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Stiffs Mailbag: Nuggets questions and lots of them

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The latest edition of the Stiffs Mailbag is here... enjoy!

NBA: Denver Nuggets at New York Knicks Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

You guys brought the heat on this weeks mailbag, so hop in and let’s get some of these questions answered following a big Nuggets victory over the Knicks!

I think this team right now is still really good and they are coming off a massive victory over the New York Knicks. The Nuggets win last night was huge for a team that had lost two straight and had a lot of people questioning where this team was right now.

It is still early in the season, but I would put the Nuggets in the upper tier of NBA teams in terms of their defense. I think the Nuggets defense has been their all season thus far, but at times, their offense has fallen behind and they have lost games because of it.

Michael Malone summed it up after the Lakers game that it really comes down to just making shots. In games the Nuggets have made shots this season, they have won, in games they have missed them, losses have ensued.

The offense has certainly seemed to take a step back, but it is not drastic enough where anyone should worry. The NBA season is still young as the Nuggets have only played 19 games and their offense could easily turnaround, quickly. You already saw the Nuggets have an offensive outburst against the Knicks and they will look to build on it tonight in Boston.

Great question. The answer you are looking for is sitting in the question below!

I think the Nuggets starting five is right where it needs to be. The Nuggets starters have been really solid to start the season, but their bench has sometimes fallen behind. It is a solid idea to mix some of the starters in with the bench unit, which is something I think that could happen more often moving forward.

Mixing in Jamal Murray with the bench unit is a great option with how well he plays next to Monte Morris. Having two playmakers on the court that are great with the basketball in their hands is only going to help the Nuggets offense.

Will Barton III is also a player that can mix in the second unit as he would provide that bench group with another playmaker and defender. Barton III has taken a major leap forward this season as a defender and his offense is back to “Thrill” status, which is great news for the Nuggets.

In my mind, the starting five should definitely stay the same moving forward, but it might help mixing either Murray or Barton III in with that second group. The bench has had their ups and downs this season and adding a little more spark or fire power might be exactly what they need in order to turn it around.

Not necessarily, but the Nuggets are really bought in defensively right now and I would say that is a good thing. Denver is certainly using a lot more energy and focus on that end of the court, but that should honestly help their game offensively.

Solid defense can usually turn into really good offense, but the shots are just not going in right now. It is not like the Nuggets are taking bad shots or getting bad looks from beyond the arc, the shots are just not going in, yet.

Could the increase in defensive intensity leave them more tired? Maybe, But, the Nuggets have not had a game this season where it looks like they are tired and incapable of getting good looks from the field. Shots are just not going in and eventually, the hope is those are going to fall.

It was a surprise to not see Torrey Craig take the floor in the Lakers game. Craig has a pretty solid track record of at least slowing down LeBron James to some degree, so it was a surprise to not see him log any playing time.

Altering lineups for certain teams — like the Lakers — could be really important for the Nuggets success moving forward. Los Angeles out rebounded the Nuggets by 21 boards, which just can not happen in the teams future matchups.

Having another big who can rebound and defend like Craig is important against the Lakers, which could spell playing time for someone like, Juancho Hernangomez. Juancho has been great this season, but the Lakers just might not be his matchup and Craig could fill a void that the Nuggets did not get in their first matchup.

The Nuggets are definitely struggling from a three-point shooting standpoint, but hopefully it is just a funk and not the team they are. I could definitely see them adding a three-point shooter and one that would be awesome on this team is, J.J. Redick.

Not only is Redick a career 41 percent shooter from three, but he is shooting a scorching 46 percent from distance this season. There is no indication that New Orleans is trying to move him, but if they are even thinking about it, the Nuggets should be the first team on the line.

Redick would only open the floor more for the Nuggets offense and would easily provide them their most deathly shooter from distance. Just imagine a Nikola Jokic dime to Redick for a wide-open three to win game one of the Western Conference Finals. I know... thing of beauty, right?