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NBA Power Rankings: Nuggets comfortably in top 5 after week one

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What is the national media saying about the Denver Nuggets so far?

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Denver Nuggets Michael Ciaglo-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Nuggets are 2-0 after sweeping their opening week slate against the Portland Trail Blazers and Phoenix Suns. Though both wins weren’t necessarily pretty, Denver still got the job done.

But how does this play out across the national media compared to other teams like the Los Angeles Clippers or Milwaukee Bucks that have had strong starts to the season?

So far the Nuggets are faring quite well across the board. No major outlet has them lower than the fourth best team in the league, and at best has Denver ranked second. The most common teams being placed ahead of Denver thus far are the aforementioned Clippers and Bucks but also the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers are also 2-0 while the Bucks sit 1-1 and the Clippers, who dominated their first two games, are now 2-1 following a loss to the Suns this weekend.

While Denver’s high ranking is certainly a positive sign for the franchise, it also means that the Nuggets will no longer be surprising anyone this season. They are good and everyone knows it.

Check out what the major media sites are saying in this new weekly roundup of power rankings below:

ESPN

Nuggets Rank: 4

The Nuggets don’t have the luxury of sneaking up on anyone anymore but still handled their business opening week. A small taste of revenge against the Trail Blazers, where the offense hummed and shots dropped, and then the opposite where Denver overcame an off night to hold off the scrappy Suns in overtime. Denver is now one of the West’s hunted teams, but with Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray already in form, they look ready to embrace it.

Sport’s Illustrated

Nuggets Rank: 3

Jamal Murray is playing like the second star Denver needs to make a Finals run. Denver’s $170 million man is averaging 20.5 points per game while shooting 45.5% from three. The Nuggets’ investment is paying early dividends.

Bleacher Report

Nuggets Rank: 4

Denver’s offense has yet to rev up, but individually, Nikola Jokic is firing on all cylinders. He posted a triple-double in the win over Phoenix and is averaging 21.5 points, 13.5 rebounds and 7.0 assists through two games. Once the rest of the Nuggets get things going, we’ll see the potential No. 1 seed we all expected.

The Athletic

Nuggets Rank: 3

The Denver Nuggets avoided an embarrassing loss to the Phoenix Suns on Friday night, when they fouled Ricky Rubio on a half-court heave as regulation was about to expire. Rubio hit all three free throws and the Suns and Nuggets went to overtime. Denver prevailed by one in the extra session, narrowly escaping at home with a one-point victory over a Suns team already playing without the suspended Deandre Ayton.

CBS Sports

Nuggets Rank: 2

The Nuggets struggled to beat the Suns in overtime at home, but that was before we knew Phoenix was a budding giant-slayer. They handled an always-solid Portland team in the opener despite Nikola Jokic getting into early foul trouble, then the big man put up what will likely be the first of many triple-doubles this season in the win over the Suns.

NBA.com

Nuggets Rank: 2

The Nuggets one of two teams (Minnesota is the other) with two wins after trailing by double-digits and also the first team in 19 years to beat the Blazers in their home opener (a great sign for a franchise that has had a winning road record just three times in the last 40 years). Nikola Jokic’s teammates held the fort when he picked up three fouls in the first four minutes of the season, but he was still the star last week, hitting two huge 3-pointers down the stretch on Wednesday and then registered a triple-double in their overtime win over Phoenix on Friday. The Denver depth has Michael Porter Jr. and Juancho Hernangomez on the outside of Michael Malone’s 10-man rotation, and the bench shot 6-for-9 from 3-point range in Portland, but the Nuggets were still outscored by 13 points in Jokic’s 37 minutes off the floor over the two games.

Poll

After one week, where should the Nuggets rank among the NBA?

This poll is closed

  • 24%
    1st
    (111 votes)
  • 22%
    2nd
    (102 votes)
  • 28%
    3rd
    (127 votes)
  • 12%
    4th
    (55 votes)
  • 6%
    5th
    (28 votes)
  • 6%
    6+
    (28 votes)
451 votes total Vote Now