Preview & Chat: The Denver Nuggets

Kurt —  November 1, 2008


Records: Lakers 2-0 Nuggets 1-1
Offensive ratings: Lakers 115.9 Nuggets 104.1
Defensive ratings: Lakers 84.3 Nuggets 101.1
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Vladimir Radmanovic, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Nuggets : Allen Iverson, Anthony Carter, Carmelo Anthony, Kenyon Martin, Nene

Lakers notes: Um, just keep playing like the last couple of games. Keep playing with that same level of defensive intensity. What else is there to say?

The Nuggets Coming In: The good news for the Lakers is they catch the Nuggets on the second night of a back to back, with travel, as they beat the Clippers in LA but had to go to overtime to do it.

The bad news for the Lakers is the Nuggets get Carmelo Anthony back from a two-game suspension. It showed how much then missed him in the first game — Denver played Utah tight (without D-Will), but when it got down to crunch time and they needed someone to take and make the big shot, there were no answers for the Nuggets. Carmelo would have been that answer.

The Nuggets last night beat the Clippers by going to the pick-and-roll heavily, and running it well. Really, their offense consists of: 1) Try to fast break; 2) Pick-and-roll. AT least it did last night and I think we can expect more of the same tonight

Here is what the very wise Jeremy from Pick Axe and Roll said about last night:

Tonight the Nuggets learned how to win with defense. They learned how everyone taking personal responsibility for rebounding will lead to great team rebounding. They learned that it is possible for hem to win without scoring a lot of fast break points. They learned how deadly the pick and roll can be when run correctly. Nene learned how to play with foul trouble. Allen Iverson learned how to play basketball again after a poor preseason. J.R. Smith learned how to take over a game without dominating the ball and taking bad shots. Once they learn these things they will have turned an important corner. I think they may have learned these lessons tonight, but only time will tell….

The way the Nuggets played in the second half, this was a team that I could buy into. They played together on defense, attacked on offense and gave a great effort. Regardless of how much you hate George Karl or want to see Allen Iverson traded or think Kenyon Martin is a thug or hate the front office no Nugget fan could have watched the way they played in the second half and felt indifferent.

Remember that the Nuggets bring a couple very good players off the bench — J.R. Smith and Kleiza

Keys To The Game: For the Lakers, it starts with transition defense — the Nuggets want to get out and run on every possession, they push the ball off misses and makes. If the Lakers don’t get back it will lead to a lot of easy Nuggets buckets, if you make them run their offense (based on pick and rolls almost exclusively) they bog down some. But they have a lot of guys who can score, they will get their points. Just make them work for them.

Also, crash the offensive glass hard, slow the break by forcing Denver to stay in and protect against offensive rebounds.

Even though it is the second game in as many nights for the Nuggets, this is their home opener so they will have some extra adrenalin early. The Nuggets will make a run. The Lakers need to withstand that run and not get flustered.

I think it’s an advantage to play a team you faced in the playoffs last year, because you’ve studied their tendencies. For example, you can slow Melo if you overplay his right hand and make him use the left more. The Lakers did a good job helping on defense in that series, forcing the isolation baseline and being there to with the second man. We need to see that again.

The Nuggets don’t have a defensive answer for Kobe (remember he had 49 points and 10 assists in game two of the playoff series last year). This could be a good night for his fantasy fans. Of course, they had no answer for Gasol in that series either. And they didn’t have to deal with Bynum.

Where you can watch:KCAL 9 here in Los Angeles. Nationally you’ll need league pass. Check the comments for live streams.

Kurt

Posts

124 responses to Preview & Chat: The Denver Nuggets

  1. Is it too much to hope for another blow out. The games get a little boring then, but its not nationally televised so i am not going to watch anyways. I just hope that the lakers play with the same defensive intensity on the road as they do at home.

  2. Ryan,

    It will be another blowout, and Kobe is going to put up 30+. The Lakers owned the Nuggets without this new “intensity” on D. This is not the homer in me saying this. This is the realist in me talking. I don’t think Denver is that good.

  3. watch out for JR Smith, he played us very well in the playoffs and we didn’t seem to have answer…would it be Trevor/…sasha? what do you think?
    he is coming off the bench right?
    I also think we’ll see Farmar get more minutes tonight as he’s smaller and quicker and a better match up vs AI.
    as PJ recently said, we’re weak on rotating to cover the 3 when we pay this quasi zone, so watch out for klieza, and their outside shooters.
    I think we’re going to see Ttrevor and Sasha chasing these gus around, fighting thru picks to try to stay on their 3 point shooters, this could be a key to a strong D for the lakers.
    do you think Radman can stay in front of ‘Melo? might be seeing Trevor early tonight.

