30 in 30: Can a healthy Denver Nuggets contend in the Western Conference?

Denver Nuggets (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Denver Nuggets (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Denver Nuggets Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) /

The return of Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr.

The last time the Denver Nuggets were completely healthy, they had the look of a team that could be a dark horse threat in the playoffs. Then Murray went down with an injury and the Nuggets lost in the second round of the playoffs to the Phoenix Suns (the eventual Western Conference champion.

Maybe there could be a different outcome now that the team is finally healthy.

The last time Murray was fully healthy for a season, he averaged 21 points, five assists, and four rebounds per game on 48 percent shooting from the field and 41 percent shooting from 3-point range. Those are numbers that would help the Nuggets in their attempt to make it back to contention in the West.

And we can’t sleep on Porter either. Of course, injuries are his derailment. They were the reason he wasn’t a top 5 draft pick when he came out of college and they’ve hindered the start of his NBA career.

Nevertheless, he’s one of the most offensively-gifted players in the league and averaged 19 points and seven rebounds on 54 percent shooting from the field and 45 percent shooting from 3-point range the last time he was healthy for an extended period.