Halftime blog from here at Pepsi Center — Nuggets/Clippers…
There’s one constant in critics of these Nuggets.
Denver doesn’t boast the definitive NBA superstar, that singular player who can win a game, or a playoff series, or get a key whistle, on his own. George Karl is done with the subject and went off on a semi-rant this morning after the Nuggets game-day shootaround.
“I think most people are going to say you can’t win without a star. I’m tired of it. I’m fed up with it. Some of you guys know I’ve been angry about it,” Karl said, relatively unsolicited. “It’s a team game. I know the Miami Heat won the championship last year. But they were the best basketball team. They might have had a superstar, but they were the best basketball team.
“I honestly think it can be done. I think it’s silly not even to have one person that can stand up and say it can be done.”
For what it’s worth, I’ve changed my tune on this subject. I’m done with it, too. After covering the past two months, these Nuggets are closer to an elite-level outfit than they are being given credit for.
I believe this roster, the way it has steadily bought into this speed-demon system (Action Ball, I like to call it), if Ty Lawson and Danilo Gallinari continue to rise and it stays together, can win the West in coming seasons.
With the way Lawson is playing, here’s how I would respond to the lack-of-a-superstar question. Isn’t a superstar the player that other teams must gameplan for, the player who creates a matchup problem each night? Lawson’s speed is the definition of a matchup problem. Few teams over the past month have been able to deal with him.
I tend to think these Nuggets are closer than people think.
So there are two ways the Nuggets are attempting to rewrite the blueprint for an elite-level team. One, no single star that demands the attention of a defense (or beaucoup sneaker-pitching opportunities). Two, the Action Ball system, where every possession is played at a break-neck speed. In the halfcourt NBA, the Nuggets force you to play a 94-foot game. It is quite different from the current NBA model, and I see an element of surprise when opponents are forced to play at this speed.
Just some quick thoughts tonight from Pepsi Center, home of the best NBA team nobody’s talking about.