Tonight the Nuggets continue their trek through the "easy" segment of their closing schedule. Never mind that they are 0-2 to this point after their first two "easy" games.
Believe it or not, the Nuggets still control their own destiny. As long as they win at Golden State Thursday night, they can drop one of the other four games on the schedule and still be in the playoffs. Keep in mind that one of those other four games is in Utah and it becomes clear that making the playoffs and dropping tonight’s contest in Los Angeles against the Clippers are probably mutually exclusive.
To prepare for tonight’s game let’s do some good news/bad news:
Good News - the Clippers are bad
Bad News – the Nuggets are bad on the road
Good News – Melo has been playing tremendously on offense the last two games averaging 42.5 points and 11 boards
Bad News – the Nuggets lost both of those games
Good News – there is no one named Kevin Martin or Kevin Durant on the Clippers roster
Bad News – Denver has yet to win a game at the Staples Center this season (0-3)
Good News – Corey Maggette will probably sit out tonight’s game
Bad News – that probably just means more Al Thornton who is averaging 18.7 points and 7.7 rebounds versus Denver this season including a 33 point, 12 board and four assist gem against the Nuggets on Leap Day.
Good News – Chris Kaman will be out too
Bad News – Elton Brand is back and looking for more minutes
So there you go. Take from that whatever you would like, but you will ignore any of it at your own peril.
I had written that the Nuggets seemed to have solidified their performance from game to game. Earlier in the season they seemed much less consistent and we never knew what to expect from them. Then in March they became much more predictable as they won at home, lost to good teams on the road and beat bad teams everywhere. All of that ended this weekend with the back to back losses to a wounded Sacramento team and the sorry gang in Seattle.
Once again we are left to wonder what kind of performance the Nuggets will bring to the table in LA tonight.
At this point would any of us be surprised if the Nuggets lost? Would anyone be surprised if they won by 30? Quite honestly that is the range of potential outcomes for this team. There should be little doubt about what you would get from a contending team when they face a poor team in April. The fact that we have doubt says a great deal about this group.
I strongly recommend you check out Clipper Steve’s insights over at Clips Nation and we had some great conversation going on during the game in Seattle Sunday night. Leave your thoughts in the comments section before, during and after the game so we can all either celebrate or commiserate together.