As NBA Playoffs Approach, Nuggets On Verge Of Franchise History

As NBA Playoffs Approach, Nuggets On Verge Of Franchise History
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

It’s been nearly a half-century since the Denver Nuggets took to the court for the first time as an NBA franchise, and the club is still chasing its first conference championship.

In the 47 seasons Denver has fielded an NBA team, the Nuggets have captured nine division titles but have yet to achieve success on a grander stage in the sport.

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That appears destined to change in 2023, however, as the Nuggets currently have a 3.5-game lead over Memphis in the Western Conference with seven games to play.

Colorado sports betting oddsmakers have taken notice of the team’s run.

The Nuggets have climbed from +1800 preseason title odds to +750 on BetMGM Sportsbook Colorado.

BetColorado.com, which has full coverage of Colorado sportsbook apps, took a look at the Nuggets' previous nine division championship teams.

Nuggets Division Championship Seasons

  • 2019-20: 46-27 (lost to L.A. Lakers in Western Conference Finals in five games)
  • 2018-19: 54-28 (lost to Portland in WC Semis in seven games)
  • 2009-10: 53-29 (lost to Utah in WC First round in six games)
  • 2008-09: 54-28 (lost to L.A. Lakers in WC Finals in six games)
  • 2005-06: 44-38 (lost to L.A. Clippers in WC First round in five games)
  • 1987-88: 54-28 (lost to Dallas in WC semis in six games)
  • 1984-85: 52-30 (lost to L.A. Lakers in WC Finals in five games)
  • 1977-78: 48-34 (lost to Seattle in WC Finals in six games)
  • 1976-77: 50-32 (lost to Portland in WC Semis in six games)

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Nuggets Can Add To Franchise History

The Nuggets last won a Northwest Division championship in 2020, when they closed out a 46-27 season, en route to the franchise’s first Western Conference finals appearance in 11 years.

Denver’s previous nine division championship teams won 50.6 games per year on average, reaching the conference finals four times.

No Nuggets team has reached the NBA Finals, though the 1975-76 squad did reach the ABA championship series before falling to the New York Nets in six games.

With two-time league MVP Nikola Jokic once again posting unreal numbers offensively (24.9 points, 11.9 rebounds and 9.9 assists per game on 63.4% shooting), 2023 could be the year for the Nuggets.

For now, Denver must close the regular season on a high note, with road games against Phoenix (twice), Houston and Utah, complemented by home clashes against New Orleans, Golden State and Sacramento.

Barring a complete collapse in the team’s final seven games, the Nuggets will do something in 2023 the previous 46 squads since the ABA-NBA merger failed to do — earn a top playoff seed.

Now, the next task at hand for the Michael Malone-coached team is to hoist the franchise’s first Larry O’Brien Trophy.

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Author

Christopher Boan has been covering sports and sports betting for more than seven years, including stops at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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