After winning 15 straight games the Denver Nuggets come back home after losing their last two on the road. They will have the chance to extend their home winning streak to 18 against the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night.
With nine games to go in the regular season it’s still a close battle for the third seed in the West. The Nuggets have six games at the Pepsi Center and only three away, but these three road games will be tough.
The Utah Jazz and Dallas Mavericks are both battling for the last playoff spot and won’t go down in their own buildings easy. The Milwaukee Bucks surely won’t make it past the first round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs but will still be a tough test.
The Nuggets haven’t lost at home since January 18 to the Washington Wizards, and they now have their playoff future in their own hands. If they continue their winning streak at home that will surely give them a great chance of finishing in the third spot at season’s end. This means home-court advantage in at least the first round of the postseason, a necessity for a successful run.
Ty Lawson will have a chance for redemption on Wednesday, April 10 when the San Antonio Spurs come into the Pepsi Center. The Nuggets narrowly lost to the Spurs in San Antonio when Andre Miller missed a buzzer-beating shot to win the game. Lawson was on the bench for the last shot nursing an ankle injury, he did start the game though so that’s promising looking forward. He has proven he should be the one (when healthy) to take the last shot.
JaVale McGee shined last game for Denver with the starters struggling to score. Kenneth Faried, Andre Iguodala, Kosta Koufos and Danilo Gallinari all need to come out and set the intensity at least in the remaining home games. It’s tough to continually ask the subs to come off the bench and be the points leader. Yes, Wilson Chandler, McGee and Corey Brewer can all do so, but shouldn’t be expected to do so consistently.
Joe Johnson will be a game-time decision for the Nets Friday night, but they still have Deron Williams, Reggie Evans and Brook Lopez to score points.
There’s no way the Nuggets lose this game and their third in a row. They go on to keep the streak alive at home and then have a whole four days off before traveling to play the Jazz in Utah. It starts the beginning of three tough games in four nights, against the Jazz, Mavericks and Houston Rockets.
None of the games remaining on the schedule are ‘gimmes,’ even if it’s a home game. The Nuggets need to keep playing well in order to finish in third and show the NBA you can have a good, successful basketball team without an All Star.