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Nuggets Weekly Digest - February 8

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NBA trade deadline passes with no moves from Denver.

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After beating the Houston Rockets and Minnesota Timberwolves last weekend, the Denver Nuggets struggled to get through the week on the road. Perhaps it was injury, or perhaps it was short timer’s syndrome with the all star break approaching, but Denver apparently left their defense at home causing them to drop two winnable games.

Overall, they still comfortably hold the 2nd slot in the West so if they refocus and push through to All-Star weekend they will hopefully be able to get the little break they need (minus Jokic and Coach) to finish the season strong.

Losses aside, let’s look at some of the top moments of the week!

Coach Mike Malone named Head Coach of Team LeBron for NBA All-Star game

After securing the win against Minnesota last Saturday, it was announced that Coach Malone was selected to be the Head Coach of Team LeBron in this year’s All-Star game. This excitement added to the news that Nuggets’ front man Nikola Jokic was selected as a reserve for the 2019 All-Star team.

Last season, I was one of the biggest critics of Coach Malone primarily because I was growing frustrated of hearing about all the things the Nuggets were going to do, and the defensive focus coach had with (what I felt) were very little results. While I stand by my criticisms from seasons past, I’m thoroughly impressed at the improvement in not only the players, but also the coaching for the Nuggets this season.

I especially think the fact that Malone has grown with the Nuggets makes this team’s story much more meaningful. Malone was a budding head coach when he took charge of the Nuggets, and together the organization has worked through their growing pains to become a true homegrown team.

Coach Malone has earned this high honor, and I look forward to seeing Team LeBron win under his direction.

Nuggets make zero moves at the trade deadline

Like ants on candy, the NBA trade deadline brings an onslaught of media discussion and speculation with mouths watering to be the first and most accurate to predict the trendiest blockbuster moves.

As discussions of where Anthony Davis would land began to heat up this past week, I read several opinions about why Davis would be good for the Nuggets, and that caused me to turn away from the headlines and simply wait until all the dust settled before getting too excited about anything. However, I will be clear in saying that I would NOT be happy to see Davis playing in Denver.

There simply aren’t enough basketballs on the court for Davis here. Like DeMarcus Cousins, I feel like Davis is a black hole for ball movement, and ball movement through Jokic is what makes the Nuggets’ offense so effective. Anytime a superstar player scores well over 30 points (many different times) in a game but the TEAM loses, there’s a problem with that star in my opinion.

I’ll get off my soapbox about that for now.

One of my favorite sayings is, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” and I was hoping the Nuggets would heed this phrase as they approached the 2019 deadline. While the Nuggets have yet to prove that they’re a strong post-season team, they’ve proven that what they’ve got is working well and there’s no need to tinker.

What Will Barton said this past week really summed up the way I see the Nuggets’ team attitude as the trade deadline came and went.

This year is different for me. This year, for myself, I haven’t really paid attention to it as like me being in trade rumors. Of course, you’re going to hear about stuff with the Lakers and AD and stuff like that. Some of the moves that are made, you’re like, ‘wow.’ Tobias going to the 76ers, that’s going to be good for them. It doesn’t affect my daily thinking or routine.

As I have been so many different times this season, I was impressed to see the Nuggets remain steady and focused on the mission. They avoided the temptation of the hype, and chose to press on with the unit they’ve built.

Although I’m sure the Nuggets would have entertained discussions with the Pelicans about Davis, and while I’m sure the Pelicans probably thought about taking their petty to the next level by sending Davis far away from LA, I’m glad to see Denver keep the assets they have as they lock in for the final stretch to the post-season.

The sigh of relief

I heard a report that Mike Conley of the Memphis Grizzlies lost multiple nights of sleep this week as the trade deadline loomed and his future was uncertain.

Sure, it’s just business, but I think we all sometimes forget that at the other end of the business decisions are people with families who want to feel secure about their livelihood.

Thinking about Conley, I felt a little for these players who are forced to pack up on a whim and move across the country (even out of the country if you’re Marc Gasol) to begin producing for a new organization overnight. Yes, they make millions upon millions of dollars for their work, but it’s no wonder some players don’t play well around this time of year.

Now that the stress is behind us, and there are no longer any trade unknowns to fear, we can relax and enjoy a little more in the final half of the NBA season. I’m excited we get to watch it with the ones who’ve helped take the team to where they’re at now.