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NBA Power Rankings, Week 9: Nuggets Fall With Carmelo Anthony Out

Following last night's blowout victory over the Portland Trail Blazers, the Denver Nuggets won their first game since Carmelo Anthony left the team to deal with his sister's death. But we'll need to wait until next week to see how much impact that victory will have on the power rankings.

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But in the latest SB Nation NBA Power Rankings, the Nuggets dropped one spot to No. 6 in the Western Conference this week. As Tom Bellinger points out in his write-up, Carmelo Anthony is an integral part of this team--just look at their losses to the San Antonio Spurs, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Philadelphia 76ers.

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Not surprisingly, the team that took the No. 5 spot was the Thunder, who defeated the Nuggets on Christmas night. As usual, this is more of the same with the rankings. The top four teams (Spurs, Mavericks, Lakers and Jazz) remain in their own tier, while the Nuggets, the Thunder and the Hornets form a second tier.

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The Nuggets face the Minnesota Timberwolves to close out the year and then the Sacramento Kings on Jan. 1.

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