Denver Nuggets fans have grown accustomed to seeing their team in the NBA playoffs. This year marks the 10th consecutive playoff appearance for the Nuggets. Unfortunately, their fans have also grown accustomed to watching this team make an early exit. Only once in this current string of playoff appearances have the Nuggets advanced beyond the first round. Will it be different this year?

Not only have the Nuggets gotten into an unpleasant habit of getting knocked out in the first round, but only three times in their nine straight  playoff appearances have the Nuggets won more than a single game. It has become disheartening for Nuggets' fans, but barely disappointing because we have come to expect the worst.

This season, expectations are on the rise, with the team winning a franchise record 57 games. Not bad for a team that lost it's first three games of the season, and ultimately started the year with a dismal 4-6 record. But, winning streaks of 6, 9, and 15 solidified this team as a playoff contender and a legitimate threat to win the Western Conference title.

(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Then, the unthinkable happened. On April 4th, the Nuggets second leading scorer Danilo Gallinari injured his knee against the Dallas Mavericks - a torn ACL - done for the season. It looked like a serious blow to the Nuggets chances to make a run at the title. But, they went on to win 5 of their last 6 games to clinch the #3 seed in the Western Conference and a first round playoff date with the Golden State Warriors. Some NBA analysts say the Nuggets still have a chance to win the conference.

The Nuggets won the season series against Golden State 3-1, their only loss coming coming back in November - a one point loss in Oakland. Surprisingly, this will be the first ever  playoff match up between these two teams. Game one is Saturday, 3:30pm, at the Pepsi Center in Denver.

The Nuggets boasted an NBA best 38-3 record at home, and take a 23 game home court winning streak into the playoffs.  With the #3 seed, the Nuggets have the home court advantage against the Warriors, and with a key component of their offense sidelined, they'll need every advantage they can muster if they hope to change playoff history and advance past the first round of the playoffs.