Could they be spoilers? The lowly Nuggets face every team except Seattle that's battling for a postseason spot. Here's a look at what else lies ahead for the playoff contenders, with their odds of making the postseason.
IN THE EAST
MAGIC (37-33 through Sunday):
Seven of Orlando's final II games are on the road, including a Texas Three-Step through San Antonio, Dallas and Houston. But with a 4�-game lead and Tracy McGrady, the Magic's spot should be safe.
ODDS: 1 TO 3.
They have a home-and-home against the Heat as well as dates against (in order of futility) the Cavaliers, Nuggets, Raptors, Clippers and Bulls. That should prove less formidable to coach George Karl than Argentina, Spain and Yugoslavia were at the world championships.
ODDS: 2 TO 3.
The Madison Square Garden faithful remember 1998-99, when New York reached the Finals as an eighth seed. Though the Knicks have six sub-.500 teams on their schedule, they are unlikely to nab a postseason berth this time, not after a crushing defeat at Chicago last Saturday.
ODDS: 6 TO 1.
With a 113-107 loss at Golden State on Sunday, Washington had dropped the first two on a hellish six-game road trip that will determine how quickly Michael Jordan gets back into his business suit. Come mid-April, MJ, should have ample time to start plotting where to deal his former teammates.
ODDS: 7 TO 1.
IN THE WEST
Unlike the East, where the bubble teams are vying for two spots, the West probably has only one to offer. If a child—rookie forward Amare Stoudemire—doesn't lead Phoenix, Stephon Marbury and Shawn Marion will.ODDS: EVEN.
The front-runner for Rookie of the Year continues to shine, but Yao Ming mania will probably not extend into the playoffs. The Spurs, Lakers, Trail Blazers and Nets remain on Houston's schedule, and coach Rudy Tomjanovich's full participation is in doubt because of bladder-cancer treatments.
ODDS: 2 TO 1.