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Denver Stiffs 2017-18 Denver Nuggets season preview

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Our official predictions for the 2017-18 Nuggets season

NBA: Preseason-Oklahoma City Thunder at Denver Nuggets Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Who will lead the team in scoring?

By Mike Olson

You’ll see my votes in tandem between the first two questions, but I’m left wondering if any team in NBA history has done what I’m predicting, with their starting point guard leading the team in scoring (Jamal Murray), and their starting center leading the team in assists (Nikola Jokic). I’m sure Ryan or Dan will drop me a note to tell me it’s happened more times than my nominal nut would suspect.

Adam: Jokic | Zach: Murray | Gordon: Millsap | Mike: Murray | Dan: Chandler

Ryan: Chandler | Evan: Jokic | Jeremy: Jokic | Ashley: Murray | Kayla: Jokic

Poll

Who will lead the Nuggets in scoring?

This poll is closed

  • 33%
    Jokic
    (109 votes)
  • 28%
    Millsap
    (94 votes)
  • 2%
    Barton
    (8 votes)
  • 20%
    Harris
    (68 votes)
  • 13%
    Murray
    (45 votes)
  • 0%
    Chandler
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    Other
    (2 votes)
329 votes total Vote Now

Who will lead the team in assists?

by Gordon Gross

Is this in total assists, assists-per-game, assists-per-36? This team is very strangely set up, especially with the impeding departure of Jameer Nelson, last year’s assists-per-game leader. Emmanuel Mudiay may not get the minutes and Jamal Murray may not have the responsibility to lead the team in assists, so if the Nuggets are executing their game plan (and don’t make any more changes to the guards on their roster) then Nikola Jokic should take over the lead. The Nuggets are oddly put-together, though - they were second in the NBA in assists last year and had one player barely over 5 per game. For Denver more than almost any other team, this is a category where you’d like there to be competition for the lead, because it should mean the team-first concept is working. I still expect Jokic to come out on top.

Adam: Jokic | Zach: Jokic | Gordon: Jokic | Mike: Jokic | Dan: Murray

Ryan: Jokic | Evan: Jokic | Jeremy: Jokic | Ashley: Jokic | Kayla: Jokic

Poll

Who will lead the Denver Nuggets in assists?

This poll is closed

  • 81%
    Jokic
    (232 votes)
  • 1%
    Millsap
    (4 votes)
  • 9%
    Murray
    (27 votes)
  • 5%
    Mudiay
    (16 votes)
  • 1%
    Barton
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    Plumlee
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Other
    (2 votes)
284 votes total Vote Now

How many triple-doubles will Nikola Jokic have?

By Ryan Blackburn

I think this number will be lower than people would like, but I am settling on eight triple-doubles, a rate of once every ten games or so. Getting a triple-double is hard, and when the Nuggets surrounded their entire offense around Jokic, he only got six last year. This year, the star center will be more of a cog in an offense where every player can effectively create offense, include his running mate in Paul Millsap. I think it’s possible either of those two gets a triple-double in this offense, and because Millsap will also be a facilitator, Jokic will become a better scorer. That may lead to less average triple-doubles for the big man in the middle, but the offense should still go strong.

Adam: 8 | Zach: 11 | Gordon: 7 | Mike: 12 | Dan: 16

Ryan: 8 | Evan: 7 | Jeremy: 11 | Ashley: 13 | Kayla: 15

Poll

How many triple-doubles will Jokic have?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    0
    (1 vote)
  • 13%
    1-5
    (36 votes)
  • 46%
    6-10
    (129 votes)
  • 39%
    10+
    (110 votes)
276 votes total Vote Now

Who will be the team’s MVP?

By Adam Mares

You’d have to think it’d come down to either Jokic or Millsap and I’m giving the nod to Jokic. Simply put, when he is orchestrating the offense, the Nuggets are one of the best teams in basketball. The team might take a few weeks to work out the kinks on offense and figure out how to blend Millsap’s talents with Joker’s, but I think the team ultimately settles on an offense that heavily features Jokic as the playmaker. He has nowhere to go but up on the defensive end and I think by the end of the year we’ll start to see some signs of his defensive potential. Jokic is the team’s star and their best player. That should be crystal clear by mid-season.

Adam: Jokic | Zach: Jokic | Gordon: Jokic | Mike: Jokic | Dan: Jokic

Ryan: Jokic | Evan: Jokic | Jeremy: Jokic | Ashley: Jokic | Kayla: Jokic

Poll

Who will be the team’s MVP?

This poll is closed

  • 81%
    Jokic
    (220 votes)
  • 10%
    Millsap
    (28 votes)
  • 2%
    Murray
    (8 votes)
  • 0%
    Chandler
    (0 votes)
  • 4%
    Harris
    (11 votes)
  • 0%
    Barton
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Other
    (2 votes)
270 votes total Vote Now

Who will be the team’s most improved player?

by Ashley Douglas

I see so much potential in Juancho Hernangomez. It’s obvious he put in a lot of work at the gym over the summer coming back noticeably bigger, and with some great experience under his belt with the Spanish national team. We saw some of what he could be last season, and as he gets his confidence I believe we will see him progress into starting at the 3 position—if not this season, then next.

