Czar’s End of Year Awards: Coach of the Year

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Czar’s Season Update: On Coaches

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Around the League

Down 3-1 to the Jazz in the first round, no doubt the Nuggets have missed Coach Karl’s leadership during this series. I had a chance to sit down and talk with George last season about his career, his relationships with his players and the biggest keys for his team to be successful in the playoffs. The Denver Nuggets need a win at home tonight in order to extend the series. Tune in for live coverage at 10:30 PM ET on TNT.

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Coach to Coach: Nuggets Head Coach George Karl

Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

If you haven’t had a chance to read Rick Reilly’s piece “George vs. The Dragon” you should check it out.

Rick chronicles a day in the life of Nuggets coach George Karl, who is undergoing radiation treatment to combat throat and neck cancer. It is a raw and compelling account that gives us an understanding of what George is going through and an appreciation for his resilience and spirit.

No doubt George’s display of strength and courage is inspiring his players on the court even when he’s absent from the sidelines. While George is trying not to let his players see the pain and suffering he’s going through, it’s evident that their number one concern is for his health and recovery.

This Nuggets team would love nothing more than to win the NBA Championship for their longtime coach this season.

Here’s a link to the article on

Gameday Dish: East Meets West at the Q

I’ll be back at the Q tonight with Marv and Reggie. Before the All-Star break, we were there to see the Cavs get their 12th and 13th consecutive wins to tie their franchise record. After a week’s rest the Cavs will try to pick up where they left off and continue their streak to top that record with a win over the Nuggets in front of their home crowd.

While players got a chance to recharge their batteries, Cleveland coaches and the front office were busy hammering out transaction details for the three-way swap that was finalized yesterday. The deal brings Antawn Jamison from Washington to Cleveland while Z heads to the Wizards along with the Cavs’ 2010 first-round draft pick and the rights to Emir Preldzic. A proven scorer, veteran Jamison will bolster the Cavs’ already deep frontcourt. Since all players must clear a physical exam before suiting up in their new jerseys Jamison will not dress for his Cleveland debut.

Nonetheless the matchup will give us a good indication of just how far the Cavs have come in the new year. In early January Denver pulled out a 99-97 victory in their first meeting. Both the Cavs and Nuggets lead their respective divisions and if they keep winning this could be a preview of the NBA Finals. We’ve also got two of the leading scorers in the NBA going head to head. Both Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James faced-off on the All-Star starting lineups over the weekend. Putting up 27 points, three-time All-Star Carmelo edged out six-time starter LeBron by just one bucket. But LeBron’s winning streak continued as the East ultimately took the game by the same narrow margin.

While future legends LeBron and Melo battle on the court, living legends Jerry West and Oscar Robertson will enjoy the show from the sidelines. Both generations of co-captains from Olympic gold medal basketball teams will be honored in a special pre-game ceremony. Fifty years ago Robertson and West were co-captains of the 1960 U.S. Olympic team that brought home gold from Rome while co-captains James and Anthony medaled in Beijing during the 2008 Olympics.

The special presentation with Robertson, West, Anthony and James is also helping raise money and awareness for men’s prostate cancer. Ironically, Nuggets head coach George Karl, who himself is a prostate cancer survivor, announced just a couple days ago that he’s been diagnosed with throat and neck cancer. No doubt this will be an emotional night for George and his team after going public with the difficult news. But I know coach Karl will attack this situation with the same toughness, determination and optimism he delivers on the courts day in and day out. Karl was at practice earlier today and will be on the bench tonight to help his team jumpstart the backstretch of the season with a win over the number one team in the league.

NBA on TNT presents national coverage of the Denver Nuggets @ Cleveland Cavaliers at 8 p.m. ET.