Denver Nuggets’ rotation – how deep is it … and who’s in it?
The question George Karl asked aloud is – can the Nuggets play 10 guys (“or 10 1/2”) on a consistent basis?
How deep is Denver? Consider that Wilson Chandler, who would start for numerous NBA teams, will be Denver’s “Eighth Man” in some circumstances.
OK, so we know at least four of the starters: (1) Ty Lawson at PG, (2) Andre Iguodala at SG, (3) Danilo Gallinari (whom I wrote about in today’s paper) at SF and (4) Kenneth Faried at PF.
Karl has said that (5) Timofey Mozgov will likely start at center, but obviously (6) JaVale McGee will play ample minutes for the Nuggets. (7) Andre Miller is possibly Karl’s favorite player on the roster – the reserve point guard will anchor the second team and, depending on matchups, play key fourth-quarter minutes.
Then you’ve got (8) Chandler, who played only eight games for Denver last season, averaging 9.1 points per game and 5.1 rebounds in 26.9 minutes (and he’s one of the team’s top defenders).
Also off the bench, (9) Corey Brewer played quality stretches last season at SF, averaging 8.9 points in 21.5 minutes. And Karl is high on center (10) Kosta Koufos, who expanded his game during summer workouts (and, people forget he’s only 23).
So there’s 10, right there – and we haven’t even talked about (11) Jordan Hamilton, who Karl has talked about as an offensive weapon with the 3-ball.
“Can we play 10 or 10 1/2 on a consistent basis? This team is probably capable of doing it,” Karl said. “But the attitude has got to stay strong. We’ll see. The depth will allow you to overcome injuries. Everybody’s going to get injured. … There’s a lot of minutes out there that are to be determined.”
Denver’s first preseason game is Saturday in Las Vegas against the Clippers.
Karl was asked if this was the deepest team he ever coached. He brought up some of his mid-1990s SuperSonics teams, but said of Denver, “I don’t think I’ve had as much young depth. The veteran depth is easier than young depth. Young guys are always searching for their minutes, their shots. They’re a little nervous with how the coaches rotate their game. But it’s powerful because it makes them better quicker. The competition makes them improve faster. Having the hammer of someone behind you keeps your focus and discipline at a high level, too. Some coaches say the only hammer we have left (to be authoritative) is minutes. But I don’t want to use that angrily or viciously or vengefully.”
Benjamin Hochman: firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/nuggetsnews
Xbox Game Pre-order! Pre-order select games and qualify for a $10 coupon and free 1600 Xbos LIVE points!