Things didn’t start out the way most had hoped for this season.

The Denver Nuggets began the 2020-21 season with a 1-4 record, including a blowout loss to the Los Angeles Clippers and multiple losses to the Sacramento Kings. Michael Porter Jr. was held out for an extended period of time after that due to health and safety protocols. When he returned, the Nuggets had figured out some chemistry and he fit in well coming off the bench; however, the Nuggets needed him and his talent in the starting unit. That was easier said than done after that.

Nikola Jokić has been a consistent MVP caliber player throughout the season. Jamal Murray was mildly inconsistent for the first 20 games or so until he found his footing and began destroying worlds. Beyond those two, the Nuggets have been incredibly inconsistent, not knowing what to expect from various players on a night to night basis. Lately, it has been Porter who has found some steadiness at the starting power forward spot, averaging 34.3 minutes, 17.0 points and 10.5 rebounds per game next to Jokić in the frontcourt. He has yet to have a negative plus-minus as the power forward starter, an impressive accomplishment.

All of this to say: the Nuggets are now holding steady with a 21-15 record heading into the All-Star Break, good for sixth place in the Western Conference and just 2.5 games away from the Los Angeles Lakers in third place. The Nuggets have managed to stay attached to the rest of the West playoff picture through their ups and downs, and on the other side of the break, it is expected that Denver will be healthy and close to full strength.

It’s the midway point, which makes this a great opportunity to take a step back and appreciate what has happened in its entirety. On this Saturday, with a couple of days of separation from the rigors of the regular season, what grade do you give the Nuggets? What grade does Michael Malone receive for managing the process? Which players have performed above/below your expectations?

Comment down below with you Nuggets grades on the season!

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