If they were playing in the softer Eastern Conference, the Denver Nuggets -- led by Carmelo Anthony, Kenyon Martin and Marcus Camby -- might really be flying high. As it is, though, they aren't doing too bad (first in the NBA West's Northwest Division), and much of the credit goes to no-nonsense coach George Karl, who hasn't posted a losing NBA season in fourteen years and who has a knack for turning struggling franchises around. After Karl took over from Jeff Bzdelik at mid-season last year, the revived Nuggets went on a 32-8 tear, winning 19 of 20 at the Pepsi Center before falling to the eventual world-champion San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs. This year? The team still lacks a reliable outside shooter, but if Karl has anything to say about it, the Nuggets won't lack for toughness as the season winds down.