With the Denver Nuggets final preseason game tonight against the Golden State Warriors finally afoot, the season is officially under a week away. The Nuggets will open the season next week in Utah on Wednesday night against the Jazz in which they hope to set the tone for what should be a pretty exciting season.
With the additions Denver made this offseason along with Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. finally being healthy once again, the expectations for this team are as high as they have ever been. With that being said, let’s take a look at some of the best and worst case scenarios for the Nuggets going into the season.
What’s the ‘Best Case’ scenario for Denver this season?
The best case will and always has been ending the year as NBA champions. Denver has been on the rise ever since going to the Western Conference Finals in 2020 and with a fully healthy roster once again there is no telling how far this team can go. Through four preseason games, the Nuggets have shown not only to have an electric starting five, but a pretty deep second unit as well.
Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. are finally back healthy and ready to contribute, while the additions of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Bruce Brown, and even Ish Smith have proven to be potential upgrades to what the Nuggets had last season. As long as the Nuggets can stay healthy, it truly feels like this season is championship or bust.
What’s the ‘Worst Case’ scenario for the Nuggets this season?
On the flip side of the first question, the worst case scenario has to be not reaching the NBA Finals. Some people may be content with another Western Conference Finals appearance, but I truly feel like this Nuggets team is good enough to have that championship or bust mentality. With back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic running the show this team should not settle for anything less than a championship.
What’s the ‘Most Likely’ scenario for Denver this season?
I think the most likely scenario is a top-3 seed and another playoff berth for the Nuggets. Once they get to the playoffs we will see what happens, but if they are fully healthy there is no doubt they have one of the best rosters in the entire NBA. The hope is the Nuggets are playing their best basketball toward the end of the season and they use that to energize a push for their first championship in franchise history.
What are you most excited for going into this season?
I’m most excited to see how the Nuggets starting unit meshes because they have the potential to be the best starting five in the NBA. The addition of Caldwell-Pope is going to help the starting five out so much not just from a defensive perspective, but his ability to shoot from beyond the arc will also be a massive upgrade alongside Jokic, Murray, Porter, and Aaron Gordon.
Predict the Nuggets win/loss record for the season.
I think the Nuggets will finish with a record of 57-25 and a top-3 seed in the Western Conference.
Predict Denver’s conference seeding.
Second seed in the Western Conference.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Bruce Brown, Ish Smith, Christian Braun, Jack White, DeAndre Jordan, Collin Gillespie, Peyton Watson
Monte Morris, Will Barton, Facu Campazzo, JaMychal Green, Markus Howard, DeMarcus Cousins, Austin Rivers, Bryn Forbes
Last season’s team record
Last season’s conference ranking
Fourth seed in the Western Conference
Last season’s offensive and defensive rating (Please use Basketball-Ref unadjusted ratings for consistency https://www.basketball-reference.com/leagues/NBA_2022_ratings.html)
Offensive rating: 115.21 (seventh in the NBA)
Defensive rating: 112.88 (15th in the NBA)