The Denver Nuggets are off to a 4-0 start, putting them comfortably in first place in the Northwest Division.
We knew the Nuggets would be improved this season as some of their core matured but few expected a 4-0 start to the new season.
The Nuggets have even secured a signature win this season by knocking off the Warriors 100-98. While the rest of wins haven’t been nearly as impressive — home wins against the Kings and Suns and a road win against the Clippers — it’s hard to be upset about a perfect start. However, that leads us to the question people are dying to know.
Are these Denver Nuggets for real?
It’s worth mentioning against this is just four games into the season but the Nuggets have looked solid. One thing you always hear in sports is you can only beat the competition in front of you and that’s something the Nuggets have done so far this year.
The Nuggets have had convincing wins against the Clippers, Suns and Kings while grinding out a close win against the Warriors. What stands out even more about these games is how Nikola Jokic has elevated his game this season.
Jokic is only 23 but has already become a threat in today’s NBA. He’s a 7-footer who can stretch the floor, rip down rebounds and defend the paint. He’s exactly what you’re looking for in a big man in today’s game. Through these four games, Jokic is averaging 23 points per game to go along with 10.5 rebounds and a staggering seven assists per game.
Jokic is quite possibly the best passing big man in the NBA already as he averaged nearly five assists per game in the 2016-17 season and then improved to 6.1 assists per game in the 2017-18 season. Any time a team can trot out a triple-double waiting to happen every night good things will surely be coming to that team.
Shooting guard Gary Harris has increased his scoring output for the past four seasons and now he’s averaging over 20 points a game so far this season. With a very young core of Jokic, Harris and Jamal Murray it’s clear the Nuggets will be getting better each year, provided the current trend continues.
What’s even more important for the Nuggets is the team is able to pick up the slack for players who are having rough games. Coming off 26 points on 50 percent shooting against the Suns, Murray followed that up against the Warriors with a 0-9 night and just three points.
Both Harris and Jokic picked up the slack against the Warriors with 28 and 23 points respectively. It’s worth noting that veteran Paul Millsap had an off night against the Warriors too with a 1-7 night.
There’s a lot to love about the Nuggets so far and it certainly seems like this team is for a real. However, there are still some issues the team will have to clear up if they want to truly content.
The weakest link of these Nuggets is the small forward position which will eventually pose problems for the team. If the Nuggets are still doing well near the trade deadline that will definitely be a position the team will be looking to upgrade.
The Denver Nuggets will look to continue their hot start to the season and got 5-0 for the first time since the 2009-10 season as they take on the Los Angeles Laker tonight at Staples Center.
Source: Heavy Sports