The Denver Nuggets top-to-bottom are a better team than the Minnesota Timberwolves.
It felt wrong typing that. I like the T-Wolves. I think KAT is an incredible talent. Jimmy Butler is a great basketball player and pretty good guy. Taj Gibson has always been a solid player and sometimes difference-maker. Everyone is rooting for Derrick Rose.
With Gary Harris back, Will Barton returns to his natural sixth-man position. While circumstances will prevent Thrill being considered for sixth-man-of-the-year, I don’t know that there’s a better first-guy off the bench. That includes Minnesota sixth-man extraordinaire Jamal Crawford. Denver has had struggles generating offense with it’s bench this season. Barton provides instant improvement in that category and could be the spark plug the second unit needs to get going. Paired with the suddenly hot Devin Harris and the second-unit backcourt is a strength. Utilizing Torrey Craig for the final time this season (bad decision by the Front Office not to sign TC) at Small Forward gives defensive consistency to the wing.
As for the Starters, there’s not one position on the floor where I’d take the Wolves starter over the Nuggets starter. Jimmy Butler is great but I’ll take Gary Harris. Towns is a force but give me Jokic. Wiggins? Gibson? Teague? No, thank you. Great players but I’ll still stick with our guys.
Certainly the last six games have validated that the ceiling for this Denver Nuggets iteration is unlimited. Six consecutive victories over playoff-bound teams is something no Nuggets squad has accomplished before now. That is no small feat. The parity in the NBA has been dogging the Nuggets all year.
So, what will happen? What is my prediction for the rest of this Nuggets season, whether that is tonight or beyond?
Jokic struggled against Portland. He won’t struggle tonight. Harris will provide spark. Murray will be solid. Our defense will be better-than-expected. Minnesota will not have the juice to overcome the surging Nuggets.
Golden State doesn’t want the Nuggets in the first round but that’s a topic for tomorrow.
Today is for enjoying one of the most engaging and entertaining seasons of the 50 the Nuggets have given us.