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Summer Report Card Header

Denver

Nuggets

Northwest

2011-12 Team Rating
OffenseDefense
106.5103.4
3rd Overall19th Overall
Team Pic

2011-12 Season Stats

W

38

L

28

PCT

.576

GB

9

CONF

22-26

DIV

6-7

HOME

20-13

ROAD

18-15

Report Card Header

Category

Grade
FrnCourt
This is going to be good theater, to see if JaVale McGee can live up to a four-year, $44-million contract, how Danilo Gallinari responds from a poor 2011-12 and if Kenneth Faried can singlehandedly out-energy other frontcourts.

B-

BckCourt
Andre Igoudala probably opens at shooting guard, though he will also play forward. Ty Lawson is the pistol to the speed offense, a push point guard who scores because he is a good shooter, not a quick shooter.

B

Defense
The Nuggets don't just give up a lot of points because they play fast. A full season with McGee protecting the rim and the addition of Igoudala in the four-team blockbuster will help.

C

Bench
The return of Wilson Chandler should be a big boost, along with the continued presence of Andre Miller. If any wild card comes through -- Anthony Randolph, Evan Fournier, Quincy Miller -- the Nuggets have a very good second unit.

B

Coaching
George Karl remains one of the best at bringing teams together. With the Nuggets lately, it has been underdog teams that were left for dead after the Carmelo Anthony trade (2011) and one that exceeded playoff expectations (2012).

A

Grade Footer

B-

Summary

The Nuggets became a team to watch for 2012-13 because of the way they finished 2011-12. That's how promising they looked in ignoring conventional wisdom (again) to take the Lakers to seven games. That's how much they grew up in the first round before everyone's eyes, before pushing that encouraging statement by trading for Igoudala. Good for Denver.

Bad for Denver: Taking the next step is tougher. Gallinari has to improve and McGee has to produce, and going from what would have been 47-win pace in an 82-game season to now pushing for, say, home-court advantage in the postseason has to be considered a lofty challenge. Counting them out often ends up a mistake, though.

-- Scott Howard-Cooper

Explanation of Marking System

  • A - Superior
  • B - Above Average
  • C - Average
  • D - Below Average
  • F - Failing

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