Spring is nearly here and the NBA postseason is right around the corner. The Denver Nuggets have eight games left in the regular season and every game will be a hard-fought battle that will reveal how well the team is prepared for the playoffs.
Traveling to play the Utah Jazz is never an easy task and with the Jazz scrapping to make the postseason, they will be even harder to put away in their own building. The Nuggets have beat the Jazz twice at the Pepsi Center this season, but lost the lone away game. The game in Utah was the only close game, with the Jazz ultimately winning by two.
Ty Lawson will most likely not be playing, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the team will bow down so easily. Andre Miller and Evan Fournier will take over the minutes for Lawson and hopefully they can push the Nuggets out to a big lead.
The closer the game is the better the chances are for the Jazz to come out on top. Without Lawson on the floor the Nuggets surely don’t want the game to come down to a buzzer-beating shot. The game they lost earlier this season was close and the Jazz escaped with the win.
With speculation that Andre Iguodala will become a free agent at the end of the season, don’t look for that to hinder his play. He will show his defensive prowess and hopefully create a lot of turnovers.
The Jazz have made 41.4 percent of their three-point shots during their winning streak and the Nuggets have a weakness shooting and defending beyond the arc. The Nuggets have to create turnovers and push the ball up court in order to have a shot at winning. Miller will have to emulate Lawson in order to be able get the easy fast-break points.
Al Jefferson and Mo Williams have been playing hot and the Jazz will try and make the Nuggets another stepping stone in their winning streak and playoff hunt. The Jazz lead the all-time series vs. Denver at 112 wins to 81.
The Nuggets have had four days off to prepare for the Jazz and it’ll be interesting to see how they come out in the first five minutes. If they’re slow and fail to set the pace at both ends of the court, look for the Jazz to get out to an early lead. The best thing Denver can do is play its game and take the crowd out of it early.