Adam Mares, Harrison Wind, Brendan Vogt, and Eric Wedum (D-Line) along with current Pelicans beat writer and former Nuggets scribe Christian Clark talk Denver vs. New Orleans, Jokic vs. Zion, Murray vs. Lonzo, MPJ vs. Ingram and Nuggets vs. Pelicans. Also, DNVR Members join the show to play Price is Right and The Steps. Price is Right items up for…
Adam Mares: Bol Bol?
There really aren't any great answers to this question, in part because there aren't a lot of players who qualify as being "under-the-radar." I am skeptical that Bol Bol can become an impact player as early as next season, especially now that a large portion of his first offseason will take place under unique circumstances. This summer was going to be a big one for Bol. His first summer league, his first offseason working out with the Denver Nuggets coaching staff, his first offseason where his focus can be entirely on adding strength and conditioning.
All of that is gone now. What remains is the raw talent that made Bol one of the top prospects in the world just 12 months ago. A 7'2 frame, a silky jump shot, a surprising handle and the coordination of a player that is 6 inches shorter. Those talents will be useful the moment Bol is able to figure out the NBA game and meet the expectations of the coaching staff.
Then there is the question of what the roster might look like. A huge reduction in the league's salary cap might create a bunch of curveballs to Denver's roster construction going forward. It can be assumed that at least one of Mason Plumlee or Paul Millsap would not return next season. The plans to re-sign Jerami Grant are still intact but he will be a popular free agent this summer. Have those plans changed now that the league is in flux? There is at least a scenario in which the Nuggets need Bol to play at least some minutes next season?
Adam, Harrison, Brendan, and Eric (D-Line) welcome in Dev Johnson of Mile High Sports for another edition of DNBA Live to discuss the biggest L they’ve taken during the quarantine, experiences at the barbershop, their thoughts on the NBA’s H.O.R.S.E. game, Jokic’s run in The Action Network’s 1-on-1 tournament and more. Then, a DNVR Member join the show for a…
Adam, Harrison, Brendan and Eric (D Line) convene for the first Quarantine Live edition of the DNBA Show. First, the latest on the Nuggets front office and who might be going to Chicago with Arturas Karnisovas. Then, the guys bring on DNVR members for DNVR Draws (Pictionary) and The Steps Game (Nuggets trivia). Have a Denver Nuggets question? Reply in…
Arturas Karnisovas, a key architect of the Nuggets' roster, is heading to Chicago in a move Denver surely saw coming. How will the Nuggets replace him?
Harrison Wind: Can Jamal Murray rise to the occasion?
I'd have to think that for an ultra-competitor like Murray, his disappointing 4 of 18 shooting performance in the Nuggets' Game 7 loss to the Trail Blazers last May still stings. Murray had some strong moments in his first playoff appearance last season, like when he scored 21 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter of Game 2 versus the Spurs to help captain a Nuggets come-from-behind victory that saved Denver's season, and when he tallied a game-high 34 points to lead the Nuggets to a vital Game 4 win in Portland a round later. But like many of his teammates, Murray came up short in Game 7.
He can redeem himself in the playoffs this year...if there is a postseason in the coming months...and also rewrite the script on a good but not great regular season. Murray's individual stat line looks almost identical to last year's, but he's raised his True and Effective Field Goal Percentages. He's upped his points per possession in the pick-and-roll slightly and the eye test says that Murray is making reads and passes in the half-court that he wasn't last season. His defense fell off after a strong start and Murray's 3-point percentage dropped for a second-consecutive season to just 34.5%.
For those who had high expectations for Murray's this year he probably didn't fully meet them, but a strong playoff run heading into next season when his max contract kicks in can alter the entire perception of his 2019-20 campaign.
The Nuggets' former Director of Performance discusses Nikola Jokic's weight room work ethic and more.
Brendan Vogt & Harrison Wind react after rewatching Round 2 Game 3 of the Nuggets’ 2009 playoff run — the one when Carmelo hits the game winner and one of the greatest shots in franchise history, and discuss how likely it is that Arturas Karnisovas leaves Denver for Chicago. Have a Denver Nuggets question? Reply in the comment section below.…
Steve Hess, the Nuggets' strength and conditioning coach for 20 years, joins DNVR for a chat about some of his greatest Nuggets memories.
Who advances if the Nuggets and Rockets meet in the first round?
