The white-hot Denver Nuggets are back in action on Tuesday night taking on the Dallas Mavericks at Pepsi Center.
With huge wins over the Memphis Grizzlies, Oklahoma City Thunder and Toronto Raptors, the Denver Nuggets have raced out to a 20-9 record, first-place in the Western Conference and according to NBA.com the number one spot in the power rankings.
Take a look at that link and if you are a Nuggets fan, bask in something that rarely happens. They are number one. It’s becoming undeniable. The only chink in the Nuggets armor these days are those two losses to the Milwaukee Bucks. Split that set or win both and there’s not a thing anyone could say about the Nuggets taking the top spot.
It’s been quite the climb for this young Nuggets squad (incorrectly promoted as the youngest team in the Association, they are fourth) and coach Michael Malone. As recently as April 11th, fans were convinced that Malone had to go and that the Nuggets were in desperate need of a coaching upgrade.
Quite the difference eight months can make. If the season ended today it is likely that Malone would garner coach-of-the-year honors. Tim Connelly has to be in the running for executive-of-the-year. Monte Morris for MIP? Monte Morris for 6MOY? Nikola Jokic MVP?
All possibilities but none more likely than Malone. His rotations have been brilliant, particularly in the crowded backcourt. Getting Jamal Murray and Morris minutes and using each effectively has been a real feather in the third-year coach’s cap. Lining Jokic up at four with Mason Plumlee starting at center was a gamble, considering how that worked out with Jusuf Nurkic but Malone has matured as has Jokic and the combination is producing for Denver since Paul Millsap‘s injury.
It has been a delight to watch the Denver Nuggets this season. We thought we’d look at some fun things for Tuesday night’s game: