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Nuggets in search of new head coach

Nuggets in search of new head coach

Here’s the Denver Post reporting on the Nuggets, who finished the regular season with a 30-52 record, not even coming close to qualifying for the playoffs in a very difficult Western conference.

The Nuggets are in search of their second coach since 2013. Popular opinion says they’re very worried about the bottom line, that they’ll skimp on the coach’s salary and place most of the monetary resources in player salaries. Yet, those close to the Nuggets say price will not be an issue during their search. And that takes into account the fact that the Nuggets still owe Brian Shaw, who was fired March 3, $2 million.

So if money is no object — or at least not an obstacle — the Nuggets should be in good shape financially in their search for a coach, which, last week, general manager Tim Connelly said had started.

“We don’t want to put any unnecessary internal time frames on it. There’s no deadline. I think the deadline is we want to have a coach as we head into the draft,” Connelly said of the June 25 event. “It’s a pretty pivotal pick for us, and a pretty pivotal moment. Not just with the draft itself and the chance to make trades, and free agency happens soon thereafter. So if we have to wait, we can wait. But we want to make sure that we talk to all of the quality candidates and pick the best guy.”

Flashback to Fat Lever

Here’s the Denver Post reporting on a versatile, highly-skilled former NBA guard with a great name and even better game:

Arguably one of the most underrated players in NBA history, Lever had 46 triple-doubles in his career with the Nuggets, more than two-thirds of the total triple-doubles in franchise history.

He was a triple-double threat every night. In six seasons with the Nuggets, Lever averaged 17.0 points, 7.6 rebounds and 7.5 assists and 2.5 steals per game.He was named to the second-team all-defense in 1988 and is among the Nuggets’ top 10 all time in steals (1,167), assists (3,566), field goals made (3,304) and rebounds (3,621).

“When you’re playing, you really don’t pay attention to it that much,” Lever said. “As I look back now, and every time someone throws a stat at me that I wasn’t aware of now sticks out. The triple-doubles come up more now because of (Oklahoma City guard) Russell Westbrook. If I had that kind of athleticism I’d still be playing. But at the same time it’s one of those things where you remember it, you enjoy it and then you move on. And then you try to share some of those experiences with someone else — your family, your kids, people that I run across.

“I enjoy it.”

Darrell Arthur dealing with lingering injury

Here’s the Denver Post reporting on the 27-45 Nuggets and forward Darrell Arthur, who is averaging 6.6 points in 17.0 minutes per game as a reserve:

Nuggets: Darrell Arthur dealing with lingering injury

Darrell Arthur feels today — and everyday — as if it was Feb. 25.

The problem: He feels it in his strained right calf, which has given him problems ever since he sustained an injury that day against Phoenix. And it is making the end of his season with the Nuggets a daily struggle, not only to play but make it through a game. And then be able to bounce back for the following game.

“I’ve been sore for about a month,” Arthur said. “The only thing that’s going to help is time. Time and treatment.”

It is an all-too familiar feeling for Arthur, who endured constant nagging injuries and pain late last season due to a left hip strain and then a knee sprain.

Denver Nuggets fire coach Brian Shaw

Denver Nuggets fire coach Brian Shaw

Denver Nuggets fire coach Brian Shaw

The 20-39 Denver Nuggets, who have lost six straight games and nine of their last 10, have fired head coach Brian Shaw, it was announced today by General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly.

Melvin Hunt has been named the Nuggets’ interim head coach for the rest of the 2014-15 season.

“I want to sincerely thank Brian for his time with our organization,” said Connelly. “You won’t find a better guy than Brian and he is one of the brightest basketball minds I’ve ever been around. Unfortunately things didn’t go as we hoped, but we know with his basketball acumen that he has a very bright future ahead of him.”

Shaw was hired as head coach of the Nuggets on June 25, 2013 and in one-plus season he compiled a record of 56-85 (.397).

“On behalf of everyone in the Denver Nuggets organization, I would personally like to thank Brian for his services the past two seasons in Denver. He is a champion and a gentleman and I wish him nothing but the best for himself and his family moving forward. Since we purchased the franchise in 2000 we have constantly strived to field a competitive team, culminating in 10 straight playoff appearances and a franchise record 57 wins in the 2012-13 regular season. Expectations have been raised and we want more.

