With the Los Angeles Clippers taking care of business against the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night, the Nuggets control their own destiny. It’s as simple as this: beat the Suns and you get the No. 3 seed and will, in turn, face either the Golden State Warriors or the Houston Rockets in the first round of the playoffs.
Lose and the door opens for the Clippers, who travel to Sacramento to face the Kings. If the Nuggets lose to Phoenix and the Clippers beat the Kings, then the Clippers would take the No. 3 seed despite losing the season series to Denver.
Some have speculated whether the Nuggets, who have already clinched home court advantage in the first round, will rest its players, risking a loss to the 25-56 Phoenix Suns. With the loss of Danilo Galinari for the season and Kenneth Faried spraining a ligament in his ankle, some say this game provides a chance to rest the already banged up lineup.
But do the Nuggets really want to risk losing and having to play the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round? I don’t buy it. This is a game coach George Karl wants to win. If the opportunity to rest heavy rotation players arises, then he will surely take advantage. But to throw out a group of reserves and risk giving away a game would be asinine and I highly doubt that’s the route Karl chooses to go.
For the Nuggets, taking care of business in the last home game of the regular season is essential. I mean, how comfortable are you that the Kings will beat the Clippers? I’m not, at all.
- Who? Phoenix Suns (25-56) at Denver Nuggets (56-25)
- Where? Pepsi Center Denver, CO
- When? 8:00 p.m. EST
- Offensive Efficiency: Suns, 97.6 – Nuggets, 107.2
- Defensive Efficiency: Suns, 104.9 – Nuggets, 102.2
The Four Factors:
- eFG%: 51.34
- FT rate: 30.6
- TO rate: 13.67
- OReb rate: 31.35
- eFG%: 47.32
- FT rate: 23.5
- TO rate: 14.25
- OReb rate: 27.02