Basketball

Denver Nuggets Season Preview 2021-2022

Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Denver Nuggets 2020 Season Review

This past season for the Denver Nuggets was one of success but disappointment. They were a consistent top team in the Western Conference but were plagued by injuries the entire season. Although, that shows how great of a player and a season that Nikola Jokic had. 2020 also showed the exciting improvement of Michael Porter Jr. He stepped up and became that second scorer in Murray’s absence. Overall a solid season but one they definitely feel they can improve upon.

Off-Season Gains and Losses

Gains

The Nuggets had a relatively quiet offseason compared to a lot of the competitive teams in the NBA. Their only signing of a non-nuggets player from last season was Jeff Green. Green is a fantastic role player and can do it all on both ends of the floor. He showed that this past season with the Nets and was one of their key bench players. Their other signings include the re-signing of Austin Rivers, Jamychal Green, and Will Barton. All three of these returning players had significant roles, especially after Murray’s injury, and look to do their part once again.

The Nuggets’ one draft pick they had this season went towards selecting Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland. He is a pure scoring guard out of VCU and led the Atlantic-10 conference in scoring this past season. I believe they got great value in their late first-round pick as this guy can really score whenever he wants. He reminds me of Jamal Crawford in ways and if he can live up to that potential the Nuggets will end up with the possible steal of the draft.

Losses

While the Nuggets did not gain many players, they also did not lose many players. Paul Millsap and Javale McGee are the only players from last year’s core squad who will not be returning. They both brought a veteran presence to the team and will be missed. Denver is a young squad so the front office wants to keep moving in that direction. Millsap was loved in Denver the past few seasons so hopefully Jeff Green can fill that role in the same way.

Key Players

There will be a couple of key players/factors entering this upcoming season for the Denver Nuggets. At the top of that list would be staying healthy. It is not something they can entirely control but as we saw this last season, the healthiest teams have the best chance to win a championship.

Aaron Gordon

This is his season to prove that he was worth what the nuggets gave up to acquire him. More time in the system and working with Jokic should lead to a successful season for him. I think once Murray got hurt he had to play more of an expanded role and was not ready for it at that time. A fully healthy lineup will lead to a fantastic season for Gordon

Nikola Jokic

The team is carried on the back of the MVP and that will continue again this season. He is the motor of the team and if he plays the same or better than he did last season Denver will be a more dangerous team than they already are.

Michael Porter Jr

We saw great improvement from him in 2020 and building on that will be necessary this season. His decision-making and playmaking are still a work in progress but another offseason with Jokic will help improve that. He is a lights-out shooter when he is on but that does not come as consistently as the team would like. Solving those minor problems will make him a potential All-Star candidate for his season.

Bol Bol

Every fan of the Nuggets and NBA wants to see this guy get consistent minutes. He is so entertaining to watch and makes plays on both sides of the court. Bol had so many highlights from the preseason where he was used in the Jokic-like role for the team. He is currently the backup center on the roster so it is possible he will get more time this season. Working on his 1-on-1 defense is what needs to be worked on the most but time will tell if he is able to achieve that potential that he has.

Season Predictions

The Denver Nuggets have one of the youngest and best squads in the NBA right now. This season is key to how they go about with future player acquisitions and will be interesting to see if they make any big trades again. I believe this team has what takes to make the jump to serious title contender this season. I predict they finish as the second seed in the west this upcoming season. As long as they stay healthy, they will be really hard to beat and would not be a surprise team to represent the Western Conference in the Finals.

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  1. Pingback: New York Islanders Season Preview - Championship Sports Media

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