World Championship Title Coming Again to a Pro Team Near You?
Well, it’s official: Something happened in the local sports world that has never occurred before. I was actually right for once in making a Denver Broncos season pick, despite being accused of being a nay-sayer.
After the Denver Broncos finished their season at 8-9, and carded another losing record, my initial, early season was right on. (I predicted the Broncos would finish with an 8-9 record. This is a first for me, even though hard-core fans at the time were ready to rip out my lungs and plan for a tar and feathering party).
But now that the Broncos season is officially over, sports fans across the state can now switch their attention to the Colorado professional sports teams that actually have a chance at taking home a world championship in 2024. In 2022, the Colorado Avalanche professional hockey team took home the Stanley Cup and then in 2023 the Denver Nuggets pro basketball group won the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history.
This year, both teams are once again on top and looking like they are playoff-bound. Whereas neither team has been dominating this season like they both did in their respective glory seasons, Nuggets and Avalanche fans are still hopeful about their prospects for success in 2024.
The following is an outlook on how both teams are doing thus far in the ’23-’24 season. Just remember since this article was written, the records and rankings have changed in the meantime.
Colorado Avs Hovering Near the Top Spot
Early in the season, the Avs had a good winning streak that got their fans excited once again. Since then, though, the team has dropped in the ranks a little but they are still pretty close to the first-place spot in their division and conference.
At the time of this writing, the Avalanche had a 25-12-3 record and they were sitting in second place in their Central Division. The team was three games behind the first place Winnipeg Jets, but they were sitting close with the third place Dallas Stars and the top three teams in the Pacific Division.
During a bout of six games, following the Christmas holiday, the Avs came out with four wins. But with the large number of close games this year, it is fair to say that the team has been keeping their fans on the edges of their seats.
At this point, most fans are just hoping that the Avalanche don’t disappoint like they did last year, when they were eliminated from the playoffs in the first round. Maybe I need to start making weekly Avalanche predictions and predict loses, so they keep winning. This worked for much of the Broncos’ season, as every time I said the Colorado team would lose, I apparently jinxed the other side.
Most of the team’s all-stars from their champion 2022 season are still leading the team this year. Center Nathan MacKinnon leads the Avs when it comes to scoring with 22 goals and a total of 65 points when assists are counted.
Rover Mikko Rantanen has played 40 games like MacKinnon and sits in second place in scoring with a total of 50 points. Defenseman Cale Makar has also been impressive this season with 38 assists and 47 total points.
On defense, Alexandar Georgiev has played in front of the net for 33 games and has a 2.98 goals against average. Goalie Ivan Prosvetov has played 11 games and currently has a 3.16 goals against average.
This week, the Avs play the Ottawa Senators on the road on Tuesday, the Boston Bruins away on Thursday, and another road match against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.
We all just hope that if the Avalanche take home the Stanley Cup again this year, that they don’t break it within the first 30 seconds, like they did in 2022.
Nuggets Striving to Win Back-to- Back Championships
We all known the Avs are good and have a decent chance at the Cup this year, but I think it’s safe to say that all eyes are on the Denver Nuggets this season after their spectacular ’22-’23 season. Besides wouldn’t it be awesome to see the Nugs pick up back-to-back championships after getting skunked as a franchise every year since the team launched in the Mile High City in 1976?
Last year star player Nikola Jokic was basically leading this team with his rather peculiar style of ballin’ that made for quite hilarious posts online. This year though, it seems like other players have also come out of the woodworks to make the team successful and give the giant Serbian star a much-needed break and some room to breathe.
Since the Nuggets ended a two-game losing stint on December 11, the team won 12 of their next 15 games. Denver is currently in second place in their Western Conference with a 26-12 record, but there are several teams just below them that are only a few games behind and hungry to slide above the Nuggets in the ranks.
Currently the Minnesota Timberwolves are leading the Nuggets’ conference. But Denver is right on their tail, meaning that anything could still happen this season
Jokic is currently leading the team during the nearly 40 games he has played so far this season (at the time of this writing). The lovable goof ball still impresses fans again like he did last season with his average of 25.5 points per game.
But Point Guard Jamal Murray is also doing quite a job of making a name for himself. During a recent stint of games, he scored the most points on the team with Jokic mostly just helping out with assists. Murray has played quite less games than Jokic this year, but he has netted an impressive average of more than 20 points per game.
This week the Nuggets play on the road against the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday, then face another away game against the Boston Celtics on Friday. They also will battle on the road against the Washington Wizards.
Hopefully the Nuggets will win back-to-back championships this year, and they don’t start another 20-plus year championship drought. This trend seems to plague all Colorado pro sports teams.