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Karl Nuggets new coach

January 31st, 2005 by jmaness

When I first heard the rumors about Karl I didnt like it. We are a small market team and we didnt need a high profile coach to win. I also thought George Karl would put his ego in front of the team and he wouldnt mesh well with Carmelo Anthony. I also thought all we needed was some stability in the team so the players know who their coach is and we should just put the team in the hands of Coach Coop till the end of the season and see what he does. I heard of Karl’s players not liking him in the past and I was scared he was going to chase Melo out of town. Now looking at it, Karl has proved me wrong and I really hope these two games show the way the Nuggets will play under George Karl.

I was happy that Coop replaced Bzdelik, but the team didnt change the way they played and coaches rumors continued and Coop seemed less and less likely to keep the Head job after the season. I think not knowing if this coach will be there at the end of the season is tough on a team, but now they know and they can think just about the game.

So part of the reason the team struggled can go on the management and ownership. Even though Kiki said he wanted Karl, I think it came from higher up Stan Kroenke. Kroenke and Karl were business partners and Karl wanted to get back into the league and got some help from his old friend. Now all said and done Karl seems more relaxed and thankful to be the league than when he was in Milwaukee.

So where do the Nuggets go from here?

The team still has a chance at making the playoffs, but I dont think they’ll make it far with their bench. We can all wish and hope that Nikoloz Tskitishvili and Rodney White will become players and Francisco Elon will be a valuable backup big man, but truthfully Skita should have stayed in Europe, White should play smarter and Elson in my opinion has shown all he has and there isnt much. Without these three players our team isnt looking to bad with some holes to fill.

The holes on the team I see are at SG, backup SF, 4th big, 11th and 12th man who come to play and a 3rd PG.

Going into the offseason their are many ways we can go at SG. There are Ray Allen and Michael Redd at the top. Cuttino Mobley, Joe Johnson and Kerry Kittles are also good SG’s. Kareem Rush, Ronald Murray and Dajuan Wagner could develop into solid shooting guards. With Karl at coach I doubt and hope Allen doesnt come to Denver. Redd was coached by Karl and is a deadly scorer and is a wonderful role model off the court. Mobley would be nice and hopefully playing with Sacramento he learned to pass. Johnson and Kittles are two versatile SG’s, except Kittles is to small and injury prone. Rush would be a nice pickup and could develop into a nice role next to Melo. Also Anthony Parker from Europe could play in the NBA and I loved him when he came out of college in 97. He’s a versatile player, who I think could play as the same role as Doug Christie. The Nuggets could also look at the draft, where Rashad McCants (UNC), Francisco Garcia (Louisville), Rudy Fernandez (Argentina) and Julius Hodge (NC State) are looking at coming out.

The Nuggets I also believe need a backup SF, but most importantly just a position to bring over Ognjen Askrabic from Europe. A couple of years ago they looked at him and he would be a valuable role player for the Nuggets. He can shoot, score, pass and most importantly defend both forward positions well. If not him I think the Nuggets should look at Raja Bell of Utah or draft Joey Graham (Oklahoma State) or Hakim Warrick (Syracuse).

The other missing piece is another big, what I’m talking about is a big that does the little things. A big like Scott Pollard, Eduardo Najera, Mark Madsen, Andrew DeClercq and Aaron Williams. Madsen, DeClercq, Williams are free agents. Madsen would be the hardest to get cause the T-Wolves love him. DeClercq is coming of injuries and Williams playing time has diminished and neither would cost alot. Ervin Johnson, Robert Traylor, Michael Ruffin and Jahidi White are also available. Matt Nielson of Australia, who played on the Nuggets summer league team should get a look too. If looking at the draft there is Ike Diogu (ASU) if he comes out and Wayne Simien (Kansas).

I also believe the Nuggets need to have players at the end of the bench who just want to play and will work hard to play. The Nuggets have Rodney White and Skita at the end of the bench and neither is happy with their roles. Both players are on the team cause of their potential and I think it’s hurting the strength of the team bench. I personally would rather have Ryan Bowen, Adrian Griffin, Luke Walton or Darvin Ham at the end of the bench than White and the whining Skita.

The Nuggets also need a third PG. I think former Nuggets Kenny Satterfield, Omar Cook and Junior Harrington would be good 3rd PG. Or the Nuggets can look in the draft at John Lucas (Oklahoma State), Aaron Miles (Kansas), Chris Thomas (Notre Dame) and Julius Hodge (NC State).

I think this lineup could make the Nuggets contenders next year:
Nene Camby DeClercq
K-Mart Aaron Williams Matt Nielson
Melo Askrabic Bowen, Russell or Walton
Mobley or Redd Buckner D Johnson, F Garcia
Miller EB Junior, C Thomas or J Hodge

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