As an advisement, four days with the flu was not the way to spend the holiday. But at least when I desperately needed the down time, it was already built in. Ho ho hurk.
Similarly, your Denver Nuggets couldn’t have hit the lengthy holiday break at a better time, and have played their last couple of games as if they were less than healthy as well. Thank goodness there are rumors of cavalry on the way, with hopes for Gary Harris, Will Barton, and Paul Millsap all on the horizon. Denver will need as much of their depth as possible with a jam-packed second third of the just out of the gates. Here’s what’s on the map for the Nuggets between now and the All-Star break:
17: Days until the season is half done. That does mean that the Nuggets have nine games to squeeze into the next two and a half weeks, with another contest against the Spurs preceding a slate against teams like the Suns (twice), Kings, Knicks, Hornets, Rockets, Heat, and Clippers.
Though there are some tough teams on that docket, there are also several winnable games, and high hopes to be healthy, as once the second half of the season breaks...
42: The second half of the Nuggets season starts on the second half of a back-to-back, at the Pepsi Center against the Portland Trail Blazers. Two nights later, the Golden State Warriors will pay the Nuggets a visit at home as well.
49: Days until the All-Star break. By then, the Nuggets season will be two-thirds complete, and the West may have finally started to separate the haves and have nots for the season. Speaking of All-Star voting... Have you voted for Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, or any of your other favorite Nuggets stars? You can vote daily, and share your voice here!
25: Games in those 49 days.
12: Away games in those 25.
48: Combined games that Denver has played without one of its original starters this season.
6: Players who have played in all 32 games thus far thus season. Jokic, Murray, Monte Morris, Trey Lyles, Malik Beasley, and Mason Plumlee.
13: The unlucky number of points Jokic and Murray were able to put up in San Antonio last night. Combined.
30: Number of seasons Paul Millsap (12), Nick Young (11), and Isaiah Thomas (7) have played in the NBA, combined.
30: Combined number of seasons played by the rest of the squad. Barton (6), Plumlee (5), Harris (4), Jokic (3), Trey Lyles (3), Beasley (2), Murray (2), Juancho Hernangomez (2), Morris (1), Torrey Craig (1), Tyler Lydon (1), Michael Porter, Jr. (R), Jarred Vanderbilt (R), Thomas Welsh (R), and Brandon Goodwin (R)
2: Home-and-away series the Nuggets have against teams this season, the first of which is halfway gone with these Spurs. The Spurs have an insane six of them this season, while Denver won’t have another until games 80 and 81 this season against Portland.
27: Out of 30. The offensive hot rod that has been the Denver Nuggets these past few seasons is still scoring, but they have severely knocked down the pacing this season. The Nugs 96.9 has them ranked in the bottom four in the league. Who knew that would be the change to take the team to a 21-11 start?
11: Games left this season against Northwest Division foes. At a 5-0 start against division opponents thus far, Denver is off to a hot start, but needs to be sure to keep taking care of business, as only three of those games will happen prior to the All-Star break. Denver will finish their season with four division contests in a row.
We’re into the thick of the season now, Nuggets Nation, with no big breaks coming until this next third is complete. Can Denver keep up this torrid pace, and where the hell is that cavalry?
All downhill to the All-Star Break, Nuggets Nation. How many of those 25 games will Denver win?
This poll is closed
20 or more
15 to 19
10 to 14
5 to 9
1 to 4