Denver Nuggets could be the biggest ‘what if’ in the Western Conference

Denver Nuggets Michael Porter Jr. (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Denver Nuggets Michael Porter Jr. (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Denver Nuggets might be the biggest ‘what if’ in the Western Conference. 

It was disappointing to see Jamal Murray go down with a significant knee injury toward the end of last season, just before the start of the playoffs. However, heading into this season, the Denver Nuggets might be the biggest ‘what if’ in the Western Conference.

And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

The reason why I would categorize the Nuggets as the biggest question mark heading into this season is because of Michael Porter Jr. If the Nuggets are healthy, Porter is the type of dark horse that could take this team to the next level.

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He’s coming off impressive seasons to start his career and is entering the magical third season that usually results in breakout performances for budding stars. If the trajectory of his first two seasons is any indication of his outlook, Porter could be in for a major season.

Michael Porter Jr. could be a huge asset for the Denver Nuggets next season.

And a big season from Porter would unlock this team’s potential. Having three certified stars on the roster would immediately make the Nuggets a strong contender to win the West.

If Murray can return healthy, even if that is toward the end of the season, and Nikola Jokic can continue to play at an MVP level, Porter can be viewed as the final piece for a team that is a budding contender.

Porter is a three-level score and one of the most athletic players in the game. He leaves much to be desired on the defensive end, but even if he can improve just a tiny bit on that end of the floor, because of how explosive he is offensively, it will make all the difference in the way Denver is viewed as a contender.

But, again, this may all fall on the shoulders of Porter. He needs to be more of a two-way player and more consistent as a player. While there are absolute questions about his game, let’s make it clear that there is also plenty to like about his potential.

This is the year where potential has to translate to a big on-the-court jump for Porter. If he can pull it off, it could make the Nuggets one of the most interesting teams to follow in the West this season.