Scouting Report: Denver Nuggets
The Denver Nuggets are off to an 0-3 start, but don’t let that fool you. As we saw last year, this team is good, especially at home.
I’m not sure anyone expected them to repeat last season’s performance after losing Andre Iguodala to the Warriors and Danilo Gallinari to an ACL injury. But new head coach Brian Shaw still has electric point guard Ty Lawson, the Manimal Kenneth Faried and the ageless Andre Miller.
Lawson leads the offensive attack for Denver, averaging 20 points through the first three games. He’s terrific in the open court, so, as Coach Bud as been preaching all season so far, getting back on defense will be important because Lawson loves to run.
Faried and frontcourt teammate JaVale McGee anchor things down on defense. Last year Denver’s interior defense was the best in the Western Conference, and with those two rim protectors in there, the Nuggets will certainly make things difficult for Paul Millsap and Al Horford. Offensively, neither guy is overwhelming, but both are extremely athletic.
As always, the Nuggets are very deep. They have seven guys averaging at least nine points per game and 12 guys who are playing at least 15 minutes per game. Shaw has tinkered with the rotation and is still experimenting, which has allowed a lot of guys to play. In the high altitude, Coach Bud may have to do the same thing to keep his guys rested. On the Atlanta side, the starters have logged heavy minutes through four games.
Denver has not shot the ball all that well this season and as a result has not scored 100 points in a game yet. This is unusual for the Nuggets, as we’re used to seeing them run, jump, dunk, create chaos and just have a lot of fun. Maybe the Hawks are catching them at the right time. Either way, playing at 5,200 feet in that building is never easy. Hopefully Atlanta can come away with a winning road trip.
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