Poor transition defense, a mariachi band and way too many chicken nuggets: Denver sports power rankings

We hope you enjoy this rundown that includes a terrible hockey team, poor transition defense, traditional Mexican music and way too many chicken nuggets.
4 min. read
Matt Duchene and the Avs had another rough week. (Ron Chenoy/USA Today Sports)

We're trying something new this week at Denverite: sports power rankings.

We've shamelessly ripped off the idea our friends at The Incline had, and oh God, we hope they don't aggressively tweet at us like Bill Simmons did to Jonah Keri.

To the rankings:

7. The Colorado Avalanche

The worst team in hockey looked poised to snap a three-game losing streak against the Oilers on Thursday night. They held a 4-2 lead entering the third period. Colorado wound up allowing five goals in the final 20 minutes and lost 7-4. The team's official account tweeted this while the third-period massacre was going on:

Sounds about right. Only nine games remain in their miserable season.

6. Expressing emotion in professional football

The NFL, in a seemingly never-ending quest to beat the fun out of its game with a stick, announced this week plans to show players right and wrong examples of appropriate celebrations.

I respect the NFL's commitment to fixing the real issues. Wrecking your body on a non-guaranteed contract is OK. Mimicking a starting pitcher's windup after you haul in a touchdown pass? That'll set you back 12 grand and contribute to the league creating instructional videos that want to make you beat your head into a desk.

5. The Nuggets' transition defense

As the artist formerly known as Kanye West once said, "HOW, SWAY?!?!"

How can a team that's up by one point with the clock winding down let a guy go coast-to-coast to win the game? Will Barton or Jameer Nelson needed to step in front of Harden. Force him to kick it out. Take a dribble. Anything to momentarily halt his progress. This cost the Nuggets a game.

4. World Baseball Classic Nolan Arenado

From an individual standpoint, it was not a great WBC for Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado. He hit .161 and struck out 11 times in 31 at bats with Team USA.

At least Arenado ended the tournament on somewhat of a high note. He went 2 for 5 and crossed home twice as the Americans defeated Puerto Rico 8-0 in Wednesday's championship. Arenado also provided the final put out.

3. Reporters heckling star NBA players in court-side seats

Altitude TV's Nuggets' reporter Vic Lombardi posted up court side when Denver played Cleveland on Wednesday. One of his in-game segments featured him "heckling" LeBron James.

"Hey LeBron, LaVar Ball called," Lombardi shouted. "He said he could beat you one on one."

LaVar Ball is the outspoken father of UCLA star Lonzo Ball and high schoolers LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball. He played one season of college basketball in 1987-88 at Washington State where he averaged 2.2 points and 2.3 rebounds per game.

2. Zach Wilson's ping-pong skills

Colorado Rockies player development director Zach Wilson beat special assistant Vinny Castilla in the team's annual ping-pong tournament this week. Wilson prevailed despite Rockies manager Bud Black hiring a mariachi band to play in support of Castilla.


His performance was right up there with Michael Jordan's flu game and Jordy Nelson catching six passes in the NFC Championship game with broken ribs.

1. Burger King's chicken nuggets sales

This week, a handful of Cavaliers fans once again attempted the tradition of trying to eat more chicken nuggets than the number of points the Denver Nuggets scored against Cleveland. It ... did not go well. The Nuggets scored 73 first-half points.

Denver ended up scoring 126 in its win over the reigning champs.

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