From the past two games with our 4 new players, I have seen some very good defensive efforts, especially from the new acquisitions Danilo Gallinari, and Wilson Chandler. The bad news is that we still have no offensive chemistry and that is what caused our first loss, but the good news is that we have seen a whole array of defense from our new team, something that has only been seen in spurts with Carmelo Anthony. Wilson Chandler contained Batum very well and had a vicious block on Brandon Roy, Gallo plays the passing lanes better than I have seen a 6'10 player play them, not to mention he has a knack for blocking and if he has the right matchup, seems to be a solid man to man defender, I thought Gallo would be a stiff on defense as Andrew pointed out but I couldn't disagree more, his efforts so far on defense is much better than anything I have seen from Melo all year long, the fact that he is as young as he is proof he will progress further and I have no doubt he will average 23-25 a night eventually but for now he will get between 15-20, which is fine because he can use more of his energy on defense.
Kenyon is a great man to man defender and a very good defender all around, especially when he is not switching off so much, which is his only defensive downfall along with a lack of height and weight. However he can still defend most pfs in the league when he is healthy and I think with him last night we would have won seeing as how Nene had trouble defending Aldridge. Nene is also a capable defender when he is man to man and gives most big men trouble down low but since he needs serious help from the weak side he will need someone to come over and help which is where Gallo comes in. I think that due to Gallo's size, he should start for us on most nights at the PF position due to Kenyons health concerns and the fact that we need a go to scorer, Gallo can be that man, I don't think he would ever of had that chance in New York with Amar'e locked up there for 6 years and Melo inevitably going there one way or another, he would of been overshadowed. Now he has a chance to be the go to guy. I think that for this team to go 1-1 playing with each other for the first time on back to back nights against playoff teams is a sign of good things to come, and for us to compete in Portland like that, one of the hardest places to win at in the NBA against a Portland team who was playing great all night was a wonderful sight to see despite the loss.
This has the potential to be the best assembled defense this team has ever seen in franchise history. Chandler is a solid defender and can defend most small forwards in the league, not only that he can defend shooting guards and power forwards with solid success if he has to switch off his man. Gallo is a willing defender who can defend anyone from most opposing teams from the 5 to the 1, though I think Gallo might need to bulk up a bit so he can take the banging of power forwards on a regular basis, something Dirk Nowitzki has had trouble with his entire career. His blocking ability reminds me of Chris Anderson when he was healthy 2 years ago but he is a much better defender overall than Chris. AAA is one of the top 5 shooting guards in the league in terms of defense because he has the ability to make players like Kobe force shots more often than not and can block better than average for his position. Along with that he can defend point guards as well and effectively like Chandler. Our only weakness on defense is the point guard position, Lawson is 5'11 on a good day and will continue to be posted up often now as a starting point guard as Andre Miller posted up on him 20 times at least last night and it is a troubling sign that Lawson can't be a starting point guard in the league because players like Rose, Deron Williams, Steve Nash, etc. will post him up all night long. Felton is 6'1 and has trouble himself defending. This is why when he played for the Knicks I am assuming Toney Douglas came in when the Knicks needed a defending point guard. However for the most part if Karl would realize having two guys near 6'0 on the court at the same time whom have trouble defending is not a good idea then I think we will be fine... let us just hope that George Karl will realize that AAA defends point guards better than Lawson and Felton.
If K-Mart comes off the bench with J.R then I think you have a capable defense on the bench with one of the most explosive bench offenses in the league, J.R can play the passing lanes well enough and is a good defender from time to time for his position. K-Mart would lock down most big men coming off the bench and I think Forbes coming off the bench instead of Harrington to fill the 3 spot would be a wise idea as Forbes is 6'7 and a 100% Forbes is much better than a 65% Al Harrington, who is nagging from toe injuries. Mozgov will take Andersons minutes once he is ready to do so this year, Anderson has been unhealthy as well and has made some very questionable plays this year.
If George Karl can get creative with his defensive schemes I think we can grit it out with the best of them, and not only that but all of our best defenders are also our best offensive players. This 3 day game's rest will work wonders for us as we can get some much needed practice time to prepare against the better than average Atlanta Hawks.
I haven't been this excited for Nuggets defense ever, and I hope we can continue this play at this level.