|2011-12 Team Rating|
|5th Overall||17th Overall|
Stats through Feb. 16
Danilo Gallinari was playing like an All-Star before he got hurt. Nene and Timofey Mozgov have both battled injury issues of late, forcing role players into starting roles.
The double-dose of Ty Lawson and Andre Miller at point guard has powered the Nuggets all season. Arron Afflalo has been solid at shooting guard.
Even with all of the attention the coaching staff places in this area, the Nuggets don't have enough rugged on-the-ball defenders to stand out among the league's elite.
Al Harrington remains one of the most dangerous bench scorers in the league. Chris Andersen, rookie Kenneth Faried, Rudy Fernandez and Corey Brewer are all having solid seasons.
George Karl deserves credit for keeping this team on solid ground after having the roster gutted by the Carmelo Anthony deal and the lockout departures of free agents Kenyon Martin, Wilson Chandler and JR Smith.
The injuries, particularly to Gallinari, have knocked the wind out of the Nuggets a bit. What looked to be the surprise team of the Western Conference early on has been beset with injury setbacks at nearly every turn. But as long as Karl holds it together until they get everyone back, and add Chandler when he returns from China, there's no reason to believe they can't get back in a groove down the stretch of the regular season.
Still, the Nuggets don't possess the sort of firepower that suggests they are ready to make a deep run in the playoffs. There are too many variables at play, what with no one sure who serves as the go-to-guy in a tense, playoff situation. Gallinari has the talent but no experience playing that role. Lawson and Miller could step in there, as well, but the Nuggets needed Nene to be that guy for them this season and while he's been solid, he hasn't turned into the anchor they need.
-- Sekou Smith
Explanation of Marking System
|Golden State Warriors||C-|
|Los Angeles Clippers||B|
|Los Angeles Lakers||B-|
|New Jersey Nets||D|
|New Orleans Hornets||F|
|New York Knicks||C+|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||A|
|Portland Trail Blazers||B-|
|San Antonio Spurs||A|