On Monday, we asked our hoop heads about the Denver Nuggets. Now, their streak is up to 14 games. However, irrespective of how well they’re playing right now, the Nuggets aren't true contenders. True or False?
NUBYJAS WILBORN: Can we call them 10-carat instead of 18-carat gold? I won’t say they’re fool’s gold, but they’re not built to win a championship. Gallinari has stepped up and become a very efficient player. Nuggets are good and will make noise in the playoffs just not enough to survive the Wild Wild West.
J.R. GAMBLE: The Nuggets are loaded with talent and lacking a superstar closer. They’re built for success over 82 games. Come playoffs, rosters shrink and it’s my best five against yours. Galo and Manimal ain’t movin’ nothing. Plus, we know George Karl is no champion sideline stalker. He couldn’t get far with Melo. Couldn’t do it with GP and Shawn “7-shot” Kemp in ’96. He also fell short with The Big Three – Ray Allen, Sam Cassell, and Big Dog Robinson.
SANDY DOVER: Depends on what you mean by fool’s gold – if you mean that they’re posers because they may not be serious championship contenders, then that’s true. But they are such a wild card anyway, it’s difficult to call them, at all. The Gambler is right when he talks about Karl not winning anything, but Karl also lost in the Jordan and Popovich eras, which have foiled the vast majority of the league teams.
DJ DUNSON: True. Preparing for a quick visit to the thin Denver air and the blazing fast Nuggets for one night is like trying to get a chick’s digits while your wife is standing over your shoulder. You’re gonna be distracted and off your game. Playoff time is like last-call at the club. You’re dialed in. Come playoff time, opposing coaches can give more priority to game-planning for teams like Denver over a seven-game series. Denver’s defense is flimsy and they don’t have a singular offensive playmaker on their roster that can score in the half court. Defenders of the Nuggets regularly spout their league leading points-in-the-paint advantage, but that statistic is also fool’s gold. Sacramento, Detroit and Houston are second, third and fourth.
B. SCOTT: They’re fool’s gold unless you think they can beat Oklahoma City or San Antonio in a seven-game series if it came down to it. As impressive as the Nuggets have been, I don’t think we’re going there. But they do make a damn-good case for the best Nuggets team, ever.