Nuggets NBA Championship Odds: Can Nikola Jokic Carry Denver in the Postseason?
Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Nikola Jokic #15 and the Denver Nuggets.
Denver Nuggets NBA Playoff Odds
Denver Nuggets Analysis
Reigning MVP and current frontrunner Nikola Jokic put the Nuggets on his back and has carried them all the way to the postseason despite Jamal Murray missing the entire season and Michael Porter Jr. playing just nine total games.
In fact, the Nuggets also hit the over on their team win total (47.5) again even despite those absences, and this now makes it six out of seven seasons that the Nuggets have gone under their win total under head coach Michael Malone.
The Nuggets have gotten consistent play out of their front-court duo of Jokic and Aaron Gordon, but they will need their backcourt to step up on both ends if they hope to get out of the first round against the Warriors.
Monte Morris stepped up and played a significant role last year in the Nuggets beating the Trail Blazers in the first round, and at least two of him, Will Barton, and rookie Bones Hyland will need a strong series against Golden State with neither Murray nor MPJ expected to return for this series.
The Nuggets got improved defensive play from Jokic this season, but the perimeter defense has been a mess as they finished the regular season with the 21st ranked half-court Defensive Rating (97.4). Against a potent Warriors offense with Draymond Green facilitating to a handful of dangerous shooters like Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole, this will be a challenge.