Denver Nuggets 117, Dallas Mavericks 107
Los Angeles Clippers 119, Denver Nuggets 102
Atlanta Hawks 109, Denver Nuggets 108
ESPN (Marc Stein)
Last week: 19
The Nuggets bookended their last week before the holidays with a stirring second-half comeback to take down the Dirk Nowitzki-less Mavericks -- and then an utter meltdown from 108-100 up on the visiting Hawks with less than two minutes to play in an eventual 109-108 defeat. Denver will close out the calendar year with winnable home dates against Minnesota and Philadelphia; it still just doesn't look right when you see in the standings that the Nuggets have a losing record (6-8) in the Pepsi Center and its infamous altitude.
NBA (John Schuhmann)
Last week: 21
After three straight wins and a huge game (27 points, 17 rebounds and nine assists) from Nikola Jokic against Dallas on Monday, the Nuggets' new starting lineup ran into issues against the Clippers and Hawks. That lineup has allowed 115 points per 100 possessions in its five games as a starting unit, having allowed its opponents to shoot 58 percent from 3-point range. Jokic, for all his offensive talent, ranks as the third worst rim protector among players who have defended at least five shots at the rim. The worst has been Jusuf Nurkic, who has been DNP'd each of the last three games and didn't even see garbage time against the Clippers on Tuesday.
Sport’s Illustrated (Jeremy Woo)
Last week: 20
It took way longer than necessary to install Nikola Jokic back at center, but it’s made Denver tangibly better on offense. The defense remains pretty questionable for the foreseeable future.
CBS Sports (Matt Moore)
Last week: 19
Michael Malone picked up a (questionable) tech in a one-point loss to Atlanta and kept a red-hot Danilo Gallinari out of the lineup for the final minutes. Denver has straight up pulled a loss rabbit from a victory hat about six times at home this season.