Merger Mania

The Nugs strive to prove that their Melo-Kmart blend is the ticket to glory.

Bzdelik's $1.5 million job may be in jeopardy, all right. But if Denver doesn't improve on last year's encouraging 43-39 season and earn another trip to the playoffs, Vandeweghe may turn out to be the real fall guy -- despite the fact that a pre-season survey of NBA general managers found the Nuggets "the most fun team to watch."

Meanwhile, they must contend in the new Northwest Division with powerhouse Minnesota, 7-3 Utah and surprising young Seattle, which tops the charts at 9-2.

Back at Altitude -- yes, thanks to an eleventh-hour deal between Kroenke and Comcast, you can now watch the games on cable TV, with good-guy Bill Hanzlik, a reminder of some sorry Nuggets teams past, doing the commentary -- it looks like the Nuggets' season will make or break in the front court, unless Jason Kidd drops in from heaven or Boykins has a sudden growth spurt. The injuries are healing, the chemistry experiment is going better, and for the moment, Buzz has his boys in renewal mode. Bottom line: The Nuggets are a 5-5 team with a terrible road history and a swing through Washington, Toronto, New York, Philly, Boston, Miami and Orlando in the offing. If the Melo-Marts can get through that nightmare with their heads attached and their hearts still beating, go ahead and print up the playoff tickets.

Kenyon Martin and Carmelo Anthony are the Nuggets' 
Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images
Kenyon Martin and Carmelo Anthony are the Nuggets' foundation.

Believe it: The shape of a season can be determined before Santa even scolds the elves.

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