Adam: Murray | Zach: Mudiay | Gordon: Murray | Mike: Juancho | Dan: Murray

Ryan: Juancho | Evan: Murray | Jeremy: Murray | Ashley: Juancho | Kayla: Murray

Poll

Who will be the team’s most improved player?

This poll is closed

  • 49%
    Murray
    (133 votes)
  • 4%
    Harris
    (12 votes)
  • 22%
    Juancho
    (60 votes)
  • 19%
    Mudiay
    (53 votes)
  • 2%
    Jokic
    (7 votes)
  • 0%
    Other
    (2 votes)
267 votes total Vote Now

Who will have the highest single game scoring outburst? And how many points will it be?

By Evan Fiala

Circle your calendars. October 30. Madison Square Garden. Nikola Jokic will once again have the game of his life on basketball’s biggest stage, this time eclipsing the 50 point barrier for the first time in a historic triple-double performance. Any doubt that Jokic is a better player than Kristaps Porzingis will finally be put to rest once and for all, and the Nuggets will bask in the glory of this performance for the rest of history.

Adam: Murray - 40 | Zach: Chandler - 37 | Gordon: | Mike: Juancho - 47 |

Dan: Barton - 45 Ryan: Jokic - 42 | Evan: Jokic - 50 | Jeremy: Jokic - 52 |

Ashley: Murray - 36 | Kayla: Harris - 36

Poll

Who will have the highest single game scoring outburst?

This poll is closed

  • 52%
    Murray
    (136 votes)
  • 21%
    Jokic
    (55 votes)
  • 3%
    Millsap
    (9 votes)
  • 10%
    Harris
    (28 votes)
  • 2%
    Chandler
    (6 votes)
  • 8%
    Barton
    (21 votes)
  • 1%
    Other
    (4 votes)
259 votes total Vote Now

Who is most likely to get traded during the season?

By Zach Mikash

There’s a number of candidates here, but Kenneth Faried strikes me as the most likely. A week ago I would have said Mudiay, but with Jameer Nelson rumored to be getting released, the Nuggets have no one to replace Mudiay on their roster as it’s currently constructed. Meanwhile, even a pure salary dump of Faried doesn’t hurt their depth at all. The other main factor is Faried is a player who can be a part of most any team’s rotation and while his contract certainly isn’t cheap, it isn’t overpriced either. Whether or not he actually gets traded will come down to how little the Nuggets are willing to get back in return and maybe even if they’re willing to surrender an asset to unload him.

Adam: Mudiay | Zach: Faried | Gordon: Faried | Mike: Faried | Dan: Faried

Ryan: Mudiay | Evan: Faried | Jeremy: Faried | Ashley: Mudiay | Kayla: Faried

Poll

Who is most likely to get traded during the season?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    Mudiay
    (20 votes)
  • 81%
    Faried
    (210 votes)
  • 4%
    Chandler
    (11 votes)
  • 4%
    Barton
    (12 votes)
  • 1%
    Beasley
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    Lyles
    (2 votes)
258 votes total Vote Now

What will the Nuggets record be?

by Gordon Gross

The Nuggets should win 46-48 games and easily make the playoffs. As they showed us last year, however, Denver may struggle to hold leads, to win close games, to make the necessary rotation adjustments and to stay focused on business early. They are still an extraordinarily young team at key positions, even with Paul Millsap and now Richard Jefferson added to the mix. If the Nuggets do not get off to a hot start it may shape the end of their season, much as some blown calls, rotation issues and brutal finishes early in last year helped shape a team that just missed the playoffs. The Nuggets will have to find that team chemistry early in this year because the end of the schedule is not easy. If they don’t have it right out of the gate, expect that fight for that last playoff spot to be close and nasty - again. I think they may struggle with that, especially now as they may be without any veteran to help at point guard, which is why I have them at 44-38.

Adam: 46-36 | Zach: 44-38 | Gordon: 44-38 | Mike: 45-37 | Dan:

Ryan: 48-34 | Evan: 47-35 | Jeremy: 46-36 | Ashley: 43-39 | Kayla: 47-35

Poll

How many games will Denver win?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    Fewer than 39
    (3 votes)
  • 7%
    40-44
    (21 votes)
  • 45%
    45-47
    (125 votes)
  • 35%
    48-50
    (98 votes)
  • 10%
    51+
    (28 votes)
275 votes total Vote Now

Who will they face in the playoffs and how will they do?

By Daniel Lewis

I think that the Nuggets are going to have a better season than they did last year, and will be good enough to get the 5-seed in the Western Conference. The addition of Paul Millsap gives them a veteran that knows how to win and should help the team develop defensively. I think Murray will be up to the challenge of starting, and should give the team a dynamic scoring option on the perimeter. I could see them facing the San Antonio Spurs in the first round, and take the Gregg Popovich coached squad to seven games. I don’t think they’ll be able to defeat an experienced, well coached team like the Spurs, but the experience will be one that helps the team in the future.

Adam: L HOU 4-2 | Zach: L OKC 4-1 | Gordon: L OKC 4-2 | Mike: W SAS 4-3

Dan: L SAS 4-3 | Ryan: L OKC 4-2 | Evan: L HOU 4-1 | Jeremy: W MIN 4-2 / L HOU 4-2

Ashley: L SAS 4-2 | Kayla: L OKC 4-2

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