2008-09 Game 35: Denver Nuggets vs New Orleans Hornets Game Thread

The one and only Vanilla Ice is in town tonight to celebrate the marketing event that is 80’s night at the Pepsi Center.  I can get a kick out of Vanilla as anyone, but I would much rather the Nuggets observe December 15, 2008 night. 

Why December 15, 2008?  That was the last time the Nuggets played defense at the level required to achieve the kind of success we all want for them.  That was the night they defeated the Dallas Mavericks with their defense.  It was the last time they posted a defensive efficiency rating below 100 and the last time they held an opponent below 40% shooting.  The most disturbing stat of all though is since December 15, 2008 they are 1-5 against playoff caliber teams.

Tonight Denver has another chance to reverse that trend.

The one thing that I find encouragement in is the Nuggets have been switching on screens less frequently, but tonight the big men are going to have to really step up and aggressively jump Chris Paul when he is coming off the screen.  Last night they were very lax and allowed Russell Westbrook and Earl Watson were able to penetrate far enough that the defense had to collapse resulting in either easy baskets for a cutter (Chris Wilcox) or their shooters (Kevin Durant and Jeff Green).  They need to force Paul away from the paint towards the sideline, but still make sure he cannot cut behind them and “split the double team” and drive directly into the lane.  It is not an easy task, but it is one that Nene, Kenyon Martin and, to a lesser extent, Chris Andersen are capable of accomplishing.

The Nuggets once again catch a break as Tyson Chandler, who missed the previous game in Denver, is suspended for elbowing Joel Przybilla in the chest last night. 

In that first meeting Denver fell behind by double digits in the third quarter and came back to take the lead late in the game 92-89 with just over two minutes left, but then the Hornets got a couple of lucky breaks.  After a great defensive possession by the Nuggets Chris Paul made a three pointer from at least ten feet behind the arc and on their next possession after the Nuggets deflected the all away and seemed posed for a fast break it somehow bounced to Rasual Butler who passed to an open Peja Stojakovic for another three that put the Hornets up three.  Those six points swung the game back in favor of the Hornets; however, they still needed a three by James Posey with 19 seconds left to pull out the win.  New Orleans also needed a 7-8 shooting night from Rasual Butler, a 39.7% marksman for his career.  However, on the Nuggets side J.R. Smith torched his original NBA team for 32 points including five three pointers.

The biggest difference between that game and tonight is the Denver Nuggets are clearly not playing at the same level as they were at that point in the season.  There is no reason that they cannot get back to that level, but they have to collectively want to.

Denver Nuggets Game Notes

Previous Matchup:  Game 16 – Den 101 NOH 105

Featured Blogs:  Hornets 24/7 | At the Hive

The following two tabs change content below.
  • markph

    We are getting hammered with snow here in Castle Rock. No place I’d rather now be but on my ass watching the Nuggets get their ass’s kicked by Chris Paul and the Hornets with a beer and a homemade pizza.
    Here’s hoping I’m wrong about the potential loss

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    2 on Nene, not good.

  • markph

    Man that was quick

  • BeefySwats

    4 fouls on the Nuggets already.

  • markph

    too many fouls

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Hornets in the bonus with 8:30 left in the first quarter.

  • markph

    birthday boy 2 tre’s already

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    LK has no chance against Armstrong on D.

  • BeefySwats

    Time to start doubling Armstrong or putting Kenyon on him.

  • markph

    Armstrong on a tear

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    That was a really short second on the shot clock.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    At least with the Hornets going after LK with Armstrong Paul does not have the ball in his hands.

  • markph

    way too many fouls

  • markph

    nice Carmello drive. We need many of those moments

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Finally Melo takes it to the rim. After having such a great post up game last night, he has yet to post on the block yet.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    No weakside help on Paul’s drive.

  • markph

    AC, not that bad so far

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Ever since I wrote that I was ready to see Atkins take Carter’s spot Atkins has not played and Carter has played much better. So either I am an idiot or my motivational ploy worked.

  • markph

    Well your no idiot.

  • markph

    AC air ball

  • markph

    Our jumpers have gone cold

  • markph

    nice finish for the first !!!!!!

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Carter made a great play and then makes a completely mindless foul with only 1.2 seconds left 60 feet from the basket. Horrible.

  • BeefySwats

    That was a great sequence to end the first. Solid defense forcing turnovers which turns into a 3, a Kleiza dunk and a 5 point lead. I’ll take it.

  • BeefySwats

    ^^ Yeah, but Paul only made one, I’m cool with it. He saw an oppurtunity and after his last steal I’m willing to let that one slide. :)

  • markph

    Damn AC I thought it was over for the first, I get off the couch and …. DORK !!!!

  • BeefySwats

    Armstrong is on fucking fire.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Anyone notice how Marlowe seems to have a difficult time telling tow pointers from three pointers?

  • BeefySwats

    Chauncey needs a tattoo of a brain on his head. He’s such an intelligent player.

  • BeefySwats

    Carter, stop going for fucking steals all the time!

  • markph

    Hastings covers for him

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Amazing shot by Peja from behind the backboard.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Andersen doing a good job running at shooters.

