3 Storylines to follow for the Denver Nuggets in 2022-23

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) during the second half against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Ball Arena. (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) during the second half against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Ball Arena. (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports) /
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The Denver Nuggets are entering the 2022-23 season with hope. Aside from the ambition of winning the first NBA title in franchise history, the Mile High basketball community has many interesting stories to follow throughout the season.

Can the Nuggets remain afloat during the first months of the season, where Jamal Murray is getting back in NBA pace after missing more than a year? Is Michael Malone ready to trust the younger players? Can the Nuggets become a solid NBA team?

There are many questions surrounding the Mile High at the start of the 2022-23 season. With that said, here are three storylines that could have an interesting twist in them during the season as Denver is working towards being in top form during the latter part of the season.

Monitoring the quartet of Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Aaron Gordon, and Michael Porter Jr.

The Denver Nuggets tried to improve their depth this offseason, but the closing lineup when the team’s healthy will likely be the same that appeared for five games before Murray’s injury. Jamal went down just five games after Aaron Gordon arrived at the 2021 trade deadline but the lineup performed well when they did share the court.

Nikola Jokic has played just five games with a healthy squad and the Nuggets were excellent with four of their current starting five as the quartet of Jokic, Gordon, Murray and Michael Porter Jr. outplayed opponents with a net rating of 18.2. They were scoring a massive 126.4 points per 100 possessions in the 117 minutes they were together on the floor in 2021.

Aaron Gordon is a versatile defender, who can occasionally stretch the floor. However, his strong suit is his ability to defend multiple positions, a quality that certainly will have to be considered valuable for Denver having in mind their defensive deficiencies from last season. Pairing him with a forward like Michael Porter Jr. could definitely work.

Porter Jr. is a three-level scorer that can be unstoppable at times, being the second or the third option in the Nuggets’ offence can offer an extra dimension to Denver’s offense. Of course, having different shooting options from different places on the floor is the name of the game in the NBA. Porter Jr. can do exactly that, while Gordon will be working on the defensive side of the ball.

The duo of Porter Jr. and Aaron Gordon logged 571 minutes on the floor together during the 2020-21 season, and the Nuggets scored 121.3 points per 100 possession with a net rating of plus-9.3 in those minutes. With Porter Jr. showing already that he somewhat left behind last season’s issue, Jamal Murray’s return to form will be the next big goal for the Denver Nuggets.