Denver Nuggets (36-28, 16-15 road) vs. OKC Thunder (47-18, 26-6 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 109.7 (2nd), Nuggets– 108.7 (3rd)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 103.0 (9th), Nuggets – 106.2 (19th)
Pace: Thunder – 93.0 (6th), Nuggets – 94.1 (2nd)
View from the enemy: Roundball Mining Company
The conclusion of this crazy 66-game schedule is upon us. The game quietly has quite a bit at stake too. All eyes are on KD and his points, the potential tiebreaker with the Heat and OKC’s first round matchup. Scott Brooks said he’ll play the game by ear in terms of minutes, so more than likely, you’ll see a game much like last night with the starters playing for three quarters. Unless of course Brooks determines those things are important.
Again, a win ensures home court over Miami, so that’s somewhat important. Also, the Thunder kind of sort of may hold their first round opponent in their hand. A win for the Nuggets ensures them as the six-seed, meaning OKC would draw Dallas. A loss moves Dallas to sixth based on tiebreaker and OKC would draw the Nuggets to begin the playoffs. I would assume the Thunder would rather have the Nuggets than the Mavs, so maybe they’ll play to win.
But the other thing is the scoring title, which has become something to watch over this past week. For KD, it’s about posting a score and seeing if Kobe and catch it. Like going into the clubhouse on Sunday 15-under with the final group still on No. 16. You’ve just got to put your number out there and see if he can, or is willing, to top it.
Durant needs at least 21 points tonight, otherwise the scoring race is essentially over. KD would fall behind Kobe with Bryant having a game to go. Durant needs his points early, in the first half and then just see what happens. Scott Brooks wouldn’t hold it against KD if he wanted to get his points. Brooks acknowledged Tuesday that if it were him, he’d be going for it.
Tip at 7:00 CT. Go KD.