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Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Updated: September 6, 5:43 PM ET
No. 39: Denver Nuggets

By Brian Kamenetzky
ESPN The Magazine

Last year's rank: 42
Title track: 93
Ownership: 50
Coaching: 28
Players: 31
Fan relations: 52
Affordability: 41
Stadium experience: 48
Bang for the buck: 46

Denver's rankings are solid but not spectacular, much like the team itself. The Denver Nuggets have made the playoffs in nine consecutive seasons, running up a .590 winning percentage over that stretch -- fifth best in the league. But in eight of those nine postseason runs, the Nuggets failed to advance past the first round. That includes last year's loss to the Lakers in seven games. That's standard operating procedure for a franchise still searching for its first trip to the Finals, one ABA run notwithstanding. Still, despite frustrating exits and some serious roster turnover -- only Ty Lawson remains from Carmelo Anthony's last full season in Denver -- fans still have plenty of affection for George Karl and his gang of nonstars (now boosted by the addition of Olympic gold medalist Andre Iguodala). Of course, it doesn't hurt that management provides the NBA's cheapest beer ($4.75 for 16 ounces). Nothing takes the edge off springtime failure like a tall cold one.