Despite Denver's stellar play since the acquisiton of Gallo, Felton, Chandler, Mozgov and Koufos, despite having the #1 ranked offense in the league combined with a vastly improved defense since aforementioned trade, and despite having arguably the deepest team in the NBA, the Nuggets are tipped for a quick playoff exit by the so-called experts.
Just take a look at, say, NBA.com's writers unanimously picking the Thunder, or SI.com's article where they categorize playoff teams into four groups
Ranking us alongside the Hawks and Knicks for playoff advancement probability? That's some serious lack of respect for what these Nuggets have achieved, and potential to wreak havoc in these playoffs. If the national media think Denver's play since the Melo trade is a fairytale about to come to an end, they're in for a shock. Nobody had them pegged to go to the WCF and be a terrible inbound pass from going back to Denver 2-0 up on the Lakers in the '09 playoffs, and nobody has them pegged to get past OKC let alone go deep this year. Vindication in the form of playoff advancement could be all the sweeter when they prove such frontrunners wrong.
The only semi-valid argument against these dynamic new-look Nuggets seems to be lack of a "consistent clutch performer". I distinctly remember AAA nailing a huge game winner over Dallas. Additionally, it's a lot harder for the defence in clutch situations when they don't have one guy to lock down on. Our versatility means that shot can come from anywhere, teamwork > "clutch" players who take every last shot for their team re: kobe bryant.
I'm expecting these playoffs to open a lot of people's eyes that chemistry and team-first attitude is an equally legitimate, if not moreso, approach to building a title contender than the "everything revolving around a flawed star player(or 3)" method.