Training camp is nearly here!
With the official opening of training camp in just 6 days on October 1st, I'm chomping at the bit to see and hear about the offseason development of a squad that has been almost entirely turned over in the last three years. Gone are Andre Iguodala, Corey Brewer, Kosta Koufos, Julyan Stone, GM Masai Ujiri and head coach George Karl. In are Nate Robinson, Randy Foye, J.J. Hickson, Darrell Arthur, GM Tim Connelly and head coach Brian Shaw. There are a lot of new names to get familiar with, both for fans and Nuggets players alike.
Training camp will give us our first inklings of what to expect out of the Nuggets this season. We've already seen blurry photographs of Brian Shaw on the floor working with the players, hands on, something we rarely saw Karl do. Will it translate to improved play on the floor, particularly for big men Timofey Mozgov, Anthony Randolph, and JaVale McGee? We know that Kenneth Faried spent his offseason working on his defense and jump shot with Hakeem Olajuwon. Can he and McGee incorporate that tutelage into their game? How will Shaw manage minutes for the crowded point guard and power forward positions? Is this the year that Evan Fournier emerges into the next Nuggets star? Will Danilo Gallinari meet his "end of November" return-to-court timetable? Does Jordan Hamilton finally emerge from the doghouse to play significant minutes? Can Shaw guide the Nuggets to regular season success and the postseason in his first year as an NBA head coach?
It's been a long offseason for this Nuggets franchise. There are many more questions about the Nuggets today than there were when the Nuggets entered into their fateful series with the Golden State Warriors. We'll finally start to see some answers by next Tuesday. Stay tuned!
While an odd belief in my eyes - as I think Faried, McGee and Lawson are already NBA stars - I love the sentiment. Faried is hungry. He's ready to wash the disappointment of last year's postseason off and move forward, particularly with his newfound education:
"I get to work on some of the moves I learned from Hakeem [Olajuwon] that I've been harnessing and keeping as a nugget just in case a time does come, it's going to be fun to see how that reacts especially with JaVale, me and him both went to the camp. It's going to be fun to use it during the game and implement what we learned," Faried said.
I can't wait to see how Faried and Javale go at eachother and how those moves will translate to the court.
Prepare yourself for longer lines when you head to a Nuggets game this season to watch this team and that fancy new scoreboard. While I'm sure that nobody is a fan of waiting in line, we can all agree that having metal detectors will help ensure the best atmosphere and fan safety while attending events at Chopper Circle.
NBA.com's Aaron Lopez breaks down the Nuggets depth at the guard positions. He makes a great point that Brian Shaw will be able to rely upon the mountain of experience his floor leaders have, as he jumps into the deep end of NBA coaching. It will be very interesting to see how Shaw doles out minutes to Foye, Robinson, Lawson, Miller and Fournier, as all are players deserving of at least 15 or more minutes per game.