Denver Nuggets 30-18
Last rank: 8
Last Week: Beat Atlanta Hawks 126-102, Beat Philadelphia 76ers 104-95, Beat LA Clippers 101-94
This Week: 4/4 vs. Orlando Magic, 4/6 vs. Detroit Pistons, 4/7 vs. San Antonio Spurs, 4/9 vs. San Antonio Spurs
The Denver Nuggets are among the hottest teams in the NBA since the trade deadline, winners of four in a row. Three of those wins have come with new addition Aaron Gordon in the lineup and the early returns are everything the Nuggets could have hoped for.
These are not wins against the bottom of the league. Beating the Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers and LA Clippers by a combined 40 points is admirable.
In the small sample since the trade deadline the Denver Nuggets are the top offense in the league and have the 14th ranked defense. Nikola Jokic is continuing to further his MVP case (helped by the absence of LeBron James and Joel Embiid). Jamaal Murray has been much better of late. Michael Porter Jr. is popping off now that he is fully back.
Jokic is the story for the Denver Nuggets. He has pulled ahead of the MVP race and the numbers would have made the argument for him all along. Jokic is averaging 26.5 points, 11.0 rebounds, 8.4 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Now that the Nuggets have risen higher in the standings his case is becoming unassailable. Infusing a more defensive presence with the team should make sure the wins keep coming.