From not even making the playoffs last year to the second seed in the West with a young, brash Denver Nuggets team, this has been quite the year for head coach Michael Malone.
Last year was one of the most disappointing seasons to face as a Denver Nuggets fan. Unfortunately, there are many choices for disappointing ends for this club. Never having won a championship, the Nuggets are in a unique opportunity to really break-out of their mediocre rut.
The Nugs missed last year’s post season by one win. It seemed like a small achievement to enter the playoffs but they weren’t able to pull it off. Honestly, if it’s that difficult to get in, you probably can’t expect much action once there. If you just barely get in, maybe you don’t belong and are going to have a hard time. Look at how the Timberwolves, the team that beat us fared. Is it really that bad to miss playoffs to get bounced right away and maybe look like rookies? I don’t think so, the right thing happened. The young Denver squad wasn’t ready.
It’s not to say a lot wasn’t accomplished in the off-season for Michael Malone and his Nuggets. This season has been a break-out success that has wowed the league as well as the fan base. This team went from a bunch of guys who didn’t make the playoffs to a team with a solid chance of making some noise in the post season.
If you are capable of being taken seriously (for once) and people know you are going to be in the playoffs, that means there’s a certain percentage of a chance that they could win it all. It’s a long shot but why not us? A dangerous thought indeed.
We are looking at a wildly, talented, for the most part young team under the tutelage and experience of some heavy hitters like Paul Millsap and Isaiah Thomas. This team has so many x-factors that you could name a different player for the role every game. Nikola Jokic is still full of surprises and shows us he isn’t done with his bag of tricks. He is a solid candidate for MVP this season as the captain of this unlikely ship of Nuggets.
To say this season has been phenomenal doesn’t feel like an overreach. A team that is basically the same as last year going from not good enough to participate in the post season to being a threat in the post season is huge. Coach Malone has been patient, ironing out the wrinkles of these young players and putting together a team that has emerged as a powerhouse.
This is a scary time for Denver Nuggets fans. We have a post season spot but we are still gun-shy. We are still worried for the inevitable falling apart that we have come to expect. While we know this year could be very different, it could also be sadly the same as previous seasons. Maybe inexperienced players that are young and don’t have playoff experience could collapse post season. Maybe they will fold under the pressure and get bounced in the first round anyway. Maybe.
Maybe, they win it all. Watch out post-season, here come the Nuggets.