Denver Nuggets
(Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Denver Nuggets Will Win The West Next Season

Injuries ravaged the Denver Nuggets during the 2020-2021 NBA season. Coming into the year, this Nuggets squad was projected to be towards the top of the Western Conference and the NBA as a whole, and even a laundry list of injuries did not prevent that from happening. The Nuggets still managed to finish fourth in the West this season, led by MVP Nikola Jokic. There is a ton of promise in the Mile High City, and I am here to give you five reasons why the Denver Nuggets will win the West next season.

#1: The Best Big Man Walking Planet Earth

I understand all the love for Joel Embiid, and he is the only other player in the league right now in the conversation for the best big man (talk to me when he plays more than 64 games in a season), but NBA heads understand just how incredible Jokic is, and that he is more deserving of the top spot. Jokic led his team in a myriad of statistical categories this season and took home MVP honors as well. His play will only get better from here, and as a player who already elevates his teammates, expect the Nuggets to improve right alongside Jokic. The Nuggets are Jokic’s team, and that has been the case for a few years now. They go as he goes.

#2: A Clean Bill Of Health

The Denver Nuggets have a superstar in Jokic and a rising star in Michael Porter Jr., but all title contenders need a second established star. Enter Jamal Murray. Coming off a torn ACL halfway through the year, he will undoubtedly come back with a vengeance to help take Denver back to where they should have been this year. Will Barton will certainly play a factor as well, as his instant offense is like lightning in a bottle off the bench. Those missing pieces on top of the slew of covid restrictions that this team faced early in the year prevented the Nuggets from ever really getting going. If this team can stay mostly healthy for the entire year, this is a top-three team in the West.

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#3: The Kid From The University of Missouri

I tell you what, there are at least 10 teams who are kicking themselves for not taking this chance. Porter Jr. was the number-one ranked player in his class coming out of high school and his potential to be special was widely recognized, but a back injury during his freshman year of college derailed his collegiate career and his draft stock. The Denver Nuggets took a chance on him in the 2018 NBA Draft and they are thanking their lucky stars they did. Porter Jr. can fill it up from every area on the floor, and although his defense and consistency are issues, another year in the league will improve both facets of his game – look for Porter Jr’s. name to be in the conversation for MIP next season.

#4: Who Would Not Want To Play With The MVP?

Picture this: you are a coveted free agent this off-season. You are sitting at home, mulling over offers from a bunch of different teams, including the Denver Nuggets. I get that Denver might not be the most attractive city (unless you want to smoke weed in the off-season) but can you honestly say you would not want to play alongside an MVP in Jokic? The chance to play alongside Jokic, Murray, Porter, and under the tutelage of Michael Malone is going to be too tempting for someone this off-season. Look for this team to land a player you may not think of.

#5: A Youth Movement In Denver

Let me give you the ages for the Nuggets’ starting five in the playoffs: 22, 25, 25, 26, and 30. Not including Murray’s age of 24. The knock on this Denver Nuggets team is “tHeY aRe tOo yOuNg”. Kindly shut the fuck up. This team was younger last year, obviously, and made the Conference Finals. This roster is reaching its potential and the upcoming season could be the year they finally hit on all cylinders. There is one secret weapon on the bench as well: Bol Bol. Look for Bol, 21, to get more playing time this season and demonstrate how valuable he can be given time on the floor.

Am I a Nuggets fan? Yes, I am. Is there bias in this article you just read? Of course. One thing is certain, I will gladly talk my shit about this Nuggets team. They will represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals in 2022.

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