After their stunning regular season success a year ago and ensuing failures in last season’s playoff, the Denver Nuggets entered the 2019-20 NBA regular season with one goal in mind. Winning the Western Conference championship. While Denver remains a legitimate title contender out west, they’ve also been surpassed by two teams, both in the standings and in oddsmakers eyes as potential conference and NBA Finals champions. While the current regular season is on hold as we come to grips with the covid-19 pandemic, if and when the 2019-20 regular season does get underway, the Nuggets will be looking to push a pair of western conference powerhouses to the side in order to reach their intended destination. With that thought in mind, let’s take a look at what’s gone down for Denver already this season and what could lie ahead if or when the regular season resumes. Here’s an overview of the Denver Nuggets 2020 season so far with NBA Odds and NBA Championship Odds.
NBA Denver Nuggets 2020 Season Analysis
Denver Nuggets Offensive Analysis
Denver ranks an uninspiring 20th in scoring (110.4 ppg) despite ranking an impressive sixth in field goal shooting percentage (47.1%) and decent 15th in three-point shooting percentage (35.8%). All-star center Nikola Jokic is putting up a team-high 20.2 points, 10.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists while gifted shooting guard Jamal Murray is adding 18.8 points per contest. Will Barton, Paul Millsap and Jerami Grant also average double figures in scoring for the Nuggets.
Denver Nuggets Defensive Analysis
The Nuggets have been rock-solid defensively in limiting the opposition to 107.4 points per game (8th) while ranking a modest 14th in field goal shooting defense (45.9%) and eighth in three-point field goal defense (34.6%). Four players average at least 1.1 steals per game while three others are just off that figure.
Denver Nuggets Offseason Movements
Signed coach Michael Malone to a contract extension through the 2022-23 season. Agreed to terms with F Vlatko Cancara on a multiyear contract. Signed G Jamal Murray to the five-year contract extension, through the 2024-25 season. Obtained F Jerami Grant from the Oklahoma City Thunder for a 2020 first round pick. Waived G Gerald Green.
Denver Nuggets Prediction
The Nuggets have been rock-solid at home (25-8), but they’ve struggled on the road in going just 18-14. Still, Denver has gone 26-13 against their Western Conference rivals although they were struggling by going just 5-5 over their last 10 games before the league’s suspension.
While the Nuggets have a real superstar in the do-it-all Jokic, Denver really needs Jamal Murray to take the next step toward all-star status and they could definitely use more depth on the bench. I’d personally like to see young power forward Michael Porter Jr. get more playing time, but outside of that, the Nuggets just don’t have the quality depth they need on the bench in order to take down conference rivals like the Lakers and Clippers and possibly some other offensively explosive teams like Houston or even Dallas. Last but not least, the current suspension could be a good thing for a Nuggets team that has seen Paul Millsap miss 21 games, Porter Jr. miss 17 contests and talented backup shooting guard Malik Beasley miss 24 contests.
If the Nuggets can improve their offensive production, they could challenge both of their Los Angeles-based conference rivals, but I’m thinking that’s a stretch, simply because they don’t have a second all-star on the roster or many players that create their own shot off the dribble. Another 50-win season was a near lock before the hiatus, but in the end, no matter how hard I try to envision it, I just can’t see the Nuggets making the jump to conference champions.