LISTEN: Mat Smith previews tonight’s big Nuggets game against Portland

Onus will be on Nikola Jokic to prove his worth against ex-teammate Nurkic in must-win playoff atmosphere, Smith says.

It all comes down to this. Tuesday night, the Denver Nuggets will play in what is perhaps the most important regular season game the franchise has taken part in a half a decade. Locked in a tight playoff competition with the Portland Trailblazers, the Nuggets will head to Rip City looking to steal a win and reclaim the eighth and final playoff seed in the Western Conference. A loss could effectively end their season.

5280 Sports Network’s Mat Smith joined 5280SN co-founders Nate Lundy and Shawn Drotar this morning to look back on Denver’s bad loss against New Orleans and preview tonight’s game.

Tonight, the Nuggets will face off against former Nugget Jusuf Nurkic. He has averaged almost 14-points, 10-rebounds, and three blocks since being traded. Locking him down will be critical to Denver’s chances. That task, of course, will be left to Nuggets’ center Nikola Jokic—the player Denver chose over Nurkic.

“Tonight, it’s going to be about slowing down Damian Lillard and Jusuf Nurkic,” Smith said. “There’s going to be some fireworks tonight. Nurkic and Jokic is going to be really fun to watch.”

Catch Nate Lundy and Shawn Drotar every Monday through Friday from 7a-9a on Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7 or stream live any time for the best local coverage of Colorado sports from Denver’s biggest sports talk lineup.