The dream lastly ended for the Denver Nuggets with a Sport 5 defeat to the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday. It was an amazing run whereas it lasted, however there’s no denying that the season finally led to disappointment for this workforce.
Be that as it might, if there’s something the Nuggets proved of their astounding postseason run — which included getting back from 3-1 down within the sequence twice — is that they’re certainly the most effective groups within the NBA proper now.
That is no fluke. Final season, the Nuggets completed second within the common season in a ruthless Western Convention, simply three video games behind the mighty Golden State Warriors. Denver was eradicated by the Portland Path Blazers within the second spherical however took the following step this season.
Whereas the sequence towards the Lakers finally ended with the Nuggets profitable only one sport, they fought valiantly. Anthony Davis saved the Lakers in Sport 2 along with his unforgettable game-winner on the buzzer, which had he missed, would have tied the sequence at 1-1.
After profitable Sport 3, Denver additionally made a livid run late in Sport 4, which they virtually ended up stealing from the Lakers. Had a number of breaks gone their approach, the results of this sequence might have been completely different.
Taking all of this into consideration, it’s clear that the Nuggets are right here to remain. This workforce is a reliable menace within the West, they usually’re going to have one other run on the title subsequent 12 months.
So, what now for the Nuggets? It’s going to be a really attention-grabbing offseason for them, with plenty of key personnel selections that have to be made. Primarily based on what we’ve seen within the playoffs from this workforce, this must be the No. 1 precedence for Denver within the offseason, with their sights set on a possible championship run in 2021.
To be extra particular, the Nuggets ought to place the extension of Jerami Grant on the very high of their record this offseason. There’s no two methods round it. The 26-year-old proved that he belongs in Denver’s core, so the Nuggets should prioritize the long-term extension of the 6-foot-Eight ahead. Along with his excellent play all through, Grant has additionally earned himself a hefty bump in his wage, and it could be in Denver’s finest curiosity to pay up.
Grant has a $9.Three million participant possibility on his present deal for subsequent season, and he’s anticipated to decide out of that and look to barter a extra vital payday. The essential factor right here is for his half, Grant appears to be proud of life in Denver, so the Nuggets will simply have to make the cash work.
Since arriving in Denver final summer season through commerce deal from the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder, Grant emerged as a key cog in Nuggets head coach Michael Malone’s system. He was an essential piece for the workforce all through the common season, however he proved his value essentially the most throughout the Western Convention Finals.
Grant exploded for 26 factors in Denver’s Sport Three win, proving to be the workforce’s X-factor within the victory. Much more importantly, he proved to be the workforce’s finest defender all through the sequence, taking up each Davis and LeBron James. Let’s additionally not neglect the stellar job Grant did towards reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard within the second spherical towards the Los Angeles Clippers.
Grant possesses all the correct instruments to excel in at present’s NBA, and his two-way play has been essential for the Nuggets. They want extra of the identical from him subsequent season.
It’s additionally value noting that together with Grant, Paul Millsap and Mason Plumlee can even be free brokers within the offseason. Whereas each are additionally essential gamers for the Nuggets, it’s Grant that must be the precedence between the three — particularly when you issue within the cash.
The Nuggets nonetheless appear to be they’re lacking a key piece to essentially be a reliable menace to the title subsequent season. Their younger core led by Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray is great, they usually’re solely going to get higher. Michael Porter Jr. resides as much as the lofty expectations many had for him when the Nuggets chosen him 14th total in 2018. They can even get Will Barton again, which proved to be a key loss for them within the bubble.
Nonetheless, regardless of their strengths, it nonetheless seems that they’re in want of an improve. That is probably one thing the entrance workplace will work on throughout the offseason, and bringing in a 3rd star may be inside their attain.
Nonetheless, they should get their priorities straight and get the Grant extension out of the way in which first. He’s nearly theirs to lose at this level, so it could be finest to get this completed on the soonest attainable time. Letting him stroll away for nothing wouldn’t precisely be catastrophic for the workforce, however it could be a key loss for them and their hopes for a title subsequent season.
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