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The Nuggets (and the W.C.) get a little thinner

August 10, 2009 |  5:35 pm

The Celtics made an important step towards getting back to the top of the Eastern Conference, bringing back Glen "Big Baby" Davis for two years at $6 mil.  When combined with all the other fun things Boston has done this summer, it certainly does good things for their roster. But while Lakers fans have a natural interest in all that affects the Green, for practical purposes the news today out of Denver is more important.*

The Nuggets, not terribly deep to begin with and already thinned out by financial restrictions, lost reserve forward Linas Kleiza, who is pulling a Josh Childress and high-tailing it to Greece for a better payday. That Kleiza was a flawed player (as demonstrated here) who drove Nuggets fans batty isn't really the point. He was still one of Denver's more productive (or potentially productive) scorers off the bench and with so few options available to replace him at this point of the summer, his defection hurts. With San Antonio and Portland improving and, at least in my mind, the Lakers doing the same, any steps back for the Nuggets will have an impact.

Given that the Nuggets made the conference finals last year, it's important to keep an eye on them. Right now, it looks like the W.C. has a Big Three, and possibly a fourth/fifth depending on how you think of Dallas or Denver.


*Remember, Step A is win the West. Step B is beat whatever team comes out of the East.  As we learned last season, that isn't automatically the Celtics.