I’m laying down the law. I don’t want to hear one person mention the names George Karl or Masai Ujiri ever again. It’s over. It’s done. We’ve moved on.

This is a new era of Nuggets basketball, and you know what? It’s pretty freaking fun.

Let’s stop looking backwards, whining about the firing of a head coach that was just tossed out of Sacramento like loose change, and let’s start looking towards the future, a future where the Nuggets have collected one of the best young cores in all the NBA.

Nobody knows what Nikola Jokic, Emmanuel Mudiay, Jusuf Nurkic and Jamal Murray will become. Nobody knows if Gary Harris or Will Barton will build off their breakout seasons. Nobody knows if Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler can remain healthy for a full 82 games.

But if any one of those players reaches and sustains their fullest potential, they’re capable of becoming an All-Star player; the first four could have All-NBA upside.

That’s the kind of talent the Nuggets are dealing with, and that’s why you’re going to want to watch in 2016.

But here’s the important question: What are reasonable expectations?

For as much upside as this young roster has, they’re still just that — young — and they’re playing in a deep Western Conference. Vegas opened with Denver’s over/under at 34.5 back in September before upping it to 36.5 in October. Either way, they’re not expected to be much better than their 33-win season from last year.

That doesn’t exactly mesh with the up-and-coming franchise narrative. You’d think Denver would be more along the lines of the Timberwolves (41.5), who won 29 games last season, four fewer than the Denver Nuggets. So what gives?

Well, for one, the Nuggets don’t have Karl-Anthony Towns. Two, they don’t have Tom Thibodeau. Three, they’re the Denver Nuggets; not many people watched them last year, including their own fans. 

So what’s the right number for Denver?

While I’d love to say the Nuggets can push for 47 wins and the fifth seed, I think it’s prudent to look at recent league history and see how other “up-and-coming” teams have finished in year two (in other words, how did they finish following their minor-breakout season):

Utah Jazz: 2014-15 (38-44); 2015-16 (40-42)

Orlando Magic: 2014-15 (25-57); 2015-16 (35-47)

New Orleans Pelicans: 2013-14 (34-48); 2014-15 (45-37)

Milwaukee Bucks: 2013-14 (15-67); 2014-15 (41-41)

Oklahoma City Thunder: 2008-09 (23-59); 2009-10 (50-32)

All five of those teams quickly found themselves with a young core of high-upside players. Following an inconsistent first season where they finished with an average record of 27 wins, they went on to win an average of 42 games the next season — both the Pelicans and Bucks took a step back the following year, mostly due to injuries.

And I think that’s a solid expectation for the Nuggets: .500 basketball.

Is it the type of season that’s going to get the Pepsi Center bumping night in and night out again? No, probably not, but it’s a start, and we should expect the franchise to take an even larger step forward the season after.

If I were a betting man, I’d be pounding the over all the way up to 40.5 games. After that, I’d strongly consider it, but I’d be a little more nervous than I’d like.

If everything goes right, I truly believe the Nuggets can inch towards 50 wins — if everything goes right. That starts with Chandler and Gallo having healthy, career years, and it ends with Jokic and Mudiay developing into true franchise cornerstones. Likely, it also includes an in-season trade to bring another piece into the equation — Paul Millsap?

In all the possible scenarios, though — and there are a lot of them — I don’t see any way the Nuggets finish with fewer than 37 wins. So grab yourself a plane ticket, fly yourself to Vegas and bet the mortgage on the over. You’ll thank me later.