We never want to read too much into a pre-season game, but there were lots of positives that can be taken away from the Denver Nuggets' 106-104 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers in Las Vegas on Saturday night. (A game which, shamefully, wasn't televised here in Denver even though I was assured by several Nuggets officials prior to the pre-season that all pre-season games would be aired on Altitude this year. What gives?!)
For starters, the starters themselves delivered solid performances with the new Nuggets backcourt of Ty Lawson and Andre Iguodala filling up the box score and forward Kenneth Faried making 7 of his 11 shot attempts. And center Kosta Koufos rewarded Nuggets head coach George Karl for starting him with 6 points and 8 rebounds in just 15 minutes. Karl recently went on record saying that Koufos is having the best training camp thus far among the team's big men.
Off the bench in Saturday's affair, second year man Jordan Hamilton seems to be carrying over his hot shooting from Las Vegas Summer League as he nailed 3 of his 6 three-point attempts. And the Nuggets got surprisingly good performances out of Corey Brewer (who somehow, someway made 7 of his 8 shots) and newcomer Anthony Randolph (4-7 shooting, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks in just 18 minutes).
The obvious disappointment, of course, was center JaVale McGee a) not starting, b) missing 6 of his 8 attempts and c) getting his shot blocked 3 times, twice by Clippers' center DeAndre Jordan. I don't have to remind Nuggets fans of the substantial investment that the team made in McGee - both in terms of salary and sending him to workout with Hakeem Olajuwon for three weeks, which isn't cheap. In fairness to McGee, Nuggets backup point guard Andre Miller didn't play and McGee played better with Miller than Lawson than last season. But at some point, McGee needs to deliver regardless of who is feeding him the ball.
Next up, the Nuggets play in San Antonio against the Spurs on Friday night. Let's hope between now and then, the Nuggets get McGee into the mix better.
I'm particularly excited to see the solid play from Hamilton and Randolph off the bench. If those two are able to produce, the Nuggets' bench becomes even more dynamic than last season. And while it's nice to see Brewer go 7-8, he's as apt to go 1-8 in his next outing.
With one pre-season game in the history books and a full week of training camp under their belts, the Nuggets are back in the news ...
Mark Kiszla: Nuggets' revolving door must stop for playoff success - The Denver Post
Mark Kiszla argues for some stability with the Nuggets roster, noting that the constant shakeups might prevent this team from building the chemistry needed for playoff success.
Denver Nuggets C Kosta Koufos playing well in training camp
Benjamin Hochman writes that Koufos is out-performing Timofey Mozgov and JaVale McGee in camp thus far.
Mile High Sports | Ottewill: Lawson, Nuggets look bold in gold
Lifelong Nuggets fan Doug Ottewill commends the Nuggets new alternate jerseys.
The Denver Nuggets Unveiled New Alternate Jerseys In Your Local Business Park Conference Room
Deadspin makes fun of the new Nuggets' alternate jerseys AND the location of their press conference.
Nuggets get promising performance from Anthony Randolph - The Denver Post
In just one game, Randolph is impressing the coaching staff.
Early signs point to smooth transition for Iguodala | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE DENVER NUGGETS
Aaron Lopez catches up with new Nugget Andre Iguodala.