Coming of a hold-on-by-your-fingernails win against the Charlotte Hornets, the Denver Nuggets host the Golden State Warriors tonight in the second of an eight game home stand. In the previous three games, Golden State has roared out to large leads. In two of those games, the Nuggets fought back, including forcing overtime in their last match-up. The heart and no-quit attitude shown in those games was night and day to the way the team performed in similar situations over the previous two season. If nothing else, that change in attitude bodes well for the second half of this season.
As the Nuggets continue on this home stand, another solid performance against the best team in the league could be a launching pad to success over the remaining six games. Even in a loss, if Denver again shows heart and that, as Michael Malone likes to say, hate to lose attitude, should build some confidence within the players that they can compete at the highest level. If Emmanuel Mudiay is able to play a good game against Stephen Curry, how much would that raise his belief that he can compete against any other point guard in the NBA? If Jusuf Nurkic can control the paint and make the Warriors take tough shots, how far will that raise his confidence (not that he's lacking in that department)? If Gary Harris can go toe to toe with Klay Thompson , would that vault him into a great second half? Play with heart, play with passion, play without worrying about what the fans are doing or who they are rooting for. Show that, and perhaps the Nuggets can begin to develop an identity on the Pepsi Center floor.