Nuggets playoffs: Mapping easiest and toughest paths to repeating as NBA champions

Boston Celtics v Denver Nuggets
Boston Celtics v Denver Nuggets / Brendall O'Banon/Clarkson Creative/GettyImages
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The NBA regular season has come to an end but the Denver Nuggets still don’t know who they’ll be playing in the first round of the playoffs. As the two seed in the Western Conference, they’ll have to wait until Tuesday night’s Play-In Tournament game between the Lakers and Pelicans to find out which team will head to Denver.

For most of the season, the Nuggets have been the favorites to come out of the West and repeat as West champs. That makes sense considering they steamrolled through the playoffs last year, going 16-4 en route to the first championship in franchise history.

Denver hasn’t shown any reason to doubt them this season, and they enter the playoffs as significant favorites despite not even knowing their matchup. The Nuggets have earned this benefit of the doubt, and when needed, they’ve looked like the best team in the league this season.

It helps that they have the best player in the world in Nikola Jokic, an elite coach in Michael Malone, and a supporting cast that looks fully healthy including noted playoff-riser Jamal Murray. The Nuggets shouldn’t care who they play or where they play, and that’s the sentiment they’ve expressed all season.

They’ll be favored in any possible matchup and no team should scare them. Still, there are certainly some matchups that would be easier than others, and deep down I’m sure they do have some slight preferences. Nobody who’s a part of the franchise would ever admit to that, so that’s why I’m here to break down the easiest and hardest possible paths for the Nuggets to win another championship.