Big, BIG game today.
Big for the Nuggets because beating the Utah Jazz would put the Houston Rockets closer to the final playoff spot. If the Rockets make the playoffs, Denver gets their first round pick. If they don't make the playoffs, Denver gets a 2017 2nd round pick from Portland. So, yeah...a win by Denver in this game does more for their assets future than a loss does through increasing lottery position. I have real issues with rooting for my team to lose games, even if I can understand the logic behind it. So I really like this situation as a fan of a non-playoff team.
Big for the Jazz for exactly the opposite. Utah needs to win this game or their playoff hopes will be in dire straights. Houston finishes up their season facing the Lakers at home, at Minnesota, and home to the Kings; three teams out of the playoffs with little to play for (although the 'Wolves have been really good as of late). For Utah, the Jazz have this game against Denver in Denver, host the Mavs, and are in LA against the Lakers for Kobe Bryant's final game. We know why Denver wants to win, Dallas is still fighting for the playoffs and positioning, and if there is one game that the Lakers will play their hearts out to win, it'll be Kobe's final contest.
Big for the bigs, also. The Nuggets will continue today with the 'itchsperiment,' starting the Balkan Front of Nikola Jokic and Jusuf Nurkic. Unlike last game, though, where they faced the experienced but aging combination of Tim Duncan and David West, today they face perhaps the most dominating front duo in the league in Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert - two athletic, physically intimidating bigs. One of the best subplots to this game is how Denver's young pair fair against their more established rivals.
Yup...this is a big game today.