How the mighty have fallen. Only weeks removed from every pro basketball analyst anointing the Lakeshow as the undisputed conference champ, there’s a new top dog in town. And these dawgs are everything the Lakers are not: a pack of literal and figurative run-and-gun ballers starving for a title. After blowing through New Orleans and Dallas in five games apiece, I have no qualms picking the Nuggets in six.

Denver is led by a pack of killer B’s. No, it’s not Bagwell and Biggio of the Astros, though their city’s NBA franchise just gave the purple and gold a hell of a series.

My killer B’s begin with Chauncey Billups, whose leadership at the point has provided the glue for this once-rambunctious gang of hooligans. Next up, there’s the energetic bench play of the Nuggets led by Chris “The Birdman” Andersen. If anyone still doubts his defensive moxie, I suggest you visit Youtube and search “Birdman Block Party.” The tatted, mohawked and now drug-free (yeah, right) forward could be the scariest wankster in NBA history. The final “B” belongs to the bountiful number of blunts that Carmelo has been burning down to train his lungs for this upcoming series.

While Sasha Vujacic hits the tanning booth and Andrew Bynum searches the Inland Empire for playing time in between losses, a deep gang of thug Nugs will be intimidating Kobe out of high-scoring games with threats of thugadocious beatdowns. Enjoy the show, Los Angeles.