Sunday was a day full of action across the NBA. Almost every seed was up for grabs in both the Eastern and Western Conference playoff picture and at the end of the day the Denver Nuggets clinched the third seed in the West. By virtue of Denver’s loss to the Trail Blazers and the Los Angeles Clippers loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder (amongst a whole bunch of other things), it allowed the Nuggets to lock in that three seed and set up a first round matchup against Portland.
Just two seasons ago these two teams met in the Western Conference Semifinals, which ended in Portland beating the Nuggets in seven games on Denver’s home floor. The Nuggets will have home court advantage in this series once again, but are looking for revenge after what happened just a couple seasons ago.
Denver now has the pleasure of having the Phoenix Suns and either the Los Angles Lakers or Golden State Warriors on their side of the bracket. Those teams will play in the 7/8 play in game on Wednesday night to decide who squares off against Phoenix in the first round. The Nuggets obviously have to win their first round series for that to matter, but it’s certainly something to monitor as all three of those teams could be tough opponents.
The good news for the Nuggets is the first round doesn't begin till Saturday, which gives them all of this week to rest up and hopefully get some guys back in the lineup. Will Barton III (right hamstring strain) and PJ Dozier (right adductor strain) remain OUT, but hopefully this break will allow those guys to return come playoff time.
There will be no shortage of storylines in this series. From Jokic squaring off against Jusuf Nurkic to Carmelo Anthony facing his former team in a playoff series, this is certainly shaping up to be a series for the ages.