Kiszla: Struggling Nuggets have two choices. Strongly pursue trade for Bradley Beal, or wait up until next year (again).
Rather than a championship competitor increasing, the Nuggets look more like a lineup of mismatched parts. While center Nikola Jokic is playing like a legitimate MVP candidate, Denver is squandering his efforts. Too frequently, Joker’s colleagues not only appear out of sync but as if they do not particularly delight in pertaining to work.
After yet another video game in which the Nuggets played as if late for bedtime, a dissuading 125-112 loss to Milwaukee on Monday night dropped Denver to a completely undesirable 5-6 house record and far closer to out of the playoff bracket than atop the Western Conference standings.
Where does this group requirement to improve?
“All over,” said point guard Jamal Murray, not one to mince words.
More than 30% into a season affected by the coronavirus, the Nuggets are contenders for nothing other than being the NBA’s greatest flop of 2021.
Know what’s unfortunate?
The Lakers commemorated a champion by reinforcing their roster, the Bucks went all-in to win a ring with Giannis Antetokounmpo and teams from Utah to Phoenix got better. Upon completing their run to the conference finals, the Nuggets chose they were tired, sat on the couch and rationalized the trade rate for guard Jrue Vacation was too expensive and nothing could be done about forward Jerami Grant bolting to Detroit in totally free firm.
Well, that’s a lot of loser’s mentality hooey.
In professional sports, if you do not spend every waking hour in an effort to improve, you’re not just losing ground however begging to get your butt kicked.
Any person checked the NBA standings recently? No matter the number of triple-doubles remain in Jokic’s bag of tricks, he will not be the MVP if Denver runs back in the pack with muttly Sacramento and Memphis, rather than alongside with LeBron, Kawhi and the top pets from Los Angeles.
With a harming Murray is obviously not the player he remained in the NBA bubble, it’s mystifying why coach Michael Malone grinds so hard on a team that has obviously taken an action in reverse. Instead of accepting the growing pains of forward Michael Porter Jr., colleagues now appear as disdainful of his mistakes as Malone was last season. Might that be an example of the tone being set at the top?
Yes, the Nuggets are handling legitimate issues. The offseason was over in a heart beat and pro professional athletes deal with the very same COVID-19 fatigue making all of us a little stir crazy. Bothersome injuries make any form of a consistent playing rotation nearly impossible and it takes time to integrate brand-new personnel into Malone’s way of doing things.
Heck, blame Comcast for the team’s average 12-11 record, if it makes you feel better. I do not have the power to settle a ridiculous television conflict. However today, the Nuggets are unworthy paying a premium price to ruin your nights in front of the tube.
When Denver runs out sorts, Malone leans on his preferred gripe. “We’ve lost 3 in a row due to the fact that we haven’t protected anyone,” he groused after the loss to Milwaukee.
I truly like Malone and his no-nonsense, get-moving-or-get-out-of-the-way mindset. However could it be the core players in the locker room have begun to tune him out in his 6th season with the team?
It was my unique impression while visiting the NBA bubble during the opening round of the playoffs that the Nuggets wanted to go house. They were down 3-2 in a best-of-seven series against Utah when the league closed down in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake.
I’m persuaded the time out allowed the team to reassess its mindset, specifically when Murray used his outrage about social injustice to play like a man had. Had there been no NBA walkout, the Nuggets might’ve easily been removed by Utah and entered this season at a crossroads, instead of gliding along with the incorrect belief they were ready to win rings.
As currently built, the Nuggets are never ever going to win a champion. Denver requires to include another major piece to compete.
The NBA trade deadline in this quirky season is 6 weeks away. President of basketball operations Tim Connelly better be prepared to wheel and deal.
The huge target that should remain in Connelly’s scope? Washington guard Bradley Beal, balancing a league-leading 33 points for a Wizards group going no place and in requirement of a major reboot.
Neither Beal nor the Wizards have actually shown any genuine desire to divorce. Connelly, nevertheless, has strong ties to the franchise, which tried to take him from the Nuggets in 2019.
My proposed trade: Gary Harris, PJ Dozier, RJ Hampton, Bol and, most essential of all, 3 unprotected first-round draft options in exchange for Beal.
If the Wizards would prefer Porter to the draft picks, Denver would be absurd not to consider reconfiguring the trade to Washington’s preference.
The Nuggets have two options: Go get Beal. Or wait up until next year (once again).