Denver Nuggets

Ranking the 2019-20 NBA City Edition Uniforms

Ranking the 2019-20 NBA City Edition Uniforms

I’m going to be honest, I wasn’t really impressed with the City Edition designs for 2019-20. Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly a few that nailed their themes and rightfully earned their rankings … and there are definitely a handful that will leave you scratching your head and wondering what the heck were they thinking?

Let’s get to the rankings, shall we?

30. Dallas Mavericks
Normally when a team drops new gear and the majority dislikes it, you’re still able to find people/fans who appreciate the angle and approach. I’ve been searching through replies and it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack for any positive comments.

29. Memphis Grizzlies
Apparently, the Grizzlies won’t even have a City Edition this season ... but nothing is still better than whatever Dallas did. Sorry, Mavs.

28. Milwaukee Bucks
They came. They attempted. They failed. I was today years old when I found out Milwaukee was referred to as “Cream City.” All because of bricks?

27. Boston Celtics
I’d say I’m sorry for Boston fans for having to look at these uniforms on the court a handful of times throughout the season, but it’s Boston so ... never mind. Pretty sure 99 percent of all NBA fans can agree on this one. These are terrible.

26. Detroit Pistons
The inspiration was supposed to be pulled from the muscle car heritage of the Motor City, but in reality it just kind of looks like Barcelona's jersey.

25. San Antonio Spurs
… these are ranked so low just because I still can’t see them to make a judgement call. (Get it? Camo joke.)

24. Chicago Bulls
The design of the uniform itself is OK but this pale blue is really throwing me off. I saw a comment that called it, “The Bulls gender reveal uniforms.” Do what you want with that information.

23. Charlotte Hornets
No time for groufits this season, although the purple makes a bold statement against it.

22. Houston Rockets
The Rockets drew inspiration from NASA but I wouldn’t say these are out of this world or anything.

21. Indiana Pacers
The Pacers basically used the same design from their 2017-18 season but adjusted the colors. It’s nothing new and exciting but the overall look is still solid.

20. Sacramento Kings
They’re not good, they’re not bad … they’re just meh. Their hype video, however, is pretty cool.

19. Minnesota Timberwolves
These definitely look like a missed opportunity. Sometimes a simple approach comes off as boring and that is certainly the case this time around. In the replies to the initial reveal post, I saw someone post a picture of white bread to describe the uniforms … accurate.

18. Golden State Warriors
These could’ve been a little more creative — the shorts are nice with the detailing of the Golden Gate Bridge, but I’m sure they’re more worried about what’s going on on the court rather than what they’re wearing.

17. New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans seem to be recycling their City Editions from last season which have the colors of Mardi Gras. There is a ton of potential with a theme like this but again are taking the simple route. Have some fun next time, Pelicans!

16. New York Knicks
It looks like the Knicks are also recycling their look from last season which features alternating blue and orange stripes representing the New York skyline.

15. Washington Wizards
Lots of mixed reviews for the Wizards’ City Edition. Fans have either absolutely loved them or would rather go without a City Edition than have this one … there is no in between.

14. Los Angeles Lakers
Nothing really stands out from these jerseys, except for the fact they were designed by Shaq and they went back to that classic gold-like color rather than the bright yellow currently being used.

13. Brooklyn Nets
This design was great with the black uniforms and looks just as nice with the white. Thought it was going to finally be the season where the front says “Nets” rather than “Bed-Stuy” or their usual “Brooklyn” though. Maybe next year.https://twitter.com/BrooklynNets/status/1197676066703368192?s=20

12. Toronto Raptors
The Raptors have one clean jersey for their City Editions this season. They pulled classic elements from their original uniforms from 1995 — but modernized it with the color scheme.

11. Utah Jazz
Jazz are going with the same City Editions they’ve used the past few seasons. It was announced that this would be the final time the team would wear these popular jerseys but if they’re so widely liked, why not add these to their rotation and create a new jersey instead? Maybe that’s just me.

10. Orlando Magic
The Magic have themselves a pretty nice jersey representing the city of Orlando. Maybe it’s because they revealed it with Mickey Mouse, maybe it’s because orange is my favorite color — but these get an A in my book.

9. Portland Trail Blazers
Portland found a way to combine its first two uniforms, add some modernization to it and create an epic jersey.

8. Miami Heat
Still waiting for any kind of official release for the Heat but if they go the Vice route like they did last year, it’s already a win. This video of the alleged City Editions was leaked back in October but they’re most likely it. We’ll find out soon enough — since they’re supposed to debut Nov. 29 when they play Golden State.

7. Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder went above and beyond this season with their inspiration for their uniforms — honoring those who lost their lives in the OKC Bombing 25 years ago. What stood out the most was what the organization did a few weeks back with them. Class act through and through.

6. Philadelphia Sixers
The Sixers are lucky to have so many iconic and historic pieces to gather inspiration for their City Editions. The past three seasons have gone from The Declaration of Independence to Rocky and now The Liberty Bell. A nice classic look with the added touch of the gold stripe down the side.


5. Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks nailed their unis this season. The contrast of colors from black to peach really makes the lettering stand out in a good way. The black signifies strength and the peach spirit renewal. Definitely worth reading into.

4. Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers easily have the best jersey in California. The team brought in a local artist who designed the look — going with Old English lettering.

3. Phoenix Suns
The Suns hit it out of the park with this one. The colors pop next to the black threads and while the jersey itself may come off as simple, the shorts add an extra element that boosted it in the rankings.

2. Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavs might not end this season with a ton of wins but one of them certainly goes to this jersey. Between the color scheme, hashes on the side and nod to the classic logo, there’s a lot of things to love.


1. Denver Nuggets
Denver is one of the few teams that really embraced everything about its city for its unis. While it pulled from the team’s classic Rainbow Skyline uniform that was mainly worn in the 80s, it was still modernized to fit the advancement of the Mile High City.


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Joel Embiid's fitness level already a concern for Sixers

Joel Embiid's fitness level already a concern for Sixers

Joel Embiid didn’t earn Defensive Player of the Year or All-NBA First Team center last season.

He had the chance to go head to head and outperform the big men that took those honors last season. Instead, he had a poor second half in Utah Wednesday and followed it up with a rough performance Friday night in Denver.

Though Rudy Gobert didn’t really get the better of Embiid, Nikola Jokic had a monster fourth quarter and made a difficult, clutch shot with 1.2 seconds left to cap the Nuggets’ 21-point comeback win (see observations).

In the two games since returning from his suspension, Embiid has shot a combined 11 of 33 and committed 11 turnovers and 11 personal fouls. He’s looked lethargic and lackadaisical. He’s struggled to get back defensively and is settling for too many outside shots. He’s essentially running three-point line to three-point line instead of rim to rim.

“We’re growing Joel’s fitness base and trying to continually move that forward where he can be Joel Embiid,” Brett Brown told reporters postgame. “You know, tonight you can see that we’ve got some work to do. I think that he fought his heart out. I think that when we needed him, most times he was there. And we’re going to continue to just get him as healthy as we can and help put him in a position where he can be Joel Embiid.”

The fact that Jokic woke up and put up a 16-point fourth while Embiid continued to struggle wasn’t the only reason the Sixers lost Friday.

They somehow only scored 13 points in the fourth quarter after putting up 84 through three. They looked out of sync and were missing the decent looks they were getting. Perhaps fatigue was an issue for the entire team. Al Horford airballing a wide-open three from the top of the key with 15.7 seconds left seemed to encapsulate the horrendous final quarter for the Sixers.

While you certainly can’t blame blowing a 21-point lead on officiating, the refs didn’t do the Sixers any favors down the stretch. They were on the wrong end of two coach’s challenges — one took away an Embiid and-one and the other was a foul call on Embiid that should have been overturned but was not. On the Sixers’ ensuing possession after Jokic’s big shot, they called Embiid for a push off. The call was questionable as both players appeared to be jockeying for position and Jokic was holding Embiid’s jersey.

In any case, if you preserve the huge lead you have, you don’t leave the game in the hands of the officials.

“When I watched the replay, I didn’t really see any push off,” Embiid said. “If you want to call that foul, especially at that time of the game, I think that’s kind of BS. Especially because he was hooking me before that foul actually happened.

“But those are things we can’t control. We shouldn’t have let it get to that situation. We had a lot of turnovers, missed free throws. Our fourth-quarter offense wasn’t the same as the third. I thought that the first three quarters was the best that we’ve played. The ball kept moving and we kept finding each other and everybody stepped up. It was just unfortunate that it had to come down to that.”

But the storyline in this one was Embiid's health and fitness level.

It was the storyline for the entire 2019 postseason. Just eight games into the 2019-20 season and this is already a troubling trend. Embiid was forced to sit out the second game of the season with an ankle sprain. After missing just two games because of a suspension, he's looked completely gassed since returning.

Yes, altitude is a factor and Embiid has said many times that it’s very easy for him to get out of shape if he misses a game or two, but things have to change. 

