Since trading Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks, the new-look Denver Nuggets have won 12 out of 16 games. They have improved in both offensive and defensive efficiency, they share the ball more, and they may have the deepest bench in the league. They love playing together, and they are easily one of the most fun teams in the league to watch, especially when they play in their raucous home arena. Western Conference teams should fear the upstart Nuggets in the playoffs.
The Nuggets’ 30-year-old President Josh Kroenke and their rookie General Manager Masai Ujiri have enjoyed a lot of praise for their savvy handling of the MeloDrama, and they deserve it.
But we at Cosby Sweaters don’t think Denver should rest on its laurels. We see an opportunity for a title (of sorts) in the Nuggets’ immediate future. All it would take is a few tweaks to the roster:
With a trade or free-agent acquisition after this season, the Nuggets can be the first-ever team to have the NBA’s All-Tattoo Team on the same roster! As you’ll see (click the images to enlarge), they’re very close already.
The Foundation: Chris “Birdman” Andersen
He’s been in the dunk contest, he brings infectious energy and tenacious defense every night, and his redemption story is powerful. Birdman dropped 17 and 11 on the Wizards Friday night. More importantly, with apologies to DeShawn Stevenson and his Abe Lincoln neck tattoo, Birdman’s tattoo plumage is unparalleled.
The Grizzled Veteran: Kenyon Martin
As Denver Post writer Mark Kiszla put it: “Martin is the true grit of the new Nuggets.” K-Mart is the backbone of this new team, and he’s a big part of its success. The lips tattooed on his neck (thanks, Trina!) are the highlight, but don’t overlook some of K-Mart’s other impressive ink.
The Loose Cannon: J.R. Smith
Monta Ellis might blush at his shot selection, but this guy can score 30 points in 15 minutes, no problem. When he’s on, he’s one of the most intimidating offensive players in the league. Take a look at J.R.’s Young Money neck tattoo. Compare his intricate sleeves to those of Lil Wayne. By any measure, Smith is a shoo-in for the NBA’s All-Tattoo team.
The New Blood: Wilson Chandler
Chandler did a bit of everything for the Knicks before the trade, and he’s fitting right in on the Nugs. He’s crazy-athletic, he can score from anywhere on the floor, and his defense is underrated. So are his tattoos. Take a look at what’s going on under his jersey. Chandler can’t be stopped.
The Fifth Man: Al Harrington
Drafted when he was 18, Al has had an up-and-down career, but this former Pacer, Hawk, Warrior and Knick seems to have found a niche in Denver coming off the bench to provide intensity and long-range shooting. Just ask the San Antonio Spurs, against whom Al went off for 27 points on 12 shots last week. Harrington rounds out Denver’s starting five for its all-Tattoo Lineup.
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In our view, all the Nugs have to do is swap Harrington (who’d be the most-tatted guy on a lot of NBA teams) for an elite ink-bearer or two, and Denver would house the entire NBA All-Tattoo Team on a single roster.
DeShawn Stevenson, Michael Beasley, and Matt Barnes, we’re looking at you! Join the Nuggets and make some history.
Even if the All-Tattoo Team doesn’t come together for the Nugs, we want to say thanks to the Nuggets management for putting together an incredible roster of fun, talented, and ridiculously inked-up players. Good luck in the playoffs, gents. We at Cosby Sweaters will be watching.