The Denver Nuggets didn’t start off the week as well as we all hoped but they found a way to end it strong. They closed out a tough east coast road trip that didn’t go their way before getting back to playing good basketball at home. Hopefully the Nuggets will continue to ride the momentum and put losing five of six in the past.
Nuggets go 2-2 on the week
The Nuggets opened the week with a matinee game against the Brooklyn Nets. Despite getting a big performance from Nikola Jokic, the Nets attacked the rim relentlessly including scoring twenty-six of twenty-nine points in the third quarter in the paint. Spencer Dinwiddie led the way throughout the game and in the the final moments to seal a close win for Brooklyn.
The Nuggets still had a chance to salvage the road trip if they could get a victory against the Philadelphia 76ers but it wasn’t meant to be. Jamal Murray went down with a...checks notes...trunk contusion five minutes into the game and did not return. Denver came back from double digits twice but unfortunately just didn’t have enough to get over the top late and hand the Sixers their first home loss. Nuggets would wrap up their four game road trip with a 1-3 record.
Denver got back to, well, Denver and was able to refocus before their national TV date with the Portland Trail Blazers and Carmelo Anthony. Despite a solid night from Melo and a vintage game from Hassan Whiteside, the Nuggets got back to winning behind a re-energized Jokic. Nikola and Jerami Grant led all Nuggets scorers with twenty a piece while the Blazers bench practically no showed outside of Anfernee Simons. Nuggets did their work early and never looked back after mid third quarter to get the blowout win.
The Nuggets finished out the week with another division rival in town, this time it was the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder are going through a weird transition period with Chris Paul and Danilo Gallinari playing out their contracts while Steven Adams is the last remaining piece of a core OKC is clearly moving on from. They have the feeling of a team that’s still a year or two away from hitting the bottom of their rebuild phase. Still, they remain dangerous because of the veteran talent on the roster. It didn’t matter with Jokic going full vintage Joker though and posting a 28/14/12 triple double while Murray went vintage Kobe with a pass off the backboard to himself.
G-League Roundup: Everybody back up but Bol Bol
With a couple guys beat up (Murray, Paul Millsap) the Nuggets called in the reserves and brought back a lot of their G-League players. Jarred Vanderbilt, P.J. Dozier and Vlatko Cancar were all recalled this week leaving only Bol Bol down at the developmental level. He’s had an up and down week with the Windy City Bulls but did have an outstanding performance to open the week. Bol put up twenty-one points to go along with five blocked shots on the way to leading the Bulls to a big win over the Santa Cruz Warriors.
Player of the week: Nikola Jokic
Pretty close competition this week between Jokic and Will Barton for player of the week. Nikola was more consistent and played at a slightly higher level though. It was good to see Nikola getting back to his more aggressive ways. He’s scored fifteen or more points and taken thirteen or more shots in each game this week and capped it off with a dominating triple double. Really the only game he wasn’t the clear best player on the roster was against the Sixers where Barton played his best game of the week. It should be no surprise that on the December 15th recap we’re talking about Jokic getting rolling once again.
Melo says the Nuggets should retire his jersey
Shout out to our own Jena Garcia this week for some great journalism work in the away locker room. She was able to ask Carmelo Anthony his thoughts on whether or not his jersey should be retired one day by the Nuggets. You can hear Melo’s thoughts for you’re own but let’s just say the answer is yes.
Carmelo Anthony on where his jersey should be retired, “this is where it should be retired, to be honest with you. Just my opinion...” pic.twitter.com/isHcxT0Sls— Jena Garcia (@VidaVivaDiva) December 13, 2019
Fun moment of the week: Grant gets in on the Jokic tunnel dancing
It’s no secret that Joker likes to have his fun pregame with the camera that sits above the player’s entrance tunnel. A very often used gif (soft G, I’ll fight you) of Jokic skip dabbing was created by just this ritual in fact. Well, before yesterday’s game against the Thunder Jerami Grant decided to join Jokic in on the fun and what we have been left with is one of the greatest twelve seconds of footage the Pepsi Center has ever seen.
We welcomed the Chick N’ Nuggets podcast to the channel this week! You guys will be getting analysis from Jena every Wednesday throughout the rest of the year! The Chick N’ Nuggets podcast will round out a new schedule that features unique shows Monday through Friday. The Pickaxe Podcast with Gordon Gross and myself will kick off the week as always on Mondays by looking back at the week that was and looking ahead to the upcoming week of action. Nuggets Numbers hosted by Ryan Blackburn breaks down the statistical trends the Nuggets are currently showing and will air on Tuesdays. Chick N’ Nuggets on Wednesday will be followed by the Denver Stiffs Show on Thursday where Ryan, Jena, Brandon Ewing and other guests from the Denver Stiffs Staff react to the action of the week. Finally, The Dig with Jeremy Poley and Nick Hertzog will close out the week and take us into the weekend by blending the Nuggets and current pop culture for the perfect weekend content.