The Denver Nuggets (51-22) are back in action tonight as they welcome the Minnesota Timberwolves (50-22) for the third game of their five-game homestand. The Nuggets sit atop the Western Conference by a half game, and there is a two-way tie below them. A win or loss tonight could have major implications for their playoff seeding with the season winding down over the next couple of weeks.

For Denver, they’ve been playing great basketball since the All-Star Break. They’re 8-2 over their last 10 games with the NBA’s best record since the break along with the league’s second-best net rating in that span. The season series is currently tied at 1-1 with two games remaining, and a win tonight would secure at least a tie in the head-to-head matchup. Denver could use that, as they lost the tiebreaker to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

For Minnesota, they’re 7-3 over their last 10 games, and they’re riding a three-game winning streak heading into tonight. It would be a seven-game winning streak, if they hadn’t dropped a game a couple weeks ago to the Nuggets on their home floor after nearly completing the wild comeback. Just like Denver, they would love to clinch at least a tie in this season series for tiebreaker purposes.

The Essentials

Who: Denver Nuggets (51-22, 29-7 home) vs Minnesota Timberwolves (50-22, 24-13 away)

When: 7:00 p.m. MST

Where: Ball Arena

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

Expected Starting Lineups:

MIN: PG Mike Conley, SG Anthony Edwards, SF Jaden McDaniels, PF Naz Reid, C Rudy Gobert

DEN: PG Jamal Murray, SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SF Michael Porter Jr., PF Aaron Gordon, C Nikola Jokic

Injuries: Jamal Murray (knee) QUESTIONABLE, Nikola Jokic (back/hip) PROBABLE, Vlatko Cancar (knee) OUT, Zeke Nnaji (thigh) OUT, Anthony Edwards (back) QUESTIONABLE, Rudy Gobert (rib) QUESTIONABLE, Karl Anthony-Towns (knee) OUT

Three Things to Watch

Michael Porter Jr.’s Play

We’ve seen many times in the young career of MPJ that his play can swing a game in Denver’s favor by itself. In the previous meeting, he had 26 points while shooting 60 percent from the floor. Over his last three games, things have been a little quieter for him, or, at the very least, he’s been less efficient. Denver needs him to get out of that funk, especially if Jamal Murray misses or is limited in this game.

Ant Man

In two games against Denver this season, Ant is 21-of-42 from the field while averaging 27 points per game. With Karl Anthony-Towns out, the offense is running through Ant that much more. You’re not going to contain him or shut him down for an entire game. Denver’s best bet for success is going to be throwing bodies at him all game long and hoping to wear him down to pull away late. If they let him get teammates involved and conserve his energy, the fourth quarter could get dicey.

Find an Answer for Naz Reid

When the Timberwolves lost KAT for the season, their championship hopes seemed shot. Then, they brought in Naz Reid off of the bench, and it’s as if there is effectively no dropoff. Over that span, he’s averaging 18.4 points per game while shooting 50 percent from the field and 40.4 percent from 3-point range and 7.3 rebounds per game. KAT’s season-long numbers? 22.1 points and 8.4 rebounds on 50.6 from the field and 42.3 percent from 3-point range. There’s been a drop, but it’s not a large one. Reid missed the last game, but he’s playing tonight. Denver needs to be ready for him.

Stiffs Night Out

Head down tonight to Number 38 in Rino for the biggest game of the year! We are holding Stiffs Night Out once again! We will be doing giveaways, including a Nuggets jersey, and a live postgame podcast. Plus there will be $15 pitchers and great food available as always. Plenty of room for everyone but get there a bit early to get the best seats and come say hi to our site manger Zach Mikash. In order to be entered in the drawing for the Nuggets jersey you must sign up via the free RSVP link below and must be present to win. Hope to see everyone there!

RSVP Here!