The Denver Nuggets will begin their season against the Sacramento Kings on December 23. And if the preseason games are anything to go by, the Nuggets are looking to make a mark this time around.
The Nuggets ended their preseason on a high, beating Portland Trail Blazers 129-96. The 35-year-old Paul Millsap turned back the clock scoring 24 points in the first half itself. After a 79 point first half, the Nuggets rested most of their regulars in the second half, and still went on to record an easy victory.
One of the major challenges would be managing the workload.
Clubs are fine-tuning their rosters as veterans work on their roles and rookies seek to show they can contribute to the new NBA season less than two weeks away. Just under two months have passed since the Los Angeles Lakers won their 17th NBA title making it the shortest off-season in league history for some teams.
The Nuggets went down fighting against the Lakers last season in the Western Conference Championship. Nuggets, already the first team to come back twice from a 1-3 series deficit in the same playoffs, couldn't work the magic again. They would look to turn the tide this time around and go a step further.
Players to watch out for:
Since being drafted by the Nuggets in 2016, the Canadian basketball player has grown from game to game, season to season. He scored 18.5 points per game last season. His tally went beyond 26 in the playoffs. If there is one player in the Nuggets squad who always rises to the occasion, it is Jamal Murray. It would be interesting to see if Jamal can step out of the Rookie league and match it toe to toe with the bigwigs this season.
In the 2020-21 season, Nikola Jokic edged Lakers star Anthony Davis to win the title of the best center in the NBA. The 25-year-old Serbian was also ranked as the second-best passer, behind only LeBron James.
Those two records speak volumes about Jokic. He is being touted as the next big thing by several general managers around the league. He will have to put up his hand in every game if the Nuggets are to have a shot at making it to the Finals.