Ranking the Top 10 players in the Nuggets-Timberwolves series

Minnesota Timberwolves v Denver Nuggets
Minnesota Timberwolves v Denver Nuggets / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages
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9) Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Yet another phenomenal defender in this series. 

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has been one of the clutchest perimeter defenders in the league since he joined the Nuggets. The two-time NBA champion has won both of his rings in the last four seasons, and he would make it five rings in three seasons with another Denver chip.

KCP was automatic from beyond the arc for the second consecutive season, converting 40.6% of his long-range attempts. Last season, he shot 42.3% from three on roughly the same number of attempts.

As a 10-year-veteran, KCP has given the Nuggets a true 3-and-D shooting guard. The 30-year-old played in 76 games and averaged his most minutes since the 2017-18 season. While he struggled to find his rhythm against the Lakers, KCP should find some positive regression with his 3-point shot against Denver’s division rivals.

Caldwell-Pope averaged 10.1 points this season while only taking 7.7 shots a game. He shot a career-high 89.4% from the free throw line in the process. 

While his counting stats may not seem worthy of a spot on this list, KCP makes up for his lack of box-score production with elite defensive IQ and high-impact instincts. The Nuggets were 16.2 points better per 100 possessions with KCP on the floor, per Cleaning the Glass. He had the best on/off point differential on the team besides Jokic. KCP also boasted a top-five plus-minus in the NBA this season – only behind Jokic, Jayson Tatum, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Derrick White.