The Denver Nuggets have become an extension of the NCAA Tarheel team - featuring George Karl, Ty Lawson, and Raymond Felton (Now, if only before the deadline they had flipped Al Harrington's contract, Kosta Koufos, an Al-Harrington-sized-wad-of-cash and a first to get Tyler Handsborough and Dhantay Jones from the pacers.) This team is primed to compete at a high level, and do it playing college style ball. NBA, let the March Madness begin.
That along with how the new Nuggets are meshing, and a little Beast Mode...
After seeing CU inexplicably denied a bid to the Tournament, I'm still excited to see how they fare in the NIT and hope our UNC does well (Go Northern Colorado!). An equally interesting story, however, is a Nuggets team injected with a very un-NBA like style; involving things such as "equal shots" and "sharing with others" - even "defense is important". Sure, they are awaiting an eventual "collapse game" - where they get drubbed by some powerhouse team and lose in the 20s or 30s. But I don't think these guys will get rattled. They are just as likely for that big upset - taking down Orlando at home. A statement game. The only certainty in all of this is that we are in for some entertaining basketball.
There are so many interesting story lines.
I like watching as the new and old players have developed their chemistry together. Here are some observations:
- Ray Felton and Birdman are coming together nicely on the pick and roll. I think Ray usually has a good patience and knows how to use the screener more effectively than any Nugget this side of Chauncey. Felt and the Bird also look good on the break.
- Speaking of the pick and roll, Mozzy has an incredible ability to run the pick and roll. He sets good solid screens and gets into position quickly - then rolls hard to the basket with excellent footwork. I want to see him get more time, because we know we are going to need him BADLY come the playoffs. Secretly hoping for him to have that "Tayshaun Prince" effect on the team a la Detroit in 2003 - young solid player who comes in and competes to get them over the edge...
- I see Wilson Chandler and Kenyon Martin talking a lot on defense. I think Will and Kmart share a defensive tenacity and they are playing off each others success. They both get fired up and hate to get scored on.
- Wilson Chandler also looks good playing with just about everybody. He seems to be a real glue guy, which is why so many fans swoon over his weakside blocks, hard cuts to the paint, and Bruce Bowen-like threes from the corner.
- Raymond Felton and Ty Lawson are forming an interesting back court duo. Felton is looking more comfortable now, and the 3's have started dropping. When he can hit the 3's these two have a really comprable game! I actually saw them run essentially the same play to set each other up for threes on the left wing against NOLA.
- Gallo is also becoming an X-factor. Maybe he could step into that final missing piece on the offense. Hopefully, he will at least give George Karl the ability to
sit Al Harrington when he isn't playing wellnot play Al Harrington.
As some of you may know, I am hell bent on referring to Kenyon Martin as Beast Wars. The idea is, sometimes he is a beast, other times he is a squeaky jointed robot running up the court. If you don't like the nickname or haven't seen the incredibly awesome cartoon series, I have drawn some nicknames from Beast Wars for our current Nuggets:
Silverbolt, AKA Aaron Afflalo: A Fuzor, a hybrid of a wolf and a golden eagle. He is a stereotypical hero and follows a code of honor, but one not as extreme as
Dinobot'sKobe Bryant's. Silverbolt falls in love with BlackarachniaChauncey Billups, pursuing her to joining the MaximalsNuggets, which she does eventually. Silverbolt was briefly a PredaconDetroit Piston, but defected after realising his place was with the Maximals Nuggets. Beast mode is a Gray Wolf/Golden Eagle hybrid.
Dinobot AKA Kenyon Martin: A former
PredaconNet, DinobotKenyon Martin is a warrior who follows a strict code of honor. Betrayed by MegatronRod Thorn, Dinobot joined the MaximalsNuggets, becoming an asset to their team, even though his tactical methods were rather extreme at times. Dinobot often fought with RattrapNene, who he named "Vermin" to counter Rattrap'sNene's remark of calling him "Chopperface". Dinobot's loyalty is often changed by his own decisions, but he remained a MaximalNugget to the end. DinobotKenyon Martin honourably sacrificed himselfhis knees to protect the evolving human race from the Predacons, defeating the whole team but dying in the processhonorably take the Nuggets to being two Anthony Carter inbounds passes away from meeting a very beatable Boston team in the finals. Beast mode is a Velociraptor
Cheetor AKA Ty Lawson: The youngest member of the original
MaximalsNuggets, Cheetor is rather immature and reckless. He looks up to OptimusGeorge Karl and tries to get onto his good list by achieving any mission given to himattacking the paint, but his reckless behavior can lead him into trouble. He matures over the course of the seriesseasons, with each form he gains. He gained a Transmetal formjumpshot first, also gaining a flight mode. He later gained a Transmetal II formstarting job after being shot into the overload of a Transmetal II generator, gaining a feral beast mode but a new Transmetal II formthe departure of Chauncey and Carmelo, where he went on to record more double doubles in two weeks (5) than the rest of his career (0). His beast mode is a cheetah.
For more Beast Wars characters: I can think of more comparisons, can you? And yes, I totally acknowledge that I am lame for thinking Beast Wars is cool.
.In other news, Melvin Ely has recently become a transformer - he is able to turn into a folding chair, which saves room on the bench and creates an extra seat for Al Harrington to put his tacos on.