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1997–98 Denver Nuggets season

The 1997–98 NBA season was the Nuggets’ 22nd season in the National Basketball Association, and 31st season as a franchise.[1] During the offseason, the Nuggets acquired Eric Williams from the Boston Celtics, Johnny Newman from the Milwaukee Bucks, and signed free agent Dean Garrett. However, Williams only played just four games due to a knee injury. At midseason, the team signed free agent Cory Alexander, who was released by the San Antonio Spurs.

1997–98 Denver Nuggets season
Head coachBill Hanzlik
ArenaMcNichols Sports Arena
Results
Record11–71 (.134)
PlaceDivision: 7th (Midwest)
Conference: 14th (Western)
Playoff finishDid not qualify

Stats @ Basketball-Reference.com
Local media
TelevisionFox Sports Rocky Mountain, KWGN
< 1996–97 1998–99 >

The Nuggets set numerous unwanted records during this season. They won only eleven games, the equal third-fewest in an 82-game NBA season with the 1992–93 Dallas Mavericks, and just like the Mavericks were for a long time viewed as likely to beat the 1972–73 76ers record of winning only nine games in a full season, and the 2015–16 76ers, who only won just ten games.[2][3] After forty games, the Nuggets had a 2–38 record (winning percentage .050),[4] a mark equalled only by the 1993–94 Mavericks and they later lost sixteen consecutive games,[4] before finally avoiding a possibility of the worst-ever NBA record against the Golden State Warriors on 27 March.

The unfortunate season meant head coach Bill Hanzlik was fired after a single season in charge of the team. Following the season, LaPhonso Ellis signed as a free agent with the Atlanta Hawks, Newman re-signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Garrett was traded along with rookie Bobby Jackson back to the Minnesota Timberwolves, and top draft pick Tony Battie was dealt to the Los Angeles Lakers, who then traded him to the Boston Celtics several months later.

In his 2007 study The NBA from Top to Bottom, basketball enthusiast Kyle Wright argued that in fact the 1997–98 Nuggets were a worse team than the 1972–73 76ers, saying that they played a worse schedule in the Midwest Division than the 1972–73 76ers did in their Atlantic Division where a dominant Boston Celtics team was played seven times by the 76ers.[5] In contrast, Wright says, "the Nuggets got to play the 62–20 Utah Jazz only four times".

Draft picksEdit

Round Pick Player Position Nationality School/Club Team
1 5 Tony Battie PF/C   United States Texas Tech
2 33 James Cotton SG   United States Long Beach State
2 42 Jason Lawson C   United States Villanova

RosterEdit

Denver Nuggets roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Name Height Weight DOB (YYYY-MM-DD) From
PG 7   Alexander, Cory 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 185 lb (84 kg) Virginia
PF 4   Battie, Tony 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 230 lb (104 kg) Texas Tech
SF 3   Ellis, Harold 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 200 lb (91 kg) Morehouse
SF 20   Ellis, LaPhonso 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 240 lb (109 kg) Notre Dame
PF 15   Fortson, Danny 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 260 lb (118 kg) Cincinnati
C 21   Garrett, Dean 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 225 lb (102 kg) Indiana
PG 5   Goldwire, Anthony 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 182 lb (83 kg) Houston
PG 13   Jackson, Bobby 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 185 lb (84 kg) Minnesota
C 30   Lauderdale, Priest 7 ft 4 in (2.24 m) 325 lb (147 kg) Central State
SF 22   Newman, Johnny 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 190 lb (86 kg) Richmond
SG 23   Stith, Bryant 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 208 lb (94 kg) Virginia
SG 14   Washington, Eric 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 190 lb (86 kg) Alabama
SF 32   Williams, Eric   6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 220 lb (100 kg) Providence
C 17   Wolf, Joe   6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 230 lb (104 kg) North Carolina
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  •   Injured

Roster

Roster NotesEdit

  • Assistant coach Mike D'Antoni holds American and Italian dual citizenship. He played for the Italian national team although he was born in the United States.
  • Center Priest Lauderdale holds American and Bulgarian dual citizenship.

