Denver Nuggets NBA Team Preview and Betting Picks
Pepsi Center – Denver, Colorado
Michael Malone – Head Coach
Western Conference – Northwest Division
2017 Record: 48-36
The Denver Nuggets are licking their chops at thinking of what last year could have been! They were on the verge of making the playoffs but fell short of making the postseason by just 1 game!
The Nuggets were 48-36 on the season and ended the season winning 7 of their last 10 games overall. They were one of the top teams at home, going 31-10 on their home court, but just 15-26 on the road. This year, they are hoping to improve their road numbers and find their way back into the NBA Postseason.
Let’s dig a bit deeper into the 2018-2019 Denver Nuggets and determine where we think they will end up.
Denver Nuggets Coaching
The Head Coach of the Denver Nuggets is Michael Malone. Malone has been with the Nuggets for 3 seasons and has improved their record each season, however, they have not made the playoffs since he has joined the team.
The Nuggets job is just his 2nd Head Coaching job in the NBA after serving many years with various teams throughout the league. Prior to coming to Denver, Malone was the Head Coach of the Sacramento Kings, before being fired in 2014.
Malone has served as an Assistant Coach with the Golden State Warriors, New Orleans Hornets, Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, as well as several in the Collegiate and High School level.
Denver Nuggets Offseason Transactions
- June 21, 2018 – The Denver Nuggets used their first-round NBA Draft selection to pick 14th and take Missouri Tigers Small Forward Michael Porter Jr.
- June 22, 2018 – The Denver Nuggets used their second-round NBA Draft selection to pick 41st and take Kentucky Wildcats Small Forward Jarred Vanderbilt.
- June 22, 2018 – The Denver Nuggets used their second-round NBA Draft selection to pick 58th and take UCLA Bruins Center, Thomas Welsch.
- July 16, 2018 – The Nuggets signed free agent Isaiah Thomas, formerly of the LA Lakers.
- August 7, 2018 – The Nuggets signed free-agent DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell, formerly of the Bakken Bears.
- August 8, 2018 – The Nuggets lost Devin Harris, who signed as a free agent with the Dallas Mavericks.
Denver Nuggets Starting 5
Jamal Murray (PG) – Murray made progress last year in limiting the turnovers. He is a strong possession PG that has the ability to drive to the rim and score in the paint. In addition to having that ability to explode to the rim, he also has the tendency to jump outside and drain the 3-pointer.
Gary Harris (SG) – Harris is one of the most overlooked Shooting Guards in the Western Conference and while he is in his 5th year, this could be the season that he makes his statement. Harris is a two-way player, playing tough on both offense and defense, which makes him a valuable asset on the Nuggets, who lack any sort of defensive prowess.
Will Barton (SF) – Last year, Barton increased his 3-pt shooting and when he is hot, HE IS HOT! He is a very streaky player that should retain the starting role, at least while Rookie Michael Porter is healing up his back.
Paul Millsap (PF) – Last year was his first season with the Nuggets but he was limited to just 44 games, thanks to a plethora of injuries. He is now hoping that those injuries are behind him and he can move on and get back to his All-Star form, from years past.
Nikola Jokic (C) – Jokic is the top scorer in Denver. He was the team’s leader pretty much across the board in all statics. He was the team’s leader on 3-pt percentage and overall shooter from the floor. Jokic also led the team in assists and the only thing that should change this year is his scoring may go up a tad bit.
Denver Nuggets Key Bench Players
Isaiah Thomas (PG) – Thomas is looking to regain his form and get back to being a starter in the league. Thomas has had a rough run, between moving team to team. He is expected to start out coming off the bench but if Murray falls back into the slump of turning the ball over, we could see Thomas earning more and more time and eventually returning as a starter.
Trey Lyles (PF) – Lyles is one of the most improved players on the Nuggets and one that has enormous potential. Lyles posted up an average of just under 10 points per game last year and 5 rebounds per game, off the bench.
Mason Plumlee (C) – Plumlee will be used off the bench to set the pick and roll and screens. He is effective in his limited time on the court, scoring points and blocking shots.
2018 Predictions and Betting Outlook for Denver Nuggets
The Nuggets will get a nice start to the regular season, playing 10 of their first 15 games at home. They should start out strong playing at home but will it give them a strong enough start to push a lead and get them into the playoffs???
They’ve missed the playoffs by one game, which is a statement in it of itself but looking at it in the overall aspect, they were the only team in the Northwestern Division that missed the playoffs. There were just 3 games separating the last place Nuggets from the 1st place Portland Trail Blazers in the Northwest Division.
This year, I think they play in a much tougher Western Division and I think they will take a bigger step backward. The team simply doesn’t impress me on defense and until they can prove they will be competitive on both sides of the court, I can’t trust them to play the Nuggets.
Our friends over at MyBookie have set the following lines on the Denver Nuggets:
- Odds to Win NBA Championship: + 7000
- Odds to Win Western Conference Championship: +4000
- Odds to Win Northwest Division: +400
- NBA Regular Season Wins Total: 46.5 games
- NBA MVP Odds: Nikola Jokic +10000
- Rookie of the Year Odds: +2000
Don’t forget to check out our NBA Betting Guide to stay up to date on all of the happenings with each team in the NBA throughout the season!