|2012-13 Team Rating|
|7th Overall||16th Overall|
Stats through Jan. 22
Danilo Gallinari is starting to make his 3s with more regularity and Kenneth Faried is an absolute monster on the cusp of averaging a double-double. If only George Karl can make JaVale McGee into more than a 20-minute player.
The addition of Andre Iguodala has been big, particularly on defense. Ty Lawson is playing better and starting to raise his FG percentages, while the ageless Andre Miller keeps getting it done, averaging 5.7 assists in 25.6 mpg.
One of the toughest things to do is play up-tempo offensively and be good defensively. Denver's struggled, allowing more than 100 points a game, a number exceeded only by Houston in the West's current top 10.
Energizer Corey Brewer is scoring in double figures for the first time since his Minnesota days. Wilson Chandler's return provides another scorer and allows George Karl, who has used his bench less this season, to go nine deep.
Ranking sixth all-time in wins, Karl is always tinkering and he's got another entertaining team that could be primed for an explosive second-half. He got them through a slow start and tough schedule to be in position to make a move.
Once again, this has to be the most talented roster without an All-Star representative. Slow starts took Lawson and Gallinari out of contention early. Both were in the discussion last year, but neither made the team.
The Nuggets should be praised for surviving a rugged first-half schedule that not only put them on the road for ridiculous stretches, primarily in the first two months of the season, but it was also the third-toughest schedule in the league. With one of the best homecourt advantages in the league, it wouldn't be surprising to see Denver's high-octane offense ramp up even more and for Denver to challenge for a top-four spot. Another reason for optimism is the Nuggets' impressive 19-11 record against the West. Only Oklahoma City and San Antonio have more intra-conference wins.
-- Jeff Caplan
Explanation of Marking System
|Golden State Warriors||A-|
|Los Angeles Clippers||A-|
|Los Angeles Lakers||D|
|New Orleans Pelicans||C-|
|New York Knicks||D|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||A|
|Portland Trail Blazers||A|
|San Antonio Spurs||A|