The Denver Nuggets were a great team last year, and they have largely the same roster this year. Despite that, they’re being looked at as an average team.
The Denver Nuggets were the second-best team in the Western Conference last year during the regular season, and, if they had been able to win one of the final two games against the Portland Trail Blazers, they would have made it to the Conference finals. Among players that played regular rotation minutes last season, including the playoffs when the rotation shrunk, they have only lost the contributions of Trey Lyles, who they allowed to walk in restricted free agency.
Heading into 2019-20, the Nuggets are healthy, with multiple young budding stars, not including high-ceiling players like Bol Bol and Michael Porter Jr., have added Jerami Grant to deepen their forward rotation. Despite these things, they’re currently projected with the seventh-best odds to win the 2019-20 NBA title including having just the fourth-best odds in the Western Conference. Have they fallen that far?
The answer is no. They’re not some middle of the pack team, and they should be given better odds. They’re not, and they won’t because of a few reasons. This team could easily finish among the top three in the conference, but they’ll do it quietly all year.