NBA Team Preview: Denver Nuggets
The Denver Nuggets have been a dark horse for winning the Larry O’Brien trophy for the last two years. The same will be this season as NBA odds place the Nuggets among the top 10 favorites. However, even though this unit has extraordinary players, it appears that they simply don’t receive enough attention. On the other side, they are not respected on the court either and the referees often have some pretty controversial calls when they play.
Mike Malone, Jokic, and the rest of the Nuggets didn’t accept such treatment and the small-market team label. Hopefully, they will keep on fighting, which might pay off to them at some point. Do they have the energy to continue in the same manner? This season will show.
Keeping the Core
The franchise from Colorado was focused on preserving the already present core this summer, and they didn’t go after some additions. Instead, the management extended the contract with Michael Porter Jr., who is expected to become the third superstar in the team, and also decided to tie Aaron Gordon long-term.
One of the best dunkers in the league apparently suits the Nuggets’ needs well, and Mike Malone believes his contribution could be very valuable.
Denver’s first-round draft choice was Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland, a one-two guard from VCU. He should be the backup for Murray, Morris, and Campazzo at the PG position. To be straight here, he is not anything special, but might be of use in certain situations.
Jokic is the Best, But Murray is the Most Important Player
We are not going to waste any words here on how good is Nikola Jokic. Think what you want, but he was the best player in the NBA last year and will be among the top five again. The Joker is by far the most impactful guy in the league in terms of his importance to the team, and there is no way for anyone to replace him in Denver.
But all that will go to waste if he doesn’t have Jamal Murray 100% healthy this season. These two are the perfect duo and the axis of the Nuggets’ rise in the past three or four years. And at the moment, the megastar guard still isn’t recovered from his ACL injury. The timetable of the return is unknown, and that bothers the Nuggets fans a lot.
Jokic will keep pouring baskets, unreal dimes, producing triple-doubles, and stuff, but his team won’t be competitive when things get tough. We saw how Denver got swept against the Suns in the West semis, which is their reality without Murray involved. Simply his presence takes the whole team to another level and makes Jokic even better.
Role Players to Have …Bigger Roles
Austin Rivers showed that he could still ball last year, and his productivity will be very important for the Nuggets. JaMychal Green proved to be a very solid player on both ends of the floor, and also not so expensive, and every team in the league would want to have this guy.
Aaron Gordon and Will Barton are, in our opinion, X-factors here. These two guys could be the difference makers on the floor, and the ones who use the space when Jokic and Murray draw the interest of the rival’s defenses,
Online Sports Betting: Denver Nuggets – Offers
Total Wins: 47.5 To Reach the Playoffs: -900 To win the West: +850 To win the NBA Title: +1800
* All odds provided by Action247 Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
**All views expressed are my own. My picks are my own and are not a guarantee, bet at your own risk.