Denver’s 2013-14 season was derailed the prior season. Danilo Gallinari was having his best season as a pro, but tore his ACL in April of the 2012-13 season. That injury cost him the rest of that season and all of last season. He is now healthy and Denver might finally get to reap the benefits of the main prize in the Carmelo Anthony trade.
The Nuggets have a difficult road in the Western Conference. There are at least ten teams that deserve to make the postseason, but only eight will make the cut. Can Denver surprise us and make the playoffs?
We will be posting a team preview for every team up until the start of the regular season.
Here is the 2014-15 NBA season preview for the Denver Nuggets.
2013-14 Win/Loss Record: 36-46
Key Additions: SG Arron Afflalo, SG Gary Harris, C Jusuf Nurkic, PF Nikola Jokic, SF Alonzo Gee, PG Erick Green, SG Marcus Williams, PF Pops Mensah-Bonsu & PF Jerrelle Benimon
Key Losses: PG Aaron Brooks, SG Evan Fournier, SF Anthony Randolph & PF Jan Vesely
Projected Starters: Timofey Mozgov, Kenneth Faried, Danilo Gallinari, Arron Afflalo & Ty Lawson
Fantasy Sleeper: C J.J. Hickson – Timofey Mozgov might be who all the programs list as Denver’s starting center, but Hickson will definitely get his share of starts. They’ll probably split starts, but even in games in which he doesn’t start, they’ll also split minutes. Hickson is a great PER guy and will still get you around a double-double in 24 to 28 minutes per game. Denver’s offense creates a lot of rebounds, so Hickson’s rebound totals are near automatic.
Team Analysis: The injury bug has bitten Denver far more than most of the league. They always seem to be missing one or two starters. They do have the easiest road in the Western Conference, since they play Minnesota, and Utah more than other divisions, but those few extra wins won’t help them this season.
Kenneth Faried had a great offseason. He was the breakout star during the FIBA World Cup. He dominated and played like it mattered. I would love to see him appear on the Olympic team. He earned it with his play this Summer. Can he parlay that success to success this season? It has happened before.
I love the Afflalo/Lawson backcourt, but Randy Foye could begin to mentally check out of games. He’s the kind of player who needs minutes to be effective. Also, I worry about the durability of Gallinari. If he can’t hang with the workload, this team will take a nosedive once again.
2014-15 Wins Over/Under Betting Line: 41.5 (Prediction: UNDER)
2014-15 Projected Win/Loss Record: 37-45 (11th in Western Conference)
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.