Well, that was some week, wasn't it? As a Nuggets fan, you go into every season expecting to be disappointed in the end. That's just how things go for us, but apparently NuggLyfe is dead set on being a real trickster this year with all these injuries.
Deep breaths, everyone. We'll get through this together. On to the observations!
- When your team is on a losing streak and you're a season ticket holder, it's all about finding the silver linings. And since we just had Thanksgiving, I'm thankful that I got to attend my first game with my father-in-law. Looked like a good matchup on paper when I first offered it to him!
- The health check before entering the arena continues to be a relative breeze to pass. Get vaccinated, people.
- There weren't as many Bucks fans as I was expecting, especially after Bulls fans practically took over the arena last week. And yeah, that is what Chicago does, but I've seen us host Milwaukee in the past and recall a lot more green in the stands. Still, more than a few Giannis jerseys were spotted.
- One fan brought a "We love you PJ" sign and was spotlighted on the jumbotron. We really do, and he will be missed.
- Last night's first shot was courtesy of Anastasija Zolotic, who won Olympic gold in Tae Kwan Do earlier this year, the first American woman to ever do so. She missed the shot but no one's going to give her a hard time about that. She'd kick their butts!
- Pretty good crowd on hand for Black Friday. A lot of people probably bought tickets expecting to see the MVP take on the defending champs, but kudos to them for still showing up.
- My wife's family is from Arizona and they are particularly big supporters of U of A basketball. When the game started and the "no one sits until we score" graphic appeared on the jumbotron, my father-in-law noted that at Arizona, no one sits until the other team scores.
- Grayson Allen proved he's still one of the best actors in the game when an elbow grazed his face and he sold it like he just lost an eye. The foul went against Denver, of course. My father-in-law bemoaned Allen as a crybaby and a dirty player. What do most basketball fans have in common? We all hate Duke.
- While the product on the court has been lacking as of late, I can't complain about the acts that have performed at halftime this year. The Russian Bar Trio, of America's Got Talent fame, got their turn last night. Featuring two guys and a gal, they use a bendable balance beam and launch the gal into the air, where she does all kinds of crazy flips and spins. I'm not even going to pretend to know all the technical terms, but I was entertained!
- Rocky tried this same routine later in the game and crotched himself. Anything to try and get a laugh out of a frustrated fanbase.
- I've also realized that Rocky's woes from half court are symbolic of all the obstacles the team has run into through the first couple months. He came up empty yet again, and on a night when the Nuggets left too many points on the floor, it hit a little too close to home.
- There were loud "We want Bol Bol" chants in the fourth quarter. Not sure how well they came across on TV, but they were noticeable and consistent. As the losses continue to pile up, the public outcry for more Bol Bol will only continue to grow.
- I don't envy Michael Malone and his staff. Take the top three players away from any team and they'd be equally hard-pressed to come up with wins. And of course things will improve whenever Jokic is able to come back, but let's not pretend that some of these issues weren't in view prior to all the injuries. The Nuggets had plenty of chances to make last night interesting, but missed too many open shots and would go cold just as they started to get close. And I don't know that more Bol Bol is the answer. I don't know if bringing in DeMarcus Cousins or calling up Lance Stephenson would give them the boost they so desperately need. What I do know is that this bench rotation just isn't good enough, Jokic or no Jokic, and it's time to mix some things up.
It's probably the worst time to embark on a lengthy road trip, including a matchup on Monday in Miami, where I'm sure the Heat are still worked up about the Jokic/Morris incident. NuggLyfe is a powerful force that works in mysterious ways. All I can hope for is that the Nuggets are still somewhere around .500 when they return home in mid-December.
Until then, everyone, let's all find some things to be thankful for.