  4. Some Keys (besides the excellent points that Kurt pointed out) that I think will play a role in tonight’s game:

    1). Watch out for Denver’s big’s getting in foul trouble. Kenyon Martin is notorious for playing a physical style and is prone to fouling. During the playoffs we saw Denver put Martin on Kobe. I’m not sure if we’ll see that tonight, but it’s doubtful due to the Nugg’s no longer having the front court depth (and us having more front court depth) to handle us inside. That tactic was somewhat reasonable due to our lack of Bynum and Denver being able to defend Odom with some sort of perimeter player, but now with Bynum/Gasol starting, Martin is going to be forced to defend one of them (likely Gasol) and he’s going to foul him. So watch for Denver being forced to go to their bench and with Camby now an injured Clipper that could mean our bigs having good games against Denver’s back up bigs (Birdman, Balkman, and Juwan Howard). Plus, Nene isn’t known as a good defender and has fouled out of both games he’s played and tonight will be facing Bynum AND Gasol and will have to work on the boards and help on penetration from our guards.

    2). Watch for Ariza and Kobe to see some time on AI. Last year, in one of the games that we played against Denver, AI went off and had 49 through three quarters but was held to one basket in the 4th quarter. In that quarter Kobe and Ariza put the clamps on AI by denying him the ball and just harassing him all over the court. I expect to see more of this tactic in this game. As for who guards Melo, I think we’ll be fine with RadMan. Radman has the length and overall size to contest Melo’s jumper and enough quickness to at least stay on Melo’s hip and funnel him to the help. And if we continue to play our zone (which we showed against Denver last season in the playoffs, only it was Odom and not Gasol who was that 2nd defender) I think we’ll be okay covering Melo as he’ll have to score in the teeth of our defense. JR Smith is another issue. I think we’ll see Ariza on him when they’re on the court together, but we’ll also see Sasha on him and Kobe on him and we’ll continue to funnel him into the lane where our bigs can contest shots. But, if Denver is needing a big game from Smith to win, then I’ll be fine with that because that means we’re doing a pretty good job on AI and Melo.

    3). Look for a continuation of our 2nd unit wearing down the other team. Besides the point that Kurt made about Denver being on the 2nd night of a back to back, realize too that Denver doesn’t have a ton of quality depth. Sure they have Smith and Kleiza (both of whom I like a lot) but they’re also still relying on Anthony Carter to play PG and looking for real contributions from Dahntay Jones, Chris Andersen, and Renaldo Balkman to play real minutes. I understand that with Melo out these numbers are skewed, but in Denver’s first 2 games Jones and Andersen have averaged 16.5 and 18.5 minutes a game. If they play that much tonight against Odom and/or Gasol/Bynum, they’ll be in trouble. Add to the fact that Carter and Iverson are the only reliable PG’s, and I look for our second unit to push pace and allow our starters to come back in and face some worn out backcourt players.

  5. Boy, according to Jeremy, the Nuggets learned a lot in one game. One more game like that, and they’ll be the greatest team of all time!!

  6. Good points Kurt/Darius but I also have to agree with Chris H. I think the biggest thing Lakers need to worry about are the corner side threes our new defense gives up.

    We all know what kind of streaky shooters kleiza and smith are. If they can consistent hit that side three we give up it will be trouble for us.

    I am confident we will win this game, but I Denver is better equipped to hurt our zone with those two shooters.

    If they are off look for another 20+ blow out win

  7. I know this is way off topic…anybody heard how Kwame Brown is doing in Detroit?
    (i got to thinking about this when i read about orlando being disappointed in the Ariza trade…making Mitch look like a smart guy) but Kwame for Pau was a no-brainer. I still remember Phil’s reaction when Mitch told him he could get Pau for kwame…Phli pondered, then said, “No.. you .. can’t”. hahaha

  8. isn’t this great?? it’s RAINING in LA!
    let’s hope this means we’ll be the ones RAINING in 3’s and not the Nuggs.
    (from sasha, Fish, Farmar, Kobe and Radman and trevor…not LO, or chris mihm, just kidding)

  9. Chris H.,
    Detroit has only played one game, but Kwame only played 3 minutes. He was +3 but was 0-2 from the field and had an 0-fer in all stat lines except he had 1 steal. I still wish him luck in his new spot, but with ‘Sheed, McDyess, Maxiell, and Amir Johnson I’m not sure where Kwame fits in with the Pistons.

