Being a contender means that your roster is constructed in such a way, that on paper, very minimal weaknesses can be found. The Denver Nuggets are entering another NBA season where they’re considered genuine contenders for an NBA championship – I guess that’s a perk of having the reigning MVP on your roster.
The Western Conference is notoriously deep, and any team with a “contender” tag usually has a plethora of options on both sides of the floor. Roster construction is fickle, and while each contending team is usually well assembled, each depth chart will excel in different areas. Variety is the spice of life after all.
For the Denver Nuggets, we can point to five or six areas of the floor where the team is expected to excel. But, we must ask ourselves where the bread-and-butter areas of this team’s strengths truly lie.
Here are the Denver Nuggets’ three biggest strengths heading into the new season.
Denver Nuggets: 3 biggest strengths of the Nuggets roster: Playmaking
Any team fortunate enough to list Nikola Jokic as their starting center is going to be a force when it comes to playmaking. Heck, it’s almost blasphemous to label any other big-man as the league’s best passing center.
Last season, Jokic averaged 8.3 assists per game and had an assist:usage ratio of 1.20 (the 96th percentile league-wide), while we’re on numbers, Jokic also assisted on 37.6 percent of his teams made shots while he was on the floor – the 100th percentile. Jokic is the drum in which the Denver Nuggets dance too.
Outside of their talismanic center, the Denver Nuggets have shot creators in both Jamal Murray and Aaron Gordon. That big-3 the Denver Nuggets assembled mid-way through last season are all capable of quarterbacking an offense, and their passing ability consistently forces the defense to bend to their will.
Behind the team’s elite, Austin Rivers, Facundo Campazzo, Will Barton, and hopefully Michael Porter Jr are all capable of setting up their teammates. Be it running a pick-and-roll, making a secondary read, or simply timing a dump-off pass to perfection, the Denver Nuggets supporting cast are able to hold their own when generating offense.
As the NBA season wears on, and legs begin to become tiresome, have such a deep array of playmaking options is going to lighten the load for Denver’s primer talent. And when a team can rely on its role players to step into a creative role, you know it’s been constructed with championship aspirations in mind.