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2018-19 Western Conference Playoff Race

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Re: 2018-19 Western Conference opponents 

Post#81 » by U hova » Tue Aug 7, 2018 2:29 pm

TunaFish wrote:The shocking one is Utah at #2. I don't see that.

They have a good coach and they were without Gobert for a third of the season. Half their season they had to put up with a negative chucker SG - I think with a full season of Donovan Mitchell at the helm I can certainly see them with more than 55 wins...
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Re: 2018-19 Western Conference opponents 

Post#82 » by NuggetsWY » Tue Aug 7, 2018 4:16 pm

U hova wrote:
TunaFish wrote:The shocking one is Utah at #2. I don't see that.

They have a good coach and they were without Gobert for a third of the season. Half their season they had to put up with a negative chucker SG - I think with a full season of Donovan Mitchell at the helm I can certainly see them with more than 55 wins...

Yeah, I get about 75 Jazz games on my TV deal and I get to watch them. They are a great team but their only real star is Mitchell. Gobert is too limited on offense (but I'd love to have him on the Nuggets). Mitchell was a rookie and caught a lot of people by surprise. That sophomore jinx is apt to hit - although I wouldn't bet on it.

But I still don't see them with a better record than either Houston or Golden State. IMO they are in the same boat as the Nuggets: probable playoff team but fighting for anything from #3 to #7, depending on how things work out.
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Re: 2018-19 Western Conference opponents 

Post#83 » by TunaFish » Tue Aug 7, 2018 7:03 pm

U hova wrote:
TunaFish wrote:The shocking one is Utah at #2. I don't see that.

They have a good coach and they were without Gobert for a third of the season. Half their season they had to put up with a negative chucker SG - I think with a full season of Donovan Mitchell at the helm I can certainly see them with more than 55 wins...


Houston and GS are the favorites to be the 1 and 2 seeding in my book. I also think we may see OKC contend as well. Denver will be better than Utah, I think, and I would love to see the Nuggets contend. Utah has some pieces and will be a factor but as a second seed, I doubt it but that's why we play.
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Re: 2018-19 Western Conference opponents 

Post#84 » by U hova » Thu Aug 9, 2018 5:03 pm

I think Houston had a really mediocre off-season and traded wing-depth for a 34 year old offensive weapon with questionable ability to contribute... I know Mbah a Moute played next to 0 minutes in the WCF but depth is what gets you through a regular season.

I can see OKC being better than Houston this year too, but between Utah, Denver, and OKC I am fairly certain the Jazz have the best coaching staff which would edge them out on 50/50 games.

The Jazz have excellent supporting pieces like Favors, Ingles, Rubio, Crowder and can win games just by playing solid defense... for a crude illustration using stats, if they played like the 27th worst offense last year (The Grizzlies at 1.04 PPP) they'd still be a net positive since their defense held their opposition to the league's 2nd best 1.03 PPP. They didn't move any part of that defensive core, and like I said I have high respect for Snyder's ability to coach, so to me they seem like the "safe" pick for 2nd best record in the West.
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Re: 2018-19 Western Conference opponents 

Post#85 » by NuggetsWY » Thu Aug 9, 2018 6:18 pm

U hova wrote:I think Houston had a really mediocre off-season and traded wing-depth for a 34 year old offensive weapon with questionable ability to contribute... I know Mbah a Moute played next to 0 minutes in the WCF but depth is what gets you through a regular season.

I can see OKC being better than Houston this year too, but between Utah, Denver, and OKC I am fairly certain the Jazz have the best coaching staff which would edge them out on 50/50 games.

The Jazz have excellent supporting pieces like Favors, Ingles, Rubio, Crowder and can win games just by playing solid defense... for a crude illustration using stats, if they played like the 27th worst offense last year (The Grizzlies at 1.04 PPP) they'd still be a net positive since their defense held their opposition to the league's 2nd best 1.03 PPP. They didn't move any part of that defensive core, and like I said I have high respect for Snyder's ability to coach, so to me they seem like the "safe" pick for 2nd best record in the West.

Houston is used to ball-stoppers, so Anthony might fit well there. No matter where he is on the court, you can't leave him uncovered and that gives Harden & Paul a little more freedom. But with that said, I'm not sure if they will be better than last year simply because they had a great year - can they repeat? Don't know.

I'm not certain Utah is better, but they are hard to judge. With them, it isn't about the stars, it's about their team play. If all goes well, they could easily reach #2 or at least #3; but I could also see them falling to #5 or #6.

I'm not certain about OKC either. They seem to be roughly the same team since Durrant left. I'm not convinced that will change this year. They could finish #2 but I wouldn't bet on it and unless everything works out nicely, they could drop out of the playoffs IMO.

