The final weekend of the NBA regular season is here and there are still a lot of playoff bids up for grabs.
In the Eastern Conference, the eight playoff spots have been clinched, but not so in the Western Conference. Five postseason slots are still in doubt between seven teams, all within four games of each other. Making things closer, the current fifth-seeded San Antonio Spurs and the eighth-seeded Denver Nuggets are just separated by one game.
The Nuggets enter the stretch run tied with Minnesota for the final playoff position after defeating the Timberwolves 100-96 Thursday night. Winners of four straight, Denver is looking to get in the postseason for the first time in four years.
With three games remaining and so much at stake, Nuggets center Mason Plumlee finds a way to relax from the pressure on the court through meditating on Scripture.
“There’s so much Scripture about peace. Peace is a big thing and it’s a promise from the Lord. So you got to trust in the peace,” Plumlee said to Sports Spectrum. “He’s given us a spirit of power and of love and peace — some would say a sound mind. So that’s something I rely on when the stakes are high.”
Over the course of an 82-game season, there are many twists and turns for every team. Plumlee admits that he isn’t immune to the rollercoaster effect of the season, but it gives him a chance to build a closer relationship with his teammates and also be able to pour into their lives.
“It’s such a long season and there are highs and lows for everybody,” he said. “Everybody experiences different peaks and valleys and you need your teammates. You need other people there to pick you up and carry you through and I’ve been the beneficiary of people doing that for me. So you want to lend a hand or encourage with the Word or be there for somebody.”
Another way Plumlee is able to connect with his teammates is through chapel before the game.
“Everybody in here is a basketball player, but guys are fathers, guys are brothers. There’s just so much more and it’s good to connect on those levels too,” he said.
The Nuggets travel to the Staples Center to face the Los Angles Clippers in a Saturday afternoon tilt. With a win, Denver would stay on target for one of the coveted playoff spots.
“Every game is big,” Plumlee said to NBA.com. “There are only so many left. We knew this was a big one coming in. As big as this one is, we have to forget about it just as quickly and go to L.A. and get another one.”
– Sports Spectrum Magazine Feature: Mason Plumlee – Faith Looks Forward
– Florida Gators’ Chris Chiozza says his grandmother’s faith fuels him
– Cavs Kyle Korver grateful to God that he’s still playing in NBA after 15 seasons
– Rockets Ryan Anderson praises God in both triumph and tragedy