  • BeefySwats

    I’m very pleased with the Nuggets’ D over the last 3 minutes. They have been solid on their rotations and are taking high percentage shots. Andersen, Nene, and Melo are absolutely frustrating the Hornets’ bigs.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    David West has been non-existant tonight.

  • markph

    playing much better than last night

  • markph

    Melo is looking real solid tonight. Man 50-34. WTF !!!!

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    This is the best the Nuggets have played for a long time. Amazing defense!

  • markph

    WOW what D by the Nuggets

  • BeefySwats

    WOW. 20 point lead and the Nuggets play probably their best defensive set in the entire season. That was an amazing sequence and great pair of blocks.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    J.R. is a different player when he is passing like this.

  • BeefySwats

    Nene shooting 100% from the field.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    If Nene can get through the rest of the half without picking up his third I will be happy.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    I mentioned how the Hornets were getting the lucky bounces in the first meeting. Tonight the ball is bouncing the Nuggets way.

  • BeefySwats

    Kenyon continues to struggle at the line. He was shooting them so much better earlier in the year.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Don’t let the Hornets get any closer before the half.

  • markph

    can’t let Paul out of the cage now.

  • markph

    Kmart sweet on Paul. I love it.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Yea Beefy. When he was hitting his free throws early in the season I thought maybe he had fixed his form, but he still shoots it from the wrong side of his face with his left hand too far in front of the ball.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    That was a pretty dang good half.

  • markph

    And Marlowe the expert commentator that he is thought Kmart set up the last free throw that nicked the rim as an offensive play. Marlow said it was a smart move by Kmart.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    That’s funny, I missed it.

  • CCH

    Great half! Awesome D! Chris paul better watch his back or kmart is going to meet him in the parking lot. Definately should of been a double T.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Halftime stats:

    Pace Factor – 80.3 (incredibly slow pace I had to double check the stats)

    Defensive Efficiency – 99.7

    Offensive Efficiency – 144.5 (crazy)

  • CCH

    Check this link out and goto Number 9.
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/dailydime?page=dime-090103-04
    More trade talks on Kleiza for Lee thought on this guys?

  • johnny_utah

    CCH I wouldnt feel big if I was Kmart and starting on 6 foot Paul. What is Kmart your KG of the team?

  • BeefySwats

    Beautiful passing tonight. Nuggets are really impressing me with the assists.

  • markph

    Wow , no third period blues tonight

  • BeefySwats

    Trading baskets is fine with me when we’re up 20.

  • markph

    who’s the insurance salesman on the floor for the Hornets ?

  • markph

    Nuggets are so in the zone. Really great to watch.

  • CCH

    4 fouls on paul, maybe the best nuggets passing i’ve seen all year.When’s the last time melo passed up an open three?

  • markph

    No time to go to sleep, Nuggets

  • BeefySwats

    Cmon Nuggets, close out the quarter. Keep it at 20 going into the 4th.

  • markph

    Stojakovik, the Insurance salesman. Fax me a quote for term life please.

  • CCH

    These refs are suckin pauls nuts now.

  • CCH

    what a joke, talk about a mental breakdown 14 points blown in what 5 minutes?

  • markph

    What the hell. Last 5 minutes were awful. It will be a game in the 4th just when the subs thought they were gonna get some playtime

  • CCH

    were gonna lose this game. And if we dont we deserve too.

  • markph

    Chris Paul needs to be contained. Shit only up by 9 now.

  • markph

    We are coming unglued. A 27-6 run by the Hornets. Just incredible.

  • CCH

    These losers deserve to lose.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    It is amazing how stupid this team can become.

  • markph

    I swear they get afraid of their own success as if they don’t deserve to play so well against contender teams.

  • markph

    Oh well JR has infused a few good moments

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Hastings is right, that switch between Melo and Nene was dumber than Lloyd Christmas.

  • markph

    Chris Paul wakes up and starts do destroy anytime he chooses

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Can we please get Chauncey in the game for AC?

  • markph

    What just happened ?

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    This is pathetic.

  • markph

    94 up. real nice Denver

  • markph

    this just sucks

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    I am so sick of Melo committing a foul whenever he thinks the refs missed a call. What does he think that accomplishes?

  • markph

    Chris Paul uncontested, duh what do you think is gonna happen ?

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    The refs are in the Hornets pocket and they are still complaining whenever they get called for something.

  • BeefySwats

    Tie game. What.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    I do not see how the Nuggets are going to win this game.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    OK, a bucket here and I will have to recant comment #87.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Just like last time Posey for three.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Shut up Posey!

  • markph

    well this has become exciting

  • markph

    here we go, just like last night

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Horrible force by Posey. They did not need a three.

  • markph

    we are gonna win Jeremy

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Make this one Nene!

  • markph

    now it’s a W

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    That was the strangest turnover I have seen in a while. OK markph, now I believe.

  • markph

    Nuggets are on a Mission from God

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    If Denver had never built that big lead this would be a big win. Instead I feel dirty.

  • markph

    Well that’s entertainment. Poor Chris Paul, nice tear from NENE to call the final.

  • markph

    Looking forward to your take Jeremy