The Denver Nuggets roster seems to be filled out with Quincy Miller‘s contract in limbo, but could Denver use the services of a shooting guard?
First, let’s discuss the shooting problem from last season, in which the Nuggets shot an abysmal 33.2 percent from downtown, which turned out to be the seventh worst in the league. Nuggets fans seemed uneasy and the feeling worsened when Denver traded a typical solid shooter in Arron Afflalo away for Andre Iguodala. Iguodala is known for his defensive over his offense, thus their squeamishness over the issue is reasonable.
Would adding a J.R Smith-like player even matter (minus all the bricks)?
First, what does Denver do well? They run the ball at an alarming fast pace and they’re a league leader in assists. A more valuable factor to consider is that more than 50 percent of Denver’s shots were taken within five feet of the rim. This is translatable to the fact Denver doesn’t rely on their outside shot–they live in the paint, something that was noticeable last season.
Also, Denver already has shooters. Yes, they may not be consistent, but they are able to score nonetheless.
Danilo Gallanari, as I have talked about previously, can hit from deep as well as penetrate, but with Iguodala on board, fans may see Gallanari parked on the three-point line ready to hit an open shot from time to time. That being said, he still needs to work on consistency, as last year he was inaccurate, but much of that had to do with his health.
Denver has another shooter in Jordan Hamilton, who led the Nuggets in points during the Summer League, and he also has lost weight, which is indicative of his bounce. Hamilton also has a smooth, quick release paired with his noticeable improvement and he may just be the shooter for Denver. Ty Lawson and Wilson Chandler–if they stay healthy–are adequate outside shooters as well.
The last factor are minutes, as last season they were in short supply. This season will not be any different with a deeper bench and all. Evan Fournier and Anthony Randolph were added, along with Andre Miller and JaVale McGee re-signed, which further limits any minutes that would be available. Thus, even if Denver did acquire a shooter–which we assume would be at the cost of offering Miller a contract or trading away Corey Brewer–it wouldn’t necessarily make the team better. Also, the player may never receive adequate minutes to make a difference.
Often times, fans and critics get stuck with just watching the offense. Our minds ar focused on points rather than what’s going on with the team as a whole. Take out Brewer, or another key piece, and that may skew what Denver does well. It could affect the second unit and their run, it could affect a team’s cohesion–an underrated intangible in basketball–and it could also stifle Denver’s passing game.
In summary, let Denver endure a full training camp, which allows them to mesh with the new pieces. Watch them as they start the new season and then, if need be, they can be re-evaluated in January.