CO Sports Chick

Musings on Colorado sports from a female perspective

Posts Tagged ‘JR Smith’

Not Enough Heat to Start a Fire in Rockies

Posted by The Minkster on January 14, 2011

Knowing that Melo will soon be playing home games somewhere around the Big Apple in a week or two made the annihilation of the Miami Heat, even without King James, as sweet as a chunk of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory fudge.  Up by about 30 going into the fourth quarter and maintaining the spread five minutes into it put the Nuggets in the unique situation of clearing the bench and resting the starters for the remainder of the game.  Afflalo, JR and Ty gave us a glimpse of how the future of the franchise might look next year after all the veterans have been cleared out, and if they could do that every night the Nuggos would at least be fun to watch. 

The vets that are cornerstone of trade talks

In case you muted the TNT Heat-loving broadcast team or decided that the Mentalist rerun was more entertaining, you might not know that LeBron James missed the game due to a sprained ankle.  Too bad, because the way the Nuggets played last night I think Melo and the gang would’ve still smacked the Heat around.  Despite its record, I think this team in baby blue could go deep into the playoffs if it could stay together.  And, it would be great if Santa still brought me presents and the Easter Bunny filled my basket with Cadbury eggs.  It’s a business and we all root for laundry, so no use in worrying about who is leaving.  I just hope the Nuggets end up with a diamond in the rough like the Rox did in CarGo after moving Holliday.  Both Holliday and Melo wanted out of Denver and I wish them both many losses and absence of a championship ring upon retirement.  Yep, no taking the high road here – it just a business boys.

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Kleiza Opting for Gyros Over Buff Burgers

Posted by The Minkster on August 10, 2009

Not so fast about the Nuggets!

Not so fast about the Nuggets!

Given an opportunity to go back closer to his family in Europe, potentially become a starting forward and cash a bigger paycheck Linas Kleizainked a two-year deal with Olympiakos on Monday.  The Nuggets were set to pay him $2.7 m this year, which was a decent raise from the $1.5 m he made during last year’s playoff season but no where near the cash the Greeks are doling out.  Kleiza averaged 9.9 points and 4 rebounds per game off the bench and was a threat to make outside shots.  Many experts are saying the Nuggies will miss him and DahntayJones, who signed with the Pacers, this upcoming season but I’m not so sure.

Linas Kleiza #43 of the Denver Nuggets goes to basket against the Detroit Pistons on February 25, 2008 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.

Linas Kleiza #43 of the Denver Nuggets goes to basket against the Detroit Pistons on February 25, 2008 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.

All the talking heads are saying the Nuggets aren’t active enough in free agency this off-season in order to keep pace and contend for a title in 2009-10.  I haven’t seen any blockbuster trades in the West that Karl should lose sleep over.   The same top teams kept their stars and have brought in some guys they think can help in areas of weakness.  I haven’t seen any big fish that got away which could have helped the Nuggets and still kept the tax man at bay. 

Fans forget that the Nuggets are a fairly young team and have great upside.  If their players continue to develop and the veterans stay healthy Denver will continue to go deep into the playoffs.  Let’s take a quick look at the youngin’s:

  • Ty Lawson – Might as well start with the best draft pick by the organization since Melo.  The only thing this kid accomplished in the last six months was come in during the NCAA Tourney with a lingering injury and lead the Tar Heels to a championship.  Hmmmm, sound familiar any Orange fans?  This kid deserves a shot at some minutes which he’ll get with Jones gone.
  • JR Smith – Karl’s problem child grew-up a lot last year and should continue to make strides with Billups as a role model.  A little time in the joint this summer I’m sure helped with perspective.
  • Renaldo Balkman- In his first year with the Nuggets (2nd in the league) he showed signs of why the Knicksdrafted him in the first round out of South Carolina.  He needs to continue to develop and stay healthy so he can give Kmart some relief minutes.
  • Arron Afflalo- Starting his second year as a pro, this little shooting guard can learn how to play the game right along side Billupswho he played briefly withat Detroit before the infamous trade.  Ranks second all-time at UCLA for three-pointers made and attempted.
  • Nene – Although going into his 7th year he has lost 2+ seasons to injuries and cancer, so he is still got upside at 27 years old.
  • Melo – He’s only 25 and taken the Nugs to the playoffs every year since pulling on the jersey.  Don’t  think he won’t get better after the experiences over the last year and having a leader like Billups on the team.

I like this mix of youth and veterans, and just like any other NBA team they must get lucky with the injury bug to end up with a high seed going into the 2010 playoffs.  Don’t know about you, but I’d rather be looking at this lineup versus the old guys in San Antonio which is trying to win one more for the old Demon Deacon.

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