NBA Playoffs: 3 Contenders with easiest path to winning the 2024 NBA Championship

Breaking down three contenders with the easiest path to winning the 2024 NBA Championship.
Minnesota Timberwolves v Los Angeles Clippers
Minnesota Timberwolves v Los Angeles Clippers / Harry How/GettyImages
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Denver Nuggets

It shouldn't be surprising to see the Denver Nuggets on this list but even though they didn't put themselves in the best position seeding-wise, finishing as the No. 2 seed will give Denver a favorable path toward repeating as NBA Champions this season. And it all starts with taking on the winning of the first NBA Play-In Tournament game between the Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans.

As good as both teams have been during the second half of the season, Denver should be able to handle both with ease in a seven-game series. Denver was a combined 5-1 against both the Lakers and Pelicans this season. Heading into this series playing strong down the stretch, it would be shocking if the Nuggets were upset in the first round. In the second round, Denver would await the winner between the Phoenix Suns and Minnesota Timberwolves. While both are dangerous teams, they also both have very evident flaws.

The Suns are an injury away from falling apart (due to their lack of depth) and haven't been consistent all season long and the Wolves are a team that lacks deep and meaningful playoff experience. The Suns or Wolves would give the Nuggets a bigger test than the Lakers or Pelicans, but Denver should still be able to prevail in either of those matchups. That would lead the Nuggets to a Western Conference appearance against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Dallas Mavericks, or LA Clippers. Without saying much, the Nuggets would also be heavy favorites against either of those teams.

The biggest threat to the Nuggets repeating as champions likely comes in the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics (if they can get there). But even at that point, the Nuggets should like their chances if their 2-0 regular season against the Celtics is any indication of what a seven-game NBA Finals series could hold.