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Nuggets

Nuggets rally, force Game 7 vs. Clippers

Despite trailing by 19 points in the third quarter the Nuggets rallied on Sunday afternoon in Orlando to beat the Clippers 111-98 and force Game 7 in the Western Conference semifinals.

Center Nikola Jokić led Denver with 34 points, 14 rebounds and six assists. He had this to say after the win:

“Maybe this is going to sound weird or funny, but we don’t care. We’re just going to go there and have fun. Coach said in the meeting before ‘don’t forget to have fun’ and in the third and fourth quarters we were having fun. You could see everybody was laughing feeling good because we were playing good, we were playing amazing, so when we play like that the confidence is very high.”

Game 7 set for Tuesday night

On Tuesday night (7 p.m., ESPN) the Nuggets will become the first team in NBA history to play in four straight series that went to Game 7. Last season Denver beat San Antonio in the first round before falling to Portland in the semis.

The Clippers meanwhile are trying to reach the conference finals for the first time in their history. The Lakers are waiting for whichever team is victorious in with Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.

Nuggets-Clippers Game 6 highlights

Tip-ins

Nuggets-Clippers schedule and results

GameResult
Game 1Clippers 120, Nuggets 97Box score
Game 2Nuggets 110, Clippers 101Box score
Game 3Clippers 113, Nuggets 107Box score
Game 4Clippers 96, Nuggets 85Box score
Game 5Nuggets 111, Clippers 105Box score
Game 6Nuggets 111, Clippers 98Box score
Game 7Nuggets 104, Clippers 89Box score
Nuggets win best-of-seven series 4-3

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Rockies fall as bullpen, offense again stumble

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Nuggets rally, force Game 7 vs. Clippers

Despite trailing by 19 points in the third quarter the Nuggets rallied on Sunday afternoon in Orlando to beat the Clippers 111-98 and force Game 7 in the Western Conference semifinals. Center Nikola Jokić led Denver with 34 points, 14 rebounds and six assists. He had this to say after the win: “Maybe this is […]

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Nuggets Uncategorized

Porter calls out coaches, teammates after Nuggets’ 96-85 loss Wednesday

The Nuggets lost to the Clippers 96-85 in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals Wednesday night in Orlando, but it’s what happened after the game that quickly became the bigger story.

Denver rookie Michael Porter Jr. scored 15 points in the first half on 5-for-6 shooting, he finished the game with 15 points on 5-for-8 shooting. After the game he was asked what he needed to do in the second half to get more involved and here was his response:

“I just didn’t touch the ball. They didn’t do anything differently. … That is up to the playcalling, the coaches and whose hands they want to put the ball in. We kept going to (Nikola Jokić) and (Jamal Murray) and they are two amazing players, but I just think to beat them we need to get more players involved. We have to move the ball a little bit better. We can’t be predictable against that team.”

It didn’t stop there though as Porter went on to say he’s going to talk to the coaches about the plan going forward.

“I think if I am going to be out there on the floor playing a lot of minutes, I think I should voice that. I will probably talk to the coaches and tell them what I see being out there on the floor just letting them know, look, they know what we are doing. We have to swing the ball. We have a lot of players that can play basketball and score, so we have to get some more guys involved.”

Porter said.

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard voiced his displeasure on Twitter with what Porter said after the game in a series of tweets, including this one, talking about whether Porter’s assessment was correct, just handled poorly:

Clippers stifle Denver offense

As for the actual game, Denver was thoroughly shut down as L.A.’s Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Patrick Beverley held Murray to 18 points on 6-of-15 shooting, along with seven assists and four turnovers.

Jokić still had a solid game for the Nuggets, finishing with 26 points and 11 rebounds. But it was no match for Leonard who nearly had a triple double with 30 points, 11 boards and nine assists.

Nuggets coach Michael Malone didn’t mince words either after the game, saying:

“We have to be a hell of a lot better on offense. I have to help our guys more. They’re just dogging and hounding Jamal Murray everywhere. It’s been really hard to get him open for quality looks. … We worked so hard for everything we tried to get, and obviously we’re struggling to make shots right now”

Another comeback in store?

