View Full Version : Nuggets Sign Five to Training Camp Roster

10-01-2008, 12:02 AM
Source: NBA.com (http://www.nba.com/nuggets/news/0809_camp_roster_092908.html)

DENVER, Sept. 30, 2008 -- The Denver Nuggets have signed guard Mateen Cleaves, forward Nick Fazekas, forward James Mays, guard William “Smush” Parker and forward Ruben Patterson to their training camp roster team Vice President of Basketball Operations Mark Warkentien announced today.
Cleaves, 6-2, 188, an original first round draft pick of the Detroit Pistons in 2000, holds career averages of 3.6 ppg and 1.9 apg in 167 games with Detroit, Sacramento, Cleveland and Seattle.

Fazekas, 6-11, 235, split time with Dallas and the L.A. Clippers last year during his rookie season, averaging 4.1 ppg and 3.4 rpg in 26 games. The Colorado native was selected in the second round (34th overall) of the 2007 NBA Draft by the Dallas Mavericks.

Mays, 6-9, 230, averaged 9.1 ppg, 5.8 rpg and 1.7 apg during four years at Clemson, highlighted by a trip to the ACC Championship game and an appearance in the 2008 NCAA Tournament.

Parker, 6-4, 190, has averaged 9.0 ppg, 2.9 apg and 2.4 rpg in 274 career NBA games with Cleveland, Detroit, Phoenix, L.A. Lakers, Miami and the L.A. Clippers.

Patterson, 6-5, 223, returns to the Nuggets after playing in 26 games for Denver during the 2005-06 season. Patterson has career averages of 10.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg and 1.8 apg in 649 NBA games with the L.A. Lakers, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Milwaukee and the L.A. Clippers.

10-01-2008, 12:05 AM
Man, the Nuggets are getting desperate if they signed Smush Parker to their team.

10-01-2008, 12:05 AM
Josh Smith, Amare Stoudemire, Dwight Howard, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant...... Thats my list :) Dark Horse: Jason Maxiell haha

Blue Tiger
10-01-2008, 12:06 AM
The question is are they training to play defense?

10-01-2008, 12:08 AM
Smushcalade WATCH tha FvCK OUT!!!! HELL YEAH BOYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10-01-2008, 12:14 AM
i hope Fazekas makes it on to someones roster. I rekon he has a chance

10-01-2008, 12:20 AM
Mateen Cleaves... My little Hercules

10-01-2008, 02:21 AM
The question is are they training to play defense?

I normally wouldn't source hoopsworld (http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=10133), but apparently they actually let this guy into training camp...

A New Day in Denver?

Rhetoric is one thing. Action, on the other hand, is something entirely different.

Allen Iverson's description of Denver's first practice painted a pretty clear picture: "We didn't do any offense. No plays, no offense."

How's that for action?

That's right Denver fans, the first practice of the 2008-09 season was entirely devoted to the defensive end of the floor. Over the past couple of seasons it hasn't been unusual to hear head coach George Karl preach defense to his team. However, the team never appeared overly enthusiastic about the idea and the focus on defense seemed to wane as the season progressed.

On Tuesday, though, something was qualitatively different. The players had a different kind of energy and practice was indeed devoted entirely to defense. The Nuggets were playing full-speed and working on an aggressive trapping defensive scheme on the perimeter. The way the players were talking defensively and the overall intensity level was a lot like watching a college team.

Whether or not this kind of intensity can be maintained remains to be seen, but anyone with a pulse would have noticed a difference in Denver's approach today as opposed to the team's approach the last few seasons.

Then from the Rocky Mountain News (http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2008/sep/29/nuggets-placing-emphasis-on-defense/):

How serious is coach George Karl about bringing a defensive mentality to the Nuggets?

Among the five free agents invited to training camp on make-good deals is swingman Ruben Patterson, known as a defensive specialist. The odds of Patterson, who as a Denver player lashed out at Karl after being benched during the 2006 playoffs ever returning appeared to be nil after he was dealt to Milwaukee in August 2006.

"I talked to coach, and he wants me back," said Patterson, who vows to "bust my butt" and keep "my mouth shut."

After a season in which they were dubbed by many as the "enver Nuggets" - minus the "D" - Karl said at Monday's media day that playing defense will be the emphasis when camp begins today.

"We have to change our mind-set to at least moving into the top half of the defensive-minded teams in basketball," said Karl, also saying an emphasis will be on being better prepared for the playoffs. The Nuggets have lost five straight years in the first round.

Denver gave up 107 points per game last season, next to last in the league.

"A lot of people are saying that our defense left when Marcus Camby left, so I think that gives us motivation to prove to everybody we're going to come together and play defense," forward Carmelo Anthony said of the team's top defender having been traded.

Without Camby, Karl said the defensive philosophy will change toward players rotating more quickly to the perimeter.

And, echoing (http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2008/sep/30/kleizas-future-in-denver-is-bright/) that hoopsworld story:

"D" Day

Karl vowed to focus on defense to open camp. Did he ever.

