Paul O’ Connor wrote in:
General questions: Where did Aaron Afflalo come from and why can't he be more consistent like he was in the Charlotte game? We are going to count on him against Kobe and the Lakers, and he is going to have to hit his threes and other shots more consistently if we are ever going to get Kobe in foul trouble.
Scott Hastings (Altitude Sports) wonders why Nene doesn't get the ball more, because other players (opponents) seem to be afraid of him. Why can't the Nuggets get a big guy on their coaching staff to teach Birdman how to keep his feet on the ground and take a charge and how to put-back rebounds etc...
First of all, great questions Paul, and thanks for writing in.
Arron Afflalo came to Denver via Detroit in the offseason just as Chauncey Billups did before last year.
The Nuggets, after losing the defensive minded Dahntay Jones to the Pacers in the offseason, saw that Afflalo would be a solid replacement on D and an upgrade on the offensive end. Denver traded a future second-round draft pick to Detroit in return for the third-year shooting guard Afflalo.
As far as consistency, Afflalo being only in his third year and the first as a Nugget, is still adapting and growing into his own player. Afflalo is averaging career highs in points (nine), rebounds (2.8), assists (1.7) and steals (.7).
Plus, Afflalo is the fourth best three-point shooter in the NBA currently at 44.9 percent from behind the arc.
It seems Afflalo is becoming more and more comfortable in Denver, and he has been hitting the wide open shot more consistently of late.
When it comes to Nene, the burly Brazilian center is somewhat of an enigma.
He’s big and strong enough to physically match up well with almost every center in the game, and his quickness makes him difficult to stop on offense.
But many, like Hastings, question Nene’s aggressiveness and mindset as an NBA player.
Nene doesn’t have the cockiness and “I’m better than you” mentality that seemingly every other NBA player possesses nowadays; if he did, he would be a more effective player all around.
Also, with so many scoring threats—Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Kenyon Martin, J.R. Smith—Nene gets lost in the offensive mix many games.
Lastly, I agree that a big man on the bench could help develop the Nuggets’ bigs, especially Chris “Birdman” Andersen.
Denver could definitely benefit from an experienced ex-NBA all-pro to instruct the team in the proper way to play center in the NBA. Come to think of it, what is Dekembe Mutombo up to these days?