The Nuggets once again are trailing 3-1 in a best-of-seven series, but this Clippers team is on a completely different level than that of the Utah Jazz who the Nuggets rallied to beat in seven games.

Obviously anything is possible, but at this point if the Nuggets can manage to eek out a win in Game 5 and force a Game 6 before bowing out of this year’s NBA playoffs that appears to be the most positive outcome remaining.

Nuggets-Clippers Game 4 highlights

Nuggets-Clippers results and schedule

GameResult
Game 1Clippers 120, Nuggets 97Box score
Game 2Nuggets 110, Clippers 101Box score
Game 3Clippers 113, Nuggets 107Box score
Game 4Clippers 96, Nuggets 85Box score
Game 5Nuggets 111, Clippers 105Box score
Game 6Nuggets 111, Clippers 98Box score
Game 7Nuggets 104, Clippers 89Box score
Nuggets win best-of-seven series 4-3

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Rockies swept by Padres, nine-game homestand on tap

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Porter calls out coaches, teammates after Nuggets’ 96-85 loss Wednesday

The Nuggets lost to the Clippers 96-85 in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals Wednesday night in Orlando, but it’s what happened after the game that quickly became the bigger story. Denver rookie Michael Porter Jr. scored 15 points in the first half on 5-for-6 shooting, he finished the game with 15 points on […]

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Nuggets

Nuggets let Game 3 slip away, trail Clippers 2-1

Leading 97-90 with less than nine minutes to play in the fourth quarter on Monday the clock struck midnight on the Nuggets’ chances for an upset as the Clippers outscored Denver 23-10 the rest of the way to win Game 3 and take a 2-1 series lead.

Guard Jamal Murray knew the Nuggets let the crucial game get away from them, he had this to say afterward:

“We missed a huge opportunity tonight. I think that’s why it’s worse because it was nothing they did. They didn’t do anything to take us out of our game. We just missed shots, turned the ball over, couple defensive lapses and that was the game. We were up the whole game, had them on their heels. Like I said, it was self-inflicted. Those are the tough ones to go back to the hotel with.”

Murray finished with 14 points on 5-for-17 shooting in the game. He also added nine assists and four rebounds.

Jokić comes up big

One of the biggest reasons Denver lead for much of the game was due to the play of All-NBA center Nikola Jokić, who was questionable due to a wrist injury suffered in Game 2.

When all was said and done Jokić finished with 32 points, 12 rebounds and eights assists, the only negative was the seven turnovers he was responsible for.

”They’re talented. ‘They’re favorite on paper and everything, have maybe better starting unit, more players, whatever. Coach, whatever. … Today, we didn’t close well. 

Jokić said after Denver’s 113-107 loss.

Tip-ins

Rookie Michael Porter Jr. was another bright spot for Denver. Porter was Denver’s second-leading score with 18 points off the bench to go along with 10 rebounds.

  • The Denver Post’s Mark Kiszla wrote how we all know the NBA doesn’t want the Nuggets to win, instead the league is rooting for an all-L.A. Western Conference Finals.
  • TheAthletic.com’s Kendra Andrews wrote about how the Nuggets are left to lament the one that got away after disheartening Game 3 loss.
  • L.A.’s Patrick Beverley was finished $25,000 for verbal abuse of a game official for his actions at the end of Game 2 that earned him two technical fouls and an ejection.

Nuggets-Clippers highlights

Nuggets-Clippers results and schedule

GameResult
Game 1Clippers 120, Nuggets 97Box score
Game 2Nuggets 110, Clippers 101Box score
Game 3Clippers 113, Nuggets 107Box score
Game 4Clippers 96, Nuggets 85Box score
Game 5Nuggets 111, Clippers 105Box score
Game 6Nuggets 111, Clippers 98Box score
Game 7Nuggets 104, Clippers 89Box score
Nuggets win best-of-seven series 4-3

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Nuggets Uncategorized

Nuggets no match for Clippers in Game 1

The Nuggets and Clippers were tied after the first quarter in Thursday night’s opening game of the Western Conference semifinals, from that point on L.A. outscored Denver by 23 and rolled to an easy 120-97 win.

