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NBA Power Rankings, Week 2: Denver Nuggets Hold Steady

Last week, the Denver Nuggets were No. 6 in SB Nation's Week 1 NBA Power Rankings for the Western Conference after starting the season with a 2-1 record. Since then the Nuggets went 2-2 and are in second place in the Northwest division at 4-3.  To get there, the Nuggets split a home-and-home series with the Dallas Mavericks and won a game against the Los Angeles Clippers. A loss to the Bulls last night knocked the Nuggets behind the Portland Trail Blazers in the Northwest standings.

However, last night's game didn't factor into the Week 2 SB Nation NBA Power Rankings. The Nuggets are the No. 5 team in this week's rankings for the Western Conference. Mike Prada of numerous SB Nation sites had the write up for this week's rankings:

The Nuggets started Gary Forbes and Shelden Williams this week, gave regular minutes to Melvin Ely and still managed to win in Dallas. All the Carmelo Anthony baggage obscured the fact that this is a really good team that was potentially heading to another Western Conference Finals berth last year before George Karl got sick. Arron Afflalo, in particular, has really stepped up his game, providing more of a scoring punch than he did last year.

Carmelo Anthony baggage, Carmelo Anthony baggage, Carmelo Anthony baggage. That's going to be how it goes every week: "The Nuggets are playing well enough to make it deep into the finals, but the Melo situation. . . ."

The Los Angeles Lakers remain the class of the Western Conference, and the Denver Nuggets will host the Lakers on Thursday night. The New Orleans Hornets, whom the Denver Nuggets lost to earlier in the season, are No. 2 at 6-0. The Boston Celtics and Miami Hear take the top two spots in the Eastern Conference.

A win against the Indiana Pacers tonight and the Lakers on Thursday should put the Nuggets higher up next week.