I know it's only been six games, but I was thinking about it and watching the Nuggets this year is much different than watching the Nuggets last year. To me, last year Nuggets games seemed more like, "The Melo Show" with Chauncey consistently averaging 20 PPG and with JR having an amazing game every once in a while. Our front-court seemed frail and weak, because it was. Our bench was weak besides Lawson and sometime JR.
This year is completely different for me. Melo still takes his shots, but Chauncey doesn't need to do as much since Al Harrington has come to town. Arron Afflalo has emerged as a key piece of our team. In my eyes, our front-court seems to be the strongest that it's been in a while. Melvin Ely and Shelden Williams have shown promise. Also, with Harrington coming to town, our bench is much stronger. Instead of JR's inconsistency, we've found a solid player to come off the bench and score 15+ points per game, at much higher percentages.
Here's some comparisons between Melvin Ely and Shelden Williams this year, vs. K-Mart and Birdman last year. I'm going to compare their stats per 30 minutes. Obviously, I'm basing K-Mart and Birdman's statistics off of last year)
Points per 30 minutes:
Melvin Ely: 5.8 (56%)
Shelden Williams: 9.2 (49%)
Kenyon Martin: 10.1 (46%)
Chris Andersen: 7.9 (57%)
Rebounds per 30 minutes:
Melvin Ely: 8.0 (2.2 offensive, 5.8 defensive)
Shelden Williams: 10.5 (3.8 offensive, 6.7 defensive)
Kenyon Martin: 8.2 (2.1 offensive, 6.1 defensive)
Chris Anderson: 8.5 (2.6 offensive, 5.9 defensive)
Blocks per 30 minutes:
Melvin Ely: 1.3
Shelden Williams: 0.6
Kenyon Martin: 0.9
Chris Anderson: 2.5
Steals per 30 minutes:
Melvin Ely: 0.9
Shelden Williams: 0.6
Kenyon Martin: 1.1
Chris Andersen: 0.7
So overall, Shelden Williams and Melvin Ely would average 15 points at 52.5%, 18.5 rebounds (6 offensive, 12.5 defensive), 1.9 blocks, and 1.5 steals.
Kenyon Martin and Chris Anderson would average 18 PPG at 51.5%, 16.7 rebounds (4.7 offensive, 12 defensive), 3.6 blocks, and 1.8 steals.
Which would you prefer? Also, consider the salaries. Williams and Ely combined are $2,139,018, whereas K-Mart and Bird's combined are $20,487,454.
I personally would rather have Ely and Williams, but who knows. Maybe Martin will come back and play harder since he's looking for a new contract at the end of this year. Also, Bird's knee was injured for most of the year last year, so maybe he'll come back to his 2008-2009 form. It will all be interesting to see what happens when Bird and K-Mart come back. I personally wouldn't mind trading K-Mart at the trade deadline. I can't believe I'm saying this, but this is the first time in a while that I feel like we have an abundance of big men.
I also think that we should get rid of JR. He's a cancer to the team. His inconsistency is unacceptable, and we've found a replacement for him.
Any thoughts on the abundance of big men or biggest differences between this year and last? Please share