Denver Nuggets

5 questions the Nuggets face entering the season’s second quarter – The Denver Post

NEW ORLEANS — The Denver Nuggets, with 23 games under their belts, are well into the second quarter of their 2017-18 season. Here’s what we know so far:

The Nuggets (13-10) entered play Tuesday fifth in the Western Conference, although only two of those victories have come against teams that currently occupy a playoff spot (New Orleans and Toronto). Naturally, both of those wins came at home, where Denver has dominated (10-2).

Individually, center Nikola Jokic remains — when healthy — on track as an emerging all-star, Gary Harris is still a reliable two-way player and Will Barton has become one of the best sixth men in the NBA. And maybe stockpiling big men was a good thing, as all-star power forward Paul Millsap is out for months after reconstructive wrist surgery and Jokic and Wilson Chandler have been banged up.

Here are five lingering questions facing the Nuggets, who have five games left on a six-game road trip.

1. How long will Denver need to survive without both star big men? Jokic went through some light jogging, jumping and other exercises this week, a positive sign that he could return from a sprained ankle on this road trip, as cautiously predicted by coach Michael Malone. The Nuggets badly need Jokic, who averages 15.5 points per game and leads the team in rebounding (10.6) and assists (4.2). The Nuggets could tumble significantly if Jokic is out for an extended period.

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