Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
It is tough to grade the Denver Nuggets' season so far since they have been so streaky. Here is how they started the year: two losses, four wins, three losses, four wins, three losses.
Additionally, while every team plays 41 games at home and 41 games on the road, the Nuggets have had to play 15 of their first 21 games on the road.
Still, just under .500 is a backslide from last year, and the addition of Andre Iguodala was supposed to make a fast team playing a mile above sea level even more dangerous. That has yet to happen.
The confounding underperformance of Ty Lawson has been a microcosm for this decline. Historically one of the more efficient point guards in the NBA, he is shooting a career low and has been especially unreliable in marquee games. In games against the Miami Heat, Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Lakers, he didn't show up—scoring zero points, nine points and nine points in each game, respectively.
Danilo Gallinari's inability to make shots has highlighted another problem: three-point shooting. Only four teams have been less accurate than the 32.7 percent rate Denver has hit from behind the arc.
The frontcourt players have been much better, and the team's success has been largely dependent on its league-high (by far) 53.9 points in the paint per game. (The Los Angeles Clippers are second at 46.9.)
This provides a good foundation of success, but the long-range futility likely can't continue if this team wants to turn its paint-heavy attack into something that is more difficult to defend.