The Scouting Report: Denver Nuggets
Projected starting line-up: Ty Lawson (questionable), Arron Afflalo, Wilson Chandler, Kenneth Faried, Timofey Mozgov.
Suspension: Darrell Arthur
Additions: Jusuf Nurkic, Arron Afflalo, Danilo Gallinari, Alonzo Gee
Departures: Anthony Randolph, Jordan Hamilton, Aaron Brooks, Quincy Miller, Jan Vesely
The Denver Nuggets are going through another lukewarm start to the season after a mediocre season last year under first year coach Brian Shaw. Shaw returns and so does Danilo Gallinari who missed all of last season with a torn ACL as well as JaVale McGee and JJ Hickson.
The Nuggets have been working their injured guys back with none of the yet in the starting line-up. Making matters worse for Denver is that Ty Lawson missed their last game against the Cavaliers. The Cavs looked like the team many envisioned against Denver on Friday night and the Nuggets didn’t do much to inspire they could sneak into the playoffs.
Their offense looked very vanilla with nothing else really going on outside basic high pick and roll actions. Kenneth Faried is still a beast running in the open court and attacking the offensive glass as well as improving his post-up game. If Lawson plays, the Nuggets will be a little tougher to stop.
Still, as I said, the Nuggets haven’t inspired much hope. They are in the bottom 10 in the league in both offensive and defensive efficiency through five games and the little I’ve watched of them hasn’t been impressive. But, the season is young and maybe the loss to Cleveland could turn things around.
Darrell Arthur had been in the rotation and even trying to stretch his range by shooting some threes but he’s serving a one-game suspension for a flagrant foul he committed on Friday against Cleveland’s Dion Waiters.
Outside of Randy Foye, their outside shooting has been suspect to start the season. Nate Robinson is always a threat to go off any night of the season. If Lawson comes back from injury, the Blazers won’t get any break from facing explosive offensive point guards.
The Nuggets are playing at a faster pace than almost every team in the league, ranking second in possessions per game through the first five games. They’ll try to outrun the Blazers who have been much better in transition defense, at least when they don’t turn it over. After a tough loss on Saturday afternoon, the Blazers legs will likely be tested by the speedy Nuggets.