This past Tuesday during the slaughter that was the Pacers game I started thinking up of what the heck is going wrong with the Nuggets. A lot of people mention that this was the 5th game in 7 nights and the Nuggets were exhausted. The Nuggets also came out flat against the Bulls the night before which got me thinking "Is this a well prepared team?". I can't deny the importance of George Karl (See this past playoffs series for proof), but I'm starting to believe that he might be at the root of of the baffling problem. A coach has to make adjustments on the fly and in preperation of a game with challenges (like fatigue).
One of the easiest adjustments to make would be playing guys who are more rested than the others. We saw a glimpse of that on Tuesday when Gary Forbes was in for significant minutes and played extremely well (Draining 3s left and right). As bad of practicer Renaldo Balkman is, he can hustle (in game) and grab some rebounds and provide decent insurance to our already thin frontcourt. This is where Karl MUST make adjustments, burning extra time with Nene and Big AL (especially with both fighting lingering injuries) is just reckless to the team.
George Karl stated that Chauncey Billups would be getting less minutes this year, as it was clear that he gets severely worn down towards the end of the year. But 8 games into the season Chauncey is averaging 31.4 minutes a game (vs 34.1 minutes last season). Keep in mind that the current average is skewed due to Billups taking the 4th quarter off during the Pacers game (only 24 mins that game). For Billups to be fresh and ready for the playoffs he really needs to be playing around 25 mins a game.
The common factor in this is George Karl. George Karl is finishing up on a one year contract and I think talks of an extension should be put on hold until the year is finished. We have a very talented team with very skilled veterans (Chancey, Nene, and Melo) but most of the time we come out of games flat and uninspired. You can blame that on endurance, travelling, and the schedule but this is on the coaching staff. Karl has to game plan correctly for fatigue and adjust the lineups and minutes of players as the games go on.
BTW, trading Chauncey for Steve Nash is ludicrous. If we did that, we might as well blow up the roster and buy Melo a ticket to NYC. Nash is a few years OLDER than Chauncey, and if Karl is able to adjust Billups' minutes then he should easily regain his effectiveness.