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Preview: road trip takes Nuggets to D.C. as they face the Wizards for the first time in 2018-19

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The Denver Nuggets travel to D.C. for their first game of the season with the Wizards

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Washington Wizards Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Nuggets and Washington Wizards have had very different experiences in the 2018-19 season. One team clinched a playoff berth in the competitive Western Conference with their latest victory. The other can’t wait for game 82 to come and go before any more damage can be done. These two teams are on opposite ends of the competitive spectrum as the postseason approaches. Perhaps that’s why it feels so strange that Thursday night will be the first time that they’ve faced off all season.

The Basics

Who: Denver Nuggets (47-22) at Washington Wizards (30-42)

When: 5:00 PM MT

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

How to watch: Altitude

Rival blog: Bullets Forever

Injury Report

Wizards: John Wall (Out, Heel), Dwight Howard (Out, Back)

Nuggets: Michael Porter Jr. (Out, Back)

What to watch:

Gary Harris’ form

For all that’s gone right this season, we’ve yet to see Harris find his rhythm. He’s been banged up seemingly all year and he’s popped in and out of the lineup as he’s fought to stay healthy. There might be no one thing a Nuggets fan wants to see more before the playoffs start than Gary finding his form again.

Jamal Murray’s form

If Gary Harris regaining his form is tops on the wish list, then seeing another explosion from Murray can’t be far behind. It’s been too long since we’ve seen Jokic and his backcourt firing on all cylinders in the same game. Murray—who has been called “perhaps the league’s most important swing player over the next three seasons.”—might be the key to a deep playoff run for Denver. But it’s been a longtime since we’ve seem truly torch an opposing defense.

Can he get going in Washington?

Bradley Beal

Is the reason people still go to Wizards games. He’s an electric scorer and the guy to keep your eyes on for Washington. If they make this a competitive game, it’s likely because he’s going off—one of the more underrated experiences for a fan of the league.

Since John Wall went down, Beal has averaged 28.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 5.4 assists on 38.7 minutes per game.

The scoreboard

With all due respect to Washington, it’s late March and they have little to play for. There’s not a lot of meat on this bone and all that really matters at this point is a W. The Nuggets have one of the toughest remaining schedules in the league and the two-seed is far from clinched. They need to take care of business against teams like the Wizards. Plain and simple.