1. Denver Nuggets. WAR: 85.1 | Best Under-25 Players: N…

1. Denver Nuggets. WAR: 85.1 | Best Under-25 Players: Nikola Jokic (41.0), Jamal Murray (21.2), Monte Morris (10.3). Five NBA teams had an average age (weighted by production) below 25 last season: • Knicks, 17 wins • Suns, 19 wins • Bulls, 22 wins • Kings, 39 wins • Nuggets, 54 wins. Denver’s 2018-19 season was an aberration. Teams that young typically win about 30 games or fewer, but the Nuggets—who earned the no. 2 seed in the West—stand apart from their youthful brethren. Denver’s second-round playoff loss registered as a disappointment in the moment, but for a group of players who had never even reached the playoffs before, last season’s result was bounds better than the preseason expectation.
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October 15, 2019 | 2:39 pm EDT Update
So begins the give and take of a radical experiment. Matchmaking mere superstars is passé. The Rockets, like the Warriors before them, landed an MVP to accompany their MVP. It’s not exactly the subtlest of moves; both Harden and Westbrook have big, loud games, inarguably bigger and louder than when the two began their careers together in Oklahoma City a decade ago. Only through separation did they fully become the anchors their respective franchises needed them to be. By reuniting, they hope to now find security in each other. “We’ve accomplished a lot of accolades, individually,” Harden says. “Now it’s time to accomplish something that we haven’t accomplished before.” It’s a long way to June. Yet through the very fact of being on the same team, Harden and Westbrook have already engineered one outcome that never should have been possible in the first place.
October 15, 2019 | 1:41 pm EDT Update
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