The Denver Nuggets are undefeated in Oakland this season after the “JV team” beat the Warriors 100-99 on Thursday night.
After the Warriors eliminated the Nuggets in the first round last postseason, and then stole Andre Iguodala in free agency I haven’t been too fond of them. Losing to them is the basic reason the Nuggets blew everything up and lost Masai Ujiri and George Karl in the offseason.
So beating them feels great. Beating them in Oakland feels better. Beating them in Oakland, on national TV, without four starters and on a back-to-back? That was the most satisfying win of the season!
It’s pretty cool seeing play hard guys come together for a win like that. Timofey Mozgov ended up being the post-game TNT interview after the best game of his life: 29 (yes, 29!) rebounds and 23 points. His big game gave the Nuggets just enough to beat that evil Californian team.
Games like that give me a lot of hope for next season. If Brian Shaw can get a healthy Nuggets team to play consistently with effort similar to the gritty one the Nuggets had Thursday? Then next year may be a real treat, Nuggets fans, especially after adding a top 10 draft pick (fingers crossed the Knicks lose out).
I’m still pretty blown away the Nuggets managed to win this game. They were down 20 points in the first half and after Iguodala crossed up Qunicy Miller it seemed like the Warriors were headed for a win that they needed (they are only one game ahead of Phoenix now in the playoff race). Not to mention the Nuggets only have NINE guys playing, and it was a back-to-back. Wow, that was fun!
It was also fun seeing Kenneth Faried jump into the star role and get the last bucket for the Nuggets when they went to him in the final seconds. Faried delivered in the clutch when called upon, and it was in the post. The Nuggets have needed a go-to person in the final seconds of games ever since Carmelo Anthony left, and Faried developing a clutch game would mean he’s arrived as a star.
The JV Nuggets consisting of Faried, Mozgov, Randy Foye, Aaron Brooks, Quincy Miller, Evan Fournier, Darrell Arthur, and Jan Vesely have now won two really fun games in a row. Shaw has all nine playing hard, and looking like an NBA team. These guys getting minutes in close games against playoff teams should pay dividends for the Nuggets next season.
Shaw has these guys competing, and the good play is creating confidence for what could be one of the best benches in the league next year. The Nuggets can now head into the offseason with some positive momentum, and hopefully that jump starts a great offseason and carries over to next year.
Even without worrying about what this game means for the remaining Nuggets, this win was awesome. Beating the Warriors in Oakland twice this year is something I never expected. No matter if it was Lawson and Gallinari that delivered the loss to the Warriors, or if the team won by 30 instead of one, a bit of revenge sure does taste sweet.