Playoff Fever Brewing for Nuggets and Avs’ Fans

Great Time to Frequent a Local Sports Bar for B-Ball and Hockey Action

Trevor Phipps

Being a pro sports fan in Colorado usually means sitting idly by during the playoff season as the hometown teams’ seasons screech to a halt.

Whether there is ever hope for Broncos or Rockies fans again (no, there isn’t at least in the immediate future) is still up in the air. But alas, hockey and basketball fans definitely have something to look forward to in the coming weeks with their Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avs.  And area sports bars could be buzzing with talk about amazing three-point hoop shots from the “The Joker,” and the possibility of two in a row in the Avs’ quest for a Stanley Cup.

For Nuggets’ fans the last couple of years have gone about the same. The hoopsters get into the playoffs and then get eliminated.

In fact, the Nuggets have yet to win a national championship since the franchise started. But the phrase that every Nugget fan has been clinging to all season,  “This could be our year,”  might actually hold true in 2023.

Although it is still too early to tell, the Nuggets look like they are sporting their best chances ever this season to take home a title. But only if they can avoid their curse of choking in the postseason. The team has clinched the number one spot in the Western Conference going into the playoffs, which is a feat that naysayers said they would never accomplish.

During the final games of the regular season, the team almost seemed like they were going to drop the ball and fall from the top spot. They even received a scolding from their top coach, Michael Malone, who needed his own three-pointer with his blunt commentary. In a  blistering style, Malone told the media if the Nuggets continued this dismal level of play, they would be eliminated from the playoffs in round one promptly, no questions about it.   Maybe this motivational tongue-lashing talk helped.

Some key late season wins, secured the number one position for the team, and hopefully it will give them some much needed momentum moving into the postseason.

The team’s leader, Nikola “The Joker” Jokic, has proven to be one of the best in the league as he earned the league’s MVP award for the last three seasons in a row. The star will most likely be the most watched player during the playoffs, as now is truly his time to shine.

At the end of last week, the Nuggets had the number one seed locked, but with an angry Memphis Grizzlies team closely clawing their way up to being a mere game and a half behind in second. The Sacramento Kings locked themselves in as the number three seed and the Phoenix Suns have secured the fourth place spot.

The playoffs start this Saturday, but it is still unknown as to who the Nuggets will face to start. While some of the playoff matchups have been determined, the playoff schedule had not yet been finalized by press time.

This weekend launches the NBA playoff season that will keep basketball fans entertained for the next month and a half. During April and May, it is a good time to get out to a local sports bar and enjoy some basketball playoff action that will determine who plays in the NBA Finals that starts on June 1.

Colorado Avalanche Bracing For St. Stanley Quest  Again

Av fans had their glory days last year when the team took home the Stanley Cup after making their fans patiently wait for over two decades. At the beginning of the NHL season, fans all over the state were hopeful that just maybe the team could come up with a repeat.

That is a tough feat, as usually Stanley Cup championship teams are courted and corralled by other contenders with big dollar signs. As a result, the Avs lost some key stars.

But the season did not quite start out how Colorado hockey fans had planned as the team did just not show the same strength as they did last year. Some injuries riddled the team during the regular season and it seemed like they kept falling farther and farther away from that number one spot.

But even though most can agree that the team doesn’t exhibit the same fire they had last year, they have been making strides to come back towards the end of the season. As of last Friday, the Avs had conducted quite the end of the season rout as they won 10 of their last dozen games.

At press time, the Avs had scratched their way back up to the top and they had the number one seed in their Central Division with a 47-24-6 record. However, the 43-21-14 Dallas Stars are a close second and the 44-24-10 Minnesota Wild can’t be counted out as they sit in third place.

As the season nears an end, the Avs need to keep up their winning streak if they want to hold on to their top seed. This week marks the final days of regular season play and how the Avalanche does will paint the picture of how tough their postseason will be.

But even though some fans may be disappointed not see the same stellar team as they did last year as they headed in to the playoffs, this week is a prime time to head out to a local watering hole and catch the final part of regular season hockey action. The Avs play at home this Tuesday against the Edmonton Oilers and then they have another home match on Thursday against the Winnipeg Jets. The team ends their season on Friday on the road against the Nashville Predators.

The NHL postseason then launches next Monday.