The Denver Nuggets Lose in Phoenix, Can Still Win Northwest Division

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Valley of the Suns | Bright Side of the Sun

That was painful to watch. With a division title on the line it was stunning at how the Nuggets failed to compete. I know Denver was playing their fifth game in five nights, but for anyone who questioned my assertion that there was no worse matchup for the Denver Nuggets than the Phoenix Suns I give you tonight’s contest. The Suns jumped on the Nuggets from the get go as they opened the game on an 18-2 run and never looked back.

Even though the Nuggets were closing out a grueling schedule to close the season, I do not think we can site fatigue for the Suns early 16 point lead.

The most vexing aspect of Denver’s play was the decision to revert back to switching ball screens after playing back to back games of relatively acceptable pick and roll defense predicated on the bigs challenging the ball handler. The Nuggets’ switching scheme was so bad they basically allowed the Suns to get any shot they wanted.

Now the Nuggets season rides on the very team that crushed them. Should the Suns win tomorrow night in Utah Denver will back their way into the division title they let slip away by losing games to San Antonio and Phoenix (and Minnesota, the Clippers, Sacramento -twice, Detroit, Washington and New York). That would give Denver the fourth seed and home court advantage in a series against the Utah Jazz.

Should the Jazz win tomorrow, they will win the Northwest Division, Phoenix will be fourth and Denver will fall to fifth where they must face the Suns. I am not sure how much of a chance Denver would have to knock off the Jazz, but it is infinitely more likely they could beat Utah than Phoenix.

If you are feeling down, just remember. What has past is merely prologue to the playoffs and a healthy Nuggets team can beat anyone in the NBA…aside from the Suns that is. Regardless of who the Nuggets face off against, I am going to do my best to give you the best coverage and analysis that is humanly possible.

  • ParkHillNative

    I think you mean 5th game in 7 nights.

    I know there are some teams that pose matchup problems for others, like the way the Nuggets posed matchup problems for the Lakers this year. But wow. I can’t believe how badly the Nuggets play against the Suns.