With Effort, The Denver Nuggets are Very Good

By Joe Morrone

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Nuggets are the easiest team in the NBA, maybe all of sports, to figure out. When they play with effort, the Nuggets are a top seven or eight team in the league. When they don’t play with effort, the Nuggets are one of the worst seven or eight teams in the league. What is so hard to understand as a fan is why they don’t understand that; it is maddening.

The poster child for the Nuggets is point guard, Ty Lawson. When he plays well and with energy, the Nuggets are very tough to beat and nearly impossible to beat at home. When Lawson is flat then so are the Nuggets. Every player has off games; that’s not what we are talking about. The Nuggets get in trouble when they try to play selfish one-on-one basketball, and Lawson is often the chief contributor to that issue. Now give Lawson credit; ever since a home loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves earlier this month, he has taken it upon himself to make sure the Nuggets are playing hard every night. With the exception of an embarrassing home loss to the Washington Wizards, the Nuggets have played well since Lawson stepped up. The key going forward is can Lawson and the Nuggets maintain that level of intensity going forward?

The Nuggets currently sit in the sixth spot in the Western Conference but with their schedule, they have a real shot to move up over the next month. It is a schedule that is home heavy versus some dregs of the NBA. Normally that would be a recipe for a nice run but this is the Nuggets, and there is always the possibility of another inexplicable loss. The Nuggets have won three in a row and have five more home games before their next road game; this is their chance to make a big move. They do not feature a superstar but they have a lot of very good players, and they go ten deep. How far can a team built like that go in a league that is setup for stars?

It’s a great question and history says not very far, but this Nuggets team might be a little different. While they do not have that one star, they do have a lot of very good players. Time will tell when we get to the playoffs but in the meantime; if they play with effort, the Nuggets can beat anyone in basketball. When they don’t, the Nuggets lose to the Wizards at home.

It sounds simple, right? It is simple for everyone but the Nuggets, apparently.

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