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Game thread: Denver Nuggets at Memphis Grizzlies

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Seven games to go...

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

When the Denver Nuggets face the Memphis Grizzlies tonight, I'm pretty sure I'll need to keep a line up card for the Grizz in front of me, just to confirm who is actually playing for them. To say that Memphis has struggled with injuries at the end of this season is like saying that a sloth struggled to compete in the 100M dash. They are playing P.J. Hairston, for goodness' sake! Amazingly, even with all the injuries to their best players, they still seem to be finding a way to win enough games to secure the fifth seed. Kudos to coach Dave Joerger and the job he's done the last part of this season.

For the Nuggets, they have also had their fair share of injuries this season. For the Nuggets, the injuries may have been a bit of a blessing in disguise in that we're getting to see the young'uns forced to play bigger roles during the games. Emmanuel Mudiay, Gary Harris, Nikola Jokic, and (when healthy) Jusuf Nurkic have all showing the ability to have large impacts on games. If nothing else has come out of this developmental season, seeing that confirmed on the floor against actual NBA teams is a positive sign for the organization moving into next year.

As to the remaining seven games - including tonight - Adam's excellent article on how the Nuggets approach them proposed that the Nuggets would be best served for their long term future in losing as much as possible down the stretch. I completely understand where he's coming from, and he's right. For me, however, I just want the team to play hard and let the wins and losses come as they will. Sure, you can experiment with lineups - specifically Nurkic/Jokic playing together - but you don't need to force anything. To be clear, I don't think Adam was suggesting anything more than experimenting. Whether or not it leads to more losses is probably not going to be found out. I am pretty sure that Michael Malone has decided on the twin towers, Adriatic "Cs" lineup already and isn't a fan. We'll see if that changes once Juka is no longer ill. With that being said, I would have no problem trying out other experimental lineups (not that any come to mind with the Gallo/Chandler injuries). Maybe this off season, the coaching staff can work with Niko on being a viable option at the four. Maybe we'll see something happen with a trade. What I don't expect to happen is to gain any clarity before the off season.