Denver Fans are amazing.
On the one hand, they are chanting MVP at Nikola Jokic in a packed Pepsi Center. We’ve just come off of the whole Rocktober thing and the Avalanche are thrilling sellout crowds. The Broncos are a mess. It seems though that there’s no controversy however small that won’t garner the attention of Denver fans.
We’ve seen in most glaringly recently in the Chad Kelly Broncos’ saga. Fans want failing teams to DO SOMETHING. Often that something is in the form of what fans perceive as diamond-in-the-rough bench players that they just know would be all-stars if any of the thousands of people that passed them up had seen what the dude that works down at Auto Zone sees.
Okay, facetious but you get the point. For the Nuggets, even at 4-1, tied for the top spot in the West and in the mouths of so many national outlets, fans have found a controversy.
They suggest Monte Morris start at the point for Denver over Jamal Murray. Denver Nuggets fans are actively questioning whether Jamal Murray is good enough at the point to start over Morris.
I just had to type that out to really take it in.
Let’s get a couple of things straight: I’ve been a huge Morris fan. Murray is a better guard than Morris. Barring injuries that decimate his game, Isaiah Thomas is a better guard than Morris.
It’s an adherence to old rules in Basketball that predate the Warriors. The shift that Golden State has brought about has cost high profile players like Carmelo Anthony and Kenneth Faried parts of their NBA careers.
By those old rules, you must have a “true” point guard running the show. I asked a Twitter commenter to define “true point guard” for me this week and got the exact, smug, dismissive response I always do. In this case it was “look at Monte Morris, that’s a true point guard”. Super helpful.
What we’re missing in the argument is not whether Jamal is the best point guard but if he is the best for this team. This Nuggets team has embraced the Warriors style, a style Malone is very familiar with having spent time coaching in the Bay area. All five men on the floor can handle the ball. Nikola Jokic is the “point”, the focus of the starters. All five can shoot from three. They don’t employ much of a post game but then who does?
Jamal Murray is the right person to be starting at the point for the Nuggets. For now, Monte Morris is the right guy for the second team, where players rely on handles and passing from the guard to create their offense. The reason Morris looks so good (and he does) is because he’s matched with players that work with and allow his game to flourish.
Murray’s offense will come around and all will be well in Nuggets Nation. As long as the Nuggets play their game and give the starters time to work out the offensive game, Denver has a fantastic season ahead. Listening to naysayers who always want to tinker has the opposite effect. Fortunately, Michael Malone seems confident in his team and his decisions and that confidence inspires us.
Another night, hopefully another Nuggets win. They don’t line up like this too often, you have to take advantage as you can.