Denver Nuggets
(Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

Last year, the Denver Nuggets took their team on a wild ride. From exceeding all expectations in the west to grab the 2 seed to two game sevens in the playoffs and everything in between. This team is lead by the dynamic duo of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. With another year of continuity under their belts, the sky is the limit for this squad, and I expect big things out of them.

Key Additions: Jerami Grant, Michael Porter Jr.

The Nuggets acquired Jerami Grant back in July for a package of picks. Grant, the 24-year-old out of Syracuse, had a career year in Oklahoma State. He averaged 10 and 5 in 32 minutes a night while shooting a career-high 49% from the field. Grant will bring exceptional post defense and a viable three-point option. He is the type of defender you can stick on the 3-5 positions and have faith in him to lock him down. I expect him to start the season on the bench, but he will provide key minutes throughout the season.

As for Michael Porter Jr, his potential is through the roof. He was wildly considered to be the number 1 pick in the 2018 draft before he went down with a season-ending back injury. That same back injury kept him out for the entirety of this last season, although the Denver Nuggets front office basically gave him a redshirt year. The clips that have been posted of his rehab are a very promising sign for an organization that can use a little stability at the 3 spot due to the proven inconsistencies of one Will Barton. But that’s another story for another time. I see Porter making a run at Rookie of the Year this season and showing flashes of his comparisons to Lebron like many said he had.

Key Losses: None

This is in no way shade towards their actual departure in Trey Lyles. Lyles will be playing in San Antonio this year and yes his energy will be missed, but he didn’t see the floor all too often at the Pepsi Center last year. So I don’t expect much fall from their play from last year without him.

Expectations and Prediction

Mike Malone has been preaching all offseason that this team should have a championship mentality. They should be asking themselves, why not them? Well, why not this Denver Nuggets squad? Why can’t this team make a run at a Western Conference Final, or even a Finals berth? This team has incredible depth in guys like Malik Beasley, Torrey Craig, Mason Plumlee, now with Jerami Grant as well. Jamal Murray showed flashes of his all-star potential last year, it will be on him to take that next step in his third year to really show he is deserving to be in the talks of best point guards in the league. But this team goes as Nikola Jokic goes. He was briefly in talks last year for MVP, and I see him being a mainstay in those talks this year. Another year of cohesion for this still very young Nuggets team will do wonders, and all bias aside I see this team as the number 1 seed out West going into April-June.

Official Record Prediction: 61-21

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