The Clippers Thunder game wasn't a great game by any means, but it did show me what the Nuggets lack, and what will eventually be their downfall. Towards the end of the game the Thunder cut the Clippers lead to 10, which triggered Chris Paul to go into take over mode, and close the game out. It's not necessarily the points he scored, it's the way in which he orchestrated the team. The entire team knew what their roles were in that situation, and what to do. The word field general is over used today, but CP3 is the epitome of that phrase.
This leads me to the Nuggets.... I've watched everyone of our games this year and it has become clear that the Nuggs players don't know their roles in crunch time situations at the end of the games. Some people have said that it's an advantage that a number of Nuggets could potentially step up and hit that shot, but the problem with that sentence is the word potentially. Many nights that potentially anyone, has turned out to be actually no one. The Nuggs need a guy who assumes the role of orchestrator in the closing minutes, and has the ability to get everyone else on board and ready to play their role.
The problem the Nuggs have is there isn't many guys in the league that can do what CP3 did against the Thunder (Deron Williams, Wade, Dirk, Kobe, Manu, Melo, and maybe a couple more I missed). As hard as this is to say, I just don't see Ty Lawson becoming that type of player. He has the potential, but just doesn't impose his will on the game in the right moments. I think Gallo could become this type of player, but once again, he hasn't stepped up to the task. We have Andre Miller who is a fine point guard, but he lacks the offensive skills to completely dominate a late game situation consistently. I believe this will be our eventual downfall this year as we fall short yet again in the playoffs (maybe second round this year). Some people think that one of our young guys could step up and become this player, but if you've watched the league for a while, you know that players who have that skill show it early in their careers, and they are hard to come by.
The Nuggs core moving forward is Nene, AAA (who has completely sucked this year), and Gallo for sure. I know people may disagree with what I'm about to say, but I think we should look to move Lawson for someone with that "it" factor. He's the only guy who isn't locked up for the future. If I were the Nuggs brass, I would throw a max contract at Deron Williams with a sign and trade for Lawson this offseason and see what happens. Deron has said he is all about winning, and that playing in a big market isn't his number one priority like other stars. It's a slight chance in hell it would work, but until we have a guy who can compose a team like Deron or CP3 can, I think the Nuggs are going to be hard pressed to make it to the WCF let alone win it.
Recently Josh Kronke was on 1043 the fan (Click Here), and even he admitted that the Nuggs were still a move away from being in championship contention. I'm sure Josh and Masai will look at all available options. What do you think?