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The ingredients to a win over Portland

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The Nuggets play what could be the most important game of the season against the Trail Blazers Tuesday night - here’s what needs to happen for a victory.

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Denver Nuggets Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday night, the Denver Nuggets face their biggest test of the season when they take the court against the Portland Trail Blazers.

It’s a game that will most likely determine whether or not they are able to make the postseason or if they’ll be left watching their division rival compete against the Golden State Warriors or San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs.

Portland has eight games remaining after tonight’s game: Houston, Phoenix, at Minnesota, at Utah, Minnesota, Utah, San Antonio, and New Orleans. Denver has eight games remaining after tonight’s game: at Charlotte, at Miami, at New Orleans, at Houston, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, at Dallas, and at Oklahoma City.

Analyze those games all you want - in my opinion, there are two paths following tonight’s game. Win, and it’s likely the Nuggets make the playoffs. Lose, and it’s likely they miss the playoffs.

So it’s really important to win, is what I’m trying to say.

My family bakes (a lot) and one of the most difficult things for me to make is sponge cake. You have to have the right ingredients, and follow the recipe exactly as is, or else it’s ruined. Even if everything goes right, it can be ruined trying to remove the cake from the pan.

I’ve messed up many times.

For the Nuggets, they’ve played a lot of games this season (73 to be exact) and one of the more difficult things has been to win. They have to have the right players make the right plays, they usually need to execute the game plan exactly as is, or else the game is ruined.

They’ve messed up more times than they’ve gotten it right, but it’s a pretty close balance.

I don’t think I need to bring up another aspect of how nice it would be to pick up a win over Portland. Some dishes are best served cold.

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Portland Trail Blazers Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s my recipe that I’m hoping the Nuggets follow for their game against the Trail Blazers.

Vindictam Vetus Amicis

Ingredients

Triple-double Nikola Jokic
15 FTA Danilo Gallinari
3 huge dunks Gary Harris
4 steals Wilson Chandler
Double-double Kenneth Faried
12/9/6 Mason Plumlee
6 3PM Jamal Murray
20 points Will Barton
1 TO salsa dancing Juancho Hernangomez

Directions

  1. Preheat offense to an Offensive Rating of 130 by having a great warmup before the game.
  2. Hype Nikola Jokic up with Serbian pop, and then run offense through him throughout the game. Avoid frustrating fouls 80 feet from the basket, and season with no-look passes and transition touchdowns.
  3. Fold drives to the rim by Danilo Gallinari in with the no-look passes to result in dunks and trips to the free throw line. Put Al-Farouq Aminu and Moe Harkless in foul trouble to limit their minutes.
  4. Beat the Portland offense into turnovers, until Gary Harris is able to get open in transition for momentum-shifting dunks. Simmer the crowd down for 12 minutes into halftime.
  5. Crack Chandler’s steals into the second unit to help power a run. Defense leads to offense, and once the second unit is boiling, add points from Will Barton until the Trail Blazers resolve is cooked off.
  6. Pour Kenneth Faried onto the court, allowing his energy to cover every open space of the floor. Defensive rebounds, offensive putbacks, deflections and blocks. Spread evenly with a spatula.
  7. Sprinkle the batter with some dimes by Mason Plumlee. Don’t overdo it with the “White Dukies,” as too much will ruin the batch.
  8. Cook for 48 minutes. Garnish with 3-pointers from Jamal Murray to add an extra bite to the dish.
  9. Revenge is a dish best served cold. Salsa is optional, but provides color to what is an exciting blend of flavors.
  10. Enjoy. Bellissimo!