Hide your family, hide the pets, there is a beast running through the meadows of the dark night, faster than a Moose, stronger than a bear, and ready to tear you into shreds, and oh wait, it's....Nene!
Smile Nene, Smile...
Today I will examine why Nene has been freed from his chain ever since Carmelo Anthony was traded to the Knicks, and how Nene has absolutely benefited from that trade since the all-star break, and how it will only get better from here on out. If you were to ask me right now who I thought was the most important player heading down the stretch for the Nuggets, I would say without a doubt it is Nene, and that if anyone on the roster is going to will us to a championship this year it will be him.
So take the jump with me, as I explain exactly why our chances are better than they seem, and that once Nene gets his extension, our franchise is in good hands.
Watch your step, because you have just taken the jump with me, where monster dunks and chia chia pets are the norm. We are currently in 5th place in the western conference and we are about to go on a tough road trip right after dismantling the Pistons at the Pepsi Center, and from where I sit I can not be any more confident in this team than I ever have been in my life, even more confident than the past 3 seasons because I have realized that this team might be the best Nuggets team ever assembled. Crazy you say? Well have the Nuggets ever played fierce defense and steal the ball and cause chaos all over the court on the defensive end? Have the Nuggets ever been able to kick it into a gear that no other team in the NBA can match? Maybe they have, but have they been able to do both consistently? Not a chance, until now however. A lot of this has to do with one player as well,
16.8 PPG - 9.8 RBG - 30 MPG - 65% FG since Melo's departure.
Nene is quite possibly the most efficient offensive machine in the NBA, and has been all year long but since Melo has left he has been even better. For a guy who is 6'10 and has been having to carry the load most of the year as our only true threat in the post he has excelled in every area of the game, now that we have Kenyon Martin getting healthier since returning from injury this year, he has helped Nene out very well and has been a defensive quarterback while getting a little of his hops back. Not to mention Chris Anderson, who came back from injury earlier this year, has been playing out of his mind shooting 80% FG since the Memphis game. We also have a 7'2 Russian in Timofey Mozgov just in case we need some size (and if we face the Lakers, we don't have to worry as much with ol' Mozgov to help out Nene) not to mention we got some Greek action going on in 7'0, 265 lb Kosta Koufos just in case. No more worrying about Melvin Ely channeling his inner Petro, or Shelden Williams playing average defense and being a complete offensive liability, Nene now has a much better front court around him to share the load but it doesn't even matter, because his stats and production has been even higher since the All-star break, that is like Kevin Love averaging more rebounds and points per game playing with Dwight Howard.
More of these Nene, less finger rolls.
Nene is quite simply impossible to defend once he is 5 feet within the basket not to mention he can nail jumpers from 10 feet out. As shown in the Detroit game along with many games this season, he comes out of the gate strong, and teams have to double him. However, now that our team does not play random isolation offense anymore, and we are much more focused on passing the ball, the double teams are actually a huge benefit to us because Nene is one of the best big men in the league at passing, hell he might as well be the best. This enables us to find the open man much more often as Nene gets the ball down low and the opposing team's bring the double, Nene simply throws a bullet pass to AAA, who can kick it out to Ty, who can kick it out to Chandler, and we can do the same thing with players off the bench as well. Simply put this is the best passing team in the NBA right now, almost everyone can pass well and now that Melo isn't playing 20 isolation a night with us, we can now unchain that strength to our advantage. In the past 5 games our assists total as a team is 27.2 which is 2nd best in the NBA, and mind you, these players are just getting used to playing with each other, a big reason for this is Nene himself, even though it doesn't show up in the assists box. I wouldn't want to be the team that has to face us in the playoffs once we find our chemistry with the new guys.
Who the hell thought this was a good idea.
I don't know if Nene is more focused on getting the ball or Blake Griffin's crazy expression.
Nene has always been a very good defender, he gave Blake Griffin fits, and he has been more focused on defense ever since.. you guessed it, Melo leaving! Who would have thought?! Nene is easily the best pick and roll defending big man as well, because along with his positioning, he can keep up with guards for a longer time than most big men due to his speed and athletic ability. If we face the Thunder in the first round which is looking like the biggest possibility than any other opponent for the Nuggets , Nene will devour the likes of Nick Collison and a less than 60% healthy Kendrick Perkins. He will be our true X factor in that matchup, and I think that we will be even more dangerous to the Lakers because we are a physical team and the only way to beat the Lakers is to be more physical than them, which I am positive we are. I think that we even matchup better with the Spurs than before, the Melo isolation's have killed us whenever we play them but now that we are more team oriented, we can take them. Nene's offense and defense will be one of the biggest key's in the postseason for this team.
One of these players deserves his contract, can you guess which one?
Nene needs to be locked up with the Nuggets until the end of the career, that would be an even better move by our front office than the Nugget-Knicks trade which was amazing in of itself. GIVE THIS MAN AN EXTENSION!
Thank you for reading.