Saturday, March 1, 2008

Boiling Down the Nuggets Season

(Boulder-CO) The Denver Nuggets have a tough final stretch of games ahead. That I have covered at nausea. But, what you may have missed in the last few days of NBA basketball has the Nuggets only a game and a half behind the Utah Jazz for the top spot in the Northwest Division not to mention only one more loss than the hated Jazz.

Now, here’s where it gets tricky.

Not counting the current division leaders (Utah, cough, L.A., and the Spurs), there are still six teams ahead of the Nuggets in the playoff standings with the Golden State Warriors currently holding the eighth seed having the same amount of wins as the Nuggets with just one fewer loss. So, as of right now, the Nuggets are still on the outside looking in on the whole playoff situation. But… like I just mentioned, and what I believe I have mentioned before, is that if the Nuggets can’t win their division the chances of them landing a playoff birth become infinitely slimmer.

However, how sweet would it be if, somehow, someway, with the grace of whatever deity you believe in, the Nuggets could snatch the Northwest Divisional crown from the Utah Jazz?

Of the remaining 24 games the Nuggets have to play, 15 of them are against winning, and many, playoff bound teams. Of Utah’s 23 remaining games, 12of them are against winning teams, but here’s the catch, two of them are against the Nuggets. Meaning, that in those two match-ups there will be the potential for the victor to swing a full game in the overall, and divisional standings. So, not to add more pressure on the Nuggets or to jinx the Jazz, but those two games in particular, and especially the second which is the third to last game for both teams will be the a couple of the biggest and if not the biggest game of the regular season. Furthermore, both teams play the Houston Rockets in their second to last game of the year, but the Nuggets got lucky and will face the dismal Memphis Grizzlies in their last game while the Junk, I mean Jazz, will have to play the Spurs in a game that may have a lot on the line for San Antonio seeing how they are in a divisional race of their own that currently has three teams (Spurs, Mavericks, and Hornets) all with 39 wins and another (Rockets) with 38.

That, Nuggets Nation, is what the Nuggets' season is boiling down to. I have a feeling there is going to be some disappointments down the final 24 games as well as some surprises, but the final three games is what I foresee holding the key to Denver's playoff future. I’m making this my final prediction. To me, it’s just fitting of the way this season has played out, not only for the Nuggets but the entire Western Conference, and quite frankly, I wouldn’t want it any other way!

Go Nuggets!

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