The Denver Nuggets are the league’s best kept secret. You won’t find any specials on them on ESPN, nor will you see Lil’ Jon turning down to catch them on NBA Saturday Night Primetime. But a little noise in the playoffs this year could make for a change in tune next year.

The first thing the world should know about the Nuggets is that their roster construction, in my opinion, is a thing of beauty. At the same time casual NBA fans probably couldn’t name three players on their team, so this statement probably causes some head scratching.

It all starts with the emergence of Nikola Jokic. After posting impressive numbers for his limited rookie season minutes, “The Joker” has proven to be no joke this year. His averages of over 16 points, 9 rebounds, and almost 5 assists this year are also being produced in just 27 minutes per game. No matter how awkward he may look scoring sometimes, he’s crafty and has range that stretches to the 3-point line. But his most dangerous weapon is his passing, which is the glue to maximizing the rest of the talent on their roster.

Something the Nuggets love to do to utilize his passing is to play him in the high post. This pulls his defender out of the paint and from there slashers like Will Barton, Wilson Chandler, and Gary Harris are found by him slipping to the basket.

That is exactly why the construction of their team is so perfect, each player’s game fits into the next guy’s. In some cases the weaknesses of a player are actually used as positives for the team.

For instance, 13-year pro Jameer Nelson, doesn’t exactly stand out as the perfect starter for a team trying to climb the standings. And maybe he isn’t perfect for it, but he sure gets the job done. In his prime in Orlando playing alongside Dwight Howard, Nelson was never a big stat guy, but he ran the show. He’s not a ball dominant guard which plays into his team’s strengths.

Some point guards are simply too talented to not dominate the ball and to take shots at a high volume. For some teams that’s fine, but for this team allowing plays to be run through a post player gives them more versatility and therefore, they are less predictable. Nelson’s “weakness” of not being a great scorer, is used as a strength to open up scoring for others.

So who exactly is this opening up scoring for? Guys like Wilson Chandler and Gary Harris are putting up career highs in scoring, while Danilo Gallinari and Will Barton are having their second-highest scoring years but at an improved efficiency. The growth of Jamal Murray has also been huge for this team. Murray reaps the benefits of Nelson’s game through scoring as well as opportunities at the point guard spot.

Along with Murray, the Nuggets have also received very good production out of fellow first-round rookie, Juancho Hernangomez. Denver has drafted extremely well lately with the exception of maybe Emmanuel Mudiay who hasn’t panned out as expected yet.

The young talent on this roster is what gives them hope for the future, but their veterans are what give them a chance right now. There are plenty of young talented teams in the league struggling to break the 30-win mark. With the veterans anchoring the ship and the young guys getting better and better, this could really be a dangerous team and it might not be long before everyone knows it.

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Author Details
Denver Nuggets Team Writer , The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
When I’m not playing basketball, I’m watching it. If I’m not watching it, then I’m researching it. If I’m not researching it, then I’m writing about it. I’ve tried to think of other things to say about myself here but I think that sums me up pretty well.
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Denver Nuggets Team Writer , The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
When I’m not playing basketball, I’m watching it. If I’m not watching it, then I’m researching it. If I’m not researching it, then I’m writing about it. I’ve tried to think of other things to say about myself here but I think that sums me up pretty well.
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12 COMMENTS

  1. Glad someone recognizes the Nuggets and their style of play. A team who plays together can take down individually talented teams. Great article.

  2. Great article Jordan Greynolds. I’m as excited as you are to see what the Denver Nuggets can become behind their future superstar Nikola Jokic… I really hope Juancho Hernangomez can eventually become an intricate part of the Nuggets’ success. Juancho has such a pure shot and is an effective scorer when given the opportunity.

  3. Jordan, this is incredibly well-written! Coach Mazz said to tell you that you have “exceeded any flare for the pen” that he has ever had! You are an incredibly gifted young man and we can’t wait to see where God’s plans lead you! Your light shines brightly Jordan, and your actions speak clearly of the high character standards you hold yourself to. The Mazzaferri’s look forward to watching the gifts that God has given you unfold. Continue to walk in the light and answer his call. Bravo!❤

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