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Denver Nuggets weekly recap: November 3rd, 2019

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Sort of an up and down week for the Nuggets

NBA: Denver Nuggets at New Orleans Pelicans Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Nuggets had a busy week with four games on the docket, three of which were on the road. Denver navigated their way through it but not nearly as smooth as most would have hoped. Ultimately the Nuggets went .500 on the week with some pretty big ups and downs. Ironically, both the biggest positive (Michael Porter Jr.’s debut) and the biggest negative (getting blown out by the New Orleans Pelicans) happened on the same night. At the end of the week Denver’s record stands at 4-2.

Nuggets go 2-2 on the week

The Nuggets came into the week undefeated but asking them to remain that way throughout the entire week would be a tall task. Even though they didn’t exactly play the elite of the NBA, they still ran into some quality opponents and most of the time Denver was on the road. However, for parts of the week it looked like the Nuggets were simply going through the motions which dampened even the games they won. That was never more true than on Monday when the Nuggets secured a victory against the Sacramento Kings in Sacramento, but looked sloppy and playing down to the competition. Still, the Nuggets got enough from their back court to get it done.

Following the Kings game the Nuggets had the arduous task that so many of their opponents face: a back to back coming from the west coast to the high mountains of Denver. On top of that, their opponent was the Dallas Mavericks who look like a playoff contender behind Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. Dallas proved to be too much as they outlasted the Nuggets in the fourth quarter and had a key block down the stretch from Maxi Kleber to seal a 109-106 victory.

To close out the week the Nuggets took a trip to the American south with their first stop being the bayou for a matchup with the Pelicans. As stated before, this would end up being the low point of the week as the Nuggets came out completely flat and continued to deteriorate over the course of the game, ultimately getting blown out 122 to 107. After the game coach Michael Malone was hot and he didn’t mince words when it came to the Nuggets effort.

Luckily, Denver closed out the week with their best game. While it still wasn’t necessarily the prettiest, the Nuggets got big efforts from their stars Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray and were able to secure a victory on the road against the Orlando Magic. The game probably got a little too close for comfort down the stretch but Denver’s big guns proved to be up for the task.

Michael Porter Jr. Debuts!

Unfortunately for the Nuggets they suffered their first injury of the season. Seemingly out of nowhere on Thursday the Nuggets injury report revealed that Will Barton was questionable with an inflammed toe. The injury would indeed keep Denver’s starting small forward out and he has yet to return to the court. Things don’t seem to be trending in the right direction as Barton was seen in a walking boot this weekend.

The silver lining of course is that Barton’s injury opened up an opportunity for Michael Porter Jr. The rookie flashed the potential in his debut that has made him one of the biggest stories of the Nuggets early season. Though the Nuggets would lose the game against the Pelicans, MPJ led them in scoring. He wasn’t without his struggles though, his follow up performance against the Magic was less breath taking and it’s clear he is still working his way into the flow of what the team is doing.

Altitude reaches a deal with DirectTV

On the heels of the news that the Colorado Attorney General was looking into regional sports fees charged by Comcast and DirectTV while Altitude TV remained blacked out by those providers we got news that DirectTV and Altitude had struck a deal. The reports are it is a multi year deal however Altitude has yet to come to a resolution with Dish and Comcast. At least more people are getting a chance to view the Nuggets now and it should put some added pressure on the other providers given that Nuggets fans who are still on the outside looking in have a viable option to replace their current providers.

Player of the week: Jamal Murray

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Orlando Magic Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Nobody had an outstanding week across four games but Jamal was pivotal in both of the Nuggets wins. He scored 22 against Orlando and 18 against Sacramento, both good enough to lead the team. Like most everyone he put up a dud against the Pelicans but was solid against the Mavericks. Jamal hasn’t been his best out of the gate but the Nuggets appear poised to ride with him and with his scoring ability he can pretty much will his way to 15+ points a game. Here’s hoping he keeps up the scoring and gets a little more efficient along the way.

Fun moment of the week: The Nuggets are no fun

Usually we reserve this spot for something off the court that happened that lightens up the mood. Sadly, it was a pretty slow week for that which in some ways is ridiculous because it’s Halloween week! The Nuggets were on the road to play the Pelicans on Halloween night and we were heavy with anticipation at what kind of costumes we might see. The team went with a different approach however, electing to keep it business as usual. C’mon Nuggets, I gotta fill this section with something!

Podcast Corner

Another great week of pods starting with Gordon and myself predicting the win/loss record (one of us got it right) and previewing the week as a whole. Nuggets Numbers looks into Denver’s struggling offense and Breaking Basketball is back with Episode 2. The Denver Stiffs Show finishes off the week with reactions to the Nuggets tough loss in New Orleans and Michael Porter Jr.’s debut.