Anemic. Lackluster. Lifeless. All of these adjectives describe a Denver Nuggets offseason that was proclaimed by Tim Connelly to be one where they would be “aggressive”. With each passing day, this is turning out to be more and more of a boldfaced lie.
If you are going to stand pat and see what you have in the current roster, tell the fans just that. Don’t lead us into your web of deceit and fabrications to get our hopes up and peak our interest. It sure feels like the Nuggets front office is taking their cues from the Coors Field Cartel, Charlie and Dick Monfort, and I doubt that is going to sit well with any self-respecting fan.
The similarities are becoming more apparent by the day. They are leaning on injuries as an excuse to buy more time and to pacify public perception, imploring fans to place trust in an organization that is proving itself inauthentic and viewing their respective teams solely as a money-making venture thus devaluing the importance of winning.
I fell for the Connelly line. I believed they were actual players in the Kevin Love sweepstakes. I thought they might dip their toes into the second-tier player pool. I certainly didn’t think they would try to pass off interest in an aging Mike Miller, who narrowly avoided a backiotomy, as being aggressive.
I love the re-signing of Arron Afflalo, but let’s not lose sight of why he was gone in the first place. How did Andre Iguodala work out? I know that wasn’t Connelly’s move, but if you inherit the responsibility, the mess comes with it.
I’m not here to say the Nuggets don’t have a talented group of players on their roster. Honestly, they may be the deepest team in the league, but I’m pretty sure being 10 deep at every position isn’t the answer to winning a championship, nor is it the answer to truly developing your young players.
I don’t have the answer for the Nuggets, but I know as a lifelong fan that the direction they are going is not a recipe for success. We have seen this roster win 57 games back in 2012 for a coach who was subsequently fired for getting a mediocre roster to overachieve. Why should we believe they can achieve anything more under second-year head coach Brian Shaw, who I like, but has yet to prove himself? How will he be able to squeeze any more out of them than George Karl? Is this what we as fans are supposed to believe?
I’m not falling for it.
I’m not falling for Jusuf Nurkic and Gary Harris as the answer to this team’s future. In fact, the Nuggets would have been better off keeping Doug McDermott. At least he has the potential, as farfetched as it may be, to become a true, franchise-changing player.
And I’m not falling for the magic trick Connelly tried to pull by being being active on draft day and trying to disguise it as being aggressive. Being aggressive for the sake of being aggressive is never a good idea, and two mediocre players aren’t better than one really good player. You know the saying about nine women making a baby in a month? Yeah. It doesn’t work in basketball either.
I just can’t be content with being mediocre. I don’t accept it in my own life, and I’m finding it harder and harder to accept in my basketball allegiances too.
Take a look at the Boston Celtics. They know how to be really good or really bad. That is the recipe for success as odd as that sounds. If you can’t compete for a championship, be bad and rebuild. Danny Ainge understands that, and that’s probably why they will win another championship in the next five years.
So take your cues from Ainge, Mr. Connelly. Either get this team a difference maker or tear it all down and rebuild. Don’t be content with being mediocre.