DENVER (CBS4) – Denver Nuggets veteran forward Al Harrington says the team is very excited and ready to go to the playoffs. He was the special guest on CBS4’s Xfinity Monday Live.
It got a little bit tight for the Nuggets down the stretch but they were able to clinch a spot in the playoffs after winning eight of 11 games. They now wait to find out who they will play in the first round.
“We started to gain confidence. I think Ty Lawson is really starting to take control of the team the way we envisioned him from the beginning of the season,” Harrington said. “I think we’ve just grown as a team and Arron (Afflalo) has been playing awesome.”
On Monday the Nuggets owned the sixth seed in the playoffs. They have two games left and if they win out they will stay at the sixth position.
There are three possible matchups for the Nuggets. One is the Oklahoma City Thunder, currently the second seed, a team that knocked the Nuggets out of the playoffs last year.
“We want them. I say, ‘Why not?’ We went down there, we were short-handed, we had a good chance to win it,” Harrington said. “We play them on Wednesday and we’re going to see how we measure up.”
If the season ended on Monday the Nuggets would match up against the Los Angeles Lakers, the third seed. It could be interesting if they opened against the Lakers because Ron Artest is facing a suspension from the league for an elbow to the Thunder’s James Harden. It’s possible he could be suspended as many as five games.
“Obviously as a competitor you don’t want to see down men, but whatever happens, happens,” Harrington said. “That’s going to be a very tough series if that’s who we play.”
The fourth seed is the other team from Los Angeles — the Clippers. Most of the Clippers’ players are going to the playoffs for the first time, giving the Nuggets an advantage as they’ve been in the playoffs before.
“I think that with Chris Paul; that gives them an advantage. He plays unbelievable basketball. But I think everybody after him is a little shaky, so if we get them that would be nice.”
But Harrington reiterated he wants to play Oklahoma City in the first round.
Until Sunday, Andre Miller and Harrington were the only Nuggets players who didn’t miss a game this season — a season that saw more back-to-back games because of the lockout.
“I wanted to play every game but I just figured I needed some rest to make sure I’m ready for the playoffs,” Harrington said.
Harrington does have a torn meniscus in his right knee but says he will deal with that in the offseason.
– By Matthew J. Buettner, CBSDenver.com
Watch more of the video with Harrington in the Xfinity Monday Live! section.