Playoff positioning thread

As we speak the Nuggets are currently in third place in the Western Conference standings. But both the Clippers and Grizzlies are right on their heels. As Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post recently pointed out on Twitter, if the Nuggets win against the Suns tonight then the three seed is all theirs. There are all sorts of different playoff match-up possibilities still up in the air at this point, so please feel free to use this post as a thread to discuss these scenarios. And as always, thanks for continuing to support Roundball Mining Company.

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Kalen Deremo

Kalen was born in Durango, CO, in 1988 and graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2013 with a degree in journalism. He's now an itinerant hoping to travel as much as possible before eventually succumbing to the "real world." Aside from writing Kalen likes movies, music, spicy food and the great outdoors. Edward Abbey is his current idol.

Latest posts by Kalen Deremo (see all)

  • Cory

    Let’s take care of business and win this last home game. sweep the rockets in the first round and get to the Spurs!

    • Joe

      We will be playing Golden State most likely. I’d rather Houston but it looks unlikely after last night.

  • D3Ntilthe3ND

    Best Case Scenario:

    1- OKC
    2- Spurs
    3- Nuggets
    4- Clippers
    5- Grizzlies
    6- Rockets
    7- Warriors
    8- Lakers

    We can easily take care of the Rockets.
    Warriors have a very good chance against the Spurs.
    Lakers MUCH better chance against OKC.

    2nd round

    Lakers Clippers
    Nuggets Warriors

    3rd Round

    Nuggets Clippers

    • art

      they wont beat okc with or without kobe

      • mike

        I think by best case scenario he was implying the .00001 percent chance scenario.

  • MilhighMan

    The Lakers will not beat OKC without Kobe^

  • Riley

    Be it Curry or Harden, Iggy will shut them down making the Nuggs life much easier in the first round. Would love to see a healthy Faried and Lee battling the boards like they did against each other in the season

    • googergieger

      We’ll miss Gallo come the OKC series because Iggy can’t defend both Westbrook and Durant and he’ll get into foul trouble eventually. I mean sure Brewer and Chandler can help out on Durant and Brewer can help out some on Westbrook, but yes Iggy should help us out the first two rounds. Should get out of the first round and like our chances against the Spurs. Of course Pop is bound to hack a Nugget so here is hoping we can make enough free throws to win that series.

      • nugswin

        Gallo’s loss affects our ability to beat OKC more than any other team for exactly the reasons you say. With Gallo we can put Gallo and Chandler on KD and they will force him into a less efficient night. That frees up Iggy to slow down Westbrook. In that scenario I’d even say we are favorites to beat them.

        Without Gallo we potentially allow either Westbrook or KD to score very efficiently and also open up the possibility that somebody like Kevin Martin or Reggie Evans has a great game because we have to use Brewer on one of the two stars.

        Essentially we go from the favorite against them to having a punchers chance against them. Get well soon Danilo!

        • Riley

          Thats very true, but Westbrook has also put up big numbers against us all year. But Gallo will definitely be missed regardless

          • nugswin

            He certainly scored a lot of points. But I think him on the ball and jacking a lot of jumpers plays right into our hands. He’s only averaging 6 assists against Denver (and that includes the OT game), below his season average. He really is one of those guys “you can’t stop, you only hope to contain”. It’s all about whether he’s efficient in getting his numbers. He’s still pretty good 1 on 5 but when he starts making his teammates better is when you’re really in trouble.

            In the OT game he was a nightmare, shot a ton of free throws and got 9 dimes. We still managed to win, somehow. But the other two Denver wins were a different story. It’s fine if he gets his 36, but it has to be with only 4-5 assists and 6-7 foul shots. That’s the game we can win. Iggy being on him as much as possible gives us the best chance at making that happen.

        • Ryan

          I assume you mean Reggie Jackson, as Reggie Evans plays for the Nets…

          • nugswin

            Yep. Good catch.

  • al68

    Fareid is very important against GS because he disrruptive and irritating to D Lee.DEN 4-1GS.

    I prefer in 1st round LAL versus SA, LAL has talented and play without pressure, and SA is very tired.
    I hope we play in 2nd round against LAL.

    • Joshua

      I hope so too. It would be so sweet seeing Kobe on the bench crying while we sent his team packing. How many times have they eliminated us? Revenge would taste so good!

  • slader

    All will be revealed tonight. Disagree about Faried vs Lee: Lee scored at will against the Manimal during the season, so I wouldn’t mind seeing Chandler, Randolph and Koufos take turns on him.
    More important is team perimeter D. Even of Iggy shuts down Curry, GS has other guys who can fill up the 3, so a coordinated team effort will be needed to close out the arc.

    • Thomas

      Faried had actually one of his best games as a pro last year against the Warriors and dominated Lee inside.

      If healthy, over the course of a 7 game series he will have the best of Lee.

      • Gregory B

        Key words there…last year

        • MizzouNugsFan

          Yes, Faried is much improved from last year.

          • Gregory B

            improved, yes, injured too, though

    • Ryan

      Agree, Lee is trouble for Faried, he works him like a rented mule…

  • heykyleinsf

    we can beat everyone.
    we showed it in the regular season.

    yes, we need to treat Phx as a playoff game.

    But no matter what otherwise
    I don’t care who we play
    and we can’t be concerned with who we play.
    That’s the nature of the best team getting the title.
    No shortcuts.. no lucking in to anything.
    The best team wins.

    that’s us.

    • mike

      no a healthy nuggets team showed that. Not sure how Lawson is doing. He looks fine, but you never know with strain injuries, if they don’t heal completely. Faried ankle injury HAS to at least hurt his speed rim to rim, jumping and lateral speed on defense. As has been said earlier Gallo injury is a major loss especially against OKC and SAS.

