If it Ain’t Broke…
…Don’t break it. At least that’s what Charles Oakley used to say. As unorthodox as it may sound, it’s a pretty good saying to live by, especially on the basketball court. Too many times, teams try to tinker with something that has already been proven to be successful, only to get less than desirable results. The Phoenix Suns did it last season. The Denver Nuggets may be this year’s culprits.
It’s being reported that Denver coach George Karl has instructed Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson to make a better effort at getting their teammates involved. It’s something most coaches have told their primary scorers at one point or another and could carry some weight since AI and Melo put up just under half of the team’s shots every game.
A closer look reveals that Denver averaged 110 points per game last year. This can partly be attributed to their running style, which meant that the players who got up and down the court and put themselves in scoring position could have a nice scoring output at the end of the night. So telling your lead dogs to involve the other guys more is a bit puzzling.
Karl should continue to let the Nuggets’ offense flow instead of making his scorers think twice about the shots they’re putting up. Besides, who do they have to pass the rock to? Linas Kleiza and J.R. Smith, the other legit scorers on the team, certainly don’t need any help getting shots up. Should Chris Andersen, Steven Hunter, Chucky Atkins, Anthony Carter and Renaldo Balkman really be shooting when the league’s third and fourth best scorers are in the gym?
The Nuggets would be better served to take a look at their defensive strategy. Giving up 107 per game in the regular season and nearly 115 in the playoffs actually indicates that the Nuggets should adopt a defensive strategy, because they probably didn’t have one. Reports are that Karl has concentrated more on D in this year’s training camp, but the trading of Marcus Camby (yes, I know there are those of you who debate his actual defensive prowess) puts the team in a hole before they’ve even played a meaningful game.
Those are just my thoughts, though. Feel free to share yours below. For the record, my thoughts also have the Nuggets dangerously close to missing the postseason. Just thought I’d throw that in there.