February schedule opens with consecutive home games in advance of road trip
When going through rough patches this season, the Denver Nuggets have showed a propensity for bouncing back.
After starting out 1-4, they won 10 of their next 12. In January, they followed an eight-game losing streak with five straight wins.
They’re ability to fight through perseverance will be tested again this week.
Coming off back-to-back home losses, the Nuggets will open their February schedule Monday against the Los Angeles Clippers at Pepsi Center. Denver closes its four-game homestand Wednesday against the Milwaukee Bucks before back-to-back road games at New York and Detroit on Friday and Saturday.
Here’s a quick look at each opponent:
The Clippers excelled during their “Grammy” road trip by going 5-2 against Eastern Conference teams. Overall, they have won 11 of their past 14 games despite playing without All-Star point guard Chris Paul (shoulder). All-Star forward Blake Griffin has led the way, averaging 26 points and 8.9 rebounds in 24 games since Dec. 16.
Entering Monday’s game against the New York Knicks, the Bucks (8-39) had lost 15 of 16 games since Jan. 1. Their last road victory was Dec. 31 against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center.
The Nuggets can help themselves in more ways than one when they make their only appearance at Madison Square Garden. Denver holds New York’s first-round pick this summer and would benefit from the Knicks missing the playoffs. New York has been streaky of late, sandwiching winning streaks of five and four games around a five-game losing streak.
After adding Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings during the offseason, Detroit was expected to be among the top contenders in the East. Things haven’t worked out that way, but the Pistons (19-27) remain in the playoff hunt by virtue of the struggling competition around them.