The 2012-13 Hardwood Paroxysm Season Preview: The Denver Nuggets

Image via Orbital Joe on Flickr

Welcome to the Hardwood Paroxysm Season Previews. The 2012-2013 season is upon us. Rejoice! Oh, and if you want to see the most amazing document ever assembled by the most amazing team of writers ever assembled, click here for HARDWOOD PAROXYSM’S 2012-2013 COMPLETE SEASON PREVIEW MAGAZINE. Maybe even print a copy out and give it to your best friend for his/her birthday. Whatever you choose, that’s your journey.  -Ed.

Great Theories Regarding Professional Basketball

by Scott Leedy

“I don’t check bags, I just carry on. Leave that BS in the past” – Curren$y

You can’t knock the hustle. Sure you might point out that the Nuggets don’t have a true “superstar.” Yes, they gave JaVale McGee a pretty large sum of money. Maybe you’re worried about George Karl’s ability to competently coach during the playoffs. Sure, you could argue the West is too deep and too talented to allow the Nuggets to truly succeed. Okay, so Kenneth Faried doesn’t have a ton of offensive ability, and he’s undersized. Andre Miller is old. Ty Lawson is small. They don’t have enough shooting. Andre Igoudala won’t solve their “go to guy” problem. Still, despite any criticism, Denver and Masai Uriji stay winning (in the metaphorical, and literal sense).

The Nuggets have left the BS in the past. They turned the painful, potentially franchise-crippling Carmelo Anthony saga into a boatload of assets and talented young players. When Nene started sitting out games with a chipped toenail, they shipped his possible albatross of a contract out of town. No need to change anything in hindsight. No need to live in the past; The Nuggets are too busy staying a step ahead.

The Nuggets probably won’t finish with a top 4 record in the Western Conference. They might not make it out of the first round. Javale McGee might disappoint, and the Andre Iguodala trade may not work out as envisioned. This will probably upset many Nuggets fans. They’ll question the direction of a franchise that feels stuck in “good but not great” territory. But no matter what happens they should have faith in their franchise. This is a gifted management team. They know how to survive. They understand that it’s all about the process. Don’t get attached. Stay focused, stay cool, and stay on your grind. Be patient, be shrewd and results are sure to follow.

MVM: Most Valuable Meme

by Amin Vafa

JaVale McGee and the art of the Retweet.

Several months ago, JaVale McGee decided that he’d had enough of tweeting, but he didn’t seem to have enough of Twitter. He only retweets. As in, he only tweets the tweets of others or he retweets things he said previously or he puts RT @JaValeMcGee34 in front of all of his tweets.

Why the hell would anyone do that? Because they’re funny? Because they’re insane? Because 140 characters is too many? You know what, though? It doesn’t matter. He has been doing it FOR MONTHS. This is commitment to the bit at its finest. Never wavering. Never slipping. Wait, I take it back. It does matter. It’s brilliant. JaVale’s tweets are all of our tweets. It’s a broad societal commentary about how what we all say is recycled from the ether; we’re all connected, and nothing we say is original. But it’s okay that nothing we say is original, because people will like it, and the familiarity of what we say is comforting to others.

So when JaVale tweets,

RT @JaValeMcGee34 RT @JaValeMcGee34 INSTAGAM MY NEW TWITTER FOLLOW @JavaleMcgee_34 PICS WORTH 1000 WORDS!

I have nothing but respect for a man that can point at society right in the face and say “Hey, you. Yeah, you, society. I’m talking to you. Look at how vain you are, talking about yourself. Telling people to pay attention to you in words and pictures. How dare you? This is what society has become: self-congratulation on both an individual and global level.”

RT @AminVafaNBA: RT @AminVafaNBA: Thank you for bringing this issue to the forefront of our public consciousness, JaVale.

Ask Not For Whom The Bell Trolls, It’s Trollin’ For JaVale McGee

by Jordan White

Or rather, JaVale is trolling all of us. He is the ultimate troll.

One night, he looks as if he’s figured it all out. He’s flying up and down the court, blocking shots on one end and finishing strong with a dunk on the other. He’s engaged in the half court, locking down his man, not giving him an inch and bothering and/or swatting every basketball that dares come within his territory. On offense, he’s aggressive without killing ball movement, using his athleticism to get past slower centers and slamming down lob after lob after lob. On nights like these, he’s a terror. Just ask the Los Angeles Lakers.

But the next night, we’ll see the other JaVale. The one who looks completely lost on offense, showing minimal awareness and basketball IQ. It gets worse on the defensive end, where McGee (or perhaps it’s Pierre on these nights, which would then bring to light an interesting Jekyll/Hyde theory for McGee’s performances, but this isn’t the time for that), like a kid with ADHD who forgot to take his Ritalin, can’t maintain his focus for more than two seconds at a time, and completely forgets the rules regarding goaltending. I could go on, or you could just watch this.

McGee is never more joyful than when he swats a ball that was clearly on the way down. Which leads back to my theory that JaVale is the greatest of trolls. He knows what he’s doing with his Jekyll and Hyde performances, knows that it infuriates his coaches yet oddly endears himself to basketball fans (except those in Denver or Washington). Sure, he could stop, take the game more seriously, adopt the KG mentality of focusing on the game and nothing else. But that’s not McGee, and troll’s gonna troll.

Doomsday Vs. Manna From Heaven

by Steve McPherson

Last season, the Nuggets were second in the league in pace and effective FG% and third in offensive rating, plus pushed the Lakers to seven games in the opening round of the playoffs before falling to them. But as much fun as they were in the open floor, they were also 20th in defensive rating. So what did everybody’s favorite superstar-less team do in the offseason? They went and got the league’s premier wing defender in Andre Iguodala, the guy who was supposed to be the next big thing in Philly after the last A.I. but never really got to superstar status. Seems fitting.

The real question this season is: Do they evolve into some kind of new age version of the 7 Seconds or Less Suns, minus even the floor general prowess of a player like Steve Nash, or does their entire lighter-than-air offense collapse in the oven like a doomed soufflé?

Here are the factors. They’ve either recently acquired two stupid athletic or stupid, athletic big men in JaVale McGee and Anthony Randolph. If they evolve into the players they could be (keep in mind Randolph is actually younger than McGee at 23), then they go into the 7SOL column. Throw a fully actualized and blocking, ooping McGee into a lineup with the tireless Faried, the long Gallinari, the tenacious Iguodala, and the havoc-wreaking Lawson and the team should be able to score like last year but defend a whole lot better.

But although Iguodala is a premier defender, he’s not a center or power forward who can change the entire game with his defensive presence. He will help, but he’s hardly a panacea. Also, it’s more likely McGee stays McGee and Randolph stays Randolph. If this superstarless recipe has thrown a few too many nuts in there, soufflé city.

Hardwood Paroxysm