clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Zach Lowe thinks Denver is a trash team to watch this year

New, comments

Even Zach Lowe can make mistakes - and his League Pass ranking for Denver is unbelievably low.

NBA: Preseason-Denver Nuggets at Toronto Raptors Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

More national shots have been fired at the Nuggets before the season has started. Marc Stein kicked off the year by laughing at Denver's offseason when he ranked them 26th in his Training Camp power rankings, and now Zach Lowe follows suit with his League Pass rankings where he rates the Nuggets next-to-last at 29th. Lowe apparently rates the upcoming season of Denver basketball somewhere between acid-washed contacts and jalapeno nose spray on the enjoyment scale. From the article:

These League Pass rankings sort teams based on playoff potential (or sell-off potential), highlights, style, look and entertainment value. Each team gets a 1-10 in every category, and the Nuggets rated out at 20.5, half a point above the hapless smoking crater that is the Brooklyn Nets - and that's a fairly egregious underselling of Denver's upside and delight factor this season.

It's obvious that Denver doesn't have a player that drives conversation like LeBron or Durant (yet) but many teams ranked higher than then do not have that. Having them as a dismal viewing experience makes no sense to me. It's not just that Denver can provide an array of highlights just from one preseason game that would make viewers sit up and take notice. It's that teams rated much higher are such drags to watch:

16 - Wizards. Really? Did someone miss the trainwreck that was last year? Their list of enjoyable players ends after Wall and Beal. Either of Denver's bigs are more enjoyable to watch than all of the Wiz's combined.

17 - Grizzlies. They play hard - all the time - and they should be healthy to start the season. But nothing says Fizdale will play that same Grindhouse ball effectively and ineffecting Grindhousing is just tragic. Gasol and Conley have perfected their partnership, but Mudiay and Gallo passing and slashing with Jokic and Nurkic at a much faster tempo has to be at least as engaging, right?

21 - Bulls. I understand the national appeal of Wade, but has Hoiberg shown any indication of running an interesting basketball team? That squad of brickers has a good logo but a dreary outlook, and even Bulls fans would not have called last year’s squad interesting.

That's not even considering teams right around the Nuggets rankings. I understand that bouncing the Altitude signal off a navsat, through a com link in Chechnya and then porting it through a London International terminal webcam isn't the greatest way to watch Nuggets basketball, but if you actually have League Pass then why would you not want to watch this team?

It's a combination of good, young vets and under-22 talent with amazing upside who will be taking on a wide-open middle-tier of the Western Conference with what should be a more interesting offensive attack under new assistant Chris Finch. The passing alone will be a delight from 1 to 5. Denver has added shooters to go with its scorers, with some high flying rebounding and transition appeal as well as some of the best big man play you'll see this year. And at least one of those big men is gonna hurl Bosnian curses while rejecting weak-sauce shots.

How badly do you have to hate Scott Hastings and pine for powder blue floor colors to rate Denver at the absolute bottom of the pack? The Nuggets should be competing for a spot in the Western Conference playoffs all year, and they’ll be doing it with some incredible young talent buoyed by good coaching and hungry vets.

Do yourselves a favor if you’re a member of another fanbase and make sure to catch a couple of games on League Pass. This squad is unhyped but rankings like Lowe’s would have you believe that Denver’s selling you a sandwich made with mealworms.

That’s not what the Nuggets have to offer. Tune in and be pleasantly surprised.