The Denver Nuggets are bona fide championship contenders, but the team still has certain flaws in its roster construction. There’s no such thing as perfection, and every team in the league has areas that can be exploited. Yes, even the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers have their weaknesses.
That’s where the fun part comes in. Observing how a team covers its shortcomings and finds a way to excel is always a fascinating part of basketball. In the upcoming NBA season, the Denver Nuggets will have a couple of critical areas where they will need to paper over the cracks.
More often than not, the teams who minimize their weaknesses are the ones who embark on deep playoff runs. Other teams will look to the trade market to try and plug gaps, while more savvy front offices will bank on in-season development from some of their younger players.
Michael Malone and the rest of his coaching staff will hope that a mixture of all three options come to fruition. One of the lesser accepted aspects to the Denver Nuggets roster is that their younger players are, for the most part, high-ceiling prospects who will continue to develop as the season wears on.
Should the coaching staff wish to rely on veteran talent this year (as seems to be the case), the front office could swing a trade to improve the fringes of the team or expect Malone to “coach up” the current bevy of role players already on salary.
Regardless of how the Nuggets decided to approach their weaknesses, it’s essential to understand the roster’s problem areas. After much deliberation, Denver’s three most significant weaknesses are heading into the 2021-22 NBA season.
3 biggest weaknesses of the Denver Nuggets roster: #3 Depth of the center rotation
Despite having arguably the best center in the NBA on their roster, the Denver Nuggets look perilously thin at the five. Behind Nikola Jokic, Michael Malone will be forced to go small, with either Jeff Green, JaMychal Green, or Zeke Nnaji operating as the primary back-up.
So, what happens when the Denver Nuggets face teams like the Los Angeles Lakers or Memphis Grizzlies who have serious depth at the center position? Going small is always a solid option to counter a specific team’s rotation or skillset, but it shouldn’t be the only option.
Herein lies the crux of the argument – the Denver Nuggets have no valid backup option, and the loss of JaVale McGee hurt the rotation more than anyone would have guessed. Sure, Jeff Green is a nightmare match-up for opposing fives, but he doesn’t possess the physical attributes to be a rim deterrent or fight down on the low-block.
There’s also the talent drop-off to consider and how the lack of impact off the bench could hurt the teams’ sustainability during a deep playoff run.
Anything can happen between now and the start of the playoffs next year. Still, if the Denver Nuggets wish to keep building towards a championship, they’re going to require another legitimate center to help fill the void when Nikola Jokic takes a breather.