For the poor fans in Philadelphia who had to go through years of near unwatchable basketball however, it wasn’t fun. Despite this, dedicated Philly fans continued to come watch the 76ers lose in often ugly contests.
Why did they continue to spend their hard earned money on a team that was no good and had no guarantee of one day becoming good even after tanking?
Because they trust the process.
They have been, and continue to be, patient as the 76ers front office and coaches develop this young Philly squad to its full potential.
While hardcore Nuggets fans haven’t had to endure even close to what 76ers fans have had to endure recently, they can draw some comparisons as both franchises have gone through their own ‘processes’ the last few years.
Many Nuggets fans have been frustrated with the start Denver has gotten off to this season. Many were expecting the Nuggets to push for a playoff spot, and while they may still get close, some fans in Denver are becoming aggitated.
Nov 27, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Battle of the rookies
Just last week, Nuggets guard Jamal Murray was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month for the month of November.
In the Eastern Conference, the honors went to Philadelphia big man Joel Embiid, who has come out of the blocks extremely quickly and is undoubtably the Rookie to beat for the ROY award.
Embiid and Murray obviously play completely different positions but the impact they can have on their respective squads is massive and a big game from either of them can go a long way to ensuring victory for their team.
Embiid enters the game against Denver averaging 18.7 points and 7.9 rebounds in just 23 minutes of action per night. Those numbers are respectable for a starting center, but given the fact that Embiid posts those numbers on a minutes restriction is incredible.
Adjusted to 36 minutes, Embiid is averaging 29.1 points and 12.3 rebounds per game.
Through the first month of the season Murray is putting up 9.5 points and 2.9 rebounds per contest.
While Murray’s numbers dont stack up against Joel Embiid, it will nether the less be an important battle between which rookie can get their game going in Philly on Monday.
Dec 3, 2016; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Jameer Nelson (1) reacts after losing control of the ball in the fourth quarter as he runs past Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward (20) and guard Shelvin Mack (8) at Vivint Smart Home Arena. The Utah Jazz defeated the Denver Nuggets 105-98. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports
Play the full 48 minutes
While the Nuggets mounted an unbelievable come back attempt that ultimately fell just short against the Jazz in Utah, Denver were doomed thanks to being outscored 33-16 in the third quarter.
This 12 minute lapse cost Denver the ball game, and lapses like this have led to issues in a number of games already this season. Whether it be at the start of games, after halftime, or closing out quarters, the Nuggets have extended segments of game time where they appear to be completely overwhelmed by opponents.
The game of basketball is all about momentum. An NBA contest is full of swings in momentum and teams run off quick 7-0 runs all the time. However, for Denver, they can’t allow these runs go for long periods of time.
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In the last few weeks, Denver have been allowing opposing squads to reel off extended runs that result in the Nuggets being in a hole.
If Denver are to secure a victory in Philadelphia and push for a playoff spot, they need to play hard and engaged for the full 48 minutes.
This is a bad habbit, one that the Nuggets must not develop into longterm.
Nov 27, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27), forward Nikola Jokic (15) and forward Darrell Arthur (00) against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The Nuggets defeated the Suns 118-114. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Cover the loss of Niloka Jokic
With Serbian big man Nikola Jokic set to miss at least another couple of games with a wrist injury, the Nuggets must cover the production and impact that the Jokic brings to the team in oder to get a W in Philly.
Veteran forward Darrell Arthur will step in to fill the minutes left in the absence of the Joker, and will need to be productive and efficent in his time on the floor.
Arthur offers up a more consistant theat from distance and is better defensively, but Jokic will be missed when it comes to his passing and scoring in the post.
Kenneth Faried has been in exceptional form in recent weeks, and he will need to continue his stellar play in order to soften the blow of missing Jokic.