The Final Countdown: Nuggets - Magic preview

Kevin Gillikin looks ahead to the final scrimmage game for the Denver Nuggets, ahead of Saturday's NBA Restart.

Starting the largest lineup in the history of the NBA is fun...until it isn't.

There is a reason why teams don't regularly trot out five big-men onto the court and it has something to do with camera angles and TV production...oh and also maybe the whole lacking proper quickness to keep up with the smaller-men. It was abundantly clear that this was a problem with the El' Massive lineup in Saturday's exhibition game against the New Orleans Pelicans. The frustration is starting to surface for players and coaches alike as they just want to play like everyone else - just better. 

It's like playing football with 11 offensive linemen on the field at the same time. They are going to thrive in a few elements but in the end, there is a reason why teams are made up of all shapes and sizes in both sports and we really don't want to see Garrett Bolles running a 9 route!

Fortunately, the Denver Nuggets are starting to get healthy and are almost ready to play together as a full squad. Once they do, we can really get an idea of what we are seeing on the court. Right now it just looks more like sloppy street ball than anything else and no doubt, Michael Malone is not a fan. 

Still, there are some bright sides and they mostly belong to NBA rookie sensation, Bol Bol - who apparently just signed an endorsement deal with Chipotle for the "Bol Bol Bowl" (someone please tell me this is true!).

Bol has had his struggles, especially defending outside the paint, but his immense reach and blocking prowess has amazingly been overshadowed by how smooth he has looked in this offense. He's nailing threes, slamming home dunks off of no-look Jokic passes and just looks like a guy who could be something. 

Now, before we crown him as team MVP, let's remember that we all fell in love with Michael Porter Junior and he was promptly benched by Malone. What we see and what the coaching staff sees is often quite different and it's likely that Bol Bol will get to stretch his lanky legs for most of the shortened season, on the bench. 

Or....he could be the next Jokic and prove to be a wonderkid, who changes what everyone previously knew about the game of basketball and the Nuggets ride off into a decade of glory where Jokic and Bol become synonymous with Jordan and Pippin. 

Let's wish this into reality. 

Oh, by the way, real basketball starts in less than a week!

You can watch the game on Altitude Sports in Colorado. If you are in Europe, it is available on the NBA League Pass.

Kevin Gillikin


Denver Nuggets writer, Colorado Europe


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