  10. does anyone have an online feed for the game today? thanks.

  11. As a Nuggets fan, I can say without a doubt that the Lakers are probably the best team in basketball right now.

    So many threats. Kobe, Gasol, Bynum, Fisher, Vuacic, Ariza – any one of them can put the team on their backs.

    I do not expect the Nuggets to win this game, but I expect them to show some intensity and keep it close until the end.

    Nene is on the upswing and I think will give Gasol/Bynum a good game. We still have no answer for Kobe outside of putting KMart on him, and he’s not quick enough to keep with him one on one. Hopefully, Kobe or Gasol gets into early foul trouble and we can run our post offense through Nene or Melo.

    If the Nuggets don’t rotate on defense, we’re toast.

    Prediction? Lakers 116, Nuggets 103.

  12. Anybody have a link to the game?

  13. David St. Hubbins November 1, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    I watched a little of the Nugs vs. Clips last night and I wanted to share a couple of observations:

    1. J.R. Smith looks much improved. Last year you knew you were only going get 2 things from him…a 30 foot 3 point heave or a head down charge to the basket. Last night he showed much improved feel for the game. He handled the ball well, ran the pick and roll, and made good decisions with the ball. He has the potential to be a really good player (I know, it was only 1 game).

    2. Although Iverson’s final numbers looked OK last night (25 pts., 5 assists on 9-19 shooting) I thought the Nugs looked considerably worse with him on the floor. I thought it was interesting that with AI on the bench and Carmelo suspended, the Nuggets ran what looked like a real team offense instead of 5 guys all just trying to get theirs (which we know and LOVE from the playoffs). In fact, the Nugs started their comeback with AI on the bench and J.R. Smith initiating most of their offense though pick and roll (when they weren’t running). Not to hate on the guy too much, but if I’m Denver I’m desperately trying to unload AI’s contract by the trade deadline (not that I can imagine anyone will want to take it). I just don’t think he adds anything to their success anymore.

    3. You have to think that Denver will come out fired up for their home opener and to try to take revenge against the team that swept them out of the playoffs. I assume the Lakers will have to survive an early run and energy from Denver, and then, like the Clipper game, let the beating begin!

  14. Check justin.tv for the lakers stream-they usually have a few up.

  15. it’s just too bad cuz i really like Iverson, but i don’t think the Nuggs really stand a chance unless we give them one.

    I want to see us holding them under 100. should be our season-long goal, holding opponents to under 100.

  16. Here is a site that links to online streams for the games today. If you scroll down, you should see a link that’s on JustinTV.

    http://www.myp2pforum.eu/nba-basketball/30185-basketball-today-november-1st-streams.html

  17. Darius good suggestions for the links, but the links to both sites are not broadcasting the game.

    Anybody have the stoogetv link?

  18. fish with the block?!

  19. Ugh. The Lakers look sluggish and sloppy.

  20. That link isnt working for me …any others?

  21. DId we really trade Kwame for this Gasol guy?

  22. When Kobe is calling for the ball in the post against Anthony Carter, please pass him the ball…

  23. nope… :( no better …the justin tvs dont usualy work for me

  24. Omar try using Firefox (if you are not) it seems to be working just fine for me.

  25. our offense is not clicking right now althought it’s just because of we’re missing shots

    our defense is still top notch though

  26. yeah….i am using firefox…i just tried IE and netscape… no luck ther either

  27. I think we’re gambling too much and zoning up too much on defense. We just double teamed the post when Juwan Howard was going to work down there….that’s overdoing it if you ask me.

    We also need to cut down on our fouling.

  28. Omar,
    Right now, league pass is free. So, I think their broadband game service is free right now too. I visited their web page and it prompted me to create an account (so I didn’t follow through), so you could try that. I would just make sure that they’re not asking you to pay for anything.

    http://www.nba.com/leaguepass/index.html

  29. http://www.justin.tv/rudyslv1

    this link will direct you to the game…unfortunately you can’t close the chat..

  30. We’re making Birdman look like Bill Russell.

  31. The Nuggets are making some good, quick passes behind the strong side zone and to cutting men, and that is getting them some very good looks.