  • Mark B

    Can somebody explain to me the seeding rules. I understand that the Nuggets have the tie-breaker over both the Clipps and the Grizz. What I don’t understand then is why the Nuggets have to win tonight for the 3 seed. They have said on the four letter network that winning your division guarantees a top-four seed, which is why the clippers are above memphis in the standings. But I have yet to hear anybody say that the division winner rule is a super tie-breaker that would supplant the Nuggets in the 3rd seed even though the Nuggets have the Tie-Breaker under different circumstances. Im just confused is all. At best these teams can tie us in record and we are supposed to hold the tie breaker.

    • Gregory B

      (-) Tie breaker not needed (better overall winning percentage)
      (1) Division leader wins tie from team not leading a division
      (2) Head-to-head won-lost percentage
      (3) Conference won-lost percentage
      (4) W-L Percentage vs. Playoff teams, own conference
      (5) W-L Percentage vs. Playoff teams, other conference
      (6) Net Points, all games

      found here —>

    • Chris D

      It’s not surprising that you’re confused — the NBA has the wonkiest seeding rules of any major sport. If you’re a division leader you have to be a 1-4 seed, even though there are only 3 divisions. So you can have a non-division-leading team be a 2 seed. And to make it even more complicated, homecourt advantage is determined by record (unless their records are tied), not by seed, so a 5 seed can have homecourt advantage for a first round series. Case in point — if the Griz win their last game and the Clips lose theirs, the Clips will still be a 4 seed because they’re a division winner and the lowest they can be is a 4. However, the Griz will have a better record than them and thus have homecourt advantage as a 5 seed in the first round.

      Unnecessarily complex? You’d better believe it.

      • Gregory B

        I knew about the division winner getting the higher seed, but playing as the road team because Denver did it a few years back…the question, why in the world does the league guarantee care about being #4 if there’s no home court guaranteed?

        • Gregory B

          i suppose its intent is to prevent two division winners from playing each other in the first round?

  • Aaron

    I wish. . . but I think we’re going to have big problems with the Warriors without Gallo and 1/2 of Faried. We can’t guard Curry. Iggy has figured out K. Thompson, but Curry is on a tear right now. Also, GS is an awful place to play. It’s a 100% must to win the first two games at home in that series. Let’s not count our chickens people. . . now, if Houston can somehow grab that spot. . . Then, I’ll pencil us into the 2nd round.

  • Giovanni

    No jokes tonight’!!!!!!!

    Keep on rolling nugs!!!!


    The x factor the play offs is Lawson….

  • nugswin

    Winning tonight is crucial. Any debate about the Rockets or Warriors is dealing in minutiae compared to the difference between either of those teams and getting Memphis instead. There are many people (including Zach Lowe) who think Memphis is the biggest threat to OKC to come out of the west. Lets avoid them in the first round!

    After we take care of business tonight (crosses fingers) we can settle in to discussions about how to deal with Stephan Curry. Golden State plays Portland who is without Marcus Aldridge and coming off a loss last night to the Clippers where they looked unlikely to beat anybody, much less the Warriors. So it looks like Golden St. for us.

  • Aaron

    BTW. . . boo on Portland for tanking so bad. They won’t beat GS tonight either. Earlier in the year, they would’ve been a threat against LAC and GS. . but they’re just awful right now.

  • Ban Johnson

    Hollinger Rankings (based on point differential, strength of schedule, and weighted for recent play):

    Nuggets as 3seed will be on side of bracket with:
    #3 Nuggets
    #6 Spurs
    #10 Rockets
    #12 Warriors

    Other side of bracket:
    #1 Thunder
    #4 Clippers
    #7 Grizzlies
    #11 Lakers

    Sure looks like the easier side of things. MUST WIN tonight.

    • nugswin

      Nice find!

      Funny how eight of the top 12 teams in this ranking are in the west. Heck, six of the top eight!

  • Yeazy303

    The Nuggets and Heat in the finals, that would be David Sterns worst nightmare!!!

    • PlainsNugFan

      Pacers-Spurs would be Stern’s worst nightmare.

      • Ryan

        Pacers vs. Grizzlies, although it would never happen, those games would be 73-69 snoozefests… I think Stern wouldn’t mind a Nuggets vs. Heat finals, as the team-vs-superstars dynamic would make for a good dynamic

  • Ryan

    oops, a good NARRATIVE, not dynamic…

  • Giovanni

    Dragic will not play tonight…

  • googergieger

    Well Faried is nice against Lee because he doesn’t have to guard him on defense but Lee will guard him on offense, and Faried exhausts someone like Lee who doesn’t like to spend energy outside of scoring and rebounding. In a seven game series, Lee would be exhausted by game three. Any news on Bogut? That could be a wild card.

  • doop snog

    Suns have been in tank mode since late february….. I don’t think there’s any way the suns LET themselves win this game. That being said, I really hope we draw the Rockets. We have those boys’ number. As long as Lawson keeps playing like he is, I don’t see why we should lose a series to any team in the West, unless Westbroook/Durant average 60/18/15 against us combined. Even without Gallinari, Denver won’t lose a home game in the playoffs, and that means any team that plays us is on thin ice.

    • A.D.

      With about 3, yes three home losses of 41 home games, homecourt advantage is almost unfair. Key to winning our series with SA will be force-feeding them our pace of play

  • Nathan

    Nuggets over Warriors in 4.

    Denver over Heat in Finals.

    I heard that the 2011 NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks also had a 57 win record and a 3rd seed. History repeating itself- Denver will down the Heat in the Finals!

  • A.D.

    Dallas was also hitting some ridiculous percentage from beyond the arc, which we don’t do well. AND had a go-to all-star in Dirk. Not to say we can’t/won’t win, but our path will be different