In the always-tough Western Conference, a .500 record typically isn't enough to assure a spot in the 8-team playoff field. Eight games into the season, .500 is where the Denver Nuggets find themselves, though their 4-4 record is currently good enough for 7th place in the conference.
The 4-4 mark is tied with the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets for 7th best in the conference, though of course it's much too early to project that over a full season. Consider, especially, the Los Angeles Lakers, who at 3-5 are only a game back of that mark after starting the season worse than any other team in the league.
The 7-1 San Antonio Spurs and 6-1 Memphis Grizzlies currently top the rest of the conference, with the Los Angeles Clipper and Oklahoma City Thunder right behind.
In the Northwest Division, Denver is currently 1 1/2 games behind the Thunder (6-3) and half a game behind the second-place Minnesota Timberwolves (5-3), which is certainly a team Denver is expected to top in the standings when the end of the season comes.
Here's a look at the current Western Conference standings:
|San Antonio Spurs||8||7-1||.875|
|Los Angeles Clippers||8||6-2||.750|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||9||6-3||.667|
|Golden State Warriors||8||4-4||.500|
|New Orleans Hornets||6||3-3||.500|
|Portland Trail Blazers||8||3-5||.375|
|Los Angeles Lakers||8||3-5||.375|