2007 Denver Nuggets Season Preview
Here’s a team with two amazingly talent players—Allen Iverson (.442 FG%, .315 3P%, .795 FT%, 3.0 RPG, 7.2 APG, 26.3 PPG) and Carmelo Anthony (.476 FG%, .268 3P%, .808 FT%, 6.0 RPG, 3.8 APG, 28.9 PPG). These two guys can score and everyone’s thinking it’s just a matter of time before the two get into one another’s way. Can coach George Karl somehow create a disciplined atmosphere wherein the two can coexist with both being brilliant simultaneously? There’s the multimillion-dollar question.
Carmelo Anthony and Marcus Camby (.473 FG%, .000 3P%, .729 FT%, 11.7 RPG, 3.2 APG, 11.2 PPG) are both dynamite frontcourt players. Camby can pound the boards, while Anthony is a scoring machine. Kenyon Martin (.500 FG%, .000 3P%, .250 FT%, 10.0 RPG, 0.5 APG, 9.5 PPG) and Nene (.570 FG%, .000 3P%, .689 FT%, 7.0 RPG, 1.2 APG, 12.2 PPG) are both amazing scorers, but Martin can’t hit a simple free throw. All four bang the boards and Camby is one of the best defensive players in the league.
Allen Iverson is certainly one of the biggest talents in the league. Of course, he also has one of the biggest egos in sports. Like Anthony, Iverson is a big time scoring machine. Across from Iverson, Chucky Atkins (.434 FG%, .379 3P%, .810 FT%, 2.3 RPG, 1.4 APG, 13.0 PPG) is a fine scorer. Together, Iverson and Atkins make up one of the smallest—6’ 0” and 5’ 11”—backcourts in the league, making them extremely vulnerable on defense. Other backcourt guys—J.R. Smith (.441 FG%, .390 3P%, .810 FT%, 2.3 RPG, 1.4 APG, 13.0 PPG) and DerMarr Johnson (.325 FG%, .216 3P%, .762 FT%, 1.5 RPG, 0.4 APG, 3,5 PPG)—are both in legal trouble and attempting to stay out of jail.
The Nuggets proved last season that they can run and score, as they were the third highest scoring team in the league. Unfortunately, superior defenses slowed them down and knocked them out of the playoffs. The Nuggets must start playing a strong half-court game and create a new gold standard for their play; if they can’t do that expect another early exit from the tournament.