The Denver Nuggets have their sights set on a title defense. Nikola Jokic is back in the MVP race, and the franchise is 9-2 to the season. They haven’t missed a beat, despite losing Jamal Murray to a hamstring injury. They have depth questions after losing Bruce Brown and Jeff Green in free agency, but the Nuggets are still arguably the best team in the NBA.
The Nuggets have won all seven home games and have played most of the elite teams in the Western Conference to begin the year. Players are stepping up without Murray and the young talent is finding their roles off the bench. Denver brought back their entire starting five from last year’s championship team and just needs two more rotation players to round things out.
Which talents are standing out and who should fans be worried about after three weeks of action? It is still early, but here is a stock report from the first 11 regular season games.
Stock skyrocketing: Reggie Jackson
The Nuggets signed Jackson off the buyout market last season, but he played just 18 postseason minutes in their run to the championship. It was a bit of a lost year for the veteran guard, despite winning a ring. Still, the Nuggets brought him back in free agency on a two-year deal worth $10.2 million.
Jackson played 20 minutes per game as the team’s backup point guard in their first six contests before Jamal Murray went down with an injury. He has since jumped into the starting lineup and helped the Nuggets win four of their last five games. The veteran is averaging 15.0 points, 3.8 assists, and 2.2 rebounds in 27.9 minutes per game on 50.0 percent shooting from the field and 40.9 percent on his threes over that stretch.
Reggie Jackson played a key role in the LA Clippers reaching the conference finals in 2021. Can the 6’2 guard regain that form and help the Nuggets win a second straight title? So far, so good, but the 33-year-old needs to maintain it over the 82-game grind of the regular season and into the playoffs.