CO Sports Chick

Musings on Colorado sports from a female perspective

Posts Tagged ‘Ty Lawson’

MarshMello’s No More

Posted by The Minkster on February 25, 2011

Oh happy day!!  The Melodrama is finally over and last night in The Can against the East leading Boston Celtics Nuggets fans got to see what kind of team will be finishing out the 2011 season.  The fact that Boston had lost in four out of their last five visits to the Mile High City was irrelevant as transplanted yanks in green came out in droves to cheer on the team that started this new NBA super team phenomenon.  

Just kick yourself – right now – if you missed this contest and you like old school basketball.  There was great defense by both teams, no phantom superstar whistles to speak of, awesome ball movement and hustle!  What an entertaining game and I actually stopped working on my computer, which is what I usually do during long boring NBA games.  The old MarshMello Nuggets would typically lose a game where they scored under 90 points, but these guys looked like they were playing college ball and put the aging oxygen sucking Celtics away 89-75 in the last few minutes of a hard-fought contest. 

I just love how the media guys keep saying the Celtics were short-handed with only nine guys suited up for the game.  Is that an excuse?  The Nuggets beat Memphis 120-107 with same number of guys (9) just two days earlier but minus its “superstar”, team leader and bench support.  Boston lost two role players and two rookies – must have been devastating!  

JR schools Big Baby

JR taking it to the hoop!

Anyway, back to our Nuggets.  George Karl looks re-energized, Ty has stepped up into Mr. Big Shot’s role, Kmart looks like Steve Austin (as in 6 Million Dollar Man not Stone Cold) and Afflalo looks to shine in the new look Nuggets to show why he was highly regarded coming out of UCLA.  The new defensive minded Nugs held Boston scoreless for the last 6:09 of the game!  That would have never happened with Melo and Chauncey in the lineup.  Did you know this is only the sixth time this season the Nuggets have been held to less than 90 points, but he first time they won a low scoring affair? 

The pre-trade Nuggets couldn’t hold a lead, but the post powder blue team keeps the pedal to the floor and is determined to make the playoffs.  It’s like a new short season for the baby Nuggos and I think they can go deep into the playoffs playing more like the Spurs than the Lakers.  A team effort, tough D, ball movement and multiple scoring threats will beat a superstar with a back-up band over the long NBA season.

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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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Turn Off Melo-drama and Tune Into Nugs

Posted by The Minkster on September 30, 2010

I’m already tired of hearing about Melo deals and if this past summer is any indication it’s just getting started, so I’m focusing on the three hop along amigos, Smooth and the youngster Ty.  After a disappointing early playoff exit I’m actually looking forward to this year.  No matter whether Melo stays or goes I think the Nuggets are looking at another post season appearance.

Kmart is a dominating player when he’s focused and healthy.  That stretch last year before his annual injury put him on the bench was fun to watch.  Who doesn’t like some in your face smack down playing from the hometown rebel?  Birdman wasn’t the same at all last year, so hopefully the problems were lasered, cut or repaired so he can fly free again.  Not sure what Nene has been doing this summer, but if he is healthy and strong Karl will get him back on track.  Don’t forget about big Al who we picked up a few months ago and I think Balkman is primed for a breakout year.

On to the little guys to which I can relate.  We have a good bunch of ball handlers and shooters that will be hard for any team to cover.  Billups is back in the Mile High City fresh off his gold medal victory at the FIFA’s this summer.  Ty has a new shooting motion that he’s been working on all summer, so looking forward to some big games from him this year.  Afflalo should get some significant playing time and have a big season under Karl’s tutelage.  And last but not least there is JR with his insane lights out shooting that I love to see, but the coaches hate. 

Should be a fun year to catch a Nugs game and if the Melo circus can be kept out in the old Cirque de Sole tent this team has a chance to finish two or three in the West.  Keep your eyes on the Pepsi Center court and earplugs in your ears for another fun ride.

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All-Star Snub Not So Bad

Posted by The Minkster on January 29, 2010

Chauncey was snubbed by fans and coaches this week when he was left off the NBA West All-Star team.  I know I should be disappointed as a Nuggets fan and staunch Billups supporter in this not so unsurprising turn of events, but I’m really not.  In fact, I’m secretly relieved that he won’t be pounding the hardwood and will instead have those callous laden feet and taxed ankles safely propped up on the coffee table at home watching it like the rest of the NBA fans. 

The All-Star Snub

It's okay that Billups won't play with Melo.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the egos involved in pro sports and it is an accolade many players would enjoy during their playing careers.  However, don’t you think Stockton would trade his 10 superstar games for just one ring?  This grown-up version of the high school homecoming court popularity contest is just another way to make money for the NBA and should be looked upon as a fun distraction versus endorsements of extraordinary skills.  However, my congratulations go out to the Nuggets coaching staff and Melo and I’m proud that the Nuggies are well represented at the mid-season event!

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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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Birdman Won’t Fly the Can

Posted by The Minkster on July 8, 2009

The Birdman throws down on another unsuspecting player!

The Birdman throws down on another unsuspecting player!

The Nuggos signed Chris “Birdman” Andersen to a 5 year deal so he won’t fly coop or, as locals call it, The Can!  He’s been a fan favorite in his first year back in a Denver uni since leaving for the Hornets in 2004 and coming back from a NBA mandated 2-year drug suspension.  During this year’s playoff run, fans from 2 to 60 years old could be seen sporting a dyed Mohawk ‘do and even temporary tattoos in reverence to the Birdman.  There were even feathered bearing likenesses of Andersen on t-shirts that could be seen on random fans throughout the Denver metro area.

The Birdman will get about a $2.5 million raise this year and could make close to $26 million over the life of the contract.  Well deserved for a guy that mostly came off the bench and still came in second in total blocked shots with 175.  Only Dwight Howard recorded more as a starter.  Note that I didn’t mention Marcus Camby (okay, he was 3rd but 43 blocks behind).  Don’t get me wrong I think he is a great guy and donates his time and money to the community, but I thought it was a great move by the Nuggets to let him go.  Too many 3-point baseline shots and not enough offensive boards for my liking.  Wish we could’ve picked up at least a draft pick, but we finagled Ty Lawson (who lead Carolina to a national championship which also sports baby blue singlets) in this year’s draft so all is well in Nuggyland.

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