6. Denver Nuggets

2010-11 Record: 50-32 (Lost in Western Conference First Round to Oklahoma City, 4-1)
Key Returning Players: Nene Hilario, Ty Lawson, Arron Afflalo, Danilo Gallinari
Key Additions: Kenneth Faried (R), Rudy Fernandez, Andre Miller
Key Losses: Raymond Felton, J.R. Smith (China), Wilson Chandler (China), Kenyon Martin (China)
This Week: @ Dallas, Monday (12/26); vs. Utah, Wednesday (12/28); @ Portland, Thursday (12/29); @ Los Angeles, Saturday (12/31)

The Nuggets are an interesting case study. Last year, they traded their best player, Carmelo Anthony, to the Knicks. This offseason they lost half of their team to China and no-opt-out contracts. Fortunately they were able to retain uni-name center Nene, but at quite the price. Still, George Karl always manages to get the most out of his squads, rookie Kenneth Faried is an athletic marvel, and Kenyon Martin probably wasn't coming back anyway. And Arron Afflalo should prove much more reliable than the mercurial J.R. Smith. —Russ Bengtson

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