“This season our management staff has remained patient and supportive as decisions of this nature are never taken lightly. Patience is encouraged, as long as the organization continues to show progress toward a greater goal. However, competing for championships is our goal, and therefore we decided to make this decision now and look forward to conducting an extensive head coaching search upon the season’s conclusion. This has been a trying season for all of us, and we appreciate Nuggets fans continued faith and patience as we build our proud organization back to the NBA’s elite.”

Nuggets struggling this season, even at home

Here’s the Denver Post reporting on the Nuggets, who through Thursday’s games are 20-37 this season: 12-16 at home, 8-21 on the road:

Once one of the NBA’s most-feared home court advantages, the Nuggets have fallen back to earth at the Pepsi Center in the last two seasons. Since winning a franchise-record 38 home games in the 2012-13 season, the Nuggets haven’t won 38 home games in the last two seasons combined. They are 34-35 in that span, which includes this season’s 12-16 mark. The Nuggets went 22-19 at the Pepsi Center last season.

With 13 home games left, the Nuggets have to go 9-4 in order to avoid having their first losing home record since 2002-03. That team finished 13-28 at home.

Shaw talked about the Nuggets’ challenge to win home games — and fast.

“What starts to happen is guys start to look forward to playing on the road because the home crowd starts to get antsy, and things don’t go well then they start to get on us,” Shaw said.

Nuggets waive Victor Claver and Thomas Robinson

Nuggets waive Victor Claver and Thomas Robinson

The Denver Nuggets have waived forwards Victor Claver and Thomas Robinson, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

Both Claver and Robinson were acquired along with Will Barton and a lottery-protected 2016 first round draft pick from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Arron Afflalo and Alonzo Gee on February 19, 2015.

Jusuf Nurkic replaces injured Steven Adams in 2015 Rising Stars Challenge

Denver Nuggets rookie center Jusuf Nurkic will replace injured World Team selection Steven Adams of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2015 NBA Rising Stars Challenge event that will take place Friday, February 13, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The NBA’s annual showcase of premier first- and second-year players at NBA All-Star 2015 features a new format that pits first- and second-year NBA players from the United States against first- and second-year NBA players from around the world.

Nurkic, the 16th overall pick of the 2014 draft, who was acquired by the Nuggets in a draft-day trade with Chicago, has appeared in 39 games this season, averaging 6.8 points, 6.2 rebounds (second among rookies) and 1.26 blocks (third) in 16.7 minutes. The 20-year-old Bosnia-Herzegovina native spent the 2013-14 season playing in Croatia.

Adams underwent successful surgery on Monday to address a fracture in the fourth metacarpal of his right hand. In 50 games this season, he has averaged 7.4 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.22 blocks in 24.3 minutes.

The Brooklyn Nets are 18-28, have won just 2 of their last 10 games, and are on a 4-game losing streak. Center Brook Lopez, playing just 26.9 minutes per game, is averaging 15.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. Those stats look good when taking the court time into account. But his actual impact has been limited. And when you factor in Brook’s massive contract, things get bleak. Changes are being discussed. Here’s ESPN.com reporting the latest:

The Brooklyn Nets continue to explore the possibility of trading center Brook Lopez but to date have resisted a serious push from the Denver Nuggets, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN.com that the Nuggets have offered big men JaVale McGee and J.J. Hickson, as well as one of the two draft picks Denver recently acquired in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers for center Timofey Mozgov, in exchange for the Lopez.

But Brooklyn, sources say, has rebuffed those advances so far.

Nuggets assign Erick Green to D-League

The Denver Nuggets assigned rookie guard Erick Green to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League today, according to General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly.

The Nuggets drafted Green 46th overall (second round) in the 2013 NBA Draft. He has appeared in 14 games this season, averaging 3.3 points in 7.3 minutes per game.

Green will be available for Fort Wayne’s game at Rio Grande Valley on Jan. 23.

Here’s the Denver Post reporting on an amazing game power forward Kenneth Faried put up in Saturday’s Nuggets win over the Minnesota Timberwolves:

Kenneth Faried grabs 25 rebounds vs. Wolves

It’s the little things Brian Shaw hates. The times when his players don’t box out. The times when the ball bounces in front of them and they still don’t go for the ball. The (many) missed free throws. The shoddy defense.

He must have had a hard time sitting through Friday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Pepsi Center.

Coming off a blowout loss at Charlotte and a sloppy defeat at Brooklyn, the Nuggets returned home to host the Timberwolves, the worst team in the West, in a game that, on paper, should have been Denver’s for the taking.

And until the fourth quarter, Kenneth Faried appeared to be the only Nuggets player who wanted it.

