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Evaluating the Denver Nuggets at the All-Star Break

We examine the Nuggets going into the All-Star Break, looking at some futures betting lines, injuries and one player to watch in fantasy basketball.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Denver Nuggets Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA Trade Deadline and All-Star Weekend have come and gone, so that means we’re in the home stretch of the 2019-20 NBA season. In this serious post-All-Star Break, we’ll go over the outlook for every team in the NBA. Here, we’ll provide a short glimpse at championship odds and playoff chances for each team on DraftKings Sportsbook. Also highlighted are key injuries to note and a fantasy basketball player to watch the rest of the season.

Where do the Denver Nuggets stand at the All-Star Break?

Record: 38-17
Playoff Chances: 100%
Championship Odds: +2000
Division Odds: -155
Conference Championship winner: +1200
MVP odds: Nikola Jokic (+5000)

The Nuggets are sitting in second place in the Western Conference, 4.0 games behind the Lakers — who won in Denver in both team’s final game prior to the All-Star break. The Nuggets also sit 1.5 games ahead of Utah for the lead in the division. It’s a minor miracle Denver’s even in this position given the string of injuries its battled over the last month or so. The Nuggets needed the break as much as anyone just to get their health back, and give Jokic a rest from all the heavy lifting that was required from him while everyone else was sidelined. Are the Nuggets good enough to win the Western Conference? Probably not. But if there’s a bet above worth capitalizing on, the -155 to win the division is still fair. This team’s all in on the regular season, and should be getting healthy at the right time.

Prediction: The Nuggets finish as a top-three team in the west and grind out a first-round victory after a disappointing postseason in 2019. But Denver eventually loses to a Los Angeles team in the second round.

Key Injuries for Denver Nuggets

Will Barton, SG/SF (knee) — TBD
Michael Porter Jr., SF/PF (ankle) — TBD
Mason Plumlee, PF/C (foot) — out

Plumlee likely still needs to time to recover from a long-term foot injury coming out of the break, but Barton and MPJ should be much closer to returning after the week off. Barton missed the final four games before the break, and Porter missed six. Denver plays at OKC on Friday, so that injury report will be telling as to where the health of this team currently stands. But the overall outlook is that it should be healthy soon, which is fantastic news for the potential to finish out the season strong.

Fantasy basketball spotlight: Nikola Jokic

The real answer here is that as those three key players that are injured return to the lineup, DFS value will be limited on the Nuggets for the time-being. But one injury or night off for a player can change things. Jokic has proven that he can carry the load no matter who’s in or out, with no better example than his 30-21-10 triple-double in a road win at Utah where the Nuggets had seven players in uniform. It was the third consecutive game with 69 or more DKFP. Jokic should be the focal point of this team in the most crucial stretch of the season.

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