*If the league goes straight into the playoffs once the league returns.
Adam Mares: Rockets in six
It's basically impossible to know half of the variables that would impact this question. Are fans allowed into the arena? Are games played on a neutral site, negating home court advantage?
Setting those questions aside, I think what the Houston Rockets do on the basketball court is much easier to figure out and get settled than what the Denver Nuggets do. Houston's offense is basically an isolation offense with spot up shooters around the three-point line. Role players like PJ Tucker need only figure out the rhythm of their catch and shoot shooting while the lion's share of the responsibility rests on the talent of Russell Westbrook and James Harden. There is very little timing and chemistry to sort out.
The Nuggets, on the other hand, play a much more balanced style of basketball that is more dependent on chemistry and timing. So if the league jumped right into a playoff, do-or-die series, then I think the advantage would go to the Rockets.
Adam Mares, Harrison Wind, Brendan Vogt and Eric Wedum recap the Nuggets’ Game 1 win over the Mavericks from the 2009 Western Conference semifinals and how Birdman and Denver’s bench again rallied the Nuggets. Also, K-Mart’s first-quarter message, Rick Carlisle and Dirk’s hair, and much more. Have a Denver Nuggets question? Reply in the comment section below. The DNVR Nuggets…
The 2008 trade that sent Allen Iverson to Detroit and brought Chauncey Billups to Denver gave the Nuggets' offense a defined pecking order and the franchise a much-needed leader.
Brendan Vogt: Jokić, Murray, Barton, Millsap, Harris, Grant + three-man platoon of Craig, Porter Jr, Plumlee
Four bigs are one too many for a playoff rotation and given the importance of Jerami Grant to the Nuggets' title hopes, that leaves Mason Plumlee as the odd man out. The easy decision would be to omit him altogether, but he's a Malone-player through and through, and his head coach will find time for him if he can. There may be individual matchups where his size proves useful—like a series with the Los Angeles Lakers, for example. But he should see a fairly limited role, whether he plays or not.
The Torrey Craig/Michael Porter Jr. problem becomes more challenging to navigate in the postseason. There are some matchups, like a series with the Houston Rockets or the Portland Trail Blazers—should the Blazers sneak in—in which playing Craig is not just warranted but necessary. He excels in guarding smaller dynamic scorers, like James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and Damian Lillard, providing a positive net value despite his offensive limitations. But Porter Jr., of course, raises the Nuggets ceiling with his immense talent and the myriad matchup problems his inclusion might present.
Less than a week after the All-Star break concluded, a reporter asked Michael Malone if he Porter Jr. will be a part of the playoff rotation. Without hesitating, he confirmed that is the plan. But in the games that followed, Porter Jr. couldn't buy much playing time. At this point, it's hard to see him as a fixture, but rather a member of a platoon.
Harrison Wind: Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr.
How do you define a team's core? It's a tough question, but for me it's the basis of your championship DNA. If you're the Nuggets, your core includes the most instrumental pieces on your roster that can seemingly take you to the top and can do so for years to come. That's Jokic, Murray and Porter with an honorable mention to Will Barton simply due to the number of boxes that he checks for this team.
Building around Jokic, Murray and Porter requires plugging a number of holes, mainly ones on the defensive end of the floor. Denver currently has Paul Millsap and Gary Harris doing so while Jerami Grant, Monte Morris, Torrey Craig and Mason Plumlee provide needed depth that any team with championship aspirations requires. But those parts can be interchanged.
There's a path forward for Denver that involves moving on from one of its core pieces not named Jokic if a trade for another All-NBA caliber talent develops, but Jokic, Murray and Porter have the respective ceilings to be the three best players on a Nuggets championship team.
Altitude’s Vic Lombardi, Scott Hastings and Chris Marlowe share their experiences from the night the NBA suspended the season.
Which current Nuggets players will not be on the roster to start next season?
Adam Mares: Paul Millsap
There are plenty of reasons to believe Paul Millsap could stick around beyond this year. Last summer, Millsap talked about wanting to be in Denver for much longer and having a "story" that he wanted to tell his way. Back then, it sure sounded like that story meant finishing his career in Denver.