That's why I think Denver has a very good shot at hosting a 1st round series and if they finished 2nd or 3rd, they stand a chance at winning in the second round as well. The West is as open as it's been in a few years (except of course for that one team with that pretty new arena).
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Re: 2018-19 Western Conference opponents 

Post#86 » by THE J0KER » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:27 pm

Bad news about Denver 2018-19 schedule. Based on "scheduled opponents strength" (related to current Vegas u/o odds) Nuggets have 2nd hardest schedule out of all NBA teams considered as playoff contenders, right after Portland.

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Re: 2018-19 Western Conference opponents 

Post#87 » by NuggetsWY » Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:23 pm

THE J0KER wrote:Bad news about Denver 2018-19 schedule. Based on "scheduled opponents strength" (related to current Vegas u/o odds) Nuggets have 2nd hardest schedule out of all NBA teams considered as playoff contenders, right after Portland.

Look on the bright side of things; we play better against tougher teams. :rockon:
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Re: 2018-19 Western Conference opponents 

Post#88 » by THE J0KER » Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:40 am

BTW, here is Denver Nuggets 2018-19 full schedule:
Spoiler:
1. Denver Nuggets @LA Clippers (Wed, Oct17)
2. Phoenix Suns @Denver Nuggets (Sat, Oct20)
3. Golden State Warriors @Denver Nuggets (Sun, Oct21)
4. Sacramento Kings @Denver Nuggets (Tue, Oct23)
5. Denver Nuggets @Los Angeles Lakers (Thu, Oct25)
6. New Orleans Pelicans @Denver Nuggets (Mon, Oct29)
7. Denver Nuggets @Chicago Bulls (Wed, Oct31)

8. Denver Nuggets @Cleveland Cavaliers (Thu, Nov1)
9. Utah Jazz @Denver Nuggets (Sat, Nov3)
10. Boston Celtics @Denver Nuggets (Mon, Nov5)
11. Denver Nuggets @Memphis Grizzlies (Wed, Nov7)
12. Brooklyn Nets @Denver Nuggets (Fri, Nov9)
13. Milwaukee Bucks @Denver Nuggets (Sun, Nov11)
14. Houston Rockets @Denver Nuggets (Tue, Nov13)
15. Atlanta Hawks @Denver Nuggets (Thu, Nov15)
16. Denver Nuggets @New Orleans Pelicans (Sat, Nov17)
17. Denver Nuggets @Milwaukee Bucks (Mon, Nov19)
18. Denver Nuggets @Minnesota Timberwolves (Wed, Nov21)
19. Orlando Magic @Denver Nuggets (Fri, Nov23)
20. Denver Nuggets @Oklahoma City Thunder (Sat, Nov24)
21. Los Angeles Lakers @Denver Nuggets (Tue, Nov27)
22. Denver Nuggets @Portland Trail Blazers (Fri, Nov30)

23. Denver Nuggets @Toronto Raptors (Mon, Dec3)
24. Denver Nuggets @Orlando Magic (Wed, Dec5)
25. Denver Nuggets @Charlotte Hornets (Fri, Dec7)
26. Denver Nuggets @Atlanta Hawks (Sat, Dec8)
27. Memphis Grizzlies @Denver Nuggets (Mon, Dec10)
28. Oklahoma City Thunder @Denver Nuggets (Fri, Dec14)
29. Toronto Raptors @Denver Nuggets (Sun, Dec16)
30. Dallas Mavericks @Denver Nuggets (Tue, Dec18)
31. Denver Nuggets @LA Clippers (Sat, Dec22)
32. Denver Nuggets @San Antonio Spurs (Wed, Dec26)
33. San Antonio Spurs @Denver Nuggets (Fri, Dec28)
34. Denver Nuggets @Phoenix Suns (Sat, Dec29)

35. New York Knicks @Denver Nuggets (Tue, Jan1)
36. Denver Nuggets @Sacramento Kings (Thu, Jan3)
37. Charlotte Hornets @Denver Nuggets (Sat, Jan5)
38. Denver Nuggets @Houston Rockets (Mon, Jan7)
39. Denver Nuggets @Miami Heat (Tue, Jan8)
40. LA Clippers @Denver Nuggets (Thu, Jan10)
41. Denver Nuggets @Phoenix Suns (Sat, Jan12)
42. Portland Trail Blazers @Denver Nuggets (Sun, Jan13)
43. Golden State Warriors @Denver Nuggets (Tue, Jan15)
44. Chicago Bulls @Denver Nuggets (Thu, Jan17)
45. Cleveland Cavaliers @Denver Nuggets (Sat, Jan19)
46. Denver Nuggets @Utah Jazz (Wed, Jan23)
47. Phoenix Suns @Denver Nuggets (Fri, Jan25)
48. Philadelphia 76ers @Denver Nuggets (Sat, Jan26)
49. Denver Nuggets @Memphis Grizzlies (Mon, Jan28)
50. Denver Nuggets @New Orleans Pelicans (Wed, Jan30)

