Generally speaking, I don't like to make character judgements about NBA players. None of us really know these players well enough to make distinctions about a player's character and far too often we, as fans, end up projecting things onto players that are unwarranted. We talk about how guys are selfish when they don't pass, as if their shortcomings on the court can be traced to some deep-rooted piece of their soul. We talk about how players are soft, as if their inability to finish at the rim points to a flaw developed in them from childhood. At some point or another, we all make the mistake of playing pop psychologist.
That being said, Wilson Chandler is a good dude. What the heck did he do to deserve so much back luck? By all accounts, Chandler is the nicest guy in the world. He's been a phenomenal teammate, an unselfish role player, a philanthropist, and a down-to-earth guy. If anyone deserves just one season without being hampered by injuries it is him. And yet, despite coming into training camp healthy and in great shape, Chandler found out last week that he will require season-ending surgery. He will officially miss all 82 games this season.
Karma got this one wrong as it's gotten everything wrong with Chandler from a basketball standpoint. He's played in several tumultuous situations, including the sinking ship that was the 2008 Knicks. Through it all, he's handled himself with class. Just once, Karma owes it to him to let him play a healthy season on a winning team.
2) Byron Scott
Whenever things go bad for the Nuggets - and they will go bad fairly often this season - just look at the Los Angeles Lakers and be thankful that you have a team that is being given the opportunity to work through their mistakes. The Lakers are a hot mess and quite possibly the 2nd worst team in the league. What's worse, they aren't allowing their young point guard to develop through adversity. Unlike Emmanuel Mudiay, D'Angelo Russell has a very tight leash around him. Many of the minutes that should be going to the promising young rookie are going to equally as unproductive veterans. Imagine if Mudiay was benched after opening night because of his 11 turnovers and was replaced in crunch-time every game after that by Randy Foye. This is the situation in Los Angeles as the Lakers have sacrificed Russell's experience with Kobe Bryant's farewell tour.
3) The new 3D projector
Of the four home games that I have attended, the new 3D projector failed in two of the games and wasn't even attempted in another. Twice the crowd has looked on in confusion has the intro music played and fans were told to direct their attention to center court while lights flickered, music played, then abruptly ended. Not quite the pump-you-up effect that the Nuggets operations staff wanted. Fortunately, the dozens of people in attendance didn't seem too upset about it.
4) The Kenneth Faried / Emmanuel Mudiay connection
One of the things that stuck out about Mudiay in summer league was how quickly he developed chemistry with players like Ian Clark and Nikola Jokic. It seemed like with each new game, Mudiay figured out where players liked catching the ball, when they roll to the rim, and got so comfortable that he could almost predict their movements before anyone else could. We've seen a little bit of that with Mudiay this year with players like JJ Hickson and Joffrey Lauvergne. However, one player that he hasn't seemed to gel with is The Manimal. The two have screwed up a handful of lobs, outlet passes, and simple assist chances. Faried has even showed some frustration at times, throwing his hands up at the rookie when he misses him on cuts or rolls to the rim. It's not worth worrying about this early into the season, but it's something to keep an eye on. For reference, look at how Mudiay has almost the same amount of passes and assists to Hickson as he does to Faried despite playing over 100 fewer minutes together, per NBAwowy.com.
5) The schedule makers
Whoever made the Nuggets schedule wasn't a Nuggets fan. The team just started a 10-game stretch that will likely see the team fall well below the .500 mark that they are at right now. Their upcoming game against the Pelicans in New Orleans is probably the easiest one on the schedule and even that game isn't a gimme. They play a rested Spurs teams the following night, in San Antonio before returning to Pepsi Center to take on the team that just beat them by 24. After that it's a trio of games against the best teams in the Western Conference; Warriors, Clippers, and Spurs. Then lastly, top top it off, they begin a 5-game road trip that will take them to the South (Dallas), the North (Toronto), and the East (Philadelphia). That 76ers game should be a gimme but even that game will be difficult on the final night on an extended road trip that will rack up over 3,000 miles.