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George Karl wants Nuggets to run, run, then run some more

Aug 22, 2012, 3:08 PM EDT

George Karl AP

The Nuggets are going to play at the fastest pace in the league next season (they were second last season).

And it still may not be fast enough for George Karl.

Karl is not exactly hiding what he plans to do — he has a deep, athletic and young team and he wants to wear teams down. Run them into the ground.

Karl was on KKFN in Denver with Scott Hastings (via Sports Radio Interviews) and said this about the depth of the team (the question focused on playing the second team as a five-man unit, almost like hockey substitutions).

“I’ve never seen it be that successful in the NBA but I think the big thing for us is who is going to commit to playing fast. We talked about it and last year we did a good job at it but there’s no way I want to slow down. I want to try to prove the world wrong that you can run and win in the NBA and you can win big if you keep running. The problem is can you run for 82 games every minute, every possession of every game?”

This is going to be fun to watch.

But you and I both know that the most successful running teams do so off their defense (think Team USA in London). You can run off turnovers and missed shots a lot better than taking the ball out of the peach basket. Karl knows that. And he knows that’s why the Andre Iguodala trade is so huge.

“We were probably in the top 15 in point differential (last season) but I’d like to see us move into the top six or seven in point differential and that will be something that I think that’s going to tell us because the pace of our game is statistically going to cheat us a little bit because we’re going to give up more points and at times we’re probably going to give up a few more but the things that we can do better defensively, we can defend the three ball better than we defended it, we can be better at pick and roll coverage and we need individual challenges and we need guys like Iguodala who can jump into a game and say ‘hey I got this one. Here’s a problem and I’m going to take him out. You worry about the other things.”

Iguodala is perfect in Denver. Ty Lawson is going to have a big year. Danilo Gallinari should have a big year. JaVale McGee remains the question.

The Nuggets are not the Lakers or Thunder this year, but they could well be on that next tier. And they are going to be entertaining.

  1. eventhorizon04 - Aug 22, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    Nuggets are a fast, athletic team. Iguodala will help them score even more in transition and is an excellent wing defender.

    I pick the Nuggest and OKC as the most likely teams in the West that I think could beat the Lakers in a 7 game series.

    Lakers should be very good in the half-court offensively with Nash running the show.
    Lakers should be very good in the half-court defensively with Howard protecting the paint.

    However, the Lakers are vulnerable to young teams that can run and wear them down, given how old they are (Nash 38, Kobe 33, MWP 32, Pau 32, with Howard the youngest starter at 26). High-tempo teams will have to try to wear them down, since rebounds and defensive stops in the half-court will be hard to come by.

    Should be fun to watch.

    • manchestermiracle - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:25 PM

      Don’t turn the ball over and get back on D after made baskets effectively negates fastbreaks…

  2. manchestermiracle - Aug 23, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    Apparently George missed the 80s. Does he really not remember Showtime? The Lakers ran other teams into the ground on a nightly basis. The one thing that is often forgotten about that team is that they played great defense and created their own opportunities. If George wants to duplicate that running style (sorry George, it’s already been “proven”) he needs to make sure his boys play lights-out defense.

    • raycharlesj - Sep 16, 2012 at 5:33 PM

      Yea I remember the showtime Lakers, but they had a half court game they used in the playoffs all those baseline spin moves from big game James Worthy and those sky hooks from Kareem???? three’s from Cooper jumpers from Scott they were a lot more then a run and gun team can’t say I remember a true run and gun team ever winning it all seems like all the champs have the ability to slow it down and operate in the half court offense in the playoffs.

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