Projecting the NBA using xWARP: Denver Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets had a no good, very bad offseason. They lost their very talented GM and fired their very good coach. They lost their best wing defender, and arguably their best overall player, to the team that ousted them from the postseason. They lost a couple other helpful players like Kosta Koufos and Corey Brewer. They added a number of players who simply shouldn’t be expected to be very helpful- like Randy Foye, Darell Arthur, and to a lesser extent, J.J. Hickson. How does it all add up?

After adjusting for the league-wide context (subtracting 1.112 from the .15 net rating shown above), the Nuggets total Net Rating is roughly -.96. That translates to a 38 win squad. Given that they have the strongest homecourt advantage in the league and the schedule they actually will play, the Nuggs project to be a 40 win team. Regardless of whether the first or the latter number proves to be more correct, the Nuggets appear to be in line for a staggering fall from their 57 win record of last year. The takeaway is that losing Andre Iguodala, Kosta Koufos, and Corey Brewer and replacing them with much worse players is going to really hurt the Nuggets this year. It should not shock anyone at all to see them fall all the way out of the playoffs. Hopefully for Denver’s fans they have a plan going forward to right the ship that’s seemingly lost its way.

Image from Keith Allison via Flickr.

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