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The Nuggets are the new top dog

Illustration: Thayer Sindelar· The Sentry

Denver should support their best team

The city of Denver has always been a Broncos town; they support that team through thick and thin and let everyone know about it. The past two seasons, however, have been less than ideal for the Denver Broncos. Quietly, the Denver Nuggets have been building a culture and identity, and it’s time for the city of Denver to embrace and recognize the Nuggets. 

The Denver Nuggets are sitting at one of the top seeds in the Western Conference. Being fair, they are still a ways away from the playoffs; standings can and will change. Naturally, certain teams will get better and worse as the season progresses, and the standings in the Western Conference could look different by the time the postseason begins, but the Nuggets could still very well be the number one seed in the West. 

The Nuggets are no joke; they are not winning because of lack of competition. They are winning because they are good. The Nuggets have what every team needs in the NBA: a star. Nikola Jokić is arguably the best passing big man in today’s game and deserves to make this year’s all-star team. 

This roster is at the top of the list when it comes to youngest age in the NBA; Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokić are two building blocks that can carry this franchise. Meanwhile, head coach Mike Malone has his team motivated, and at this point, are top three in offensive and defensive efficiency ratings in the entire NBA. 

The issue is that in 2018, according to ESPN’s NBA Attendance Report, which provides attendance statistics for every home game, the Nuggets were ranked 20th, while the Broncos were fifth in their respective 2018 NFL Attendance Report. That is just ridiculous, and the Broncos are by far a worse product compared to the Nuggets. And this doesn’t come as a surprise; last season the Nuggets had a win or go home game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, yet the focus was still on who the Broncos would take with their draft pick. 

In the NFL, you need a quarterback to win, and the Broncos do not have one; in the NBA, however, you need a star, and the Nuggets have one. Granted, the Broncos have Von Miller, who is deservedly idolized in Denver, but they are not winning, and with Patrick Mahomes taking over the league, it seems like the AFC West is his until he feels like giving it back. 

There is no better time for Denver to elevate the Nuggets as the city’s top dog. At the end of the day, they are winning, which is the most crucial aspect. Again, this is not a fluke; this team will only get better with time and mature into a potential powerhouse.

This is an exciting time in the Western Conference; besides the Warriors, this is a wide-open conference. Now, while everyone expects the Golden State Warriors to reach the NBA Finals, unlike years past, this does not feel as if the gap between them and everyone else is Grand Canyon-esque. The Denver Nuggets could easily find themselves playing for a chance to reach the NBA Finals and could make the playoffs this year for the first time since the 2012-2013 NBA season.

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