Here is the current lineup for this year (so far)
First off, your Starters:
Key Stats GP MIN/G PPG REB/G AST/G FG % 82 27.2 8.8 3.1 1.7 46.5
Guy plays great defense, offense needs a little work. I expect Affalo's role on the team to increase this year, meaning, more minutes and more touches. With Chauncey getting to those ages, I don't see why Affalo can't play 30-38 minutes. The only problem is that Affalo likes getting into foul trouble. Less fouls means more opportunity. He also has to work on finishing at the rim. Gotta make those lay-ups.
Key Stats GP MIN/G PPG REB/G AST/G FG % 73 34.1 19.5 3.1 5.6 41.8
Our Floor General has to have his minutes slashed, big time! We all know how old Chauncey is and that he gets worn down during the season. We have seen other teams slash their player minutes to keep them fresh for the Playoffs (see San Antonio and Boston) I recommend Chauncey should get no more then 30 minutes per game, unless necessary. Chauncey should also pass the ball more. He shouldn't be relied on to score 20+ points, considering we have Al Harrington with us now. Pass 1st, score 2nd.
Key Stats GP MIN/G PPG REB/G AST/G FG % 69 38.2 28.2 6.6 3.2 45.8
One thing about Anthony that gets under our skin is his lack of defense. Another thing is the rebounding and assists. Don't forget the turnovers.
We're not expecting Kenyon Martin's style of defense, but if Carmelo can show some improvement, he'll be good. I also don't see why he can't average about 5 assists and 7 to 8 rebounds in every game. Rebounding is a huge problem on the team, and that can be helped if Carmelo can grab a few more.
Key Stats GP MIN/G PPG REB/G AST/G FG % 82 33.6 13.8 7.6 2.5 58.7
Where do I begin? First off, he should be averaging a double-double in every game he plays. No more lay-ups. Stop whining to the refs, and be the dominant force on the team. Of course, we've been waiting for years for this to happen, and it hasn't worked.
Whatever, just get those double-doubles. Kenyon Martin shouldn't be the only guy averaging 12 points and 10+ rebounds.
Key Stats GP MIN/G PPG REB/G AST/G FG % 72 30.5 17.7 5.6 1.5 43.5
First off, welcome to the Denver Nuggets. We look forward to seeing you play in the blue and white. From what it looks like, Al may be our starting Power Forward for a while. He's not known for having terrific defense, which may hurt the team, but he's a scoring big. Since he's covering for Martin, I'm expecting Harrington's rebounding to go up this year. His ft% (75.7) is better then Martins (55.7), which will help a lot.
Now, here are the Bench players (as of now)
Key Stats GP MIN/G PPG REB/G AST/G FG % 65 20.2 8.3 1.9 3.1 51.5
When I think of Lawson, I think of speed. Lawson likes to run and he likes to dunk on 7 ft Centers. As reported by BeefySwats, Lawson has been tearing it up in the Summer League, which is great to see. His assists are up. Scoring has increased. Etc... However, that's the Summer League, and I'm sure Lawson has been starting there.
Since he's glued to the bench for now, I hope he can maintain those numbers and and increase his role. I'm sure George Karl will increase his minutes, considering we're trying to keep Chauncey fresh, so everything should come into play. I hope Lawson has more confidence and doesn't hesitate when he's on the court. Keep the turnovers down and don't be afraid to go to the rack.
Key Stats GP MIN/G PPG REB/G AST/G FG % 75 27.7 15.4 3.1 2.4 41.4
So we all know Smith still hasn't shown that he's mature enough to be a Starter. His inconsistency pisses us off. Rarely looks to pass the ball. Takes questionable shots. Smith's defense has gotten better, but his attitude hasn't improved. Once in a while, he'll get his groove going and go for 30+ points. Other times, he'll get outscored by Bird (which should never happen)
We know that it's contract year for Smith, and the trade talks have been off of the charts. I'm guessing he's going to A) play like he should be or B) get traded in the next few months. Only time will tell.
IF he remains on the Nuggets, I want to see some maturity, better shot selection, and some better passing. Make me a fan Smith, because I have no faith in you right now.
Brian Butch (injured)
Lastly, the injured:
Key Stats GP MIN/G PPG REB/G AST/G FG % 58 34.2 11.5 9.4 1.9 45.6
Key Stats GP MIN/G PPG REB/G AST/G FG % 76 22.3 5.9 6.4 0.4 56.6
Oh, those damn injuries.
As I posted here, there's a great possibility both Kenyon Martin and Chris Andersen won't be around for the beginning of the season, and that's a BIG concern on the team. We have no idea when (or even if) Martin will be back but there's been mixed predictions for Andersen. At first, we heard that he was "expected" to be ready for the next season. Now we're hearing that he's "expected" to miss the beginning. Not sure what to believe right now. We know he just had his ring fingered surgically repaired the other day, so that may put his return date back a little further.
We know that Martin has been rumored in a few trades. Question is, who's going to do it? And if Martin remains on the team, he's going to miss at least 1/3 of the season. Guessing more, and with his history of knee injuries, you don't even know how he's going to look when he comes back.
The Denver Nuggets are going to be a smaller team until they come back, and it worries me. We're trying to win and playing as a smaller team makes it harder to do so. There's no way Nene and Harrington are going to be able to handle the Lakers by their selves. I'm sure Shelden will see some significant minutes even when Birdman comes back, but Sheldon is similar to Johan Petro. Limited offensively. Hell, the Boston Celtics fans are happy that he's gone. What does that tell you there?
Well, whatever happens...happens. We can't give up on the team because of the injuries. You move on. They're in for one hell of a challenge next year, and I'm going to cheer for them, no matter what.