Denver Nuggets Roster Analysis for the 2020-21 NBA Season – Finding Their Strengths and Weaknesses
The Denver Nuggets were one of the most impressive teams in the previous NBA season. They reached historic heights by coming back from 3-1 in the playoffs twice, before losing against the future champions LA Lakers in the Western Conference Finals.
The star duo of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray was the key to success, but many other players contributed. The hopes for the next season are high, and I believe there’s a good reason to expect big things from the franchise.
I share my Denver Nuggets roster analysis for the 2020-21 NBA season that includes the weak and strong sides of the team on both offense and defense.
Leadership and Star Power
Let’s begin by assessing the leadership and star power of the Denver Nuggets. The NBA is a league driven by stars and superstars, so you certainly need special players to be successful.
Denver has one bonafide superstar in Nikola Jokic. The Serbian center is one of the most versatile offensive players in the entire league. He scores from the paint, he can shoot from outside, and he’s arguably one of the best passing bigs in basketball history.
His ability to find the open man is nothing short of sublime, and it’s close to impossible to stop Jokic. We saw that clearly in the NBA Playoffs last season when the Clippers were demolished, despite having one of the best defenses in the leagues.
The problem with the Serbian superstar is his defense. Jokic is not quick enough, and he could be exploited in mismatches. And yet, it seems like the Nuggets will try to cover that with the help of veteran Paul Millsap and rookie Zeke Nnaji who should be decent in the paint.
The other star in Denver is Jamal Murray. The guard wasn’t that good in the regular season, but his performance in the NBA Playoffs was insane. He averaged 26.5 points, 4.8 points, and 6.6 assists in 19 games.
Murray was extremely efficient as well and wasn’t afraid to take responsibility in clutch moments. He looked like one of the best players in the league, and if he can keep the same tempo, the Nuggets certainly will have one of the top NBA duos next season.
Assessing Denver’s Offense
The previous year was weird for the Nuggets, who had a slump from an offensive standpoint in the regular season before returning to their usual self in the playoffs. I believe that Denver should be better in the upcoming 2020-21 regular season for several reasons.
Both stars of the team are excellent offensively, and there is another guy that has the potential to explode. We saw glimpses of how good Michael Porter Jr. can be, and he should have more minutes next season after Jerami Grant left the Nuggets to try his chances as something more than a role player.
We also need to see Bol Bol in action, and there are two exciting rookies on the roster that could provide some strength in depth.
Guys like Paul Millsap, Monte Morris, Will Barton, and Gary Harris certainly can contribute, too, and Mike Malone is an excellent coach. The overall feeling is that the Nuggets should have a strong offense next season.
There are no obvious weaknesses besides the fact that we don’t always see the best of Murray and Jokic in the regular season. I don’t think anyone will be too upset about that if the duo rises to occasion in the playoffs, though.
Nuggets’ Defense Analysis
The defense of the Denver Nuggets is the more concerning part that might lead to some trouble. Nikola Jokic will play big minutes as a center, and he’s too slow for the modern game. The Serbian’s rim protection is respectable, but he can be exploited in the pick-and-roll.
The Nuggets also lost their best lockdown defender in Jerami Grant. He was the guy who guarded the opponent’s top offensive player in most postseason games, and that could be a problem.
Denver’s team defense is good, and it can contain many teams, but the organization will likely struggle against some of the elite offensive sides out there. We might see wild shootouts like the clash against the Jazz last year.
The Denver Nuggets roster assessment gives me high hopes for the upcoming season. The team should have an elite offense, even if the regular season is not that good. The strengths of the franchise translate very well into the postseason, and the potential emergence of MPJ could be a huge boost.
Tim Connelly: “We’re going to need to take Michael Porter to take the next step. I think that’s a poorly kept secret.”— Mike Singer (@msinger) December 2, 2020
If the Nuggets could keep it respectable on the other end of the floor, they can certainly beat anyone in the league. I view them as genuine title contenders before the start of the season.
Feel free to share your thoughts on the team in the comments below!