NBA power rankings 2012: Denver Nuggets sixth in preseason

Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE

SB Nation's Seth Rosenthal has the Denver Nuggets highly regarded in his first power rankings of the 2012-13 season.

The Denver Nuggets are sixth in the SB Nation preseason NBA Power Rankings compiled by Seth Rosenthal. A year after the team went 38-28 and lost in the first round of the playoffs, that might be a tad-bit high. But there's no denying the Nuggets' overall talent.

The Heat, Lakers, Thunder, Celtics and Spurs, in that order, are ahead of the Nuggets in the rankings, per Rosenthal:

Denver's stacked. It may actually be too deep for its own good, if that's a thing. If Andre Iguodala can help push last year's mediocre defense into something more efficient, the Nuggets could be one of the league's very best teams.

Iguodala was acquired this offseason, and though he's not a No. 1 option per se, he adds a defensive dimension to Denver's team and a veteran presence in the locker room. The injection of the swingman and the development of point guard Ty Lawson could cause the Nuggets to make another leap toward the top of a stiff Western Conference.

Youth is also on Denver's side, for better or for worse. Twenty-year-old Frenchman Evan Fournier got a lot of run in the preseason, as did second-year players Jordan Hamilton and Kenneth Faried. Their playing time will be challenged by older players like Corey Brewer, Kosta Koufos and JaVale McGee, who still have some room to grow themselves.

Perhaps George Karl's biggest challenge will be deciding how to divvy out the minutes.

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