A potentially huge year looms for the Denver Nuggets. Led by Head Coach Michael Malone, they’ve consistently made the playoffs in recent years – reaching the Western Conference Semifinals in three of the last four seasons. This year though, the Nuggets will be hoping to go one better.
Their shining star is two-time NBA MVP-winner, Nikola Jokic. Nicknamed “The Joker”, this player is no joke at all. The big Serb is the crown jewel in an impressive core of Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr. (who both return from injury this term) and Aaron Gordon. They’re joined by recent addition Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, while veterans DeAndre Jordan and Ish Smith provide much-needed depth. They also drafted Christian Braun this year, who adds youthful exuberance alongside the immense potential of Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland and young talent Zeke Nnaji.
With quality throughout the team, the Nuggets can now be considered a genuine contender for the championship and will surely attract some attention when it comes to betting on the NBA. Though they’ve yet to make the finals, there are big expectations within the roster and Denver’s passionate fanbase will no doubt be dreaming of a potential first title win this upcoming season.
A decent season for the Nuggets last term as they reached the playoffs once again. Finishing in sixth seed with a record of 48-34, they were knocked out in the first round of the playoffs following a 4-1 series loss to the Golden State Warriors.
Missing two of their key players in Murray and Porter Jr. for the majority of the season, they were carried by their star player Jokic, who averaged 27.1ppg, 7.9 assists, and 13.8 rebounds over 74 games. These stellar performances earned Jokic his second MVP award in a row, making him only the thirteenth player to win it in back-to-back seasons.
The Denver Nuggets were founded in 1967 as the Denver Larks. A charter member of the American Basketball Association, they changed their name to the Rockets before their first season, before changing it once more to the Nuggets in 1974.
In 1976 they played in the last ever ABA championship, losing out to the New York Nets. In an unwanted record, the Nuggets are one of only four existing ABA franchises not to have gotten back to the championship game.
Nowadays, the Denver Nuggets are part of the Western Conference, and play in the Northwest Division. They call the Ball Arena home.
One of the most impactful contributions that the Nuggets franchise had on the game of basketball came in 1981. Their coach at that time, Doug Moe, brought on a new offensive philosophy. The “motion offense”, as it became known, was a style of play focused on attempting to move the ball until someone got open. During the 1981–82 season they scored at least 100 points in every game, an NBA-record streak that was eventually halted at 136 consecutive games, and set the league scoring record for the highest points per game average at 126.
Traditionally, Denver’s biggest rivals are the Utah Jazz and Portland Trail Blazers. Unfortunately for Nuggets fans, this rivalry has historically been lop-sided, because of Denver’s consistent inability to build winning teams able to compete with the Jazz and Trail Blazers.
One of the few times that Denver have made some noise in the playoffs was in 1994, playing against the Seattle Supersonics. In a series that went back and forth, Denver became the first team in NBA history to beat the number one seed as the eighth seed.
Despite this lack of success, the Nuggets have always had superstars on their team, including legendary players like Carmelo Anthony, Baron Davis, and Nikola Jokic.