The Denver Nuggets will finish under .500 for the first time since the 2002-2003 season when the 2013-2014 campaign mercifully comes to an end later this April. In July of 2003 they drafted Carmelo Anthoney and have finished above .500 and been in the playoffs ever since the signing of “Melo” in September of 2003. The Nuggets streak of 10 straight seasons making the playoffs was second only to the perennial championship contending San Antonio Spurs for the longest in the league. This dissappointing season comes on the heals of one in which the Nuggets set a team record for regular season wins in 2012-2013 with 57, and had both the NBA Coach and General Manager of the year. That’s when the wheels began to come off of the franchise. After bowing out of the playoffs in the first round for the 9th time in the 10 playoff years, Owner Josh Kroenke jetisoned George Karl and lost Masai Ujiri to the Toronto Raptors. This was the beginning of the Good ship Nuggets starting to sink into the season we have just witnessed. They signed a Rookie Head Coach, Brian Shaw, after the Karl firing and there were many times this year that Shaw looked completely overmatched by his coaching counterpart. The steady hand of Karl and the way he handled his players was expertly executed most of the time. Shaw had a run in early in the season with his oldest player and locker room leader, Andre Miller, which turned into a bad situation for the Nuggets before they were able to trade him to the Washington Wizards at the NBA Trade deadline. In addition to the Coaching and Front office turmoil, the Nuggets have suffered one of the most injury plagued seasons I have witnessed since becoming a Nuggets fan in 1975. It all started with the unfortuante decision made by Danilo Gallinari to rehabilitate his knee injury instead of getting surgery. The rehab never worked and surgery to end his season was done in January. JaVale McGee came down with a stress fracture in his leg and it did not heal through non-surgical means and put him out for the season. Ty Lawson missed 18 games with broken ribs and newcomers JJ Hickson and Nate Robinson went down late in the season with bad knee injuries. All in all this has been a difficult season to observe as a huge Nuggets fan. The frustration of watching this depleted roster go out and try to compete with the best teams in the West has been palpable throughout Nuggets Nation. On the brightside, Kenneth Faried, Timofey Mozgov, Randy Foye and Ty Lawson have all had very good years and if the Nuggets can get their players healthy for next season, they can return to the playoffs in 2015. Keep following your Denver Nuggets on Twitter @Nugg_Love.
Tags: Denver Nuggets