Melo still leads the way, but ever since Mr. Big Shot Billups replaced AI, the team has been on a tear. Can they carry that forward into this year?
The Nuggets are as good, if not better, than anyone in their division. While we've probably seen the best we can expect from veterans like Chauncey Billups and Kenyon Martin, young stars Carmelo Anthony, Nene and J.R. Smith still have plenty of room to improve. But I think it's fair to question whether or not Melo (now entering his seventh season), Nene (his eighth) and J.R. (his sixth) will make substantive leaps. That being said, if that trio can play at the All-Star level they're capable of, I'll be rightly mocked all season for predicting the Nuggets to finish second in their division.
The Nuggets’ biggest strengths revolve around its starting five. Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, J.R. Smith, Nene, and Kenyon Martin are as good as any starting five in the league. Right there you have an elite scorer in Carmelo Anthony, an elite floor general in Chauncey Billups, an elite defender in Kenyon Martin, an imposing force in the middle with Nene, and lightning in a bottle with J.R. Smith. Together, they are a team that can put up mind-boggling offensive stats and match up well with any team in the league defensively.