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Random thoughts from basketball oblivion: The sameness of the game

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The NBA is becoming a very samey league. Pace and space, threes and layups. Everyone is doing the same thing. Is the league heading toward another era of basketball? Also I answer your twitter questions.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Sunday everyone! Lets get to it!

Is every NBA team the same?

Old man yells at cloud time...

Is it just me or is the NBA very ... samey lately. All teams are guard-dominated, threes and layups (dunks) are what everyone looks for. This isn't a dire comment on analytics or the current state of the "game". This happens in every era of the NBA. In the 1990's it was bully ball, in the 1980's it was wide open play, in the 1970's it was slow-it-down like molasses style play.

Every era has a "thing". It changes based on rules that are implemented and the type of player that comes out. I don't believe the rise of Stephan Curry is a trend. He is a one-off, not-to-be-duplicated type of player who is thriving in an era that is the RIGHT time for his style of play. The perfect marriage of talent and circumstance. I don't think we will ever see another player the likes of Curry again and it's definitely something that should be savored. This isn't a comment about the Golden State Warriors and their dominance.

It's maybe my old fuddy-duddy opinion but I'm kind of longing for diversity in style. Hoping for more than just three's and layups. Diversification. This season has been rather ... boring (outside of the Warriors pursuit of the best regular season record in NBA History). Last season from my point of view was the peak of the pace and space era. Many teams with the same or similar make-up and feel, all gunning in a largely competitive playoff. Hell, the 2013 Finals between the San Antonio Spurs (the pioneers of this particular era of basketball) and Miami Heat will go down in history as one of the best ever. This year we have seen a dramatic tailing off to the point where there have been very few NBA League Pass "must see" games. The back end of the Western Conference top 8 is woefully mediocre and the East, while better, is still rather on the "meh" side of the ledger. (As pointed out by our friend Nate Timmons on twitter, there are so many teams with questions marks right now)

While we can see the future with various teams (Minnesota Timberwolves for example) I firmly believe the NBA is set to move into a different and more diverse era of basketball. Where it will lead, no one knows. However, I can't help but feel that the NBA has another evolution to come.

This week's Twitter questions

Great response again to this week's call for questions on Twitter. Several people wanted to know about to draft so we will start there.

Make no mistake, this Nuggets team is missing "that" piece. The one that makes a difference in a special way. In order to get that piece, in this draft, you must get a top-3 pick (in my view). If the Nuggets end up later in the draft lottery, it will be hard to envision them finding the difference maker they so desperately need.

Shawn! Need you back on the radio soon, my man,

As for your question, I anticipate that if the Nuggets end up with a handful of first round draft picks that they wold want to explore the option of moving up. The singular problem with this particular draft is early projections aren't favorable for mid-round picks. This will likely be a very top-heavy draft and in that spirit I think it would be hard to package those picks unless they came with an existing player in tow.

You never know though. Draft Day is a funny thing and several "almost" deals went down with the Nuggets (including a potential one with Charlotte) in 2015. I wouldn't put it past Nuggets General Manager Tim Connelly to be exploring all avenues. Aggressively.

RYAN! Nice to hear from you my man. Again ... need you back on the radio.

The Nuggets are in a funny position where they have a very defined need, difference making athletic scorer. However their need is elusive to find. They have done exceedingly well drafting so far under Connelly (Emmanuel Mudiay, Nikola Jokic, Jusuf Nurkic, Joffrey Lauvergne) but they need THAT guy. While Mudiay could definitely grow into that role, same thing with Jokic ... If the Nuggets remain in their mid-lottery position I think athletic wing with length Timothe Luwawu from France may be someone they would look at.

This has been a difficult season for Jusuf Nurkic. Coming back from patellar surgery in January, Nurkic has struggled to gain the trust of his coach as well as his confidence as he gets back from his surgery. It's been a struggle indeed. He didn't play for a month before last night...

HOWEVER ... I think the Nuggets have zero intention to move on from Juka. Specifically, after last night I think the Nuggets see too much potential to throw away. Dig these highlights.

Thanks for the twitter questions! Same time next week for those. Response to this weekly column has been great and I appreciate it all. Lets keep it going.

Song of the week

Tommy Bolin was a hotshot guitarist from Iowa when he came to Denver in 1967. He went on to make a name for himself playing the Denver clubs and then eventually forming the band Zephyr. Bolin is one of the great lost guitarists of the 1970's (he died of a drug overdose in December 1976). Here is my favorite song of his, Wild Dogs from the album Teaser