Nuggets Rules: An eight-step guide to dethroning the reigning champs 

Denver Nuggets v Dallas Mavericks
Denver Nuggets v Dallas Mavericks / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages
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The Bad Boy Pistons of the 80s, led by Chuck Daly, created the “Jordan Rules,” a detailed defensive strategy designed to limit Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. The strategy helped them beat the Bulls in back-to-back playoff series in 1988 and 1989, and they went on to win the championship in both years.

As we all know, Jordan ultimately figured it out and won six NBA championships. However, the game plan, discipline, and execution are the exact types of attention to detail needed to combat greatness. Fast forward to today, and the reigning champions, the Denver Nuggets, have an elite system that exemplifies greatness as well. Below are the “Nugget Rules,” an eight-rule game plan that gives opposing teams the best chance to defeat the Nuggets in a seven-game series.

1) Size size size

The Nuggets have a huge frontcourt. Michael Porter Jr., Aaron Gordon, and Nikola Jokic all thrive on switches with smaller opponents. It’s extremely difficult to beat this team with a small ball lineup; you must have size on the court.

Their constant motion creates must-switch situations, and if you can’t switch with size, they’ll dominate the paint. The Nuggets are in the in the top 6 in the league, averaging 53.9 points per game. This is the most important thing: no scheme or gameplan works without matching their size. 

2) Stay at home on shooters

Nikola Jokic could win his third MVP this year and is on pace to be one of the best big men ever. Ironically, the most important thing is to guard him one-on-one and not send a double team. Jokic is far too smart, and the Nuggets' spacing is flawless. Doubling will result in countless threes and lobs to Gordon.

The Nuggets are 0-4 when Jokic scores over 40 points in the playoffs. He’s a more than-capable scorer, but their offense is predicated on player movement and flow. Jokic is pass-first by nature, and forcing him to become more of a scorer can disrupt their offense.

Let’s be clear: This doesn’t mean conceding layups. This means fighting for the post position, pushing him off the block, and contesting without fouling. He might score 40, but the Nuggets are 133-39. When he gets ten or more assists, take your chances and stay home.