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#NuggetsGreats: The Semi Finals

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And then there were four

Jena Garcia - DenverStiffs.com

We’re fast approaching the end of our #NuggetsGreats series where you the fans determine who is the greatest player in Denver Nuggets history. After a couple weeks of voting we’ve reached the last four players on the list. Today we determine who moves on to the finals.

As a reminder, seeding for this bracket was voted on by the fans and the winners of each round are voted on here, on Twitter and on Instagram. First things first, here are the results from our polls on Saturday determining the winners of our last two regions.

Saturday’s results: Chauncey beats Deke in a tight race

You can tell the choices are getting tougher as no player from Saturday’s matchups swept voting across our three platforms. As we have seen in other rounds, the more recent players tend to dominate the Instagram voting, the players from bygone eras perform better on the site and Twitter is somewhere in between. This was true again in both the Dan Issel vs Carmelo Anthony matchup as well as the Chauncey Billups vs Dikembe Mutombo matchup.

Melo was able to overcome Issel’s small margin in site voting through the social media platforms but Chauncey and Deke were deadlocked after site and Twitter voting. As to be expected, the more recent player won out on Instagram and thus it will Chauncey who advances.

#Nuggets Greats Final Four

A matchup of one seeds and one that unfortunately won’t be in the finals as these two players seem to have been the most dominant in the voting. On Jokic’s side we have the argument that he very well could be the most well-rounded and skilled player in Nuggets history. The non-cumulative catch all metrics like WS/48, PER and Box +/- already say Jokic is the greatest Nugget of all time (by a fairly wide margin) and even cumulative stats like VORP and win shares show Jokic rising fast in the top ten among a group of players who’s time with Denver has long since passed. That is the crux of this matchup, where do we place longevity and proven results versus the potential of what Jokic could accomplish in Denver.

For English’s side he’s got the benefit of a fully completed tenure. He has led his team to a Conference Finals, he has led his team to multiple playoff births and series victories. He is the all time leader in points, assists and field goals. His career scoring average in Denver is also at the top of the list. His jersey hangs in the rafters. These are all things Jokic could, and very well may, accomplish but as of today he has not. Until Nikola graced a Denver uniform the debate of the GOAT Nugget generally was a consensus answer: Alex English. For my money, no way we can put Joker over The Blade just yet.

Poll

Nikola Jokic (1) or Alex English (1)?

This poll is closed

  • 54%
    Nikola Jokic
    (76 votes)
  • 45%
    Alex English
    (63 votes)
139 votes total Vote Now

On the other side of the semi-finals we have a matchup between the staples of the ‘09 team. Carmelo Anthony is the man who resurrected Denver from the abysmal late 90s era and brought a new era of success and perennial playoff appearances in his wake. Melo made the postseason every single season he was in Denver and was generally thought of as the centerpiece of the franchise. His exit was messy, but his contributions to the Nuggets were undeniable.

Melo’s lack of playoff success works against him almost as much as his exit though and in this matchup it will be highlighted. The one time Carmelo advanced past the first round in a Nuggets uniform is also the same year the Nuggets traded for Chauncey Billups. As the leader the team, it was Chauncey who proved to be what the Nuggets (and Melo) needed to get to the next step. He is also the hometown kid. George Washington high school, University of Colorado and two stints with the Nuggets, it’s hard to think of a better example of homegrown talent in Colorado than Chauncey. On the other hand, if longevity matters at all then he should have been eliminated much earlier. Chauncey played just 259 games in a Nuggets uniform, which is barely more than three seasons combined (he did it over 4.5 seasons). For that reason, I don’t think there’s any way you can pick him over Melo.

Poll

Carmelo Anthony (1) or Chauncey Billups (2)?

This poll is closed

  • 42%
    Carmelo Anthony
    (58 votes)
  • 57%
    Chauncey Billups
    (80 votes)
138 votes total Vote Now