Another season-ending injury has hit the Denver Nuggets, already without Nate Robinson, Danilo Gallinari and JaVale McGee, when they lost forward J.J. Hickson for the season to a ligament tear in his right knee this weekend.
Fortunately for the Nuggets, they have depth at his position with Darrell Arthur and Anthony Randolph, and also could opt to use Jan Vesely to fill the void starting with Sunday's home game vs. the Wizards. Vesely was acquired from Washington in a three-team trade Feb. 20.
While Denver is almost officially out of the playoff hunt, this game is crucial for Washington's playoff seeding.
"I'm glad I'm in the East. But we still haven't solidified a playoff spot, so we knew we had to get back on the right track -- pushing the ball and playing team defense. When we get stagnant, we don't play great," Wizards point guard John Wall said after Friday's win vs. the L.A. Lakers. "So it was great to get to come back tonight and get back on the winning track."
The Nuggets have won four of their last six games, including against the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers. Point guard Ty Lawson, however, hasn't had a game with 20 or more points in two weeks.
Hickson averaged 11.8 points and 9.2 rebounds in 27 minutes per game. He had 18 points and eight rebounds in his last game against the Dallas Mavericks.
TV: There isn't a pregame show before tipoff 5 p.m. ET from Pepsi Center on CSN but there will be Wizards Postgame Live immediately after the conclusion. Radio: 106.7 FM. 1500 AM.
Last game: Wizards (36-33) won at L.A. Lakers 117-107 on Friday; Nuggets (31-38) lost at Dallas 122-106 on Friday.
Last meeting: Denver won 75-74 on Dec. 9 when Washington was so depleted by injuries it had to start rookie Glen Rice and were held without a field goal for the last 4:04. Season series: Denver leads 1-0.
Projected starting lineups: Wizards –- PG John Wall, SG Bradley Beal, SF Trevor Ariza, PF Trevor Booker, C Marcin Gortat. Nuggets –- PG Ty Lawson, SG Randy Foye, SF Wilson Chandler, PF Kenneth Faried, C Timofey Mosgov.
X-factor: F Al Harrington is coming off his best game since November for Washington.
Around the bend: The Wizards will return to D.C. immediately after the game and could have off Monday, practice Tuesday and play at home Wednesday vs. Phoenix Suns (CSN, 7 ET).