As playoff dreams go by the wayside and the losses continue piling up, the Denver Nuggets have to be thinking about one question—what happens next?
2013-14 has been a year to forget for Denver.
Even though the offseason was filled with big departures, this team still expected to remain highly competitive in the chase for one of the Western Conference's eight playoff spots.
ESPN's preseason forecast had them finishing with the No. 7 seed and a 43-39 record. I completely concurred with both projections, but there was one caveat provided in my record projections heading into opening week:
In all likelihood, Denver will get off to a relatively slow start and fight its way back into the playoff picture once JaVale McGee improves under Brian Shaw and Danilo Gallinari returns from his torn ACL. If Gallo misses too much time, though, there isn't enough scoring on the roster for them to remain in one of the top eight spots.
The West is just too tough, and despite what some fans are trying to convince themselves of, the losses of George Karl, Iguodala, Corey Brewer and Kosta Koufos do matter.
Yes, I have a crystal ball.
Danilo Gallinari has indeed missed too much time (the whole season, in fact), but so much more than that has gone wrong heading into the final quarter of the campaign. Denver currently sits well below .500 with a 27-34 record, leaving them at No. 11 in the Western Conference and nearly 10 games outside the playoff picture.
All of a sudden, the team is at a crossroads. Does it continue along the same course, hoping for internal development and a miracle, or is it best to consider blowing things up?