What We Learned From The Nuggets This Season and What They Need to Improve On

Jamal Murray Gets Ready for A Game Against The Bulls.

Jamal Murray Gets Ready for A Game Against The Bulls.

Asher Hyre and Grant von Hortenau

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Even though the Nuggets playoff run ended disappointingly, the season was still a success. We Learned that Nikola Jokic is a true M.V.P. candidate by averaging 25 points, 13 rebounds, and 8 assists per game in the playoffs. What he needs to improve on: Nikola Jokic shot 30% from 3 in the regular season, and developing that into a 35% rate would put him in a league of his own. Jokic had multiple incidents with the referees this year, which he needs to cut down on.

Jamal Murray continued to be inconsistent, as he scored 34 points in back to back games, but then shot 11-38 overall in games 6 and 7. Murray showed flashes of being great by hitting clutch shots, but needs to improve his ball handling and consistency.

Gary Harris limited Damien Lillard to 38.9% shooting overall, and 26.3% from 3 along with holding McCollum to 41.4% overall, and just 30% from 3. Harris showed that he is the best perimeter defender on the team, and a top 10 defender overall. He needs to improve on creating his own shot off the dribble, and needs to be more consistent on his spot up 3’s.

Paul Millsap showed leadership and aggressiveness in the post in the playoffs, and is solid all around. The problem is that he is earning $30 million per year, which is far too much for a 34 y/o player. The Nuggets need to decline his team option for next year to restructure his contract, so that he is earning less than $15 million a year. By doing this, it would increase their salary cap greatly to have more room to sign free agents or to give a contract to Jamal Murray.

Torrey Craig is a tough glue guy that every team needs. He provides solid defense and developed a consistent 3 point shot towards the end of the year. If Craig wants to be successful in the NBA, he should accept his role and perfect his defense along with improving his rebound game.

The bench was great during the regular season, but they’re really young and disappeared in the playoffs. Will Barton was benched during the regular season because of his sub-par play, but didn’t complain about it too much and played well in the playoffs. Monte Morris was a great backup point guard in the regular season, and was second in the league in assists to turnover ratio. Malik Beasley was the best shooter on the team in the regular season, but as the whole bench did, he dissapeared in the playoffs. Mason Plumlee has almost perfected the pick and roll game the Nuggets built their team around. But he turns the ball over many times per game, fouls many times, and is the worst free throw shooter on the team.

Overall, the Nuggets should have advanced to the Western Conference Finals, but were the youngest team in the playoffs. We have an incredibly bright future with the core of Jokic, Murray, Harris, and potentially Michael Porter Jr.

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