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Birdman returns to the nest


July 23rd, 2008 by aswitzer
Chris Andersen will soar again in Denver

Chris Andersen will soar again in Denver

That’s correct – Chris Andersen, a Nuggets fan-favorite during the 2001-2004 seasons, is returning to the Nuggets via a one-year contract for the league minimum that he signed today.

Chris got his start in the NBA with the Nuggets, and used a combination of raw athleticism and hustle on the court to get playing time. He signed a free agent deal with New Orleans and averaged 7.7 points and 6.1 rebounds in 2004-2005. In January 2006, he was banned for substance abuse and spent over two years outside the NBA for his punishment. He was reinstated on March 4th, 2008, but only appeared in 5 games.

Andersen, now 30, will be counted on to provide some slender height to the Nuggets frontline. He’ll also be filling in for a role that Eduardo Najera had excelled at over the past few seasons – energy off the bench. While I’ve been a fan of Andersen, this is a really tough comparison for Nuggets fans. Subbing in Andersen for Najera is a major downgrade in nearly every area – basketball IQ, overall talent, shooting ability (anything other than a dunk) and even the little things like setting a decent pick or executing standard basketball plays like the pick-n-roll or give-n-go, all were in Najera’s favor, who now plays for the New Jersey Nets.

Still, I wish the Birdman nothing but luck and hope he plays well this season. If he brings the same work ethic I heard that he had back during his first stint with the Nuggets, he can be a positive factor on the court.

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