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Preview: Denver Nuggets return from NBA All Star break with road contest against the Oklahoma City Thunder

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Let’s get the stretch run started off right

Denver Nuggets v Oklahoma City Thunder Photo by Larry W. Smith/NBAE via Getty Images

The Denver Nuggets were in need of some serious rest and relaxation. Practically limping into the All Star Break, even fielding a roster of seven players for one game in February, the Nuggets hopefully made the most of their time off. Now that the break is done all eyes turn to the playoffs and the chase for the Larry O’Brien Trophy. The Nuggets first task out of the break is no cake walk. Tonight they find themselves playing a division rival on the road in the form of the sixth seeded Oklahoma City Thunder.

This was not the way the season was supposed to go down for OKC. After Paul George forced his way out to go play for the Los Angeles Clippers the Thunder began a mini fire-sale. First they unloaded Russell Westbrook and then they sent Jerami Grant to our very own Nuggets. Getting rid of Westbrook meant taking on Chris Paul’s contract though and OKC was unable to get off of it in a subsequent move. Say what you want about CP3 and how much he is being paid, the guy still balls. Throw in Danilo Gallinari and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander who were acquired in the George trade and sprinkle a little longtime Thunder center Steven Adams over the top and as we’re finding out you’re not rebuilding, you’ve got yourself a playoff team.

The Essentials

Who: Denver Nuggets (38-17) at Oklahoma City Thunder (33-22)

When: 6 PM MST

Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena. Oklahoma City ,OK

How to watch/listen: Denver Stiffs does not condone piracy...unless it’s the romanticized 18th century type. The game is available on ESPN, Altitude TV (where available) and KKSE Altitude Radio 92.5FM. Tickets available for as cheap as $18 if you’re in Oklahoma.

Rival blog: Welcome to Loud City

Projected Matchups

Position Denver Nuggets Utah Jazz Advantage
Position Denver Nuggets Utah Jazz Advantage
PG Monte Morris Mike Conley Jazz
SG Torrey Craig Donovan Mitchell Jazz
SF Michael Porter Jr. Royce O'Neale Nuggets
PF Paul Millsap Joe Ingles Even
C Nikola Jokic Rudy Gobert Nuggets
Bench PJ Dozier, Keita Bates-Diop, Jerami Grant, Bol Bol, Mason Plumlee Emmanuel Mudiay, Jordan Clarkson, Georges Niang, Tony Bradley Even

Injured players: Will Barton - questionable (knee), Bol Bol - out (foot), Darius Bazley - out (knee), Andre Roberson - out (knee)