So, you did the hard work during the regular season to earn a spot in the quarantine playoffs at Disney World in Orlando, Florida? That’s pretty cool!
Eight teams will be staying at the Grand Destino Tower, an elite name for the palace housing the contenders for a championship, including the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Clippers, and your Denver Nuggets.
Another eight teams will be at the Grand Floridian to house a couple of interesting /disappointing teams in the Philadelphia 76er’s and Houston Rockets as well as some fun upstarts in the Dallas Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies.
The final six teams will stay at the Yacht Club, of which about 10 total players probably want to be there. Three of them are or around Damian Lillard and the other seven are all Zion Williamson.
All 22 teams will be traveling to Orlando and in some cases are already there. The process for entry into the Disney World bubble are very strict though. Only members of the traveling party with a negative coronavirus test can enter, and once in the bubble, every player, coach, and other member of the traveling party will be asked to self-isolate for 48 hours. That means two full days in a hotel room without any respite.
This process should sound familiar to most. The order to “shelter-in-place” was given in various cities during the initial outbreak of coronavirus, which meant to not leave one’s residence unless absolutely necessary. Staying in their individual hotel rooms is absolutely necessary for those entering the bubble in order to maintain the integrity of the bubble itself. Interactions between those entering that are too close and too quick could result in an unknowing spread of coronavirus, which is the last thing the NBA wants in order to keep everyone safe and healthy.
So, what would you do if you had to shelter in place for two days? What would you take with you? Here are some ideas from a Nuggets perspective:
1. Bring a gaming console
It’s the most straightforward but also best answer for long stretches of isolated time. Gaming has grown into one of the best ways to connect with friends and family while having shared experiences tailored by the game played. NBA players are no strangers to this and have already likely packed their consoles for Orlando.
I’m playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare right now, but many players play NBA 2K20 and other competitive games to take their mind off things just like everyone else.
2. Learn a new kinesthetic skill
This is something I can’t attest to be doing myself, but in a closed space, you have to keep yourself entertained. Once the video games get boring, put them down and pick something else up that involves hand-eye coordination. It could be drawing and painting, learning a new instrument, or utilizing a toy like a yo-yo or something similar that keeps the mind and body engaged. Kicking around a soccer ball or hacky sack also seems like a thing Nikola Jokic would do.
3. Listen to your favorite NBA podcast
The Denver Stiffs podcast network will continue to run throughout the playoffs, with Nuggets Numbers and The Denver Stiffs Show taking centerstage over the past few months. The Pickaxe Podcast will be back shortly, and The Dig will make some appearances as well.
Other Nuggets and NBA podcasts you should probably be listening to:
- The DNBA Show at DNVR with Adam Mares, Harrison Wind, Brendan Vogt, and Eric Wedum
- Rocky Mountain Hoops with T.J. McBride
- Rainbow Skyline with Nick Kosmider and Kendra Andrews
- Locked On Nuggets with Adam Mares and Matt Moore
- The Lowe Post with Zach Lowe
- The Full 48 with Howard Beck
- No Dunks with The Starters crew
- The Ringer NBA Show with Chris Vernon, Kevin O’Connor
4. Catch up on your quarantine reading
It sounds simplistic, but being stuck in a room for hours on end can be monotonous. Books help transport people into new worlds, or at least the right books do. As a gigantic nerd, I have been listening to the Game of Thrones books on audiobook lately, and boy howdy are they long. Plenty of content to take the mind off a tough situation.
Other NBA focused books you might like:
- The Victory Machine by Ethan Sherwood Strauss
- Basketball (and other Things) by Shea Serrano
- The Mamba Mentality: How I Play by Kobe Bryant
- Boom Town by Sam Anderson
- SprawlBall by Kirk Goldsberry
5. Watch 2019-20 Nuggets highlights
There were plenty of highlight moments in the Denver Nuggets 2019-20 season. From Nikola Jokic’s game-winning shots to Jamal Murray’s impressive performances after returning from injury. There were rim-rattling dunks, game-saving blocks, highlight reel passes, clutch performances, and much more throughout the year that you won’t want to miss.
If you’re interested in the best highlights though, look no further than this impressive Michael Porter Jr. compilation of buckets. Some truly impressive shots in here that could be a sign of things to come going forward.
6. Check out Paul Millsap’s magic show on TikTok
Perhaps the best thing to come from this mess we are all in is Paul Millsap’s fascination with magic. He has grown as a performer and taken his talents to TikTok where he puts out videos of his latest tricks. It truly is a wonder to behold.
I want to be the one to interview Millsap about where he learned his tricks and whether he will put on a magic show for the entire team while down in Orlando. Hell, the entire Grand Destino ensemble of teams might have some interest!
7. Have some okay food (until the isolation period ends)
Nuggets reserve shooting guard Troy Daniels posted a picture of his first dinner in the bubble, and frankly, it looks underwhelming.
Troy Daniels’ dinner on Night 1 inside the NBA Bubble. pic.twitter.com/cVYfuwSzxQ— Harrison Wind (@HarrisonWind) July 8, 2020
It’s...fine. The Disney World cooking staff are bound by some difficult circumstances while all players are being individually quarantined. The hope is that once the isolation period ends, the food will return to a good place for professional athletes, coaches, and executives hoping to make the best of a tough situation. For the next couple of days though, the travelers should get used to the above ensemble.
8. Get irrationally mad about Player Rankings for motivation
This activity is usually saved for the offseason, but unusual circumstances have allowed Bleacher Report to release their own positional player rankings before the NBA has returned. Writers Andrew Bailey and Dan Favale are good at what they do and overall good people, but in their point guard rankings, they didn’t even have Jamal Murray among the top 15 at his position.
That should make Nuggets fans irrationally mad, as a team that currently sits 1.5 games back of second place in the Western Conference will have their second best player as a below average starter at his position. Even though Nikola Jokic is great, the talent and impact levels don’t add up to what Denver has shown. The Nuggets are good. Jokic is the driving force behind that, but Murray had several moments where he was the guy the Nuggets turned to in difficult situations. That warrants a better player ranking that outside the top 15 at his position.
/End irrationally mad rant