Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE
One of life's greatest mysteries, just like how did those giant heads get moved on Easter Island ... and if the Loch Ness Monster really has a time share in Las Vegas. How on earth did the Nuggets lose TWICE to the New Orleans Hornets last year? They look to get things off to a good start tonight.
|2012/2013 NBA Regular Season: Game 14|
|November 23rd, 2012, 6:00 PM (MT)|
|Pepsi Center - Denver, Colorado
|TV Altitude / 950 AM / 104.3 FM The Fan|
|At the Hive||Blogs||You're here!|
|Eric Gordon (out) Anthony Davis (questionable)||Injuries||Julyan Stone (out), Wilson Chandler (out)|
|Hornets will be playing their third game without Davis||Stat||This is the first multiple-game homestand for the Nuggets this season|
Last year the Nuggets lost twice to the New Orleans Hornets. A Hornets team that was substantially less talented than the one they face tonight at the Pepsi Center. It was those frustrating, mind bending, weird things that you just can't comprehend. Yes, Monty Williams is proving to be a good coach ... and for those who are pre-disposed to a certain point of view regarding Nuggets' coach George Karl the outcome of last season's games was not surprising. However, onward and upward. This season's model of Hornet comes with a shiny new package.
Or at least it did. Injuries have taken out star-ish guard Eric Gordon and No. 1 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft Anthony Davis (questionable, left ankle stress reaction) so ... yeah. What we are left with is a hodge podge of various players, some talented bench draft picks (namely Austin Rivers who has been recently exiled to the bench and replaced by Roger Mason Jr.) and everybody's favorite non power, power forward Ryan Anderson. He of the constant "we should trade for him" talk that a lot of Stiffs readers participated in (not advocated in any way by Stiffs management nor its subsidiary companies such as Stiff-u-Ware and Be-a-Stiff).
Just so Stiffs who love Anderson can get their fill of "All about Anderson" - here are his stats ... in widget form.
|2012 - Ryan Anderson||17.9||8.2||1.5|
In actuality that is a good stat line, and if Gordon and Davis were currently playing you can definitely see the potential in this lineup. Anderson is a great outside shooter and has always given the Nuggets trouble, going back to his days with the Orlando Magic.
Additionally, we must talk about Greivis Vasquez (no relation to La La Vasquez) who has emerged from the Memphis Grizzlies as a true play-maker on this young Hornets team. His stats are below...
|2012 - Greivis Vasquez||13.0||3.7||9.0|
Not bad at all. Nearly averaging a double-double in points and assists. That is a very important aspect you need to have for a young team. Once everyone gets healthy for this Hornets squad I will be very anxious to see how everyone meshes together. All in all, at this point this is a 3-8 squad that has been beset by injuries in this early season.
But ... ask me if they have a bright future and you will get a resounding: YES! The parts are there. Anthony Davis (unibrow) is a legit number one pick, and the rest of the roster (when healthy) has an intriguing mix of talent and athleticism that should make things very interesting for years to come.
...however, the Nuggets should win tonight. When Robin Lopez is your starting center, nothing good can come of it.
Nuggets of Wisdom
Somehow, somewhere and some way the Nuggets are beginning to "get it". Exactly how to play and when to "turn it on". With a team that has (at leas at this point) no grand stand out star, everyone needs to perform at a high level, at the very least most of the time. In the last few games Andre Iguodala and Danilo Gallinari have each found a way to coexist with their relatively similar offensive skill sets and they both are taking control of the offense. This, I believe, is how George Karl and Masai Ujiri envisioned this squad performing offensively when they put everyone together.
A three game winning streak a season does not make. The Nuggets still have a long way to go. Figuring out the enigma that is JaVale McGee's hot and cold performances is one such issue. Another is what to do with Jordan Hamilton, who seems to be that off-the-bench guy that the Nuggets desire, but seems completely lost at times on defense and was pulled after a particularly bad lapse against the Golden State Warriors on Friday (a decision he was visibly upset with). These things, along with trying to find the magic formula to get Ty Lawson to play consistently aggressive, will be hopefully answered as the year progresses.
In the mean time, things are looking particularly good. The Nuggets need to keep their momentum going as they finish this two game "home stand" and venture back out on the seemingly never ending road. Like the Neverending Story ... but worse ... or better. I can't decide.
Twitter: @jmorton78 https://twitter.com/#!/jmorton78