Despite their Cinderella like run to the Western Conference Finals and the steady improvement of stars Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Denver Nuggets are likely still two years away from being true title contenders. Especially with the Western Conference being the crowded landscape of talented teams as it is. With a bit more experience and ripening, the Nuggets can be a dangerous contender for years to come.
Though the presence of two-time NBA MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo should make the Bucks automatic title contenders, they fall short for an important reason. Much like the Houston Rockets who rely on James Harden’s sensational scoring to rack up wins, the Bucks’ offense is too reliant on Giannis. This hardly matters during the regular season, but during the playoffs when each opponent is game planning for Giannis specifically, it gets progressively harder to deal with. Once Giannis is effectively neutralized with the now infamous “wall defense”, the rest of the Bucks can offer little resistance. Short of getting Giannis the help he needs this offseason, 2021 will likely not be their year.