The Nuggets' regular season starts in less than a week at home against the Utah Jazz (Oct. 27th). The same Jazz, well give-and-take a few faces, who ended the Nuggets 2009-10 campaign. But before the Pepsi Center can get to rocking, Chauncey Billups and the boys (4-2) have to finish up the preseason, back-to-back style starting tonight in Portland (2-4).
Yesterday the Nuggets trimmed their roster to 14 players when they released rookie center Eric Boateng, according to Sports Page Magazine.com.
Boateng, an undrafted free agent, averaged 1.6 points and 4.2 rebounds in five preseason games.
The 6'10'' Arizona State product was probably lacking in the experience Denver was looking for out of a backup big man. The question now ... will Denver keep both veteran Melvin Ely and surprising young journeymen Gary Forbes?
Forbes, at just 25 years-old, is already well traveled since leaving Massachusetts University in 2008.
He (Forbes) played for Panama's national team in 2007, averaged 17.4 points in the NBA Development League in 2008-09 and spent the 2009-10 season playing in Israel.
Forbes played limited minutes for the Houston Rockets at the 2010 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas before receiving an invitation to Denver's training camp. He started raising eyebrows almost immediately.
Always rooting for the underdog, it seems Denver Stiffs readers are behind Forbes making the roster and a bit hesitant, not only about Ely making the team, but Ely actually seeing playing time for Denver this season. Being a man of the people, I'd also like to see Forbes succeed, but with the talent Denver has in the backcourt it would seem unlikely that Forbes would get ample playing time on the team.
J.R. Smith has looked impressive through the preseason and it's no secret that a contract year probably has something to do with that, along with the hope that Smith is understanding more-and-more about what it means to be a big time NBA player.
Another guy looking for a breakout season is fellow shooting guard Arron Afflalo. The only thing that looks minor league about Triple-A (Arron Augustin Afflalo) is his nickname and he's proving to be more than just AAA insurance as well. Count me among those who would like to see Afflalo and Smith dominate the minutes at shooting guard.
George Karl has shown that he'll slide Chauncey Billups to two-guard alongside Ty Lawson and perhaps even toss the small ball lineup of Smith or Afflalo out there at small forward. I'm not really a fan of Billups seeing more time at another position as I feel his legs should be saved as much as possible. And along with saving Billups' legs is the fact that Afflalo and Swish are better options and emerging players.
As Forbes looks to add his name to the list of emerging players, I will look to hit the Fast Forward button on these next two games as I'm ready for the regular season to begin.