2009 NBA Playoffs Round 1 Game 5: Denver Nuggets vs New Orleans Hornets Game Thread

I am not sure how to handle tonight’s game.  I will say I know I should be thrilled.  Logic tells me tonight will be nothing short of a formality.  The Denver Nuggets are clearly a more talented and hungry team than the New Orleans Hornets.  New Orleans is overmatched, banged up and mentally broken.  I do not think you can make a credible case that the Hornets’ will win tonight.  The only real reason seems to be they have too much pride to not come out and play well after such a lopsided beat down.  The time to show pride was entering the third quarter of game four and New Orleans clearly folded.

So there you have it.  As long as Denver plays hard a victory tonight should be a foregone conclusion.  If that is the case, then how come I am so nervous?

I am like the dog that gets beaten every day after his owner gets home from work.  The twenty plus years of experience I have of cheering for the Nuggets has conditioned me to always prepare for the worst case scenario.  All the data and everything I have seen over the previous month compels me to expect a Nuggets victory and in my mind I do.  My heart is just not so quick to make the leap.

Feel free to judge me or if you can understand where I am coming from, to commiserate with a fellow fan who is held hostage by fear. 

Denver Nuggets Game Notes

Featured Blogs:  Hornets 247 | At the Hive

Take this with you:  As an NBA fan I really want to see how Chris Paul reacts to being almost completely shut down.  For the good of the league part of me wants to see him play well.  I think the fact he tweaked his knee has given him the excuse to underachieve.  I believe that he has admitted to himself, at least subconsciously, that the Hornets are going down and there is no reason for him to kill himself for the sake of his teammates who are clearly not holding up their part of the bargain.  Will we get the game three Chris Paul with the killer instinct or a disinterested one who is resigned to his fate?

  • Nuggets4

    I am terrified — absolutely terrified — of this game. I’ve seen WAY too many people talking about the Nugs vs Mavs series. Nugs fans, Mavs fans, NBA fans, EVERYONE is discussing it. Um, guys, we haven’t beat the Hornets yet. It’s been 15 years since we’ve been out of the first round. Can we lock up the series tonight before we talk about other things?

  • OneMoreSucka

    The only thing the Hornets have going for them is the fact that the St. Louis Hawks actually came back and won after getting beat by 58 by the Lakers.

    For the Nuggets, they’ve got a few incentives. After winning by 58, you don’t want to be known as the team that killed a team and then got killed right after, and they also realize that if they lose this game, there’s a strong chance the series will go 7. With Dallas already waiting, you don’t want to give them more time than they already have. With Melo, Chauncey, and Kmart all playing arguably their best ball of the season and all leading this team in the right direction, I can’t help but think they know they have to close this out tonight and the others will follow. Look for Nene, LK, or JR to have a big night, since I’m assuming NOH’s entire defensive gameplan will be built to get the ball out of Billup’s and Melo’s hands.

    I agree, though, get this series done first before we start talking about future opponents.

  • Othe33

    The amount of pressure on the Nuggets tonight is immeasurable. You all have touched on it – but after beating a team like that the assumption is for further domination…but there is no way that game can be replicated.

    It was a fluke. Yes, the Nuggets played their best game and the Hornets their worst. There’s no way the stars will align like that again.

    I’ll take a 2 point victory and move on with a huge smile. I’m deathly, deathly afraid of a loss.

    This is a huge game. Let’s hope everyone in white has forgotten completely about Monday’s game.

    On the flip side, if I was the Hornets owner I would have fired the coach and told my starting five to hit the golf course – if they didn’t want to play on Monday, they might as well avoid injury so I can try and trade them in the off season. Send the scrubs on a bus and bring black jerseys.

  • runningdonut

    I feel like you Jeremy. Did we anger the Basketball Gods by invoking ancient NBA history? The strategy in this series is already set and both teams know what’s at stake. I’m going to try to enjoy this game without any nerves or expectations despite the fact that’s impossible

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    The crowd is definitely into it.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    The refs are going to have to stay on top of things tonight.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    I cannot believe West just let Melo dribble ahead of him and dunk. How do you not do anything to prevent that easy shot? That play reflects the Hornets’ lack of intensity and desire.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    I think it is a good move on New Orleans’ part starting Armstrong over Chandler. He plays well against Denver and Chandler was more likely to hurt someone than do anything worthwhile.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    I do not think West could score if Kenyon just left him alone. His head is absolutely wrecked at this point.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    I think that baseline fade away by Peja actually hit the backboard on the way down.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Dahntay has stayed out of foul trouble the past couple of games, but has two early ones tonight.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    OK, I guess West can score if you leave him all alone.

