The Denver Nuggets don’t have a lot of time to bask in the glory of their big win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday. Tonight the Nuggets host the Oklahoma City Thunder, the top team in the Northwest Division, and Denver’s likely first-round playoff opponent. “Another win would be another statement,” says Nuggets point guard Raymond Felton (Denver Post). The Thunder (50-26) are three games up on the Nuggets (47-29) with six games to go, so it could be tough for Denver to catch up and win the division.
But the Nuggets play the Thunder twice this week (once tonight in Denver and again Friday in Oklahoma City), and the division winner will have home-court advantage in the first round. Playing at home has been incredibly important for both teams all season, with the Nuggets having the third-best home-court winning mark in the league (31-7) and the Thunder having won eight of nine games at home (CBS Sports). NBA.com thinks Denver can pull the upset against Oklahoma, putting the Nuggets in the fifth spot in the latest power rankings, one position higher than the Kevin Durant-led Thunder.