Faried, who turned in one of his finest showings of the season against Brooklyn three nights earlier, came back with an even better one Friday with 26 points and a career-high 25 rebounds while leading the Nuggets to a 106-102 victory over the Timberwolves.

Danilo Gallinari suffers knee injury

Here’s the Denver Post reporting some unfortunate injury-related news on Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari:

Danilo Gallinari suffers knee injury

Following his best game of the season, Gallinari was diagnosed with a meniscus tear in his right knee. He is expected to undergo surgery in the next couple of days, and there is a tentative three-week timetable for his return.

It is another blow to Gallinari, who has been trying to battle back from missing 19 months of action because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament. The latest injury is not connected to his other two ACL surgeries, which were performed on his left knee.

Here’s the Denver Post reporting on the Nuggets, who are majorly struggling lately:

Hoping to clear the air and get everybody on the same page, Nuggets coach Brian Shaw had “a couple of” individual meetings with players Tuesday, he said.

“There’s frustration,” Shaw said. “Obviously, we’re 10-14. We feel that out of those games there’s maybe a handful that we feel that we could have reversed — we feel we kind of did it to ourselves in those games. But I see frustration from some of the guys that aren’t playing as much as they want to play, from some of the guys that aren’t playing as well as they want to play.”

Danilo Gallinari and Kenneth Faried have been the most frustrated with their playing time as they battle through injuries and ineffectiveness. The Nuggets are 1-6 in their past seven, and the frustration isn’t limited to those two players.

Gallinari has missed the past three games with a bruised right knee but is expected to play Wednesday against the Houston Rockets.

The Denver Nuggets are 8-8 this season, and after a very tough start have won six of their last seven games. Things are looking up lately. But the team still hopes for more from power forward Kenneth Faried, who shined for Team USA this summer and inked a huge new contract, but has been off to a relatively slow start.  Here’s the Denver Post reporting

Kenneth Faried off to slow start this season

Faried knows the start of his season hasn’t been up to standard — by his standard or anyone else’s who knows he has so much more to give. So he doesn’t mince words. He has been a shell of himself, a half-Manimal through the first 16 games, desperately seeking his whole self again.

“I just haven’t been playing my game,” Faried said. “I know it. My teammates know it. My coaches know it. Hopefully, this month of December, I turn everything around. But for me, it’s awful. You’ve got to be able to look at yourself, look at the man in the mirror and say that to yourself. And be able to correct yourself.”

Faried’s averages — 11.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, 50 percent shooting — all are down from last season. And this was to be the season of his true ascension, when he built upon his strong finish of 2013-14. It still can be.

Darrell Arthur suspended for shoving Dion Waiters in back during shot

Darrell Arthur suspended for shoving Dion Waiters

Denver Nuggets forward Darrell Arthur has been suspended one game without pay for shoving Cleveland Cavaliers guard Dion Waiters in the back as he elevated for a layup, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

It was a dangerous move by Arthur, whose shove sent Waiters flying.

The incident, for which Arthur was assessed a Flagrant 2 and ejected, occurred with 4.4 seconds remaining in the first period of the Cavaliers’ 110-101 win over the Nuggets at Pepsi Center.

Arthur will serve his suspension on Sunday when the Nuggets travel to Portland to play the Trail Blazers.

To view the play, click on this link.

Remember Danilo Gallinari? Sure you do. But it’s been a while since you’ve seen him play basketball. He’s a key member of the Denver Nuggets, who are surely very happy to finally have him back in action, even if he shot just 1-of-8 in limited minutes upon his return. Here’s the Denver Post reporting:

Danilo Gallinari finally back in action for Nuggets

It all went wrong for a Denver team on the rise when Gallinari went down in an ugly heap with a knee injury April 4, 2013. The Nuggets got upset by Golden State, which bounced them from the playoffs. Coach George Karl and franchise boss Josh Kroenke broke up in a contract dispute. Bad luck shadowed the franchise like a black cat.

Nearly 19 months later, Gallinari finally made it back to the Pepsi Center court Wednesday night. The Nuggets beat Detroit 89-79 in their NBA season opener.

Gallo, who scored seven points in 18 minutes against the Pistons, cannot fix everything that went wrong with the Nuggets.

“Nobody in the league is thinking much about Denver. But it’s always been that way about the Nuggets. We’ve always been the underdog. We’ve always been the team nobody talks about,” Gallinari said. “But I know the last year all of us played together, the record book says we won the most games in franchise history.”

