DENVER CO - JANUARY 13: J.R. Smith #5 of the Denver Nuggets puts up a shot between Chris Bosh #1 and Eric Dampier #25 of the Miami Heat as Al Harrington #7 of the Nuggets follows the play at the Pepsi Center on January 13 2011 in Denver Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Heat 130-102. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and or using this photograph User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

NBA Power Rankings 2012: Denver Nuggets No. 16 In Latest Ratings

The Denver Nuggets are staying on the lip of playoffs hopes with the Phoenix Suns in hot pursuit.

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NBA Power Rankings 2012: Nuggets At No. 16 In The Latest Power Rankings

The Denver Nuggets (30-26) enter the final days of the NBA Regular Season with a tenuous grasp on the No. 8 seed. Leading the Phoenix Suns (29-27) by just a single game, the Nuggets hope fend off the Suns, but Tom Ziller's latest NBA Power Rankings suggest that may be a problem.

Monday's power rankings have the Suns at No. 13 and the Nuggets, facing the Houston Rockets in a key home matchup next Sunday and Monday, come in at No. 16:

Rank Team Record Last Week SB Nation Blog
1. San Antonio Spurs 40-14 W: CLE, BOS, NO, UTA Pounding The Rock
This is the second double-digit win streak of the season for the Spurs. Expect some more analysis downplaying San Antonio's playoff chances based on last year's first-round exit; please remember that Manu Ginobili busted up his arm entering that series. He looks healthy now. This team has always been different when he's healthy.
2. Chicago Bulls 43-14 W: BOS; L: HOU, NY Blog-a-Bull
I secretly hope some fool tries out the "Bulls are better without Derrick Rose" argument just because I've always wanted to see a live human self-ridicule himself into oblivion.
...
15. Orlando Magic 33-23 W: PHI; L: DET, NY Orlando Pinstriped Post
We are a month from Patrick Ewing becoming an NBA head coach. I repeat, we are a month from Patrick Ewing becoming an NBA head coach.
16. Denver Nuggets 30-26 W: PHX; L: NO, GS Denver Stiffs
The Nuggets have a home-and-home with the Rockets next week. It's a great chance to either avoid the Thunder or Spurs in the first round or to fall out of the bracket. I love this game.
17. Utah Jazz 29-28 W: POR, GS; L: PHX, SA SLC Dunk
As soon as I write off the Jazz, they'll peel off a four-game win streak. A home game against San Antonio and road games at Houston and Memphis might prevent that, though, and kill this season dead.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Denver. For more on the Nuggets, visit Denver Stiffs. Check out SB Nation NBA for more news and notes around the league.

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NBA Power Rankings 2012: Denver Nuggets No. 16 In Latest Poll From SB Nation

In the latest NBA power rankings from SB Nation's Tom Ziller, the struggling Denver Nuggets check in at No. 16. Denver went 1-3 last week, including a tough overtime loss against Oklahoma City on Sunday night. Here's what Ziller has to say about the Nuggets:

The Nuggets ran into three buzzsaws this week, and have been getting crushed by injuries. Wilson Chandler could be back with the club soon, though. It's a waiting game to see whether a team will try to intercept the small forward and offer a contract Denver can't afford to match.

Related: Wilson Chandler meeting with Nuggets today

The Nuggets have dropped into a tie for second place in the Northwest division with Portland, and they're also tied with the Trail Blazers for eighth place in the Western Conference.

Denver returns to the court on Monday night against Minnesota.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Denver. For more on the Nuggets, visit Denver Stiffs. Check out SB Nation NBA for more news and notes around the league.

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NBA Power Rankings 2012: Pro Basketball Talk Places Denver Nuggets At No. 8

In his latest power rankings for Pro Basketball Talk, Kurt Helin places the Denver Nuggets at No. 8, two spots lower than they were a week ago. Denver is coming off a rough back-to-back-to-back stretch of games that saw the Nuggets lose two of three.

Beat the Clippers, lost to the Lakers and fell to the Trail Blazers on the third night of a back-to-back-to-back. Still one of the most fun teams to watch in the league.

Despite the recent struggles, which can be a function of the tight schedule as much as anything else, the Nuggets have the fourth best record in the Western Conference.

Related: Rockets vs. Nuggets: No nights off in the Western Conference

The Nuggets are back at it on Monday night when they host the Houston Rockets.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Denver. For more on the Nuggets, visit Denver Stiffs. Check out SB Nation NBA for more news and notes around the league.

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NBA Power Rankings 2012: Nuggets Drop Just 1 Spot To No. 6

The Denver Nuggets did not have last week go as they would have liked. They defeated the Los Angeles Clippers on the road, but they lost to the Memphis Grizzlies, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers. But not even a 1-3 week can drop the Nuggets that far down in Tom Ziller's latest SB Nation NBA Power Rankings. They moved from the No. 5 team last week to the No. 6 this week. They reached No. 3 a couple of weeks ago, a season-high so far.

Ziller writes about the Nuggets:

Speaking of fun ... the Nuggets often run a two-PG lineup, get up and down the court quickly (thanks to perhaps the league's fastest player in Ty Lawson) and score with amazing efficiency. Denver's even fun to watch in a blowout. That's a high hurdle to clear.

