The Nuggets beat the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night. The win was no doubt a good win for the Nuggets, but the Spurs, who have already clinched a playoff spot, were resting most of the starters. This was probably a lot of the reason for the win, but some big games from the Nuggets young core was also a contributing factor.
Jusuf Nurkic and Nikola Jokic started together for the first time and boy did they look good. Nurk put up a career high 21 points and pulled down 9 rebounds. Jokic put up a career high 15 rebounds and scored 8 points. The two big men looked strong for the Nuggets and if they can play together with this sort of energy next season, the Nuggets will be looking at a scary good starting 5.
Emmanuel Mudiay will be part of that starting five and the young point guard had himself a really solid game as well. Mudiay put up 20 points with 5 assists and 6 rebounds. Overall, it was a hard fought and well earned win for the Nuggets.
The Spurs who rested LaMarcus Aldridge, Kawhi Leonard, and Tony Parker were definitely playing with their B-lineup, but they are still an NBA team and the Spurs have depth so this win showed some grit from the Nuggets.
The Nuggets are 33-47 on the season and while the year was by no means a good year, there was a lot of growth from the young guys and fans of the Nuggets should expect some serious potential for the playoffs in the coming years. Next year might not be the year for the Nuggets to compete for a championship, but they will almost certainly compete for a playoff spot. With some experience under the young guys’ belts, they will be able to play with more confidence and act like they’ve been there before. Coach Malone and his philosophy will be familiar to all of the players and this should bode well for the Nuggets.
There are only two more games this season for Denver. A final home game against the Utah Jazz tomorrow afternoon, and one more game against the Portland Trail Blazers on this coming Wednesday. Win or lose, the Nuggets should be excited for the future and ready to use this season as a stepping stone towards their bright future as playoff contenders.