Nugget and Avs’ Playoff Fever Igniting
Winter time has become the prime sports-viewing opportunities for Teller and Colorado sports fans, with our two main state dream teams, the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche, emerging as ample playoff competitors.
So, if you are not hitting the ski slopes or ATV trails these days, don’t be afraid to view a Nugget or Avs’ game at one of our local establishments. For a change, you may not have to pound the counter in frustration or throw a beverage of choice at the screen after viewing another Colorado sports embarrassment.
In fact, local sports bars are more abuzz with talk about the b-ball exploits of the “Joker,” and “MacKinnon” power plays on ice than enduring the endless speculation over a Russell Wilson comeback, which doesn’t cease these days on social media outlets.
That is a welcome trend from our summer and fall disaster teams, the Colorado Rockies (Will they ever have a winning record again) and Denver Broncos (The biggest disappointment in the team’s history in 2022). Face it, they are both years away from championship contention again, so enjoy the winter, sports fans.
Denver Nuggets Eying an NBA Championship Appearance
For the last few years, Denver Nuggets fans have been excited thinking that star baller Nikola “The Joker” Jokic could be the one to carry their team to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history.
But even though their team has looked good the last couple of years during the regular season, they have just haven’t shined during the playoffs.
In fact, the closest the Nuggets have ever got to making to the Finals is losing in the Western Conference Finals which they have done in 1978, 1985, 2009, and 2020. But fans this year could be on to something when they repeat the phrase yet again, “this year could be our year.”
The Nuggets have looked stellar so far this season and they are currently sitting comfortably in the lead in their Western Conference. As of last week, the Nuggets were 42-18 and they are a nice six games ahead of the second place Memphis Grizzlies.
More good news is that the Nuggets have stayed strong during the second half of their season and they have yet to lose momentum. In the last two weeks, the Nuggets won four games in a row. And they have won eight of their last 10 matches.
Just like previous years, the Denver team owes much of their success to their center Jokic, who is determined to help his team make it all the way. The Joker is currently the team leader when it comes to most per game statistics.
So far, Jokic has played 52 games and he leads the team with 24.7 points per game, 11.6 rebounds per game, and 10.2 assists per game. He also is one of the best with hitting three pointers with his 63.2 percent field goal percentage and he averages 9.4 field goals made per match.
Point guard Jamal Murray has also been a key player this season and he sits directly behind Jokic in team stats. Murray is the only other player that averages more than 20 points per game and he sinks in over seven field goals during every game.
Jokic’s good friend power forward Aaron Gordon has proved that he and his buddy Jokic mean business this season. Gordon leads the team with an average of 0.8 blocks per game and he racks up around 17 points per match.
Even though the Nuggets are looking like they are definitely going to the playoffs this year, they will still want to keep winning some key matches coming up in the near future. This Tuesday, the Nuggets travel on the road to take on the 13-46 Houston Rockets. On Friday, they have a rematch with the number two 35-23 Grizzlies on their home court.
Colorado Avalanche Seeking a Return Grasp of St. Stanley
When the Avs ’22-’23 season started, fans were thrilled hoping that the team could take home the Stanley Cup for the second year in a row. However, the season thus far has proved that other teams are also hungry for the title.
The Avalanche had somewhat of a rocky start and then in the middle of the season they were riddled with injuries. But now that the team is in the second half of their season, they seemed to have turned things around a bit.
In the last couple of weeks, the Avs have shown that they have gained some momentum by winning four games in a row and five of their last six matches. The team’s record is 32-19-5 and they are in fourth place in their Central Division at the moment.
The good news is the Avs are only a few games behind taking the first place spot in their division. If they can keep winning matches, it is possible for them to catch up with the first place Dallas Stars, the second place Winnipeg Jets, and the third place Minnesota Wild.
This year the team is being led by the same stars that enabled them to take home the national championship last season. The top three players on the team are once again center Nathan MacKinnon, right wing Mikko Rantanen, and defenseman Cale Makar.
MacKinnon is currently leading the team in points by a single score. MacKinnon has picked up 69 points so far versus Rantanen’s 68.
Along with leading the team in points scored, MacKinnon also has the most assists with 49 and he is the best in the plus/minus category with 21. Rantanen has scored the most goals on the team with 37, but he also leads the team with 46 penalty minutes.
Goalie Alexander Georgiev has played the most with 40 matches and he has a 2.68 goals-against average. Backup goalie Pavel Francouz has played 15 games and he sits at a 2.53 goals-against average.
The Avs stay busy this week with four matches starting on Monday with a home bout against the tough 35-18-5 Las Vegas Golden Knights. This Wednesday they stay at home and challenge the 38-15-5 New Jersey Devils.
The team hits the road again on Saturday to play the first place 30-16-12 Dallas Stars. Then on Sunday, they come back home to face the 32-20-6 Seattle Kraken.