51. Houston Rockets @Denver Nuggets (Fri, Feb1)
52. Denver Nuggets @Minnesota Timberwolves (Sat, Feb2)
53. Denver Nuggets @Detroit Pistons (Mon, Feb4)
54. Denver Nuggets @Brooklyn Nets (Wed, Feb6)
55. Denver Nuggets @Philadelphia 76ers (Fri, Feb8)
56. Miami Heat @Denver Nuggets (Mon, Feb11)
57. Sacramento Kings @Denver Nuggets (Wed, Feb13)
58. Denver Nuggets @Dallas Mavericks (Fri, Feb22)
59. LA Clippers @Denver Nuggets (Sun, Feb24)
60. Oklahoma City Thunder @Denver Nuggets (Tue, Feb26)
61. Utah Jazz @Denver Nuggets (Thu, Feb28)

62. New Orleans Pelicans @Denver Nuggets (Sat, Mar2)
63. Denver Nuggets @San Antonio Spurs (Mon, Mar4)
64. Denver Nuggets @Los Angeles Lakers (Wed, Mar6)
65. Denver Nuggets @Golden State Warriors (Fri, Mar8)
66. Minnesota Timberwolves @Denver Nuggets (Tue, Mar12)
67. Dallas Mavericks @Denver Nuggets (Thu, Mar14)
68. Indiana Pacers @Denver Nuggets (Sat, Mar16)
69. Denver Nuggets @Boston Celtics (Mon, Mar18)
70. Denver Nuggets @Washington Wizards (Thu, Mar21)
71. Denver Nuggets @New York Knicks (Fri, Mar22)
72. Denver Nuggets @Indiana Pacers (Sun, Mar24)
73. Detroit Pistons @Denver Nuggets (Tue, Mar26)
74. Denver Nuggets @Houston Rockets (Thu, Mar28)
75. Denver Nuggets @Oklahoma City Thunder (Fri, Mar29)
76. Washington Wizards @Denver Nuggets (Sun, Mar31)

77. Denver Nuggets @Golden State Warriors (Tue, Apr2)
78. San Antonio Spurs @Denver Nuggets (Wed, Apr3)
79. Portland Trail Blazers @Denver Nuggets (Fri, Apr5)
80. Denver Nuggets @Portland Trail Blazers (Sun, Apr7)
81. Denver Nuggets @Utah Jazz (Tue, Apr9)
82. Minnesota Timberwolves @Denver Nuggets (Wed, Apr10)


My projections:
October: 4-3
November: 9-6
December: 8-4
January: 11-5
February: 8-3
March: 7-8
April: 3-3
OVERALL: 50-32
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Re: 2018-19 Western Conference opponents 

Post#89 » by NuggetsWY » Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:17 am

I divide the NBA into three groups
1. Teams the Nuggets should beat home & away
2. Teams the Nuggets should beat at home but not away
3. Teams the Nuggets will struggle to beat period
Then I add some "gut calls" based on scheduling

Oct 5-2
Nov 10-5
Dec 9-3
Jan 11-5
Feb 7-4
Mar 8-7
Apr 3-3
OVERALL: 53-29

But I honestly expect the Nuggets to lose some games they should win and to lose some games that are close, that they just can't finish out.
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Re: 2018-19 Western Conference opponents 

Post#90 » by THE J0KER » Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:22 am

Our March-April finish of the season is a real nightmare, by far worst (hardest) in the whole league. In the last 23 games, only two games are vs some of 10 teams without playoff chances, which is terrible and against all odds, so we must go into a playoff mode already in late February.

60. Oklahoma City Thunder @Denver Nuggets (Tue, Feb26)
61. Utah Jazz @Denver Nuggets (Thu, Feb28)
62. New Orleans Pelicans @Denver Nuggets (Sat, Mar2)
63. Denver Nuggets @San Antonio Spurs (Mon, Mar4)
64. Denver Nuggets @Los Angeles Lakers (Wed, Mar6)
65. Denver Nuggets @Golden State Warriors (Fri, Mar8)
66. Minnesota Timberwolves @Denver Nuggets (Tue, Mar12)
67. Dallas Mavericks @Denver Nuggets (Thu, Mar14)
68. Indiana Pacers @Denver Nuggets (Sat, Mar16)
69. Denver Nuggets @Boston Celtics (Mon, Mar18)
70. Denver Nuggets @Washington Wizards (Thu, Mar21)
71. Denver Nuggets @New York Knicks (Fri, Mar22)
72. Denver Nuggets @Indiana Pacers (Sun, Mar24)
73. Detroit Pistons @Denver Nuggets (Tue, Mar26)
74. Denver Nuggets @Houston Rockets (Thu, Mar28)
75. Denver Nuggets @Oklahoma City Thunder (Fri, Mar29)
76. Washington Wizards @Denver Nuggets (Sun, Mar31)
77. Denver Nuggets @Golden State Warriors (Tue, Apr2)
78. San Antonio Spurs @Denver Nuggets (Wed, Apr3)
79. Portland Trail Blazers @Denver Nuggets (Fri, Apr5)
80. Denver Nuggets @Portland Trail Blazers (Sun, Apr7)
81. Denver Nuggets @Utah Jazz (Tue, Apr9)
82. Minnesota Timberwolves @Denver Nuggets (Wed, Apr10)
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Re: 2018-19 Western Conference opponents 