Regular seasonEdit

Season standingsEdit

Midwest Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
z-Utah Jazz 62 20 .756 36–5 26–15 22–2
x-San Antonio Spurs 56 26 .683 6 31–10 25–16 18–6
x-Minnesota Timberwolves 45 37 .549 17 26–15 19–22 14–10
x-Houston Rockets 41 41 .500 21 24–17 17–24 14–10
Dallas Mavericks 20 62 .244 42 13–28 7–34 9–15
Vancouver Grizzlies 19 63 .232 43 14–27 5–36 4–20
Denver Nuggets 11 71 .134 51 9–32 2–39 3–21
# Western Conference
Team W L PCT GB
1 z-Utah Jazz 62 20 .756
2 y-Seattle SuperSonics 61 21 .744 1
3 x-Los Angeles Lakers 61 21 .744 1
4 x-Phoenix Suns 56 26 .683 6
5 x-San Antonio Spurs 56 26 .683 6
6 x-Portland Trail Blazers 46 36 .561 16
7 x-Minnesota Timberwolves 45 37 .549 17
8 x-Houston Rockets 41 41 .500 21
9 Sacramento Kings 27 55 .329 35
10 Dallas Mavericks 20 62 .244 42
11 Vancouver Grizzlies 19 63 .232 43
11 Golden State Warriors 19 63 .232 43
13 Los Angeles Clippers 17 65 .207 45
14 Denver Nuggets 11 71 .134 51


z – clinched division title
y – clinched division title
x – clinched playoff spot

