A 2 win, 2 loss week pushes the Denver Nuggets up the Power Rankings.
This week’s version of the national media power rankings were released on Monday November 28th. The Denver Nuggets moved up a few spots in the Power Rankings provided by ESPN, NBA.com, and CBS Sports. They are now sitting at an average of 20. This week’s 2 wins and 2 losses had a very familiar feel for the Denver Nuggets.
The win over Chicago last Tuesday had to be one of the most exciting wins at Pepsi Center. It was great to see the Nuggets knock off a quality opponent. The fans at Pepsi Center seemed to appreciate Dwayne Wade and what he represented in terms of the free agency pursuit that Nuggets were involved in last summer. This win showed some progress for the Nuggets as they learn to close out games.
The next night was a road game in Utah. The Nuggets had just beaten the Jazz in Denver a few nights prior to this contest. This type of scheduling is tough on a young team trying to find their way. The Nuggets lost this one 108-83. The Nuggets had moments of both good and bad. The Jazz are improved and looked like a solid playoff team on this night. Rudy Gobert causes some serious match up problems for Jokic and Nurkic. It will be interesting to see how Coach Malone works to correct this match up in the next game with the Jazz. It is worth noting that Gallinari was unable to go this night due to a thigh bruise and Will Barton only scored one-point in 17 minutes.
The Friday after Thanksgiving had the Nuggets facing off against the Durrant-less Thunder. The Nuggets out played the Thunder for much of the game but the problem of closing out was again realized. The Nuggets had the following players unable to see the floor due to injury: Gallo, Barton, Jancho, Miller, and Gary Harris. I was watching this one back in Kansas on Fox Sports Kansas City. They are the local channel for the OKC game. They OKC analyst did discuss the Nuggets issues of searching for a reliable star, avoiding injuries, and the need to find ways to close out games but did seem to notice their improvement. Russell Westbrook seemed to wait to come alive just to torment the young Nuggets in the closing minutes of the game.
A game against the Suns in Phoenix saw the Nuggets get a win to close out the week. It was nice to pick up another road win against a western conference opponent.
The upcoming week has the Nuggets facing off against the Heat (ESPN PR 22), Rockets (ESPN PR 7) at home. The Nuggets will being a six game road trip in Utah ( ESPN PR 9). An interesting mix of games for the Nuggets. But they are all easily winnable, and it will be great to see them excel.