After rising to No. 12 on the list last week, three road losses to the Utah Jazz, Golden State Warriors, and even the Los Angeles Lakers have dropped the Nuggets down to No. 16 in Rosenthal's ranking. Punctuating those losses is that in both games against Utah and Golden State, the Nuggets had the ball last with a chance to tie or win and didn't get a shot up in either instance.
Rosenthal writes, "There's reason to believe the Nuggets will improve (a punishing schedule so far, for one)." Relief from that schedule may not come soon, as after a Monday night home game, Denver hits the road for five straight.
But if their pattern continues, a winning streak is on the way. The Nuggets' 8-9 record is comprised entirely of a three-game losing streak being followed by a four-game winning streak; lather, rinse, repeat.
Here is how Rosenthal ranks the Northwest Division:
3 - Oklahoma City Thunder
16 - Denver Nuggets
17 - Utah Jazz
18 - Minnesota Timberwolves
22 - Portland Trail Blazers