Denver Nuggets: 3 Reasons to Skip the Panic Button

Denver Nuggets(Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
Denver Nuggets(Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Denver Nuggets
Denver Nuggets(Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images) /

With 15% of the NBA season in the books, the Denver Nuggets are 9-4 but riding a three-game losing streak.

The losing streak has sparked dissent among Denver Nuggets fans who have had hopes dashed repeatedly in the 50 years the Nuggets have spent in Denver.  Some of the critique is founded, the Nuggets have real concerns offensively.  Some of it is reaching for answers.  Answers to Will Barton‘s fill-in, to Nikola Jokic‘s psyche, rotations, standard things.

Some of it, though is absurdity.  Like benching Jamal Murray.  Like signing Carmelo Anthony, should rumors of his Houston release be true (Anthony didn’t join the Rockets on the trip to Denver).  Denver should not attempt trades for John Wall or whoever the rumor-of-the-day is.

They need to work on shooting.  They need to work on turnovers.  They are maddeningly inconsistent from the free throw line.

Mostly, they need to work out what’s going on with Nikola Jokic.  As we’ve seen in the previous two seasons, the Nuggets seem to be overcome with desire to tinker with the big man’s game.  There was the failed Jusuf Nurkic experiment, then the failed Mason Plumlee experiment. This season the idea looks to be to get the ball to Jokic in the post rather than where he’s comfortably spent the last two seasons, the top of the key.

Last season, it took Denver 15 games to get into an offensive rhythm, one that was immediately reset with Paul Millsap‘s injury.  This season, the injury bug struck early with Barton falling in just the second game and more adjustment was thrust upon the young Nuggets.

So, there are concerns and in a crowded West, there’s little time to work through one’s issues but there are a lot more things to be encouraged by with these Nuggets.  Here are three for consideration: