Clearly defense is a problem that the Nuggets have to solve. Despite 'Melo comments today that they have to play tougher (and Billups comments that everygame he plans to ignore the refs), Denver needs to solve the Deron Williams problem most of all. Given that no single defender on the Nuggets seems capable of slowing him down, what do you think the Nuggets will/should do?
Back in 1991, Magic Johnson pretty much by himself, took out a superior Trailblazer team in the WCF. Portland finished 63-19 that year and was coming off a final's loss to the Detroit Pistons the year before. He logged 21, 12, and 19 assists in the first three games and it was the single most impressive series performance I ever saw is his career. However, by game 5 Portland finally adjusted sending Buck Williams to trap at half court to take the ball out of his hands. The last two games were competitive 95-84 PDX and 91-90 LA.
While I am pretty sure Utah doesn't have the talent w/o Okur and AK to play with the Nuggets, I worry about getting "Johnsoned" by Deron. He has clearly been the most dominant player on the floor in the first two games.
1) Denver should full court press him the entire game / deny him the ball from baseline to baseline and run four minute shifts between Affallo / Lawson and Smith. Constant fresh legs, constant pressure. Make anyone else on that team beat us, off the dribble, on the post, anywhere. I feel like all out defender are capable of controlling everyone 'cept Williams.
2) Start Petro on Fesenko and save Martin to do the second shift on Boozer. It is not like Fesenko is going to out-quick Petro and we already know Johan is a servicable banging bigman. The idea is too always put one of our two quality one on one big defenders on Boozer.
I am Pretty sure if we control Boozer and Williams there is no way Utah wins. Martin is a great team player and we want the most productive 30ish minutes possible out of him . . let make those minutes count by bringing in a fresh Martin to cover a winded Boozer.
Just my 2 cents; wonder adjustments the Nuggets will make.