Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
The Denver Nuggets are incredibly hot right now but can't seem to get in the spotlight long enough for people to notice.
The Denver Nuggets (47-22) have won 13 straight games and moved into a virtual tie with the Memphis Grizzlies and L.A. Clippers for the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference playoff bracket, but they certainly have not been the center of attention in the NBA. The Nuggets' recent run has been incredible, but LeBron James and the Miami Heat have stolen the spotlight by stringing together the second-longest winning streak in league history -- which they extended to 24 games with a win on Wednesday.
Home-court advantage for the Nuggets would be huge, because the altitude in the Mile High City has helped Denver build up an insane 30-3 record at the Pepsi Center this season. The Nuggets haven't lost at home since Jan. 18, and on Thursday night they will have a chance to extend their winning streak against a Philadelphia 76ers team that lost to the Clippers by 29 points Wednesday night.
The Nuggets should be the center of attention with just three games on the schedule, but NCAA March Madness has bumped the games from TNT and the contest will instead be shown locally on Altitude and CSN-Philadelphia (9 p.m. ET). Once again, the Nuggets have to share the spotlight.
Nate Timmons of Nuggets blog Denver Stiffs has provided a roadmap for the Western Conference playoff race, so be sure to check that out.
In the other action on Thursday night, the Bulls will look to bounce back after a crushing loss to the Nuggets that was marked by a controversial goaltending call against Joakim Noah. The Bulls are in the No. 6 slot out East, and after just four wins in their last 10 games they could certainly use a win over the Trail Blazers (8 p.m. ET, CSN-Chicago, CSN-Portland).
Finally, the night will end with a matchup of two teams out of the playoff race: the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Sacramento Kings. Every game is important to Kings fans at the moment, and Tom Ziller of SB Nation and Sactown Royalty has laid out the final steps in the sprint toward a resolution to the sale of the team.
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