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When talking next-generation title contenders, the Denver Nuggets find themselves at the front of the pack.
The youth, athleticism and blinding speed of George Karl's bunch is enough to strike fear into the hearts of the Western Conference's most stout defenses.
Though currently injured, Ty Lawson finds himself grouped among the league's best youngsters at point guard, averaging 16.7 points and 6.9 assists while playing a team-high 34.8 minutes per game.
Lawson's progression after an ugly start to the season (he shot 41 percent over the course of November and December) has been rather encouraging, but he may not be the most exciting part of the Nuggets' deep pool of young talent.
Kenneth Faried and JaVale McGee are both matchup nightmares for bulkier, less athletic frontcourts, as the duo possesses a rare combination of size and speed that can be put to use on the blocks and in transition.
Should Andre Iguodala re-sign with the Nuggets if he opts out of his current deal (via Fox Sports Florida), the Nuggets will have pieces necessary to compete for a championship on both ends of the floor.
UPDATE: Saturday, Apr. 6, 6:30 p.m. EDT by Sean Hojnacki
Danilo Gallinari suffered a torn ACL in Thursday night's game, ending a fine season in which he posted a career-high 16.2 points per game.
Though timetables for recovery are hard to gauge, it's reasonable to think that Gallinari can return within nine months. That was roughly how long Iman Shumpert and Ricky Rubio spent on the shelf with their knee injuries.
That would have the Italian back before the 2014 All-Star break, in plenty of time for the stretch run.
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