When you think of an average or mediocre team, what comes to mind? A team that is hovering around .500? A team that you know has no shot at winning a championship, but could flirt with a postseason appearance?

To me it varies by situation. For example a .500 hitter in baseball would set the world on fire while a .500 record in the NFL is looked at as a failure of a season. Shoot 50% in a basketball game and you will be praised for your scoring ability. Save 50% of shots you face on the ice and you wont live to see the next shot.

So why is it so important for the Nuggets to get to that .500 mark? What would a .500 record even mean for the Denver Nuggets?

As a person that not only covers the team, talks about them daily on the radio and at the end of the day, is a fan of the Nuggets as an organization, it would ensure me that the culture of the team has turned around.

It would also give the team and this young core a small taste of success in today’s NBA. I understand that a first round matchup in the playoffs means you likely draw the all-powerful Golden State Warriors, but at least they’ll be invited to the dance. Once the team gets a taste, it should be something they want to chase year in and year out.

Another thing some (even marginal) success would bring to this Nuggets team is fan interest. Perhaps some winning would bring fans back to Pepsi Center. As I wrote when Kenneth Faried commented on the lack of fan support at home, I understand the frustration on both sides.

Winning will also spark some interest in potential free agents For a long time, Denver has been labeled a flyover city when it comes to NBA superstars, and, for the most part we are still looked at as such. Winning, coupled with a player that makes everyone around him better like Nikola Jokic, will change that.

Will Nikola Jokic be Denver’s next big star? It’s looking more and more likely. Can he attract another big star to play alongside him? That is yet to be determined.

The only way to find that out is to actually win games, and present that opportunity to a free agent when that time comes. So think big picture, take a step back and look at what this team can build upon if they make a run this season.

You have to crawl before you walk and walk before you run. Right now, the Nuggets are beginning to crawl into the playoff picture. Trust the process.