The Denver Nuggets have had an immaculate start to their season, as they are 7-1 at the time of writing this, which is first in the Western Conference and the whole NBA, too. The main reason behind this dominance as a team is because of the dominance of Nikola Jokic.
They are 5-0 in games at home and have won three games in a row, which is super impressive even if the season just started a couple of weeks ago. Even with Jamal Murray not playing all of the games and not being as efficient in his games, the Nuggets have still been super successful.
Their offensive rating is ranked sixth in the whole NBA, and their defensive rating is ranked sixth as well. Denver also ranks third in net rating with a +11.0, only behind the Boston Celtics(+14.2) and the Philadelphia 76ers(+13.1).
Yes, while they have been the best team in the NBA in terms of team success when it comes to wins and losses, there are some things they have to work on.
For example, their bench production is a bit lackluster. That was expected, especially when Bruce Brown and Jeff Green left in free agency. Reggie Jackson, Christian Braun, Zeke Nnaji, and other players have been the main pieces of the Nuggets’ rotation.
Nikola Jokic has the second best PER(Player Efficiency Rating) in the league behind Joel Embiid. He also has the ninth best offensive rating, and when the season progresses, he will probably be higher up on that ranking.
As a team, though, there are a lot of things to work on. Not a lot of those focus points are terrible that the Denver Nuggets have to have to start worrying about them right away, but there is one point in their game that is a bit worrying.
The Denver Nuggets need to work on their free throws
As of now, the Nuggets rank dead last in free throws attempted per game at 17.8 free throws attempted. The second to last teams, the Brooklyn Nets and the Indiana Pacers, both shoot 18.4 free throws per game.
Considering the Denver Nuggets are behind two teams that are not even surefire teams to make the playoffs this season, it is a bit worrying. Yes, the Nuggets are only eight games into the regular season, but even so, it is something to keep an eye on.
Furthermore, the Nuggets rank second worst in the league in free throw percentage. The only team behind them is the Toronto Raptors, who might not make the playoffs this year, either. Denver is currently shooting 70.4 percent from the free throw line.
Last year, the Denver Nuggets ranked fifth worst in free throw percentage at 75.1 percent, which could have been better, but either way, it resulted in an NBA championship. Their free throws attempted per game were ranked sixth worst in the league.
Even though the Denver Nuggets were not ranked the best last year in terms of free throw shooting and percentage, being last and second to last in charity stripe numbers is a bit concerning, even if it is not even 10 percent through the NBA season.
Chances are, the Denver Nuggets will improve at the charity stripe throughout the rest of the season. But if it does not have any signs of improvement, it could be rather dastardly for their postseason hopes.