Box Score | Highlights
If you play with fire eventually you will have to get out of the kitchen. Friday night the Chicago Bulls proved to have too many cooks and the Nuggets ended up finding out that if you may be able to fool some of the worms early enough, but in the end it’s the thought that counts.
Don’t worry, it makes sense to me.
The Nuggets have had a tendency of thinking that they can just turn it on at the end of games (playing with fire) and pull out win after win. Well it did not work Friday night in Chicago (they had to get out of the kitchen). Ben Gordon, Luol Deng, Tyrus Thomas and Joakim Noah all had good games (too many cooks). The Nuggets have had the best record in the league against sub .500 teams (they fooled some of the worms some of the time) and even though they got out to a great start against Chicago (they fooled that worm early on), but the Bulls played a trough smart game while the Nuggets began settling for jumpers and seemed to completely forget how they completely outplayed the Bulls early in the game (proving that it’s the thought that counts).
See, and you guys were worried I was losing my mind.
After taking an early lead the Nuggets really let up expecting an easy win and by the time they realized they had to flip the switch in the fourth quarter their shots were not falling (not that they should have as they were mostly all really bad shots) and the Bulls were all playing at a high level.
As long as the Nuggets can take care of business today in Milwaukee I do not think anyone will be too disappointed in finishing with a 6-2 record over the last eight road games.
Additional Game 54 Nuggets
- Scott Hastings made a good point about how the Bulls benefited from playing with only eight players. With Brad Miller and John Salmons not ready to play Chicago had to shorten their rotation. They basically played with seven players (Lindsey Hunter was the eighth Bull to see action when he entered the game in the final minute). Of course, the short rotation is only a benefit if those players are actually playing well. The Nuggets had to play the second half without Kenyon Martin and Chris Andersen ended up battling foul trouble. Linas Kleiza put up some decent offensive numbers for the first time in a while, but he played a big role in the Nuggets collapse in the fourth quarter. With the game tied at 87 Kleiza was screened off of Tyrus Thomas and gave up an open jumper then he forced a one on two fast break (plus the next two players down the court were Bulls making any chance for an offensive rebound zero). After a defensive stop Kleiza took a three with 18 seconds left on the shot clock and the Bulls run was on.
- It was not just Kleiza playing poor defense though. The Bulls ended up with open jumper after open jumper after ball screens because no one would step out to help when their man set the screen.
- Carmelo continues to fail to step in the lane and help when one of the bigs has to leave their man to help stop a drive or to step out on a screen. I do not know how many times this season the Nuggets have given up a layup because Melo did not rotate into the lane to stop the dump off pass. Melo will then trot down the court and announce to everyone that it was his fault. One thing I tell my kids is if you are really sorry you will change your ways. I guess so far Melo is not really sorry.
- With 4:43 left in the second quarter the Nuggets were ahead 47-36. The Bulls outscored the Nuggets 80-52 over the last 28:43 simply because they played with more passion and determination.
Mindboggling Game Stats
Pace Factor: 94.0
Defensive Efficiency: 123.4 – And thus ends their three game defensive revival.
Offensive Efficiency: 105.3
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