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The only other Cheap Bill Hanzlik Jersey Nuggets team to advance to

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Tough. Hardened. Resilient. Battle-tested.

Use whatever adjective you’d like, but the Denver Nuggets are suddenly all of them.

And while the Nuggets roster isn’t new by any means, tough is a relatively new identity. Soft is a word no athlete or team wants used Wholesale Denver Nuggets Jerseys in front of their name, but it’s safe to say that the Nuggets have been called soft a time or two up until recently. Whether that identity was fair or not is up for debate, but the fact of the matter is that nobody has ever confused the current Cheap Bill Hanzlik Jersey Nuggets with the Detroit Pistons of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s.

Another fact: These Nuggets have never advanced to the Western Conference Finals before either.

The last Denver team to do that? The 2008—09 Nuggets, which featured Cheap Chauncey Billups Jersey players like Kenyon Martin, Chauncey Billups and Dahntay Jones. Tough, tough and tough.

And before them? The only other Nuggets team to advance to the WCF? That would be the 1984-85 team, featuring the likes of Calving Natt, T.R. Dunn, Bill Hanzlik – tough guys, guys who weren’t afraid to assert their authority (or maybe even a well-placed forearm shiver).

In ’85, it was Hanzlik slugging it out with the likes of Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Ralph Sampson and Artis Gilmore, players Cheap Jamal Murray Jersey who had considerable inches – both in height and punch – on the Nuggets’ small forward. With a single stare, Natt could frighten just about anyone, while Dunn was simply a chunk of Cheap Kenyon Martin Jersey granite disguised as a basketball player.

In ’09, it was Martin shoving Dirk Nowitzki to the ground after a little extracurricular activity and just before an uncontested layup. And then it was Jones tripping up – literally – the great Kobe Bryant. And there have been a few NBA players as mentally tough as Billups, but none tougher.

So, for the current Nuggets to find themselves duking it out with the Lakers in the bubble version of the Western Conference Finals, it’s no wonder than they suddenly become tough.

There’s a fine line between dirty and tough – so fine, in fact, that there’s plenty of crossover. Jones’ intentional trip of Bryant was undoubtedly dirty, as was Martin’s shove of Nowitzki, but both gestures sent a very Cheap T.R. Dunn Jersey clear message – one that suggested whatever weapon was required to win, or at least put a stop to getting beat, would be deployed (rules be damned, of course). When Hanzlik famously baited a multitude of big men to take a swing, he was simply standing his ground. Every horse swats his tail at flies, but more often than not, it’s the fly who wins, causing the horse to run off; the pesky Hanzlik simply broke the will of players who were far bigger and better.

Dispelling the label of “soft” isn’t easy either. When nothing is done when a nobody opponent blows the kiss of disrespect in your face, the murmur just gets louder and louder. It requires more than one act of toughness to reinvent one’s self as “tough.”

Maybe the Nuggets finally got tired of hearing Cheap Paul Millsap Jersey they were soft, because they’ve refused to be bullied of late.

Perhaps it started with Murray reminding a mouthy Royce O’Neale that “he couldn’t guard him” in game five against the Jazz. Or, maybe it was Paul Millsap physically taking exception to Marcus Morris’ goonery as the Nuggets battled back against the Clippers.

Or maybe the Nuggets mental toughness became evident after rallying from two consecutive 1-3 playoff series deficits.

The Joker – jovial and goofy by nature, but considerably tougher than his Softish Sombor exterior might suggest – has repeatedly clowned the ultimate clown in Dwight Howard, and he backed down the NBA Defensive Player of the Year runner-up for a go ahead bucket in the waning seconds of game two against L.A.

Maybe, by fighting through a LeBron James screen with a high elbow that ultimately sent a message to the King himself, Jamal Murray’s mean mug suddenly, and truly, looked as if it belonged on the mug of a man who’s not to be messed with. The Nuggets showed toughness by gaining, then losing, leads of 18 points and 20 points – separately, in the first half and fourth quarter in game three against the Lakers – and still managed to hold on for the win. They did this, of course, after a heartbreaking loss in game two.

