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Following a franchise-best 57 wins in 2012-13 and the 3-seed in the stacked Western Conference, the Nuggets ran into Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors and lost a heartbreaking 6-game series. A turbulent off-season followed and the Nuggets enter 2013-14 with a new GM, a new head coach and a roster reloaded with talent. Get out to Pepsi Center and watch the new-look Nuggets light up the Denver skyline.
A Brief History
Founded in 1967 as the Denver Larks (subsequently renamed the “Rockets”), this Colorado franchise thrived in the ABA for a decade before joining the NBA in the merger prior to the 1976-77 season. Under the direction of iconic coaches Larry Brown and then Doug Moe, the Nuggets were regular playoff participants and featured the supercharged “motion offense” led by Alex English and Kiki Vandeweghe. Reaching the Western Conference Finals in 1985, the Nuggets lost a 5-game series to the rival Los Angeles Lakers.
After a period of decline through much of the 1990s, the Nuggets bounced back in a big way with the league-altering 2003 NBA Draft. Sitting in the three-spot, the Nuggets landed Syracuse star Carmelo Anthony who was just off a sensational NCAA National Championship. With Anthony emerging as one of the top scorers in the NBA and George Karl at the helm, the Nuggets went from a franchise that had missed the playoff for almost a decade to one of the most consistent teams in the league. Though Anthony now plays for the New York Knicks, he and running mates Allen Iverson and then Chauncey Billups helped transform the culture in Denver. The Nuggets are currently riding a 10-season playoff streak that they are determined to maintain in 2013-14.
A New Start in the Mile High City
Following the hugely successful 2012-13 season, the Denver Nuggets lost red-hot NBA executive Masai Ujiri to the Toronto Raptors and his potential replacement (Pete D’Alessandro) to the Sacramento Kings. Head Coach George Karl was dismissed and franchise star Andre Iguodala opted out of his deal and signed with the Golden State Warriors.
All of a sudden, the Nuggets were in search of a new direction entirely. Owner Stan Kroenke (who also owns the Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Rapids and St. Louis Rams) went out and hired one of the rising stars among NBA execs in Tim Connelly to be the GM. Then, Connelly and Kroenke gave Brian Shaw his first opportunity to lead a team. Shaw has been among the hottest coaching candidates for years and has proven an ability to develop young talent. With a Denver Nuggets roster teeming with young talent, Shaw looks to be an ideal fit.
Though the Nuggets will have to overcome the loss of defensive stalwart Igoudala, the franchise features rising stars Ty Lawson, JaVale McGee, Danilo Gallinari and Kenneth Faried. In addition, the Nuggets brought in JJ Hickson, Darrell Arthur and Nate Robinson, one of the fastest, most explosive scorers in the league who thrives in pressure situations. Can the Nuggets make it 11 playoff appearance in a row? Can Ty Lawson make the jump from star to superstar? Can Danilo Gallinari get back to where he was before his knee injury? Lots of questions. Find the answers at Pepsi Center with guaranteed savings from ScoreBig.