3 Things that must happen for Nuggets to repeat as NBA champions

These three circumstances must be present for Denver to go back-to-back this season.
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets / David Berding/GettyImages
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3. Avoid the Timberwolves matchup

As the defending NBA champions, the Nuggets have earned the right to be favorites in the Western Conference. At this time last year, many were doubting whether Denver was even a true contender and questioning if they could even beat a team like the Phoenix Suns in the 2023 semifinals.

Of course, the Nuggets puts those talks to bed with swiftness, denying many of the haters in the process. As a result of last year's performance in the playoffs combined with their dominance in the regular season this year, they should be justified in feeling like they can take on and beat anyone in the postseason this time around as well.

But if there is one team Denver may want to try to avoid as much as possible, it is the Minnesota Timberwolves. The main reason being that the Wolves are one of the few teams that combine the level of size, physicality and star power necessary to challenge the defending champions.

We saw Bruce Brown say publicly last summer that he believed the Timberwolves were the Nuggets' toughest series in the 2023 playoffs, and that team has only improved in the time since then. As of right now, Denver and Minnesota could face each other in round two, should they each take care of business in the opening series. Again, the Nuggets should feel comfortable facing anyone, but the Wolves are simply a tougher matchup than the Suns.