  32. Oh so sloppy…

    Pau dunked the life out of that ball though!

  33. 34. Pau just had an answer for the birdman. That was a dunk!

  34. I’m watching this game on League Pass and I can’t stand the Nuggets announcers.

    One of the things I can’t stand is that they keep saying stuff like praising Chris Anderson for blocking two shots, but he just batted them out of bounds. He could have controlled it like Bill Russell did, but I guess he “wanted to make a statement” or something.

  35. Ariza just said if Pau can do it, I can do it too. Too bad he missed though.

  36. 39. Are they complementing Birdman’s tats, too?

  37. They also said that Anderson was sufferring from the flu. Does that mean he has the “Bird Flu”?

    I had to say that. :)

  38. 41. Haven’t heard anything about the tats yet. Man, the birdman is covered with them.

  39. wow, that third foul on Drew was crap.

  40. That was not a foul on Bynum!!!

  41. Didn’t see a foul there. Oh well, I guess Mihm might see a little bit of non-garbage time.

  42. 44. Some of the foul calls in this game are questionable at best. At least two of them on Bynum were not fouls in my opinion.

  43. considering that the lakers are in foul trouble and that the bench’s shot is off tonight and that we’re still leading, it’s not so bad. could definitely be worse. wish they pick up the defense and drive in more.

  44. If we’re going to play that strong side zone, then we better rotate under the basket first and then worry about rotating to the perimeter.

    Funny thing is, that with a team that is not a natural passing team (at least based off the past couple years) I think the zone is forcing them to make the correct pass and be a little more unselfish. I think if we were playing a more traditional man defense with a focus on positioning, we’d get them to force more jumpers and we’d be off to the races.

  45. these officials like blowing their whistles…

  46. Are post players not even allowed to turn around anymore?

  47. Young –

    Install NoScript for firefox, that’ll turn the chat off.

  48. what’s with all the foul calls?

  49. we need to put someone on anthony carter. come on now. how many ops are we going to give him?

  50. aaron, thanks for the heads up.

    i’ll install at half time.

  51. League pass didnt help either…saying they dont support it in jamaica….arggghh

  52. Sorry Omar, that was my last option.

  53. I’ll be glad when this half is over.

  54. Both teams are playing sloppy. Something is different about AI this year. He’s unselfish.

  55. does anyone know if it is anthony carter’s bday today?

  56. Wow the Lakers D is making Carter look like the best offensive player in the league. Need so shore up the D a little.

  57. seriously, how much are they paying the refs? what is with the unbalance calls?

  58. We need to adjust to how this game is being called. I know that we’re a deep team, but I think it’d be wise for us to stop fouling.

    By the way, we look like trash.

    *Our defense is not strong at all. We’re not covering for the rotating big when he leaves the basket. We’re not stopping penetration and making players pass the ball in the direction that they came from (ie we’re letting Iverson drive all the way baseline and allowing the pass into the lane or cross court for open looks vs. making him reverse field and pass back to the same side that he drove from). We’re also just leaving Anthony Carter alone to do whatever he wants. I understand you give up certain players and concede shots to those guys, but when he starts to hurt you, you better start to make adjustments.

  59. David St. Hubbins November 1, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    Lakers need to forget about the calls and come out in the second half and show what they are made of. You have to overcome obstacles on the road to be a good team.

  60. Good timeout Phil. Looks like the garbage man hasn’t come to pick up the trash yet…

  61. How the $@%# did Kobe make that?

  62. The Lakers are not playing with enough energy. It must be the altitude. That’s it.

  63. very nice!

  64. Farmar telegraphed that last pass to Bynum so bad, everybody knew it was coming. Bring back Fisher.

  65. That’s twice that Farmar has not gotten back on defense and his man has gotten a layup. In the first half, he missed a jumper (badly) and jogged back while Carter raced up court and got a layup. And right now he made a poor post entry and then just stood and watched while Carter raced up court and got a layup.

  66. I am sick of the Lakers making Anthony Carter look like Isiah Thomas.

  67. when in doubt, pass to kobe

  68. Whether the Lakers win or lose this game, I think it was good because the Lakers need these though sloppy games to make sure they don’t take games for granted later.

  69. Somebody should have said in the preview the Nuggets don’t have the answer for Kobe.

  70. Kobe will not let them lose.

  71. Kurt,
    Yeah, I think that regardless of the opponent that should be noted in the game preview.

  72. Lakers in the bonus. They need to take it to the hoop every time down.

    Plus let J.R. Smith shoot the Nuggets out of the game.

