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Stiffs Mailbag: The state of the Nuggets at 5-2

The latest edition of the Stiffs Mailbag is here!

Denver Nuggets v Sacramento Kings Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

There is a lot to discuss on this week’s edition of the Stiffs Mailbag as the Denver Nuggets season is in full swing. So, without further ado, let’s dive in and answer some questions!


The Nuggets certainly seem to still be finding there way, but it is tough to complain with a 5-2 start. Not everything has been as crisp as I am sure the team would like it to be, but the Nuggets are still just a game out of first place in the Western Conference.

Denver’s offense finally started to find some rhythm in the Miami game and their defense held the Heat to under 100 points, which is the first time that had happened all season. Like you said, I definitely think they have picked up where they left off, but there is still room for improvement moving forward. Still, it is tough to complain with how positive a start they have had, particularly in the record column.


Jerami Grant would do really well if he had to start next to Nikola Jokic, but all signs point to Paul Millsap playing tonight. Millsap wasn’t listed on the Nuggets injury report, and even though he will be playing with stitches in his head, it still looks like he will suit up against the 76ers.

The greatest development in all of this might be the fact that headband Paul is set to make his return. Millsap wore a headband for most of the second half of last season and now that his head is cut, it looks as if he will be wearing one again starting Friday night.


Denver has only played seven games thus far, so there is no reason to make snap judgments on a young player. Malik Beasley might not be playing his best basketball right now, but that should not change the Nuggets stance on whether to sign him long-term or not.

Every athlete goes through a tough stretch and Beasley’s just so happens to be coming at the start of the season. The biggest concern with Beasley to start the year is that he is shooting just 36 percent from the field. One positive is that Bealey is still shooting over 40 percent (41.4) for three-point range, which suggests he could just be going through a cold spell inside the arc that he will hopefully snap out of soon.


It is a good and bad problem to have with how many good players the Nuggets currently have on roster. Michael Malone typically likes to play around 10 guys per night, and that leaves some players out from time to time.

The beauty of this Nuggets roster is everyone seems to genuinely care about their teammates, which makes for an easier situation when minutes are not always there. In no way has it showed to affect the Nuggets team spirit, and I don't see that being a problem in the future either.


Michael Porter Jr. has been very good in his limited minutes but has yet to crack the rotation. Like you said, Torrey Craig continues to get those minutes that would go to Porter, and it seems unlikely that the Nuggets head a different direction any time soon.

They both have their pros and their cons as Craig gives you a much better defender than Porter, but Porter certainly gives you more of an upside offensively. The Nuggets must feel that right now, they can sacrifice that extra offense for defense, which could be why Craig is getting all those minutes over Porter.


One team that has really surprised is actually the Miami Heat, which the Nuggets made quick work of on Tuesday night. It certainly was not the Heat’s best night as Denver found a way to shut down Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro, but I have been impressed with those two rookies to start the season.

Jimmy Butler is a great addition to that roster and if those rookies continue to play well, they could be a team that might make a title run out of the Eastern Conference. I’ve also been pleasantly surprised by the Phoenix Suns as they have started the year really solid under the leadership of Monty Williams.