to have a go at 2009.

Then again, they could always resign Kwame Brown.

Marcus Camby is simply the right/short term move for the Grizzlies because he's still one of the NBA's best defenders at the center position, he brings veteran leadership, and he only brings two years left on his contract with him, which means resigning is optional in 2010.

4. With one of Denver's 2009 first round picks, Memphis can use the pick as bait in a trade to gain a player they need, or they can simply hang onto themselves.
Blake Griffin, Tyler Hansbrough, Patrick Patterson, and Hasheem Thabeet seem to be the top big men of 2009.

Reasons why the Nuggets should acquire Conley Jr., Walker, and trade Camby:

1. Mike Conley Jr. will be a good point guard in this league for years to come and the Nuggets are lost at that position.
By acquiring Conley, they have the position of floor-general locked up for the next year, and an extension can easily be worked out.

2. Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, and Tony Parker.
With the exception of Denver and Los Angeles, all Western Conference teams that made it to the playoffs had a All Star (caliber) point guard leading their squad.
Proof enough, that if you want to win in the Western Conference, you must posses a good point guard.

3. The Nuggets can replace Marcus Camby next season via the draft.
As I mentioned earlier about the future big men, rest assured not all will go in the Top 10. Some will slide down to the Top 20 or even to the second round.
With two chances in the opening round, the Nuggets have a fair chance of selecting their future defensive anchor.

4. While Antoine Walker, is no longer a superstar in this league, but he's an extremely effective lights out shooter who the Nuggets crave.
Walker's three-point shooting would give a boost to an already solid team from beyond the three point line.

I've crunched the numbers, and this trade actually saves the Memphis Grizzlies $1.7 million in cap space.

The deal is on the table. Now begins the waiting process.

The Nuggets Quest For A Top #30 Player

Posted by Sean Stancill | Saturday, June 28, 2008 | 0 comments »

The only trade by the Denver Nuggets was acquring Sonny Weems, which puzzles me because, I see him as just another J.R. Smith.

So I have thought of several ways Denver can still snag a first round drafted player; how?
Through free agency or trades.

While countless, of NBA GM's fall in love with the idea of the future face of the franchise, others don't, and will either make an atttempt to trade the pick or simply not sign them.
With that in mind, here are some of the most notable unsigned draft picks:

Reyshawn Terry: A former UNC standout who was selected in the 2nd round of the 2007 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic and was later signed by the Dallas Mavericks.
Marc Gasol: Drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2007 NBA Draft, was later signed by the Grizzlies.

He is also Pau Gasol's brother, and has been working on his game the Memphis Grizzlies plan to bring him into the NBA next season from overseas. Scouts expect him to be a major force at the forward position.

Rudy Fernandez: A very productive guard in Spain who was taken by the Phoenix Suns with the 24th pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, but later signed with the Portland Trail Blazers.

Tiago Splitter: A dominant big man in Argentina, he was drafted by the Spurs with the 28th pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, but because of contract disagreements with San Antonio, decided to sign a extension stay in Argentina through 2012.

While it is unlikely, that every team will want to part ways with their new draftees, there are several that will.

Next year, The Nuggets have 2 1st round draft picks, and 1 in the 2nd round, for a total of three.

Teams in a rebuilding phase such as the New Jersey Nets, Miami Heat, Memphus Grizzlies, Chicago Bulls, could use any of those picks to select a big man next year; Patrick Patterson, Blake Grifffin, Jordan Hill, Tyler Hansbrough.

Or teams looking for a point guard, Cleveland, San Antonio, New York, Los Angeles, would highly value a point guard in the upcoming 2009 NBA Draft.

While we all know the Nuggets will be active during the offseason, the question will be do they decide to get younger this offseason via the draft, or make headway towards acquring veterans.

Here's a hint: The average age of the Nuggets team is 27 years old.

Posted by joemak | Friday, June 27, 2008 | 0 comments »

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Nuggets Trade Away #20, Is It The Right Choice?

Posted by Sean Stancill | Wednesday, June 25, 2008 | 0 comments »

In the most outrageous transaction of the offseason, the Denver Nuggets have traded away the 20th pick in the 2008 NBA Draft to the Charlotte Bobcats for a protected future first round draft pick.

You can thank Vice President of Basketball Operations Mark Wankentien for this.

As a Nuggets fan' I am at a loss of words.

Denver had a variety of choices to make even after Ty Lawson's decision to return to the University of North Carolina; here is a list:

Javale McGee- An outstanding young prospect who has star potential and has shown flashes of dominance on both ends of the floor.

Chris Douglas-Roberts- One of the nation's best players, and was instrumental in the Memphis Tigers' impressive run to the National Championship, averaging over 22 PPG and 5 RPG.

Jason Thompson- These number speak for themselves 20.4 PPG, 12.7 RPG, 2.7 BPG. 1.1 SPG,
32.4% 3pt FG Shootin.g

Mario Chalmers- Led the Kansas Jayhawks charge past Memphis in their unforgettable comeback to become National Champions. Chalmers hit the game-tying three pointer that sent the game to overtime. He also is a good defender and a good floor general.

Nicolas Batum- A slender scorer who can score the basketball in a variety of ways, and plays the game similar to Manu Ginobili

Mareese Speights- A low-post banger who used his weight to overpower defenders during his freshman season at Florida. Mareese also dropped weight for the NBA, in attempts to gain more explosiveness and become more agile.

However, there are two sides to look at the deals, so maybe, just maybe this swap is bittersweet.

Because of the trade, this means they can do a variety of things:

1.With the addition of the pick, the Nuggets will now have 2 draft picks in the first round of NBA Draft 2009 and 1 in the second round, giving them a total of three picks to further bolster their roster.

2.This now means Hasheem Thabeet, James Harden, Darren Collison, Sam Young, Jeremy Pargo, Stephen Curry, or perhaps Ty Lawson again, are now all candidates to be chosen with the Nuggets' new found wealth.

3.The Nuggets can decide to blow the team up that offseason, as Marcus Camby, Linas Kleiza, and Allen Iverson will all be free agents
Chances are Camby won't be returning because of age and decrease in skill, Kleiza will be demanding big money to remain the team's small forward, the position currently held by superstar Carmelo Anthony, and Denver will possibly be looking in a new direction after A.I.'s reign.

4.Shawn Marion, Ron Artest, Jermaine O'Neal, Mike Conley, Rudy Gay, Lamar Odom, Josh Howard are either free agents or have the option of opting out of their contracts, so Denver certainly will be in the running for several of these players.

Not to mention a possibility of several first round draft picks in the 2008 Draft becoming free agents.

My guess is Mike Conley, Josh Howard, and Rudy Gay will be the most sought after.

After much thought and thinking about the bigger picture, this trade is actually good for the Denver Nuggets.

And another thing. Just because the Denver Nuggets traded away all of their picks, does not mean they can't aquire drafted players.

They have valuable assets including Marcus Camby, Linas Kleiza, Allen Iverson, and J.R. Smith (if he agrees to sign-trade deal), that can net a player drafted around the mid 15's down to the bottom of the first round.

If they are able to snag a player out of the draft, they will walk away big winners early on in the offseason.

Perhaps, Wankentien isn't an idiot after all, but a developing mastermind. Now, they only need a coach: Avery Johnson anyone?

As I predicted, this only the first step of major changes for the Nuggets organization.