DENVER - The optimist would note that this season’s Denver Nuggets have a much better playoff seed of third than they did with seventh in 2004-05 The pessimist would point out the Nuggets’ record (44-38) is worse than it was last year (49-33). The optimist would laud Denver for winning a division title. The pessimist would scoff and call the division the worst in the NBA. They're a year older, the optimist would insist. But not necessarily, the pessimist would respond, a year wiser. The Denver Nuggets open their first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday, and whether they can, for the first time in three consecutive playoffs, advance to the second round depends on point of view. While there are reasons for optimism, many of the questions that confronted last year's team linger. More in Saturday's Gazette
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