The dust has settled and the initial shock and jubilation of the Denver Nuggets re-acquiring guard Arron Afflalo from the Orlando Magic this past Thursday has worn off. Afflalo a fan favorite made a name for himself in his three seasons as a Nugget with his relentless defensive effort and ability to score. In Denver his offensive game improved every year, his point per game (ppg) average during his first Nuggets stint was 11.9 ppg
Afflalo learned the NBA game while playing in Denver after a dubious stint in Detroit his first two years in the NBA. He now returns to the Mile High city a mature player with an even more polished offensive game and the same attention and effort supplied on the defensive end. In terms of offensive game Afflalo scored a career high 18.2 ppg last season while knocking down 41 percent of his 3-pointers.
According to Aaron Lopez of Nuggets.com, Afflalo said: “I was extremely happy,” he said. “For me, I already know the city itself. I’m very comfortable coming back. It feels like home in terms of my NBA career.”
Use to winning and making the playoffs the Magic were one of the league’s bottom feeders. Afflalo has a completely different goal for his second spin around the block with the Nuggets.
Also from Afflalo via Lopez : “I’ll be blunt,” Afflalo said Friday. “I believe this is a championship team. It’s hard for the casual fan to fathom that because you don’t see big-market stars. Basketball is a team game. Good players win you games.
“To have a team that I feel is pretty much 2-deep at every position in talent and experience and hunger to compete and prove themselves as players, I think this is a team with the caliber to make a run for a title.”
The Nuggets were a year removed from a franchise best 57 win season and being a dark horse to reach the Western Conference Finals and so far general manager Tim Connelly has stuck to his promise of making improvements to the roster.
Seeing Afflalo now 28 years old and entering the prime of his career exude such confidence is refreshing, although healthy bodies and vast improvements from Afflalo, his teammates , second year head coach Brian Shaw and a trip out of the first round are much realistic goals for now.