Record vs. opponentsEdit

1997-98 NBA Records
Team ATL BOS CHA CHI CLE DAL DEN DET GSW HOU IND LAC LAL MIA MIL MIN NJN NYK ORL PHI PHO POR SAC SAS SEA TOR UTA VAN WAS
Atlanta 2–1 4–0 1–3 4–0 2–0 2–0 2–2 2–0 1–1 1–3 2–0 0–2 1–3 3–1 0–2 1–2 2–2 2–2 3–1 0–2 1–1 2–0 1–1 1–1 4–0 0–2 2–0 4–0
Boston 1–2 1–2 1–3 1–3 1–1 1–1 2–2 1–1 1–1 0–4 2–0 1–1 0–4 2–2 1–1 2–2 2–2 2–2 3–1 0–2 1–1 1–1 0–2 1–1 3–0 0–2 2–0 3–2
Charlotte 0–4 2–1 1–3 2–2 2–0 2–0 3–1 1–1 2–0 3–1 2–0 1–1 3–1 3–1 1–1 2–2 1–3 3–1 2–1 1–1 2–0 1–1 1–1 1–1 4–0 1–1 2–0 2–2
Chicago 3–1 3–1 3–1 2–2 1–1 2–0 3–1 2–0 2–0 2–2 2–0 1–1 2–1 4–0 1–1 4–0 4–0 3–1 2–1 1–1 1–1 2–0 2–0 1–1 4–0 0–2 2–0 3–1
Cleveland 0–4 3–1 2–2 2–2 1–1 2–0 3–1 2–0 1–1 2–2 2–0 1–1 1–3 2–2 2–0 3–1 1–2 2–2 3–1 2–0 1–1 2–0 0–2 0–2 3–1 1–1 2–0 1–2
Dallas 0–2 1–1 0–2 1–1 1–1 3–1 0–2 1–3 0–4 1–1 1–3 0–4 0–2 0–2 2–2 0–2 1–1 0–2 0–2 0–4 0–4 0–4 0–4 2–2 1–1 0–4 4–0 1–1
Denver 0–2 1–1 0–2 0–2 0–2 1–3 0–2 1–3 0–4 0–2 2–2 0–4 0–2 0–2 1–3 0–2 0–2 0–2 0–2 0–4 2–2 1–3 0–4 0–4 0–2 0–4 1–3 1–1
Detroit 2–2 2–2 1–3 1–3 1–3 2–0 2–0 2–0 1–1 1–3 2–0 0–2 1–2 2–2 0–2 2–2 2–2 1–2 3–1 1–1 0–2 1–1 1–1 0–2 4–0 0–2 0–2 2–2
Golden State 0–2 1–1 1–1 0–2 0–2 3–1 3–1 0–2 1–3 0–2 1–3 1–3 0–2 0–2 0–4 0–2 1–1 1–1 0–2 0–4 1–3 2–2 1–3 1–3 0–2 0–4 1–3 0–2
Houston 1–1 1–1 0–2 0–2 1–1 4–0 4–0 1–1 3–1 1–1 4–0 1–3 0–2 1–1 1–3 1–1 1–1 0–2 1–1 1–3 1–3 4–0 2–2 1–3 2–0 0–4 3–1 1–1
Indiana 3–1 4–0 1–3 2–2 2–2 1–1 2–0 3–1 2–0 1–1 2–0 0–2 3–1 4–0 2–0 2–1 2–1 3–1 4–0 1–1 1–1 2–0 0–2 0–2 4–0 1–1 2–0 4–0
L.A. Clippers 0–2 0–2 0–2 0–2 0–2 3–1 2–2 0–2 3–1 0–4 0–2 0–4 0–2 0–2 0–4 1–1 0–2 0–2 1–1 0–4 0–4 3–1 1–3 0–4 1–1 1–3 1–3 0–2
L.A. Lakers 2–0 1–1 1–1 1–1 1–1 4–0 4–0 2–0 3–1 3–1 2–0 4–0 1–1 2–0 4–0 1–1 1–1 1–1 0–2 2–2 2–2 4–0 4–0 1–3 2–0 3–1 4–0 1–1
Miami 3–1 4–0 1–3 1–2 3–1 2–0 2–0 2–1 2–0 2–0 1–3 2–0 1–1 3–1 1–1 3–1 2–2 3–1 4–0 0–2 2–0 2–0 0–2 0–2 4–0 1–1 2–0 2–2
Milwaukee 1–3 2–2 1–3 0–4 2–2 2–0 2–0 2–2 2–0 1–1 0–4 2–0 0–2 1–3 1–1 0–4 3–1 2–1 2–2 0–2 2–0 2–0 0–2 1–1 3–1 0–2 1–1 1–2
Minnesota 2–0 1–1 1–1 1–1 0–2 2–2 3–1 2–0 4–0 3–1 0–2 4–0 0–4 1–1 1–1 2–0 1–1 0–2 2–0 3–1 1–3 3–1 1–3 1–3 1–1 1–3 4–0 0–2
New Jersey 2–1 2–2 2–2 0–4 1–3 2–0 2–0 2–2 2–0 1–1 1–2 1–1 1–1 1–3 4–0 0–2 2–2 3–1 3–1 1–1 1–1 2–0 1–1 0–2 3–1 0–2 2–0 1–3
New York 2–2 2–2 3–1 0–4 2–1 1–1 2–0 2–2 1–1 1–1 1–2 2–0 1–1 2–2 1–3 1–1 2–2 4–0 2–2 2–0 1–1 1–1 0–2 1–1 3–1 0–2 2–0 1–3
Orlando 2–2 2–2 1–3 1–3 2–2 2–0 2–0 2–1 1–1 2–0 1–3 2–0 1–1 1–3 1–2 2–0 1–3 0–4 4–0 0–2 2–0 0–2 0–2 1–1 3–1 0–2 2–0 3–1
Philadelphia 1–3 1–3 1–2 1–2 1–3 2–0 2–0 1–3 2–0 1–1 0–4 1–1 2–0 0–4 2–2 0–2 1–3 2–2 0–4 1–1 1–1 1–1 0–2 0–2 2–2 0–2 2–0 3–1
Phoenix 2–0 2–0 1–1 1–1 0–2 4–0 4–0 1–1 4–0 3–1 1–1 4–0 2–2 2–0 2–0 1–3 1–1 0–2 2–0 1–1 2–2 3–1 3–1 2–2 2–0 1–3 4–0 1–1
Portland 1–1 1–1 0–2 1–1 1–1 4–0 2–2 2–0 3–1 3–1 1–1 4–0 2–2 0–2 0–2 3–1 1–1 1–1 0–2 1–1 2–2 3–1 2–2 0–4 2–0 3–1 2–2 1–1
Sacramento 0–2 1–1 1–1 0–2 0–2 4–0 3–1 1–1 2–2 0–4 0–2 1–3 0–4 0–2 0–2 1–3 0–2 1–1 2–0 1–1 1–3 1–3 0–4 1–3 1–1 2–2 2–2 1–1
San Antonio 1–1 2–0 1–1 0–2 2–0 4–0 4–0 1–1 3–1 2–2 2–0 3–1 0–4 2–0 2–0 3–1 1–1 2–0 2–0 2–0 1–3 2–2 4–0 2–2 2–0 1–3 4–0 1–1
Seattle 1–1 1–1 1–1 1–1 2–0 2–2 4–0 2–0 3–1 3–1 2–0 4–0 3–1 2–0 1–1 3–1 2–0 1–1 1–1 2–0 2–2 4–0 3–1 2–2 2–0 2–2 4–0 1–1
Toronto 0–4 0–3 0–4 0–4 1–3 1–1 2–0 0–4 2–0 0–2 0–4 1–1 0–2 0–4 1–3 1–1 1–3 1–3 1–3 2–2 0–2 0–2 1–1 0–2 0–2 0–2 1–1 0–3
Utah 2–0 2–0 1–1 2–0 1–1 4–0 4–0 2–0 4–0 4–0 1–1 3–1 1–3 1–1 2–0 3–1 2–0 2–0 2–0 2–0 3–1 1–3 2–2 3–1 2–2 2–0 4–0 0–2
Vancouver 0–2 0–2 0–2 0–2 0–2 0–4 3–1 2–0 3–1 1–3 0–2 3–1 0–4 0–2 1–1 0–4 0–2 0–2 0–2 0–2 0–4 2–2 2–2 0–4 0–4 1–1 0–4 1–1
Washington 0–4 2–3 2–2 1–3 2–1 1–1 1–1 2–2 2–0 1–1 0–4 2–0 1–1 2–2 2–1 2–0 3–1 3–1 1–3 1–3 1–1 1–1 1–1 1–1 1–1 3–0 2–0 1–1

