Hello there everyone. My apologies for missing a couple of posts this week. I’ll do my best not to make that a habit.
For the Portland game, I’ll just say that nothing particularly noteworthy occurred at the arena and the few Blazers fans in attendance didn’t have much to cheer about. Wish I could say that were the case against Philly and Chicago. For the sake of time, I’ll combine my thoughts from both of those games into this recap.
Let’s get to it!
- Entry to the Philly game was a breeze, despite me having to enter on the east side, which I typically try and avoid. Last night, on the other hand, was a bit more challenging. My wife and I went out to dinner for her birthday and arrived at the game later than we prefer, and on top of that Bulls fans came out in force (more on that in a bit). However, it still wasn’t overly difficult to get through the health check and then through security.
- For those who enjoy a good burger before the game, I would definitely recommend Illegal Burger. I ordered the Off the Record Avocado last night and left with a happy belly. You can even get a boozy milkshake if that’s your thing. Located right off Larimer Square and within walking distance of Ball Arena, it simultaneously offers convenience and a much better meal than you can expect from the concession stands. Case in point? My buddy got a pizza at the game on Thursday and found it to be a massive disappointment.
- I definitely saw more Philly fans this week than I’d like to. There were a ton at the Broncos game on Sunday and they came out to support their Sixers as well (by the way, definitely do not recommend attending a Broncos and Nuggets game in the same day, as enticing as that may seem). They were vocal at both outings, very happy to see their teams take two wins against Denver. With that said, Bulls fans were practically taking over the Ball Sack last night. There was red everywhere you looked and loud pops anytime the Bulls scored or made a play, which was often. It’s not like this is anything new. There are a lot of transplants from Illinois who live in Denver, and they always make their presence known anytime Chicago is in town for any sport. On the other hand, maybe if hometown fans could watch the Nuggets on TV, they’d be more invested and have a stronger turn out for games like this. Just a thought, Kroenke!
- As for jerseys, saw a lot of Embiid and Iverson against Philly (and a couple Simmons ones from fans who still believe in the guy). Bulls fans were representing the Jordan era (MJ, Pippen and Rodman of course), but also the Rose and Jimmy Butler eras. Didn’t see much love for the current squad, which will inevitably change if this team keeps trending up.
- Unfortunately, I did not catch the names of the folks who took the first shots this week, but none of them were close. It’s a lot of pressure to make a free throw on the big stage!
- Since Jokic couldn’t suit up against Chicago, he instead suited up like he was a Serbian hitman, ready to carry out an assassination at a moment’s notice. I continue to be perplexed every time another player tries to start beef with him. If the Joker doesn’t get you, his brothers surely will! Meanwhile, Jamal Murray was donning a sweat suit that didn’t look all that different from what Tim Allen wore when he was turning into Santa Claus. Thankfully, Jamal appears to be in much better shape.
- The Nuggets Dancers pulled double duty on Thursday, performing their usual routines and doing a dance number at halftime. Last night was dubbed Pride Mile High City Night and they brought in Big Freedia for the halftime show. Renowned for helping popularize the bounce music genre, she put on a fun performance and proved that it is a truly great thing when people are free to be who they are and do what they love.
- We chatted up some Bulls fans near us who were complimentary of the Nuggets and expressed disappointment that Jokic couldn’t play. It’s always nice to find camaraderie even among a particularly rowdy fan base.
- My wife couldn’t have been more ecstatic when the Average Joes dancers made an appearance last night. Comprised of average guys with little to no experience, they perform monthly at home games and the crowd always gets a kick out of seeing them give it everything they got. A quick Google search informed me that they hold rehearsals every year and even pay the squad.
- Up until last night, Rocky was on the coldest streak I’ve ever seen with his halfcourt shot. My buddy hypothesized that a new Rocky has been filling in, or that they force one of the Nuggets to don the costume if that player is shooting poorly (which could’ve been any number of guys against Philly). Thankfully, Rocky finally drained his halfcourt attempt last night.
- Thursday was a pretty disappointing game, especially considering the Sixers were shorthanded. Shots weren’t going in and the crowd sat lethargically through it all, only livening up when Malone got ejected and Bol Bol subbed in for garbage time. Last night was the complete opposite type of loss. Down their three best players and with their backs against the wall, the Nuggets rose to the occasion and fought to the bitter end. Aaron Gordon remembered that he’s a good player and rediscovered his scoring touch, while Thrill Barton did Thrill Barton things (mostly good). However, it was Campazzo who impressed me the most, making several threes and keeping the Nuggets close when it looked like they might get run out of their own building. Say what you want about the guy, but last night he was Denver’s third best player on the floor.
- Unfortunately, the difference came down to free throws. You can blame the Nuggets being undermanned or the refs being biased or Chicago controlling the offensive glass all you want. The fact of the matter is that the Nuggets missed four crucial free throws in a game where they were trailing by four or less late in the fourth, while the Bulls drained every single attempt from the charity stripe. Chicago struggled mightily from downtown but took their free points to secure a close win. I think it’s perfectly fair to feel proud of our boys while acknowledging they had a chance to win and didn’t execute, regardless of who or who wasn’t playing.
- Nuggets record at games I've attended: 6-2.
It was a rough week for the Nuggets and now a tough road trip is on deck, which they may have to slog through without the MVP. I’m all in favor of resting Jokic until his wrist is healed, but it feels like this team will have some ground to make up when they return home against the defending champs on Black Friday. We shall see.
But until then, I hope y’all have a Happy Thanksgiving and get to enjoy time with the people you love, which is something a lot of us missed out on last year. Go Nuggets!