3 reasons why the Nuggets should prioritize health and rest over chasing the #1 seed

New York Knicks v Denver Nuggets
New York Knicks v Denver Nuggets / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages
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3. If they’re not healthy, none of this matters anyway

At the end of the day, this is the only reason that matters. The Nugget's strength is in their starting lineup, and they need all of those guys playing their best to win a title. Nikola Jokic is the most obvious and important player. He’s looked a little banged up lately, nursing a few small injuries. If he’s not 100%, the Nuggets have no shot, regardless of where they play.

The same goes for Jamal Murray, who seems to have a somewhat legitimate injury. He’s now missed four games with ankle and knee problems. The team isn’t the same without him, especially on offense. We’ve seen the Nuggets in the playoffs before without Murray and it isn’t pretty. They need to get him fully healthy ASAP to have any chance in the playoffs.

Those are the main cogs, but Aaron Gordon and Michael Porter Jr. have been on the injury report as well lately and they are irreplaceable. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has been healthy but he’s 31 years old and some rest wouldn’t hurt.

If any of those five players are compromised, the Nuggets would suddenly be at risk of losing any series. As nice as homecourt advantage would be, it means nothing without all of their best players playing at full strength.