So, that was quite a game last night, wasn't it? Denver showed again an aspect of this year's team that was lacking in the previous two campaigns - a fight hard, no quit attitude. Now, if they could just come out to start a game with the same intensity, and maintain it for a full 48 minutes, they might just move from the "moral" victories onto actual
wins. While even the team has stated they view this season as one for development where the wins and losses are secondary to improvement of play, those marks in the win column can also be important. They let the players know the hard work is paying off, setting up positive reinforcement for the lessons they're learning. Yes, these are professional players and should give it their all every night, but they're also human and seeing your efforts rewarded does go a long way.
Will those winning ways begin tonight? It is going to be very tough. Coming off an overtime game the night before, where their best players played a whole lot of minutes, Denver also lost an hour in travel time. Additionally, it's looking very likely that Damian Lillard returns to the Portland line up. The good news, though, is that none of our three Euro bigs logged many minutes last night, as coach Michael Malone chose to match small with small against the Golden State Warriors. It would be fun to see the Nuggets, just as a change of pace, pound a team on the inside.
Damian Lillard is inactive for the Blazers tonight vs. the #Nuggets— Chris Dempsey (@dempseypost) January 4, 2016
There remains a chance Faried could be a very late scratch. But all indications right now is he'll be out there at the start. #Nuggets— Chris Dempsey (@dempseypost) January 4, 2016
So, basically ignore all I wrote, because to hell with logic.