Perhaps the toughest team in the league to peg, in part because of the health questions that always swirl around Blake Griffin and Danilo Gallinari. There is a 50-win team in here with Griffin as fulcrum, lording over the action from the center of the foul line as everyone orbits him. The four rotation guards are dangerous in different ways, and crafty enough on the pick-and-roll to draw double teams — and free Griffin to slip into open space, where he is an expert playmaker.
The defense looks sound with Patrick Beverley and DeAndre Jordan bookending it. For all the talk about how helpless the Clippers were when Chris Paul rested — and they were G League-level bad — a huge chunk of those minutes came with both Griffin and Jordan also on the pine. The Clips actually outscored opponents by almost five points per 100 possessions in the 342 minutes Jordan and Griffin logged without Paul, per NBA.com.
Denver has a whole cupboard full of malleable young players who could blossom into the key piece, the most promising of which is Jamal Murray. Entering his second season, Murray projects for 2.7 RPM wins in 2017-18, which would exceed Green’s RPM wins from the 2012-13 season. While Green contributed far more in his second season, it’s also worth pointing out that Murray entered the league three years younger than Green. There’s plenty of time to play catch-up.