The Denver Nuggets have knocked off the Toronto Raptors twice, the Golden State Warriors and the Oklahoma City Thunder twice, along with a number of other top teams. They have battled adversity with a number of significant injuries, yet, they have not missed a beat.
Three starters are sidelined currently, but many of the Nuggets’ bench rotation has stepped in and carried the load. Do you think the Nuggets are the real deal and should be considered contenders once they become fully healthy?
How a healthy line-up could derail this squad?
The Nuggets have adopted the “next man up” policy. From losing Will Barton in the second game of the year to losing Gary Harris and Paul Millsap on their last road trip, the team has stepped up. Nobody is playing with an ego, and it just seems like each player just wants the team to be successful over themselves.
However, a lot of head coach Michael Malone’s rotational pieces are missing. He is having to go down to his 10th and 11th guys to get quality minutes in high stress situations. Those guys are getting accustomed to getting 20-25 minutes a game. What happens when Millsap, Harris, Barton and Isaiah Thomas get healthy? Are these guys going to just be okay getting their minutes diminished back to 10-15 minutes?
Nevertheless, no one knows how the re-integration will affect the team. Some of the guys who are currently playing might have some more inflated egos. However, the guys who are returning might have their egos affected if they do not get “starter” minutes. All in all, if the team is playing well, I would hope that would push the egos aside for the time-being.
How a healthy lineup will add to the team’s success
The Nuggets are playing some unreal basketball. Usually when a team loses multiple starters, they begin playing worse. This is usually the case because inexperienced players are forced into playing big-time minutes.
Well, this is not the case for this Nuggets squad. The Nuggets are playing like one of the most efficient teams the NBA has ever seen. Those who are not familiar with the Nuggets’ depth chart would never have guessed the team was decimated by the injury bug.
If the Nuggets take this unselfish, make-the-extra-pass style and assume that as their identity, they will be fine. That style will make bringing back the injured stars a much easier transition. The team will just have even more depth and they should be able to exceed these already crazy numbers.
If the Denver Nuggets can bring together this current lineup, with their already potent “missing lineup”, the ceiling will be very high. They could very well compete with the top teams in the NBA. I’m not saying they should be considered NBA Finals favorites, but Golden State should view them as the real deal come playoff time.
Gambling this season? Want to try it just to see what it feels like? Go to MyBookie.ag and use promo code ARMCHAIR25 at checkout. They will match your deposit dollar for dollar. Putting in $100? You’ll now have $200.