Nuggets center Nikola Jokić struggled on both ends of the floor in the loss as he finished with just 15 points, three rebounds and three assists. While first-round series star Jamal Murray shot 5-for-15 from the field and ended with 12 points, six assist and three boards.

You can say whatever, it’s gonna be true. It was a bad, bad night for us. But we can change, we can be better.”

Jokić said after the loss.

Clippers at full strength

As for the Clippers, Los Angeles head coach Doc Rivers had his entire roster intact for just the 13th time the season and the first since arriving to the NBA bubble.

Guard Patrick Beverley returned after missing the final five games of L.A.’s first-round series against Dallas. Marcus Morris was no longer having to try and keep up with Dallas’ Luka Dončić and stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George were in a rhythm early.

“I thought we just locked into our assignments. To be honest, that’s the best we’ve done so far against an opponent. Our attention to detail was great and we followed the game plan … It just took us to lock in tonight and come here and do what we needed to do. There’s no sugar-coating answer or no headline answer. We just locked into what we needed to do, And that was enough for us to play with energy and effort. We just knew what our job was tonight and we executed it.”

George said after the Clippers win in Game 1.

Nuggets fell into L.A.’s trap

According to Nuggets forward Paul Millsap Denver was unable to adjust to the Clippers pressure defense.

“They get up in you, they take you out of the flow of your offense, and they make you take one-on-one or contested shots and we fell right into their trap.”

Millsap said.

Meanwhile, Nuggets coach Michael Malone was much more concerned with the Nuggets inability to guard on the defensive end and for teammates to help out when needed.

“Can we contain one-on-one, and can we guard the paint?. A guy gets beat, where’s our help?”

Malone said.

Nuggets-Clippers Game 1 highlights

Tip-ins

As TheAthletic.com’s Kendra Andrews wrote, after getting blown out in Game 1 the Nuggets need to find answers and energy as well.

  • The Denver Post’s Mark Kiszla wrote that there was no defending the way Jokić played in Thursday’s opener.
  • In other NBA news Thursday, Memphis’ Ja Morant was named the Kia Rookie of the Year. Miami’s Kendrick Nunn finished second and New Orleans’ Zion Williamson was third.
    I was a little surprised Denver’s Michael Porter Jr. didn’t even get a single third-place vote, considering players like Eric Paschall (Golden State), Terence Davis II (Toronto) and RJ Barrett (New York) did.

Nuggets-Clippers results and schedule

GameResult
Game 1Clippers 120, Nuggets 97Box score
Game 2Nuggets 110, Clippers 101Box score
Game 3Clippers 113, Nuggets 107Box score
Game 4Clippers 96, Nuggets 85Box score
Game 5Nuggets 111, Clippers 105Box score
Game 6Nuggets 111, Clippers 98Box score
Game 7Nuggets 104, Clippers 89Box score
Nuggets win best-of-seven series 4-3

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In a game reminiscent of NBA playoff games from years ago the Nuggets held on to beat the Jazz 80-78 in a defensive battle to complete a historic comeback from down 3-1 in the first round series. Next up for Denver is the Western Conference semifinals against the L.A. Clippers starting Thursday night. The Nuggets […]

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Nuggets-Jazz Game 7 preview

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Nuggets

Nuggets complete historic comeback from 3-1 down vs. Jazz

In a game reminiscent of NBA playoff games from years ago the Nuggets held on to beat the Jazz 80-78 in a defensive battle to complete a historic comeback from down 3-1 in the first round series. Next up for Denver is the Western Conference semifinals against the L.A. Clippers starting Thursday night.

The Nuggets led by as many as 19 points in the game, but the Jazz battled back and the final outcome was determined thanks to Nikola Jokić’s offense and Gary Harris’ defense.

Jokić put the Nuggets ahead 80-78 with a turnaround shot over Utah’s Rudy Gobert with 27 seconds to play. On the ensuing possession Harris knocked the ball away from Donovan Mitchell, the Nuggets streaked up the court with it and then things really got crazy.

Denver simply needed to hold onto the ball and force Utah to foul. Instead Torrey Craig went up for a semi-contested layup and missed. Utah got the rebound, dashed back up the floor with the clock winding down and guard Mike Conley got a good look for three at the buzzer and the ball went half-way down before bouncing out as the Nuggets survived.

