The Denver Nuggets have secured home-court advantage in the first round of the NBA playoffs, now in the last day of the regular season they have a crucial game that will determine seeding. A win against the Phoenix Suns and they are guaranteed the third spot. If they lose and the Los Angeles Clippers win, they finish fourth and face off against the Memphis Grizzlies in a seven game series.
The Nuggets are banged up a little, though. Danilo Gallinari is out until next season, Kenneth Faried is day-to-day with a sprained ankle, Ty Lawson is recovering from an injury and Wilson Chandler still shows signs that his shoulder isn’t 100 percent just yet. With all this, the team keeps winning games and has the chance to win their 23rd game straight at home against the Suns.
Coach George Karl has built a deep team with reserve players that contribute consistently when called upon. Whether or not Karl decides to play Lawson at all or for a limited amount of time is yet to be seen, but even if he doesn’t play, the team can still beat the Suns at home and take an NBA best 38-3 home record into the playoffs.
The question that is yet to be determined is, who the Nuggets will match-up against in the postseason? If they take the third seed, they will play either the Golden State Warriors or the Houston Rockets. With home-court advantage, they will ultimately take down either of these teams. If they are the third seed, they will match up against the San Antonio Spurs in the second round.
If Denver ends up in the fourth seed, they can definitely beat the Grizzlies in a series and then it’s on to face the Oklahoma City Thunder in the second round. Do the Nuggets want to play the Spurs or the Thunder in the second round? They won the series against the Thunder and split with the Spurs so it doesn’t really matter. They will most likely have to get through them both in order to earn a spot in the finals.
Ultimately, the Nuggets will go out to win no matter who they have or who they play against. The minutes of Evan Fournier and Anthony Randolph continue to rise and they will need to come up big against the Suns in order for the team to lock up the third seed.
The road to the NBA finals has yet to be determined for the Nuggets, but the team battles adversity and has the chance to go far no matter who they play against.