The Denver Nuggets have been nothing short of brilliant lately. With four straight wins, they have the longest active winning run in the Western Conference (together with Minnesota Timberwolves).
Although they still haven’t booked a ticket to the playoffs, it’s almost certain that they’re going to get to the postseason. In fact, if they manage to keep their superb run going, they could even challenge the top spot in the conference.
At this point, such a scenario doesn’t seem very likely, at least not according to bookmakers. The best odds on Denver winning the Western Conference are 15/1 at Mr.Play Sports UK, which implies that their chance is only 5.9%.
Still, the fact is that the conference title is within their reach. Furthermore, in the remainder of the season, they’re supposed to face the two main favorites for the title – the L.A. Clippers and the Utah Jazz.
If they manage to win those games, they will get on an open road to the title. It’s not going to be easy, that’s for sure. But, the Nuggets have a joker up their sleeve. Actually, it’s the Joker we’re talking about!
Nikola Jokic set to win the MVP award
Dubbed the Joker by the media, Nikola Jokic is having the time of his life in Colorado. He’s never been so good in his career as this season. We’ve seen him turn into a real attacking machine, breaking numerous records along the way.
As a result, he is now the #1 candidate for the MVP award. The odds on the Serbian center winning the Maurice Podoloff Trophy. If he does it, Jokic will become only the 5th non-American player to win the award.
On his road to the title, Jokic can help Denver get even higher in the standings. They’re currently in fourth place, but with a few more wins, they could easily get to the top.
The bad news is that the Nuggets are going to be without their second-best player until the end of the season. The man in question is Jamal Murray whose season finished when he suffered an ACL injury in the game against the Golden State Warriors a few weeks ago.
The silver lining, however, is that the Denver Nuggets have reacted to the injury news and signed Murrey’s replacement – Austin Rivers.
Austin Rivers to the rescue
The Denver Nuggets are planning to sign guard Austin Rivers for the rest of the season, sources tell ESPN. He’s averaged 24 minutes in five games on a 10-day deal. Nuggets lost guard Jamal Murray for year and are playing without Will Barton now.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 29, 2021
As per recent reports, Austin Rivers is set to join the Denver Nuggets for the remainder of the season. At 6’4, the guard is fantastic in the offense, but can also help a lot at the back. At least, that’s the impression he’s left in his nine years’ long professional career.
Rivers’ NBA story started in 2012 when he was the first-round pick (10th overall) of the New Orleans Hornets. His next stop was Los Angeles – in 2015, he joined the Clippers.
He stayed there before moving to the Houston Rockets, from where he moved to the New York Knicks. Finally, in 2021, he’s on his way to Colorado.
Although Rivers is not considered an elite player, he surely is going to be a good enough addition to the Nuggets’ roster. Whether he can be the last piece of the puzzle for winning the Western Conference title remains to be seen.
Nevertheless, Denver’s chances definitely look better than what betting odds are suggesting at the moment.
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