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Denver Nuggets: Back to school

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Summer vacation is about to end for your Denver Nuggets, and a new class gets ready for 82 tests and a hell of a lot of homework

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Los Angeles Chargers v Denver Broncos
Paul Millsap and Tim Connelly wrap up their summer breaks with some local sports as they gear up for another season of Denver Nuggets basketball
Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Who doesn’t love a summer break? The sun, warm weather, the pool, a beverage or three... Makes you want to do a Triple Lindy...

Fortunately, your Denver Nuggets actually seem pretty enthusiastic to return from their breaks and get their fall started. We’re less than a week from the team getting back to the court for training camp, and the best way to get back to school is with the right supplies. Here’s a few shopping items from every kid’s first few back-to-school starter kits for the boys in blue (or predominantly yellow) to propel them to a great season.

No. 2 Pencils

For coach Michael Malone, something to write our the game plan with that has a bit of flexibility, with that handy dandy eraser on the back. Malone has already shown some flexibility in planning in the past, with the shift to Nikola Jokic as the starting center a prime example. It will probably take more than the right player to similarly energize the Nuggets defense, so Malone may need to stay flexible in looking for answers to take Denver to the next level.

A protractor

For shooting guard Gary Harris, who was already cutting some of the sharpest angles in the league last season. Harris will need to keep those skills at their sharpest, to get the Nuggets to the next level. If Harris continues his motion-filled game this year, the Nuggets stnad to be even more potent than last year.

A ruler

For Emmanuel Mudiay, a measured game and measured shot. When Mudiay’s shot is falling, he’s a dangerous addition to the team.

A crayola (TM) 64-pack with the fancy sharpener

Paul Millsap would look good in a rainbow skyline, though the skyline ditched the stripes this year. More colorfully, Millsap has shown a creative side in his game over several seasons, especially in taking advantage of what the opposition gives him. Millsap in Nuggets blue may see an added boost to a newly bluetiful game.

Oh, hard-won pro tip on the crayon box... peel the paper off the crayon BEFORE grinding it in the sharpener. Apparently I’m the reason we all have to have warnings on the sides of small appliances about not taking them into the shower.

Glue

Nikola Jokic is the glue that holds your Denver Nuggets together these days, and as he goes, so goes the team. Jokic was amongst many of the young core who saw the grind of an 82-game season firsthand last year, and will come back with stronger understanding of what it will take to endure another one that many of us hope is even longer. For Denver to take it up another notch in a Western Conference that has only improved at the top, Nikola will need to be holding the pieces together with his unique and flexible game.

A calculator

Or abacus. Whatever. Something that lets you look hard at the numbers. The Denver Nuggets have a number of areas where small improvements could yield great benefits. From winning more games to finding better inroads, the Nuggets need to start pulling their fans back into the fold. The numbers were still tough last year, though there was a slightly larger and more vocal crowd at the Pepsi Center when the Nuggets started notching some impressive wins in the last two thirds of the season. The organization in total needs to ride that wave a little further this year in realizing that small gains in every space can make a difference in the team’s total success, from Josh Kroenke’s office to the players on the floor. From the sales offices to the strength and conditioning guys. From the marketing team to the coaching squad. And on and on. Whether you’re a high performer or a middling one, your efforts are a part of the team’s success. And this team looks primed to succeed soon, so any nudges forward you can give yourself, on the court or in the office, might help get this team to a better place.

Throw in a few PB&J’s, a two-gulp carton of be-cool-stay-in-school milk, a lunch box and some Garanimals, and I’m ready to go back to school with these Nuggets. Less than a week to swishing nets and squeaking shoes. You ready to get back to it, Nuggets Nation?

Poll

Biggest key to the Denver Nuggets success this season:

This poll is closed

  • 24%
    Nikola Jokic’s continued emergence
    (101 votes)
  • 14%
    The addition of Paul Millsap meshing well
    (60 votes)
  • 18%
    The young core continuing to progress
    (75 votes)
  • 21%
    Better defensive play to go with that pretty offense
    (91 votes)
  • 20%
    Everything. Even the best performers have room to improve
    (86 votes)
  • 0%
    None of the above. Might tell you below
    (2 votes)
415 votes total Vote Now