D.R.: Two words for Nuggets | VailDaily.com

D.R.: Two words for Nuggets

Don Rogers

The Answer can’t solve his shooting woes, even key layups. The kid can’t think straight on the court. The coach has blown his cool.

So the Nuggets are where they were two years ago at this time, behind 1-3 to the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs. It’s more likely than not that they are about to play their last game of the season tonight.

If the Spurs win, it’s all over.

Two words for the Nuggets: Next year.

They cannot win if Allen Iverson continues to miss so many shots. They cannot win if J.R. Smith sits at the end of the bench. They cannot win if George Karl loses his focus.

They can win if they play defense as they are capable, if the stars play to their ability, if Smith can settle down, if Karl can be a coach committed to growing his players instead of publicly benching them in a huff.

I’m most concerned about the coach teeing off on the kid to reporters and going for humiliation over development. He doesn’t need to coddle Smith, but he surely doesn’t need to blow up his best three-point shooters confidence and risk losing his most athletic player for good.

Two words: Next year.

That’s what the Nuggets should be about. Give it your best shot. Build for next year.

Next year this team will have a chance to jell. They should have Kenyon Martin back. If he can get healthy, as Nene did this year, they should become formidable.

They’ll need a smarter, more confident J.R. Smith, too. That’s what makes me cringe at Karl. How dumb is that? He committed the worst turnover of all with this one. How dumb was that?

Next year. New coach?

That’s a rhetorical question. But put Karl’s miscue atop the woes of Iverson misfiring and Smith’s inability to settle down and focus.

The coach needs to keep this in perspective, and build his team for next year, however this series turns out.

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