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Nuggets Weekly Update - May 11

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Another game 7 at home coming right up.

While the cold temperatures in Colorado make it feel like we‘re in the dead of winter, we’re fast approaching mid-May and still writing about Nuggets basketball for the 2018-2019 NBA season.

Wow. Think about that for a moment. The baby fresh Nuggs are still in the fight working their way toward the Western Conference Finals. Our boys are all grown up...

As a blogger, I try to remain somewhat unbiased and try to keep a basketball enthusiast approach vs a fan approach. However, I’ve decided that for the remainder of the Nuggets’ post-season stretch I’m going to allow myself to fan out.

So as we approach game 7 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals, let’s take a look back at the last week and relive all the excitement.

Nuggets lose a heart breaker in quadruple overtime

Last weekend, the Nuggets gave us one heck of a show extending game 3 to a total of 68 minutes. The good guys fought hard all game long, but ultimately they lost in the final moments by just 3 points. Nikola Jokic posted another triple double bringing in 33 points, 18 rebounds and 14 assists in a whopping 65 minutes on the court. Off the bench, Will Barton added 22 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 assists after not scoring at all in the first half.

While it really hurts to lose a game like that, I’m thrilled to see Denver never giving up on a fight. I can imagine they were truly exhausted playing almost another full half of a game, but they never let off the gas until the final buzzer sounded. Ultimately, one team had to win and unfortunately that team wasn’t Denver, but they continue to prove that they’re never going to throw the towel in.

I’ve already had a tremendous amount of respect for what the Nuggets have done this season, but my admiration for them as professionals grew tenfold in game 3.

Nuggets blow out Portland in game 5

A win is a win, but to me it’s much sweeter when it sends a message.

Denver entered game 5 on the home court READY. TO. PLAY. From the gate Denver’s execution was a thing of beauty, and it was clear they were comfortable and confident playing their best brand of basketball. They were moving and efficient on offense while approaching their defensive game with the aggressive attack we’ve seen from them in key moments this season.

Jokic and Paul Millsap combined for 49 points, and together, the Nuggets held CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard to a combined 34 points for the evening.

What I loved about this game is that the Nuggets sent the message to Portland that when they play at their best defensively, they’re virtually unstoppable. In fact, Jokic was so aggressive on D that he fouled out late in the game. In my opinion, good players should end the game with a reasonably full foul count. Not that they should play dirty (I very much dislike dirty playing), but playing aggressive naturally results in a foul here and there.

I was also pleased to see Gary Harris keep a lid on McCollum. It’s no secret that in order to win in this series, Denver will need to continue to strategize to find ways to shut McCollum and Lillard down. In Game 5, Harris delivered on that strategy in a big way.

I hope they repeat this action in game 7 when the series returns to Denver for the final time.

The silver lining

Yes, we know the Nuggets lost game 6 in Portland after blowing a nice first quarter lead that looked to be another exciting blowout. That really wasn’t fun.

However, the bright side is that we get another dose of Nuggets basketball on the home court in yet another game 7. While it’s nerve-wracking to worry about the Nuggets losing this important game, this type of life or death situation seems to be what they live for.

Our Nuggets have shown us time and again this season that when they need to step up, they do, proving all their doubters wrong.

Call them impostors, frauds, or whatever else you want to call them—this team won’t die. In fact, they seem to feed off the negativity, and it’s quickly becoming their brand.

No one knows for sure what will happen Sunday, but my money is on Denver. I can’t wait to see what they do next.