Should the Denver Nuggets be considered underdogs yet again for the 2021-22 NBA season?

<a href='' target='_blank' rel='noopener noreferrer'>Michael Porter Jr</a> dribbling against Mikal Bridges
Michael Porter Jr dribbling against Mikal Bridges

The Denver Nuggets got off to a good start after clinching a solid victory against the 2020-21 NBA Finalists Phoenix Suns. The Nuggets held a very good Suns offense to below 100 points. They suffocated the Suns and restricted elite offensive weapons such as Chris Paul and Devin Booker to very few good opportunities.

Despite it just being the first game of the season, Denver will return home with plenty of positives to take from their victory. The Western Conference has mostly been loaded in the past decade, and even more so now, with franchises such as the Lakers retooling their squad and upping the ante.

The Denver Nuggets were one of the teams overlooked during most predictions relating to the stacked Western Conference prior to the start of the season. The Nuggets had plenty of things working against them. These include their roster construction, Jamal Murray's injury and the elite level of competitors such as the Lakers and Warriors. However, judging by the way they have started out it might look like a foolish decision to count them out this early.

According to The Athletic's Sam Amick, Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone was effusive and summed up his reaction to the side's start to their season in a sentence. Here is what he had to say:

It was a hell of a way to start the season
The Suns raised their West banner last night, but it was the Nuggets raising an interesting question about the West this time around: Are we overlooking them again?“It was a hell of a way to start the season,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone…

The Western Conference is loaded and filled with top-notch contenders, and maybe we were wrong about the Nuggets' chances of prevailing against the odds. Don't count out the reigning MVP Nikola Jokic and his side just yet, as The Rock says in the movie Gameplan, Never-Say-No-Jo.

Can the Denver Nuggets prevail against the odds and make a deep post-season run in a loaded Western Conference?

Denver Nuggets' superstar Nikola Jokic diving for a loose ball
Denver Nuggets' superstar Nikola Jokic diving for a loose ball

The Denver Nuggets got off to the ideal start with a brilliant performance against the Phoenix Suns. The likes of Aaron Gordon and Will Barton turned up big for the Nuggets with timely buckets and their high-mortor along with a dominating defensive performance as a team.

The Nuggets were expected to be competitive but without the services of Jamal Murray. Judging by the increased competition in the Western Conference, they were not expected to be much of a threat.

Considering the way they have started off, albeit it being their first game of the season, they look like they have a real chance in a stacked West. When Murray returns and if he can get back anywhere near the form he was in prior to getting injured, the Nuggets will be a force to be reckoned with.

The Denver Nuggets have a good chance of causing a massive upset in the West and the capability to beat the best if they can maintain their defensive intensity and find some consistency. The Joker will dominate as he always does but it depends on the likes of Michael Porter Jr and Aaron Gordon to hold the fort down prior to Murray's return if they are to have a good chance of making a deep post-season run.

Poll : Can the Denver Nuggets make it to the Western Conference Finals?



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Edited by Arnav Kholkar
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