NBA Mid-Season Grades: Celtics standout; Warriors, Lakers receive failing marks

Handing out mid-season grades to every team in the NBA.

Boston Celtics v Dallas Mavericks
Boston Celtics v Dallas Mavericks / Tim Heitman/GettyImages
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Denver Nuggets

When a team wins an NBA Championship, it generally buys them a bit of wiggle room when it comes to how they approach the regular season. And that's what we're seeing so far with the Denver Nuggets this season. Even though the Nuggets aren't sitting as the top seed in the Western Conference, they're, interestingly enough, on a better win pace than last season. While it seems as if the Nuggets are coasting this season, that's not entirely the case.

That's just how good the top of the West has been this season. Nevertheless, even if the Nuggets don't finish with the No. 1 seed in the West, I'm not sure there should be much panic with this team. The Nuggets proved last year that they have the talent to outclass any team in the league. Their ultimate test likely comes in the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics.

The Nuggets are exactly where they need to be - hovering near the top of the West. Should they need to, you have to trust this team to be able to turn it on late in the season. And if this team does have another gear, watch out.

Grade: A-