Vegas Over/Under: 45.5
The Record Projection: 48 of fromal The Bet: Over with confidence
When Nikola Jokic re-entered the starting lineup on December 15, everything clicked.
From there forward, the Denver Nuggets posted the league’s best offensive evaluation (113.3). And though they were remarkably porous (league-worst 111.9 defensive rating), they still outscored their foes and asserted themselves as a legitimate danger to make the playoffs.
Now, they’re better–by a lot.
Paul Millsap is the perfect fit next to Jokic, gracing the Nuggets with his defensive acumen and versatile offensive play. He provides the Mile High City a second top-25 participant, and his existence immediately creates among the NBA’s most dangerous frontcourt pairings.
How will opponents manage departure coming from different locations in 2017-18? How can they counteract the offensive excellence when a legitimate defensive stalwart is creating Jokic’s life simpler?
And the frontcourt is not the only reason for unmitigated optimism.
Gary Harris enjoys tremendous synergy with Jokic and is coming off a breakout year. He must continue emerging as one of the Association’s better 2-guards, and he’s joined by another high-upside backcourt member in Jamal Murray.
Losing Danilo Gallinari hurts, and the Nuggets failed to consolidate their resources. But this is a deep team overflowing with gift at many distinct positions.
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