Use this as a way of writing letters about any aspect of this past season's Nuggets that you care to. I'll start.
As much as you've grown on us here in Denver with your occasional monster jams and flashes of brilliance, the Nuggets need consistency and toughness from their frontcourt dearly and you have failed to provide that. In your 9 seasons as the Nuggets C, you've never provided more than 15 points and 7 rebounds per game, frequently in the "softest" possible way. Many games, you have failed to use your best weapon - your speed - and instead get caught up in talking to officials.
Additionally, while we certainly understand (and commend) your humanitarian aspirations in your home country, it speaks to a player more focused on life after basketball than taking his team to a championship. I sincerely hope that in the offseason the Nuggets find a better fit for your talents, and you can finish out the remainder of your NBA career in the way you deem fit.
Dear Adrian Dantley,
Thank you for doing your best in an incredibly difficult situation. Nobody expected you to grip the reins of this wild team so suddenly and so quickly, then be thrown into one of the toughest situations in the NBA - wrangling a fiery team with major injuries to key players playing against one of the most experienced head coaches in the league.
That said, now that you've got some valuable experience, if you're ever a fill-in head coach again, I expect a lot more from you. I hope you've learned a lot about playoff pressure, making adjustments and learning what to do in pressure situations. In the years ahead with this team, there may be times when you'll have to take over again, and I will expect no less than I would from GK.
Dear Carmelo Anthony,
You have lead the Nuggets to the playoffs every year since you've been here. After reaching the Western Conference Finals last season, as of this writing, your team appears headed for another first round exit against the Utah Jazz.
Carmelo, we all know you're a talented scorer. You are, without a doubt, still the best pure scorer in the NBA (while Kevin Durant develops his post game). If you want to consistently take YOUR team to the next level, you MUST step it up on defense, night in, night out. This has always been a knock on you. You play 100% on the offensive end, but too often your defensive intensity is sorely lacking. Too many times your faithful fans have seen you switch screens, abandon the pick and roll, and fail to close on jumpshooters.
If you want to win a championship in Denver, next season, I want you to show us that you're committed on the defensive side as much as the offensive side of the court. I want you to show us blocked shots, defensive rebounds, boxing out. I want to see you taking guys to task for failing to box out, not rebounding, not covering the open shooter.
This is what it takes to win a ring. Teams win regular seasons and early playoff games with offense, championship teams win with defense.
Dear J.R. Smith,
I don't know if you'll ever figure it out. Year after year, we look to you to take your game to the next level. To play smarter. To take better shots. To involve your teammates, trust them and LISTEN to your coaches. Yet after another disappointing, inconsistent season, nothing appears to have changed from the previous seasons you've had with this team. One night you may hit 7 threes, then the next 5 you may hit 2 threes combined. Great players do not deliver incredible, career-high performances every night - they deliver SOLID performances every night.
Nobody wants you, or expects you, to hit 5 threes a game. We want better defense, and less reach in fouls. We want smarter offense, less 25-foot contested threes. We want fewer turnovers and smarter decisions with the ball. We want you to look for your teammates, trust them as much as you trust your 3-point shot. We have asked this of you for years now and you have failed to deliver.
You have the ability, you always have, but years of inconsistency may spell an exit out of town. While I do hope the Nuggets keep you here, I would not be surprised to see you gone.
Dear Nuggets Front Office,
Please, send frontcourt help. I don't care what you have to do. Raise ticket prices by 30%. Ask all of the players to take salary concessions. Take Johan Petro to Roger Clemens' trainer. It doesn't matter. Fact of the matter is, a Nuggets frontcourt consisting of a Bounty-soft Nene (27), Kenyon Martin (32, 1 leg), Chris Andersen (31, 1 leg), Malik Allen (32), and a raw Johan Petro (24) has shown just how vulnerable it is. If the Nuggets are ever going to get to the NBA Finals, Carmelo, Chauncey, Ty and Afflalo need help. We have our backcourt rotation for years to come. We need a dominant group of bigs.
Dear George Karl,
Get well soon. Worry about basketball later. We love you.
More to come as I think of them.