3 Denver Nuggets Role Players Who Must Step It Up by NBA Playoffs Time

Ricky FrechCorrespondent IMarch 5, 2013

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 15:  Andre Iguodala #9 of the Denver Nuggets controls the ball against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Pepsi Center on January 15, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Trail Blazers 115-111 in overtime. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The Denver Nuggets are an interesting team, as they lack a true "superstar"—instead relying on a stable of good players who play their roles well.

That isn't to say that there aren't quite a few big-time players on this team, just that they don't have anyone like Kevin Durant or LeBron James who demands the ball on virtually every play.

The "team over star power" approach has worked before, most recently in the 2004 Detroit Pistons; however, that kind of team must have its role players step up, especially in the playoffs.

Starters like Andre Iguodala, Ty Lawson and Danilo Gallinari obviously must continue to play well, but the following role players need to rise up in various ways.

Wilson Chandler

It feels weird to say that Wilson Chandler needs to "step it up" following his 35-point outburst against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

However, in the game before that, Chandler could only muster seven points on 3-for-10 shooting.

That up-and-down style of play has been indicative of Chandler's injury-plagued season.

The Nuggets could use Chandler's ability to pour in points off the bench, particularly against high-scoring teams like the Thunder.

He must become more consistent, as he continues to get healthy. 


Corey Brewer

Corey Brewer is having his best statistical season since his 2010 campaign with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

In fact, considering that he's playing seven minutes less nowadays, one could argue that this is Brewer's best season ever—except for one small problem.

Brewer attempts the second-most threes for the Nuggets, with 3.9 per game.

Unfortunately, he's not even hitting a third of those.

Brewer shot .346 from three in that 2010 season, so we know that he can shoot the deep ball; however, something seems off this year.

It's a little nitpicky, but Brewer needs to improve his outside shooting to help space the floor for the Nuggets' multiple slashers.

JaVale McGee

The Denver Nuggets are one of the best teams in the league at rebounding the ball, so this might be somewhat of a moot point.

However, JaVale McGee is a seven-footer who's only pulling down 4.8 boards a game.

This comes after a season in which McGee averaged 8.8 rebounds, while only playing nine minutes more per game than in 2013.

Quality depth off the bench is of utmost importance in the playoffs, especially for a team like the Nuggets.

McGee has to become more tenacious on the glass, while providing better defense on the back line.