NUGGETS

The Bucks are a reminder that hope is not lost for the Nuggets

Nov 23, 2021, 2:13 PM
Nikola Jokic...
(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

After playing well for a couple of consecutive weeks, the Denver Nuggets have hit a rough patch. But there is absolutely no need to get overly excited. The team will come back around. It just needs to get healthy. And in the meantime, play together and play defense.

These kinds of stretches in a long NBA season, happen to almost every team, almost every year. The Milwaukee Bucks, the NBA reigning champs, are a perfect example.

Last season, when they won their first championship in 50 years, they didn’t appear to be an elite team throughout the season. In fact, they finished the year with a non-title like 46-26 record.

Because of injuries, they were a good-but-not-great team during the regular season. In the second half of last year, they had two rough patches. They lost five straight games at one point in February. And then in April, trying to gear up for the postseason, they lost another five games during a two-week period. But they got healthy. And that prompted their ultimately playing with confidence and togetherness. And the result was an NBA championship.

Even this season, the Bucks have been highly inconsistent. From Oct. 27 to Nov. 7, they lost five of six. They started the season 7-8. And injuries, once again, are clearly the biggest culprit. Key players have been absent. Donte DiVincenzo, Brook Lopez, Bobby Portis, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton all have missed big stretches.

Well, that kinda sounds like the Nuggets.

The Michael Porter Jr. injury doesn’t sound real promising. That one could hurt. If he is, in fact, out for the rest of the season, adjustments will have to be made. But his injury does not make it impossible for the Nuggets to make a championship run. The rest of the injuries appear to be temporary. And eventually, Jamal Murray will be back.

In the interim, adjustments will have to be made by the coaching staff. And other players, now playing more minutes, will need to step up. And the team needs to hold fast to its early season commitment to defense. Phil Jackson used to say that when he was missing key players and others had to step in, he would challenge those players to put defense first.

This team should get healthy again. And when they do, they should be just fine.

Hopefully, just fine like the Milwaukee Bucks were last year!

Nuggets

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 21:DeMarcus Cousins #4 of the Denver Nuggets warms up against the Memphis Griz...
Nick Ferguson

The Extra Mile: Boogie Cousins brings “optimism” to Nuggets

Boogie Cousins brings not only height and depth to the Denver Nuggets roster but also an aggressive mentality.
1 day ago
DENVER, CO - JANUARY 19: Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets reacts to a play against the Los An...
104.3 The Fan

The Fan’s Nuggets Fast Break: Nikola Jokić set to repeat as MVP?

Rachel Vigil and Zach Bye examine the MVP-esque performance from Nikola Jokić in the Nuggets' thrilling overtime win over the Clippers
2 days ago
DENVER, CO - JANUARY 19: Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets reacts to a play against the Los An...
104.3 The Fan

Elevator Pitch: Jokic was not going to let the Nuggets lose vs. Clippers

With a 49-point triple-double — getting his 10th assist on the Gordon game-winner — Jokic refused to let the Nuggets lose to the Clippers
3 days ago
Nikola Jokic...
Jerry Schemmel

The NBA schedule makers aren’t doing the Nuggets any favors

With three games in four nights, including another back-to-back to end the stretch, a loss to the Jazz was predictable if not inevitable
4 days ago
Nikola Jokic...
Chad Andrus

The Nuggets and Jazz appear to be on a collision course in the playoffs

On paper, Utah has dominated Denver this season, but a showdown in the first round of the playoffs could have a very different look for the Nuggets
5 days ago
DENVER, COLORADO - OCTOBER 25: Head coach Michael Malone of the Denver Nuggets reacts to a call whi...
Jerry Schemmel

The Nuggets responded in a big way to their head coach calling them out

After a brutal loss in Los Angeles, when they squandered a 25-point lead, Michael Malone ripped into his team, a move that seems to have worked
9 days ago
The Bucks are a reminder that hope is not lost for the Nuggets