DENVER (The Sports Xchange) – Who would have thought a 22-32 team at the All-Star break would have realistic playoff hopes in the NBA’s Western Conference, but such is the case this season.

An inspirational first half that included a winning record (10-9) since Jan. 6 contributed to that.

Emmanuel Mudiay #0 of the Denver Nuggets handles the ball during the game against the Toronto Raptors on December 3, 2015 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)

Emmanuel Mudiay #0 of the Denver Nuggets handles the ball during the game against the Toronto Raptors on December 3, 2015 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)

Even so, the improvement won’t keep the Nuggets’ phones from ringing as often as those of any other team leading into the trade deadline. The suitors for forwards Danilo Gallinari and Kenneth Faried and guard Jameer Nelson are numerous.

The Nuggets, buoyed by the prospects of seeing Sacramento twice within five days to start the second half, are unlikely to cash in, but it is nice to have options for a change.

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