We polled our staff to get their predictions on how the San Antonio Spurs will fare in their Western Conference Playoffs round one matchup with the Denver Nuggets.
Nuggets in 7 – I’m giving Denver the advantage here solely because they have home court advantage. Both teams seem about even overall, but the Spurs’ underperforming defense on the road is why I’m hesitant to pick them in the series. If the Spurs can play consistent defense in both arenas and if Derrick White can bring his game up to another level during the series, I’d go with San Antonio is 6. Those are ifs, so on paper, I’m sticking with Denver in 7.
For the second year in a row, the San Antonio Spurs will be taking their summer vacation in mid-April. While Denver’s inexperience should give San Antonio an advantage, the questions surrounding the Spurs road woes, and DeMar DeRozan’s history of underwhelming playoff performances, could be catastrophic. The Spurs won’t go down without a fight, but Denver wins the series in seven games.
This matchup is easily the most favorable if you’re San Antonio. The Spurs should win this series based off a few factors. Denver has been inconsistent on both side of the ball the past month, they’re inexperienced in the playoffs, and while they have a great home court advantage, the Spurs will need to steal at least one in Denver to win the series. Spurs in 6.
Denver in 7 games. I think this will be one of the better series in the first round of the playoffs. The Nuggets move the ball well and have a nice young core, but the experience and defensive intensity (when they decide to have it) will be there for the Spurs to make it interesting.
Nuggets in 6. Ultimately, the Spurs struggles on the road and inconsistent defense will be too much to overcome against a team with the offensive weapons like the Nuggets have.
I know this is going to generate a lot of heat, but I say Spurs in 6. I know, I know, not the most popular opinion, but I’m hopeful and I believe in the potential of this Spurs squad. The regular season was split 2-2 but the one blowout by the Nuggets that happened toward the beginning of this month happened to be a pretty off game for the Spurs on the tail end of a back to back. I think this is definitely the best first round match up that the Spurs could have hoped for being on the low end of the standings.
Michael De Leon
Spurs in 7. The Nuggets’ inexperience is a big negative against any team, but especially against a Gregg Popovich-coached San Antonio Spurs team. Denver has looked good all season long, but the question has been how they will look when the games count the most and San Antonio is ready to test the Nuggets’ playoff mettle. Denver will make it a very competitive series, but the Spurs will be able to steal one in the Mile High City that will be a series changer.