The 2023-24 Denver Nuggets’ Season Preview

October 2nd, 2023

by Alan Lu

Last year was a dream season for the Denver Nuggets, as they went on to become the reigning NBA champions. They were the best team in the West, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. are fully healthy, and they also got a terrific season from two-time MVP, Nikola Jokic.  Jokic showed why he may be the best and most impactful player in the league, and they got strong contributions all-around from their players and their head coach, Michael Malone.  They also received stellar seasons from Aaron Gordon and Bruce Brown, and Christian Braun’s postseason performance was a revelation. They were the most dominant team throughout the playoffs, and they went on their way to win their franchise’s first NBA championship.

Nikola Jokic had a tremendous season last year, as he was named the 2023 NBA Finals MVP, and he led the 2023 Denver Nuggets to win the championship.
(Photo: AAron Ontiveroz/Denver Post/Getty Images, via CNN)

But this season could prove to be quite challenging for Denver. In the offseason, they chose to let Bruce Brown go as he signed with Indiana, so they let one of their best defensive players walk to another team. They plan to step up Christian Braun and Peyton Watson’s roles and amp up their minutes and playing time, but they have big shoes to fill with Brown no longer there to provide the tremendous defense, hustle, and energy that he gave Denver in 2023. They drafted Hunter Tyson, a sharpshooter that had a stellar summer in the summer leagues, but Denver‘s inexperienced bench combined with the increasingly stiff competition from their rivals could make it a tough challenge for them to repeat as champions.

Star Players:

C Nikola Jokić, G Jamal Murray, and F Aaron Gordon

Nikola Jokic is arguably the best player in the game right now. He is a tremendously skilled big man that plays really well on a nightly basis, and he also elevates the play of everyone else around him. Murray is a very good, starting point guard that has proven that he can play with the best when healthy, and he brought the Nuggets strong shooting, scoring, and playmaking skills, especially in the playoffs. Aaron Gordon really took his game to another level, as his inside scoring and defense allowed his team to thrive on the floor.

Additions:

F Hunter Tyson, F Julian Strawther, and G Jalen Pickett, and G-F Justin Holiday

The Denver Nuggets added a slew of rookies that may be fairly polished and ready to contribute in this league. Tyson was one of the standout performers in the Summer League in Las Vegas, and he is a sharpshooting forward that can really shoot the basketball. Strawther will add shooting, and Pickett is a reliable playmaker that will play hard-nosed defense. In addition, they added a defensive-minded, veteran swingman in Justin Holiday, but he’s coming off a down season in which he didn’t shoot quite as well last year.

Subtractions:

G-F Bruce Brown, F Jeff Green, C Thomas Bryant, and G Ish Smith

Bruce Brown had a really good 2023 NBA Finals, and he seemed to have some unexpected offensive skills to aid to the defensive prowess that he brought to Denver. Jeff Green added wisdom and a solid ability to make shots for Denver, and Bryant and Smith were role players that added depth to Denver. The four of them have left Denver for other teams, but the toughest losses will be most notably Bruce Brown, and also Jeff Green. Losing Brown may leave a big gap and void for Denver to fill, and they’ll look to give those extra minutes to Braun and Peyton Watson. Braun looked like a rising star in the NBA Finals, but while he’s a good defender, it could potentially be a challenging task for him to replace Brown as Denver’s primary defensive stopper for the upcoming season.

Rookies:

F Hunter Tyson, F Julian Strawther, and G Jalen Pickett

All three of the rookies are ready to contribute and to play minutes on this year’s Denver Nuggets’ team, but Hunter Tyson could be the most ready to contribute to their rotation. He was stellar in the 2023 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, and he is an agile, sharpshooting forward that continually made smart decisions in games.

