NBA Western Power Rankings Week 3: Warriors storm ahead

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Nov 11, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari (8) is interviewed after the game gainst the Milwaukee Bucks at Pepsi Center. The Nuggets won 103-102. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

10th: Denver Nuggets (26 points)

By Tom West

Record: 5-5

Record last week: 3-1

The Nuggets are still unproven. They’re a young team with athleticism and talent, but their playoff chances are still limited. Even more so because teams like the Grizzlies and Rockets should make a move further up the Conference after poor starts. That being said, as our point margins indicate with the next few positions in our ranking, the Nuggets are closely pursuing those just ahead of them.

They aren’t the most talented team in the NBA, they have a lot of hope riding on rookie starting point guard Emmanuel Mudiay, and they’re also playing without their second year defensive center Jusuf Nurkic. However, after a strong performance in week 3 and taking down the likes of the Blazers, Milwaukee Bucks and Rockets, the Nuggets haven’t look too bad.

The real signs of of encouragement come from Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried and Mudiay. Gallinari looks great with 19.1 points per game (up from 12.4 last season), Faried is at 13 points with career-highs in rebounds (9.5) and player efficiency rating (22), while Mudiay is cutting down on turnovers, setting up teammates well and really proving himself defensively. Besides the other few solid pieces they have in play, they at least have a good trio to focus on.

Yes, there isn’t much hope that they’ll make the playoffs, but Gallinari’s strong return and the upcoming Mudiay is at least something for fans to get excited about.

Next: Minnesota Timberwolves