But do the Denver Nuggets need him? Jerami Grant was beginning to blossom as a front court running mate to Nikola Jokic and is only entering his prime. Millsap, on the other hand, was in and out of the lineup for the 3rd season in a row and starting to show signs of slowing down. 250 lb athletes don't always age slowly and gracefully. Often times, the decline is sudden and steep.
The Nuggets could re-sign Millsap with the assumption that he'd segue into a sort of end-of-bench veteran who is only sparsely called upon to play real minutes but Millsap likely sees himself as something more than that. Then there is the question of continuity vs. bringing in new voices, new talents, and new personalities. The Nuggets are in need of an edge. Millsap is smart, unselfish, and hard working, but he isn't exactly an intimidating force. If the Nuggets believe that they need some new blood in the lockerroom, Millsap might be one of the guys out the door.
Brendan Vogt: Mason Plumlee, Troy Daniels
The Nuggets were nearing a postseason in which Plumlee's ideal role is a limited one. Dever has already overpaid him, and he might desire a more significant role on another team, especially should one feel inclined to pay him like a starter. Three bigs are enough in the postseason, and if you have confidence in both Paul Millsap and Jerami Grant returning, as I do, then it makes a lot of sense for the two parties to move on.
Grant found a groove with the starters and proved so many who thought he'd be a great fit in Denver to be right. The front office has likely identified him as a candidate, if not the preferred power forward to slot alongside their young core. Millsap is entering the final phase of his career, and winning his first championship is, of course, vital to him.
He's on the record as wanting to finish what he's started here and doesn't hold back when speaking on this team's talent and capabilities. My read is he's identified this group as the one to help him get to the promised-land finally.
Troy Daniels shouldn't require much of an explanation. He's unlikely to see much time in a Nuggets uniform, if any at all, and entering unrestricted free agency.
Each weekday, our DNVR Nuggets crew will be tackling one question about the Nuggets season in a round table format. Members, leave the questions that you’d like to see our writers answer in the comments section below and Harrison, Adam and Brendan will address them on an upcoming episode of the DNVR Nuggets Podcast. Brendan Vogt: all the stuff I…...
Adam Mares: Michael Porter Jr.
This is our fourth round table and the fourth time my answer has centered around Michael Porter Jr. but think for a second about the string of bad luck this young man has endured. First, after spending most of his teenage years as the top prospect in the country, he suffers a back injury just minutes into his freshmen season in college. He has back surgery and misses almost all of that season, then misses his first season in the NBA as he recovered from a second back surgery. Now, in his first season back after two years off, the NBA cancels the season just as he was getting going.
Players develop the most between the ages of 18 and 25 so for Porter to basically miss a majority of the first 3 years of that range is really disheartening. People often say that what Porter need is time but time alone what allow him to reach his potential. What he really needs are repetitions. Live game, practice, workout, training. All of the things that help a player become the best version of themselves on the basketball court. For the third season in a row, Porter's development appears stunted by something completely out of his control.
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Harrison Wind and Brendan Vogt discuss the latest news around the COVID-19 pandemic and how it’s affecting the Nuggets. How will NBA players stay in shape if they can’t practice at their team’s facility during the hiatus? Also, Wind and Vogt’s top quarantine foods. Have a Denver Nuggets question? Reply in the comment section below. The DNVR Nuggets crew is…
Harrison Wind: Nikola Jokic's 30-point, 21-rebound, 10-assist night against the Jazz
With only seven players available in Utah following the trade deadline against reigning Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert, the Nuggets were going to need an all-time performance from Nikola Jokic in order to get a win. That's what Denver got.
Jokic became just the third player since the NBA-ABA merger (DeMarcus Cousins, David Lee) to post at least a 30-20-10 stat line and according to ESPN Stats and Info, Jokic joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only players in NBA history (including playoffs) to tally 30 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists on the road before turning 25 years old.
Here's Denver's box score from that night. The Nuggets had just five of their top-10 rotation players available.
The Nuggets won 98-95 as Jokic toppled Gobert and the Jazz for the second time in less than a week. Thirteen of Jokic's 14 field goals came with Gobert as his primary defender and down the stretch, Jokic was incredible, scoring nine points in the fourth quarter, six of which came over the final five minutes of play. Jokic sunk the game-winner that night -- a fall-away 18-footer with Gobert draped all over him -- with just under a minute to go in regulation courtesy of his signature Sombor Shuffle.
It was the best game I've seen Jokic play across his five-year career.
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