Denver Post sports writer Benjamin Hochman posts his Nuggets Mailbag every other Thursday during the NBA season.
Pose a Nuggets- or NBA-related question for the Nuggets Mailbag.
Ben, Carmelo Anthony finally comes to town next week and I'm sure he is expecting a negative reception. I think it would be awesome if the fans showered him with cheers. First it would show some class, but more important it would get in his head and maybe affect his game. Your thoughts?
Ha! Love the creativity Rob. I've gotten a multitude of response in recent months when I bring up Melo to Nuggets fans. Some still hate him because (they feel) he disrespected the franchise by forcing a trade. Others get it - he gave Denver a bunch of awesome seasons (remember how bad the Nuggets were B.C.). And others just basically have forgotten about him, more or less.
Obviously, if the game had been last season (New York conveniently didn't come to Denver in the lockout-shortened season), the boos would have been Kobe-loud. But with the March 13 game, that'll be more than two full years since the 2011 trade.
But at a sporting event, there's sort of a mob mentality, so I can imagine people on-the-fence about booing will start to boo if the guy next to them does. As such, I expect a plethora of boos (can there be a plethora of boos?) at the March 13 game.
Your thought about cheering to mess with his head is funny. But the truth is, there will be a day when Melo returns to Denver and the fans all cheer. Time heals wounds and when Melo returns later in his career -- or, dare I, the night the Nuggets retire No. 15 -- fans will probably say:
"The dude played great for us, he was maybe the most-talented guy we ever had, and after a long tenure, he
Do you foresee Wilson Chandler replacing Kenneth Faried in the starting lineup? Chandler is a much better scorer and defender than Kenneth. We'd likely lose some rebounds in this switch, but we get more points and more steals.
--David Markman, Guadalajara, Mexico
What up David. Yeah, "Ill Wil" has had some sick games (SEE WHAT I DID THERRRRRRRRRE??). But I don't foresee Chandler becoming a starter this season. While Faried isn't perfect -- he sometimes gets in foul trouble and other times holds a red matador flag to let opponents bulldoze by -- his rebounding and energy is so important to the flow of the Nuggets.
And imagine the shot to Faried's ego if he was moved to the bench, whereas Chandler, though he's not thrilled, has embraced this reserve role, helping the team with his floated jumpers and defense.
Wassup Ben? So, if the Nuggets get bounced during the first round again (given their No. 5 seed and road record), what piece(s) are they missing heading into the offseason? What gets them to the next level? Or are they set as is and they'll win a playoff series?
--Adam, Aspen (Where the beer flows like wine)
What up Adam, hope you're enjoying the hoity-toity Aspen brew. I've actually never
You bring up an interesting question, and possibly reality, if the Nuggets do lose in the first round, again. I don't think the Nuggets need to make drastic changes, but clearly they need a versatile player who can knock down the 3-ball off the bench.
But one would surmise that the Nuggets' starting lineup could very well be the same next season, except with JaVale McGee ahead of Koufos.
Ben, any news on the Andre Iguodala contract situation? What will the market be like for Iguodala this summer and do you see the Nuggets spending what they'll need to in order to re-sign him? Does he want to come back to Denver?
--Ben (like you!), Los Angeles
What up Ben - I actually know a dude named Ben Brooks, and he was named after the most unlikely of Ben's -- former Brewers outfielder Ben Ogilvie.
As for now, Iguodala is saying all the right things and hopes to be part of the Nuggets' growth. And, after all, the guy is set to make around $16 million next season. It will be fascinating to watch what transpires in the coming months -- if he finishes strong if the Nuggets make a playoff run if he's a factor in the playoffs.
Say what you want about his jump shooting. The fact is, Iguodala has helped Denver win in so many ways this season, notably with his defense and passing.
Ben, what are the chances that you can convince a post-game press conference group to do the Harlem Shake?
I'll tell ya Roddy, with the way reporters are frantic on deadline, it kind of looks like an insane Harlem Shake. One of my life goals is to invent a dance craze of my own. Actually, in 2003, I thought I had invented a dance. Alas, it turned out it was The Cabbage Patch.
Benjamin Hochman covers the Nuggets and NBA for The Denver Post. Pose a Nuggets- or NBA-related question for the Nuggets Mailbag.