I was talking with a good friend recently who just so happened to have been in one of my favorite 90’s films, Galaxy Quest. She was kind enough to indulge my geekiness about the film. After an hour of great stories, we landed on one of the themes of the comedy, a line that recurs throughout, “Never give up, never surrender!”, something that runs the gamut from punchline to rallying cry throughout the film. She mentioned how surprised she was how often that line still occurs to her in daily life. I admitted it had been on a fairly persistent loop in my head since the late ‘90’s as well.

I get the feeling the Denver Nuggets players may have seen the film as well. They sure seem to have committed the principle to heart.

How so? At 5-5 over their last 10 games, it’s not as if there haven’t been a few troubles along the way. They’ve dropped to the 10 seed, but are still 4.5 games from the 3. Measuring the mood of the fans and media in highs and lows over the course of the season reads like an EKG, and it’s not as if the win/loss outcomes haven’t been sporadic as well. Whether you see this team as an exciting step forward due to their improvement in record, or a huge failure for being in the 10 spot right now is up to you, but opinions certainly run the gamut.

With that being the landscape for Nuggets Nation to navigate, it’s made prognostication a fool’s errand at best, and a target for unhappy readers with a little too much time on their hands at worst. That said, I believe I have a safe bet about these Denver Nuggets. Your Denver Nuggets.

They won’t stop trying. They won’t be letting up or giving up. As a Nuggets fan and observer of several decades, I will say that there’s very little quit in this squad as compared to most others, even during some very successful seasons of the past. Whether world-beaters or loss leaders, these guys (almost always) play 48 minutes every night. If you watch Michael Malone’s post-game commentary over the course of the season, it’s one of his most repeated phrases, some version of “our guys never quit”. Even after the rare terrible performance, Malone will often still mention the efforts of the squad.

A blowout victory at Pepsi Center? You’ll see everyone from the starters to the third-string mop-up crew giving it all they’ve got. A difficult and unnecessary loss on the road? Whoever is left on the floor is still playing their butts off. Has anyone taken a moment or two off? Of course, that’s true of every team who ever took the floor. On the whole, this team leans far in the other direction.

My prediction? An easy and safe one. I’ll lay wager that whether this crew is battling for a decent spot in the playoffs in game 82, or primarily out of it in a few more games, you’re going to get another 56 quarters of effort, heart, and guts. I hope that makes for a postseason this season, but as long as they keep trying, odds are good that there will be better times to come. Either way, I believe the Nuggets will be playing all 82 as hard as they can. I truly admire that, even if I want a lot more.

Never give up. Never surrender. See you in 56 quarters.

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