The Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Timberwolves will meet each other in the first round of the 2023 NBA playoffs as the 1-8 matchup in the Western Conference. The Nuggets have homecourt advantage in this divisional clash, and enter the playoffs hoping to make a deep run after years of knocking on the door. The Timberwolves enter the postseason after winning Friday’s play-in game against the Thunder. Here’s a look at how these teams match up ahead of the first round.
No. 1 Nuggets vs. No. 8 Timberwolves
Head-to-head record: Tied 2-2
Overall record: Nuggets 53-29, Timberwolves 42-40
Leading scorer on Nuggets: Nikola Jokic
Leading scorer on Timberwolves: Anthony Edwards
Odds to win series: TBD
After struggling to stay healthy around two-time MVP Nikola Jokic for the last few seasons, the Nuggets finally had everything come together this year. The result was a tremendous winning pace in a loaded Western Conference, eventually leading to a No. 1 seed. Now, the Nuggets have to show they can win the postseason. With Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. clicking around Jokic, this team is capable of going all the way.
The Timberwolves were not able to rise up the standings as expected with the Rudy Gobert acquisition, but they have made their way into the playoff field. Minnesota does have big injuries, but the trio of Gobert, Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards are going to be healthy for this clash. They’ll be heavy underdogs but the Timberwolves do have some top-end talent to push the Nuggets past their comfort zone in the first round.