2009-10 NBA preview: Denver Nuggets

Joshua Lobdell - Author

Jun. 15 2013, Updated 8:52 p.m. ET

Before 2009 the Denver Nuggets had not made it all the way to the Western Conference finals since 1985. I bring that up because that version of the Nuggets had the same problem that the current one does, what can they do for an encore? This team got very lucky to shed 20 million dollars in payroll and add four wins to the win column as well as going from a first round playoff exit to a final four appearance the questions seems to be can this team do it again.

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While the Nuggets were basically standing pat over the off-season they have seen their western division rivals load up on talent. The Lakers Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks have all gotten better through hteh acquisition of free agents. The Nuggets added First Round draft pick Ty Lawson, and signed Aaron Afflalo as a cheaper replacement for defensive presence Dahanty Jones.

The key to last year’s Nuggets success, and in large part this year’s as well was the play of point guard Chauncey Billups. After earning a reputation as Mr. Big Shot while leading the Detroit Pistons to a NBA title and six straight Conference final appearances made Piston GM Joe Dumars look rather foolish for trading him away for disgruntled point guard Allen Iverson.

If Chauncey can keep his game at the level it was last year, than the Nuggets should make another strong run in the NBA playoffs. This team for the most part returns its final four roster from a year ago, and should be competitive with the other elite teams in the West.


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