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No Trade, No Problem

- Evan Kruegel

As the trade deadline came and passed Thursday afternoon, Nuggets officials failed to come to a deal that many thought was a necessary move if Denver wants to compete with the Lakers once playoff time comes. The Nuggets lack depth as far as big men off the bench, and its safe to say that was the reason their season ended last year.

Chris Andersen is a talented shot-blocker, but he struggles having to defend powerful men in the post. The Gasol/Bynum tandem that L.A possesses creates incredible front-court issues for most teams in the league, just as it did for the 2009 Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals. The lakers are defending champions, and many claim they are still the team to beat in the NBA. Some continue to stick to these claims, but the truth of the matter is that these Nuggets are simply different. Increased defensive intensity, better shot selection, and a better overall discipline have led the Nuggets to second in the west behind the Lakers. The Nuggets have been poised all season to make a push for the number one spot, but they beat the teams they should have problems with, and get crushed by teams they should be dominating. Lets take the Nuggets records against the two top teams in the NBA, the Cavaliers and the Lakers. The nuggets have played both teams twice, and low and behold they have beat both teams twice. The two games against the Cavs have been close, very close, with the Nuggets winning by two in each contest. The games against the Lakers, however, have been far from close, with the Nuggets winning by 26, and 13 points, respectively.

Losses to Washington, Philadelphia, Sacramento, and Minnesota are however unacceptable if you hope to be a championship caliber team. At the moment it’s tough to say who the top team is in the West, and it will be tough to answer that question until these two teams match up in the playoffs. If the Nuggets can quit losing to teams with below .500 records, then they may just be able to overtake the number one spot in the West before season’s end. The Lakers currently have the better record, but in a head to head series right now, I give the edge to Denver

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