The Denver Nuggets were the highest-scoring offense during the regular season, averaging 106.1 points per game. They were also the No. 1 scoring offense in the NBA last season at 104 points per game, but that style did not carry over into the playoffs as they lost in the first round to the Los Angeles Lakers in seven games.
In the off-season, the Nuggets added former Philadelphia 76ers swingman Andre Iguodala. Iguodala was coming off leading his team to within one win of the Eastern Conference Finals, and is known for his lock-down defense and as a point forward, he has a knack for setting up teammates and rebounding the basketball, pushing it on the fast break.
Iguodala has made an immediate impact in Denver. He averaged 13 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.4 assists and he helped improve Denver’s defense from 29th to 23rd in the league in points allowed per game.
With his third straight trip to the postseason, Iguodala is the key to a deep playoff run for the Nuggets. With Danilo Gallinari out for the postseason with a torn ACL and Kenneth Faried limited due to an ankle injury, Iguodala will need to pick up his scoring. He can get out on the break and run with Ty Lawson and get easy baskets, which will help make up for the absence of Gallinari.
On the defensive side of the ball is where Iggy will truly have to shine. If the Nuggets can get through the Golden State Warriors with Iguodala mainly having to defend Klay Thompson or Stephen Curry, he will then have to take on Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili on the San Antonio Spurs and more than likely Kevin Durant from the Oklahoma City Thunder if they can get through that.
Iguodala makes his name as a shutdown defender, and he will have to take the opponent’s top scorer out of the game in order for the Nuggets to make a run.
Even without Gallinari, the Nuggets have enough talent to make a run through the Western Conference. It comes down to what Iguodala can do as a stopper on the defensive end and as a playmaker on the offensive end.