The Denver Nuggets surprised everybody last year taking the #2 seed with a record of 54-28. Through 35ish games this year, they are yet again the #2 seed at 24-11. What do they need to be viewed as a legitamate Finals contender?
The complaints about Jokic getting fat may or may not have been valid, but his stats at this point look similar enough to last years. There’s a minimal difference in his percentages. It’s a very slight downturn of his stats from last year that for most other stars would be viewed as negligible.
[–]Nuggets Dunkman77 218 指標 2 天前
I’ve watched probably 30 of the 35 games. We’re not particularly close to being a contender right now. Probably the biggest weakness? Shot creation out of the backcourt. This team is going to struggle like crazy to score against top playoff teams without better shot creation from the perimeter.
[–]Nuggets neutronicus 63 指標 2 天前
Specifically Jamal doesn’t shoot enough threes. He kind of needs to be Damian Lillard for things to really work for us I think.
[–]Rockets Mikegetscalls 68 指標 2 天前
thats why they need Porter to be good. Jokic is dependent to create shots for himself and others. Need a guy that can go get buckets.
[–]Nuggets Dunkman77 34 指標 2 天前
I mean yeah if Porter pops to something approaching an all-NBA level then everything’s great. There’s just no #2 guy to go along with Jokic right now. Murray and Millsap are great. Barton and Harris are solid as well, but no one is at that level. Coming into this season I think the idea was that Jokic could potentially take another leap and be transcendent. Given how the first 2 months of the season have gone that seems much less likely now than it did at the end of last season. Something else is going to have to work out for the Nuggets to really get into the contender conversation. Luckily there are a lot of options.
[–]Rockets Mikegetscalls 4 指標 1 天前
If Porter can be a 18-20 pts scorer he will really help. Murray isn’t an iso guy and get get is own shot that well. Barton can hit he’s streaky. Porter could be that guy for Jokic
[–]Warriors Deusselkerr 7 指標 2 天前
Do you think your Nuggets might be interested in Dlo?
[–]Nuggets Dunkman77 30 指標 2 天前
I think they’re all-in on Murray right now and it would be a defensive nightmare to have him and Russell in the backcourt together. Should they be? That may be a different story. I’m not as high as some on Murray though. I like him but don’t see any max level elite skills either.
[–]Mavericks throwaway25813 53 指標 2 天前
maybe i am in the minority and didn’t realize it but i personally believed that they were in the same tier as finals contenders as the rockets were, which for me was one tier below the LA teams
[–]atlfirsttimer 28 指標 2 天前
Probably not on the Rockets level. James Harden is that scary
[–]Mavericks Not-Jordan-Clarkson 63 指標 2 天前
Rockets are in the LA tier.
2-1 against the Clippers and haven’t played the Lakers
Rockets will dominate the Nuggets in a series. Bad matchup for them
[–]Mavericks beatnickk 10 指標 2 天前
I dont think the rockets have the defensive ceiling to be in the same tier as the LA teams
[–]Nuggets njasa10 22 指標 2 天前
I’ve been saying Rockets over Clips, Clips over Lakers, Lakers over Rockets so it’s all about matchups I think.
[–]Mavericks Not-Jordan-Clarkson 11 指標 2 天前
Looks good but I’ll wait for Lakers to play the Rockets.
Ultra small ball vs Ultra Big Ball
[–]EricHangingOut 4 指標 2 天前
The Rockets are a nightmare match-up for the Lakers. Lakers can’t keep quick guards out of the paint and Harden is going to feast on them. On the other side, you at least have PJ Tucker to throw at Bron, and if Gordon comes back healthy, he’s actually strong enough to give you ten minutes a night against Bron in a series.
[–]Rockets Mikegetscalls 20 指標 2 天前
No way can the Rockets stop AD. PJ nor Cappella can guard him. Those are the only real options. We don’t have big perimeter players either to guard Lebron.
[–]Celtics GriffHay 347 指標 2 天前*
I think they’re real close, but they need a second player that’s at least a borderline all-star, take over a game type guy so that they don’t need to solely rely on Jokic in the playoffs. I know they’re banking on Murry being that guy, but personally I don’t see it.
[–][SAS] Tim Duncan Old_Man_Riverwalk21 125 指標 2 天前
I’ve said this on here before but the exact player they need is the best version of Jamal Murray. That player to me fits around Jokic flawlessly being a good cutter and shooter, but has enough off the bounce game to create for himself and make difficult shots. He’s just too inconsistent at being a star now and is still growing, but if he hits his ceiling then I will consider them legit.
[–][SAS] Davis Bertans spursss 48 指標 2 天前
Jamal Murray needs to play like Bradley Beal every night. I’ve seen him do it (in person even), but his problem is consistency and nothing else.
[–]Bulls FriendlyRedditUser23 102 指標 2 天前
If mpj stays healthy it’s gonna be him
[–]Celtics GriffHay 263 指標 2 天前
Not saying it’s impossible, but he’s had like 5 double-digit scoring games in his career so far…let’s mayyyybe slow the hype train down just a tad.
[–]Nuggets kappadoodledoo 24 指標 2 天前
you just have to watch him play, the Eye test is 100%. He is so fluid, so smooth and seems to score with ease. His defense is suspect but with his body type he should be able to become a better defender with some time.
[–][OKC] Steven Adams basketballandpuppies 13 指標 2 天前
If he can stay healthy and continue to develop. He’s not there yet and I really doubt he’ll be there by playoffs. Hell, it might take him another year or so to develop into a second scoring threat for them.
