To say the Western Conference playoff standings are tight would be an understatement. Although just a couple of games remain for each team, the Nos. 5-9 spots out West are decided by just a game.
The Trail Blazers have already stamped their ticket, but the Nuggets are the unlucky buggers sitting on the outside looking in. I think we may be in “must-win” territory. With that said, here are the most important metrics and trends to know about Blazers at Nuggets (-4.5). — Mark Gallant
Denver’s Starting Lineup Is an Offensive Juggernaut
Mark is right about the West’s standings. I mean, look at this:
And those winning streaks aren’t fluky, either: The name of the game in April regular season is motivation, and these teams have it. The Nuggets have been impressive of late, winning each of their past five and seven of their past 10. Over the past 10 games, they rank first in the league with a ridiculous 115.7 Offensive Rating. It seems coach Michael Malone finally realized that Nikola Jokic is good at basketball, and he’s played his starters a ton of late.