Many people are excited about the Denver Nuggets and for good reason. The Nuggets are young and extremely talented. In fact, this season may turn out for Denver to be much like the 2012-2013 season that the Golden State Warriors had where they made the playoffs and pulled an upset over the Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs.
The Warriors were a young, exciting team that began establishing themselves in 2012-2013. Golden State hit on their draft picks and added proven veterans in route to becoming one of the best teams in NBA history. For the most part the Warriors are home grown. Denver is quietly doing things very similar. So, are there any comparisons between the two teams?
“I have not really thought of that analogy,” said Warriors head coach Steve Kerr after Friday’s preseason game. “The talent is different, but it is definitely there. Emmanuel Mudiay is a really good, young point guard. Nikola Jokic and Jusuf Nurkic are excellent bigs. They have good vets in Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler. I like their young core. Mike Malone does a great job. This is a good young team that is going to cause problems for people.”
Steve Kerr definitely knows a thing or two. He played on championship teams with Michael Jordan for the Chicago Bulls. Kerr was also general manager for the Phoenix Suns and an analyst for TNT before leading the Warriors to a championship as the head coach.
A big key to success for Golden State was hitting on three draft picks;, which they did with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. The Nuggets have already seemed to really hit with two of their draft picks in Jokic and Mudiay. Time will tell if Jamal Murray and Nurkic will pan out. Murray is showing early that he has true scoring skills and Nurkic seems to be a different player after losing 30 pounds in the offseason.
The Nuggets down the road may not turn out to be as successful as the Warriors. However, Denver’s developmental process is very similar to what we saw with Golden State four years ago. It is going to be truly exciting watching all the work Tim Connelly has done play out on the floor this season.