1. The simple devastation of the Jamal Murray-Nikola Jokic two-man game
The Nuggets have obliterated everything in their path since acquiring Aaron Gordon, whose seamless fit I discussed on the Lowe Post podcast this week. The Nuggets are a legit contender. They could also lose in the first round -- almost anyone in the West could -- but they have graduated from "puncher's chance" to "actual chance."
Gordon has changed their team, but the main reason for Denver's ascent is their two best players reaching new levels -- both individually, and in amplifying each other.