By and large, the Nuggets are a bunch of very nice guys, plenty of whom have a very nice game to match.

the Nuggets fed their Vlatko Cancar Jersey Serbian superstar

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When Nikola Jokic turns into an assassin, not even rudimentary offense can stop the Nuggets.

Jokic scored 17 fourth-quarter points, including one stunning, rim-rattling jam, to lead the Nuggets over the Bulls, 118-112, on Monday night. The win Cheap Gary Harris Jersey nudged Denver to 19-15 on the season ahead of Tuesday’s matchup in Milwaukee. It was Denver’s eighth Cheap Jamal Murray Jersey consecutive win over the Bulls, who were led by 23 points from Zach LaVine.

“It just defines his greatness,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “… Him welcoming that fourth-quarter responsibility to close Stitched Denver Nuggets Jerseys a team out speaks to his greatness. Simply stated.”

Jokic finished with 39 points, though his interior Cheap Nikola Jokic Jersey dominance was far from complicated. In the fourth quarter in particular, the Nuggets fed their Serbian superstar, who routinely and consistently finished over numerous defenders.

“We just kept running the same play, honestly,” said Jamal Murray. “I ain’t going to lie to you. We ran the same play Cheap Monte Morris Jersey over and over. And he was just scoring every time. There was no need to change anything. … I was trying to tell them. I was trying to tell Zach, ‘You need some help, you need some help.’ He said, ‘I’m not leaving you, Jamal.’”

Jokic flirted with his ninth triple-double of the season, but finished an assist shy in lieu of his scoring eruption.

“We were sloppy,” he said of his fourth-quarter Cheap Michael Porter Jr. Jersey mentality. “I just wanted to be aggressive, just to change the rhythm.”

Murray registered 24 points for his 10th consecutive game of at least 20+ points, and Michael Porter Jr. added 17 points and 15 rebounds. It was Porter’s fourth consecutive double-double.

But none of those supplementary Cheap Paul Millsap Jersey performances would’ve mattered without Jokic’s jaw-dropping takeover.

The Nuggets’ offense deteriorated in the third quarter, not unlike several other games. Behind seven turnovers and clunky, stop-and-start offense, the Bulls chiseled a seven-point halftime deficit to Cheap PJ Dozier Jersey two heading into the fourth. Denver fell into a momentary lull not even Jokic could drag his team out of.

Owing to a decimated rotation, the Nuggets relied heavily on reserves Vlatko Cancar, PJ Dozier and Zeke Nnaji. Malone said before the game he didn’t expect Gary Harris (adductor), Paul Millsap (knee) or JaMychal Green (shoulder) back until after the break.

Denver has two games left before getting their first extended rest in months.

Monday marked the first time old Nuggets GM Arturas Karnisovas faced his former team.

“I obviously have a very close relationship Cheap Vlatko Cancar Jersey and I follow them, but today’s a game the Chicago Bulls have to go after and try to win,” Karnisovas joked on a pre-game news conference.

Before the game, Karnisovas caught up with everyone from Nuggets president Tim Connelly, to Malone to Jokic.

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“I miss him,” Malone said. “… Miss seeing Arturas on a daily basis. It’s hard to make imprint changes in your first year. I think Arturas probably came in here, hired a hell of a coach in Billy Donovan, hired his Cheap R.J. Hampton Jersey own staff, trying to take stock of, ‘OK, let me get my hands on what we have here. Let me get a feel for who we have, what we’re about.’ And then I think, slowly but surely, he’ll start making those Cheap Zeke Nnaji Jersey changes that will be visible from those who know him well.”

Denver’s first-half offense hummed, just as it did in Saturday’s convincing win at Oklahoma City. Between Jokic, Murray and Porter, the Nuggets’ Big 3 combined for 43 points on only eight missed shots in the first half. Together, they built a 62-55 lead going into the break.

Murray and Porter both caught a rhythm from beyond the arc, while Jokic muscled his way deep into the post against Chicago’s Cheap Michael Porter Jersey Wendell Carter Jr. Frustrated with several no-calls, Jokic actively went at Carter to eventually initiate contact.

