Today I offer you the highly anticipated footage of some five on five scrimmaging by our Denver Nuggets from NBATV’s Real Training Camp.
Just as in the clips of the Nuggets running drills there are a few things to beware of before we start, but none as unsettling as Kenyon Martin’s impression of a southern belle doing yard work with his jersey tied tightly around the middle of his stomach. In today’s clips be ready for J.R. Smith’s jersey. Apparently J.R. needs his name on his jersey to keep from getting confused. Secondly, be ready for some nice close ups of Juwan Howard instead of actually showing the action. For some reason Nene is not on the court even though I do not remember him sitting out any practices. They talked to him early on in the program, but I did not hear him give a reason why he was not practicing with the team.
The intensity in the scrimmage is pretty decent. You can see how they are continuing to communicate on defense. They also seem to be moving the ball better than they usually do in real games, which is nice. If you watch Carmelo on defense, he is actually keeping track of his man away from the ball, which is also very nice.
The star of the first clip is J.R. Smith. He hits a three on a kick out and makes a couple of nice passes. The second star of the first clip would be the refs. There is a whole lotta’ fouling going on. Anther highlight to be prepared for is towards the end of the first clip George Karl gives his annual Real Training Camp speech about how he does not want guys wasting time dribbling side to side or in place. His words tend to go unheard.
In the second clip the defense is not quite as spry early on as both teams score some easy baskets. The white team moves the ball pretty well, but the blue team, thanks in large part to Melo, take a couple of quick (bad) shots and look like the Nuggets offense of 2007-2008. However, Melo hits a couple of midrange jumpers to ensure that Karl cannot get too mad at him.
It was nice to see a couple of the non guaranteed contract players play well. Nick Fazekas displays his hoops acumen by making a couple of nice passes and even though he gets beat for rebounds on a couple of occasions, he is always in the right place. James Mays, who the NBATV people decided would stand in for Sonny Weems, was aggressive on the boards and on offense he attacked the basket well. Of course we found out today that both of those guys are now looking for work.
We finally have some footage of Melo playing defense and the Nuggets working to tighten up their rotations and pressure on the ball. Now we just have to wait and see how much of a difference it makes come the regular season.