  73. This Kobe guy’s not bad.

  74. I’ll be glad when this game is over. This is a hard one to watch.

  75. Fisher!!!!

  76. this kobe guy is good

  77. ugly game…never feel comfortable in this game.

    i like that kobe can take over in the 4th, but hopefully we don’t have to do this too often
    as much as i like seeing kobe do his magic.
    it’s still not as good as the previous two games

    but i guess a win is a win

  78. Good teams have to win ugly sometimes, I’ll chalk this up to that. But a light week of games means the Lakers can work on getting that defense a little tighter, particularly the backside rotations when using strong-side zone.

  79. David St. Hubbins November 1, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    70. I noticed the same thing about Farmar. That’s just terrrible. Rough night for Bynum too, but more from foul trouble than lack of hustle. I’m glad the Lakers won, but that was a stinker. Still, it’s a good sign when you can play badly on the road and still win.

  80. Outside of Kobe the Lakers didn’t look impressive at all. The Nuggets ball movement really eviscerated our zone. The Nuggets! They weren’t a good passing team last year, at least from what I remember.

  81. I thought Bynum played alright, he had some rough calls against him and offensively didn’t seem to ever really get a rhythm. But he definitely had an impact defensively

  82. On the road (and a home opener to boot), up at altitude, against a playoff team, when the shots weren’t falling – that’s a very nice win. I think better than either of the blowouts.

  83. 83 – I totally agree Kurt, but the one positive is that after a lackadaisical first quarter where they managed to go +2 and a crushing second where they went -8, they came back hard in the 2nd half with a +6 and +7.

    The Lakers need to tighten up and not let *any* team beat them by more than 6 points a quarter. As long as they maintain that, they can stay competitive throughout the game (as we all know our offense can make that up in less than a minute). It when teams can’t stop the bleeding that they lose their ground, and eventually the game.

    I felt like Andrew got reminded tonight about what it’s like to play on the road (Clippers games don’t count). Some of those calls were questionable, but he should have adjusted his game to compensate. All this will come in time, and we have Pau Gasol to carry us in the meantime (I didn’t realize he had 16 boards until checking the box after the game!)

  84. Lakers have won 11 of 12 quarters this season. That’s a good stat.

  85. I agree with Elyse, I think ‘drew played pretty good when he was on the floor, (thought he got some bad calls going against him), and when he was on the floor in the 4th, he played some nice D, altered some shots when the game was on the line.
    wasn’t too impressed with Sasha tonight, wasn’t in sync with the unit on the floor when he was out there.
    Trevor continues to BRING IT! glad we got him, and glad he’s healthy.

    I guess I finally got to see that even a team this deep can get into foul trouble.

  86. Did Carmelo have gastric bypass after the Olympics?
    Why isn’t Bynum changing ends of the floor this year?

  87. I, for one, am encouraged that this team can also earn a win even when a few guys have sub-par games and the team shoots a poor percentage The difference in this game was second-chance points, especially coming from offensive rebounds (a stat where the Lakers were +12) … I’d like to think this proves that our guys were still playing hard despite the fact that the shots weren’t falling tonight. I suppose it also proves that it’s nice to have a trio of freakishly long front court players.

  88. Bynum really didn’t get the calls tonight. On one of them (I think the first in the second half), he seemed like the only Laker that _didn’t_ foul on the play. But he needs to learn to play through that, so the experience isn’t all bad. I thought the Lakers as a whole did a good job at halftime to adjust to the way the game was going to be called.

  89. The first real test for the Lakers is coming up in 2 weeks.

    Sunday vs Houston
    Tuesday vs. Dallas
    Wednesday vs New Orleans
    Friday vs. Detroit

    Keeping the dream alive! 82-0!

  90. We don’t think of Gasol as a rebounder, but his 16 rebounds may well have been the difference in the game. The Lakers outrebounded the Nuggets overall, 53-38.

  91. Really sucks that the only Laker game i can watch live are those on weekends, but I sure enjoyed watching this one.

    I’m happy we ‘held’ them to 97, although Melo helped us out plenty. Kobe forced the issue a bit but in the end he was Kobe, and Pau was pretty awesome.