With a heavy emphasis on limiting LaVine, Murray and Dozier alternated between checking Chicago’s All-Star, holding him to just 12 points in the first half.

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Michael Porter Jr. is ready to do more than just fill the void on the Denver Nuggets caused by the departures of key wing players such as Cheap Jerami Grant Jersey and Cheap Torrey Craig Jersey.

The second-year forward is prepared to not only be a full-time starter, but believes he’s ready to be the third star that Jamal Murray and Cheap Nikola Jokic Jersey need.

“Yeah, I do,” Porter said when asked if he thinks he can become the second- or third-leading scorer on the team.

“I want to be one of the best players,” Porter later added. “And I want to guard the best players and I want the best players on the other team to guard me.”

As the Denver Nuggets return to training camp, it’s important for fans to become reacquainted with their favorite team. During a shortened offseason, the Nuggets made several player transactions, more than usual, and the resulting roster looks very different than it did before. 10 players on the 2019-20 roster have returned for the 2020-21 season, and they are:

Cheap Jamal Murray Jersey – point guard

Monte Morris – point guard

Cheap PJ Dozier Jersey– combo guard

Cheap Gary Harris Jersey – shooting guard

Cheap Will Barton Jersey – wing/forward

Cheap Michael Porter Jr. Jersey – forward

Cheap Bol Bol Jersey– forward

Cheap Paul Millsap Jersey – power forward

Vlatko Čančar – power forward

Nikola Jokić – center

That leaves seven roster spots, each of which the Nuggets have filled with a player hoping to move the Nuggets closer to winning their first championship in franchise history.

Today, it’s time to introduce Nuggets fans to Cheap Isaiah Hartenstein Jersey.

Isaiah Hartenstein Player Profile
Position: Center

Previous Team: Houston Rockets

Height, Weight, Wingspan: 7’0”, 250 lbs, 7’2”

Statistics
Per Game Table
Season Tm G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2017-18 RIO 38 11 18.7 3.6 6.3 .571 0.3 0.9 .343 3.3 5.3 .611 2.0 2.9 .685 2.8 3.8 6.6 1.2 0.5 1.1 1.4 3.0 9.5
2018-19 RIO 26 26 32.4 7.8 12.5 .622 0.7 2.4 .274 7.1 10.1 .703 3.2 5.0 .646 5.2 9.8 14.9 3.7 0.7 2.0 3.3 3.4 19.4
2019-20 RIO 14 14 32.6 9.4 16.2 .581 0.9 3.3 .261 8.6 12.9 .663 2.9 4.4 .661 4.7 10.1 14.8 4.2 1.4 1.1 3.2 3.6 24.9
Career 78 51 25.8 6.0 10.1 .595 0.5 1.8 .287 5.5 8.3 .663 2.6 3.9 .663 3.9 6.9 10.8 2.6 0.7 1.4 2.3 3.2 15.6
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/3/2020.
How did Hartenstein get to the Nuggets?
Hartenstein grew up playing international basketball, having grown up in Germany while his father, Florian Hartenstein. After a few seasons playing professionally as a teenager, he declared for the NBA draft in 2017. The Houston Rockets selected him with the 43rd overall pick, and he spent most of his time with the franchise’s G-League team, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. He’ll actually come to the Nuggets with experience playing with Cheap Monte Morris Jersey, as the two players were teammates during the 2017-18 season.

Hartenstein made the 2018-19 All-G-League team, and has been one of the best big men to play in the league the past few seasons. He only saw limited minutes with the Rockets when he would get called up to the NBA, but when given the opportunity to play in the G League, he was highly effective. The Rockets waived him last season, and as an unrestricted free agent, he was free to sign with the Nuggets.

