The Nuggets missed the postseason in 2016/17, but you could make a convincing case that they were the most talented team to land in the lottery. Only the Heat had a better record than Denver among non-playoff teams, but the difference was only one game, and the Nuggets played in the stronger conference.
That conference has gotten even more daunting within the last few months. Not only have teams above the Nuggets in the standings, such as the Rockets and Thunder, added star talent, but some of the West’s other lottery teams, like the Timberwolves and Pelicans, have made major moves and hope to enter the postseason picture themselves.
Denver made a signficant move of its own when free agency opened, landing All-Star big man Paul Millsap, who is expected to make an excellent frontcourt partner for breakout star Nikola Jokic. With young guards Gary Harris and Jamal Murray showing signs of developing into core pieces as well, the Nuggets have a strong foundation and look poised to get over the hump and make the playoffs in the West this season.
Still, Denver’s roster isn’t without its weaknesses. The point guard position remains unsettled, with neither Jameer Nelson nor Emmanuel Mudiay looking like a solid starter at this point. Longtime Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari is also gone, and it still feels like the club needs to make one more trade for its roster to really take shape.
Oddsmakers are optimistic about the Nuggets’ chances of taking a major step forward in 2017/18 though. After finishing last season with a 40-42 record, Denver is currently projected to have an over/under of 45.5 wins for the coming year, per offshore betting site Bovada.
What do you think? Can the Nuggets finish with 46 wins or more, or is the Western Conference simply too tough for a non-playoff team like Denver to make that kind of leap in 2017/18? Vote below in our poll and then jump into the comment section to share your thoughts!
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Previous over/under voting results:
- Golden State Warriors: Over 67.5 (53.57%)
- Boston Celtics: Over 55.5 (63.5%)
- Houston Rockets: Over 55.5 (65.57%)
- San Antonio Spurs: Over 54.5 (67.74%)
- Cleveland Cavaliers: Over 53.5 (68.82%)
- Oklahoma City Thunder: Over 50.5 (71.77%)
- Minnesota Timberwolves: Over 48.5 (55.69%)
- Toronto Raptors: Over 48.5 (64.21%)
- Washington Wizards: Over 47.5 (71.29%)
- Milwaukee Bucks: Over 47.5 (63.88%)