Losing game two to the Timberwolves would be disaster for Nuggets

Minnesota Timberwolves v Denver Nuggets - Game One
Minnesota Timberwolves v Denver Nuggets - Game One / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

It may seem premature to look ahead, especially after the Nuggets' game one loss to the Timberwolves in Ball Arena. But actually, the exact opposite is the case. It’s the perfect time to remember what this team is playing for, and how they must focus and achieve the task at hand to complete their greater goals.

Denver won it all last year, earning some incredible grace, but still, it’s hard to say a second-round loss with homecourt advantage would be anything but a disappointment. While the Wolves are a very good team, their pieces are still a bit clunky, their superstar is only 22 years old, and their second star is inconsistent on both ends and can’t stay out of foul trouble.

No excuses for the Nuggets

The Nuggets are dealing with issues, such as the health of Jamal Murray, which is complicating things. But there’s no excuse here. The Nuggets are the better team, plain and simple. They have the best player in this series and the best player on earth, Nikola Jokic, in the prime of his career.

Even with his health in question, Murray was able to come up huge in game five to eliminate the Lakers in round one, including another heroic clutch game-winning shot. That version of Murray is going to need to show up in this series against the Timberwolves.

The role players are also going to have to make some noise, the offense can’t all come from Jokic, Murray, and Michael Porter Jr. (who had a great game on both ends). Aaron Gordon, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and the bench players need to show up and find ways to score and generate offense.

Game 2 is not a must-win...but it's close

Maybe it’s too early to be saying this, and it could look dumb in a couple of weeks, but the Nuggets need to have a very different approach for game two. If they lose that game they are in huge trouble. Going on the road to Minnesota down 0-2 would be a borderline disaster and something that NBA teams simply don’t often overcome.

There is plenty of time for the Nuggets to right this ship and they can certainly still win this series, perhaps even comfortably. But losing game one at home needs to be a major wake-up call and we need to see a higher energy level from the jump in game two.