As the 2012 NBA regular season winds down, we now know one thing for certain: the Denver Nuggets will be in the 2012 NBA Playoffs. We also know that they will be either the sixth seed or the seventh seed, but beyond that, much is still up in the air. On Sunday they'll take the floor vs. the Orlando Magic as the No. 6 overall team in the Western Conference with the goal of staying there and avoiding a potentially fatal first round match up with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Magic, who are without star center Dwight Howard for the rest of the season and the playoffs, are free falling, though it's not due to lack of effort. Losses in their last two games— to the Boston Celtics and Utah Jazz, the latter of which came in overtime— have consigned them to the No. 6 seed in the East and a series with the Indiana Pacers, and Sunday's game has little, if any, meaning to them.
With Howard out, the Magic have had to cobble together their scoring, with Glen Davis claiming an increasingly larger role in the offense as more responsibility has fallen on the shoulders of previously auxiliary pieces such as Ryan Anderson and Jason Richardson take on the brunt of the responsibility. But it's their defense that has suffered the most. The Magic has given up 100 points or more six times in April, and the Nuggets fast-paced offense will be looking to add to that number.
Game date/time: Sunday, April 22, 6:00 p.m. CT
Location: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colo.
Odds: Denver by 10
For more on this game, stick with SB Nation Denver. For more on the Nuggets, head over to Denver Stiffs and for more on the Magic, visit Orlando Pinstriped Post. For more news, notes and analysis from around the league, check out SB Nation's NBA news hub.