This used to be our house:
Though more like this, as you’ll notice a few of these in Nuggets gear:
Last night wasn’t a block party for your Denver Nuggets, but they finally turned in a high-scoring and attitudinal win like in days of old… or not so old, if you simply go back 1,318 days. This season, the Nuggets lost their first three home games. That season, the Nuggets had three home losses in April. Three vets who were around in those same days of yore (Wilson Chandler, Kenneth Faried, and Danilo Gallinari) decided last night that they’d had enough losing at home, and were blessed with a visit by the also-struggling Phoenix Suns. You could see the intention to take the game to Phoenix, as that same trio had 5 and-one scoring opportunities by the end of the first half alone. Denver was headed downhill to the hoop last night.
The win was long overdue, as the last one at the Pepsi Center was 223 days ago. Around this same time last season, Denver ripped off a three-game winning streak on a home stand, and could use even more of that mojo in the remaining three of this home stand, as each of those opponents already has seven wins in this young season. The Nuggets will need to bring that same attitude and even fewer mistakes to win any, let alone all. And if they do win the next three, they’ll be a game above .500 at home to start, back to a winning record.
Why is that remarkable? For years, coming to the mile-high city meant being run or ground into dust by the fourth quarter with a barrage of speed and grit. Opponents are happy to see the playing field leveled for the time being, and want to take advantage as long as they can. To counteract it, one of the first levers the Nuggets need to pursue in their quest to improve is to reassert their home dominance. If there’s one thing on the Nuggets side in the equation, it’s that as a very young team, they can bring energy and effort in unbreaking waves, if the team just commits to doing so. Add that effort to the altitude that only a regular can adjust to, and Denver can still break down their opponents late in games, even if they aren’t the fastest team in the NBA any longer.
What do you think? How do we take back home court, Nuggets Nation? The mile high used to be feared and revered. Winning at home will get us all of our toys back, one by one, from coverage to a larger fan base. Tell me how the Nuggets get from here to the 30+ home wins-per-season, please!