So much of the NBA headlines this season have gone to the Warriors, LeBron James, and James Harden that the current number two seed in the West has gone overlooked. But that’s exactly what has happened, rather unfairly to the talented yet incredibly underrated Denver Nuggets. Led by Nikola Jokic, they once again laid down a marker for the rest of the league last night. They might not have been playing the league’s best team in the Memphis Grizzlies, a team that is shopping its biggest stars, but the feat they pulled off was impressive nonetheless. The Nuggets won the game at home 95-92 in a throwback to days gone by. They never led until 43.9 seconds on the clock. The aforementioned Jokic, a player that should be in the MVP conversation along with Harden and Paul George, scored the go-ahead bucket with 28.9 seconds remaining, his 24th of the night. Malik Beasley was also huge, scoring 18 points, with 13 of them coming in the fourth quarter alone, as he drove them toward a comeback. At one stage, they were down 25 points to the Grizz, and they were down 17 when the fourth quarter started. This was a slog throughout for them, but they made it work in the end. Marc Gasol and Mike Conley, the two stars that could be traded for Memphis, each impressed with 28 and 23, but it still amounted to be the biggest blown loss in franchise history for their team.
The Golden State Warriors remain, however, the prohibitive favorite in the entire NBA, and they remained on a roll on Monday night with a lopsided win in Indianapolis over the Pacers. The 132-100 win marks the 11th in a row for them, taking advantage of an Indiana team that is rudderless without its star Victor Oladipo. The win also made them 5-0 on their east coast swing, a run that also included a win over the very fresh Boston Celtics. They look like they are clicking on all cylinders right now and are ready for the playoffs for sure. But would it be any surprise to be having a discussion soon over whether they peaked too early? We’ll just have to see, but for now they are dominating in the manner we’d all expect.
A story that is bound to take up headlines for the next few months is this one centering around Anthony Davis, and a day removed from expressing his desire to leave New Orleans publicly, we are still far removed from a solution. The Pelicans have made it very clear that they will not be rushed into making a deal for the star big man. But in saying that, they have admitted what we all know: that he has to be on the move. If you are a Pelicans fan, you might want the team to hold on to him until his contract is out. But that’s just plain stubbornness that won’t make your team better. It’s all about getting the best deal possible, and until that time, the Unibrow will not be moving on.