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RhymesayersDU 11-27-2006 12:06 AM

"Consider Me Sold On J.R. Smith," And Other Observations Of The Nuggets
 
As I've lamented numerous times on this board, I don't see many Nuggets games these days, living in NM. But I sure as hell caught tonight's game versus the Clippers, and let me tell you, I love J.R. Smith.

I love his athleticism. I also noticed that anytime he's bringing the ball up the court, he instantly finds Carmelo. That may seem like an odd point, but just look at Earl Boykins, whom I will get to later. Plus, he's easily better than Buckner, DJ, and whomever else we put out there at the 2-spot. So, it's hard to dislike his play. He may not be an All-Star, but he's an upgrade.

Now, as the ESPN guys pointed out tonight, he'll take some bad shots. And sure enough, he did just that tonight. But personally, I'm willing to live with that. And considering that Karl wants the boys in blue to be taking quick shots, getting up the floor, etc, we don't really have a choice. Bad shots will happen. But come on, did you see that rebound-dunk tonight? NASTY. Plus I just plain think he'll get better. He was one of those guys who wasn't ready to play NBA ball, but was drafted on athleticism. So his game can only grow. I think so far (in what I've seen) he's become a cool sidekick from Carmelo, which we haven't really had.

Ahh yes, Mr. Anthony. It's hard for me to say anything that hasn't been said. Everybody is fawning over him, and for good reason. Leading the league in scoring, which is great. He's shooting a decent percentage, something around 50 I think, which is good. But the really cool thing is his passing. Tonight, I saw some pretty nifty passes from him, which the team will need to take a step forward. Of course, the guys need to help him and drain their shots. In the first quarter tonight against the Clipps, I saw Melo pass out of a double team to a wide open J.R. Smith, who drained the 3-pointer. Man, if that can even come close to being a consistent thing, we're in good shape.

Onto Camby and Andre. To use a quote which will never get old, THEY ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE! Seriously though, same guys, very solid. Camby comes to work, is our defensive glue. If he can play 70 games, it will be a miracle. As for Andre, just a good point guard. He passes well, and will occasionally hit a shot from around 10 feet.

Joe Smith is a really nice player. Actually, all of our role playing guys are. Can you really say anything bad about Najera, Evans, and Smith? I mean, besides junk-grabbing. They board and they hustle. That is what they're paid to do. It makes me curious what could happen if K-Mart or Nene ever got healthy. We're winning now, yes, but man, if we could get one of those guys to get healthy and be studs, who knows. At this point I'm leaning towards it being Nene, but either way, if got a legitimate starter at the 4 spot, who knows what could happen. But for now, I like our little rotation at PF.

Can somebody kill Earl Boykins, please? I decided tonight that I think Boykins has what is commonly referred to as "Little Man's Syndrome." I see him dribble down the court, and just hold onto the ball for no reason. Dribbles into the corner, like he's going to take somebody 1 on 1, or tries to get into the lane for a shot, only to turn it over. I truly believe that he wants to be Carmelo. He tries to do way too much, with usually bad results. I think he wants to be the man. I can appreciate the fact that it's not always size that matters, but heart, but I don't know with Boykins. He doesn't pass to Carmelo (who the offense should be run through at all times) and he just dribbles around trying to create things that aren't there. Totally brings the offense to a halt. Why is this guy still pulling in a paycheck? I mean, I know he can get hot, and I know we've seen him make big shots... But Christ, the bad totally outweighs the good. It's not even close.

Anyways, color me impressed by the boys going 8-1 over the last 9 games. Especially after that 0-3 start. I think there could be some issues with rebounding, as was seen in the 2nd quarter tonight, but the Nuggs are playing some good basketball. I don't know what the season will hold for them, and maybe Utah will be too good to pass up this year for the division. But I think the Nuggets could make some noise. It will all come down to J.R. Smith and Marcus Camby. As those two go, so will we. We know Carmelo will give us 30 a night, and if he keeps up his play, he'll be in Vegas in an All-Star uniform. But if J.R. can give us a legit second scoring threat and if Camby can stay relatively healthy and anchor our defense, we could beat some people.

Man-Goblin 11-27-2006 12:37 AM

Great post. I agree with most of everything you said. ESPECIALLY Boykins. God I wish they would unload him. But as I've said many times, Karl loves him for some reason.

