Determining the Denver Nuggets Best Team of All-Time

Determining the Best Denver Nuggets Team of All Time

Dallas Mavericks v Denver Nuggets, Game 5
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To determine the best Nuggets team of all-time, I have seeded what I believe to be their best eight teams in history, in order of best regular season record. The one seed will face the eight seed, the second seed will face the seventh seed and so forth. The winner is determined solely by my opinion although I will use as much factual evidence as possible to justify my selections. Let's have some fun.

Round One

Oklahoma City Thunder v Denver Nuggets
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1. 2012-2013 - The Overachievers vs...

Denver Nuggets v Golden State Warriors
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8. 1993-1994 - Dikembe & The Kids

DiKembe Mutombo #55
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& The Winner Is... 8. 1993-1994 - Dikembe & The Kids

DiKembe Mutombo #55
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This was one of the easier ones to call, believe it or not. Despite it being the 1 vs. 8 seed, the 1993-94 Nuggets come out easily on top. They had all the momentum on their side entering the postseason, and were the darlings of the NBA. The 2012 team may have the advantage in the backcourt with Lawson and Iguodala, but they would get owned by LaPhonso Ellis and Dikembe in the paint. It wouldn't have even been close.

4. 1984-1985 - The English & Natt Show vs...

Denver Nuggets v Portland Trail Blazers
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5. 1977-1978 - The Birth of the Nuggets

Denver Nuggets vs. Milwaukee Bucks
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& The Winner Is... 4. 1984-1985 - The English & Natt Show

Denver Nuggets v Portland Trail Blazers

The '84-'85 Nuggets would have ran the David Thompson show out of the gym. Although the '77 team has the advantage of a younger Dan Issel and a healthy David Thompson, Fat Lever, T.R. Dunn, Calvin Natt and Alex English would have proved to be way too much for that team to handle. That's why they were able to average nearly 10 more points a game.

2. 2008-2009 - The Thuggets vs...

Atlanta Hawks v Denver Nuggets
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7. 2003-2004 - A Melo Turnaround

Cavaliers v Nuggets
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& The Winner Is... 2. 2008-2009 - The Thuggets

Atlanta Hawks v Denver Nuggets
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This is a fairly easy call as well. The '08-09 Nuggets have the advantage at every position over the '03-'04 team. They have a seasoned Carmelo Anthony vs the rookie version. Chauncey would have owned Andre Miller under the big lights. Kenyon Martin and Dahntay Jones would have pushed around Voshon Lenard and a young Nene like nobody's business.

3. 1987-1988 - Run & Gun vs...

Denver Nuggets
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6. 2006-2007 - The AI Experiment

Denver Nuggets v Golden State Warriors
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& The Winner Is... 6. 2006-2007 - The AI Experiment

Denver Nuggets v Golden State Warriors

This may be the first surprise of the day. I truly think the '06-'07 Nuggets were better at every position except point guard, where the '87-'88 Nuggets could trot out Michael Adams or Fat Lever at any given moment. Marcus Camby, Kenyon Martin, and Nene would have owned Danny Schayes and Blair Rasmussen in terms of size, strength and speed. Not to mention the '06 Nuggets had two legitimate superstars in AI and Carmelo.

Round Two

Oklahoma City Thunder v Denver Nuggets
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8. 1993-1994 - Dikembe & The Kids vs...

1994 Western Conference Quarterfinals Game 1:  Denver Nuggets vs. Seattle SuperSonics
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4. 1984-1985 - The English & Natt Show

Portland Trailblazers  vs. Denver Nuggets
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& The Winner Is... 8. 1993-1994 - Dikembe & The Kids

1994 Western Conference Quarterfinals Game 1:  Denver Nuggets vs. Seattle SuperSonics
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This again comes down mostly to momentum and dominance in the paint. Clearly Bryant Stith and Reggie Williams couldn't stay with the likes of Alex English and Calvin Natt, but the '93-'94 Nuggets would have had the advantage at the point with Abdul-Rauf and Robert Pack, and Dikembe would have dominated Wayne Cooper and an aging Dan Issel.

2. 2008-2009 - The Thuggets vs...

Denver Nuggets v Portland Trail Blazers
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6. 2006-2007 - The AI Experiment

Denver Nuggets v Detroit Pistons
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& The Winner Is... 2. 2008-2009 - The Thuggets

Denver Nuggets v Portland Trail Blazers
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This victory comes down to really two people: Chauncey Billups and Dahntay Jones. Chauncey would make Steve Blake and Anthony Carter look foolish, and Jones could have gotten into Iverson's head with some roughneck defense. The rest of the team is pretty much a wash.

Final Round

Oklahoma City Thunder v Denver Nuggets
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8. 1993-1994 - Dikembe & The Kids vs...

1994 Western Conference Semifinals Game 2: Denver Nuggets vs. Utah Jazz
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2. 2008-2009 - The Thuggets

Golden State Warriors v Denver Nuggets
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& The Champion Is... 2. 2008-2009 - The Thuggets

Dallas Mavericks v Denver Nuggets, Game 5
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A tough, tough call on this one, but overall, the '08-'09 team was just flat out better and deeper. They both had momentum on their side so that wouldn't be a factor. In fact, the '08-'09 team was basically one inbound play away from pushing the WCF to a Game 7 and had they beaten the eventual champion Lakers, I have no doubt they would have brought the trophy home that year. They go down as the best Nuggets team of all-time.

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  • Daddy1979

    I LOVE this idea! Clearly though, I disagree! I think the Doug Moe era Nuggets would have made fools out of the 08-09 Melo team. Only because those teams were more disciplined. Without Chauncy, that 08-09 team would have been talent only, with no real team dynamic. However, I do admit, the athleticism of the 08-09 team would have dominated the team from the 80′s. Maybe it’s not so much that I disagree, I just desperately hate admitting that any team with Melo was a “best” Nuggets team.