AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post
Jamal Murray (27) of the Denver Nuggets explains a miscommunication to teammate Nikola Jokic (15) as they play the Houston Rockets during the third quarter on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019.
The NBA season is scheduled to begin again on July 30. And with it, hope springs eternal for the teams still in contention.
ESPN on Friday unveiled its predictions for the playoffs. Using the results from ESPN’s real plus-minus (RPM), senior writer Kevin Pelton took a look at how the postseason could play out. Here’s how Denver fared:
The Nuggets have a 51.2% chance of landing the No. 3 seed, and could bounce anywhere from No. 2 (9.6%) all the way down to No. 7 (0.6%). They would mostly likely face the Thunder, who have the best shot at the No. 6 seed with 33.8%, followed by the Mavericks (28.2%), Jazz (18.0%) and Rockets (14.1%).
Despite being the higher seed, Denver isn’t favored to advance to the second round, garnering just a 35.4% chance.
“The Nuggets and Jazz are both underdogs to win a first-round matchup in these projections, with Houston, Oklahoma City and Dallas better bets to advance in the West, Pelton writes.”
The numbers become more dire to reach the conference finals at 7.4%. And just paper thin to make the NBA Finals at 0.9%.
Here’s the worst one: The Nuggets have 0.0% chance to win it all, according to the predictions.
The Bucks are favored to win it all at 42.5%, followed by the Lakers at 19.9%.
But don’t lose hope, Nuggets fans. Vegas still believes in Nikola Jokic and co. According to oddsmaker Bovada, Denver is tied for seventh favorite to win it all at 22-to-1 odds.
— Joe Nguyen, The Denver Post
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