Highlights

What to Expect from Hartenstein
For starters, Hartenstein is not a big, white stiff that Nuggets fans have grown accustomed to as the backup big on the team — Hartenstein’s father is African-American. He’s an impressive dunker, similar to Cheap Mason Plumlee Jersey, with the ability to powerfully finish with both hands when given a lane to the basket. It’s not difficult to see him finishing a couple dunks per game courtesy of a nifty pass from Monte Morris or Facu Campazzo.

While he is able to use his athleticism to finish efficiently around the rim, there’s a burgeoning skill set in his game that he has yet to fully untap. He has a flair for the dramatic, and will occasionally find a teammate open for an easy basket as he’s diving to the rim. He shoots fine enough from the free throw line (66% career in the G League), and has shown the ability to shoot from behind the 3-point line, although it’s a shot that he still needs to develop. I could see him learning how to shoot from the corners, focusing on becoming skilled from one area, giving him one additional way to space the floor when he’s on the court.

He’s going to play with a lot of energy, setting good screens and crashing the glass for rebounds. He’ll have to commit to becoming more disciplined on defense, and reining in some of his emotions to maintain focus on his assignments.

Denver has an interesting positional battle for the backup big role going into training camp. While Hartenstein is older and has more experience, he plays a similar game to Cheap Zeke Nnaji Jersey. The coaching staff will get a good chance to see which player edges out the other, and earns the minutes that will be available behind Jokic.

A two-year contract is a great gamble for both Hartenstein and the Nuggets. If Hartenstein is capable of replicating some of the play that make him great in the G-League, he’ll be a nice contributor to the team over the next two seasons. He’ll have shown the NBA that he’s worth a bigger contract, and will be able to thank the Nuggets for helping him refine his game. If it doesn’t work out, he won’t hurt the team’s salary cap and he won’t be around for too long. Thank goodness they didn’t pay their backup center $40 million this time around — one of Nnaji or Hartenstein should be able to fill that role plenty fine.

One thing is for certain — when he started for Houston, he was a beast. The Nuggets may have found something great here. It’s going to take a lot of polishing, but I’m excited.

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Tim Connelly, Nuggets president of basketball operations, said it is a poorly kept secret that the Nuggets need Porter to take a big step forward this season. They lost Grant’s versatility, particularly on defense, when the forward signed with the Detroit Pistons. And Craig, one of the team’s other top wing defenders, signed with the Milwaukee Bucks.

After sitting out the 2018-19 season following back surgery, Porter’s playing time fluctuated to start his rookie season. Elevated into the starting lineup due to injuries, Porter shined during the seeding games in the NBA’s restart in Orlando, Florida. He was named to the All-Seeding Games second team after averaging 22.0 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists and one steal in seven games.

He started three games in the postseason and was inconsistent, averaging 11.4 points and 6.7 rebounds. But the experience of playing 23.7 minutes per game in the playoffs on a team that pulled off two straight historic 3-1 series comebacks to reach the Western Conference finals was incredibly valuable.

“I kind of saw everything last year,” said Porter. “We played LeBron [James] in the playoffs, I played against Kawhi [Leonard], Paul George, all the best players at my position. So I feel like I have some experience now going into this season that I didn’t have last year in my first year playing.”

“I went from DNPs to starting on a Western Conference finals team in the playoffs,” Porter added. “I learned a lot in one year and looking to carry that over to this year. I want to make a really big jump. I’ve been working really hard in all the areas that I saw that I need to get better in the playoffs. I’m excited and I feel like I’m ready.”

Nuggets coach Michael Malone said that the starting spots at shooting guard, small forward and power forward have yet to be decided, but he believes Porter can make a big leap.

“I think [he] really showed himself well in those 19 playoff games that he had a chance to play in in Orlando,” Malone said. “And I think Cheap Michael Porter Jersey has a chance to be an all-league talent, and I’m excited to see what he can do this year.”

Veteran Will Barton, who left the bubble prior to the seeding games because of a knee injury, said he is feeling better and has made it clear he prefers not to come off the bench.

“I’m a starter in this league,” Barton told reporters Friday. “I think I’ve proved that year in and year out being one of the most consistent players in the whole NBA.

“… I think it is clear-cut who I am in this league.”