Denver Nuggets Core has Growing Pains, Searching for Success

Denver Nuggets (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
Denver Nuggets (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Denver Nuggets
Denver Nuggets (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Jokic has to be more.

Note that we’re not saying that Nikola Jokic has to do more, he needs to be more. There’s a lot of chatter about who is the Nuggets best player.  On any given day a handful of guys can be assigned that mantle.  Even Michael Porter Jr. has gotten some run with that title.

Let’s clear the air, Jokic is the Denver Nuggets best player and it’s time that fans and the organization recognize that.

Denver recognized with the checkbook over the summer, extending Jokic on a max deal, there needs to be a comparable commitment to the Serbian big on the floor.  Nikola should not have to defer to the development of anyone’s game.  Our starting backcourt is intentionally two shooting guards, they are supposed to both be able to knock down shots and cut to the basket to take advantage of Nikola’s strengths.

This is not supposed to be a Murray run offense and the weird ricochet toward putting Jokic in the paint with his back-to-the-basket.  Every year, we have to endure whatever Jokic tinkering the coaching staff espouses.  Usually, they come to their senses and all is well but this season, the experiment has gone on too long.

Jokic shouldn’t be scoring 37.  He shouldn’t be scoring four.  There’s a power band where he’s in command but getting everyone involved.  Getting easy buckets off of Jokic assists has been jump-starting teammate’s offensive games for three seasons.  Coming into the season, that box should be checked.

So, going forward, we think it would benefit the Nuggets young stars to detach from the traditional expectations and return to the creative, free-flowing offense that’s proven effective over and over.  To the idea that we need a more developed half-court offense to have playoff success we’d suggest making the playoffs before worrying about what offensive style will carry us.

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There is a lot of season ahead, there are up to four outstanding players that are going to have to be integrated into this team (MPJ, IT, Barton, Jarred Vanderbilt).  The most efficient way to move forward is to let go and let Jokic.  We’ve established that we trust him as the franchise player, it’s time to let him be the franchise player.