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Meet your 7th-seeded Denver Nuggets?...

As detailed here last week, I predicted that the Nuggets would win 51 games and end up tied with the Golden State Warriors for the 8th playoff seed. I must admit I've only been half paying attention to the demise of the Dallas Mavericks since trading for the poor man's Fat Lever, Jason Kidd. Because as bad as they've been with Kidd, I never once considered that the Western Conference powerhouse team to miss the playoffs whose city name begins in "D" would be Dallas, and not Denver.

While Coach Karl and the Nuggets pulled off a gutty matinee victory against the Toronto Raptors (at least it seemed gutty - I was trying to watch the game in a post-Vegas recovery state and thus wasn't fully lucid), the Mavericks lost their best player and current MVP, Dirk Nowitzki, for the next two weeks during a loss to the San Antonio Spurs. In looking at their remaining schedule, my guesswork puts the Mavericks at 50-32 at season's end. Therefore, if anyone out there actually thought the Nuggets still had an excuse or two left to justify not making the playoffs, they officially have NO excuses now.

The Nuggets coaches and players must have followed through on their Lent commitments, because the loss of Nowitzki is a gift sent from the heavens (albeit an undeserved one).