The Denver Nuggets Just Sent a Message to the Rest of the West

The Denver Nuggets have won 13 straight games, and last night’s victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder was their most impressive yet. Remember: the Nuggets were on the second night of a road-road back-to-back against two playoff teams. They beat the Chicago Bulls in overtime the night before, then they went into Oklahoma City, where the Thunder have only lost four games all season.

You would have expected the Nuggets to fold and chalk it up as a schedule loss, but no. Denver ran all over the Thunder, snuffed out all of Oklahoma City’s late-game runs, and won the game convincingly.

Of course, it’s just the regular season, but you can’t deny the fact that the Nuggets have been very impressive in this winning streak. Look at their numbers during this run: an offensive rating of 111.6, which is the highest for any team so far this season, and a defensive rating of 98.6, which places them right behind Indiana and Memphis. Simply put, for about a month now, the Nuggets have had both an elite offense and an elite defense. That’s scary.

And then there’s the fact that they haven’t lost at home in two months. The Nuggets pretty much run their opponents out of the gym when they play up in Denver. The altitude helps, sure, but they have been just that good since January.

The only question now is whether the Nuggets can take this level of play into the playoffs. They haven’t gotten out of the first round since 2009, the year Chauncey Billups and Carmelo Anthony led them to the Western Conference Finals.

This year, Ty Lawson, Danilo Gallinari, Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Wilson Chandler, Javale McGee (!), coach George Karl, and the rest of the Denver Nuggets are looking to make some noise in the postseason.

Western Conference: you have been warned.

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