Another week in the books for the Denver Nuggets and it was another successful one at that. The Nuggets are currently riding a four game winning streak going into tonight’s game against the Phoenix Suns. They’ve maintained good health and have a clean injury report. They’ve got the young guns developing down in the G-League. Indeed, it’s all going pretty swimmingly right now.
Nuggets sweep the week
Some difficult matchups this week for the Nuggets with both the Houston Rockets and Boston Celtics in town, first though they had to take care of business against a young Memphis Grizzlies team in Memphis, typically a house of horrors for the Nuggets. Jamal Murray had his best game of the season, exploding for thirty-nine points, eight assists, three steals and zero turnovers. Arguably Jamal’s best game as a professional.
The Nuggets followed up Jamal’s most impressive performance of the season with their most impressive team performance of the season. Against the vaunted Rockets, a team that Denver had only beaten once in the past four years, the Nuggets put out some stifling defense. They held James Harden, (averages thirty nine points a game) to just sixteen shots and ten free three throws. The Nuggets employed double teams consistently but at varying points in the possession to confuse the Rockets and force twenty turnovers. It’s just one regular season game, but it certainly felt like Denver finally got the Rockets monkey off their back.
Denver wrapped it up on Friday with another win against a quality opponent. The Boston Celtics, and their fans, almost stole one at the Pepsi Center. After the Nuggets jumped out early, the Celtics got on a run in the third to fourth quarter to bring the game within a single point with just over two minutes to go. The Nuggets hit some clutch shots down the stretch, none more clutch than Paul Millsap’s corner three with a minute to go and the Nuggets leading by three. Denver held on and the Celtics (and their fans) were left to take the L on the way out.
Nuggets reveal City jersey
The fourth and final jersey the Nuggets will wear this season was revealed this week. The team is going back to the rainbow skyline design like they had for the City jersey last season, but this year it will be set against black instead of white. Reception has generally been positive to this new design, with some calling it the best of the City jerseys in the league this year. The City jersey is the one jersey that is different every year for every team.
Altitude TV files suit against Comcast
The Altitude TV vs Comcast/Dish saga took another turn this week (seriously, did not think I’d still have this section rolling six weeks into the season). Kroenke Sports and Entertainment has filed a class action lawsuit against Comcast claiming they are attempting to drive Altitude out of business for personal gain. Comcast has called the lawsuit baseless. Reading a bit between the lines and purely speculation but...it’s a lot easier to start NBC Sports Denver if you have the broadcast rights for two of the local professional sports teams. It’s impossible to start it with zero. Not saying that’s what Comcast (who owns NBC) is doing but pointing out its not exactly a big leap to see how there could be a motive to not negotiate with Altitude in good faith.
The fight to bring the Nuggets and Avs back to your TV just got nastier.https://t.co/244MHTjlCx— MichaelRobertsCOLO (@MikeRobertsCOLO) November 19, 2019
G-League Update: Bol Bol up, JV down
The Nuggets assigned Jarred Vanderbilt to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers this week making him the fourht player Denver has sent to the developmental league along with Bol Bol, P.J. Dozier and Vlatko Cancar. They wouldn’t have four players down there for very long though as Bol was recalled yesterday. He’s been impressive at the G-League level and perhaps most importantly looks healthy. Bol’s length and shooting touch is undeniable and that alone makes him an intriguing player. Meanwhile, Dozier continues to take the league by storm and Vlatko registered a double double this week. Good week across the organization.
Player of the week: Nikola Jokic & Jamal Murray
Too tough to decide between these guys this week. Murray killed the Grizzlies while Jokic struggled, Jokic destroyed the Rockets while Murray struggled, both had good games against the Celtics. The season is still young but Jokic and Murray are really starting to put to bed any doubts that they are a legitimate one-two punch in the NBA. The questions of course have been about whether Murray could take the next step and while he’s still pretty much right where he was last season in terms of production, the leadership has been much better and he’s avoided the slow starts that have plagued his career up to this point.
Fun moment of the week: the splendid Serbian hooker
Gotta go back to the Grizzlies game for this one but our good friend Chris Marlowe at Altitude TV provided us with a gem for Nuggets lore. Jokic executed a hook shot in the lane and Marlowe had the perfect way to describe it...or so he thought. H/T to Alec Gwin over at Denver Nuggets Reddit for the video, no word from him yet on what kind of photoshop we should expect.
Another good week of podcasts as always from the Denver Stiffs crew. The Pickaxe Podcast with Ryan Blackburn and myself breaks down the win over the Grizzlies plus we get into Carmelo Anthony, who made his debut with the Portland Trail Blazers this week, and his legacy with the Nuggets. On Nuggets Numbers Ryan gives his 12 most important stats to the Nuggets hot start, while on The Dig Jeremy Poley and Nick Hertzog mix it up and take a look at what’s going on in the Eastern Conference. Finally we closed out the week with Ryan, Jena Garcia and Brandon Ewing reacting to the Nuggets big win over the Celtics. Make sure to subscribe to the Denver Stiffs podcast network to get all of these shows as soon as they are available.