We got our first look at the Denver Nuggets 2018-19 squad with their preseason-opening win over the Los Angeles Lakers 124-107.
It was a long-anticipated peek at the team that’s been as anticipated as anything in recent Colorado sports memory. It rivals the arrival of Peyton Manning in Denver.
This is a shot for the Denver Nuggets and long-suffering Nuggets fans at legitimacy. For many, the Carmelo Anthony years are fresh and the moderate success Denver had during that time is inflated. Inflated because it’s the best era of Nuggets basketball though it didn’t necessarily contain Denver’s best team.
The 57-win season, for example, came after Anthony’s departure but what Carmelo opened up for us in Denver was the possibility of competing for a championship that we hadn’t seen since the ’80’s.
With all respect and love to the ’94 team, that was a flare-up. Dikembe Mutombo was off to Atlanta, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf had the Anthem thing, LaPhonso Ellis couldn’t stay healthy. It was a tease. A wonderful, incredible run that to this day I believe would’ve ended in a title if we had taken that game-7 in Utah.
The excitement surrounding this squad is as high as it’s ever been for a Nuggets team. The craziest thing about that? It’s justified. This team is incredibly talented, incredibly well-coached. Ownership is solid, the front office has been brilliant. All the tumblers are falling into place, it’s a good time to be a Nuggets fan.
I’m going to ignore that history tells us this isn’t real, that the Nuggets will always remain the loveable losers. This team is good enough and deep enough to overcome Nugg Life.
What did we see last night in the first preseason game that confirmed or challenged that stance? Let’s take a closer look at three things: