Though Denver's franchise record-tying 15-game win streak came to a close with Monday's loss to the New Orleans Hornets, all those victories boosted the team up the standings. With Ty Lawson, who missed the past three games, potentially returning, this could be a chance for the Nuggets to gain even more ground.
Just weeks before the end of the season, Denver has sole possession of the third sed in the Western Conference standings with a 49-23 record. The Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies are within just a game of the Nuggets, though, so keeping the victories coming is likely the only way to avoid dropping down.
For a team that's been so dominant playing at home this season, landing a top-four seed in the standings could be a major part of how far Denver advances this postseason. The best four teams in each conference land homecourt advantage for the first round, and few teams could benefit from that extra home game more than the Nuggets.
Denver has won 32 of its 35 games at the Pepsi Center this season, tied for the best home record in the NBA with the streaking Miami Heat.
San Antonio doesn't need to play with the same sense of urgency that Denver does with the best record in the conference and a comfortable six-game advantage over fifth-place Memphis. Still, that doesn't exactly make this match-up much easier for the Nuggets.
Like their opponent, the Spurs have been especially good playing at home this season. The team has won 26 of its past 28 games in San Antonio.
Facing a Nuggets team that's generally struggled away from the high altitude and raucous crowds of the Mile High City, that's a pretty good sign for San Antonio. And while Lawson awaits his game-time decision, Denver could be down arguably its most important player.
Considering that the Spurs' schedule is about to get really tough over the next few days -- the Clippers, Heat and Grizzlies are the next three teams coming up -- this is still a game San Antonio could use, as Pounding the Rock, SB Nation's Spurs blog, observes.
Getting Lawson back will be key, writes Denver Stiffs, SB Nation's Nuggets blog, considering the pace at which the team plays. Andre Miller has been getting big minutes in Lawson's place, but he's no longer really fit for such a big role on an offensive-minded contender.
Wednesday's game begins at 8:30 p.m. ET.