For starters, Denver still has something to play for as far as playoff positioning is concerned. The Nuggets can take over the seventh seed from Dallas if they beat the Grizzlies and the Mavericks lose at home to New Orleans (Go Chris Paul, MVP!). Now, I know some of you have commented that the Lakers are who the Nuggets should want to play in round one, but I have to respectfully disagree. The Hornets are the team the Nuggets want to see in the first round. First of all, not having to see Kobe Bryant is a plus any day. Not to mention how L.A. swept Denver in the regular season 3-0. Then factor in the youth and inexperience of the Hornets and consider how we match-up with them down the roster, and I think you can understand why I feel facing New Orleans is the best first round match-up for the Nuggets.
A win tonight would also give Denver its first 50-win season since the Nuggets set a franchise-record with 54 games in 1987-88.
The Grizzlies, meanwhile, are trying to avoid their second consecutive 60-loss season. A win in this game would give them one more than they had in 2006-07, when they finished with the worst record in the league.
Friends over at 3 Shades of Blue have a nice player match-up breakdown up and run the best Grizzlies site in the NBA Blogosphere.
Go Nuggets (and Hornets)!