It's a good thing that the NBA regular season is 82 games long.
Well, for the Denver Nuggets it is anyway.
The start to the 2012-13 season has been a roller coaster for the Nuggets and their fans.
From starting 0-3 to open the season on the road, to winning four in a row soon after, the Nuggets haven't exactly been the epitome of consistency. Their offensive and defensive games also seem to be going through some cyclical issues, as they've managed to lose games despite scoring 116 points and lost games when their defense has held up (see opening night against Philadelphia).
Monday night in Memphis, however, showed exactly why this club can contend now.
The team as a whole played a solid game, leading after the first quarter, second quarter and at the end of the game, thanks to an absolutely dominating final minute of play.
Yet, there was still room for improvement.
With Ty Lawson having a rough night from the field and Andre Iguodala not able to get into the double digits points-wise, you'd think the Nuggets would be in trouble.
Big games from Kenneth Faried (who, once again, proved that his size isn't an issue, as he hauled in 13 rebounds against the Grizzlies), JaVale McGee and especially Danilo Gallinari helped the Nuggets pull off a huge road win.
Now, if the Nuggets can finally have all five of their starters elevate their play on a more consistent basis, there may not be a team that can stop them.
That's what separates winners from losers, though, and the Nuggets still have to find a way to get the most out of all of their key players game-in and game-out.
Considering the youth that makes up this team, the inconsistent individual performances aren't all that shocking. They will need to be corrected moving forward, though.
The scary part of this team is that they can beat the hottest team in the NBA on any given night, even if two of their best players (Lawson and Iguodala) combine for just 16 points on just 31.8 percent shooting.
Imagine what they could do if all of their players stepped up each and every game.
Sure, it's not likely that the Nuggets will put away their inconsistency troubles this very second, but as I said earlier, this is an 82-game schedule, something that bodes well for a team that still needs time to grow. Come playoff time, don't be surprised if the Nuggets make a dark-horse run in the Western Conference.