What started out as a potential “trap game” full of sloppy ball-handling, atrocious shooting and nonexistent defense ended up being just another solid win for the Denver Nuggets Wednesday night. Though Sacramento came into the contest on a four-game winning streak, and appeared determined to make it five, the Nuggets simply turned it on like only the very best do when crunch time hits. (more…)
With the current Denver Nuggets squad far surpassing any expectations fans had following the historic Carmelo Anthony trade, it’s now time to start seriously looking at whether or not another 50-win season is approaching. With nine games left to play and our current record sitting at 44-29, you’d think 50 wins would be easily attainable considering how hot the Nuggets have been as of late, but like all teams not named the Miami Heat, the final stretch of games in the NBA season is almost guaranteed to be tough. (more…)
Still fresh off an ownership change and complete organizational overhaul, the Wizards are fielding a roster that could easily pass in the D League. Other than John Wall I had absolutely no idea what I was looking at tonight. This is a time of the season where you can begin to see a tangible difference between teams that are playing for something and those that are not. Despite some understandable skepticism surrounding their postseason chances, the Nuggets are firmly in contention and playing the best basketball Denver has seen in years. Behind the 12-4 post trade record we’ve also seen a sense of pride and purpose in old and new Nuggets alike. Add that to the fact Washington has only one road victory in 35 tries this year and it’s hard to imagine this as anything other than a routine Nuggets win.
When you think of the Spurs, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Nuggets fans might be tempted to say flopping or a number of other four-letter words first, but when you really examine it beyond that I think of defense and championship team basketball. One of the untold stories of the year is the transformation of the San Antonio Spurs that’s seen them jump out to the league’s best record by far. They are now doing it with unselfish and efficient execution on offense first. Sound familiar? Tonight’s game in Denver actually featured the two best offensive teams in basketball. I know the Spurs were without Tim Duncan, but with the post-trade Nuggets undergoing their own transformation we may no longer be seeing San Antonio as the familiar team-oriented kryptonite to Denver’s attack. Nuggets fans have never been close to having a team in the Spurs’ championship mold and tonight’s game was another exciting reminder that big changes are coming and already here.
As painful as it is to part with an All-Star in the prime of his career I fail to see how it is better to cling to him at the cost of crippling the franchise for the next five seasons.
That was my assessment of the future prospects of the Denver Nuggets when they offered Carmelo Anthony the three year, $65 million extension that he would ultimately sign as a New York Knick. Personally, I believed Carmelo was doing the Nuggets a favor by refusing to sign that extension. I projected the immediate future would be bleak, but with the talent on the roster Nuggets fans need not fear a reprise of the dark and dreary 1990’s.
After the trade there was little doubt in my mind that Denver would remain a playoff team as they received several talented players from the Knicks in exchange for Melo and Chauncey Billups. The post trade Nuggets were certain to be an unselfish team that played hard and with purpose. However, with no All-Stars on the roster their ceiling would seem to be limited to a feisty team destined to be outclassed by more talented opponents.
Fast forward to Tuesday, March 22, 2011 and the Nuggets are 10-4 since parting ways with their two best players. That may seem impressive, but the win loss record is only a hors d’oeuvre to the story the advanced statistics tell.
First off, my apologies for no recap last night as my internet service is currently being difficult. As many of you guys already saw last night, the Nuggets demolished Toronto in such a way that 90% of the game was extended garbage time (no joke). It was a solid business-like win Denver needed after dropping two straight on the road against good teams. I will say that Toronto looked tired from the get-go and didn’t stand a chance of matching the Nuggets energy from the start. Nevertheless the Nuggets didn’t mess around and put them away minutes after the game started, so in lieu of writing about that snoozer here’s a look at the advanced stats:
There are certain games at certain times of every season that I get a funny feeling about and just dread having to watch. In the past, it was the predictable slumps and offensive hell the Melo-era Nuggets so often fell into during big-time road games. After losing to Orlando in nothing short of heartbreaking fashion, it was an unwelcome case of déjà vu giving me that oh-so familiar feeling that tonight’s back-to-back in Miami would not be a fun one. It’s not that I haven’t been a believer in the remarkable strides this team has made in a short time playing together, I am just naturally skeptical of the Nuggets in big time “show up” games on the road. With that said, attempting to stay grounded about this team’s progress brings a certain understanding that maintaining an identity with grit and determination in a loss to a premiere team is nothing to sneer at. Call it complacency, but in my mind these last two losses are a sign that the NBA is taking notice and adjusting to a surprisingly tough team that is not without flaws – and crashing the new-look Nuggets party like this might be something that needed to happen.
Tonight’s game against the Magic was just that: magical. There was magic happening in all corners at Amway Center this evening. The act of disappearing was in full effect as balls that looked to be in people’s hands suddenly were found in the laps of those in the front row. Also illusion was extremely prevalent, where feet that appeared to be in-bounds were called out. But my favorite had to the failed attempts between numerous players to try and teleport the basketball through their opponent to another teammate. Yes magic was everywhere the day after St. Patrick was honored around the world by noble citizens who paid homage to the patron saint by downing as many Jagerbombs as possible. Unfortunately for the Nuggets, “hangovers + magic” isn’t the best equation when it comes to winning basketball games. (more…)
It’s hard to understand (or even grasp the concept for that matter) what heaven must be like. Undoubtedly arriving in such a palatial and euphoric location would be blissful on the highest level. And though we can’t exactly embrace that feeling until we get there, we can certainly estimate as to how it might be. Watching the Denver Nuggets since the landmark Carmelo Anthony trade, one can only assume, is just like heaven. (more…)
Already with an entirely new cast of characters on hand, starting their four game road trip without Arron Afflalo and Danilo Gallinari was not the ideal way for the Nuggets to kick off the most crucial and difficult stretch of season yet. Yet the way we’ve seen this team respond to the twists and turns of a truly bizarre season keep reminding us that unconventional is hardly uncomfortable anymore. Despite a horrible start and a substandard defensive effort the Nuggets still manage one of their most impressive road wins with the fifth seed on the line against the Hornets.