Monday, September 3, 2007

Weighing in on Nene (No Pun Intended)

(Boulder-CO) The title of this post may be humorous, but the fact that Nene is hurt, again, and that it is more so than not a result of him coming into the FIBA competition overweight, again, and not ready to perform like the high salary player that he is must be pretty embarrassing. Even the AOL Fanhouse could tell that Nene was shamefully fat.
But what is really pertinent to the Nuggets fan in all of us is how these reoccurring injury/weight issues with Nene change the outlook of our season (at least initially). First off, the diagnosis of the calf injury is a 4-6 week recovery period. With that being known, Nene is not going to be ready for training camp, which at its bare minimum leaves the Nuggets with a chemistry issue to deal with within the first twenty games of the regular season as Nene has to be slowly brought back into the rotation. And it is from this starting point that the hypothetical situations can range from very advantageous for the Nuggets to down right agonizing.

So, with Nene slowly being worked into the Nuggets fold there is suddenly an opening for Kenyon Martin to seize. Optimistically speaking, this could be a good thing for Denver as they will be able to immediately see what Kenyon Martin’s return and overall impact is going to be. But from here it gets tricky because if Kenyon returns to anywhere near his former capabilities. Then all of a sudden the Nuggets not only have a power forward log jam (Eduardo, Evans, Nene, and Martin), but they also have a decision to make as to who is going to be the starter. This competitive scenario could inspire both men to raise their games to new levels; ultimately making the Nuggets a better team. Or the large egos in play could be too much to overcome; leaving the Nuggets with major personnel problems.

Like I said, this is a very tricky situation.

Furthermore and regardless of how all this plays out, Nene has displayed poor athletic professionalism not once, but now twice concerning his off-season work ethic and commitment to training. I may have been likely to grant him a free-pass for coming off such a serious knee injury and not being able to shed the extra girth before the start of last season, but after showing up to the FIBA games in “vacation” shape after having such a strong final two months of 2007. It is starting to become very clear that Nene doesn’t look at the off-season as a chance to raise his game. Which is too bad because all the great ones that have played this game, (Magic, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson etc), have always taken the off-season as a chance to improve their games and their conditioning. Maybe that’s why all of the aforementioned have rings?
Feelings?

10 comments:

Thelowblock said...

Hopefully K-Mart is healthy and stays that way (although he might not be the same), or Denver could find themselves between a rock and a hard place. I never really liked Nene, because he makes a large salary for an average big man.

Jason said...

Ok, first off, it is quit a shame that Nene is hurt once again, and I wish him the best in getting back healthy.

Nene has always been such a hard subject for me. For one, I love what he can bring to this team when healthy and motivated. He is an inside force and is a great compliment to Melo. However, at times it appears that Nene just does enough to get by, not really wanting to distinguish himself from the back of other young big guys like Stoudemire, Howard, and Bosh.

But partly he has been plagued by injury issues that have hurt his progress.

The one thing I have heard this offseason was that HE WAS INSTRUCTED BY TEAM DOCTORS AND TRAINERS TO TAKE TWO MONTHS OFF from conditioning and hard workouts to help rest his knee. How true that is, I am not sure, but this came from a fairly reliable source. So that may have contributed to his conditioning issues that were clearly visible in these FIBA games. Unfortunately, when you are not in shape, you open yourself up to more injury, which is exactly what all of us were worried about with Nene playing.

Hopefully Nene will come back strong and be the force he needs to be, and I truly think that in the long run, you may see Nene play the 5 spot, with Kmart at the 4, and Camby coming off the bench. That probably will not happen this season, but if all the bigs are on the team down the road in future years, I think you may see that. In the meantime, their play will dictate who starts.

Jason said...

Ok, first off, it is quit a shame that Nene is hurt once again, and I wish him the best in getting back healthy.

Nene has always been such a hard subject for me. For one, I love what he can bring to this team when healthy and motivated. He is an inside force and is a great compliment to Melo. However, at times it appears that Nene just does enough to get by, not really wanting to distinguish himself from the back of other young big guys like Stoudemire, Howard, and Bosh.

But partly he has been plagued by injury issues that have hurt his progress.

The one thing I have heard this offseason was that HE WAS INSTRUCTED BY TEAM DOCTORS AND TRAINERS TO TAKE TWO MONTHS OFF from conditioning and hard workouts to help rest his knee. How true that is, I am not sure, but this came from a fairly reliable source. So that may have contributed to his conditioning issues that were clearly visible in these FIBA games. Unfortunately, when you are not in shape, you open yourself up to more injury, which is exactly what all of us were worried about with Nene playing.

Hopefully Nene will come back strong and be the force he needs to be, and I truly think that in the long run, you may see Nene play the 5 spot, with Kmart at the 4, and Camby coming off the bench. That probably will not happen this season, but if all the bigs are on the team down the road in future years, I think you may see that. In the meantime, their play will dictate who starts.

Jason said...

More inside information I just heard from my source. Apparently, Nuggets brass had the USA trainer check out Nene in Vegas and he reported that it was only a slight calf strain and he should be ok very soon. He is flying back to Denver (probably arrived today) to be checked out by Nuggets team doctors. We will probably hear more in the papers by tomorrow or Wedesday would be my guess.

Hopefully that helps ease some concerns. I never like to trust preliminary reports for injuries, and hopefully this inside info proves true and Nene will be back conditioning well before training camp.

Geerten said...

But I thought it was Nene's intention to gain some weight...as you can read here

Nugg Doctor said...

Thanks a lot for your comments, Jason. You bring up a lot of good points and I completely agree with you on the fact that being out of shape opens you up to a higher risk of injury.

Thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor

Nugg Doctor said...

That is a good pull from the achives, geerten, but I am going to have to disagree with Nene being a better player when he is heavier. I've been watching every game that Nene has played in a Nuggets uniform and he is at his best when he is quick and his explosiveness is there. When he is heavy he may be a litte bit tougher on defense, but his offense suffers tremendously because he is not much of an outside (10-12 feet) shooting threat.

The people for a trimmer Nene approve this message.

Thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor

Nugg Doctor said...

Thanks for the inside stuff, Jason. Here's to hoping Nene's recovery is swift and full.

Thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor

Nugg Doctor said...

Thanks for the inside stuff, Jason. Here's to hoping Nene's recovery is swift and full.

Thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor

aeneas said...

who the hell allowed him to gain weight.. if I struggled that much to get back from knee injury I wouldnt even think of gaining weight until two years of playing with a healthy knee have passed.. if its true that he even was told to not do any workout to rest his formerly injured knee it is even more crazy to put on weight. since there are two more months until tip off there still is a chance he gets healthy and back into shape soon enough. Maybe he also thinks he can avoid losing minutes to the more agile Martin when he gets heavier and moves more towards the 5.