Post#91 » by skywalker33 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:27 pm

Yeah, that's a BRUTAL ending but at least the front end of our schedule is better than last year, guess that's where we'll have to make our move.
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Re: 2018-19 Western Conference opponents 

Post#92 » by NuggetsWY » Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:47 pm

skywalker33 wrote:Yeah, that's a BRUTAL ending but at least the front end of our schedule is better than last year, guess that's where we'll have to make our move.

So how long do you think the Nuggets can be in the top-3? With that front-end schedule, could we be top-3 as late as the all-star game? I suspect not, but depending on how Malone coaches ...
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Re: 2018-19 Western Conference opponents 

Post#93 » by THE J0KER » Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:05 pm

NuggetsWY wrote:
skywalker33 wrote:Yeah, that's a BRUTAL ending but at least the front end of our schedule is better than last year, guess that's where we'll have to make our move.

So how long do you think the Nuggets can be in the top-3? With that front-end schedule, could we be top-3 as late as the all-star game? I suspect not, but depending on how Malone coaches ...

Malone tends to have a slow start of the season with "real" start of the season in the middle of December, but in this 2018-19 case, it can be fatal, because our after ASG schedule is from hell.

BTW, here is our schedule in a different, interesting format
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Re: 2018-19 Western Conference opponents 

Post#94 » by skywalker33 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:31 pm

Malone’s slow start usually stem from trying to mess with the lineup or style of play. He really needs to realize ALL these games count and that training camp is where to figure out that the Joker offense is what works best here
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Re: 2018-19 Western Conference opponents 

Post#95 » by THE J0KER » Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:26 pm

A good indication of how early team is well adjusted is Nikola Jokic triple-doubles stats.

Out of career 16 triple-doubles, Jokic 15 TD's make in last 35 games of the season (only 1 in opening 47 games, game #40 from last season).
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Re: 2018-19 Western Conference opponents 

Post#96 » by skywalker33 » Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:34 am

Well, part of me thinks that the heavy end-of-year schedule will actually prove our metal, if we survive we'll more than likely be in the playoffs being battle tested. Pray for no injuries during that time !!!
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Re: 2018-19 Western Conference opponents 

Post#97 » by NuggetsWY » Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:40 pm

skywalker33 wrote:Well, part of me thinks that the heavy end-of-year schedule will actually prove our metal, if we survive we'll more than likely be in the playoffs being battle tested. Pray for no injuries during that time !!!

:rockon:
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Re: 2018-19 Western Conference opponents 

Post#98 » by skywalker33 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:52 pm

538 has us projected at only 48 wins, seems a bit light to be but still good for 6th place in the West. I still like 52 wins considering we really didn't lose any contributing pieces and will get a healthy Pail Millsap back (knock on wood). Still a solid projection at 6th in the West although they do have the T-Pups at 52 wins, have a hard time with that one.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/what-our-way-too-early-nba-projections-can-tell-us-about-next-season/
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Re: 2018-19 Western Conference opponents 

Post#99 » by THE J0KER » Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:12 am

I can't see new Lakers team finishing #3 seed after the regular season, but once the playoff starts, I see LeBron starts playing on the next level, so LAL is my 3rd most unwanted opponent for Nuggets in a playoff.

PLAYOFF UNWANTED INDEX:
1. GSW 100
2. HOU 77
3. LAL 68
4. OKC 65
5. UTA 61
6. SAS 60
7. NOP 57
7. MIN 57
7. POR 57
10. DAL 44
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Re: 2018-19 Western Conference opponents 

Post#100 » by skywalker33 » Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:19 am

Lakers shouldn't be a true threat to us, they don't have the outside shooting to support LeBron. Also, at 34yo, LBJ will have to play the entire season in the rough West, won't be able to coast the regular season like he did in the East. This means he won't be fresh and at full strength for the playoffs. We have youth, chemistry and hunger on our side there.

I might suggest we still don't matchup well with HOU, but with Ariza and Luc Mbah leaving, they aren't the defensive threat and I can see we can match or exceed them on the offensive end.

UTH seems to be the biggest problem IMO, their defensive abilities vs. our offensive firepower will be our truest test. I really think though all we'd need to do is take out Mitchell and their offense will be so limited we surely could pass them up in the division.
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