The Denver Nuggets went 2-2 over the last week with an expected win over the New Jersey Nets and then an impressive 117-104 victory over the Miami on Friday night. All this moved the Denver Nuggets to No. 6 in Tom Ziller's latest SB Nation NBA Power Rankings. But on the flip side, the Nuggets also lost to the New Orleans Hornets and, most recently, the Utah Jazz. Those were both games the Nuggets should have won, but decided to play down to the level of competition.
Ziller notes this level of play:
The Nuggets have slowed a bit, and that Sunday loss to the Jazz in which Denver's big couldn't stop a thing Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson were running was frightful. But double-digit wins over the Heat are huge, and the Nuggets have proven already this season they belong in the conversation in the West.
Playing with Nene and Ty Lawson injured throughout last week also contributed to some of this, but they'll need to stay healthy to keep this team near the top of the league. The Oklahoma City Thunder are close to running away with the division right now while the Nuggets, the Jazz and the Portland Trail Blazers are in a race for second.