Week Ahead: Denver Nuggets eye playoff push

Blend of home and road offers opportunity after All-Star break
by Aaron Lopez

With the All-Star break behind them, moving week has arrived for the Denver Nuggets.

After losing four in a row entering the break, the Nuggets (24-27) have an opportunity to build some momentum as they try to get back in the Western Conference playoff race.

Denver will open the stretch run Tuesday night at home against the Phoenix Suns before playing back-to-back road games at Milwaukee on Thursday and at Chicago on Friday. The week concludes Sunday against the Sacramento Kings at Pepsi Center.

Here’s a quick look at each opponent:

Phoenix Suns Logo


The Suns have been a thorn in Denver’s side all season, winning the first three meetings, including a come-from-behind victory at Pepsi Center on Dec. 20. Phoenix (30-21) is seventh in the West, percentage points ahead of eight-place Golden State and six games ahead of the Nuggets.

Milwaukee Bucks Logo


The Bucks (9-43) are in the midst of a miserable season and they’ve lost 19 of their past 21 games. That being said, the Nuggets can ill afford to take this game lightly, considering Milwaukee was within three points late in the fourth quarter at Pepsi Center on Feb. 5.

Chicago Bulls Logo


Regardless of personnel, Chicago (27-25) seems to find a way to succeed under coach Tom Thibodeau. Despite losing point guard Derrick Rose to another knee injury and trading starting forward Luol Deng to Cleveland, the Bulls climbed to fourth in the East by going 15-7 heading into the break.

Sacramento Kings Logo


It’s been a tough season for the Kings (18-35) as they try to rebuild around talented center DeMarcus Cousins. One of their highlights was an opening-night win over the Nuggets, but Denver got even with a road victory on Jan. 26. Sacramento has lost nine straight at Pepsi Center.