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Playoff Profile: Can the Nuggets fight back against the Warriors?

This is one of our favorite times of the year. The NBA Playoffs have just started and we are getting a better idea about which teams could be the NBA Champions this year. 

The Nuggets were really interesting coming into the playoffs, with possibly the best player in the league on their team. Yet, they still haven’t managed to turn that into trophies. 

The likely MVP hasn’t proven to be enough against the powerful Warriors, and Thursday night’s loss puts their chances on life support. Denver now trails 3-0 in a best-of-7 series.

Let’s give a quick but comprehensive franchise profile of the Nuggets. 

Club History 

The Nuggets were first formed in 1967 and were the Denver Rockets. The team started in the ABA and had to change its name when it joined the NBA because of the Houston Rockets. 

The Nuggets joined the NBA in 1977, and since then they have won their division (the Northwest Division) 9 times (1977, 1978, 1985, 1988, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2019, 2020). They have made to the playoffs 27 times including this seasons. This is their 4th year in a row of qualifying. 

Last Season 

The Nuggets ended last season 47-25. It had been shortened due to the coronavirus pandemic and played in front of limited crowds at times. But as the Western Conference seedings unfolded, they grabbed the 3rd spot. They faced the 6-seed Portland Trail Blazers in the first round. The Nuggets won in 6, while Nikola Jokić was their highest scorer in every game. 

They were ultimately knocked out in the second round by the 2-seeded Phoenix Suns who went on to win the West. Jokić was named MVP of the season. 

This Season 

This season has been marred by injury, as multiple starters have missed significant time. Jamal Murray has been the most important loss for Denver. It’s all meant that Jokic has had to carry the load by himself, and they finished with a 48-34 record. They dropped down to the 6th seed in the conference and an opening draw against the dangerous Warriors. 

MVP Hopeful 

Maybe a quick exit will be softened by another MVP for Jokić.

This season he became the first player in NBA history to tally at least 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 500 assists in a season. He also had a player efficiency rating of 32.85 – the highest a player has ever had in a single season. He is one of the most productive players in the NBA.  

If you’re looking for someone to put in your fantasy squad for next year, it has to be him – find a guide to DFS NBA here. 

Coach 

The current Nuggets head coach is Michael Malone – he has been with them since 2015. 

He was previously the head coach of the Sacramento Kings and has been an assistant coach for a few NBA teams (Warriors, Hornets, Knicks, and the Cavaliers). 

When he is not with the NBA he is also the coach of the Serbian National Basketball team. 

This year, the Nuggets have just announced that they will be extending Malone’s contract for multiple years. It was Malone who really pushed for the team to draft Jokic. 

Last NBA Win 

The Nuggets have never won the Western Conference title or the NBA Finals. 

2022 Playoffs 

This has been a really strange year for the NBA. Particularly on the West Coast. Neither the Clippers nor the Lakers qualified for the playoffs this year. Memphis nabbed the 2-seed. The Wolves blew multiple 20-point leads last night. Kevin Durant has been shut down in the first two games against the Celtics. Even the Bucks look shaky.

There is no Lebron in the playoffs this year. There is a chance for some smaller names to make a big mark in this competition. 

No team has ever come back from down 3-0. But the Nuggets need to focus on just winning Game 4 at home, and hoping to extend the series.

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