[–]Bulls FriendlyRedditUser23 65 指標 2 天前
He started getting real minutes and is showing up he has massive potential he can be the nuggets 2nd option in like 2 years.
[–]Bulls hankbaumbach 22 指標 2 天前
They have 4 players older than 25 (Millsap , Plumlee , Craig , Barton ) on the team.
Players 25 or under on the Nuggets this year:
Jerami Grant (25), Gary Harris (25), Nikola Jokic (24), Monte Morris (24), Juancho Hermangomez (24), PJ Dozier (23), Malik Beasley (23), Jamal Murray (22), Michael Porter Jr. (21), Vlatko Cancar (22), Jarred Vanderbilt (20), Bol Bol (20)
I like the roster as constructed and I would not change a thing for the rest of the year and hope the young core has grown from their playoff experiences and the team chemistry has matured enough to be a contender this season.
In the offseason I’d be interested to see who they replace Millsap with, but I’d expect a more shrewd signing with paydays for Jokic and Murray on the horizon.
[–]Mollster45 684 指標 2 天前
Do something in the playoffs.
[–]Nuggets njasa10 179 指標 2 天前
To be fair, we were one close game away from the conference finals last year. Probably would have got swept just like Portland though based off how the regular season games against the Warriors went.
[–]Spurs ok_bill_simmons 38 指標 2 天前
The teams you faced were objectively worse, Portland should have been cleaned up in five or six, and the Spurs had absolutely zero business keeping the series as close as they did
[–]San Diego Rockets blueberryy 153 指標 2 天前
I don’t think those Blazers are better than any of the top 4 teams in the West rn, Nuggets should have won that series Wich is why they’re being doubted
[–]JordanCosgrove23 33 指標 2 天前
Eh, 4th youngest playoff team of all time last year. I give them a break.
[–]Nuggets Guardax 70 指標 2 天前
That series was rough. Lost the 4OT game, and the Blazers’ bench absolutely dunked on our bench. I’m not concerned about it though, the Nuggets’ window is going to be open for a while.
[–]Thunder andrew1400 105 指標 2 天前
There was a time when I thought the same thing.
[–]Nuggets Guardax 101 指標 2 天前
The Thunder had their window open for over ten years
[–][MIL] Tony Snell Frogman417 24 指標 2 天前
And the Nuggets were also a game away from getting bounced in the first round. They need to make a big showing in the playoffs this time around, instead of scrapping by. With the Lakers and Clippers, I don’t think a second-round loss to one of those teams is quite a ‘disappointment’, but I think getting a convincing first round win and keeping things competitive in the second would help them out. Of course, if they did get to the conference finals or even the finals, then that’d establish them easily.
[–][CLE] Kyrie Irving KKamm_ 28 指標 2 天前
They need to look good in the playoffs. They feel like the Raptors did back in the LeBronto era where they look really good in the regular season, but show that they can’t hang with others in the playoffs.
[–]Rockets Mikegetscalls 13 指標 2 天前
It takes time. Last year was their first run. They had a great run and lost to a veteran team with more star power.
[–][CLE] Kyrie Irving KKamm_ 1 指標 2 天前
I’m not saying it as a bad thing, I’m saying that’s what it takes to be viewed as a finals contender. Like the Bucks too imo, although obviously they seem a little bit more likely with the east being as weak as it is this year
[–]Wizards Nbahottakes 74 指標 2 天前*
All the Nuggets need is time. I think they are just too young now, but 2-3 years from now I think they will be real contenders. Especially if MPJ ends up being as legit as we thought he could be.
[–]Thunder lighterjobs 12 指標 2 天前
I’ve maybe watched one nuggets game this year, and I’ve never even seen the guy play, but if he’s as good as Denver fans say he is, then it’s over for the rest of the league in a year or two
[–]Rockets mrcpayeah 18 指標 2 天前
as Denver fans say he is, then it’s over for the rest of the league in a year or two
A lot of things change in two years.
[–]immolxte 2 指標 2 天前
lakers might have giannis and ad + lebron in his 7th prime
[–]Rockets mrcpayeah 3 指標 2 天前
exactly. As soon as Warriors got injured the Lakers and Clippers emerged as contenders. Who knows what happens? What if Houston flames out with Westbrook and we trade Harden to Portland or something? No dynasties are guaranteed.
[–]Allen_Potter 93 指標 2 天前
Nuggets fan here: they’re not a contender yet (Houston is obviously a nightmare, and LAL at full strength is scary. I don’t think they are outclassed by anyone else in the West, but that’s already 2 teams that are poised to whoop Denver in the playoffs this year). They have a great chance to get there though. Most of the roster has still not reached its potential, and um, did you people see the MPJ show last night? Tantalizing, to say the least. Still, last year was this core’s first appearance in the playoffs and they did pretty well. Dumbshits who don’t even watch any Nuggets games can talk about who is and who isn’t a contender all day, and remain clueless to the team’s trajectory. There is no plan to trade for a Lebron or a Kawhi or a Davis. This team is building. Will they make it to the mountaintop? We’ll see. I LOVE how they’re doing it so far, and the fact that they probably won’t make it to The Finals this year doesn’t change anything for me.
[–][DEN] Paul Millsap Cwright421 41 指標 2 天前
What always pisses me off is that before last year’s playoffs, we were told we would be an easy first round exit. After winning the first round and taking the second round to seven games, people clown us for not making it to the WCF. We could make it there this year and all we hear next year will be "Yeah, but they’ve never been to the finals, so they suck."