Growing pains. Both the young Nuggets squad and their new coach Michael Malone experienced those pains on Friday night. Denver looked confused and frustrated all night. Neither the coach nor the players seemed able to discover a way to attack the length and athleticism of the young Timberwolves. Tonight, they face just as tough, if different, type of test. The Oklahoma City Thunder arguably boast two of the top five players in the game, have some interesting (if non-defense playing) depth, and a new coach in Billy Donovan looking to move away from the iso heavy offense run by former coach Scott Brooks.

While I am dubious of the Nuggets chances to pull out a victory tonight, I do expect to see a better effort from top to bottom (yeah, that includes the coach). Although the casual fan may not completely understand this, we need to maintain quite a bit of patience – especially early in the season. We have a rookie starting at point guard, lots of young bigs, and a coach who is still most likely learning the strengths and weaknesses of his roster. The challenge for us as more diehard fans is to not let the negativity of past seasons infect how we view the oncourt growth, pains and all, of this season.