Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Much of the Nuggets' future success depends on how well Karl can coach up the young Nuggs.
1. Find a backup point guard
Andre Miller played valiantly for the Nuggets this postseason, but he's made it clear he doesn't want to be a backup unless it's on a championship-caliber team.
While Denver has rookie Julyan Stone on the bench, they'll likely have to go find a free-agent point guard to develop behind the blossoming Ty Lawson.
Denver was the most deadly offense this season—No. 1 in scoring, assists and fast-break points—but their defense has been lacking for years. The Nuggets must commit to dedicated defense, not only frustrating teams but shutting them down completely and walking to easy wins.
If Denver could have limited the Lakers to a few less points per game, they would have won the series and still been competing this year.
3. Develop JaVale McGee
The Nuggets have said they want to bring back McGee, who played well for them to finish the regular season and even better in his first playoff series against L.A. If they do, they know he's an extremely raw talent that will have to be worked with for countless hours in the gym.
His offensive game leaves a lot to be desired, though he seems confident enough in himself to utilize post moves. If Denver can teach him more of those moves, as well as proper positioning on box-outs, McGee could be an All-Star center with the Nuggets in the future.
4. Confidence in Danilo Gallinari
While Lawson certainly stepped up for Denver in the series, Danilo Gallinari shrunk under the pressure. Gallo's got to understand he's the team's No. 1 offensive threat outside of Lawson and his size and athleticism gives him a great deal of versatility to do so many things on the court.
If Gallinari can do some growing up, the Nuggets offense will be even more potent once the postseason comes.
5. Learn better half-court offense
Speaking of improving their offense, Denver must learn how to operate in the half court with precision. George Karl's offense is all about run-and-gun fun, but playoff-winning O depends on running set plays to perfection and capitalizing on every possession.
Yes, the Nuggets will always win in transition with Karl as coach, but if they want to move past the first round again, he'll teach them the half-court game.
Rich Kurtzman is a freelance journalist and aspiring professional sportswriter. Follow Rich on facebook and/or twitter for links to interesting articles, great retweets from your favorite athletes and need-to-know info on everything Colorado sports related.