DENVER -- Make sure to savor the Nuggets' two-headed point guard attack. No way this experiment will last.
The Nuggets roar into the playoffs as one of the NBA's blazing teams largely because of the skills of Ty Lawson and Raymond Felton.
The two point guards -- both quick, determined and young -- together average 27.3 points and 13.5 assists.
When the Nuggets shipped Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups to New York, the expectation was a drop in basketball performance in downtown Denver. Even coach George Karl saw increased losses on the horizon.
Instead, the trade delivered immediate rejuvenation. The Nuggets are faster, deeper, taller and, well, better since the departure of their two biggest stars.
Much of the credit should go to Lawson and Felton. The Nuggets looked on their way to offensive anarchy after the addition of so many new faces. Instead, the point guards have overseen an increase in the team's precision.
The West has an aged, depleted look. The Lakers' Kobe Bryant and the Spurs' Tim Duncan are shadows of their former magnificent selves. This edition of the Nuggets is far from mighty, but it could take a lengthy ride in the playoffs. There's no great team to block their path.
This is a fresh and refreshing era for the Nuggets. Anthony was weary of playing in Colorado, and it showed. Billups was, as he neared 35, just plain weary. The Nuggets have won 18 of 24 since the allegedly dynamic duo were shipped to the New York Knicks.
At first glance, the Lawson-Felton duo looks ideal. The two guards admire each other, push each other in practice and deliver the same go-go expertise in directing the Nuggets' offense.
Lawson has blossomed as the No. 1 point guard. He bombarded Minnesota on Saturday night, dropping 10 3-pointers and offering a glimpse of the offensive force he could become. Remember, he's only 23.
On Monday, Lawson laughed as he relaxed in front of his locker and talked about how much he enjoys reigning as the Nuggets' lead guard.
"Just knowing that you've got the team's trust in you," he said. "You're the starting point guard so they got a lot of trust in you and they back you."
A few minutes earlier, Felton tried -- and failed -- to express enthusiasm for his role as backup. Felton, like many NBA players, has spent his life as a starter, and he was starting for the Knicks before the trade. Yes, he sees significant minutes, but it's clear that's not enough.
Even though he takes care to say the right things, the truth can't be hidden.
"It's been cool," Felton said. "We've been winning so there's no complaints."
But what about tomorrow?
"I can't see myself accepting coming off the bench," Felton said in a matter-of-fact voice. "But right now, there's no need to talk about it. There's no need to even bring it up because we're winning right now.
"We'll deal with all that after the season."
I can't offer a full interpretation of Felton's words, but here's a rough translation:
He sees himself playing at another destination for the 2011-2012 season.
And in today's NBA, that means he almost certainly will play for another franchise.