With just 10 games left in the regular season, we predict how the Denver Nuggets will finish the season and whether or not they will make the playoffs.
The Denver Nuggets have just 10 games left in what has been an up-and-down 2016-17 regular season campaign and currently lead the race for the Western Conference’s eighth seed by just one game.
While the Nuggets are playing their best basketball of the season right now, they still have a monumental challenge ahead of them if they are to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2012-13 season. As of writing, the Nuggets boast a 35-37 record, and have gone 10-6 since the All-Star break. They have registered massive wins over the Cavs, Celtics and Clippers in recent weeks and have been competitive in all but a few losses during this stretch.
The Nuggets began to find their identity on December 15, when head coach Michael Malone inserted Nikola Jokic into the starting lineup. Denver transformed into an offensive juggernaut, challenging the Warriors, Cavs and Raptors as the most potent offense in the league thanks to Nikola Jokic and his infectious passing ability. As the season has progressed, the Nuggets have gotten better and players have become more comfortable in their roles. Since All-Star, the teams defense has even improved.
However, despite this team operating like a well-oiled machine ar the right time, they still find themselves in a dangerous spot thanks to the lackluster start Denver had in the opening two months of the season. The Nuggets were experimenting with the ill-fated Nurkic-Jokic starting five and, when that didn’t work, went with Nurkic over Jokic in the starting unit.
All of that allowed Denver to drop a lot of games that, in hindsight, could have been wins for the Nuggets.
We can’t change the past, though. We can merely learn and improve from it. The Nuggets have certainly done that by running everything through Nikola Jokic and playing an improved rotation and combinations.
Every game from here on out is absolutely crucial, and should be treated it’s the playoffs. Let’s take a look at the remaining games, and predict how the season may play out.