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Is the magic number two or three? (Nuggets/Thunder Preview 7pm MST)...

I was going to title this post "When Passover gets in the way of watching the Nuggets" but didn't feel like getting struck down by lightning before the Nuggets best season in over 20 years concludes next week.

There has been a lot of chatter among Nuggets fans that the team's "magic number" - i.e. the combined number of games they need to win / their closest opponents need to lose - is two. In other words, all the Nuggets need to do is win two of their remaining four games and they've secured home court in the first round of the playoffs because the only teams fighting to contend for the fourth seed - New Orleans and Portland if they (most unlikely) run the tables - lose out to the Nuggets in a tiebreaker scenario.

While it's true that the magic number for home court advantage is two, the magic number the Nuggets should be focused on is three. Because if the Nuggets win three of their next four games, no matter what Houston or San Antonio do down the stretch, the two-seed will belong to Denver.

Taking these last four games seriously (and based on the way the Nuggets have played lately, we have no reason to believe they won't) begins tonight when the Oklahoma City Thunder (still getting used to saying that) arrive at the Pepsi Center having lost three straight and eight out of 10. But even though the Thunder possess the NBA's fourth worst record, they've given the Nuggets all they could handle in both matchups at OKC. In the first, Carmelo Anthony had to make a miracle three-pointer to win the game. And in the second contest, the Nuggets needed a bad late kicking call on the Thunder and another Anthony clutch shot to win. The good news for Nuggets fans is that these two teams met at Pepsi Center on a Wednesday night just one month ago, and in that outing the Nuggets handled the pesky Thunder with relative ease. I'm looking for a repeat performance tonight as the Nuggets march to a franchise-best 55 wins.

Go Nuggets!!