It's good to see that he's taking a long-term view of the Nuggets and not unnecessarily dropping them as a result of a bad stretch of back-to-back-to-back games.

The Oklahoma City Thunder are the only other Northwest division team ahead of the Nuggets, coming in at No. 3

For more on the Nuggets, visit Denver Stiffs. Check out SB Nation NBA for more news and notes around the league.

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NBA Power Rankings 2012: Nuggets Fall To No. 5 In Latest SB Nation Set

What do wins against the Sacramento Kings and the Toronto Raptors and a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers get the Denver Nuggets this week? A two-spot drop in the latest SB Nation NBA power rankings! Yeah, there's some mind-twisting going on with these rankings. The Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Clippers are the two teams that jump the Nuggets in this week's rankings.

It's funny, really. The Clippers beat the Memphis Grizzlies and the Nuggets, but lose to the Lakers. OK, I guess putting them ahead of the Nugget is OK and sort of defensible. But the Bulls go 2-2 with victories over the New Jersey Nets and the Milwaukee Bucks while losing to the Indiana Pacers and the Miami Heat. Sure, the Bulls nearly knocked off the Miami Heat, but wasn't it just a couple of weeks ago that the Nuggets, you know, defeated the Heat?

I don't know; this just seems arbitrary and capricious. But Tom Ziller sees the Nuggets as a very strong team:

The Nuggets continue to hang above the fray in the West, earning wins away from Denver in the process. This will be a very tough out in the playoffs, based on how things look now.

For more on the Nuggets, visit Denver Stiffs. Check out SB Nation NBA for more news and notes around the league.

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NBA Power Rankings 2012: ESPN Moves Nuggets To No. 3

The latest ESPN NBA power rankings from Marc Stein are out and the Denver Nuggets are the No. 3 team in this set. This represents a five-spot jump from last week, and it includes a move ahead of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Only the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat are ahead of the Nuggets. As Stein writes:

They're a win in Sacramento away from a 5-0 road trip and sport the league's third-best record at 30-12 since the Melo trade last February.

And those two teams with a better record than the Nuggets? The Bulls and the Thunder. Oklahoma City fell two spots from No. 2 to No. 4 largely as a result of its loss to the Washington Wizards. That's the 2-15 Wizards, worst in the league.

The Nuggets should remain just as high next week as long as they take care of favorable games against the Kings and the Toronto Raptore before playing the Los Angeles Clippers over the weekend.

For more on the Nuggets, visit Denver Stiffs. Check out SB Nation NBA for more news and notes around the league.

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NBA Power Rankings 2012: Nuggets Emerge As No. 3 Team After 4-Game Road Winning Streak

The Denver Nuggets are 1.5 games behind the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Northwest division lead, but they moved ahead of them in Tom Ziller's latest SB Nation NBA Power Rankings. This is due to the Nuggets' four-game road trip romp against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Washington Wizards and the New York Knicks. The latter involved a thrilling 119-114 double overtime victory. This turn of events has Tom Ziller wondering if preseason expectations were off:

The Nuggets were supposed to be a dominant home team that won enough on the road to remain competitive. Instead, they have begun a five-game road trip with four straight wins and have a few days off before visiting Sacramento.

The Nuggets are 6-2 at home and 6-3 on the road, which makes for some nice balance. However, the Nuggets did look sluggish for long stretches of time against the Knicks, mostly a result of playing three games before it in such a short span of time. The three days off should help the Nuggets recharge for the Kings.

The Thunder fell to No. 5 and we are left asking what Ziller does: "How dare you lose to the Wizards?"

For more on the Nuggets, visit Denver Stiffs. Check out SB Nation NBA for more news and notes around the league.

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NBA Power Rankings 2012: Nuggets Move To No. 6 In SB Nation's Latest Set

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.

For more on the Nuggets, visit Denver Stiffs. Check out SB Nation NBA for more news and notes around the league.

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NBA Power Rankings: Denver Nuggets Still A Top 10 Team

SB Nation's Tom Ziller has released his updated NBA Power Rankings, and he has the Denver Nuggets ranked as the No. 10 overall team in the NBA. Amongst Western Conference teams, Ziller has the Nuggets behind only the Oklahoma City Thunder, Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs, the latter of which handed the Nuggets their only loss this past week. Here is Ziller on the Nuggets:

10. Denver Nuggets 6-3 W: MIL, SAC, NO; L: SA Denver Stiffs
I refuse to believe that this version of Al Harrington is the one true version of Al Harrington. This is like The Illusionist, but with a jump-shooting big man instead of Christian Bale.

The Nuggets will face a rather easy schedule this week, playing only three games. Granted, the final game of the week, on Friday Jan. 13 is vs. the Miami Heat, but its preceded by match ups vs. the New Orleans Hornets and New Jersey Nets.

For more on the Nuggets, visit Denver Stiffs. Check out SB Nation NBA for more news and notes around the league.

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NBA Power Rankings, Week 1: ESPN's Marc Stein Moves Denver Nuggets To No. 4

The Denver Nuggets are moving up in the NBA Power Rankings one week into the season.

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