Coach Mike Malone’s team has fought their way to a second straight game seven in the 2020 playoffs. The Denver Nuggets have been written off and left for dead five or six times already in this postseason. Each time, the Nuggets’ resiliency is on full display and they find a way to survive another day. Tuesday night they will try to complete a second consecutive comeback for being down 3-1 in a series. Denver is one win away from its first Western Conference Finals since 2009.
Denver Nuggets Resiliency on Full Display in NBA Playoffs
Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray have each said after the last two victories that this team plays best with its back against the wall. So far in the 2020 playoffs, it has become a familiar position. Despite the flaws this team has, it’s clear that mental toughness and a refusal to quit are not among them. This young group has shown an uncanny ability to step up when everything is on the line. Now they have to battle the Los Angeles Clippers one more time with their season on the line.
Dead in the Water
The Denver Nuggets have been left for dead by pundits and fans alike several times over the last few weeks. The team’s resiliency emerged for the first time when they were down 3-1 in the first round to the Utah Jazz. Trailing by 15 points in the third quarter, Denver looked well on their way to the off season. Reserve guard PJ Dozier gave the Nuggets a defensive spark, and Murray went crazy on the offensive end as they survived elimination. Murray had another monumental performance in game six, and Jokic led the way as the Nuggets won game seven to outlast the Jazz and move onto the second round.
In the minds of most fans and pundits, Denver was dead in the water before the series with the Clippers ever began. Led by Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, Los Angeles was the betting favorite to win the 2020 NBA Championship. They looked the part in game one, blasting Coach Malone’s team from the opening tip and cruising to a blowout victory. The Nuggets evened the series in game two before letting a fourth quarter lead slip away in game three. Once again it looked as if this team would be heading out the bubble after a slow first quarter led to loss in game four.
Backs Against the Wall
This young group in Denver has now proven over the past two seasons that they will come out swinging when their backs are against the wall. They were down 16 points in the third quarter in both games five and six before rallying late to win. This team is now 6-1 in elimination games over the past two postseasons. While Murray exploded offensively in the Utah series to …read more