For the first time this season, the Denver Nuggets are looking to be on track and humming their way to success. Since January 22, Denver has won 5 of their last 7 games and narrowly losing the other 2 on failed buzzer-beater attempts.
In these 7 games, the Nuggets have defeated some killer playoff-bound teams. Portland Trail Blazers, Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors to name a few. The team now looks night and day, compared to their seasonal affective Nuggets of early January. So what changed?
It all stemmed from their loss to the Phoenix Suns. Tensions were heightened, and head coach Michael Malone saw that his team’s set plays were being too predictable.
“I want to get back to being a team that’s hard to guard … and kind of get back to the offensive identity that we had last year. Teams didn’t know what the (heck) we were doing last year. We just played.”Michael Malone
Since that game, the big man Nikola Jokic has returned to the heart of Denver’s scoring, and the offense has been buzzing ever since. I also believe that the second-year guard Jamal Murray has started to show signs of becoming the sort of player who could change the Nuggets’ long-term trajectory.
The Nuggets are extremely fun to watch, yet for some reason, they just can’t close the mental gap when it comes to beating opponents they are supposed to beat. The team almost always shows up during marquee matchups or on nationally televised games, but when it comes to the run of the mill matches, it’s often a different story. Hopefully, this run is just the beginning, and not the peak of a promising season.
Catch you Thursday.