"We didn't do any offense," Allen Iverson said of the intense 21/2-hour workout. "No plays. No offense."

For the Nuggets to properly channel aggression, Karl brought in high school and college referees for scrimmaging. That doesn't always happen the first day.

"A lot of energy," Martin said. "Everybody came in with the attitude we're going to work."

Kenyon Martin, Nene, Balkman, Andersen... in the frountcourt there's no shortage of capable defenders on the roster. The backcourt is the big problem, but JR's defense was on a clearly improving trajectory last season, and just by virtue of him getting more minutes alongside AI we should have a better perimeter. The looks at Patterson and Smush might be laughable, but when Atkins is out for now injured, and we're looking at Anthony Carter, all of a sudden Parker (at 6'4" able to bring some height as a pg next to AI) doesn't seem like that bad of an option - strictly looking at him as a backup, though, of course.

But yes, the primary focus of training camp is in fact defense.

10-01-2008, 03:08 AM
Good read Den....I want to see Melo break out an all-around game this season....

10-01-2008, 04:21 AM
Good read Den....I want to see Melo break out an all-around game this season....

Yeah, you and the legions of us Nuggets fans. :nod:

I'm hopeful he can do it. I think his efforts on the Olympic team could be a genuine turning point in his career if he makes the natural progression from the great work he did defensively and focusing on rebounds/little things for Team USA into continuing that mentality for Denver. Granted, the duration of the Olympics was short, but during that time Melo went far in answering the criticism of whether he could really be a good team player, whether he could really accept a role in which he just did what his coach asked him to do even if it meant stepping out of the limelight, whether he could really play well off the ball and play selflessly. In Beijing, he proved that he is most definitely capable - and even willing - to do all that if he just puts his mind to it.

So I hope that he remembers that taste of success and recognizes the connection between those results and that type of play. Because if he does, look out NBA - he'll finally emerge as that guy we've been waiting for so long for him to become. For me it never has been a question of ability - it's purely mental. And I really hope the dissatisfaction with the playoffs, the satisfaction with the Gold, and the fear of job security with the Camby dump-off will add up to finally clearing that mental hurdle and pushing himself to that next level.

10-01-2008, 04:49 AM
Doesn't matter, they're still teh suck on D. :rolleyes:

10-01-2008, 05:31 AM
Man, the Nuggets are getting desperate if they signed Smush Parker to their team.

:D one of the best answers that i have read in this forum :D

10-01-2008, 05:43 AM
How many points are they gonna allow? 130 per game?

10-01-2008, 10:12 AM
If Smush shows up in shape, he could be good for them. Like most other Laker fans, I couldn't stand him as our starting PG, but as a back up SG, he can be a solid contributor, and his terrible defense won't be as much of an issue. JR Smith could then move up to SF, and you'd have some good scoring coming off the bench for them.

That would leave out Patterson though, so I don't quite understand what's going on.

10-01-2008, 10:14 AM
All Denver's playoff hopes are mushed. Or Smushed.. Whatever..

10-01-2008, 12:55 PM
Smush Parker? They really just need to trade for Jamaal Tinsley and get it over with. I like every other pickup though.

10-01-2008, 01:15 PM
smush parker the nuggets best defensive player next season lol

10-01-2008, 01:34 PM
I like Patterson and that's it out of those 5 players.

10-01-2008, 04:33 PM
Yea same. ^^

10-01-2008, 08:28 PM
People are really making way too much of these 5 signings... when nearly all of them are just training camp fodder that won't end up on the regular roster (the scrubs that all the teams in the league have), and the lucky 1 or 2 who do actually make the cut will be on non-guaranteed contracts, almost certainly out of the regular rotation, and quite possibly waived by the January deadline (eg. Smush, for example, assuming Chucky has returned to good health by then and Ruben, assuming Balkman and the Birdman are getting the job done in the frontcourt).

Pretty much ever since he came to the Nuggets, Karl has been using a very limited 8-man rotation. And although he did indicate that he might dig a little deeper into the bench this season for increased intensity, I think you can pretty much bank on these minute distributions:

Nene 30
K-Mart 35
Melo 37
J.R. 27-30
AI 42
LK 25
Chucky and AC combined 25
Balkman 8-10 (+?)
Andersen 8-10 (+?)... whichever of those two emerges as more effective will get more pt

That's going 10 deep and accounting for every minute played on the court.

These 5 signings are basically meaningless. The most significant things about them are that they will, if ultimately on the roster, end up as a) injury insurance and b) more bodies in the practice gym.

And the Nuggets will be a better defensive team this year than last without Marcus Camby. I'm about 85% confident about that. What will be most missed is his rebounding, and the pressure on Nene, K-Mart, and Melo to step it up in that department will be very amped up. But this will no longer be tissue soft frontcourt that allows the likes of Pau Gasol to trample all over it. Spurs fans know what I mean.

10-01-2008, 09:30 PM
yeah they have a problem