Marlowe Blog: 10 questions for the Nuggets in 2013-14

First-year coach Brian Shaw and offseason additions give Denver a new look
by Aaron Lopez

Get ready, Nuggets fans! Denver’s two preseason home games are going to be televised live on Altitude Sports & Entertainment.

My broadcast partner Scott Hastings and I will call the action from Pepsi Center when the Nuggets face the San Antonio Spurs on Oct. 14 and the Phoenix Suns on Oct. 23.

Of course, you may know that the Nuggets made several changes during the offseason. What kind of a team will they have?

Here are 10 questions I have to start the season:

1. What kind of offense is new Coach Brian Shaw going to have the Nuggets run?
He has said it will be more structured with post play getting more attention. If so, good news for centers JaVale McGee and Timofey Mozgov! Bottom line: Expect more plays being run – like the Indiana Pacers.

2. Can the Nuggets improve defensively after losing Andre Iguodala, one of the better defenders in the league?
The answer will be found in “team” defense. All-time great Larry Bird was once asked would he rather have 10 great individual defenders on his team or 10 great team defenders? Bird said, “give me the 10 best team defenders.” The idea being that great individual defenders are good to have, but a whole bunch of team defenders – all on the same page – would be even better.

3. How is the point guard position going to work?
This season, the Nuggets have three quality point guards, Ty Lawson, Andre Miller, and the newly acquired Nate Robinson. We know Ty is going to start.

Both Andre and Nate are competitors and naturally are going to want significant minutes. We’ve seen Ty and Andre play together; can Ty and Nate be on the floor at the same time? How about Andre and Nate? Stay tuned.

4. Can Wilson Chandler develop into a star for Denver?
Why not? He can score, defend, rebound, shoot the 3, and is tough and rugged. Last year he missed 35 games in the first 2½ months of the season with an injury. This season, with Danilo Gallinari out indefinitely, “Ill Will” will get his chance!

5. How many power forwards do you need to control the glass?
The Nuggets are loaded at the “4” position. Kenneth Faried has the inside track to start but newcomer J.J. Hickson will provide tough competition. Hickson averaged a double-double last season for Portland playing mostly at the center position. He can shoot out to 15 feet and hit free throws.

Also, don’t count out Darrell Arthur, who was acquired from Memphis. Darrell (pronounced Duh-RELL) is a top-flight defender whose specialty is the pick and roll. At Nuggets media day, Darrell told me how they played the P&R in Memphis.

“On top, we would hedge hard and recover. On side P&Rs, we would force the dribbler into the corner. And with 6 seconds or less we would switch!”

I’m excited to see what Arthur can do.

6. Who gets the majority of minutes at the shooting guard?
I’m betting Utah import Randy Foye will start. I can’t wait to see him raining down jumpers. Meanwhile, expect second-year man Evan Fournier to be much improved. He shot 40 percent from 3-point range last season and showed himself to be a heady ballplayer.

7. Can either Jordan Hamilton or Quincy Miller break out this season and earn some playing time?
Both have big-time talent. Both can really shoot. However, each will have to shine in camp and preseason to get on the court.

8. When is Gallinari coming back?
This is the toughest question to answer. Some dates to consider: Christmas, President’s Day, Groundhog Day and Easter.

Lets hope “the Rooster” will be back sooner than later. Molto Bene!

9. Who will shoot the technical free throws for Denver?
Andre Miller (84 percent) and Gallo (82.2 percent) would seem to be the logical candidates. But don’t forget newcomer Foye, who shot 82 percent last season and is 85.6 percent for his career!!

10. Just how great will the new Pepsi Center scoreboard be?
In a word: Fantastic. It’s giant. It has HD clarity and awesome sound. I can’t wait to see Scott Hasting’s big ol’ head on that screen.

Chris Marlowe is in his ninth year as the play-by-play voice for the Nuggets on Altitude. He is a longtime broadcaster who also served as the captain of the gold media-winning U.S. Olympic volleyball team in 1984.