The Denver Nuggets are coming off what is arguably their best win of the season. On Friday they handed the Boston Celtics their first loss at home this season with a grind-it out, all hands on deck effort. Now they reach the trap game of this road trip. On this five game swing the Nuggets play four playoff teams and one bottom dweller, that bottom dweller game is tonight against the Washington Wizards. After hanging on to star Bradley Beal despite the team clearly not being competitive, the Wizards finally bit the bullet this offseason and sent Beal to Phoenix while trading Kristaps Porzingis to the aforementioned Celtics to trigger a full scale rebuild. The first phase of every rebuild is to bottom out completely and that’s just what Washington has done this season putting up one of the worst records in the league. It’s a classic trap game for Denver and one they need to remain focused on to win.

The Essentials

Who: Denver Nuggets (29-14) vs Washington Wizards (7-34)

When: 4:00PM MST

Where: Predatory lending for profit to use to influence policy to benefit the 1%…arena. Washington, D.C.

How to watch/listen: Denver Stiffs does not condone piracy….unless it’s the romanticized 18th century type. Altitude TV where available (Altitude TV is available on DirecTV, DirecTV Stream and Fubo TV). NBA League pass for those not in the Nuggets market. Altitude Radio 92.5 FM. Honestly if you just show up in a Wizards jersey they’ll probably let you play.

Rival Blog: Bullets Forever

The Matchup

Position Nuggets Wizards Advantage
PG Jamal Murray Tyus Jones Nuggets
SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Jordan Poole Nuggets
SF Michael Porter Jr. Deni Avidja Nuggets
PF Aaron Gordon Kyle Kuzma Nuggets
C Nikola Jokic Marvin Bagley III Nuggets
Bench Reggie Jackson, Justin Holiday, Christian Braun, Peyton Watson, DeAndre Jordan Corey Kispert, Delon Wright, Patrick Baldwin Jr., Bilal Coulibaly, Landry Shamet Nuggets


Injury report*: Aaron Gordon – probable (shoulder), Julian Strawther – out (knee), Vlatko Cancar – out (knee), Colin Gillespie – out (G-League); Daniel Gafford – questionable (concussion). *Washington’s injury report was not submitted at time of writing.

The Three Things

The thing to watch for: the Nuggets vs complacency

Mar 22, 2023; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. (1) shoots over Washington Wizards forward Corey Kispert (24) during the first half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Like I said, trap game. The Wizards are playing for nothing this year except the shot at landing the number one overall pick in the draft. They are also on the second night of a back to back after losing yesterday in a draining game that they likely gave full effort for because it was against the San Antonio Spurs who Washington actually has a chance to beat. There is absolutely no way Denver should lose this game. The spread is 13.5 points. The only way the Nuggets drop this contest is if they come out unprepared and let someone like Jordan Poole get hot and have a huge game. This is a game that the Nuggets need to get out ahead on early and drop the hammer and don’t look back. You don’t want to let Washington hang around into the fourth quarter and feel like they have a chance. That’s how you get a victory stolen from you by a team that was won only seven games in the first half of the season.

The thing to remember: Washington is made up of other teams’ cast offs

Marvin Bagley III, Poole, Kyle Kuzma…dudes nobody wanted. Remember when Kuzma’s mom got mad at us for calling him overrated? Yeah well, now he got cast aside by the Los Angeles Lakers like the leftovers in the fridge you let go moldy and plays for the worst team in the NBA (writer’s note: Kuzma is still a superior athlete to anyone who has ever written for this site and his accomplishment of becoming an NBA player is incredibly remarkable). Just like Poole was cast aside by the Golden State Warriors, just like Bagley was cast aside by the Sacramento Kings. Whether it’s because of draft position, a one-off playoff run or just good old fashioned runaway Lakers hype, these guys never lived up to the billing and now are Washington’s collection of misfits. Does that mean the Nuggets will face a motivated group of guys with chips on their shoulders and ready to prove it against the defending NBA champs? Perhaps, but there’s a reason this team is as bad as they are and a huge reason is their “big three” is a bunch of guys just trying to hang on in the league.

The thing to bet: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope over 10.5 points (+100)

I like me some KCP points today. He’s going up against his former team and the Wizards backcourt is not rife with defenders unless you’re counting bad ones. Even money on the bet which is nice as well. If you want to gamble a bit you can parlay this with some KCP threes. Add over 1.5 threes and you pump it up to a nice +150.