It’s pretty tough to complain the Nuggets these days. An historically good January has the Blue and Yellow back in the thick of things in the Western Conference. They’ve been a blast to watch lately. They’re scoring in the paint, draining threes and playing as impressively on defense as they have in years.
A disheartening home loss to the lowly Washington Wizards on the 18th is the most recent blemish on Denver’s record. The Nuggets have been surprisingly consistent since, talking care of the home court and scoring a road against the Rockets as well.
Can they keep it up?
Seven of Denver’s February tilts are on the road. Just five are at home. They made the most of their soft January schedule, just like we hoped they would. They’re on track to battle for the fourth playoff seed, but they need to stay on the gas.
The Nuggets won’t catch San Antonio, the Clippers or Oklahoma City, the three Western Conference juggernauts, but Memphis (who just dispatched Rudy Gay) and Golden State have each won the same number of games, 29, as the Nuggets. The coming month will play a significant role. Where Denver emerges in relation to those other two teams will establish whether they spend the springtime fending them off or playing catch-up.
The Nuggets head of steam is stoked by confidence. Unfortunately, that’s easily lost. All it takes is a couple head-slapping last minute losses to send them right back into excuse mode. Now is when George Karl can earn his paycheck by keeping his young team’s head in the game. Seeding matters. If the Nuggets can secure the four they’ll have an excellent chance of advancing to the second round in the playoffs which is an exciting prospect. That would put them a series away from the Conference Finals.
It remains to be seen whether the front office will make any acquisitions or stand pat. There’s a sense, though, that they have made too many changes over the past couple of seasons. It’s very possible that they want to settle things down a bit. Still, the Nuggets’ depth gives them options. That’s part of the reason the team is so exciting to keep tabs on. There’s really no telling what’s possible.