The Oklahoma City Thunder are likely to represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals. They lead the Northwest division by six games over the Denver Nuggets who, at 24-16 have wowed their fans with an impressive six game win streak, clawing past the Portland Trailblazers to settle into second place, behind the Thunder. Denver probably won’t close the gap. The fate of the Nuggets, if all goes as planned, is probably to finish the season positioned just as they are today.
If the Nuggets were to make a run at first place it would take beating the Thunder in their head-to-head match ups. Two of those occur in the coming week – tonight in Oklahoma and on Sunday night in Colorful Colorado.
Most fans of the Blue and Yellow would be pleased if the Nuggets were to split those games, between which a tilt with the woeful Washington Wizards is scheduled. With the Nugs having earned an overtime victory last night, the game tonight is one of many dreaded “back to back” road games Denver faces.
As all NBA fans know, no team wins every game. Certain ones seem to be predetermined losses.
Thanks to their recent success, the Nuggets have earned a hall pass. Nobody would be upset if they were beaten tonight. Everything is lined up perfectly for them to play flat, uninspired basketball as they’ve been known at times to do. They’ll be excused if they do. George Karl will point out in post-game the obvious challenges that they faced and be able to easily explain away their first loss in seven games.
It’s all the more reason why they should win. The Denver Nuggets have a golden opportunity tonight to shock Oklahoma City and send their fans spinning. This is one of those predetermined losses. We’re all expecting it. What a perfect chance to prove us wrong. Imagine the headlines tomorrow. More importantly, imagine the buzz at Pepsi Center on Sunday night. It will be the game of the year. Denver would be in position to narrow their deficit in the division from six games to four in only a matter of days and, in the process, become the talk of the NBA.
Yes, they have a hall pass. They’ve earned it. But wouldn’t it be great if they didn’t use it.