The Denver Nuggets season began on October 3rd with a 108-100 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. Denver’s final game of the 2019-20 season came on September 26th in a crushing 117-107 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals.
Along the way plays were made that will last a lifetime and we did our best here at Denver Stiffs to compile the 10 best from what ended up being a season to remember. Enjoy!
10. Bol Bol goes coast-to-coast in the bubble
So, after waiting over four months for the Nuggets to play a basketball game, we saw Denver unleash Bol Bol during their first scrimmage in the Orlando Bubble. Just six minutes into the game, the Nuggets rookie emphatically blocked a shot at the rim, took the ball the length of the floor, and drained a pull-up three.
BOL BOL HAS ARRIVED— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) July 22, 2020
Block and then the pull up three pic.twitter.com/2N8JdYFgO3
Not only was everyone just happy to have Nuggets basketball back in their lives, but then you add what Bol was doing to the mix and it was a perfect marriage of happiness.
9. Jerami Grant putback dunk in Denver’s first home game
This sure seems like a long time ago doesn't it? If you rewind all the way back to October 25th, the Nuggets hosted the Phoenix Suns in their first home game of the season. Denver found a way to beat the Suns 108-107 in overtime courtesy of a Torrey Craig block on Devin Booker at the buzzer.
In that game, the Pepsi Center crowd got their first look at newly acquired swingman, Jerami Grant. To sum it all up, Grant certainly did not disappoint as he electrified the crowd with this incredible putback dunk.
Grant finished the game with 13 points off the bench and gave Nuggets fans a glimpse of what the future had in store for him and his future in the Mile High City.
8. Nikola Jokic game winner over Karl-Anthony Towns
This shot came in the game right after after Jokic’s game winner against the 76ers — we will get to that one in a bit — and marked the Nuggets second game winner in his many days. With 2.4 seconds on the clock in overtime, Jokic attempted an extremely difficult fadeaway shot and drained it over KAT.
For anyone who still thought Towns was a better player than Jokic, this game silenced them. It also cemented Jokic as one of the most clutch players in the NBA, which he continued to showcase time and time again throughout the season.
7. Michael Porter Jr. poster over Montrezl Harrell
This was one of those jaw dropping plays you have to see to believe. Porter attempted to catch a number of bodies throughout the season, but this was the first time he actually was successful.
This dunk really sparked the Nuggets for the remainder of Game 2. Denver wasn't able to pull out the victory, but they ultimately won the series. This dunk was by far one of the most memorable plays during the Nuggets series against the Clippers.
6. Nikola Jokic game winner to complete comeback against 76ers
This was one of Jokic’s best game winners over the course of the 2019-20 season. Not only did it come against the 76ers, who some people claim have the best center in the NBA in Joel Embiid, but it also capped off an incredible comeback.
Denver entered the fourth quarter down 19-points and their deficit got as high as 21 before the comeback started. The Nuggets outscored Philadelphia 35-13 in the fourth quarter and behind Jokic’s remarkable jump shot, they were able to pull off a stunning victory.
5. Jamal Murray spinning layup against Rudy Gobert
This play was just absolutely insane. Not only did Murray drop 42 points in Game 5 to lead the Nuggets to victory, but he pulled off this insane 360 layup against one of the best defenders in the NBA.
It was a shot that reminded Nuggets fans of vintage J.R. Smith layups that he made during his time in Denver. This shot also jumpstarted the Nuggets as Denver ended up miraculously winning Game 5 and the series all together in seven games.
4. “Magnificent 7 game,” Jokic hits game winning jumper over Gobert
Number four is a mixture of everything that happened in Utah on February 5th, mixed together with one amazing shot. After playing the Portland Trail Blazers not even 24 hours earlier at the Pepsi Center, the Nuggets traveled to Utah with only seven players.
The Nuggets fielded a roster of Jamal Murray, Monte Morris, Gary Harris, Torrey Craig, Nikola Jokic, Vlatko Cancer, and PJ Dozier and still found a way to beat a fully healthy Utah Jazz squad. Jokic drilled his patented “Sombor Shuffle” shot over Gobert with just under a minute remaining and the rest is history.
This game is arguably one of the Nuggets best wins in franchise history. With the odds stacked against them, the Nuggets showed their resiliency and found a way to get the job done. A testament to this team and the mindset in which they play. Whatever it takes.
3. Jamal Murray scores 50 points in Game 6 to lead Nuggets past Utah
Murray did so many incredible things in the postseason that it would be easy to make all 10 of these plays/moments about him. One of the most memorable moments was when Murray scored 50 points in Game 6, his second 50-point performance in his many games.
The difference was this 50-point game led to a Nuggets victory, while the other one (Game 4) ended in a Nuggets loss because Donovan Mitchell was just as good. In Game 6, Murray’s performance elevated the Nuggets to even greater heights and helped them force a seventh game.
Utah had no shot of slowing down Murray as he made incredible shot after incredible shot to help the Nuggets walk away victorious. Murray truly grew into a superstar during these playoffs and Game 6 was just another example of his rise to glory.
2. Nikola Jokic game winner against Utah in Game 7
What a series this was. The Nuggets became just the 12th team in NBA history to overcome a 3-1 deficit — at the time — and stunned Utah to advance to the Western Conference Semifinals for the second consecutive season. Little did they know just a few weeks later they would do it again overcoming a 3-1 deficit against the Los Angeles Clippers to advance to their first Western Conference Finals since 2009.
The Nuggets would not have got there if it wasn't for their superstar big man, who made the game winning jumper in Game 7 against the Jazz to lead the Nuggets to victory.
It was an insane final two minutes in Game 7 as you can see in the video above. Jokic’s game winning hook shot with 27.8 seconds remaining was the difference. It was almost all for not after Torrey Craig missed a layup, but luckily Mike Conley’s three-pointer at the buzzer rimmed out and the Nuggets were able to advance.
1. Jamal Murray with the dunk of the year against Milwaukee
You could make an argument for the past nine play to be number one, but this dunk is just impossible to beat. In the Nuggets final home game before the season was put on hold due to COVID-19, Jamal Murray delivered this posterizing dunk over DJ Wilson.
From the reaction by the crowd, bench, and just the overall magnitude of the dunk, this is one of my favorite plays in Nuggets history. Just the way Murray got up and his finished over Wilson is something you just don't see from point guards very often.
If we have learned anything about Murray though it’s that he is no ordinary point guard and this dunk proved that. Did the dunk ultimately count? No. There was an offensive foul called because the refs just don't enjoy awesome poster dunks I guess.
Nonetheless, this was the play of the year in a season where so many incredible moments occurred. Enjoy these memories and moments the Nuggets made this season and while you are doing that just think of all the amazing things Denver is going to do in the future. This team isn't going anywhere anytime soon.