The 5-Game Pick ‘Em Plan gives fans the chance to select their top five home games of the season. We got together this week with two Nuggets fans, Pat and Patsy, to get their opinions on some of the top games this coming season.
Have to start with the first home game against the Kings on the 21st! It’ll be the first time we see Paul Millsap in a Nuggets uniform at Pepsi Center and the Kings come to town with several new faces and a revamped team. The backcourt matchups will drive this matchup with rookie De’Aaron Fox lining up against second-year man Jamal Murray and Buddy Hield, and Gary Harris battling it out on the wing. Both Harris and Murray ended the season with a ton of momentum so I’ll be curious to see how they matchup with a guy garnering a bunch of hype (Fox), and another that ended the season on a high note after the Boogie Cousins trade (Hield). Our new front court duo of Jokić and Millsap figures to matchup well against a Cauley-Stein/Labissiere/Randolph combo. Expect Jokić to take advantage of open passing lanes. This will be a good test to see what the Nuggets have in store for the first eight of 13 games at home.
I agree, that home season opener has me very excited to see what the Nuggets roll out. Not to mention it might be one of our last chances to see Vincanity (Vince Carter) take the court. Looking at the schedule the next home game that catches my eye is Golden State on November 4th but I’m going to pass on that first Golden State matchup in favor of Oklahoma City on November 9th. No Nuggets fan is going to forget what happened the last time league MVP Russell Westbrook and company were in town. This season he’ll bring Paul George with him after a trade with Indiana. Nikola Jokić finished last season on a tear and put up an insane stat line of 29 points, 16 rebounds, 8 assists and 5 blocks in the season finale in Oklahoma City last season. The contrast in playing style between the two teams last season could not have been more different as the Thunder relied on Russell Westbrook to create nearly all of their offense while the Nuggets moved the ball and had a balanced attack on offense. I’ll be curious to see how the Thunder mesh with the addition of George and I think this will be a good test for the growth of this Nuggets team.
Ok, ok. I’m picking up what you’re putting down. I could see Jokić posting a triple-double in this one, especially with Millsap now in the lineup to help crash the boards. Next one up is when the Timberwolves roll in on December 20th. Everyone has to love a KAT/Jokić matchup. Towns gave Jokić one of his (many) highlights last season when Jokić improvised at half court with a behind-the-back dribble to a long range pass. The Chandler/Butler matchup at the three will be a good one. Butler was a high-profile name this offseason but Chandler quietly had a very efficient season last year, posting averages of 15.7 points and 6.5 rebounds. I think he’ll be motivated to prove his value against Butler. I keep coming back to Gary Harris’ name because the guy is poised for a breakout but this Wiggins/G contest will be especially interesting. Wiggins can score in heavy doses while G has proven to be a staunch wing-defender. Gary has all the tools to shut down Wiggins and it’ll be interesting to see what happens here.
That KAT and Joker matchup is going to be one to watch for the next 10+ years. For the next game I’d pick I’m going to stretch a bit and choose a team that might be a few years away from being contenders. For the last game in the calendar year 2017 the Sixers come to town and I’m really interested in seeing The Process in person. A potentially healthy Joel Embiid squaring off with Nikola Jokić is a matchup made in basketball heaven. I think the Sixers have a solid young core and I’d be intrigued to see who the Nuggets throw at Ben Simmons. Sure, the former No. 1 overall pick hasn’t played a single minute in the NBA but his sheer size and playmaking ability could make him a matchup problem in this league. Luckily the Nuggets have a guy in Wilson Chandler who matches up in size and mobility and could give the young Simmons some problems. While Jamal Murray and Markelle Fultz have slightly different games it should be a blast to watch those two trade long range shots. What do you think? Are you down for the Philly game or should we pick another game in early January?
I feel like Philly and our squad are the two front-runners for being touted as young and up-and-coming so I’m excited to see this in action. Good on Philly for Trusting the Process but I have to take Jokić over Embiid here. I’m taking us out of January and headed to April for our game against the Trailblazers on the 9th. It’s the second of two but falls right when playoff implications might be at their highest, not to mention Jusuf Nurkic’ return to Pepsi Center. After some “jabbing” at the end of the season, I’m sure Nuggets fans will be more than happy to give him a proper welcome. Once again – the backcourt matchup will really be thrilling here. Jamal and Gary are very reminiscent of a young Dame and CJ. Last season, Dame and CJ were able to get to the basket but this season, we have the Anchorman as our last line of defense. I don’t see these two getting many easy buckets within four feet with Millsap back there.
Whoa, you’re going to take us from late December all the way to April without using our 5-game plan? I don’t question the choice of game but that’s a long time to go without seeing the Nuggets play! I guess we could always pick something different, that is the beauty of this plan, we get to pick whatever we want. I’m wondering if I should swap that OKC game for the Warriors on February 3? By that point in the season this young Nuggets squad should hopefully be firing on all cylinders and that matchup could be super fun. Both teams can spread the floor and move the ball. The Nuggets had a monster win the last time Golden State was in town and some media publications have called the Nuggets a team that could possibly be a superteam in the future. There’s also the Cavs game, another team the Nuggets beat in Pepsi Center last season. Who can forget Nikola backing down The King and getting a hard fought bucket in the paint? Last, but not least is the Bucks. In years past not many might’ve thought of the Bucks as a team you have to see but a Bucks-Nuggets game is a must watch. Nikola and Giannis are “unicorns”, giants who can play inside or out and can do things that few other players can. All in all I like the 5 games we picked, I’m just saying I’d be down to throw any of those games in the loop as well. Luckily we can still grab single game tickets. Can’t wait for this season to start, Mile High Basketball is back soon enough and I’m pumped about the future!
We didn’t even get to the Spurs, Rockets, and Celtics coming to town! Too many exciting moments are in store for Pepsi Center this season.
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5-Game Pick ‘Em Plan