13. Denver Nuggets
The Good: After missing the playoffs for the first time in 11 years, a lot of key cogs return to start the season healthy. That includes high-scoring Danilo Gallinari, who missed all of last season, the human blooper reel JaVale McGee, and super-sub guard Nate Robinson. Jumping-jack forward Kenneth Faried
’s confidence is sky-high after a star turn at the FIBA World Championships with Team USA. Arron Afflalo returns to the Rocky Mountains to boost the offense even higher, his 3-point shooting in Orlando the most improved of any player last season. Everything is set up really nicely for second-year coach Brian Shaw, and for speedy borderline-star guard Ty Lawson.
The Bad: It’s all about health, chemistry, and defense. The Nuggets gave up a ton of points last season, and they will rely heavily on rookies Gary Harris and Jusuf Nurkic, plus McGee and center Timofey Mozgov, to slow their opponent’s roll.