Jokić leads the way

While the past three games have been all about Jamal Murray’s exploits on offense, and rightfully so, Tuesday night Jokić led the way for Denver. Denver’s All-NBA center finished with 30 points, 14 rebounds and four assists to go along with the game-winning basket.

“Before the series started, I felt it was going to be an interesting series, but after 3-1, I didn’t think it would be this interesting. … We made a historic night.”

Jokić said after the game.

Making history

With the win Denver became just the 12th team in NBA history to overcome a 3-1 deficit and rally to win a best-of-seven series, and the first since Cleveland did so in the 2016 NBA Finals against Golden State.

“The locker room was very subdued, very calm. No, of course, it was excitement. We’re the 12th team in NBA history to come back from a 3-1 deficit, and our guys should be proud of that, they should be excited. We get to extend our stay.”

Nuggets head coach Michael Malone joked after his team’s thrilling win.

It also marks the first time the Nuggets have won a postseason season series in back-to-back seasons since the 1984-’86 seasons.

Complete Nuggets-Jazz Game 7 highlights

Tip-ins

Denver won despite scoring just 15 points in both the third and fourth quarters. Utah also was held to 15 points in the second quarter. For comparison in Sunday’s Game 6 Murray alone scored 25 points in both the first and second halves.

  • After scoring 50, 42 and 50 points in the previous three games Murray was held to 17 points on 7-for-21 shooting in Game 7. The only other Nuggets player to score in double figures was rookie Michael Porter Jr. who finished with 10 points, 9 rebounds and 2 assists.
  • Murray did finish with the most points ever for a Nuggets player in a playoff series. His 221 easily bested Jokić’s 190 from last year’s seven-game series against Portland.
  • Mitchell led Utah with 22 points to go with 9 rebounds, but he also turned the ball over 9 times as well. Gobert had a big night too scoring 19 points and grabbing 18 rebounds.
  • The Denver Post’s Sean Keller wrote about Jokić’s brilliant performance, noting that the Joker is one of only four players this century to have at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in every Game 7 he’s played. The other players on the list are: Dirk Nowitzki, Tim Duncan and LeBron James.
  • Mark Kiszla of The Post turned his attention to Denver’s next opponent the Clippers, noting that if the Nuggets thought Utah was tough, the Clippers are something else entirely.
  • At TheAthletic.com Joe Vardon wrote about how it was a Game 7 unlike any other, because it felt like it was OK to lose.
    While Nuggets reporter Kendra Andrews wrote about the Nuggets advancing while playing in their third straight seven game series.
    And Nick Kosmider said that by vanquishing the Game 7 demons from last year’s lost to the Trail Blazers, Denver now gets a valuable test against the Clippers.

Nuggets-Clippers series schedule

GameResult
Game 1Clippers 120, Nuggets 97Box score
Game 2Nuggets 110, Clippers 101Box score
Game 3Clippers 113, Nuggets 107Box score
Game 4Clippers 96, Nuggets 85Box score
Game 5Nuggets 111, Clippers 105Box score
Game 6Nuggets 111, Clippers 98Box score
Game 7Nuggets 104, Clippers 89Box score
Nuggets win best-of-seven series 4-3

Nuggets-Jazz series results

GameResult
Game 1Denver 135, Utah 125, OTBox Score
Game 2Utah 124, Denver 105Box score
Game 3Utah 124, Denver 87Box score
Game 4Utah 129, Denver 127Box score
Game 5Denver 117, Utah 107Box score
Game 6Denver 1197, Utah 107Box score
Game 7Denver 80, Utah 78Box score
Nuggets win best-of-seven series tied 4-3

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Nuggets

Nuggets-Jazz Game 7 preview

Despite falling behind 3-1 in their best-of-seven series with the Jazz, the Nuggets have battled back to force Game 7 tonight at 6:30 p.m. on ABC. With that in mind here’s a roundup of the best stories to get you ready for tonight’s game.

Murray vs. Mitchell

TheAthletic.com’s John Hollinger wrote about the battle between Denver’s Jamal Murray and Utah’s Donovan Mitchell, described as a “shootout for the ages.”

