After a subpar homestand, the Denver Nuggets have a chance to solidify their playoff position over the next two weeks during their seven-game road trip.
Denver has had success on the road this season, with an 11-9 record away from home. Most of the Nuggets success was on their 5-game road trip back East in January where they went 5-0. Denver, which is 26-21, also picked up two wins after the All-Star break against Western Conference foes Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs.
Denver won both of those games without Danilo Gallinari and Nene, and did it with more than six different players scoring more than 10 points in each game and Ty Lawson playing at an All-Star level. Overall, Denver is 6-9 on the road against Western Conference opponents.
This trip will be very important to Nuggets playoff positioning, if they make the playoffs. They are currently seventh in the West, with the same record as the Los Angeles Clippers (who have the tiebreaker) and a half game ahead of the Houston Rockets. A win tonight against the Utah Jazz and Denver could possibly move up to fifth in the West, a loss tonight and the Nuggets could drop to ninth.
Denver faces the Jazz and Minnesota Timberwolves (on Sunday) during the first two games of the road trip. Both squads are right behind the Nuggets in playoff contention (Utah 25-22 and Minnesota 23-25). After those two games Denver travels to Chicago, Toronto, Charlotte, Orlando and New Orleans. Outside of the Chicago Bulls and Orlando Magic, the other three teams are among the worst in the NBA.
Tonight’s game against the Jazz may be the Nuggets biggest game of the season and definitely during the road trip. The winner wins the season series and a loss to the Jazz would allow Utah to move past Denver in the standings.