Denver Nuggets 2019/20 Season Preview
The Denver Nuggets are coming off a very impressive season. They were one game away from making the Western Conference Finals since the Chauncey Billups and Carmelo Anthony era. Unfortunately, a playoff seasoned Portland Trail Blazers team led by CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard ended Denver’s magical run. The Nuggets had nothing to hang their heads about considering the future is extremely bright in the Mile High City. As a result, the Denver Nuggets are due for another outstanding season.
Denver Nuggets Season Preview
How the Denver Nuggets can Capitalize off Their Success
As promising as the team is, there are going to be ups and downs. After finishing as the second seed in the Western Conference and one game away from the Western Conference Finals, there are going to be higher expectations this season. However, if there is a team capable of living up to them, it is this up and coming Denver Nuggets team.
The return of their defensive anchor in Paul Millsap will help them and their star player, Nikola Jokic, will continue to enhance his craft. The rest of the cast following the lead of these two corner-stone players on both ends of the floor should elevate the team’s success. It should also aid in some of their road troubles, a trait they must improve if they want to find more success.
If Gary Harris can get healthy again, then the back-court consisting of him and the promising Jamal Murray will also add another solid dimension to this Denver squad. And, of course, if Michael Porter lives up to any of his potential, it will make this unit that much more lethal. Continuing to run the offense through Jokic and finding a bit more consistency will really help Denver’s chances this season.
Denver Nuggets: Players to Watch
Nikola Jokic: The clear-cut star of the franchise. As the number one option, he will continue to put up insane numbers. After a year where he averaged 20.1 points per game, 9.6 rebounds per game, and 7.3 assists per game don’t be surprised if he gets close to or even does average a triple-double this season. If Denver wants to make the next step, then they must continue to run the offense through the Joker.
Gary Harris: He is looking to have a bounce-back year. Harris had an injury-riddled year last season. However, when healthy, he is one of the premier up and coming shooting guards in the league. Harris can play both ends of the floor. Not to mention, he is only a few seasons removed from striking the three-point shot at a rate of 42 percent. Also, Harris only allowed four players to score 10 points or more when matched up against him per NBA.com last year. Those players were Caris LeVert, Luka Doncic, Bradley Beal, and CJ McCollum.
Jamal Murray: Murray will have a strong case to become the co-star to Nikola Jokic this year. With Paul Millsap getting older, the door is wide open for him to take that mantle. He is a skilled combo guard who is coming off a season where he averaged career highs of 18.2 points per game and 4.8 assists per game. However, Murray does need to get a bit more consistent if he wants to become the second option on this Denver team.
Road Trip to Watch
The Denver Nuggets thankfully do not have any stretches on the road which will be too treacherous. The one road trip to watch will be from December 5-10. Denver will start out in New York but have a back-to-back as they take on the Boston Celtics now being led by Kemba Walker the next night. They then travel to Brooklyn where they will battle the Kyrie Irving led Nets on December 8. Finally, they finish up their road trip in the city of brotherly love as they take on Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers on December 10. If the Nuggets can at least go 2-2 on this stretch, it will be a success for this young squad.
This is going to be bold, but if you take into account everything, it should make sense. The Denver Nuggets should make the Western Conference Finals this year as a three seed. Yes, the West is tough. However, with everything that happened in the off-season, Denver is the one postseason team who has continuity going into the new season.
The core meshes well and the team chemistry is San Antonio Spur-like. The core trio of Jokic, Harris, and Murray is young and should continue to develop at a high rate. Every team with a new star or two that LeBron James has been on in past years has taken a bit to gel and the same thing could happen with the Los Angeles Clippers (though the Clippers do have a better bench unit.) Teams such as the Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz could have the same problem. Meanwhile, teams like the Trail Blazers and Spurs are seeing their title window close while Denver’s is getting wider. All in all, the Denver Nuggets are in store for another promising season.
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