Both have had two 50-point games in the series, becoming just the third and fourth players in NBA history to have multiple 50-point games in the same series. For the Nuggets Murray has scored 142 points in the past three games with just five turnovers total.

Calipari on Murray

During Murray’s one season playing college basketball he played for legendary coach John Calipari, The Denver Post’s Mike Singer talked to the Kentucky coach on what it’s been like watching his former player shine on the biggest of stages.

Among other things he said this about Murray:

“How good can he be? We don’t know yet, because what he’s done is he’s beginning to master his craft. … There’s not one shot that he shoots that he thinks is a bad shot. If he gets it off, it was a good shot. That’s what Jamal is.”

Harris could be the X-factor

At TheDNVR.com Harrison Wind wrote about how Denver guard Gary Harris could be the X-factor in tonight’s elimination game.

Game 6 was the first NBA game Harris had played in since March, but he managed to play 21 points and held Utah’s Jordan Clarkson to just 11 points on 5-for-14 shooting.

“To welcome him back in an elimination game I think was reassuring to our players. Our guys trust Gary. I trust Gary. He went out there and defended at a high level.”

Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said about Harris.

MPJ deserves praise too

TheAthletic’s Kendra Andrews took at a look at what Michael Porter Jr.’s rookie season has been like through the eyes of those who have taught him.

While The Post’s Sean Keller wrote that while Murray is clearly the Nuggets postseason MVP, both Porter and Harris deserve game balls too.

Chance to make some money

And lastly, on the sports betting side of things, DraftKings is offering fans a chance to bet on the Nuggets and profit based on how many points Murray scores tonight.

The Game 7 scoring special goes like this: Place at $27 or larger wager on the Nuggets moneyline tonight and you get $1 towards a free bet for every point Murray scores. So if Murray scores 40 points you’d get a $40 free bet.

As for the moneyline bet, if you bet $27 and the Nuggets win you’d get $51.84 back, plus however much money for the free bet based on Murray’s point total.

Whether the Nuggets win or lose you’ll get the free bet portion of the special.

Nuggets-Jazz series results and schedule

GameResult
Game 1Denver 135, Utah 125, OTBox Score
Game 2Utah 124, Denver 105Box score
Game 3Utah 124, Denver 87Box score
Game 4Utah 129, Denver 127Box score
Game 5Denver 117, Utah 107Box score
Game 6Denver 1197, Utah 107Box score
Game 7Denver 80, Utah 78Box score
Nuggets win best-of-seven series tied 4-3

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Jon Gray pitched six innings and allowed just one run, Charlie Blackmon hammered a grand slam to put Colorado ahead 8-1 in the eighth inning and then the Rockies held on for dear life as Arizona’s rally fell just short as Colorado prevailed 8-7 on Wednesday night. Gray looked the best he has all season […]

Avs blow third-period lead, battle back to win

Colorado started the third period with a two-goal lead (3-1), but surrendered three goals and trailed Dallas by one (4-3) with less than 10 minutes to go play on Wednesday night. Suddenly the Avalanche’s season was on the precipice of ending, that was until Colorado got goals from Mikko Rantanen, Nazem Kadri and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare […]

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Avalanche Nuggets

Altitude waives exclusive rights to Nuggets & Avs first-round games

Altitude Sports announced on Tuesday that it is waiving its exclusive rights to broadcast Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche first-round series playoff games.

What that means is that all nationally televised Avs games on NBCSN, NHL Network, CNBC and Nuggets games on TNT and ESPN will not be blacked out in the Denver metro area. So subscribers to both Comcast and Dish Network (which currently do no carry Altitude) will be able to watch both teams in the playoffs starting with tomorrow Avs-Coyotes game at 3:30 p.m. on NBCSN. All the games still will be available on Altitude as well.

However, it’s important to note that if any of the Nuggets or Avs games are not televised nationally Comcast and Dish subscribers still will not be able to watch them.

“Our fans have been ignored and dismissed by both Comcast and DISH Network continuing to blackout their hometown Network. We have never wanted our fans to miss a minute of action during Nuggets and Avalanche playoff runs.”

Altitude president Matt Hutchings said of the decision.

