The NBA schedule is strange. I honestly don’t understand why you would schedule a team to play four games in five nights, knowing that the on court product will diminish in quality over those five days, then you give that team three days without a game. Couldn’t they spread it out a tad? Oh, well. Neither us fans nor the Denver Nuggets have any choice in this matter. Denver has to play the games as they’re scheduled. We fans will watch the games as they’re played.

Tonight, for the Nuggets, the game is probably as much a mental battle as a physical one. They will need to overcome the fatigue caused by playing so many NBA games in such a close time frame, and that will require the force of will to push through aching, tired muscles. The good news is that for the first time in these four in five, they are facing a team in the Portland Trail Blazers not among the five best in the league. Additionally, Denver has shown in the last month a fight-through mentality. They won in Phoenix on the second night of a back to back while also being extremely short handed, for example. Whether or not the Nuggets will gut out a win tonight, I expect the same mental toughness that has started to become part of this team’s make up.

Tonight also marks Will Barton‘s return to the arena he called home for 2 1/2 seasons. Expect Will the Thrill to try and put on a show against his former team.