The Nuggets probably couldn’t have dreamed of a better start to the season. Not only did they win their first game, but Michael Malone picked up his first career win, Danilo Gallinari looked amazing, Emmanuel Mudiay was spectacular (and a little turnover prone) and they beat Ty Lawson. I don’t think it’s right to make an enemy out of Ty Lawson, but it did feel a little good to win a game against someone who’s been publicly ragging on the franchise ever since he left.

After a game that we're all still high off of, here are three questions for our staff in this week's roundtable.

Q: What impressed you the most about the Nuggets opener yesterday?

Zach Mikash (@ZachMikash): Without a doubt it was Gary Harris. Box score says only three steals but it felt like more with all the tipped passes and disruptive defense he was playing. He also shot 50% from three (granted he only took two shots). James Harden had no answer for Harris and I’m not sure what’s more impressive, that it took Harden 21 shots to get 22 points, or that he was limited to nine free throw attempts.

Gordon Gross (@GMoneyNuggs): Poise. Harris was a stone-cold killer out there facing perhaps the best offensive creator in the league. Mudiay had his turnovers, but remained unfazed and dropped dimes and 3-bombs to finish off the Rockets. Faried blocked everything and got under the Rockets’ skin – and he knew it. The whole team was completely prepared to go into Houston in their home opener and rock the casbah. So I guess that means I was most impressed with Malone and his staff. They had a plan and they got their extremely young team to execute the plan perfectly.

Colin Neilson (@denverstiffs): Mike Malone. He had the entire team executing as smoothly as a Bugatti Veyron’s pistons. Perimeter defense was solid, rotations were excellent, and the team still managed to get out on the break without creating defensive lapses. I was also very impressed with Gallinari’s play – if he can average 20/8 over the course of this season, I would not be surprised to see him get an All-Star nod. Finally, it was great to watch Mudiay outplay Ty Lawson, turnovers and all. A very promising start.

Q: What was your favorite play from the game against the Rockets?

Mikash: At one point in the third quarter Danilo Gallinari found himself being guarded by Patrick Beverly at the three point line. Gallo pretty unceremoniously tossed Beverly to the side, drove straight to the rack and jammed it home in the face of Terrence Jones. It’s these type of plays that show Gallo’s versatility and hopefully he’ll continue to go hard to the rack in lieu of contested fadeaways.

Gross: The Gallo dagger-three and the look he had on his face afterward. The Rockets were still entertaining weak thoughts of a comeback late in the 4th when Gallinari stepped up and drilled a 3-ball, then backed up with an, "are you kidding me? Get your weak sauce outta here" look on his face. Gallo talked playoffs before the season, and he’s not just making noise about it. He believes the team can be good, and that he will be. Gallo-swagger is back – here’s hoping Nuggets-swagger keeps up.

Neilson: Early in the game, Joffrey Lauvergne’s perfect bounce pass from the far outside wing to a streaking Danilo Gallinari for a dunk. Sure, it was telegraphed for about 6 seconds as Gallo gallo-ped down the court, but it was still executed extremely well and showed off Joff’s passing ability and Gallo’s revitalized hops.

Q: When will the Nuggets lose their first game?

Mikash: I’ll say this Sunday November 1st. Denver will be on the road at Oklahoma City. The Nuggets benefitted largely in Houston with both Dwight Howard and Donatas Motiejunas not playing, but I still have major concerns about their ability to defend and rebound against bigs in the paint without Jusuf Nurkic. In the preseason, Steven Adams and Enes Kanter really bullied the likes of Joffrey Lauvergne and Nikola Jokic.

Gross: I think OKC is going to be too tough a matchup in OKC for this young and not-quite-healthy squad, so I’ll go with Sunday as well. As long as we take care of our home business against the T-Wolves, that won’t rankle me. I’m extremely curious to see what Malone has planned for the Thunder, though; we took their best shot of the preseason and got a nice long look at their gameplan. Round One of the real season should be interesting.

Neilson: On the road at OKC on Sunday. OKC still has Westbrook and Durant and after pasting the Spurs, they’ll surely be looking to feast on the Nuggets. I think the Nuggets will give them a good fight, but the star power of the Thunder will be too much to overcome this early in the season. No matter, it’ll make for some good bulletin board material going forward for the Nuggets next game against the Thunder.

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