NBA: 10 Teams that Should Mimic the Denver Nuggets' Trend
The Denver Nuggets haven't skipped a beat since trading Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups to the New York Knicks.
In fact, they're playing better.
They play a fast, controlled offense. They share the ball and find the open shooters. They play hard-nosed, in-your-face defense, and they run the floor. They don't care who on their team scores, they just want to score and score a lot.
I believe their success stems from George Karl experimenting with his two point guards Ty Lawson and Raymond Felton.
Lawson has been waiting for his opportunity to start for a while. He's probably the fastest player in the NBA and has greatly improved his outside shooting. Felton was playing at an All-Star level in New York and didn't want to get moved into a reserve role once in Denver.
So how does Karl handle managing his two very good, very fast, very talented PGs? He plays them together.
What has resulted is some of the most fun and exciting basketball we've seen in years. With both guys on the court, Karl can rely on either one to create a shot, penetrate, find open teammates, attack the basket, shoot three's and get steals. It's a total blast!
And to top it all off, they're winning basketball games—by a lot.
So, to celebrate what I call the "Nugget Experiment", I'm suggesting these 10 teams should take a look at implementing this system.
Note: You will not see the Warriors on this list because I'm not so sure Monta Ellis is a PG. If you think he is, let me know.
Phoenix Suns: Steve Nash and Aaron Brooks
The Suns traded Goran Dragic to the Houston Rockets for Aaron Brooks. Brooks won the Most Improved Player award in 2009 and is a legitimate starting PG in the NBA. Plus, Phoenix been searching for a capable backup to Steve Nash for years.
Why It Would Work: Brooks is a scorer and a shooter. He led the NBA in three-pointers made in 2009, and he's blazing fast. We all know Nash is the best PG in the NBA.
Plus, with Vince Carter's game clearly on the decline, Brooks is the best scoring option the Suns have at the guard position (besides Nash).
Dallas Mavericks: Jason Kidd and J.J. Barea
The Mavs are a team that play Jason Kidd and J.J. Barea together semi-regularly. It makes them one of the smallest backcourts in the NBA.
Why It Would Work: Barea's speed and penetrating abilities really complement Kidd's outside shooting and passing abilities.
With Caron Butler possibly done for the season, you'll see more of the two PGs side by side as the Mavs approach the playoffs.
San Antonio Spurs: Tony Parker and George Hill
Tony Parker has helped the Spurs to the best record in the NBA. But of course, he hasn't done it alone.
Why It Would Work: Parker can penetrate and shoot the tear drop as well as anyone in the NBA. George Hill is solid defensively and can shoot the three.
As long as Manu Ginobli is healthy, you probably won't see Popovich pull the trigger on this one, but Manu's always a risk to get injured.
New Jersey Nets: Deron Williams and Jordan Farmar
Honestly, Jordan Farmar is one of the most underrated PGs in the game, and the Lakers made a mistake in letting him go (notice the Lakers aren't on this list, because Derek Fisher and Steve Blake are awful).
Why It Would Work: This would just be fun. Deron Williams and Farmar can shoot, pass, defend and attack. Plus, its the Nets.
Their best option at SG is Sasha "The Girl" Vujacic? Come on.
Atlanta Hawks: Kirk Hinrich and Jamal Crawford
Kirk Hinrich came over to the Hawks from the Washington Wizards. He's a skilled veteran who knows how to play the game.
Why It Would Work: Jamal Crawford has made a career of coming off the bench, but he has the skills to start. Both Hinrich and Crawford can shoot from range and are great free-throw shooters.
Expect to see these two on the court together in the final minutes of a close game.
Philadelphia 76ers: Jrue Holiday and Lou Williams
I don't know if you've noticed, but the 76ers are a playoff team.
Why It Would Work: One of the most underrated backcourts in the NBA, Jrue Holiday and Lou Williams are what motor the Sixers. They're young, talented and have the skills you would want in your floor generals.
You will see them together in spurts, and it is fun to watch.
Detroit Pistons: Rodney Stuckey and Will Bynum
When you hear those names, what do you think of? Ice cream, I know.
Why It Would Work: Let's be honest, nothing else is working in Detroit.
The whole point of the Chauncey Billups trade was to give room for these two to grow. Let 'em grow, Kuester. Let 'em grow.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Baron Davis and Ramon Sessions
Baron Davis was traded to the Cavaliers for Mo Williams. I'm not sure how happy he is about that.
Why It Would Work: Ramon Sessions can score the ball with the best guards in the NBA. He's still growing and has a lot of upside.
Boom Dizzle (Baron Davis)? All I have to say is, where's Andrei Kirlenko?
Minnesota Timberwolves: Luke Ridnour and Jonny Flynn
Minnesota isn't playing for much, so it would be fun to see them experiment with this.
Why It Would Work: Luke Ridnour is a steady, veteran PG. Jonny Flynn is young, fiery and lightning quick. Ridnour has a great shooting touch, and Flynn is at his best attacking the basket.
And hey, if they ever get Ricky Rubio to the USA from Spain, they could take the experiment to the next level and play three PGs at the same time.
Utah Jazz: Devin Harris and Jimmer Fredette
Yes, you read that right. Devin Harris and Jimmer Fredette, the future backcourt of the Utah Jazz.
Why else do you think Utah is tanking since they traded D-Will?
Why It Would Work: If Harris is healthy, he's a top-10 PG in the NBA. Fredette isn't even in the NBA yet, but he will be, and you can guarantee Utah wants him.
Even if this doesn't work, the Jazz would have more people buying tickets, watching games on TV and buying more merchandise than ever before. Jimmer is a celebrity in Utah, and with the Jazz next year, he'll be making shots from Provo (he has that kind of range).