NBA

Nuggets Resting Key Players Against Portland On Sunday Night

Apr 7, 2019, 3:04 PM | Updated: 5:32 pm
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The eight Western Conference playoffs teams all got the night off on Saturday, putting them all back in action for Sunday.

Some teams, including the Denver Nuggets, are already starting to rest key players prior to the start of the postseason.

Locally, the Utah Jazz remain in fifth place. Their opponent in the playoffs will likely be the Portland Trail Blazers and the two teams are vying for home court advantage with the Blazers holding a one-game lead for now.

Here’s a look at who the eight teams will face Sunday night:

1. Golden State Warriors (55-24)

Games remaining: 3 (LAC, at NOP, at MEM)

Next up: vs. Clippers, Sunday

The Warriors have the top seed virtually locked with two of their last three games remaining against lottery-bound teams. They currently have a four game-winning streak and will face the Clippers Sunday night. Golden State has won 15 of the last 17 and 14 of the last 16 at home against the Clippers.

2. Denver Nuggets (53-26)

Games behind: 2

Games remaining: 3 (at POR, at UTA, MIN)

Next up: at Portland, Sunday

According to reports, the Nuggets are essentially going to concede the top seed in the West by resting several key players on Sunday. Paul Millsap, Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray are all expected to sit out against Portland in a game that will have a big impact on the Trail Blazers and the Utah Jazz.

3. Houston Rockets (52-28)

Games behind: 3.5

Games remaining: 2 (PHX, OKC)

Next up: vs Phoenix, Sunday

Houston has a shot at jumping Denver if the Rockets win out and Denver lose out. The Rockets are red hot with a five game winning streak and face the hapless Suns Sunday night. They hold a 10-game winning streak over Phoenix.

4. Portland Trail Blazers (50-29)

Games behind: 5

Games remaining: 3 (DEN, at LAL, SAC)

Next up: vs. Denver, Sunday

As stated above, the Nuggets have gifted the Blazers an opportunity to get an important win on Sunday by resting three key players. With the Jazz right behind Portland and vying for home court advantage in the likely playoff series between the two, the Trail Blazers’ game against Denver could keep Utah at bay.

5. Utah Jazz (49-30)

Games behind: 6

Games remaining: 3 (at LAL, DEN, at LAC)

Next up: at Los Angeles Lakers, Sunday

The last time the Jazz played the Lakers was on the team’s Autism Awareness Night, when Joe Ingles nearly completed a triple-double with 11 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds. While Utah has been extremely shorthanded for the last few games, the Jazz still have a seven game winning streak and a lot to play for against the Lakers, who will be lottery-bound this summer.

6. LA Clippers (47-33)

Games behind: 8.5

Games remaining: 2 (at GSW, UTA)

Next up: at Warriors, Sunday

At the moment, the Clippers are the only playoff-bound team with a multiple-game losing streak. With two games to go, LA has a couple of tough games on the slate against the top seeded Warriors and the Jazz. The Clippers have the distinction of being the last opposing team to play the Warriors in Oracle Arena in a regular season game on Sunday.

7. Oklahoma City Thunder (46-33)

Games behind: 9

Games remaining: 3 (at MIN, HOU, at MIL)

Next up: at Timberwolves, Sunday

The Thunder face Minnesota on Sunday, a team that has gotten the best of them all season. The Timberwolves have won all three games against the Thunder this season, thanks to 40-point games by Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. The Thunder have the toughest pre-conference stretch of all the Western Conference playoffs teams, but teams may end up resting key players.

8. San Antonio Spurs (46-34)

Games behind: 9.5

Games remaining: 2 (at CLE, DAL)

Next up: at Cleveland, Sunday

The Spurs have the Cavaliers, one of the worst teams in the NBA on the docket for Sunday night. San Antonio has a five game winning streak over Cleveland.

 

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Nuggets Resting Key Players Against Portland On Sunday Night