Somewhere in our collective dreams, there is a time when handing out this award will require some beer-fueled debate. Not this year. While the Rox will surely compete for a playoff spot, the Nuggets are the leading contender to overthrow the Lakers in the West, and they've hinted at an ability to do so by beating L.A. twice already this season. They have all the pieces: The star (Carmelo), the gritty veteran leader (Chauncey), the crazy person (J.R.), the other crazy person (Kenyon), and the reformed-crazy-person-turned-role-player (Birdman). If their coach can get healthy and not screw things up, they're locks for the conference finals — and could go even further.