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At Golden State – Biggest game of the season

April 10th, 2008 by aswitzer

So far, that is.

The first game on TNT’s Thursday night line-up for April 10th has about as much potential drama as you can order for a regular season game. Two teams are vying for the 8th and final NBA playoff spot in the hyper-competitive Western Conference. The team that wins this game has a clear path to securing that spot, while the loser stands to become the all-time winningest team not able to make the playoffs.

With only 4 games remaining for both teams, and identical 47-31 records, this is a must-win game if there ever was one. Not that either team isn’t already well-familiar with that mode – as the battle just to get in to the playoff has been going on for both the Nuggets and Warriors for several weeks now.

“Two good teams who deserve to go to the playoffs are going to battle on Thursday night,” Denver coach George Karl said of the Nuggets and Warriors. “When this thing all started evolving six or eight weeks ago, I remember circling the game with Golden State.

“We could get (to the playoffs) if we don’t win. It could give us a big leg up if we do win.”

Carmelo Anthony appears to be a little confused by the situation.

“It’s a big game for us. Do I believe we have to win? No. But it’s a must-win for us.”

Regardless of his contradicting statements, he has not been confused on the court – averaging 40.3 points on 68% shooting (49-72) in the past three games.

Scoring will not be a problem in this game. The Nuggets rank second in the NBA in scoring with 110.7 points a game, training only Golden State at 110.8. On the flip-side – the Warriors have the league’s worst defense, allowing 108.3 points per game, ahead only of Denver, who allows 106.9.

The Nuggets have had their struggles on the road this season, going 16-23 away from the Mile High city this year. However, the Nuggets have won 9 out of their last 12 against Golden State. Golden State has the worst home record of any Western Conference playoff contender this season.

Enough statistics. Tomorrow’s game will be won by the team that wants it more.


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