Nuggets Rules: An eight-step guide to dethroning the reigning champs 

Denver Nuggets v Dallas Mavericks
Denver Nuggets v Dallas Mavericks / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages
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7. Put Murray in the action

Murray has shown he’s more than a capable defender, but forcing him into every action will exert him, which could impact his shots down the stretch and potentially get him in foul trouble. Denver is great at picking on the smallest defender with post touches, duck-ins, and split actions. Give them a taste of their medicine and pick on Murray as much as possible.

    8. Run Porter off the Line

Porter Jr. has quickly become one of the best catch-and-shoot players in the league. His size allows him to rise and not see contests. He must be forced to take midranges and drive to the rim. He’s not a great ball handler yet and is prone to making lousy play-making decisions. It’s crucial to limit his attempts to the three. He can be streaky, but if he gets going early, he might not miss, as we saw against the Lakers, where he shot 10-10 from the field.

These eight rules are nonnegotiables when playing Denver, and they give a team the best chance to dethrone the champs. In addition, a team will have to do what great teams do at a high level: limit turnovers, make free throws, rebound the ball and execute on offense. It will be tough to beat Denver in a series, and it feels like the championship is theirs to lose. It’ll be interesting to see how the playoffs pan out.