If some things can be assumed for free agents, could the Nuggets contend in the west? I think they could.
PGs Ty Lawson and Andre Miller are both tremendous, and play two totally different styles.The Nuggets can switch from fast paced to half court with one substitution.
SG Arron Afflalo is a top 3 SG in the league on the defensive side of the ball. Also, he shoots the lights out from 3. His back up, rookie Jordan Hamilton can play solid D and score points for Denver off the bench.
SF Galo is still extremely young and every season he improves. There is no reason he should score 16 or 17 points per game this year. Possibly 19 or 20. Wilson Chandler is a JV Melo on offense (which is a compliment for 99% of NBA players) a great athlete and a tremendous defender as well.
PF and C positions are up in the air, Kenneth Faried will play solid minutes and if he gets enough time, very well could lead Denver in rebounding. He also is going to be a great defender. If Kenyon is resigned, he can play a great mentor role to Faried, well as an on the court mentor. Nene is soft, but I think Denver needs him. Mozgov will no doubtingly improve. Birdman always give great minutes and Harrington can go off for 30 points at any given night.
There isn't a line up that Denver can't have. They can have a small and fast line up, and big and fast line up, and small hard nosed line up, a big hard nosed line up, push tempo, or half court offense.
Imagine seeing this line up for Denver at some point in a game, PG- Lawson SG-Chandler SF-Galo PF Birdman C Mozgov. Who could match up with that? Then you could flip the script with PG-Miller SG- Afflalo SF-Chandler PF K-Mart C- Nene.
The Nuggets have endless line ups they could throw at you. They are too deep and too talented not to be a top 4 or 5 seed in the west. Remember, in games 1,3, and 5, the Nuggets lost by a total of 10 points, and missed a total of 25 free throws.