Denver Nuggets: 3 Complaints Heading to the All-Star Break

Denver Nuggets (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Denver Nuggets (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Denver Nuggets
Denver Nuggets(Photo By Tim Rasmussen/The Denver Post via Getty Images) /

Remember the 2009 Western Conference Finals?

The Los Angeles Lakers eliminated the Denver Nuggets 4-2 but there was a point where that series could have tilted the other way.  Two things had a huge impact, a through the basket goaltend that didn’t get called on Pau Gasol and an Anthony Carter botched inbounds pass that ended up a turnover and for all intents-and-purposes ended the Nuggets season.

I point it out because it’s been a thing, historically for Denver and it ties directly into the coaching staff’s use of timeouts.

Michael Malone isn’t Gregg Popovich but he’s not too far off of the quick-trigger timeout employed by the San Antonio Spurs coach.  The problem is timeouts are largely ineffective for Denver. Watching Michael Malone’s team over the last four seasons coming out of timeouts has been an endurance trial.

Given the difficulty Denver has when pressed on the inbound pass and their gift for turning the ball over on set plays, it’s curious how overused the time out is.

This is the second-youngest team in the NBA, their game and their success is predicated on flow and rhythm.  Constantly stopping things to chastise or encourage can be counterproductive. Malone learned a lesson last season and backed off down the stretch, let these young men enjoy the game.

Ultimately, that’s a huge part of the psyche of this Denver team.  Their too-rapid rise to the upper echelon of the Western Conference has come with a lot of responsibility and a lot of expectations.  This season has to be handled carefully lest the Nuggets turn into the 90’s Sacramento Kings, or any of the list of teams that have been long on promise and short on delivery.

Hot. Looking at the Nuggets Trade Deadline Options. light

It’s good they didn’t make any deadline moves this team is all about chemistry and as Professor Klump reminds us, chemistry sure is important. There’s also the reality that the Nuggets are not and were not winning the O’Brien trophy this season.  The Warriors are out-of-reach, the Houston Rockets present a huge challenge.  Even the Sixers have fine-tuned themselves into a powerhouse.  What this season is about is continuing that build toward long-time contender.

It’s there for the taking, just requires a little effort.