Watching the Nuggets post Melo trade has been fun, exciting, and frustrating at times. We are finally playing team ball, but we were once again unable to make a deep playoff push last year, and I fear the same for this year.
In the 9 losses this year, 6 have been close until the last minute or two. These 6 games (@Blazzers, @Lakers, @Spurs, Clippers, @Grizzlies, Lakers) have been lost in similar fashion. We have lacked both purpose, and continuity on the offensive and defensive ends of the court under 3:00 in the fourth. In the end, the players are responsible for the play on the court, but the coaches are responsible for setting the players up for success. We've gotten crappy play, and bad coaching in these six losses.
The Nuggets lack a late game floor general, and a late game coach. These two deficiencies will once again equal an early playoff exit, and another year of frustration. The Nuggets seem to have no guiding force at the end of games. Sure Harington went off against the Lakers to keep it close, but when we needed a bucket to tie, Afflalo missed a mid-range shot early in the clock, followed by a gun shy Lawson who passed on the best matchup on the floor (against ancient Fisher) to Harrington who was being covered by one of the better defenders in the league (Metta). The fact that the play was drawn up for Lawson to take Fisher to the hole, and he didn't raises HUGE concerns. Ty has shown that he can take over games, but hasn't done it when it matters most. I want my point guard to be able to diagnose the situation, identify the best matchup, and execute. I don't see Ty Lawson ever being the starting point guard on a championship team. If this is the case, we need find someone who is. Not saying we have to get ride of Lawson, but if he can't take us to the promise land, then what are we doing?
The coaching in the Grizzlies game was laughable. After the game, Karl said that we just needed to rebound the ball better and we would have won the game. HMMMMM. Well when you put out a line up that features three guards, and two power forwards who don't rebound well, I wonder why we didn't rebound? Karl's small ball line is idiotic, and should be grounds for termination when you have two 7 foot centers. Why would Josh and Masai go out and get multiple big men for the coach to play midget ball? It doesn't make sense. Karl will never be a championship coach!!! Never!!! Our problem is that we don't have anyone better to replace him. Championship coaches don't grow on trees. I know we can't do this, but if I could I would trade Ty Lawson, and George Karl + 5 million dollars to the Spurs for Tony Parker and Gregg Popovich. This would instantly make the Nuggets a contender.
The Nuggets will continue to beat bad teams handedly, and struggle against good teams. We will continue to lose early in the playoffs, and talk about how close the 5 game series could have been. We will continue to play small ball and shrink in crunch time. We will continue to root for and support the team, and we will continue to watch the same thing expecting different results.