Since the beginning of 2013, the Denver Nuggets are 33-9, a record only bested by the Miami Heat and their historic win streak. Few teams have gotten as hot as this squad since the flip of the calendar.
In the past 10 days, the Utah Jazz have been one of those teams.
Still looking to secure the final postseason spot in the Western Conference, the Jazz go for their sixth consecutive victory when the Nuggets visit Wednesday night.
In a league where stars dictate success and the league's best teams are powered by great players, Denver and Utah succeed despite breaking from that mold. Neither team boasts a true star player, instead opting to overwhelm teams with depth and energy.
No team in the NBA has perfected this strategy like the Nuggets, a team powered by the likes of Ty Lawson, Danilo Gallinari, Andre Iguodala, Kenneth Faried and a host of other good, effective players filling defined roles.
That depth has always served the team well, and it will be especially important in the coming weeks as Lawson deals with plantar fasciitis.
With Lawson sidelined, this could be an opportunity for Utah to win a key game against an otherwise exceptionally difficult team. The Nuggets will still have longtime veteran Andre Miller running the offense -- one of the benefits of depth is the ability to withstand injuries -- but being without arguably their best player is an obvious blow.
And while people certainly have kind things to say about Denver's vaunted offense, Utah has been balling on that end of the floor of late, as well. By cutting down on turnovers, the Jazz have been able to take their offensive efficiency up a notch, as SLC Dunk, SB Nation's Jazz blog, points out.
As the Jazz fight down the stretch for the No. 8 seed, avoiding a Nuggets team at full strength is a dash of good luck with every game holding such significance. Utah and the Lakers currently have identical 39-36 records, though the Jazz hold the tiebreaker, having won the season series.
Wednesday's game begins at 9 p.m. ET.