The Denver Nuggets entered the 2024 season as the reigning NBA champions. With NBA Finals MVP Nikola Jokic leading the way, the Nuggets have a great chance of repeating this season.
There was a player who Nuggets fans thought was key to their success in 2023. His name is Bruce Brown. Brown originally signed a two-year deal with Denver back in 2022. He was a critical cog in helping the Nuggets capture their first NBA title. He averaged 11.5 points per game in the regular season and was even more efficient in the playoffs. En route to a championship, he averaged 12.0 points per game in 20 games. Head coach Michael Malone and his staff will have to find a way to replicate his success if the Nuggets want to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy for the second consecutive season.
Head coach Michael Malone has been through it all during his tenure in the Mile High City. Malone is currently the NBA’s fourth-longest-tenured coach. Only Gregg Popovich, Erik Spoelstra, and Steve Kerr have held their positions longer. When he was introduced as the 22nd head coach in franchise history in 2015, the Nuggets were coming off one of their worst regular seasons in recent history. He has since rebuilt them into a perennial championship contender.
Nikola Jokic is the key to the Nuggets’ chances of repeating as NBA champs. He is in the prime of his career. At only 28, he is considered by many to be one of the best basketball players in the world. He is already off to a hot start this season. As he continues to put up video game-like numbers on the court, it is a fair assumption that he could claim a second consecutive NBA Finals MVP when all is said and done.
The Denver Nuggets have all the pieces in place to make a legitimate run toward a repeat title in 2024. While teams such as the Oklahoma City Thunder and Phoenix Suns are looking to keep pace with Denver in the Western Conference, Jokic and company have positioned themselves in a great spot. With over two months left in the regular season, the Nuggets are looking to make a statement. They are playing like a team that wants a chance at a repeat. If Malone and the 2024 squad want to silence their doubters, raising a second consecutive championship banner at Ball Arena is a nice way to start.
For a repeat to occur, Michael Malone understands his team will have to play fundamental basketball for all four quarters. Unfortunately, the fundamentals and execution were lacking in their most recent game against the Sacramento Kings on February 9. During the 135-106 loss, the Nuggets shot an uncharacteristic 46.3 percent from the floor. This was below their season average of 49.3 percent. In addition to a woeful shooting performance, the Nuggets struggled on the defensive side of the ball as well. This season, the Kings are averaging 118.7 points per game and 43.8 percent from the floor. Denver allowed them to score 135 and shoot 58.6 percent.
The season is still a long way from over, but the Nuggets have shown that they are a team that is destined to repeat in 2024.
Credit – Denver Post