Charles Barkley is known for his outward appearances. However, his latest “hot” may not be hot at all. At halftime of the Nuggets’ game against the Clippers on Jan. 5, Barkley doubled down on his respect for the Nuggets this season with a heartwarming quote.
“I thought the Nuggets would finish with the best record in the Western Conference,” Barkley said. “I think they’re the deepest team in the NBA. Joker’s going to do his thing. I think it’s going to come down to Jamal Murray. They’ve got everything.”
That’s a nice sentiment, but considering Chuck’s past with the guarantee, Denver fans have reason to pause.
Charles Barkley claims the Denver Nuggets are the deepest team in the NBA.
Sir Charles’ guarantee of the Denver Nuggets at the beginning of the season
As previously mentioned, Barkley predicted the Nuggets to finish first in the West before the regular season began. When his teammates Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith are healthy, they throw out names like the Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers. However, Barkley seems to be the only one who has faith in the now healthy Denver Nuggets squad. His prediction appears to be coming true as Denver is 8-2 in their last 10 games and has the fifth best defense with a 110.6 defensive rating.
They are coming off their best win of the season. A game where they beat the Los Angeles Clippers by a final score of 122-91. It was a very lob side, the starters didn’t even play in the fourth quarter. Also remember that the Clippers played Kawhi Leonard, who scored just 6 points in 18 minutes of play. Paul George also played and scored 3 points. This game showed how dominant the Nuggets can be when they play better. While Barkley has had questionable issues at times, his latest comments about Denver may not have been questionable at all.
Denver’s season so far
The Nuggets are in first place in the West with a 25-13 winning record. During their 10-game streak, they have impressive wins over the likes of the aforementioned Boston Celtics (currently first in the Eastern Conference), the Phoenix Suns, and most recently the Los Angeles Clippers. This shows that Denver isn’t just hitting the bottom of the league’s barrel teams.
They are handling business with playoff caliber squads. The Denver Nuggets still have a long way to go if they want to be taken seriously as championship contenders. Despite their high output in the last 10 games, the defense is still a concern and the bench is inconsistent at times. Even with the emergence of players like Bone Hyland and Christian Brown. However, this recent stretch may be the point of the season where the Nuggets put it all together. They could prove to be a contender to be taken seriously this year.