The Denver Nuggets’ top 3 playoff threats in the West

Denver Nuggets Nikola Jokic Jamal Murray Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Nuggets Nikola Jokic Jamal Murray Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /
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grizzlies nuggets prediction
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

2) The Memphis Grizzlies

While they are relatively young for a contender, the Memphis Grizzlies and their defensive brilliance cannot be ignored.

Memphis made a statement last week when they beat the brakes off of Denver to level the season series at 1-1. In that contest, the Grizzlies held the Nuggets to a season-low 94 points, marking just the seventh time all year that they have posted less than 100 points in a game.

Ja Morant and company have produced a 25-5 record at home while boasting the league’s No. 2 defensive rating. However, the Memphis offense has cooled down lately.

In the month of February, the Grizzlies had a bottom-7 offensive rating while going winless on the road. The young squad owns a lackluster 11-18 record in away matchups this season.

They have also done a better job than most teams at containing Nikola Jokic as a scorer. In two matchups, the Joker has averaged 14.0 points per game, albeit on 56.5 percent shooting from the floor.

Memphis’ length and depth in the frontcourt, along with their emphasis on attacking the paint, makes them as tough a matchup as anyone for Jokic.

DPOY candidate Jaren Jackson Jr. also deserves attention for serving as the season-long anchor of the elite Grizzlies defense. Having said that, the Joker shoots an impressive 60.0 percent from the field in seven total matchups against JJJ over the last three seasons.

If the Grizzlies and Nuggets were to meet in the playoffs, NBA fans would be treated to an epic clash of phenomenal offense and suffocating defense.