Originally posted on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 4/16/12

The Denver Nuggets exploded out of the gate to a 14-5 record. They looked like they were going to be the surprise team this year. Since then though, they have come back to earth a little bit and are sitting at 33-27, the seventh seed in the Western Conference and fighting for one of the last playoff spots. That is still very impressive considering how stacked the West is and how the Nuggets have been battling some tough injuries all year.

A big part of the Nuggets' success this year is thanks to their veteran coach George Karl. Karl has dealt with a lot over the years, both on the court and off, and he says this season has definitely been no exception.

"It's been a hard year. I would phrase it close to ugly sometimes," Karl told The Denver Post. "There are disappointments, there are failures, but there have also been some special games and special moments too. It's a balancing act. I always talk about good-bad players — I think I've been a good-bad coach a little bit this year.

"I stay away from the excuses and the rationalizations, but I get disappointed when I don't think I pushed the right buttons. As a coach, you're always looking for that sunrise, where everything is going to be better. This year, it doesn't seem like the sun has come up — we've been in Seattle, it's been cloudy.”

The Denver Post did an outstanding piece on what life is like for George Karl, what kind of coach he is and the experiences of people around him. It's definitely worth a read. The guy clearly has the love and admiration of so many people.

The last couple weeks of the season may cause Karl to lose sleep though.

The Nuggets have been inconsistent all season and if they want to clinch a spot in the playoffs they are going to have to get some wins against some good teams. They have six games remaining, five of those against teams with winning records, including the L.A. Clippers and the Oklahoma City Thunder. They also play away against the Houston Rockets and the Phoenix Suns who are only one and two games behind the Nuggets respectively.

It is not impossible to see George Karl's team drop out of the playoffs and put a disappointing end on a season that has been full of surprises.

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This article first appeared on Crossover Chronicles and was syndicated with permission.

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