    Besides, the reason why Farmar and others looked so bad is because he had to play against Denver’s starting unit. Haven’t seen the box score, but I think Denver played a playoff-type rotation focusing its minutes to a few players rather than spreading them. We all expected them to play well with this being their home opener and all, and we got caught after two blowouts, so counting all that, this was good.

    Honestly, a win is a win and this one, I don’t know, never felt like it was a losable game.

  92. So much for me thinking we would walk away with that one. But a W is a W. This a great example of us being too deep, too good. We came over come lackluster games, and we still have that Kobe guy. It’s also a good thing for us the Nuggets are stupid. We have them trying to prove a point and go shot for shot with Kobe. Smart move, the Nuggets foolishly shot (and missed) themselves into a loss. J.R. Smith is a dope, and I think Melo forgot what the paint looks like. Blame George Karl. These guys will never learn and the coach has to be held accountable.

  93. I think it’s kind of telling (and massively screwed up) that all 5 of Drew’s fouls were called by the same ROOKIE official.

  94. For those requesting feeds, if you have digital cable packages, NBA League pass is in Free Preview mode through the 4th, I think. I don’t live in LA anymore, and have been as happy as a pig in poop, watching darn near every NBA game I can this past week (as my lady reminds my why I’m not allowed to buy the package year round).

    One thing that stood out so far: the Timberwolves play on an abomination of a basketball court. Between the three point lines it’s varnish orange/brown, and inside the three point line it’s a light wood (with the key being painted team colors). Seriously, every time I see a game played there right now, I think I’m watching the Wizard of Oz in Technicolor. Something must be done before every Minnesotan go blind. I can’t even find an image of it online – even the internet knows not to show the world this eyesore.

  95. byran,

    Yeah. I hate the two tone courts also. If it’s going to be two toned, they shouldn’t have such drastic changes in color.

  96. If you want a live stream you can visit stoogetv.com. They have pretty much every Laker game on there live.

  97. I am glad someone else thinks that Minnesota court is awful. It’s hard to look at. I wonder how the players feel about it. It’s an eyesore.

  98. I find it encouraging the Lakers can win against a good team when they are not playing well

  99. I think that two tone courts affect a player’s game as well. Playing on a court with no 3 pt. line, you feel freer, not bound by the line, to be inside of it or out. a two tone court only reinforces those constrictions.

  100. I would also find it encouraging magiclover. Which good team did we beat when not playing well?

  101. JR, even if we beat Denver pretty soundly last year, they were still a playoff team last year, and they did win 49 games in the stacked western conference.

    I mean, we lost to the bobcats last year; sometimes you play poorly against teams you should beat, but being able to overcome that and still pull out a win is something that championship teams do.

  102. In all honesty, I would have loved to see another blowout. But the way we won the Denver game was alot better. I think that the Lakers need to play some tight games. This will show Phil Jackson who will step up near the end of games (Radman hit some clutch 3s last game!), who will kind of disappear, and just generally gets the team used to playing under masssive pressure. Unfortunately, the defense looked alot worse yesterday than the first 2 games. But heck yesterday’s game was just overall messy, so hopefully the come back from it strong.

    Also, I liked how they adjusted to the wierd refereeing at the half. These things are gonna happen, and you have to learn to adopt to the way a certain game is being played.

    All in all, a good learning experience.

  103. Also, in case you guys didn’t notice, Gasol has been rackin up the most minutes for us this season with 36, followed by Kobe at 32 and DFish all the way at 27. Gasol has been outstanding! He has great court vision and easily finds open 3 point shooters, cutters, and Bynum in the paint when they play their high-low game. He’s been working on his mid-range jumper. He’s playing good defense and rebounding well, and just generally playing with alot of energy. I especially excpect his minutes to stay pretty high, mainly because he meshes so well with both of our line-ups.

    And how about that steal at the perimeter and taking it all the way for the one-man fast break! The only thing missing was the 360 dunk at the end.

  104. 79-3 probably right?

  105. Off topic. But Iverson to the Pistons for Billups and McDyess

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3679931

    Not sure if I get this trade from Det’s point of view. I’m still undecided if it is a good move or not by either team.

  106. Breaking news from ESPN:

    The Nuggets and Pistons have agreed in principle on a trade that would send Allen Iverson to Detroit and Chauncey Billups, Antonio McDyess and Cheikh Samb to Denver, sources have told ESPN.

    The day is boring without something new to discuss so I thought I might stir up to pot a bit. Of course it is not sure that it is not a done deal.

