The Denver Nuggets are coming off of their first-ever NBA championship season. Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray led the way as Denver steamrolled their way through the playoffs. However, it seems as if any recency bias was thrown out the window when Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey listed his projections for each team’s regular-season record for the 2023-24 season. Bailey released his long-form article the day after the Nuggets revealed their schedule for the upcoming campaign.
When he got to the Nuggets, Bailey predicted that they’d win 52 games, which is one less than last year.
“The strength and depth of the West and the chance that Denver coasts again are the driving factors behind the 52-win prediction,” he argued.
A projection of 52 wins is too low for the Denver Nuggets
Again, the Nuggets just won an NBA title for the first time ever. They won 53 games in the 2022-23 campaign, which was good enough to be at the top of the Western Conference.
Though they lost both Bruce Brown and Jeff Green in free agency, and then Vlatko Cancar to an ACL tear, it feels like the Nuggets may have a bit more to give than they did last year.
It all starts with Jamal Murray. Murray spent much of last season getting comfortable again, after being sidelined with a torn ACL of his own for over a year. He averaged 20.0 points, 6.2 assists, and 4.0 rebounds per game while shooting 45.4% from the field and 39.8% from distance.
Those numbers are fine, but when they’re compared to his playoff stats they look far less impressive. The Canadian star scored an impressive 26.1 points per game in the postseason and did it efficiently. He knocked down 47.3% of his attempts from the floor and 39.36% of those from beyond the arc.
Throw in the fact that he’s yet to be named to an All-Star team, and you’ve got a guy with a chip on his shoulder. If Denver gets a version of Murray closer to his playoff form, then they’re going to be an absolute wagon next season, and shouldn’t have any trouble getting more than 52 wins.