Game LogEdit

1997–98 game log
Total: 11–71 (Home: 9–32; Road: 2–39)
1997–98 schedule

Player statisticsEdit

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game
Player GP GS MPG FG% 3FG% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
Dean Garrett 82 82 32.1 .428 N/A .648 7.9 1.1 0.7 1.6 7.3
Anthony Goldwire 82 32 27.0 .423 .384 .806 1.8 3.4 1.0 0.1 9.2
Danny Fortson 80 23 22.6 .452 .333 .776 5.6 1.0 0.6 0.4 10.2
LaPhonso Ellis 76 71 33.9 .407 .284 .805 7.2 2.8 0.9 0.6 14.3
Johnny Newman 74 15 29.4 .431 .343 .820 1.9 1.9 1.0 0.3 14.7
Bobby Jackson 68 53 30.0 .392 .259 .814 4.4 4.7 1.5 0.2 11.6
Eric Washington 66 36 23.3 .404 .321 .783 1.9 1.2 0.8 0.4 7.7
Tony Battie 65 49 23.2 .446 .214 .702 5.4 0.9 0.8 1.1 8.4
Joe Wolf 57 8 10.9 .331 .200 .500 2.6 0.5 0.4 0.1 1.5
Priest Lauderdale 39 0 8.8 .417 N/A .551 2.2 0.5 0.2 0.4 3.7
Bryant Stith 31 15 23.2 .333 .208 .872 2.1 1.6 0.7 0.3 7.6
Kiwane Garris 28 0 8.0 .338 .357 .760 0.7 1.0 0.3 0.0 2.4
Harold Ellis 27 3 12.7 .559 .000 .635 1.9 0.7 0.7 0.1 6.1
Cory Alexander 23 19 34.7 .435 .411 .846 4.3 6.0 2.0 0.3 14.0
George Zidek 6 0 7.0 .267 N/A .833 2.2 0.2 0.0 0.3 3.0
Eric Williams 4 4 36.3 .393 N/A .689 5.3 3.0 1.0 0.0 19.8

Awards and recordsEdit

TransactionsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ 1997–98 Denver Nuggets
  2. ^ "Nuggets Falter Again: Lose 87–75"; in Rocky Mountain News; December 24, 1997
  3. ^ "Warriors Pound Nuggets 81–69; Wizards Win 97–95"; in Point Pleasant Register; December 27, 1997; p. 5
  4. ^ a b 1997–98 Denver Nuggets Schedule and Results
  5. ^ Wright, Kyle; The NBA from Top to Bottom: A History of the NBA from the No. 1 Team to the No. 1,153; pp. 80-87. ISBN 9780595697960

See alsoEdit