The Good, The Bad & the Ugly (featuring the Denver Nuggets)

Posted on 09/23/2010 by

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Recently , ESPN has been running a feature in which they have the fans pick the best players for each NBA team and then run a playoff for the teams picked (which sounds suspiciously  more than a bit like the Time Travel Playoffs, Andres Alvarez ran in his blog, take a bow Andres). As part of this exercise, Tom Haberstroh has also ranked the “Feeble Five” in the history of each NBA franchise (insider access required).  His criteria were as follows:

Picking a franchise’s five best players is a wide-open layup compared to identifying the most detrimental players of an organization’s history. But we’ve accomplished the feat with a little help from John Hollinger’s player efficiency rating (PER), which provides a handy productivity measure using a player’s box score statistics.

It’s pretty obvious that the worst NBA player is the one who never plays, but such a list would be no fun to read or write. We’re targeting guys you actually might remember but wish you couldn’t (Nikoloz Tskitishvili, anyone?). So, in order to qualify for this list, a player needed to have played at least 10 minutes per contest over the course of at least 100 career games with the franchise. Furthermore, we’ve added the “Bruce Bowen Corollary” to exempt players who started for championship teams.

Prof. Berri jumped in the game with a ranking of the worst players in Piston History. Seeing all this pieces inspired me and I decided to start a new series using Wins Produced and WP48 to rank the best and worst seasons and best worst careers for each and every NBA team. Welcome to the Good, the Bad and the Ugly (cue the Ennio Morricone theme).

As a kid I was always confused as to who was who

The Rules

Tuco: Get on that stool and put the rope around your neck. I have a different system, my friend; I don’t shoot the rope, I shoot the legs from under the stool. –The Good the Bad & The Ugly

So i’m going to rank the best & worst seasons and careers in every team’s history,  let’s talk about the rules:

Not those rules

  • Numbers are all since the merger.
  • Seattle rule: All Franchises will be ranked only once and the name used for the franchise will be that which  (ranked in order of priority):
    • They had when won their last title
    • They had when they made their last Finals Appearance
    • They had when made their last playoff apperance
    • Currently have
  • For all season rankings the player must have played more than 1000 minutes for that team in that season (i.e the more than just a cup of coffee rule). The rankings will be done based on:
    • Position
    • Ranking WP48 (for that team)
    • Ranking Wins Produced (for that team)
    • Producing a composite ranking of both and ranking all players accordingly
  • For all Career rankings the player must have played more than 1000 minutes for that team in their career (i.e the more than just a cup of coffee rule). The rankings will be done based on:
    • Position
    • Ranking WP48 (for every team)
    • Ranking Wins Produced (for every team)
    • Producing a composite ranking of both and ranking all players accordingly.

Those are the rules and as always satisfaction guaranteed or your money back ;-). Lets get to ranking, the first team up is the Denver Nuggets.

Old School

The Man with no name division:

Blondie: Two hundred thousand dollars is a lot of money. We’re gonna have to earn it.The Good the Bad & The Ugly

We start off with the best seasons ever by Nugget players at every position:

Fat Lever was awesome, dominating both the PG and SG rankings. Carmelo sneaks into the top five at the three with his 2008 season. It’s been a long time since Denver has had a dominant PF. And Denver just seems to thrive in trading away franchise bigs (Camby & Mutombo will show up multiple times as we do these lists for different teams).

As for careers:

Again, Fat Lever is clearly the best player in franchise history.  The theme of overrated SF (hello Alex and Melo), lack of players at PF hold. It’s notable that the top three player for this franchise (Lever, Mutombo and Camby) were all traded away or left the team and only one (Mutombo) was drafted by the Nuggets.

Tuco division:

Blondie: The way I figure, there’s really not too much future with a sawed-off runt like you.-The Good the Bad & The Ugly

Now we come to the bad and the ugly, starting by season:

Now there are some bad seasons on this list but the winner for truly ugly has to be Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf with his 1991 season (which is actually the worst season since the merger in wins and the second worst in WP48 with greater than 1000 MP). This is pretty much the worst case scenario for drafting and playing a young rookie PG.

As for careers:

Abdul-Rauf recovers and in a match of the jobbers Joe Wolf emerges victorious over Charlie Scott.One piece of great news for nuggets fans is that none of these guys is on your current roster. We shall see in the future that not every franchise is so lucky.



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