Ranking the Nuggets' potential first-round playoff matchups from easiest to hardest

Phoenix Suns v Golden State Warriors
Phoenix Suns v Golden State Warriors / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages
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4th Hardest: Dallas Mavericks

Yes, they have Luka Doncic and he is incredible. But who is going to try and guard the Joker for the Mavs, rookie rim protector Dereck Lively? Recently acquired Daniel Gafford? One of their small-ball centers P.J. Washington or Maxi Kleber?

To make a long story short, those are all terrible, borderline untenable options. This matchup would be an absolute nightmare for Dallas and Nikola would rip them to shreds over four games. He would have his way with any of those guys, and we all know what will happen if they try to double him.

Ironically, the guy they acquired in the offseason, and already traded, Grant Williams could actually have been their best option. He’s still ridiculously undersized for the matchup, but is at least strong and athletic and an overall solid defender inside and out. But Williams wasn’t working out at all for the Mavs and now finds himself in Charlotte.

Luka and Kyrie Irving could always go nuclear, but the Nuggets will happily throw their best perimeter defenders at them and dare anyone else to beat them. As great as he is, there’s no way Luka is going to consistently beat the Nuggets defense more efficiently than Jokic will beat Dallas’. Ultimately, that will be the difference.