President Barack Obama is expected to give a positive and optimistic state of the union speech on Tuesday night. But while things may be looking up for our country, things are as confusing as ever in Nuggets Nation.

Right around when President Obama delivered his state of the union speech last year, the Nuggets were riding an eight-game winning streak and found themselves at 31-14, on pace for a franchise-best 56 wins while chasing down the first-seeded Los Angeles Lakers.

What a difference a year makes. 

Whether you blame Carmelo Anthony‘s refusal to stay in Denver and (alleged) refusal to give the Nuggets multiple trading options, the Nuggets’ front office’s insistence on getting too much in return for their lone superstar, Stan Kroenke’s stubbornness, the east coast media, Mikhail Prokhorov’s posturing or the tooth fairy, the bottom line is that the Nuggets of 2010-11 have lost the spirit of their 2009-10 (before George Karl was stricken with cancer) and 2008-09 predecessors and now find themselves on pace for just 47 wins. (The Nuggets playing six-straight losers beginning with Sunday’s win against the Pacers should certainly help, however.)

And with a shaky foundation comes uncomfortable questions, like those that soon have to be answered regarding Nene, Chauncey Billups, Kenyon Martin, J.R. Smith and Arron Afflalo.

Post-Ups: Nene impatient with Nuggets' focus on Melo – NBA – Basketball
Melo isn't the only coveted player in Denver known by a single name. But the longer it takes the Nuggets to resolve Melo's drama, the less likely it appears their second best player, Nene, will re-sign. 

Chauncey Billups Finds Out Nuggets Primed to Rebuild, Er, Reinvent — NBA FanHouse
Chris Tomasson talks to Billups who's not enamored with the idea of a rebuild in Denver.

Karl prefers the focus be on "positive stuff" – The Denver Post
The Nuggets head coach claims to be focusing on all things positive, and yet he likened Saturday's practice to a dental appointment: "There was a little bit of pulling teeth."

Hochman: Calculating Proky no fool – The Denver Post
Benjamin Hochman notes that Prokhorov's "cancellation" of the Melo trade might just be a negotiating tactic…meaning Melo could very well be a Net, after all.

Waiting might be best for Melo — but who’s going to tell him? – NBA – Basketball
His representation and the teams involved — now minus the Nets — want Carmelo Anthony to be traded before the new collective bargaining agreement is reached. But Ken Berger runs the numbers and says one party might not be better off that way: Melo.

Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant maintains that Denver Nuggets fans are ‘idiots’ for booing Carmelo Anthony – ESPN Los Angeles
Kobe Bryant clarified his remarks that Denver Nuggets fans are stupid for booing Carmelo Anthony over his trade stance.

Jason Kidd: Players need to see new arena in Brooklyn – NBA –
Kidd says that until the new arena is completely built in Brooklyn, NBA players will only see the Nets as a New Jersey team.

From the Archives…

The state of our union is strong… (Nuggets/Rockets recap) – Denver Stiffs
The Nuggets defeated the Rockets on January 27th, 2010 for their eighth consecutive win and 11th victory in 13 games. Sadly, that team was basically the same team that we have now. But the Melodrama hasn’t been a distraction, right?