Darrell Arthur has high hopes for the Denver Nuggets next season.
So high, they’re probably delusional.
Per BSN Denver’s Harrison Wind:
Darrell Arthur: "We can be a contender for sure, right up there with Golden State." pic.twitter.com/d7ehUqeWn1
— Harrison Wind (@HarrisonWind) August 8, 2017
The Nuggets have improved. No one is denying that. Some of their possible lineup combinations are scary as well. Run out Jamal Murray, Gary Harris, Wilson Chandler, Paul Millsap and Nikola Jokic, and the offense might be the most entertaining product on hardwood, with just enough defense to register as a superpower assembly.
But the Nuggets will not be contending with the Golden State Warriors next season.
To their credit, no one projects to hold that crown. The Houston Rockets have plenty of death-lineup appeal after adding Chris Paul, P.J. Tucker and Luc Mbah a Moute. The Oklahoma City Thunder are built to defend Golden State better than anyone whenever Paul George, Andre Roberson and Patrick Patterson share the floor. The Cleveland Cavaliers will be there, because they play in the crappy Eastern Conference, and because LeBron James exists. The San Antonio Spurs, though a little underwhelming on paper, deserve some love too, since Kawhi Leonard is a futuristic alien cyborg.
The Nuggets do not register on the same plain. Not yet. They might be able to give the Warriors fits thanks to how fast they’re built to play. Maybe they even crack the 50-win plateau. But they don’t currently have the interchangeable two-way studs at every position to effectively combat Golden State. They’ll be lucky enough to be mentioned in the same breath as the Rockets and Thunder by season’s end.