The Denver Nuggets bounced back after two lackluster appearances last week with a big win on Easter Sunday. Now, they face the challenge of the presumptive rookie of the year Victory Wembanyama and the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs are headed back to the lottery once again as they hold the dubious distinction of being the worst team in the Western Conference but the future does look bright with Wemby. The Frenchman is averaging a double double and leading the league in blocks per game by a full block a game over second place. San Antonio’s dedication to a full out rebuild will take years to complete though so tonight is a game firmly in Denver’s favor.

The Essentials

Who: Denver Nuggets (52-23) vs San Antonio Spurs (18-57)

When: 7:00 PM MST

Where: The Can. Denver, CO

How to watch/listen: Denver Stiffs does not condone piracy…unless it’s the romanticized 18th-century type. AltitudeTV where available. League Pass for non-Denver market viewers. Show up in Denver. 92.5 FM KKSE Altitude Sports Radio.

Rival blog: Pounding the Rock

The Matchup

Position Nuggets Spurs Advantage
PG Reggie Jackson Tre Jones Nuggets
SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Malaki Banham Nuggets
SF Michael Porter Jr. Cedi Osman Nuggets
PF Aaron Gordon Julian Champanie Nuggets
C Nikola Jokic Victor Wembanyama Nuggets
Bench Christian Braun, Peyton Watson, Justin Holiday, DeAndre Jordan, Colin Gillespie Zach Collins, Sandro Mamukelashvili, Devonte Graham, Blake Wesley Nuggets

Injury report: Nikola Jokic – probable (hip/wrist), Aaron Gordon – probable (foot), Jamal Murray – questionable (ankle), Zeke Nnaji – out (adductor), Vlatko Cancar – out (knee); Jeremy Socahn – out (ankle), Devin Vassell – out (foot), Dominick Barlow – out (knee), Keldon Johnson – out (foot), Charles Bassey – out (knee).

The Three Things

The thing to watch for: Nikola Jokic vs Victor Wembanyama

Mar 15, 2024; Austin, Texas, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) shoots over San Antonio Spurs forward Victor Wembanyama (1) during the first half at Moody Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

There is one marquee matchup tonight and it is at the center position. Wemby has done admirable on his end when being defended by Jokic and he hasn’t seen really any slip in his production. He gets absolutely abused by Joker when Jokic is bullying him in the paint though. Joker averaged 35 points a game in their first two matchups. The Spurs may look to have someone else defend Jokic one on one, though they don’t have a ton of size. Other than Zach Collins San Antonio has no other centers to speak of and without Charles Bassey they don’t even have the shorter but stocky big that teams often will put on Joker to let their shot blocker roam. Wemby still find a way to make an impact on defense though. He has recorded 15 stocks in his two games against Denver.

The thing to remember:  Don’t sleep on the Spurs

San Antonio was on a three game winning streak before coming up short in their last game against the Golden State Warriors. It will be foolish of Denver to overlook this team. While they are young (and pretty injured) they have a guy who can change the game on his own and does so more regularly each night. In the loss to Golden State Wemby put up thirty-two points and that was coming off a career high forty against the New York Knicks (he had twenty rebounds as well that night). The Spurs have nothing to play for but pride at this point and after getting a taste of winning on their recent streak I have no doubt they want to close out the season on a high note. Getting a victory against the defending champs on their home court in the last two weeks of the season will surely go a long way towards that.

The thing to bet: Nikola Jokic over 26.5 points (-110)

I’ll stick with the trends here and count on Jokic putting up a big scoring night against Wemby. There’s blowout potential here so it makes it a bit risky but twenty-seven points isn’t very high considering Joker went over thirty in both of his previous contests this season against San Antonio