J.R. has been awesome. No doubt about it. Considering how young he is the Nuggets have found a gem. Yes, he will take some bad shots, but dude SHOULD be a junior in college right now. I stated on opening night that he had a great chemistry with Carmelo, and boy, has that come true. Dude is averaging over 20 points a game and if he keeps it up he's in line for most improved. Bravo.

Love Camby. He's the man. Stay healthy and he will get that all-star performance. Andre? Yes, he is what we thought he was; and inconsistent guy who will have nice averages but will disappear on the odd night. I will continue to say he is the wrong PG for this offense, but with the way the offense is clicking right now, who am I to question? I just wonder what they would look like with the RIGHT PG in there. A man can dream, can't he?

Well, "The Witches of Breastwick" just came on showtime. I um, have to go, or something....

theAPAOps5 11-27-2006 01:34 AM

At first when I heard he was coming I was like, ehhh not much of an improvement. The kid is young and got out of favor in New Orleans/Oklahoma City. But now that I have watched him play, caught almost every game, he is growing on me. The dude can ball and he is still a raw talent. Makes me respect Karl a little more as you can see what coaching has done for him.

I also am just absolutely exstatic on Carmelo this year. That dude has grown up big time. Not only is he on fire scoring but he makes some nasty passes for assists and is tied for 5th in steals. At first I thought he was going to be a punk but he has changed my thinking on him.

I have always liked Camby I just hope he stays healthy. I also wonder how much Nene can contribute now, he gets injured if you blow at him.

I also think that Boykins is a momentum killer. He comes in and all of a sudden he starts pulling up and taking shots that aren't needed. That kills the stride of the team.

Finally, I think that Kenyon, chump, Martin being injured and away from the team and locker room has done wonders. I think he was a virus last year and with him gone and his ego out of the rotation the team has solidified. Maybe I am biased but that joke has to go.

Rascal 11-27-2006 12:21 PM

Dump Kenyon and get a legit PF (top 15 would suffice).

Master___Pain 11-27-2006 01:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rascal (Post 1375902)
Dump Kenyon and get a legit PF (top 15 would suffice).

For all intents and purposes, Kenyon has been dumped, at least for the season. PF is the least of my concerns right now, I'd love to see a decent #2 PG though. Right now things are clicking for the Nuggets, hopefully it stays that way. Melo continues to get better every game as well.

Nuggets4 11-27-2006 02:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Master___Pain (Post 1376028)
For all intents and purposes, Kenyon has been dumped, at least for the season. PF is the least of my concerns right now, I'd love to see a decent #2 PG though. Right now things are clicking for the Nuggets, hopefully it stays that way. Melo continues to get better every game as well.

Q4MFT. I would love to get a Daniel Ewing type player who could be our back-up PG. I'd love to have a third PG on the roster as well so we never have to see DJ bring the ball up again, but I'd settle for a decent #2.

This Nugs team is one of the most entertaining teams I've seen in a while.

GSRelyea 11-27-2006 02:49 PM

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/dailyd...ilydime-061127

Whose shot? J.R.'sBy Greg Anthony
ESPN.com

Five questions in the wake of Denver's 103-88 win Sunday over the Los Angeles Clippers. It was the Nuggets' fifth straight win.
How is J.R. Smith scoring all these points all of a sudden?

I think people sometimes have unrealistic expectations for young talents. This is because of LeBron James -- you expect guys with great potential to have an immediate impact.

It takes some guys longer to figure out the NBA; also, there's the question of the right fit.

I think the lack of success he's had before this season can be chalked up to these factors. Anytime as a player, when you go into a situation where you're needed, like Denver, it helps. Playing alongside Carmelo Anthony and a true pass-first point guard like Andre Miller seems to be a good situation for him.

I've been impressed with him up close. He's got a nice little run going. It will be interesting to see how he faces some tough times. That's going to tell us more about him -- how he deals with adversity. Carmelo is now the leader -- and I think he's giving the young man some confidence. Carmelo needs a big-time player to take the pressure off him, as it showed in last year's playoffs against the Clippers, when they could just focus on him.

C'mon. Can the Nuggets really depend on J.R. Smith?

That's what they're going to find out. What he's averaged recently (22.6 ppg over last five) might be too much to expect -- not too many guys averaging 25 in this league. But if gets up to 18 per game, if you're George Karl and the Nuggets, that's a complete victory. If you get 18 a night from a guy you acquired for a couple of second-round picks, that could end up being the biggest move made out there.

