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3 strengths of the Denver Nuggets that'll be key to their success in the 2021-22 NBA season

Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets reacts during the second quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Ball Arena on October 8, 2021 in Denver, Colorado.
Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets reacts during the second quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Ball Arena on October 8, 2021 in Denver, Colorado.
Christopher Eluemuno

The Denver Nuggets had quite a run in the 2020-21 NBA season, finishing 2nd in the Northwest Division, third in the Western Conference with a 47-25 record and clinching a spot in the playoffs for the third season on a roll. They knocked out the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round but were swept by the Phoenix Suns in the Conference Semifinals.

The first MVP in Nuggets history. The Joker thanks his teammates for everything they did. ⛏ (πŸŽ₯: @nuggets) https://t.co/wTInGvDO5F

The Nuggets will be looking to make bigger strides in the 2021-22 NBA season with a possible ceiling of making it to the NBA Finals, with the franchise's first MVP award holder leading the team. Below are possible strengths that could aid their success in the coming season.


Three strengths possessed by the Denver Nuggets that could help guarantee success in the 2021-22 NBA season

#1 The Nuggets Big 3

Utah Jazz's Mike Conley #10 drives as Denver Nuggets' Monte Morris #11, Nikola Jokic #15, Michael Porter Jr. #1 and Jamal Murray, right, defend during the first half of an NBA basketball first round playoff game at AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 21, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Utah Jazz's Mike Conley #10 drives as Denver Nuggets' Monte Morris #11, Nikola Jokic #15, Michael Porter Jr. #1 and Jamal Murray, right, defend during the first half of an NBA basketball first round playoff game at AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 21, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

The Nuggets Big 3 as a strength is a no-brainer, going by the previous season's outing of the Nuggets' ultimate Big-3 and their amazing run thereafter. The Nuggets were obvious title threats until their campaign run was marred by a torn ACL in one of their Big 3s - Jamal Murray. They put up a good fight though, with Nikola Jokic leading the team past the first round of the playoffs.

Jamal Murray was helped off the court after an apparent knee injuryPrayers up πŸ™ https://t.co/TJAuDyQKob

There's no schedule as to when Murray will return to the floor, but going by a typical 12 months recovery timeline, he might miss a good chunk of games in the 2021-22 NBA season. If the Nuggets can put up some good outings pending when Murray recovers completely and returns, they could go the whole distance.

With Michael Porter Jr. signing a five-year contract extension, it is clear the Nuggets are looking to solidify the Big 3 for as long as they can.

#2 Playmaking

Denver Nuggets' Nikola Jokic #15 looks to pass under pressure from Utah Jazz's Rudy Gobert #27 and Donovan Mitchell during the first half of an NBA basketball first round playoff game at AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 21, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Denver Nuggets' Nikola Jokic #15 looks to pass under pressure from Utah Jazz's Rudy Gobert #27 and Donovan Mitchell during the first half of an NBA basketball first round playoff game at AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 21, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

The Nuggets have the most prolific passing center in NBA history, Nikola Jokic, on their roster and inherited his incredible playmaking skills. The three-time All-Star led the team in assists, putting up a total of 599 assists while averaging 8.3 assists per game in the previous season.

Not only did Nikola Jokic average 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game, he led all players in Win Shares (15.6), PER (31.3), Value Over Replacement Player (8.6) and Box Plus/Minus (+11.7) by a wide margin. He deserves this MVP award: basketballnews.com/stories/nikola…

In the 2020-21 NBA season, with Jokic on the floor, the Nuggets recorded an effective field goal percentage of .573 and during his absence managed an effective field goal of 51.7%. With him on the floor, the Nuggets had a reduction in turnovers, with a turnover percentage of .130 and .157 without his presence.

The combination of Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr. and Jokic is a force to reckon with on offense, with their incredible passing dynamics, and the same can be said about their supporting cast. They are lethal enough to humble any defense.


#3 Squad Versatility

Nikola Jokic #15 and Jamal Murray #27 of the Denver Nuggets celebrate against the Miami Heat during the fourth quarter at American Airlines Arena on January 27, 2021 in Miami, Florida.
Nikola Jokic #15 and Jamal Murray #27 of the Denver Nuggets celebrate against the Miami Heat during the fourth quarter at American Airlines Arena on January 27, 2021 in Miami, Florida.

The Nuggets have over time developed a very versatile squad. With the acquisition of Aaron Gordon and the extension of Porter Jr., the Nuggets have several combinations at their disposal in the 2021-22 NBA season to help them decimate any of their opponents regardless of their playing style.

After one preseason game, it's clear Michael Porter Jr. added to his arsenal this offseason. Just one of @msinger's takeaways from Monday night in Los Angeles: dpo.st/3BeXso5

They also have good wing rotation options in P.J. Dozier, Zeke Nnaji, Will Barton and Jeff Green, who could do some damage per adventure Porter Jr. or Gordon is out.

Jokic's ability to pass, shoot and dribble adds a different but tasty spice to the Nuggets mix. His versatility saw him lead the league in total field goals, 2-point field goals and attempts, win shares and player efficiency ratings. With the huge prospect that the 6"10 small forward, Porter Jr. promises to be, the Nuggets should have a swell season.

Edited by Arnav Kholkar

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