Basically, both Moe and Karl hinted that maybe, and Moe was even more pessimistic than Karl, just maybe one player off of this summer league team might hold down the last seat for the Nuggets in next year’s regular season. So, those sentiments alone make the remaining summer league games basically meaningless. Going into this summer we already knew that Von Wafer was essentially going to substitute as the Nuggets draft pick and I would have to assume that he is probably the player most under the microscope during the team’s stay in Las Vegas.
Von finished the game’s high-scorer with 19 points that fit nicely with three rebounds. He also rebounded after the 0-4 performance from downtown in the Nuggets first outing to finish 3-4 in tonight’s game.
The Nuggets also got a solid performance out of point guard Will Blalock, which brings me to the next item of interest spoken on by Doug Moe and George Karl. Moe didn’t surprise anyone when he cited the Nuggets greatest personnel need is at point guard, but what is so surprising is how impressed both Karl and Moe were by Steve Blake last year. Both men expressed feelings that they wanted to keep Steve Blake for next season, but we all know that doing so is going to put the Nuggets in a financial quagmire as well as not improving the team as a whole.
The point guard of a team with this dynamic of a roster, (remember, the Nuggets have Kenyon Martin returning next year to along side AI and ‘Melo), has to command the respect of his troops and I just don’t think Steve Blake does that at this point in his career. He may continue to mature as a player and as he continues to play more and more minutes he may become a true starting point guard in the NBA, but at this point, I am not sold that he should be counted on as the starting floor general for the Denver Nuggets. All we can hope is that management feels the same way and is actively trying to maintain Steve Blake as a reliable reserve, while also trying to find a veteran, (preferably one with a ring), to commandeer this team.
By the way… Will Blalock finished with 17 points and two assists.
The last note of interest from the guys who run the sideline came from Doug Moe in regards to Kenyon Martin. Moe was reluctant to say anything definitive early, but did give in and say that, “From what he’s told”, Kenyon Martin will be ready to play next season with the Nuggets slowly working him into rotation with limited minutes to begin. At this point, one has to be optimistic when thinking about adding Kenyon Martin to last year’s roster. Not to mention he’s untradable, at least at this point, and if he could come back and make an impact it would add some much needed toughness to Denver’s frontline and gives them that third big who can defend and score with regularity.
Other than that, with the loss the Nuggets are now 1-1 in Summer League play and will face the Pistons on Thursday afternoon. No TV is available unfortunately, but there will be a box score to dissect.