Doesn't seem like the Nuggets miss K-Mart at all, do they?

Don't forget they're also without Nene. Marcus Camby and Reggie Evans have a great impact defensively and with rebounding. So now they don't have K-Mart's offensive explosiveness, but that's where J.R. has helped make them better.

And Carmelo's now the game's best pure scorer -- his ability to play out of double teams, get teammates involved -- that has been fun to watch. The sky's the limit. Karl told me that Anthony is the best pure scorer he's ever coached. And that scoring is coming within the framework of helping his team.

Why can't the Clips win a road game?

Tim Thomas, Sam Cassell and Chris Kaman were pretty much out of training camp. That's a lot for a young team to handle. Elton Brand didn't have any off-time in the offseason.

When you put that all together, it's tough to have consistency. You only have three teams in the conference with a losing record. That's making it difficult. Winning is new to them. Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy told me that one of his challenges is to convince them how good they are. They don't have a history of being a winning franchise.

What about their backcourt rotation?

The key is Shaun Livingston. With Cassell's age, and Cuttino Mobley not the prototype shooting guard, Livingston is important. When you talk about Livingston and Corey Maggette off the bench -- now, that could be more of a key. For a team struggling, they're going to need those guys to step up.

Plus if Sam is leading the team in scoring, then the team is not playing good basketball.

ESPN analyst Greg Anthony was on the broadcast from Denver of Sunday's Clippers-Nuggets game

rubaiyat 11-27-2006 09:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nuggets4 (Post 1376066)
Q4MFT. I would love to get a Daniel Ewing type player who could be our back-up PG. I'd love to have a third PG on the roster as well so we never have to see DJ bring the ball up again, but I'd settle for a decent #2.

This Nugs team is one of the most entertaining teams I've seen in a while.

Yeah we've had decent prospects on that front pass through our hands.

Hopefully we can address it soon, maybe with a trade, maybe in the offseason.

We're stuck with Kenyon though...likely for at least another 2 years so he can prove he can play a full season again.

Though there is a possibility he will never play again.

titan 11-30-2006 11:16 PM

If Kenyon never plays again, do the Nuggets get salary cap relief from his contract?

Clockwork Orange 12-01-2006 05:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by titan (Post 1380945)
If Kenyon never plays again, do the Nuggets get salary cap relief from his contract?

Nope. They're up ****ed river on that front.

The positive side for the organization is that insurance pays for his salary while he's out for the season.

Forget Kenyon, when he comes back he'll be a shell of his former self. Write it off as a loss and move on. Yet another in the long list of Nuggets moves that didn't work out.

WABronco 12-02-2006 04:41 PM

Hey if you guys want a backup point you can have Earl Watson back. Interested?

RhymesayersDU 12-02-2006 09:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WABronco (Post 1382953)
Hey if you guys want a backup point you can have Earl Watson back. Interested?

Only if we can trade you Earl Boykins!

WABronco 12-02-2006 11:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RhymesayersDU (Post 1383429)
Only if we can trade you Earl Boykins!

Next!

theAPAOps5 12-02-2006 11:58 PM

Oh come on why wouldn't you want little old Earl. I tell you what Carmelo has just taken that step into special status. He is amazing to watch!

Clockwork Orange 12-03-2006 01:48 AM

I have to say that I love the throwbacks that the Nuggets wore tonight.....but Al Harrington's mohawk has got to go.

http://espn-i.starwave.com/media/app...a10424f0b5.jpg
http://espn-i.starwave.com/media/app...a5a130663b.jpg

RhymesayersDU 12-03-2006 03:50 AM

The throwbacks were awesome tonight.

BTW, does anybody have a picture or clip of that move by Carmelo under the basket, the Dr. J move? My god that was sick, #1 on the Top 10 as well.

Rascal 12-03-2006 04:05 AM

Check ESPN they have it when you read the game review for the move.

The jerseys were pretty sweet. They should wear them more often.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/recap?gameId=261202007

Clockwork Orange 12-03-2006 04:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RhymesayersDU (Post 1383753)
BTW, does anybody have a picture or clip of that move by Carmelo under the basket, the Dr. J move? My god that was sick, #1 on the Top 10 as well.

I looked but couldn't find it. That was just a ridiculous play and absolutely Dr. J-esque. We'll be seeing that one for quite some time.

