By Christian Easter
The Denver Nuggets came off an incredible 2020 playoff run, making it to the Western Conference Finals. However, prior to the Western Conference Finals they erased a 3-1 deficit twice, becoming the first team ever to do so. Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic proved their worth to the team and fans in the 2020 postseason. However, with the challenges of a new season and teams constantly trading and picking up new players, it is getting harder for the Nuggets to keep up.
Due to the amazing regular season, the Nuggets had a late-first-round pick, which they used to select Zeke Nnaji. The Nuggets’ most notable investment in the postseason was R.J. Hampton, a 19-year-old guard who they acquired in a four-way trade. R.J. was a five-star recruit in high school. Hopefully he lives up to his potential this season. Besides Hampton, the Nuggets are keeping faith in their current team.
Denver also re-signed Bol Bol, along with veteran forward Paul Millsap.The Nuggets made sure to keep almost every player from their terrific 2020 season, except for Jerami Grant, who they lost to the Pistons. But with that loss they acquired forward Keita Bates-Diop. The Denver Nuggets starting five now consists of Millsap, Jokić, Murray, Will Barton and Gary Harris, with Monte Morris, Michal Porter Jr. and Jamychal Green first off the bench. Bol also looks to make his presence felt on the court this season, as his time on the hardwood has significantly increased since the season began.
But even with this squad, it’s unclear if if it will be enough to carry the team back to the playoffs. The Denver Nuggets struggled to start the season, mostly on the defensive end. They had a 6-7 record and stood in 11th place in the Western conference after 13 games. They have now risen to 5th. While this may not be too bad, they definitely need to improve if they want to be a playoff contender. While Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic may be the ones to carry the team, it probably won’t be enough. They need to either switch up their play style or acquire some new players if they want to compete with teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets.