30 to 16 to 1:(Part Five) Triple A Ball in Denver

Posted on 08/04/2010 by

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The Basics:

30 to 16 to 1. Based on a half baked notion, that since the true goal of any NBA season is to turn thirty teams into one champion and as we saw in my earlier piece, what wins in the regular season is not necessarily what  gets you the trophy, my 2010 Playoff Review series continues.

The Half-Baked Notion:

Simple (based on 2010 numbers):

  • The best two players accounted for 55% of a teams wins in the 2010 Playoffs.
  • The top three players are just below the pareto threshold
  • The next three (4,5,6th man) account for the rest of the positive win contribution about equally.
  • After that everybody else actually hurt teams in the playoffs.

The format will look at the best six players in the playoffs for each team, will look at how many wins their coach/injuries might have cost them and talk about their opportunities/drawbacks going forward (and if they’ve done anything in the off-season to address these). We will go from least productive to most productive team in the Playoff (based on the table that follows now):

This piece covers the nextof the First Round Losers: the Denver Nuggets.

Triple A Ball in Denver

  • The Storyline: In 2009, trading Marcus Camby for a handshake and a ham sandwich and the typical George Karl trait of playing the wrong guys kept this team from the Finals and a shot at the title. In 2010, this team regressed and nothing I see makes me think that they can take it to the next level.
  • The Good: A lot of their players played well in the playoffs but there are no transcendent players here anymore. Billups has been a playoff beast but his days of carrying team to the conference Finals look to have ended.
  • The Bad: Their Frontcourt is overmatched against any of the western powers. They lack the Bigs to compete in the Majors (hence the triple A tag). Their “star” (Carmelo,who does play better in the playoffs but not well enough) is overrated.
  • The Coach: Much was made of the fact that not having Karl hurt this team. Sorry Nuggets fans,by my numbers the opposite is true.
  • Needs: A superstar and good bigs.
  • Major Moves: Over the last three offseasons, they lost Camby & Kleiza and now brought in Shelden Williams, Harrington and Anthony Carter. Given that they’re almost guaranteed to take minutes from the birdman and Martin for Harrington, this team got way worse.
  • 2011 Outlook: The Nuggets had their best shot at a title in 2009. In 2010, their window closed. They made themselves worse in the offseason through moves and just aging. I don’t think this team makes the playoffs in the West in 2011. I think they get blown up in the offseason and it just might be for the best, you’re not winning the title if Carmelo Anthony is your “best” player (Knick fans, take note)
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