Embiid is an All-Star and considered by most to be a top-10 player in the NBA. The Sixers are all in and part of that mindset is the idea that they have arguably the best center in the league. It’s just two games, but he wasn’t even the best center on the floor in Utah or Denver.

The questions about his health and fitness aren’t going away until he gets to the point "where he can be Joel Embiid."

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Sixers' road trip ends in a collapse as big lead slips away in Denver and Nikola Jokic makes game-winner

Sixers' road trip ends in a collapse as big lead slips away in Denver and Nikola Jokic makes game-winner

BOX SCORE 

The Sixers’ four-game West Coast road trip ended Friday night in a collapse.

They blew a 21-point lead in the fourth quarter in Denver and fell to their third straight loss, 100-97, to the Nuggets.

Nikola Jokic won it for Denver after a broken, chaotic play that ended with him knocking down a long jumper from the left elbow extended. 

The Sixers, now 5-3 on the year, tried inbounding it to Joel Embiid on their final possession, but he was called for a push off.

Ben Simmons was out for the Sixers with a Grade 1 AC joint sprain in right shoulder. He’ll be re-evaluated before the Sixers play the Hornets Sunday (6 p.m./NBCSP+).

Offense falls apart late 

The Sixers only managed 13 points in the fourth period. They had problems with the basics, like throwing good entry passes to Embiid and making open shots in the paint, and just about everything was a struggle. It was not hard to tell they were playing the last game of a long trip — Al Horford’s air ball of an open three from the top of the key before Jokic's game-winner summed up their efforts in the fourth. 

Jokic wins this duel 

Embiid admitted after Wednesday’s loss in Utah that the altitude affected him, and he again appeared lethargic for much of the game in the Mile High City.

He was the last man down the floor time after time and was slow in his decision making. 

But, after starting 1 for 9 from the floor and taking a seat five minutes into the third quarter, Embiid woke up a bit when he checked back into the game, hitting four straight shots and helping the Sixers build their lead back up— for the time being — after a Denver run. Embiid finished with 19 points on 6 of 17 shooting, 15 rebounds and eight turnovers.

His block of Paul Millsap’s emphatic dunk attempt was one of the plays of the night. 

Jokic wasn’t quite himself either for most of the night before elevating his play in the second half. He picked up a technical in the first quarter for arguing what he thought was a foul by Mike Scott under the rim and his body language was somewhere between exasperated and infuriated in the first half, but give him credit for turning it around. He tallied 26 points (16 in the fourth quarter), 11 rebounds and six assists. 

A strong night for the bench 

The Sixers’ bench put them in a good position to win this game, outscoring the Nuggets’ 37-12.

Furkan Korkmaz looks like he believes everything he puts up is going in. He’s using his pump fake well to both create open jumpers and to draw fouls, shooting the ball with balance and hunting opportunities to score.

He had 12 points on 4 for 6 shooting and was 3 for 3 from three-point range. The Sixers had their best night as a team from long range, converting 13 of 26 attempts. 

Trey Burke had to wait seven games, but he finally made his regular-season debut as a Sixer in Denver.

He showed his best skill on his first basket — the ability to use a ball screen or stare down his defender in isolation and create a shot — sinking a jumper from the left elbow with 0.2 seconds left in the first quarter off a screen from Embiid. 

We saw the best and worst of James Ennis, who was beaten twice on back doors in the first half and once by Will Barton. He also converted a difficult layup after a steal that required elaborate body contortion and slammed in a dunk off a Burke miss. 

Kyle O’Quinn (11 points on 5 for 6 shooting) gave Brett Brown quality minutes in the second quarter before taking a seat in the second half.

Neto steps into the lineup  

For the second time in the last three-plus seasons, Raul Neto started an NBA game.

He played very well, with the exception of a couple of occasions late in the shot clock when he dished the hot potato off to a teammate after being unable to generate anything himself.

Neto held Gary Harris, his primary assignment, to five points on 2 for 9 shooting, and also posted 13 points and six assists himself. He’s about nine inches shorter than Simmons and substantially less athletic than the All-Star, but Neto was a decent temporary replacement. 

Thybulle sits 

Rookie Matisse Thybulle stayed on the bench Friday. He’s struggled with his shot early in his NBA career (24.2 percent from the field) and hadn’t recorded a steal or a block in the Sixers’ last two games.

Thybulle had an incredible first few games in the NBA defensively, but he’s often seemed a step behind the game on offense, and missing open threes certainly hasn’t helped as far as his level of comfort or confidence.  

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