NBA Awards 2020: Denver Nuggets Edition
While the NBA is still on hold due to the Covid19 pandemic, the Denver Nuggets are one of the few teams who are patiently waiting to see if the playoffs will even happen. Before the suspension, the team was third place in the Western Conference behind the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers. The Nuggets were a dark horse for the NBA Finals and many were interested in seeing how far they could progress since last season’s second-round exit. With that in mind, we will be assigning awards for the Denver Nuggets for this season.
Denver Nuggets Team Awards: 2020 Edition
Denver Nuggets’ 2020 MVP: Nikola Jokic
First comes the obvious choice. Coming into the season, everyone knew Jokic was destined for another great year. He struggled at the start of the year but bounced back in a big way come mid-December. For the season, Jokic tallied a career-best 20.2 points, 6.9 assists, and 10.2 rebounds per game. Not to mention, he averaged an effective field goal percentage of 56.5 percent to go along with a true shooting percentage of 60.4 percent. The cherry on top is that the Joker had another great year in terms of triple-doubles as he pulled in 12 of them this season.
Jokic also solidified himself as the clear-cut leader of the team. While Paul Millsap is a great veteran mentor, Jokic has matured and embraced his role as the star of the team. Not to mention, Jokic would make his second All-Star Team this season and is in line to make another All-NBA squad. With all of this in mind, the Joker is the clear MVP of the Denver Nuggets.
Denver Nuggets’ 2020 Defensive Player of the Year: Paul Millsap
The Denver Nuggets had a great team defense to start the season. Unfortunately, they started to skid defensively when the season was suspended. The Nuggets lack height, but they still had a couple of defensive anchors. One of those was the veteran, Millsap. Paul Millsap is a savvy defender that has slid into his new role seamlessly. For the season, he has averaged a defensive rebounding percentage of 15.8 percent and a defensive rating of 102.2 per NBA.com.
Not to mention, Millsap also averaged a defensive win share of 1.4 to go along with a block percentage of 2.4 percent. He did average a career-low in blocks per game (0.6) this season, but also keep in mind he only played in 44 games. Plus, the only notable star post player he has allowed to score multiple points on him this season has been Anthony Davis (23 points in three games), while keeping other notable frontcourt players below double figures.
Denver Nuggets’ 2020 Sixth Man of the Year: Jerami Grant
The Nuggets’ offseason addition, Jerami Grant, was a great fit with the Denver Nuggets. Even though he started a good share of games, he was still a solid sixth man for Denver. The Nuggets’ power forward tallied 11.6 points, 40.0 percent from three-point territory, and a career-high 74.4 percent from the charity stripe. Grant may be a power forward, but he is also versatile enough to play multiple positions as he has done for Denver many times this season. As a result, it has opened up the Nuggets’ offense when needed providing some much-needed playmaking.
2020 Most Improved Player: Will Barton
Will Barton has always been a polarizing player in the Mile High. The old Will Barton was someone who would drive you mad one night, then become your favorite player the next night. This season, Barton showed some signs of maturity and was remarkably efficient which was a pleasant surprise. Barton was a solid starting small forward as he came away with 15.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, and an effective field goal percentage of 52.3 percent. His decision making took a step forward and it really bolstered Denver’s starting rotation.
2020 Offensive Player of the Year: Jamal Murray
This one was close as Jokic had a strong case for this award. However, Jamal Murray has been a consistent offensive threat all year long. He has hit a couple of key game-winners this year to go along with some nice ankle breakers. On top of this, Murray has also averaged a career-high 18.8 points, 4.8 assists, and a field goal percentage of 45.5 percent.
Not to mention, Murray tallied an offensive rating of 111 to go along with a true shooting percentage of 55.9 percent. Jamal Murray has been showing improvements year after year and could have a strong case to be an All-Star next season. He has been one of the Nuggets’ biggest offensive threats all year and that is why he is Denver’s offensive player of the year.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images