There's a lot to be excited about for the upcoming season.....but there are also some things that have me tempering my enthusiasm just a bit.
The overall value of adding Kenyon Martin to this team. His contributions can't be measured by just numbers (although 16 points and 10 boards is nothing to sneeze at). His work ethic on both ends of the floor, his love for an up-tempo, running style of game and his intensity are a godsend for a young team that needs someone with those infectuous attributes. Despite his relatively young age, Martin is playoff tested with two trips to the NBA Finals on his resume. He'll be looked upon to be a leader on this team and I think that's a role he'll relish.
But on the flipside, this team is going to suffer when teams are able to clog the paint. Voshon Lenard is the best long range shooter on the team, but he's streaky at best. When he's on, he's deadly. When he's off, he's useless. I would like to have seen the Nuggets find a way to add another shooter to the mix as I want to see Carmelo lay off the jumpers and take the ball to the basket more. I'm hoping we'll see Jon Barry back, but I'm not holding my breath.
The X factor in all of this is Tskitishvili. He has the potential to be a very solid contributor off the bench, especially after his excellent showing in summer league play. But he has to show signs of life on the defensive end as well as a commitment to rebounding (the guy is 7 feet tall, he's got to be willing to fight for a few boards) to earn the minutes. The kid can shoot, we've always known that. So if he can show something in other aspects of his game, the Nuggets could sport a lineup of size and skill that will give other teams fits.
There are question marks, but one thing is certain, the Nuggets managed to add to their already promising lineup without subtracting from their core. Any way you slice it, that's a recipe for even more improvement. Making the jump from 43 to 50 wins isn't as easy as it sounds, but I think this squad has the goods to make it happen.