January 6, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Denver Nuggets small forward Danilo Gallinari (8) reacts with point guard Ty Lawson (3) after he hit a 3-point shot with 13 seconds left on the clock in the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center. Nuggets won 112-105. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Denver Nuggets Get No Love From ESPN In Conference Standings Prediction

 

The Denver Nuggets had a weird, disappointing 2013-14′  season due to the adjustment of a new scheme with first-year head coach Brian Shaw and of course the injury bug bit hard. Players like Danilo Gallinari (knee), JaVale McGee (leg), J.J. Hickson (knee), and Nate Robinson (knee) missed all/most of the season while Ty Lawson, Wilson Chandler, and Darrell Arthur seemed like they were out every other game down the stretch.

Just recently, ESPN came out with a 2014-15′ Western Conference standings projection by the ESPN Forecast Panel and they had the Denver Nuggets finishing 11th in the conference with a record of 38-44. 38-44?! This must be a joke.

Denver finished last season with a 36-46 record which means they would only have a two game improvement with a healthy roster (fingers crossed) and the addition of Arron Afflalo? Seems like a joke to me. Denver was practically playing with second/third string players to finish the season and still did pretty good record wise in my opinion in the dominant Western Conference.

Denver will not only get back a healthy Danilo Gallinari who was their go-to scorer other than Lawson in 2012-13′, but they added some more depth with first-round picks Jusuf Nurkic and Gary Harris. Tell me how this lineup below wins just 38 games this upcoming season.

PG: Ty Lawson
SG: Arron Afflalo
SF: Danilo Gallinari
PF: Kenneth Faried
C: Timofey Mozgov

BENCH:

PG: Nate Robinson
SG: Randy Foye
SF: Wilson Chandler
PF: J.J. Hickson
C: JaVale McGee
PG: Erick Green
SG: Gary Harris
SF: Quincy Miller
PF: Darrell Arthur
C: Jusuf Nurkic

Denver’s second-string lineup has starting caliber players in today’s NBA. Granted, Denver’s success could depend on JaVale McGee and how he responds coming back from a stress fracture which limited him to just five games last season.

All-in-all, I believe the Denver Nuggets are a far better team than what ESPN portrays them to be. Also, it will be interesting to see the growth of forward Kenneth Faried and center Timofey Mozgov moving forward into the 2014-15′ campaign.

 

Tags: Arron Afflalo Danilo Gallinari Denver Nuggets ESPN Kenneth Faried Ty Lawson

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