NBA Daily: 2022-2023 Season Preview #21 – Denver Nuggets
By Reylan Loberternos
Thu, 06 Oct 2022
In this limited 30-part series, we shall be discussing each team’s latest developments, current roster, and future prospects in the upcoming 2022-2023 NBA season. For every team, we will examine bit-by-bit the important aspects that may shape its progress and provide a rough projection of how it will fare vis-à-vis its previous year’s performance and versus the rest of the league.
2021-2022 Season Win-Loss Record:
PG – Jamal Murray, Bones Hyland, Ish Smith,
SG – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Bruce Brown, Christian Braun
SF – Michael Porter Jr., Jeff Green, Vlatko Cancar
PF – Aaron Gordon, Zeke Nnaji, Jack White
CE – Nikola Jokic, DeAndre Jordan, Grant Golden
No significant injuries.
The Denver Nuggets still have the league’s best player these past two seasons in reigning back-to-back MVP awardee Nikola Jokic to lead the way. It may be interesting to note that he really started to blossom into an MVP-caliber player in the years when Jamal Murray went down with an injury.
Murray is now healthy and will be back to reclaim his role as the starting point guard. Before sustaining a season-ending injury way back in 2021, he was averaging career highs in points, field goal percentage, steals, and 3-point accuracy. He is once again expected to lead the charge for Denver, running the show, and ensuring that he eases the pressure off of Jokic.
Bones Hyland and Ish Smith should alternate as backups to Murray at the point. Meanwhile, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who was acquired from Washington together with Smith in exchange for Will Barton and Monte Morris, is expected to start alongside Murray at the backcourt.
The Nuggets frontcourt will once again have Nikola Jokic at the middle, while Aaron Gordon and Michael Porter Jr. take on the forward positions. Jokic was impressive with 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds, 7.9 assists, 1.5 steals, and 0.9 blocks on a nightly basis in his second MVP season.
The problem, however, was that the reigning league MVP had little help. No other player scored more than 15 points, grabbed at least 7 board, or dished out at least 5 assists during the regular season for Denver.
If Jamal Murray will pick up where he left off prior to his almost two-year hiatus, the Nuggets could expect close to his pre-injury production of 21.2 markers, 4.0 boards, and 4.8 dimes per contest. This would definitely spur them into title contention, especially if the forward tandem of Aaron Gordon and Michael Porter Jr. would step up their production as well.
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