Tredici 12-03-2006 02:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Clockwork Orange (Post 1383663)
I have to say that I love the throwbacks that the Nuggets wore tonight.....but Al Harrington's mohawk has got to go.

http://espn-i.starwave.com/media/app...a10424f0b5.jpg
http://espn-i.starwave.com/media/app...a5a130663b.jpg


Got home late and started flipping between the Nugs and Avs both already in progress. I'm looking at the Nugz uniforms and thinking, what the hell??! When did they switch to orange instead of yellow??!! Took me a while to catch on to the Rocket throw back thing. JR said he was keeping his.

Nuggz is right. The team is highly entertaining to watch. Even the fkups are done with flair.

Wonder how they manage to keep Melo (Anybody catch the floor anouncer singing Meeelllo and the crowd singing back Meelllo like "day-o") out of the All Star game this year?

rubaiyat 12-04-2006 04:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tredici
Got home late and started flipping between the Nugs and Avs both already in progress. I'm looking at the Nugz uniforms and thinking, what the hell??! When did they switch to orange instead of yellow??!! Took me a while to catch on to the Rocket throw back thing. JR said he was keeping his.

Nuggz is right. The team is highly entertaining to watch. Even the fkups are done with flair.

Wonder how they manage to keep Melo (Anybody catch the floor anouncer singing Meeelllo and the crowd singing back Meelllo like "day-o") out of the All Star game this year?

Agreed. I actually like the fact both Melo and JR had matchin headbands to go with em...I mean small potatoes for a sports organization, but still pretty cool.

West is stacked at the forwards, and as long as Yao, TD, and KG are getting automatic bids it'll be tough to crack it. I wasn't shocked nor entirely outraged he hasn't done it yet.

I think Melo makes it this year though if the Nugss keep winning at a decent pace and he keeps it up.

But I mean, you got those 3, Dirks' gonna be in there, as will Boozer (assuming Utah stays hot and he does as well, and not injured).

At best you are going to get 8 roster spots, more like 7 for the 3,4,5 spots.

So now you got 2 spots for:

Brand, Randolph, Marion (though I think he's cooled a bit, and he's a Blazer), Melo, Amare, maybe even Biedrins and Camby...

Which actually sucks for Camby, cause I don't think the Nuggets get two slots despite what I hope to be a strong showing in the standings and stats.

RhymesayersDU 12-04-2006 10:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rubaiyat (Post 1386451)
Agreed. I actually like the fact both Melo and JR had matchin headbands to go with em...I mean small potatoes for a sports organization, but still pretty cool.

West is stacked at the forwards, and as long as Yao, TD, and KG are getting automatic bids it'll be tough to crack it. I wasn't shocked nor entirely outraged he hasn't done it yet.

I think Melo makes it this year though if the Nugss keep winning at a decent pace and he keeps it up.

But I mean, you got those 3, Dirks' gonna be in there, as will Boozer (assuming Utah stays hot and he does as well, and not injured).

At best you are going to get 8 roster spots, more like 7 for the 3,4,5 spots.

So now you got 2 spots for:

Brand, Randolph, Marion (though I think he's cooled a bit, and he's a Blazer), Melo, Amare, maybe even Biedrins and Camby...

Which actually sucks for Camby, cause I don't think the Nuggets get two slots despite what I hope to be a strong showing in the standings and stats.

Agreed for the most part. I think Melo should have made it last year over Pau Gasol, but that's still like a coin-flip at best. It hasn't been a huge tragedy that Melo hasn't made it yet. But this year he will, I think.

Man-Goblin 12-05-2006 11:23 AM

Melo should be STARTING the all-star game at this point.

RhymesayersDU 12-05-2006 04:24 PM

I don't know if he can get the votes to start, but he's playing great.

I'm also excited about the team in general. We went 10-5 over the first 15, and hell, we should have gotten 12 wins. Although we didn't play any of the West's elite besides the Clippers though. Interested to see how we play against SA, Phoenix, and Dallas.

theAPAOps5 12-05-2006 04:25 PM

Rhyme my boss gave me tickets to tomorrow nights game Center court 3rd row! I'll snap you some nice pics!!!!

RhymesayersDU 12-05-2006 04:35 PM

Nice man!

I can't wait, I scored courtside tix for New Year's eve against the Mavs... I love this time of the year, and Christmas and all that, but that game cannot come fast enough.


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