Will the Nuggets Score Gold and Move On to the Western Conference Finals?

All the facts you need to know about the Nuggets’ current state in the playoffs.



Lizzy Crawford

The Denver Nuggets, currently third in the NBA Western Conference, had an outstanding final few games in round one of the playoffs. After these wins, the Nuggets became the 12th team in the NBA to ever overcome a 3-1 standing in the playoffs. Although this advancement to round two seems promising for Denver, the question still remains: will the Denver Nuggets move on to round three (Western Conference Finals) or leave all their gold on the court?


Well, the best way to answer this question would be to look at how the Nuggets have projected in their games since the season restart in July. The Nuggets have had a positive trend as they have won most of the games they’ve played, which is to be expected considering they have made it this far. Here are the facts: the Nuggets have played 76 games, including regular season and playoff games, and out of those 76, they’ve won 48. Hence, they have won 63% of their games, which is positive for the playoffs. However, recently in the playoffs the Nuggets have won a little less than half of the games they have played, but harder competition is a reasonable explanation for this. The majority of the evidence above points out that the Nuggets have a good chance of winning games in the playoffs, but only if they step up to the competition: currently the Los Angeles Clippers. 


Sadly, the LA clippers have a slightly better record but this is also due to the fact that they had a better first round of the playoffs. The Clippers have won 52 of 75 total games from the season and playoffs, putting them in the lead with 69% wins. These wins put the Clippers right ahead of the Nuggets at 2nd in the NBA Western Conference. Proportionally, the Nuggets and Clippers are really close in stats and both are equally eligible for the win. 


Currently, the Clippers are ahead in the series with a 3-1 lead but as we’ve seen before, the Nuggets can break records by overcoming a 3-1 deficit. 


The star players for the Nuggets are Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. With Jokic, otherwise known as The Joker, racking up nearly 20 points per game and Jamal Murray, coming back from an ankle injury, scoring an average of 18.5 points. These two players combine phenomenal passing and stunning shooting to collectively carry their team. 


On the other hand, the Clippers have formidable players who out score the rest of their team even more than Murray and Jokic: Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. The true star of the show for the Clippers, Kawhi, averages 27 points per game. Paul George, a close runner-up averages 21.5 points. The Clippers have better star players, but age and experience do play a factor in this as Kawhi and Paul George are older than Jokic and Murray. 


Let’s talk about their recent games in round 2: Game one ended in a devastating 23-point loss for the Nuggets. On September 5th, during game two of this series, the Nuggets won 110-101. Monday was yet another loss for Denver despite a great performance by Jokic. Most recently, the fourth game, being quite low scoring, was a win for Los Angeles. Now what do the Nuggets need in order to overcome the 2-game lead that the Clippers have on them? 


In a recent interview, a question asked Jokic if he thinks the Nuggets are just as good as the Clippers even though LA is the favorite. Jokic responded with, “They are talented but we don’t need to quit. I mean, they may be their favorite on the paper and everything and they have maybe better starting units for players (…) We can fight, we can give ourselves a chance to win a game and we did in (the) last two games.” This statement serves as a reminder that the Nuggets players still have hope for a win and are going to keep fighting. Another interview of the  Nuggets Coach, Mike Malone, shows signs that the Nuggets can win this series and will if they continue on with their “resilience.” We aren’t losing faith in the Nuggets just yet! These statements show that with a hard fight, effort, and continued resilience, the mile high state can win round two. 


Be there to support the Nuggets virtually by tuning in at 4:30pm on Friday (TV airing is on TNT)! The outcome of Friday’s game 5 will determine the fate of the Nuggets. Will they lose? Or will they stay strong and continue the fight for the league title?