Denver Nuggets Projected 5th In West By ESPN

While the addition of Andre Iguodala has improved the Denver Nuggets, the team is still one step below the elite in the Western Conference, a position they've been in ever since Carmelo Anthony soured on the Nuggets after their 2009 run to the WCF.

That, at least, is how ESPN.com's newest computer projections have it, as the site recently ran simulations to predict the win-loss records of all 30 NBA teams.

Denver is projected to go 50-32, which would place them in a tie for fourth with the LA Clippers, behind the new-look LA Lakers, Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs. That translates into a winning percentage of 61%, a bump from the 58% number the Nuggets posted in 2012, when they finished with the No. 6 seed out West.

If the Nuggets do outperform their projections it's likely to come from the improvement from young players -- Ty Lawson, Danilo Gallinari, Javale McGee -- who may have not yet hit their peak in terms of production at the NBA level.

Head over to Denver Stiffs for more Nuggets coverage, and be sure to check out SB Nation's NBA hub for more news from around the league.

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