  • runningdonut

    Is Chandler gonna play this game?

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Chandler is inactive.

  • runningdonut

    Wow I really don’t like our offense right now, No one looking to be aggressive.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    The initial surge of excitement has worn off. Time to be professional.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Melo still looking to pass. I love the way he has grown in this series.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    BIRDMAN from behind Paul! What a block!

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Birdman’s hair is extra spikey tonight.

  • Kay

    Yes!!! A game I can watch. Wow Birdman is on a roll.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Nuggets hit an early lull, which we probably should have expected, but they seem to have settled down.

  • OneMoreSucka

    Look out for Nene tonight…

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Halftime Stats
    Pace Factor: 93.8 – Highest pace of the series.
    Defensive Efficiency: 104.4
    Offensive Efficiency: 104.4

    That is a decent number on the defensive side, not so good on offense.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Let’s see if Denver can turn it on in the second half like they did in games one and two. New Orleans is playing about as well as they can and Denver is definitely not.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Terrible possession by Paul. He gets Nene on the switch and screws around before throwing the ball away.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    If Kenyon is going to foul Armstrong there, do it before he gets into his motion for the shot.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Give Chris Paul the Oscar for that acting job after laying on the floor in “pain.”

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Why is Armstrong playing harder than our front court?

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Someone tell Reggie Miller that if Chris Paul does not want to be on the floor he should try to not fall sometimes.

  • Kay

    This is the first time I don’t like CP3. Why is he acting so much. Man up.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    The Nuggets intensity on the pick and roll is nonexistent.

  • Kay

    Now I’m getting angry.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Come on Denver. How bad do you want to win this game?

  • Kay

    Air ball?

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Yes, absolutely.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    I love how the Nuggets came out of that timeout. Turnover, deep J.R. three, stop and a layup by Melo. Time to put the foot on their throat and end it.

  • Kay

    Come on, 12 minutes and its round 2.

  • king_couttsy

    Now we’re rolling… Come on Denver, let’s finish this series off and move on to Dallas…

  • Kay

    Melo! MeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeLooooooooooooo!

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    The Hornets proved their point. They played tough, now lets see if they have another run in them or if Denver can push this thing up to 30.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    That 35 foot three by Chauncey scared me. Theres is still nine minutes left.

  • CCH

    not with chauncey jackin 30 footers. . . .

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Down to 15. Come on Denver. Eight minutes left.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    I love J.R. going to the rim after hitting three straight threes. It is easy for him to jack up another one, but used his hot hand to draw in the defense and get in the lane.

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    We need to measure J.R.’s three pointers like baseball measures home runs. Crazy.

  • CCH

    Thats what you get for throwing your 19 year old first round pick under the bus new orleans! thanks!

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    This series is O-V-E-R! Whoo-hooo!

  • Kay

    Wow this is a nice feeling. Round 2. I see many new Nuggets “fans” in my immediate future.

  • CCH

    Pinch me?

  • Kay

    *pinches OCH*

  • http://www.roundballminingcompany.com jeremy

    Depends CCH, what are you wearing?

  • CCH

    Kleiza not even gonna get garbage time?

  • Kay

    Wait a minute. I thought we were going to be 8th seed this year. Um what about only a 40 win season. Man the entire NBA need to eat their words.

  • runningdonut

    Thank you Jeremy! Thank you Denver Nuggets!! This is unreal. We still have further to go!!! Hahahhaha! WOOOOOOOOOOO!

  • Lethalturnip

    SECOND ROUND WOOHOO

  • Josh Hopp

    A huge congratulations to everyone. It’s been an emotional season all round and we have shoved everyone’s skepticism down their throats and cruised to the 2nd round by neutralising the best point guard in the planet. Carmelo Anthony is finally out of the first round and he is taking us along for the ride. We always knew he could do it but it turned out he needed some help in the form of a level headed scoring veteran point guard.

    Well done everyone! It’s Dallas time.

  • Alan15

    Hell yea Nuggs!!!!! Please keep playing like this for the next round, and beyond…

  • Pokamartil