Amid the negativity surrounding the 2013-14 Denver Nuggets, I've stumbled upon eight positive outcomes from this otherwise disastrous and soon-to-be forgettable season ...
1) Ty Lawson is way better than we thought he was.
In the 45 games the Nuggets played with Lawson starting at point guard this season, the Nuggets are 22-23. Not great obviously, but in the 13 games without Lawson the Nuggets are 3-10. And while I still question whether or not you can be competitive deep into the NBA playoffs with Lawson as your point guard, it's clear to me that you have no chance of making the playoffs without Lawson.
2) The Nuggets didn't set the record for their lowest scoring quarter ever.
During the first quarter of Thursday night's embarrassing nationally televised home blowout to the aging, back-to-back playing Brooklyn Nets, the Nuggets flirted dangerously with their worst scoring quarter in their franchise history by mustering a mere eight points. Eight!! But believe it or not, that was a full five points higher than their franchise-record low of three points versus the San Antonio Spurs on November 27th, 2002.
3) How often do you get TWO teams to root for one in season?
Nuggets fans must admit that it's been hellishly fun rooting for the New York Knicks to lose night after night this season. In the wake of the Carmelo Anthony mega trade, Nuggets fans already had a rooting interest in the Knicks' demise ... but with both the Knicks and Nuggets steamrolling their way into the NBA Draft Lottery - and with the better of the Knicks or the Nuggets' first round pick this year going to the Nuggets - the Knicks / Nuggets dynamic has been taken to an entirely new level. Most NBA fans only get to cheer on one team per season, but this year we've been given two!
4) Jan Vesely is a sure-fire future Denver Stiffs HOFer.
Our newest Nugget may not play in enough games to qualify for the Denver Stiffs Hall of Fame, but he already gets my vote. Vesely has all the requisite qualifications: he's white, European, stole his haircut from Scooby Doo's Shaggy and "shoots" 33.3% from the free throw line. Amazingly, Vesely was the 6th overall pick in the NBA Draft ... just two years ago! Which means that the Nuggets have had the worst-ever 5th overall pick (Denver Stiffs HOFer Nikoloz Tskitishvili) and worst-ever 6th overall (Vesely) pick on their roster within 10 years of each of other. How many franchises can claim that?!
5) I haven't been this relaxed in 11 years.
For 10 consecutive years prior to this NBA season, the Nuggets were a great cause of stress in my life. For 10 straight years, every game had repercussions for playoff seeding and positioning before the post-season began and thus left me at the edge of my seat, routinely pulling my hair out and at times causing heart palpitations. Not this year. For the past six or so weeks, the Nuggets haven't had a prayer of making the playoffs. So rather than get stressed about whether or not the Nuggets might win while watching a game, I get to focus on things like watching Evan Fournier and Quincy Miller's development, seeing how many times J.J. Hickson attempts to play point guard (without passing to anyone, of course), discovering how dreadful Kenneth Faried's mid-range jump shot is, pondering what head coach Brian Shaw is thinking when he draws up suspect out-of-timeout plays, and wondering why Timofey Mozgov hasn't started since November.
6) May 20th will be the most anticipated night in recent Nuggets history.
The 2014 NBA Draft Lottery is set to take place on Tuesday, May 20th - most likely during the NBA's conference finals. Young Nuggets fans won't remember this, but in the 1990s the NBA Draft Lottery was the most drama-filled event we got to experience each year (excluding the thrilling 1994 playoff run, of course). Amping up the drama, each June the Nuggets organization would host an annual NBA Draft party at the arena - open to the public. So while the 2013-14 Nuggets season has been a forgettable one, Nuggets fans won't forget the 2014 NBA Draft Lottery and will collectively admit they can't wait for May 20th.
7) I haven't talked to my girlfriend this much in years.
Last season - while the Nuggets were en route to a franchise-best 57 wins - my girlfriend spent Nuggets games attempting to converse with me while being rebuffed at every turn. Not this season. This season, and typically during second halves and fourth quarters (and, come to think of it, a lot of first quarters), conversations with my significant other have become a welcomed distraction from watching our Nuggets play. And as an added bonus, I've had ample time to explain the nuances of the game to her.
8) I'm saving $$$$$ on playoff tickets.
Even though I share season tickets with two different season ticket holders, I always buy my own tickets come playoff time as I insist on attending every game. They cost around $150 per ticket per game, so assuming the Nuggets play three times at home (as they've done the last two years) it costs me about $1000 a year for the playoffs in addition to the thousands of dollars I spend on season tickets. Not this year!
So what am I going to do with an extra $1000 in my pocket? I'll apply it to 2014-15 season tickets, of course.