Yes, Carmelo Anthony hit an amazing last second shot and the Denver Nuggets overcame another second half double digit deficit to win on the road, but just because it was exciting does not mean it was a good win. I do not want to see how badly they will lose tonight against the Hornets if they play defense like they did against Oklahoma City.
You can whine and complain that the Thunder were hitting all their shots. Well, the reason why they hit so many shots is because 90% of them were wide open looks. If you leave Kevin Durant open, he is going to make you pay. If you leave Jeff Green wide open, he is going to make you pay. If you leave NBA shooters open they are going to make shots. It is their job. I know not every player gives it his all every minute of practice, but shooting is fun and everyone likes to practice that part of their game.
I actually thought the starters played pretty good defense in the first quarter and it took a couple of lucky shots for the Thunder to reach 26 first quarter points. Then one of the recent issues came to the forefront in the second quarter. For some reason the Nuggets cannot have a good game from both their starters and their bench at the same time.
When the second stringers entered the game was when Oklahoma City started finding their groove and the result was a 38 point second quarter. The Nuggets did play with more intensity in the second half, their rotations were better, they attacked screens better, but the Thunder already had found their confidence. The Nuggets increased pressure on defense may not have made an impact on their shooting, but it did help create some turnovers and made Oklahoma City work harder for their points.
The one thing I was glad to see tonight was Melo playing in the post. He has a very good post game, including a nice spin move and a serviceable short range turnaround jumper. He is also very good at getting off the floor to tip in his misses. Tonight Melo dusted off that spin move on the block and it worked for him. Melo has really gotten away from his post game lately and I think it has hurt him. During his career best scoring season of 2006-07 where he averaged 28.9 points per game Melo took more shots in the paint than he has the past couple of seasons. In 2006-07 43% of his shots qualified as in close. In 2007-08 his percentage of in close shots dropped to 38%. This year his percentage of in close shots has fallen further to 36%. If Melo can once again embrace his post game I think he can get back close to the level he was performing at in 2006-07.
Additional Game 34 Nuggets
Mind Blowing Game Stats
Pace Factor – 95.3
Defensive Efficiency – 126.0 – Remember the Thunder entered the game last in the NBA in offensive efficiency at 97.6. The great defensive collapse of 2008 has spilled into 2009. The Thunder shot 58.4% from the floor including an effective FG% of 63.6 (taking the extra point from making a three pointer into account) and a true shooting percentage of 67.8% (taking free throws into account)! All of those percentages are season highs.
Offensive Efficiency – 128.1 – Second best rating of the season thanks to some fourth quarter three point marksmanship.
Yes, we will continue to have game threads here at RMC. The only problem is new comments will not automatically appear as they did at our previous location so hit the refresh button early and often.
The Nuggets have a very winnable game that would cap a successful 3-1 road trip as they face the 4-29 Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder may have the worst record in the NBA, but they are not a decent home team. They may find a way to lose almost every game, but over their previous nine home games they have an average scoring margin of only -3.7. They play hard and keep games close and they have won two of their past four home games.
Kevin Durant started off slowly, but has regained the edge he seemed to find towards the end of last season When he pummeled the Nuggets for 37 points including some insanely clutch long bombs on the way to a memorable 151-147 overtime victory for the then Sonics.
This is a game where the Nuggets have a shot at ending their slide down the defensive efficiency ranks as the Thunder are last in the league in offensive efficiency at only 97.6.
The Nuggets are yet to falter against a non playoff caliber team this season so there is no reason to expect anything less than a victory. However, this is hungry team who will fight and claw all night long and if the Nuggets get off to another slow start look for a tight down to the wire game.
Previous Matchup: None
I had wanted my first post on Roundball Mining Company to be some earth shattering unbelievably insightful look at something that would speak to every Denver Nuggets fan. Instead you get a link to someone else’s blog.
Ryan McNeill at HoopsAddict.com was at the Nuggets’ 114-107 victory over Toronto and was able to record the proceedings when George Karl was interviewed by the media about the long strange trek he experienced on his way to 900 career coaching wins.
He made a couple of interesting comments and the story behind how he became the Seattle Supersonics head coach is fascinating.
I strongly recommend you all head over and check out the transcript.
Welcome to the Roundball Mining Company! This blog is dedicated to the Denver Nuggets and while it may be new to you, most likely I am not. My name is Jeremy and I have been running the popular Nuggets blog Pickaxe and Roll for the previous year. If you are moving over here with me from Pickaxe and Roll you will notice that the layout and technology is not quite as cool, but I promise you will still receive the same (hopefully) great content and analysis. While the move may not make sense immediately, I trust in the next month or so it will.
Apart from the regular insightful posts that you are all used to there are three sections for you to enjoy. The first section is the Denver Nuggets Film Room. I have put together several videos over the previous year and you can watch them all, from game breakdowns to individual scouting reports to highlights, in the film room.
The second section is the player by player Denver Nuggets Scouting Report. The abilities and tendencies of every Nuggets’ player is spelled out here in the most comprehensive scouting reports for the Nuggets players available on the internet, at least to those of us who are not on an NBA coaching staff.
Finally, we have the Fan Blog page. At Pickaxe and Roll we had the capability for anyone who was a member to post their own thoughts for everyone else to enjoy. Here it is nowhere near as slick, but if you go to the Fan Blog page and post a comment, whether it is text, video, a link, a picture or all four combined, it will eventually turn into a post of its’ own (once I manually transform it) for everyone to read. It may not be instantaneous, but you can all still share your thoughts with as much, or as little, detail as you would like.
I have set Roundball Mining Company up so that in order to comment you will need to sign up and I apologize for the inconvenience, but I think it makes for a better community when we all know who we are dealing with so sign up and lets kick things off here at the Roundball Mining Company where we are leaving off at Pickaxe and Roll.