Ever since the trade for Andre Iguodala, Denver Nuggets fans have been bursting with optimism, and a 0-3 start to the 2012-2013 season isn’t the kind of starting record they had in mind.
By all intents and purposes, Denver should — at least — have a 2-1 record, beating the bottom of the barrel Orlando Magic and a Bynum-less Philadelphia 76ers, but alas, that never happened.
The first two games of the season showcased a team that looked as if they didn’t spend one shred of time together during training camp; a team that appeared to look like a talentless JV squad in a suburban prep school; a team that allowed a lottery team to school them; a team that made Glen “Big Baby” Davis look like an All-Star; a team that lacked energy, urgency, enthusiasm, heart, drive; a team that looked like a flaming bag of dog…
You get the point.
Denver didn’t look like Denver. Period.
During the first game of the season, Denver shot 37.5% from the field (33-88), a paltry 22.2% from downtown (4-18) and 45.5% from the charity stripe (5-11). Philly was able to defend the Nuggets from getting hot in the paint, which is their bread and butter.
The second game, against the Orlando Magic, was a bit better,but Denver should have easily blown out the Orlando Magic. Denver shot 38.1% from the field (32-84), a lazy 26.9% from downtown (7-of-26) and an improved 66.7% from the line ( 18-27).
For a referencing point, Denver averaged 47.6% last season from the field, 33.2% (24th in league) from the three, and 73.5% from the charity stripe. Denver was horrible from downtown last season, and actually it’s been on the decline for a few seasons.
In 2010-2011, Denver was third in the league with three-point shooting (Melo, Chauncey, J.R. Smith) with 38.8% and with the trade and free agency, the three-point shooting went.
Through, three games, Denver’s three-point shooting is atrocious. Denver is 24.6% from the three-point line which equates to making 16 treys to 65 attempts.
However, Denver’s game against the Miami Heat, highlighted the Denver Nuggets as the team fans and critics have expected. They came out explosive, energetic, passionate, and they were hitting their shots.
During that game, Denver shot a beautiful 51,6% from the field (49-95), an abysmal 23.8% from three (5-21) and a meh-ish 65% from the charity stripe (13-20). Outside of the lazy three-pointers and Gallinari’s lackadaisical offensive effort, offense wasn’t the issue, rather defense especially during Ray Allen’s 4-point play that won Miami that game. However, to be fair, there wasn’t a shred of defense played by either team.
What do the Denver Nuggets need, then?
There has been rhetoric that the Nuggets don’t have shooters, which isn’t the case. They do have shooters, inconsistent ones, but they do have them.
Consistency is what the Nuggets need; a valiant effort that was executed in Miami needs to be exhibited game in and game out.
Consistency is what Denver needs; Kenneth Faried and JaVale McGee must be used in tandem for the most efficient inside game.
Consistency is what is key; George Karl must play his best players the most minutes; he must be consistent with his bench play, as well as, being instrumental in pulling players when they make defensive mistakes.
Consistency is Denver needs to focus on; if it be pulling Gallo when he misses 13 consecutive field goals, and a play another sharp shooter in Jordan Hamilton.
Three games is hardly a telling story to what the season may become, although it can portray some problematic patterns and the pattern I see thus far is the inconsistency in the offensive ebb and flow of the game.
Is it cause for “blowing up the team”? Of course not, that’s a silly statement posed by those that want immediate results, but it is cause to want to observe more shooting prowess and less ineffectiveness.
Basically, more net, less air.