NBA Power Rankings: Buying the Mavs in the West; Clippers finally turning corner?

Are the Dallas Mavericks for real and have the LA Clippers finally turned the corner?

Los Angeles Lakers v Dallas Mavericks
Los Angeles Lakers v Dallas Mavericks / Tim Heitman/GettyImages
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4. Denver Nuggets

No one seems to be talking about the defending champion Denver Nuggets more than a quarter of the way through the regular season but this is still very much a team that is going to factor in who wins the title this season. Especially considering how they're aren't many clear-cut contenders in the Western Conference, the Nuggets can afford to coast during the regular season. Still, their coasting is a lot better than most team's full throttle.

But there are some encouraging signs from the Nuggets. This is a team that managed to survive a rough stretch of the season by Nikola Jokic in which he shot 18-58 over the stretch of two games. The Nuggets managed to manuever beyond that and have once again hit their stride over the last week.

There are going to be rough stretches all throughout the season like that for the Nuggets. But as long as they can remain healthy, this is a team that's going to be considered the favorite to come out of the Western Conference once the playoffs begin.