After vaulting to such a lofty position, the Denver Nuggets have started out March with some rough losses. Here’s why everything is okay.
Well, that question gets directly to the heart of what’s going on in March for the Nuggets. They haven’t lost anything, with each game that passes and with the top of the Western Conference seeming to be in constant flux, the Nuggets hold on that second seed becomes more firm. As of Tuesday morning, Denver is 3.5 games up on third place Houston. The Rockets have won nine straight and are due for a loss. Denver enters a home set at Pepsi Center where they are still the league’s best. It would take a serious collapse at this point for the Nuggets to surrender the second seed.
It’s problems that come with the ascension of a team that’s been a historical afterthought. For perspective, I lived through the 1997 to 1999 period when the Nuggets won a grand total of 25 games (11 in 97-98 and 14 in 98-99). Two of the more dismal seasons in NBA history that still couldn’t secure the Nuggets a number one pick. What they did get in the draft during that time was Tony Battie, Raef LaFrentz and James Posey.
This is Nuggets history, it goes deeper than the Carmelo Anthony years for many of us, it has come with incredible heartbreak.
It’s also come with incredible reward, the 1995 team that beat the Seattle Supersonics in the first round, becoming the first eight seed to topple a one seed in NBA history was special. Dikembe Mutombo, LaPhonso Ellis, Bryant Stith, Reggie Williams and my all-time favorite Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf gave us our first taste of success since Alex English patrolled McNichols Sports arena. They were electric and fun and Dan Issel was a superior personality and coach.
Between them and the star-studded Anthony teams, there’s been enough to cheer for.
This team, the Nikola Jokic-led, Michael Malone team is better. More fun, more maddening but ultimately a more legitimate threat to secure a championship than any of it’s 50 predecessors.
That should be enough but in case it’s not, here’s some ways to renew appreciation for our 2018-19 Nuggets: