What do you want for Christmas, Nuggets Nation? A new car? A giant TV to watch Denver Nuggets games on? An official Red Ryder carbine-action two-hundred-shot range-model air rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time? A Nuggets championship? Well...
You may not have been quite THAT good this year, Nuggets fans, but sit on Santa’s lap and roll those dice, anyway. Here, a few notions of what might be the best gift in each of your Denver Nuggets stockings this year…
For Emmanuel Mudiay, meditation recordings, so he always remembers to take a deep breath, at least mentally. Mudiay is a different player when he lets the game come to him, and makes smarter plays because of it.
For Gary Harris, good and steady health to keep him on the court. Denver is a different team with Harris on the floor.
For Wilson Chandler, the love from the city of Denver and Nuggets fans that he’s been showing us the last few seasons.
For Danilo Gallinari, a season in the sun. Gallo was having a career year before going down to injury last season, and this has been an up-and-down year. Here’s hoping the rest of this one goes with him rediscovering his peak.
For Nikola Jokic, floor time. Just stay on the floor, Nikola. I think the rest of the presents come naturally from there… which is good, as we didn’t know how to wrap “floor time”. The bow was huge.
For Will Barton, a lifetime supply of a high-calorie supplement. The way Will goes to town on the court, no wonder there’s so little of him there.
For Kenneth Faried, a peaceful place. Whether it’s simply trade rumors finally settling down in Denver or to know he’s badly wanted wherever he lands, the Manimal certainly deserves some certainty as a gift. It’s tough to always feel instability.
For Jusuf Nurkic, enough floor time to keep refining a game that is only getting better. Christmas hardly seems fair when Jokic’s and Nurkic’s presents conflict the way they do.
For Jameer Nelson, a night out on the town. Just to be able to get away from the kids he’s literally been raising in the backcourt for his entire stay here. Jameer is a great guy who has played any role asked of him, and deserves a little me-time, even if he loves the tutoring gig.
For Jamal Murray, a giant quiver. Because I have a feeling that kid is going to be burying a lot of threes in his Nuggets career. It’s a longer term gift, but I’d sure like to see him knock J.R. Smith’s name off the Nuggets all-time list someday.
For Darrell Arthur, an Xbox One, as he sounds to be quite the badass at Xbox FIFA, and he’s far too often had too much time on his hands in Denver’s crowded frontcourt. At least give him something he likes to do on the side!
For Juancho Hernangomez, A MINUTE ON THE FLOOR AT THE SAME TIME AS HIS BROTHER! SERIOUSLY, COACHES? YOU COULDN’T GIVE HIM ONE LOUSY… sigh...
For Juancho, aside from a fraternal game, wishing an inordinate amount of late-game playing time. And oh, by the way, all of that comes from blowout wins, not blowout losses.
For Mike Miller, the mother of all Swiss Army knives, the Wenger Giant. While it will run the Nuggets a cool $1300, it epitomizes the nature of Denver’s relationship with Miller. Need a shooting coach? Miller’s got you. Inbounder? No worries. Plug a spot on the wing for spot duty? Spot on. Miller should probably throw a few extra bucks on the tab for psychological services, as it’s clear he’s a guy that everyone on the team listens to, and his reputation as a great teammate preceded him.
For coach Michael Malone, a couple of gifts. First off, a successful second half of his second season.
The second, a textbook on trigonometry, entitled “Solving Systems with No or Infinitely Many Solutions Using Substitution”. Joking aside, Malone takes heat from some fans and critics, like any coach, but one of the loudest knocks on him thus far has been his substitution patterns. I read the opinions of others, but in trying to better understand who to swap when seems a little more complex than trigonometry. But that may just be me. I did like the trig book, though.
Christmas night will find your Nuggets back in my neck of the woods, and I’ll be asking Santa for a Nuggets win the following night against the Clippers. So, for the rest of the organization, Nuggets fans, and anyone who was patient enough to make it all the way to the bottom, Denver Stiff’s best wishes and the hope of peace, prosperity, and happiness for whichever holiday you are celebrating this season. Here is hoping your hearts, heads and bellies are full, and that your days are merry and bright.