It’s reflection time for the Denver Nuggets as the franchise, team and fans look back on the 2012-13 NBA regular season. Coach George Karl put in a Coach of the Year performance and the team will look to have the core of its players return for next season. Hopefully another great regular season will lead into a postseason in which the team is 100 percent healthy and ready to play playoff basketball.
Of course, the team and fans are disappointed by yet another early exit from the postseason, but it just goes to show that every cog in the Nuggets’ engine plays an instrumental part in their team game. Without Danilo Gallinari, the Nuggets showed obvious weaknesses in scoring and defending from beyond the arc. The Nuggets sorely missed their second-leading scorer and could never play to its full potential without him.
Stephen Curry and the rest of the Golden State Warriors lit up the Nuggets from three-point land and shot consistently well to advance into the semifinals. If Gallinari were healthy, the Nuggets surely would have beaten the Warriors and gone who knows how far in the rest of the playoffs.
The Nuggets were far from 100 percent healthy heading into the postseason. Despite being the three seed and holding heavy expectations, the Warriors stole a game at the Pepsi Center and gave their fans high hopes they will be a team that not only makes the playoffs again next season, but is a team that competes and is to be feared in the playoffs.
Andre Iguodala‘s future is still uncertain. If he doesn’t return to Denver next season, management will have a tough time replacing him. His defensive presence is desperately needed for the Nuggets and he also plays well in a fast-pace offense. Forcing turnovers and getting fast-break points is what Iguodala and the Nuggets live on, so hopefully he returns to have another run at a Western Conference Title.
Coach Karl and the Nuggets thrive on team play and no superstar player has been needed for the franchise to win games and excite fans. However, the expectations are high and the Nuggets must not only make the playoffs next season, they must advance past at least the first round for the season to be considered a success.