The Denver Nuggets have won 14 of their past 20 games. They've managed to defeat the likes of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors in that time.
In other words, Denver is finally realizing their potential. With reasonable postseason experience on their roster and exceptional depth, they are certainly primed to make a push to the title.
Having lost two of three, however, our expectations are temporarily tempered.
Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors are playing as well as any other team from an offensive perspective. Unfortunately, an injury to Andrew Bogut has established this team as the 22nd-ranked scoring defense.
With multiple key players having never played in the postseason, the Warriors are built to be a team that makes an early exit. Bogut's potential return from injury could change that.
Los Angeles Lakers
No matter how poorly they may be playing, the Los Angeles Lakers have as much talent as any team in the NBA. Perhaps more.
Which is exactly why they're a wild card.
As long as they make an appearance in the postseason, the Lakers are a threat to win the title. This comes irregardless of their potential seeding or the road to the gold.
When you have Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol on your team, anything is possible.
With two elite big men, reputable depth and elite defensive prowess, the Memphis Grizzlies are built to win a title. Unfortunately, they appear more concerned with building for the future than winning with the pieces in place.
Memphis traded the best three-point shooter on their 23rd-ranked three-point shooting roster (via ESPN). With him, the Grizzlies dealt a promising young scorer, Josh Selby, and their top reserve big man, Marreese Speights.
A deal one has to question with an aging power forward in Zach Randolph—a player with a history of injury.
Furthermore, Rudy Gay has been involved in trade talks for quite some time (via HoopsWorld). In other words, this small-market franchise is more concerned with avoiding the luxury tax than contending.
Unless they flip Gay for multiple assets, this season might have been squandered.