The Denver Nuggets have just seen the end of their journey in the 2024 NBA Playoffs. Letting the Minnesota Timberwolves pillage Mile High City of a Game 7 win on Sunday meant that there won't be a two-peat happening for Denver, which entered the series against Anthony Edwards and company as the favorites to emerge as a winner.

Despite having a three-time league Most Valuable Player in Nikola Jokic on their side, championship pedigree, and not to mention home-court advantage in the series, Denver's ambition to repeat all went up in flames in seven grueling, topsy-turvy games that concluded in a 98-90 loss.

All that is left now for the Nuggets are the broken pieces of that dream. With that said, here are some chief reasons behind their failure to advance to the 2024 Western Conference Finals.

Lack of consistent support

Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. (1) drives to the basket against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first half during game three of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Target Center.
Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

There was Nikola Jokic, there was Jamal Murray, and then there was the Nuggets' supporting cast that struggled to deliver the goods consistently for Denver. Minnesota was always going to focus most of its resources on trying to slow down the Nuggets' 1-2 punch of Jokic and Murray. Despite the Timberwolves' effort on that end, Jokic proved he was too much to handle for Minnesota, as he averaged 29.0 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 7.9 assists while shooting 51.7 percent from the field. Murray averaged 18.4 points in the series but was limited to only a 40.3 field goal percentage.

But inconsistent (or non) production from the other Nuggets players who were supposed to lighten the load on Jokic's and Murray's shoulders helped doomed Denver.

Aaron Gordon had his moments in the second round, including his unforgettable near-perfect offensive performance in Game 4 in which the Nuggets tied the series at 2-2. But in the last two games where the Nuggets had the chance to send the Timberwolves home, he scored just 16 points. He only had four points in the do-or-die Game 7, clearly lacking aggressiveness on offense. Gordon played a series-high 42 minutes in that contest but shot the fewest attempts from the field in a game during the entire second round.

Then there was Michael Porter Jr. who sizzled in the first round against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers but faded the moment he started sharing the floor with the Timberwolves. After averaging 22.8 points on 55.3 percent shooting from the floor and 48.8 percent from behind the arc in the Lakers series, Porter seemingly lost it against the Timberwolves.

In seven games in the second round, Porter put up only 10.7 points on a 37.1 field goal percentage and posted just a 32.5 percent success rate on his threes. To further highlight the disappearance of MPJ in the series, consider the fact that he averaged just 7.0 points on a pathetic 25.8 field goal percentage and 21.1 3-point percentage.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone did a great job at getting the Nuggets back on track after losing the first two games of the Timberwolves series. But that doesn't absolve the Nuggets head coach from the blame.

For one, he didn't seem to trust his bench enough to give the backups expanded minutes just to give Jokic and the starters enough rest. Denver starters averaged the most minutes in the entire second round. In Game 7, Christian Braun got 20 minutes off the bench but Justin Holiday and Reggie Jackson saw just a total of 14 minutes of floor time.

Gordon, Jokic, Murray, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope each spent at least 40 minutes on the court on Sunday. That must have contributed to Denver's meltdown in the second half as a gassed starting unit could not find enough energy to stave off Minnesota in the final two quarters of the contest.