Denver Nuggets Season Preview: Finding The Missing Piece

Team Capsule

Last year, the Nuggets were 38-28 and were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the LA Lakers. Although the young talent on the team (Kenneth Faried, Ty Lawson, etc.) looked good, something was missing that the Nuggets needed.

In the offseason, they found a player that they think could be the missing piece. Andre Iguodala, a star for the Philadelphia 76ers and a member of the 2012 Olympic basketball team. With all the pieces put in place, the Nuggets are hoping for a bit more than just a playoff berth.

Biggest Strength: Athleticism

Yes. Every team has incredible athletes. It’s the NBA. But the Nuggets athleticism stands out amongst the crowd. Every player on the Nuggets’ starting lineup is freakishly talented, which makes for a great mix of fast-break points and great defense. This team will be very-well rounded.

Biggest Weakness: Star Power

“The clock ticks down to 6 seconds, Nuggets down by two with the ball, the pass down, and __________ knocks it down at the buzzer!”

Who will fill that role? There is not one player on the Nuggets who is a clear candidate to take the last shot of the game when it’s on the line. No clutch players (or star players) will make it very tough for Denver to get the tight wins.

Player to Watch: JaVale McGee

Out of the Nuggets’ athletic lineup, center JaVale McGee is probably the most athletic. He can score, play defense, and is an all around intimidating player to face. The only problem with McGee is the fact that he is not a smart basketball player. In other words, he has a low “Basketball IQ”, which is a more of a problem than most people realize. It’ll be interesting to see if McGee can get smarter and learn the game more this year, because if he does, he’s going to be one of the elite players in the league.

2011-2012 Record: 38-28

Coach: George Karl (1074-731 career)

Key Additions: Andre Iguodala

The Nuggets think they have finally found their “missing piece” in Andre Iguodala, and if they get what they paid for it’s going to be a fun season.

Key Subtractions: Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington

Afflalo was pretty underrated, although he’s no match for his replacement (Iggy), so it’s really Al Harrington being their biggest loss. Harrington was a great veteran figure to a young Nuggets’ team, and with him gone, there’ll be no more veteran presence on the court. Once the season begins we’ll finally find out how big of an impact Al Harrington really was to the team. However, Iggy himself is a vet so the loss won’t be as bad.

Team Trajectory: Rising

“Adding the missing piece” is a term used to describe a team finding a player to help lead them to a championship. That’s exactly what the Nuggets are doing, by acquiring Iguodala and filling in their team piece-by-piece. The Nuggets may not be a championship team yet, but they’re well on their way to it. First round exits aren’t enough for the Nuggets anymore, apparently.

Projected Record: 53-29


About Jameson Draper

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