The Denver Nuggets put up 168 points in a 52 point decapitation against the Seattle Supersonics Sunday night, and then gave up 136 last night against Eastern powerhouse Detroit.
The upside of that loss: they scored 126. Aside from that, Denver is only one and a half games out of the eighth seed in the Western Conference behind the Golden State Warriors and four out of their own division.
The Northwest division is arguably the toughest division in basketball with three out of the of five teams posting over 500 records, and is home to the Utah Jazz, Portland Trail Blazers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Seattle Supersonics, and of course the Denver Nuggets.
The Jazz have gotten hot since the post All Star era and has beaten almost every factor in the Western Conference. But the Utah Jazz may run into a speedbump in their 13 remaining games. Seven of those games are against over 500 ballclubs and of those seven games, six are against the top in the West.
The Lakers, Rockets, Hornets, and Spurs are the elite team's Utah will go into battle with and they will prove to be a fight and a true test of for their team. Teams headed for the playoffs may elect to rest their stars so they are ready for the rigorous series of games that are labeled the postseason. Or the teams may continue to play their workhorses for fear of getting rusty and being out of rhythm.
Golden State's colossal upset of Dallas last year maybe in the minds of all coaches with playoff teams, when Avery Johnson rested his best and it proved to be costly. The six teams that are under 500 that Jerry Sloan and company are against, Minnesota, L.A. Clippers, Washington, and Seattle. Sure they are among the worst in the league, but that might be a even worse factor for the Jazz.
Teams not going may prove to be spoilers and having a nothing to lose mentality is dangerous. Denver on the other hand has a reson to smile. Denver has 15 games remaining and eight are against under 500 teams and the other seven are against Phoenix twice, Golden State twice, Dallas, Houston, and Utah.
According to my system the Nuggets have just as hard a chance of winning against these teams, but that's where a little luck has to happen. With the offensive fire power of Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson, combined with Marcus Camby's inside defense anything can happen!