NBA Playoff X-Factors – West

Which players are willing to guard baseline to baseline? Which play to the final buzzer. These are the Western Conference X-Factors.


Denver Nuggets

46-27, 3rd in West
Season: 43-22
Bubble: 3-5

Playoff Match-Up: (6) Utah Jazz

Sean: Bol Bol

  • The nuggets are full of quality role players who know how to cut and move off of Nikola Jokić and Jamal Murray. They’re deep but I think they have one X-factor who’s ready to make a splash. Their 2nd round pick Bol Bol is one of the most talented players on the roster. After finally getting healthy, we’ve seen a sliver of what his impact can be with his play in the bubble.  
  • Bol allows the Nuggets to go “supersized” without losing any offensive juice and he’s a mismatch for almost everybody. He runs the floor like a deer and his three-point shot is unblock-able. He is however a wildcard in that we don’t know if Mike Malone will trust him enough to give him meaningful playoff minutes. In terms of raw talent though, Bol is a game-changer. In his brief time on the floor, we’ve seen him grab rebounds off the rim, dribble the length of the floor and pull up for 3’s like a stretched out Kevin Durant. He also offers a defensive presence with his 7’7 wingspan though he needs to work on his positioning. If Malone ever needs him for an extended run of minutes, Bol could make the difference in a Nuggets win or present a matchup problem over the course of a series.

James: Michael Porter Jr.

  • As the Nuggets continue to be impressive one of the hottest stories in the Bubble is Michael Porter Jr. A  6”10 versatile forward who can run the 3-5, shoot, rebound, and block shots. What is not to love.
  • He couldn’t have come at a better time as he helps out Jokić, and Murray offensively and adds depth to that starting unit. The cool thing with MPJ is the fact that you can put him anywhere in the lineup whether that’s the starting line, the bench, small ball, defensive, etc. MPJ is a very interchangeable player.

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One response to “NBA Playoff X-Factors – West”

  1. Samwise Avatar

    Kuuuuuuuuz!!! Y’all agreed a lot more on the West vs East. Interesting

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