Nikola Jokic produced one other triple-double on Friday night time, ending with 18 factors, 18 rebounds and 10 assists within the Denver Nuggets’ 113-97 win over the Memphis Grizzlies. With that, the Nuggets are actually 25-0 this season when Jokic data a triple-double.
But for as soon as, Jokic’s mastery of the sport was not the first storyline of the night time. Rather, it is the truth that the Nuggets have probably locked up the No. 1 seed within the Western Conference although there’s nonetheless 5 weeks remaining within the common season.
“I do not suppose [about revenge from Denver’s loss to Memphis last month],” Jokic mentioned. “It was an vital sport to win, particularly at dwelling in entrance of the very best followers. We wanted to do this.”
The Nuggets now have a six-game lead over the Grizzlies within the race for the one-seed. What’s extra, this win gave them the tiebreaker between the 2 groups, which suggests it is basically a seven-game benefit. That could be a tough deficit to beat at any level within the season, but it surely’s just about unattainable with solely 18 video games remaining for the Nuggets and 20 left for the Grizzlies.
Even if the Grizzlies caught fireplace, which can be potential given their schedule the remainder of the best way, they’d want the 45-19 Nuggets to crumble. And that, given the best way Jokic is enjoying, appears extraordinarily unlikely. Denver additionally has a manageable remaining schedule and solely has three shedding streaks all season: a two-gamer in November, a three-gamer in December and a two-gamer in January. There could also be questions on whether or not they can win within the playoffs, but it surely’s clear by now this group is constructed to excel within the common season.
As for the postseason, it is nonetheless too early to know absolutely anything in regards to the West seeding outdoors of the Nuggets’ probabilities to be the No. 1 seed. The Nos. 4-8 seeds are separated by three video games, whereas the Nos. 9-13 seeds are separated by an extra 1.5 video games. Injuries and mid-season trades will add one other wrinkle, as groups such because the Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors will probably be unconventional “low seeds.”
But no matter path they might face, that is the Nuggets’ greatest likelihood to win a title in a very long time.
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