Before Denver Nuggets players, coaches and personnel commute south to Colorado Springs to kickoff their 2015 training camp on Tuesday, they must first "face the music" - i.e. the local media - on Monday's media day. And even though most in the Denver sports media are still (and seemingly forever) preoccupied with the ongoings of our local professional football team, I expect a big turnout Monday at Pepsi Center. That's what an exciting top draft pick (Emmanuel Mudiay) and a new head coach (Michael Malone) will do for you.
A big turnout means that our Denver Stiffs squad of writers won't get to all the questions we'd like to ask of the coaches, players and personnel present. But were we to get the opportunity to ask these guys some key questions going into the 2015-16 season, here's what I'd recommend asking ...
... to head coach Michael Malone:
What will be emphasized in training camp - offense or defense?
How committed are you to playing fast?
Outside shooting seems to be the Nuggets biggest weakness, what can be done to overcome that with the roster as it's currently constructed?
Who do you project to be starting alongside Mudiay in the backcourt, Randy Foye or Wilson Chandler?
Other than the Sacramento Kings, what team are you most looking forward to playing against this season?
... to general manager Tim Connelly:
Given how brutally competitive the Western Conference is and how inexperienced much of the Nuggets roster is, how patient is the organization willing to be with Malone?
Along those lines, if Malone isn't judged on wins and losses - what will he be judged based on?
What did you learn from the tenure of Brian Shaw that can / will make you a more effective general manager for Coach Malone?
When April 2016 arrives, what will be your definition of a successful or not successful season?
... to rookie Emmanuel Mudiay:
What aspect of your game did you work on the most this past summer?
Who, if any, of the veteran Nuggets players did you get a chance to connect with over the summer?
What does a successful rookie season look like to you?
What NBA player do you think you model your game after, if any?
... to power forward Kenneth Faried:
What didn't you accomplish in 2014-15 that you're hoping to accomplish in 2015-16, individually and as a team?
What will the subtraction of Ty Lawson and the addition of Mudiay mean for your game?
Who is your toughest opponent at the loaded four-spot in the Western Conference?
... to small forward Danilo Gallinari:
Given that you haven't participated in a full training camp since 2013, how excited are you to be here?
What are your goals for the season ahead, personally and as a team (an All-Star Game appearance maybe)?
You played great in Eurobasket 2015 - do you see any carryover into the new NBA season ahead?
You just turned 27 and yet you're considered one of the "older veterans" on the team, so what leadership tenets can you share with youngsters like Mudiay, Jusuf Nurkic, Gary Harris and Joffrey Lauvergne?
... to center Jusuf Nurkic:
How difficult is it for you to not start training camp alongside your teammates? (The Denver Post's Chris Dempsey recently reported that Nurkic will not start training camp on time as he rehabs his left knee.)
What aspect(s) of your game are you hoping will make "a leap" in your sophomore season?
What mistakes did you make as a rookie that you'll look to correct as a sophomore?
... to small forward Wilson Chandler:
If you had a preference, would you start at two-guard or be the team's sixth man?
If you do become the Nuggets sixth man, do you think you could win the Sixth Man of the Year Award? (we do!)
Along with Gallo and Faried, you're the longest tenured Nuggets player. What does being a Nugget mean to you and what about that can you share with your new teammates?
... to Jameer Nelson / Randy Foye:
As the team's "elder statesmen", what words of wisdom can you share with the training camp newcomers?
Of the training camp newcomers, which player(s) are you most excited to play with?
What have you done to help Coach Malone get acquainted with this roster?
... to team president / owner Josh Kroenke:
Tim Connelly (and his personnel team) is in Year Three of a three-year deal - will an extension be forthcoming?
From the top down, what organizational changes - if any - were made in the wake of Shaw departure?
What mistakes have been made since the 2013 off-season that you hope not to repeat in the future?
Can we get a private tour of the new locker room?