I am an avid MHR reader, and just found out about this blog a few days ago and joined up. I'm glad to be here! It's nice to have a place to talk Nuggets with fellow fans being as I'm stuck in south Texas all by my lonesome in Spurs country (yick!). Anyways, I was writing these thoughts down in a comment but decided to just make it a fanpost (because I done wrote too much!), I apologize if the content is repetitive as I haven't seen all the threads leading up to the season....
Does anyone else get the feeling that this team is more focused and complete than ever before? I feel like Melo is setting the tone right now, and this team is not one that will take many nights off or lose to teams that it shouldn't. I really like they way they look right now. I agree with you Nate, what's the deal with Balkman?!?!?!? Along with Lee, he was the only player I liked on the Knicks roster when he was there... and was pumped when we picked him up. I expected him to get in the rotation and get regular minutes, I just can't figure out why he rarely gets any playing time. He seems like the type of player GK values given his versatility, toughness, and hustle... what gives? I am loving the Afflalo pickup. I liked him in college and am excited we got him to replace Jones, I think he will end up being an upgrade over Dahntay, as much as I liked him. Between adding Lawson and the other acquisitions in the offseason, I think we are definitely a more complete roster this year. Couple that with Melo's insanely high level of play so far, Chauncey's familiarity with the team in his second year, and what I think will be another slight breakout season based on his performance in the playoffs for JR Smith, and I really think we sit firmly in the "legit contender" category.
As I have seen and participated in discussions on the subject here, our biggest weakness is interior defense of good big men, and to a lesser extent on offense, a low post scoring presence. Even with these issues, I believe our club is good enough to beat the elite and win the championship.
Back to the lineup, here's a fun thought: We could possibly trot out a lineup of Ty Lawson, Chauncey Billups, JR Smith, Carmelo Anthony, and Nene at some point this season... Is that not the Howitzer of offensive basketball? If that lineup got extended playing time, how do they not score 140 points a game? And yes, I am going to completely ignore the fact that the other team might score the same on us... that would be pure basketball fun!
Thanks for listening. Go Nuggets!