    In any case, if it works out, this could help both of the teams. That’s as far as I will say until I get blamed for “speculation” :)

  107. Guess we blew up the Nuggets, ha. Actually, I like the trade for Denver, and for Detroit, I’d look at it long-term. Rasheed and AI will be expiring, so they can build around Hamiton, Prince and their young kids.

  108. Kwame a. Yeah maybe they are trying to go for a title one more year then clear enough cap space to take a shot at landing Wade or James in 2010.

  109. I personally I like it for Detroit more… It was a win-win thing for Dumars. All the pressure about doing nothing goes away, team gets all kinds of media hype with Iverson-sized mega star coming to town in controversial second trade in 2 years, Detroit players refresh a bit from the “same old, same old” days, youngsters (particularly Stuckey) happy with more opportunities left by Chauncey and Dice, Iverson in a new all-adoring environment, and did we say that Iverson is a Piston now? That is a lot of happy news for the Pistons fans

  110. I called Denver a good team, not a great team.They sure shot better than us.We beat a good team when not playing well.Boston couldn’t do that.

  111. I don’t understand the trade for Detroit. They’ll get Iverson’s expiring contract, but losing Dice in the move makes them very thin in the front court. Looks like we’ll be seeing a lot more Kwame and Walter Herrmann.

  112. 111. That is not speculation.

    I like the move for Denver, although it does not move them into contender status, but I think kwame a. is right that this is the first step in Detroit revamping. They will still be good this year but this is clearly a move about setting up cap space for the future.

  113. I can see why Dumars would make this move. Best-case scenario is that AI is the go-to guy they’ve been lacking in the last 3 years and leads them back to the Finals. If it doesn’t work out, they just let him and Sheed walk and shave $33M of their cap.

    Denver becomes a more balanced team, especially with Smith likely to start alongside Billups, and Carmelo should benefit from playing with a real PG again. McDyess gives them much-needed frontcourt depth, and he and Billups are the type of team-first, professional leaders that locker room seems to be lacking. The question I have is, how have they gone from dumping Camby (presumably for financial reasons) to shipping out a massive expiring contract like AI’s to take on $60M+ worth of salary in Billups and McDyess? What exactly is the plan over there?

  114. I do not think that the move is only motivated by Iverson’s contract. I think they want to keep him there (for less money of course, that’s certainly debatable), and have more running after Sheed is gone with young bigs coming into the big picture.

    I heard that Denver is expected to waive Dice. I wonder what his next destination will be? :)

  115. Word from Denver Post is that McDyess will be cut….who would he help?

  116. 120,

    I think Cleveland should take a look at him…

  117. Maybe McDyess just goes back to the Pistons?

  118. new post up on the trade

  119. David St. Hubbins November 3, 2008 at 11:45 am

    I’m curious as to why the AI/Billups trade happened now. This deal could have been made at anytime in the off season when both players could have acclimated with their new teams. Did somehting happen in the first week of the season for either (or both) teams that drove them to make the deal now?

    You never know about chemistry, but I think this deal makes Denver better. The experimented with AI and Carmelo together and I just don’t think playing 2 guys that need to dominate the ball that much works. Billups should allow Carmelo to be the man and be more of a traditional point guard who initiates offense for other players rather than just himself. He’s also a significant upgrade defensively where they’ve had to play Anthony Carter against the other teams’s 2 where he’s always mismatched. I think this will also provide an opening for J.R. Smith to play some minutes. With Iverson gone, I wouldn’t be surprised if he moves into the starting lineup with Carter moving to a backup role where he is more suited.

    I’m not sure how this benefits the Pistons in the short term. I don’t thnk adding AI puts them over the top of either the Celtics or the Cavs. I guess Detroit must think that Stuckey is ready for a big step up (I love him as a player). They can rent AI for one year and then have 20 mil back for their cap and have Stuckey ready to start next year. I watched AI against the Clips and the Lakers and he really looks like he’s lost a step. It could be that he’s just not motivated since Denver stripped his captaincy and he’ll perk up on a new team. However, the Pistons have stressed defense over the last few years and I think AI is a downgrade for there. He gets some steals by gambling, but he’s not real effective as either a one on one or team defender where he gets exploited for his lack of size and lack of willingness and his quickness isn’t what it used be. Again, you never know how the chemistry will work out…it could be a great move, but does anyone think this makes Detroit better this year?