Why Every Basketball Fan Should Care About This Season’s Denver Nuggets

and 10.26.15 3 years ago
mike malone emmanuel mudiay

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The 2015-16 NBA Season starts soon, preseason hoops are in full swing, and playoff prognostications have begun in earnest. Since season previews can get bogged down by team-specific minutiae, and we cover every basketball team, we’re providing our readers reasons why you should care about all 30 teams in the Association.


DIME MAG’s 2015-16 NBA Season Previews


Ty Lawson is gone. So is Arron Afflalo. Wilson Chandler, Kenneth Faried and Danilo Gallinari are still around, though, so their most frequent scoring options aren’t totally absent. Plus, they’ve got this rookie who originally hails from the Congo, but who went to school in America. He was all set to join Larry Brown at SMU, but elected instead to go to China and play professionally. He’s fun, and wise beyond his years.

They’ve also got a new coach: Former Kings helmsman, Mike Malone. We’ve always liked Malone, if only because he’s the only coach who Boogie ever seemed to care about. That he inspires goodwill in a player like Cousins says a lot about his interpersonal skills. He empathizes with his players and knows how to put them in a position to succeed. Great hire.

But the Nuggets need a lot of work. A year ago Denver ranked in the bottom five for defensive rating and in the bottom 10 on offense. They don’t really do anything that well and long gone are the days of their uptempo George Karl attack, which took advantage of the thin air to run roughshod over their competition in the West.

But that was now three years ago, and their former coach has even gotten another gig in Sacramento. What, if anything, can Mike Malone do with this bunch, and will Emmanuel be the star-in-the-making or the latest overhyped prep star to fizzle when faced with NBA point guards and NBA shooting?

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