It wasn’t that long ago that the Denver Nuggets were wallowing around in mediocrity. They had missed the playoffs for five straight seasons until a year ago. Then suddenly, they found their footing. They won their division last season after winning 54 games and were the second seed in the Western Conference. They defeated a tough Spurs team that took them to seven games in round one. In round two they were sent packing from the playoffs by the Portland Trail Blazers who defeated them in seven games as well.
Thanks to a very complicated trade that involves draft choices potentially six years from now, the Nuggets were without their first-round draft choice this year. They did nothing in free agency either. Instead, they will choose to ride the very young, talented roster they have built. Center Nikola Jovic is averaging 19.2 points per game and 9.9 rebounds per game. Point guard Jamal Murray is averaging 17.6 points per game. Shooting guard Will Barton is averaging 15.1 points per game. The veteran power forward Paul Milsap is averaging 11.9 points per game to go along with 5.8 rebounds per game. Shooting guard Gary Harris is averaging 11 points per game. Power forward Jermai Grant is averaging 10 points per game off the bench.
The Nuggets are a very young, very talented team on the rise. Depending on how fast these young players grow, they could potentially upset the Lakers in the playoffs. The key word is “potentially.”