What a regular season the Nuggets had — Denver GM Masai Ujiri is in contention for Executive of the Year, Coach Karl made a case for Coach of the Year and Andre Iguodala is still in the running for Defensive Player of the Year. The Nuggets led the league in home wins (38) and set a franchise record for wins in a season (57).
But all of the accolades and attention will mean nothing with a poor showing in the playoffs. The Nuggets should be poised to prove that their “all hell break loose” run-and-gun style can result in playoff success.
There will be adversity. Danilo Gallinari is out for the season with an ACL tear. Kenneth Faried is battling a sprained ankle. And, of course, there are those who think you can’t win in the playoffs without a superstar. But isn’t this the playoffs where superstars are born? Ty Lawson, Andre Iguodala, a limping Kenneth Faried, Wilson Chandler — take your pick — these guy are ready to prove themselves.
The Golden State Warriors will be a formidable first round opponent. NBA heads will tell you that Stephen Curry is one of the best shooters they’ve ever seen — he just set the NBA record for 3-pointers in a season with 272. Klay Thompson can get hot from behind the arc at any time. David Lee is an All-Star talent. Andrew Bogut is a 7-foot defensive anchor who is starting to look healthy. Jarrett Jack is a legitimate Sixth Man of the Year candidate that provides flexibility in the Warriors lineup.
This is a good Golden State team and the first round will be a fast-paced, high scoring, chaos machine that could really go either way.
But the Nuggets are ready to prove themselves. And what better platform to do that than the NBA playoffs?