After the game, a very furious Michael Malone said that the Denver Nuggets will roll out a new starting lineup against the Boston Celtics since the current one has had five straight bad starts. Listen to the short interview below. Malone, who is almost always short-tempered after a loss, was especially pointed and direct in his comments after the huge 103-86 loss to the Detroit Pistons.
Malone is right that the Nuggets have started off slow in all of the five games so far this season and have looked lost and lethargic at times on both ends of the court. Readers of this site know that the struggles of the starting unit do NOT come as a surprise to me, personally, at all. The pairing of Nikola Jokic and Jusuf Nurkic was always an iffy starting front court and one that may be at least partially responsible for the struggles of Emmanuel Mudiay, Jokic himself, and even the rotations that come behind starting those two guys together.
It’s hard to say who exactly will start on Sunday night but my guess is that Emmanuel Mudiay is the most likely starter to get benched against Boston. Mudiay has more turnovers (22) than assists (17) or FG made (19). Jokic might also get the boot after scoring just six points against Detroit.
Jameer Nelson would be the most likely replacement for Mudiay at point. Wilson Chandler has been one of, if not thee, best player for the Nuggets over the last two games and Malone may elect to replace Jokic with Chandler. Kenneth Faried is also a candidate to take Joker’s spot if Malone decides to mix up the starting front court.
This might be the end of an era for the Nuggets, the "Jurkic" era. A.k.a. the "Balkan Buddy Ball" lineup. Whatever it is, hopefully the shakeup will not be a confidence breaker for whoever gets benched and the Nuggets can find a nice rotational rhythm going forward.