With all that being said I can’t play a small enough violin for the Sonics, but this is a huge game for the Nuggets, and a game in which they must win. The next five games are all on the road, starting with a back-to-back set in Motown against the Pistons before Denver visit’s the currently playoff bound 76ers. Then it’s off to New Jersey to face the eighth seeded Nets who are trying to fend off the scrappy Atlanta Hawks, a rematch with the Raptors who are not going to have forgotten how bad they were embarrassed last game, and another bunny against the Memphis Grizzlies to finish five games in seven nights.
I’m even partial to the thought that if the Nuggets are going to make their move on the Warriors, or Jazz for that matter, the time to do it is on this road trip. The Nuggets have struggled all season long on the road compiling a 12-19 record thus far, but Denver’s playoff future is going to be decided away from home as 10 of the final 16 games for the Nuggets are away from the friendly confines of the Pepsi Center.
The Nuggets have currently played 65 games, the same amount as the Warriors, and have lost two more games leaving them two games back with two head-to-head match-ups remaining to be played (one at home and one on the road). As far as the slim chances of winning the division are concerned, the Jazz have played 68 games so far and have only two fewer losses than the Nuggets. Meaning, if there was ever a time to root against the Jazz (which you should already be doing all the time anyways) this is that time! Denver still could potentially ruin the Jazz’s attempt to win the Northwest Division in back-to-back years.
But I guess the main reason why I provide this flicker of hope is that the Nuggets could, and I use the word “could” optimistically, still hold their own fate. I know that there is still a handful of loses sprinkled on that schedule somewhere, but I’m trying to look over things like Allen Iverson’s fractured finger of which he has said, “Is throbbing like a heartbeat”, or Nene’s potential return and Chucky Atkins’ chemistry development within the team’s overall chemistry to keep a positive outlook. I know what I’ve said in recent interviews and previews and I still think that a sour, near miss of the playoffs is just as possible because the Nuggets are inconsistent. But, I wouldn’t be fan if I didn’t think Denver was capable of winning the next 17 games straight to secure a mid-level playoff birth, now would I?
It all starts with a scolding of the Sonics.