Nuggets waive Quincy Miller

Nuggets waive Quincy Miller

Nuggets waive Quincy Miller

With the 2014-15 NBA regular season starting tomorrow, teams around the league are trimming their rosters to 15 or fewer players. And now it’s the Denver Nuggets’ turn.

The Nuggets waived forward Quincy Miller today, according to general manager and executive vice president of basketball operations Tim Connelly.

Miller, who was drafted by Denver with the 38th pick of the 2012 NBA Draft, appeared in 59 games for the Nuggets over the past two seasons, averaging 4.5 points and 2.5 rebounds in 13.8 minutes per game. He appeared in seven preseason games this year, averaging 3.0 points and 2.0 rebounds.

The Nuggets roster now stands at 15 players.

The Denver Nuggets will open training-camp with 19 players after signing forwards Jerrelle Benimon, Alonzo Gee, Pops Mensah-Bonsu and Marcus Williams, Nuggets General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

Benimon, 6-8, 245, went undrafted in 2014 out of Towson University where he was named the CAA player of the year in both his junior and senior seasons. The forward averaged 18.7 points while ranking second in the nation in rebounds (11.2 rpg) and third in double-doubles (21) during his final collegiate campaign in 2013-14. Benimon played for the Miami Heat in the Orlando Summer League and for the Nuggets in the Las Vegas Summer League, averaging 10.7 points, 11.3 rebounds (2nd overall) and 1.7 assists in three games.

Gee, 6-6, 219, has appeared in 277 career NBA games (173 starts), posting averages of 7.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.00 steals in five seasons with the Cavaliers, Spurs and Wizards. Gee was undrafted in 2009 after playing four years at the University of Alabama. He averaged 15.0 points and 7.2 rebounds and was named Second Team All-SEC as a senior. Gee appeared in 65 games (24 starts) for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2013-14.

Mensah-Bonsu, 6-9, 235, has four years of NBA experience and three seasons of international experience after going undrafted out of George Washington University in the 2006 NBA Draft. He’s appeared in 62 career NBA games for New Orleans, Toronto, Houston, San Antonio and Dallas, averaging 2.9 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. Mensah-Bonsu averaged 8.7 points and 6.3 rebounds in 55 games for Galatasaray of the Turkish League during the 2013-14 season.

Williams, 6-7, 203, was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs with the 33rd overall pick of the 2007 NBA Draft after he averaged 16.6 points and 6.7 rebounds as a sophomore at the University of Arizona. The forward has averaged 1.1 points and 3.0 minutes in 13 career NBA games over parts of two seasons with the Spurs and L.A. Clippers. He also appeared in 89 games for the Austin Toros of the NBA D-League from 2007-2010, averaging 21.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists. Williams has spent the last three seasons with the Shanxi Zhongyu Brave Dragons of the Chinese Basketball Association.

Here’s the Denver Post reporting on Nuggets power forward Kenneth Faried, who is currently playing for Team USA in the World Cup:

Kenneth Faried doing big things for Team USA

Kenneth Faried’s recent rising-star status is proof that a world stage can be a powerful thing. Average 18 points and 10 rebounds after the all-star break last season for the Nuggets, against the best players in the world? The skeptics’ voices rang loudest.

Do the same thing against overmatched competition in group play of the FIBA World Cup? Now he’s a keeper. Strange thinking, and backward thinking, but true.

It can be argued Faried has done more to open up the eyes of his own fan base and NBA fans nationwide in one week in Spain than he had in the final two months of the NBA season. That’s been the real value of the tournament for him. He’s playing as he always has, but his name and his nickname, the “Manimal,” are becoming more recognizable. For a player looking to earn his first all-star berth this upcoming season, this is big-time stuff.

The Denver Nuggets finished the 2013-14 NBA season with a 36-46 record. Some major injuries to key players definitely hurt. Still, there was fun. Enjoy this video showcasing some of their best plays of the year:

Nuggets Sign guard Erick Green

Nuggets Sign guard Erick Green

The Denver Nuggets have signed guard Erick Green, General Manager/Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

Green, 6-4, 185, was the 46th overall pick of the 2013 NBA Draft after leading the NCAA in scoring (25.0 ppg) as a senior at Virginia Tech. He spent the 2013-14 season with Montepaschi Siena of the Italian League, averaging 11.3 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists.

Playing at the 2014 Samsung NBA Summer League, Green averaged 16.6 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists in five games (all starts) with the Nuggets. He shot 50 percent from the field and 80 percent from the free-throw line.

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