Altitude had to work with both the NBA and NHL in order to waive its rights to the first-round games. Additionally, Altitude said in a statement that is continues to pursue streaming distribution deals that would expand the network’s reach.

Avalanche-Coyotes schedule

GameResult
Game 1Colorado 3, Arizona 0Box score
Game 2Colorado 3, Arizona 2Box score
Game 3Arizona 4, Colorado 2Box score
Game 4Colorado 7, Arizona 1Box score
Game 5Colorado 7, Arizona 1Box score
Colorado wins best-of-seven series 4-1
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Avalanche Broncos CSU Rams CU Buffs Nuggets Rockies

Rockies sweep A’s, home opener up next

Rockies

The Rockies improved to 4-1 on the season after beating the A’s 5-1 on Wednesday afternoon in Oakland to sweep the two-game series. No. 1 starter Germán Márquez gave up a home run in the first inning, but cruised the rest of the way. He finished with eight strikeouts, three hits and just one walk during six innings of work.

The offensive still wasn’t firing on all cylinders, but they got the job done for the Rockies when it mattered most. Including adding a run in the eighth and two more in the ninth to make it a much more comfortable win.

My thoughts: First off, I love this shortened MLB season. In a normal year Márquez wouldn’t have started yesterday because teams want to get their fifth starter work. How much better is it that teams are simply trying to win each game, instead of treating the whole season like a marathon.
As for the Rockies as a whole, it’s been a great start and we’re already through a 12th of the season and Colorado is alone in first place in the NL West. Really, what more could you ask for from them.

Avalanche

Colorado played its first game in more than four months, albeit of the exhibition variety, as the Avs beat Minnesota 3-2 on Wednesday afternoon in Edmonton.

Joonas Donskoi, Nathan MacKinnon and Gabe Landeskog all scored for the Avs in the win. Colorado managed to kill seven-of-eight penalties during the win.

Colorado has a bye in the best-of-five play-in round that starts Saturday. Instead, the Avs open play Sunday against the St. Louis Blues in what will determine the top four seeds in the Western Conference.

Nuggets

While the Nuggets don’t play until Saturday, the NBA season tips off tonight with Utah taking on New Orleans and the Lakers and Clippers squaring off with one another.

TheAthletic.com wrote about “Numbers to know about all 22 teams in the bubble.” The numbers to know about the Nuggets? 66.1% and 10.3%. Those were Bol Bol’s true shooting and block percentages during his eight games of G League action this year for the Windy City Bulls. It’s safe to say Bol’s play has been one of the biggest storylines of the NBA’s return so far.

My thoughts: Unfortunately I don’t think we’ll be talking about Bol much until at least next season at this point. Coach Michael Malone struggled to play Michael Porter Jr. during big chunks of the season and that was when the games were much less important and when he’d seen Porter play more in practice and training camp.

I just have a hard time believing Malone is going to give Bol many minutes, if any, unless the Nuggets suffer a few injuries or are really, really struggling.

Broncos

Yesterday I wrote about PFF.com’s quarterback rankings. Well, today they’ve got their team-by-team backfield rankings up. I assumed Denver would be near the middle of the pack, and PFF.com actually had them a little higher at No. 12.

Not surprisingly, they’re high on Phillip Lindsay’s play, but are more questioning about the addition of Melvin Gordon. As they point out, Gordon was great in 2018, but during the rest of his NFL career he’s simply been average.

My thoughts: I was never a fan of the offseason signing of Gordon. I think the Broncos overpaid for him and risk alienating Lindsay in the process.

I would have much rather seen them give Lindsay a raise and either sign a cheaper free-agent back or pick one high in the NFL Draft.

CSU Rams

Colorado State’s football team temporarily suspended activities after as many as 17 people within the CSU athletics department tested positive for COVID-19.

“We are taking this step to voluntarily pause football activities to minimize the opportunity for this virus to spread any further. We will always put the health and safety of our student-athletes and community first, and while we are disappointed to see this spread occur within our program, we remain encouraged for the continued collaboration we have experienced with our University’s Pandemic Preparedness Team, local, county, and state health officials.”

CSU athletic director Joe Parker via a news release.

CU Buffs

Buffzone.com’s Brian Howell wrote about how head coach Karl Dorrell is earning the respect of his team.