Back in 1999 the R&B girl group “TLC” released a song titled, “No Scrubs.” The song basically made fun of less-successful guys or lazy guys that were using their successful friends as cover to try to pick up girls. Scrubs in the NBA are guys that can also benefit from all the attention paid to their more successful teammates. And these scrubs used to kill the Denver Nuggets.

I doubt that when Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes and Rozonda "Chili" Thomas were singing about these guys who thought they were "fly," but who were really just known to the ladies as a "buster" that they envisioned their song would one day be used to discuss basketball players. Well, that might not be true – the women from VH-1's Basketball Wives could have probably shared with us some tales about their scrub husbands.

Anyhow, before the big trade went down there were guys having big nights against the Nuggets that shouldn't have been. And not only were these scrubs playing above their heads, but their efforts were being rewarded with wins over the Nuggets.

Just a small sample size here will show you what I'm talking about.

  • In a 121-102 loss Feb. 14th to the Houston Rockets, Courtney Lee, who averages 8 points per game (ppg), scored 21 points against the Nuggets and Chase Budinger, who averages 9.2 points per game, tallied 15 points of his own.
  • In a 115-99 loss Jan. 31st to the New Jersey Nets, Travis Outlaw, who averages 9.4 ppg, scored 21 points against the Nuggets.
  • In a 110-99 loss Jan. 30th to the Philadelphia 76ers, Thaddeus Young, who averages 12.3 ppg, scored 21 points against the Nuggets.
  • In a 122-102 loss Jan. 6th to the Sacramento Kings, Beno Udrih, who averages 13.7 ppg, scored 17 points against the Nuggets and Francisco Garcia, who averages 9.9 ppg, added 14 points of his own.
  • In a 129-125 loss Dec. 12th to the New York Knicks, Wilson Chandler scored 27 points, Raymond Felton scored 19 points and Danilo Gallinari scored 16 points … just system guys right? I was laughing all the way to the bank on this one and the lady at Wells Fargo wanted to know what I wanted. I told her those three guys are proving their doubters wrong, but she didn’t seem to understand.

That's just five games, but on paper the Nuggets should have been 5-0 and not 0-5 in those contests. On this recent where the Nuggets are 8-2 they are 7-2 in games they should have won on paper. And by "on paper" I mean games they play where they have a better record than their opponent. Let's take a look at this recent stretch of 10 games and see what the scrubs have done against the Nuggets versus the outcome of the game.








Feb 22nd



Tony Allen

26 points

8 ppg

OJ Mayo

21 points

11.6 ppg

Feb 24th



Delonte West

10 points

6.6 ppg

Glen Davis

11 points

11.7 ppg

Feb 25th



Rudy Fernandez

18 points

8.9 ppg

Nicolas Batum

8 points

11.8 ppg

Feb 28th



Jamal Crawford

11 points

15 ppg

Jeff Teague

7 points

4.3 ppg

March 2nd



DJ Augustin

13 points

14.2 ppg

Matt Carroll

19 points

3.4 ppg

March 3rd



Raja Bell

6 points

8.3 ppg

CJ Miles

22 points

12.6 ppg

March 5th



Eric Bledsoe

20 points

7.2 ppg

Randy Foye

13 points

9.9 ppg

March 10th



Jared Dudley

13 points

9.4 ppg

Hakim Warrick

12 points

8.8 ppg

March 12th



Chris Wilcox

21 points

6.1 ppg

Charlie Villanueva

8 points

11.2 ppg

March 14th



Willie Green

18 points

8.6 ppg

Marco Belinelli

9 points

10.2 ppg


As you can see from the chart above, there still have been scrub-like players having good nights against Denver. But the Nuggets have been getting wins more often than not as these games have been well in control. Only two games above have resulted in losses and yes, had the Nuggets kept Rudy Fernandez in check against the Blazers and Eric Bledsoe in check against the Clippers the Nuggets might be 10-0 right now.

But you can't win them all and you just have to do your best to make sure that these guys are not "hanging out the passanger side, of his best friends ride" or rather draining open looks and costing the team games because not enough attention is being paid to them.


On to the links:

New Nugget Chandler lets his play do the talking – Chris Dempsey, Denver Post
CloudBurst posted this as a FanShot, wanted to give it a place here too.

Walk like a GM, talk like a GM – Ben Golliver, Hoopshype
I've noticed my fellow Stiffs love to propose a trade or 50, so go read about General Managers.

How much is enough with Donald Sterling? – CBS
A post on the worst owner in the NBA.

VIDEO: Jason Terry: "We believe we are the best bench in basketball" – Hoopsworld
Terry, have you seen the Nuggets?

NBA Chat – Eric Pincus, Hoops World
Always a good read.

The Ultimate Journeyman – Michael Romyn, SLAM
A good read about former Nugget Popeye Jones.

Mayor Looking At How Other Cities Work With NBA – Sharokina Shams,
If the Kings bolt to Anaheim, Sacramento might look to steal another team.

Mutombo Monologues! – :PM Shorts

Mutombo Sings! – :PM Shorts
I was emailed these links to a sketch comedy sports show and the videos above feature a Dikembe Mutombo impression. Let me know if you Stiffs find these funny.

Jimmer Fredette's unlikely path to becoming a star – Kate Fagan, Sports
Pretty good read on the college kid who will be playing in Denver this weekend.




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