Nuggets Resolution: To continue “Project Dynasty”.
Denver needs… to continue “Project Dynasty” and play Peyton Watson, Christian Braun, and Julian Strawther as much as possible down the stretch of the season. The defending NBA champions are strangely third in the division standings right now because of how good the Thunder and Wolves have been, but this should not be a concern.
They already know what it takes to win a title and Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic will be ready to go come playoff time whether they are a #1, #2, or #3 seed in the west. Ideally, they would love the 1st seed again, but development of their young rotation pieces is far more important.
The Nuggets still have their entire starting five from last year’s title run, but the big question is if their bench can produce or not. Christian Braun was their 7th man last year and has improved his three-point shot (40.3% this season).
He is getting more and more comfortable with his increased role, but still has room to grow. Additionally, 2nd-year man Peyton Watson is playing 17.6 minutes per game and has started recently for the Nuggets during Aaron Gordon’s absence. He looks poised to take over Jeff Green’s role in the playoff rotation from last season, but more reps are still needed.
Lastly, Julian Strawther has played 14.1 minutes per game for Denver as a rookie, but has been fairly inefficient. He provides some scoring punch off of the bench and can occasionally explode for a monster game, but may not be ready for playoff minutes. If he is, that is a huge boost for the Nuggets title odds and dynasty outlooks moving forward.