With the core still intact from last season, the Denver Nuggets still have a solid chance to win the NBA title this season. Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray torched opposing defenses in the playoffs, as they only lost four games throughout the entire playoffs. The worst opponent they faced was the Phoenix Suns, as Phoenix brought Denver to six games in the second round.
The odds for the Denver Nuggets a few weeks ago looked great and were the best in the whole NBA. But now the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks have both made franchise-changing trades to add Jrue Holiday and Damian Lillard to their team, respectively. With those moves, the Denver Nuggets dropped a bit in the odds because of the trades, but Denver surely doesn’t mind.
On media day, Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and head coach Mike Malone were asked for their opinions on their title odds. ESPN wrote on what they said last Monday.
When it comes to what they said, it is all optimistic for next season, and they want to be even better than they were last season. Murray was really excited for the season to start, and he believed that the Denver Nuggets could be really successful.
"“I just think we can do it again. I think that’s the biggest thing, just being able to repeat and go through the adversity and ups and downs of this season. Just be ready by April and going to June.”"
It won’t be easy to repeat as NBA champs. Repeating champs have not happened since the 2018 season, as the Golden State Warriors won two titles in a row. Ever since the 2019 season, there have been new champions every single season. That could be the case this season, but it’s hard to say. Denver does have a lot of talent to be able to be back in the NBA Finals and win it all.
Mike Malone was really high on the team, but he still wanted more out of his players, specifically Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. For Jokic, he wants him to be more of a leader, especially considering two seasoned veterans in Ish Smith and Jeff Green are no longer on Denver’s roster, so they’ll need him to be more vocal.
As for Murray, Malone wants him to be an All-Star and All-NBA member. That won’t be easy, as Murray has never even been close to being an All-Star. Sure, he’s gotten a lot more recognition for his talents because he’s now an NBA champion, but it still won’t be simple to become an All-Star for the first time. Murray definitely has what it takes to be an All-Star this season.
The Denver Nuggets have a lot of talent and great chemistry, and that’s what takes to be NBA champs. Repeating as champions will be harder than it was to win last season, but it is not impossible.
It will be interesting to see how the Denver Nuggets will be perceived this season now that they’ve won a title. More will be expected out of them, and they are most definitely up for the challenge.