The Denver Nuggets got punked on Nov. 17 by the New Orleans Pelicans. The Pelicans pushed them around and treated the Nuggets like their little brothers all night. Whether it was on straight line drives or second chance opportunities or not allowing the Nuggets to get a rhythm on offense. Basically, Denver got punched in the mouth multiple times and did not even swing back.
Usually, teams who are getting punked look towards a particular player to try and spark the team. This player may not necessarily be the most talented guy on the team, but he is the best in one aspect. He is the enforcer. The enforcer is the one who is going to go back at the opponent’s star player and try and get him off of his game mentally.
Who is an enforcer the Nuggets could look to acquire?
The Nuggets lack players who play with this type of conviction. They do not have a guy who is going to pester their opponent to the point of physical altercations or verbal arguments. Those guys may not be the most talented, but they are essential to their team’s success.
The Nuggets need a player like Marcus Smart or Patrick Beverley. Both of these players will tell you that they are not the best shooters or scorers on their squad. They may not even be in the top five. However, they will hold themselves high on the defensive side for how pestering they are on the perimeter.
The Nuggets saw it first hand against both of these guys. They both get up into the opposing guards and make their lives difficult. Smart drew a couple b.s. foul calls that greatly frustrated Jamal Murray. If these guys somehow become available, I think Denver should consider looking to acquire them as enforcers.
The realistic option for Denver’s problem
Let’s be honest, Denver is probably not going out to acquire a new player. The Nuggets are 10-6 and playing some of their best basketball, so why should they go out and change that? Frankly, the Nuggets just need a player or two to assume the enforcer identity.
My pick for this position is going to be Isaiah Thomas. Thomas plays with a little man’s complex and always seems to hold a grudge against the opponents. He will be the perfect player to assume this role and ensure the Nuggets fight back when they’re getting punked.
Until Thomas comes back, the player who should assume this role should be Murray. He has already established himself as the a-hole of the NBA. From his dribbling charade at Staples Center to the last second shot against the Boston Celtics earlier this month.
Murray has the capability to get under his opponent’s skin. The only thing he has to do is play with that mentality each and every night. The Nuggets need someone to take on this role to avoid issues like what they experienced in New Orleans.
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