Five Things We Learned About the Denver Nuggets

George Karl is not getting the respect he deserves.

Is George Karl The Coach Of The Year?

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It was tough week for the Denver Nuggets as they dropped four out of five games with their own loss coming on the road against the Los Angeles Clippers.

KARL UNDER APPRECIATED: Coaches have arguably the toughest job in the game, they are the first to get the blame when a team loses and the last to get the credit when a team wins. That goes double for George Karl, he has been the driving force to the Nuggets success after the Carmelo Anthony trade and has been the key to the Nuggets starting the season 15-9. And yet there are many fans that continue to believe he is the problem, mainly due to his rotation and also since he is not willing to give rookies Kenneth Faried and Jordan Hamilton playing time. But the bottom line is Karl should get as much credit as criticism, he has helped Danilo Gallinari and Ty Lawson develop their games. And while Gallinari has developed his game, Anthony’s game as dropped after leaving Denver. He has become more reliant on his outside jumper, while Gallinari has done the the exact opposite. 

AFFLALO STRUGGLING: So much for the theory that missing training camp wouldn’t have an impact on Arron Afflalo’s game. The fifth-year shooting guard’s scoring, rebounding and assists have dropped and he has been shooting at a far lesser rate. On Saturday, he had by far the worst performance of the season missing all five of his shots and having a turnovers. There are numerous factors as to why Afflalo’s play has dropped off this season. The main reason could be the lack of time at the shortened training camp and with the shortened season Afflalo is playing catch up and may not find his shot this season. Another reason could be the five-year, $43 million contract. Some players become less motivated with a new contract, and while that is possible with Afflalo  it isn’t likely. However, Afflalo, more than likely, feels the pressure from the large contract and feels he needs to do more to live up to the contract. Not helping the matters is Afflalo is also nursing a groin injury that forced him to miss two games. The light at the end of the tunnel is during the past few games Afflalo has concentrated more on his defense and hasn’t been forcing his offense as much. He may not return to form until next season, but Afflalo’s competitiveness will make him a valuable asset this season.

ANDRE MILLER IS THE BEST BACKUP PG: Fans aren’t too fond of the minutes that Miller is being given, but can anybody name a better backup point guard in the NBA? Miller is averaging just over 30 minutes a game and almost 11 points a game, seven assists and nearly four rebounds a game. But the most important stat is he has the highest +/- on the team at +151.

BIRDMAN HAS BEEN GROUNDED: Chris Andersen game has dropped off this season and due to that Andersen hasn’t played in four of the past five games. Karl instead has inserted Kosta Koufos into those minutes, while there is a chance that Andersen will find his way back into the rotation since Timofey Mozgov is injured. But he needs to prove he can help the Nuggets when he is on the floor.

CHANDLER WILL MAKE THE NUGGETS DEEPER: Denver has the best bench in the NBA, and soon they will be better. Al Harrington may not have the best sixth man in the NBA, but no doubt Miller is the best seventh man and soon when the Nuggets add Wilson Chandler they will have the best eighth man and ninth man (Rudy Fernandez in the NBA). The question is how far will this bench carry the Nuggets?

Topics: Al Harrington, Andre Miller, Arron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Andersen, Danilo Gallinari, Denver Nuggets, George Karl, Jordan Hamilton, Kenneth Faried, Kosta Koufos, Timofey Mozgov, Ty Lawson, Wilson Chandler

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