The Denver Nuggets had four days off to think and prepare for big games against the Utah Jazz and Dallas Mavericks. They had time to adjust to playing without Ty Lawson, and they had time to focus on completing the season goal of home-court advantage in the NBA playoffs.
Seven Nuggets scored in the double digits against the Jazz in Salt Lake City as Denver won the game easily, sending many fans home before the last horn sounded. It’s absolutely thrilling to see a division rival go down hard on their own court and it shows the team is ready for the tough games on the road in the upcoming postseason.
The Nuggets also beat the Mavericks in a close game in which Danilo Gallinari went out with a knee injury. If Gallinari is out for an extended amount of time, there goes their second-leading scorer. The Nuggets can only hope it’s not serious because the team definitely needs him starting.
Beating the Mavericks gave the Nuggets their 19th straight victory at the Pepsi Center and showed they can win the close games without the two top scorers on the floor. Andre Iguodala and Andre Miller stepped up and helped squeak out a victory.
These two games on a back-to-back were played with a playoff intensity and the Nuggets keep showing they are ready to soar all the way to the Western Conference finals. With six games left it looks as though the team will not relinquish the third seed.
The Nuggets still have a home game remaining against the San Antonio Spurs which will once again be a test for the team. They have shown they can beat good teams like the Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder, which bodes well considering they may eventually match up with them in the hunt for a championship.
Subs and reserves keep contributing to the scoring and Coach George Karl keeps getting it done with who he has. However, only so much can be done without Lawson and Gallinari in the starting rotation. If they are not 100 percent for the playoffs, getting out of the first round may once again become a wish and not a guarantee.