Expected Rotation:

Denver Nuggets’ star guard, Jamal Murray had a terrific postseason last year, and he has emerged to become one of the best point guards in the NBA for the upcoming season.
(Photo: Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images, via SB Nation)

Projected Starting Lineup:

The Denver Nuggets have a tremendously skilled starting lineup that is built around the talents of Jokic. He is an exceptionally skilled big man that operates very well out of the post, and he is a triple-double threat on a consistent basis. Jamal Murray and Aaron Gordon were terrific in postseason play, as Murray gives them a strong scoring punch and added playmaking at the point, and Gordon is a very athletic, energetic forward that can post up and make hustle plays on both ends of the floor. Michael Porter Jr. Is a tall, shot-making forward that plays well within his role, and KCP is a smart, 3 and D role player that plays a solid brand of team basketball.

C Nikola Jokić

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F Aaron Gordon

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F Michael Porter Jr.

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G Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

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G Jamal Murray

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Key Bench Players:

Christian Braun had a very good rookie season and was absolutely stellar in the playoffs, and he will play a big role on the 2024 Denver Nuggets’ team this season.
(Photo: Ron Chenoy/USA Today Sports, via DNVR)

G-F Christian Braun

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F-C Zeke Nnaji

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C DeAndre Jordan

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G Reggie Jackson

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F Peyton Watson

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The Rest of the Roster:

F Vlatko Čančar (injured, likely out for the season)

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F Hunter Tyson

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F Julian Strawther

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G Jalen Pickett

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G-F Justin Holiday

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F Braxton Key (Two-Way)

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C Jay Huff (Two-Way)

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G Collin Gillespie (Two-Way)

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Others In Camp:

G Souley Boum (Exhibit 10)

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G Andrew Funk (Exhibit 10)

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G Armaan Franklin (Exhibit 10)

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Head Coach:

Head coach Michael Malone had a tremendous season in 2023, and he is currently the best coach in basketball.
(Photo: Ashley Landis/The Associated Press, via The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Michael Malone
2022-23 (DEN): 53-29, 16-4 in the playoffs, 2023 NBA Champions
Coaching Career: 406-337, 37-31 in the NBA Playoffs, 1 NBA Title

Michael Malone did a terrific job of coaching the Denver Nuggets, and he guided Jokic, a healthy Murray and Porter, and his team to win the 2023 NBA championship over the Miami Heat. They did a great job of making shots, moving the ball, and defending, and they really came together to win the title. The Nuggets exceeded plenty of people’s expectations, and Malone proved himself that he is one of the elite coaches in the NBA game.

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Outlook:

The Denver Nuggets are the reigning champions, but the question on plenty of people’s minds in the basketball community is if they will repeat as NBA champions in 2024.
(Photo: Mark J. Terrill/The Associated Press, via Tampa Bay Times)

The Denver Nuggets have a tremendous player in the very smart and skilled center, Nikola Jokic, whose strong all-around skills and terrific feel for the game makes everyone else around him better. He has outstanding court vision, and he’s able to get everyone else easier shots on offense. They are also terrific at home as they are really good at playing at their altitude, and they are a very well-conditioned team that is built to last. They also were able to have a healthy Murray and Porter, and combined with having strong team play top to bottom, that allowed them to come together to win an NBA championship last year.

For the upcoming season, the Nuggets will be without Bruce Brown and Jeff Green, so it will be up to their young guys to hold down the fort off the bench. Christian Braun looked like a future star during the 2023 NBA Finals, but it could be a tall task for him to also fill Brown’s shoes. Even still, the Nuggets have most of their players coming back, and they could be poised to repeat as champions in 2024.

Projected 2023-24 Finish:
Projected Regular Season Finish: 1st in the Western Conference
Expected Playoff Finish: Projected to be the 2024 NBA Champions
2023-24 Preseason NBA Power Ranking: 1

I went to Basketball-Reference and No-Trade Clause to look up some information for this write-up. It will be an exciting basketball season this year, and I’m looking forward to seeing the in-season tournament to see how that will unfold. Anyways, that is my write-up on my preview of the 2023-24 Denver Nuggets. Thanks for reading.

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