Denver Nuggets Seek to Win Season Series Against Oklahoma City Thunder
The Denver Nuggets will have had two off-days to think about the upcoming two-game road set, first against the Chicago Bulls on Monday, then against Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday.
The Nuggets beat Chicago on February 7 at the Pepsi Center 128-96 on strong efforts from Kenneth Faried, Ty Lawson and Wilson Chandler.
Faried had 21 points and 12 rebounds, Lawson had 16 points and 12 assists and Chandler had, up to that point, a season-high 24 points.
The Bulls are looking to end Nuggets history by snapping a win streak that hasn’t been matched for 30 seasons. The Nuggets are looking to win number 12 in a row, which would be a new franchise record.
The Nuggets are tied with the Miami Heat for best home record in the NBA at 30-3, but are terrible on the road at 15-19. They have been playing better away from the Mile High City recently and I think the Nuggets are deeper and will pull out a victory to set a new franchise record.
The Bulls are a playoff bound team that doesn’t seem to have a home court advantage. Their home record sits at 18-14, which is almost identical to their 18-15 away record. Look for the Nuggets to maybe try and build an early lead and get some bench players and reserves on the court to try and save some energy for the matchup with the Thunder the following night.
Chandler looks to put up a plethora of points once again against Durant and the Thunder on Tuesday night in Oklahoma City. In that game he led the Nuggets with 35 points, tying a career high. He helped the Nuggets’ bench outscore the Thunder’s 71-11.
Lawson had 11 points and seven assists and the two most important points were scored with 0.2 seconds left on the clock to put the Nuggets up two and seal the game.
The Nuggets will look to win the season series against a team that also has a phenomenal home record at 30-4. The Thunder might be the team that ends the Nuggets streak and Russell Westbrook will try and duplicate his performance from his last game in Denver. He led all scorers with 38, adding six assists and five rebounds.
Can the Nuggets win 13 in a row? If they make some free-throws, shoot over 30% from beyond the arc and shoot the ball comparable to the Thunder, I think they can come out on top. It’ll be tough playing on a back-to-back and I would love to see the Nuggets take the crowd out of the game early.
On the bright side, even if the Nuggets can’t come out of Oklahoma City with a win, they have 13 games left in the regular season, eight of which will be at the Pepsi Center. They will also go up against nine teams that will not make the playoffs. They do have to play the San Antonio Spurs twice and play the Utah Jazz in Utah where it is not easy to win.
It is very possible that the Nuggets end the season even hotter than they are now. It is also very possible they finish with the third seed and home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.