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Denver Nuggets: Plucky Number Seven

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The Nuggets find themselves on the longest winning streak of the Michael Malone era due to a little luck and a lot of pluck

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NBA: Houston Rockets at Denver Nuggets
Trey Lyles is kind to lend his jersey for our headline
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Pluck you. Pluck me? Maybe just a chicken dance in celebration of a plucky win.

plucky [pluhk-ee]: adj. Having or showing pluck or courage; brave; nervy; gritty; lionhearted

Your Denver Nuggets are showing a tremendous amount of grit, heart, and dare I say, pluck as they continue their streaky season by extending their current winning streak to seven games, currently best in the NBA.

The last time Denver saw a seven-game winning streak was five seasons ago, when Brian Shaw was still in town. The lengthiest streak in team history stands at 15, achieved during the 2012-13 season. That squad didn’t notch it’s 17th win until the 31st game of the season, and lost the game after that to fall to 17-15. It was the closest they’d ever be to .500 again, wrapping up with a 57-25 record, still the finest in team history. Reverse that math to realize that same squad won 40 of their last 50 games. Amazing.

They also wrapped their season with a .695 win percentage, a full 13 points below the current Nuggets .708. Denver being north of that plucky number seven (.700) is a rare sight this far into a Denver Nuggets campaign. They’ve shot to 17 wins this quickly three other times in their history, during the apex years of Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups (08-09 and 09-10) and once in their first NBA season, 1976-77. It’s true Denver has achieved that win count more quickly (twice), but they were still in the ABA when they did. Should they be able to sustain their current pace, they will win 58. Good lord. That seems pretty good, doesn’t it? Gary Harris and I think so.

The guy wearing jersey number seven, Trey Lyles, is now the sixth guy to be averaging double digits in the scoring column for the Nuggets, with Juancho Hernangomez sneaking closer to becoming the seventh member of that group with every game he plays. (9.5 points per game after his 14-point performance against the Magic last night)

There was also a septet of players in double digits against the Magic last night: Jamal Murray (31), Paul Millsap (18), Juancho Hernangomez (14), Monte Morris (13), Nikola Jokic (12), Lyles (12), and Mason Plumlee (11). That was the third game this season that Denver has had at least seven players in double digits, marking seven against the Hawks and an astounding eight against the Kings. Why is that astounding? If only in how close it is to the rarified air of 10 double digit scorers in a game on a single team, something that has only been achieved five times in NBA history.

A seven game stretch also comprises the low-tide streak of this Nuggets season, with a 1-6 record the offset to the 16-1 that bookends it. Whether this streak is the apogee of another roller coaster dip or on to even bigger things remains to be seen, but if Denver is willing to keep their focus and effort up, they stand a very real chance at coming away from a five-game road trip with a clean sweep. The Hornets and Hawks would certainly like to keep Denver from that goal, so expect an uphill battle to bring that unexpected gift home. Even my most optimistic Nuggets sources were thrilled with the idea of a split off of this roadie. One game at a time.

The Nuggets are now a very plucky 8-4 on the road this year. Should they end up keeping this torrid pace, they would finish the season with 27 road wins, far outpacing any single-season road record prior. There are wins against some impressive teams on the win side of that ledger, including the Clippers, Timberwolves, Thunder, Trail Blazers, and Raptors.

Seven paragraphs littered with several sevens at the point of a seven game win streak, Nuggets Nation. Seven is a lucky number, right? Are we feeling lucky? Or plucky?

Poll

This 17-7 Denver Nuggets team is:

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    Lucky
    (17 votes)
  • 31%
    Plucky
    (174 votes)
  • 52%
    A little of both
    (286 votes)
  • 12%
    I wish Mike would go pluck himself
    (70 votes)
547 votes total Vote Now