2010-2011 Game 62: Denver Nuggets 120 Charlotte Bobcats 80

When I sat down tonight to watch the Denver Nuggets take on the Charlotte Bobcats, I certainly did not expect to see the Nuggets pull off the fifth biggest margin of victory in franchise history. But… THAT JUST HAPPENED!What I just saw, I don’t even know what to call it. ESPN labeled the Knicks win over the Hornets tonight by 19 a “rip” then tagged the Celtics 12-point victory over the Suns a “rout.” What exactly does that leave the Nuggets? Total annihilation? Complete ownage? Wait, wait, I got it. The Nuggets victory tonight over the Bobcats is non other than “Bi-winning!” Seems appropriate doesn’t it? If winning by 20 is really winning with some swagger, then winning by double that has got to be something only a genius like Charlie Sheen could coin.

Bi-winning kicks ass if I must say. And I know we’re trying to move past the whole Carmelo Era, but it’s hard not to at least contemplate the difference between the style of basketball we’re playing tonight, and the style of basketball that occupied the Pepsi Center for nearly eight years during his tenure. It’s is night and day. Yin and Yang. Dumb, as apposed to smart. (OK, that was a jab, I admit it.) But I think I speak for everyone when I say: I’m glad Melo’s gone. It’s time to move on, and this current Nuggets squad is embracing the opportunity with open arms.

Pretty much everyone had a great game tonight. Looking at the box-score the Nuggets plus/minus for the starters is as follows: Martin, +18; Chandler, +25; Nene, +25; Afflalo, +23; and Ty, +20. On top of all this, the Nuggets were moving the ball at the best pace I’ve seen since I became a Nuggets fan somewhere in the early part of the last decade. At one point during the game Hastings and Marlowe could do nothing but mutter sound effects like “Whoooo” and “Ohhhhhh” while the Nuggets orchestrated an opera of teamwork. All this great play led to 34 team assists on 61 percent shooting from the field.

Random Thoughts:

- If you have a chance, check out the Bobcats salary as apposed to the Nuggets. Almost exactly the same money-wise, but the points per dollar heavily favor the Nugs as witnessed tonight.

- The “Youth Movement” graphic shown on Altitude really put things into perspective regarding the bright future of this team. I counted close to 10 players who were 26 or younger. Did I mention how great our future looks?

- Bird and Al played with a renewed sense of urgency tonight. Maybe the competition for playing time is creeping into their conscience?

- Afflalo just rolled his ankle, and it reminded me how I can’t believe the dude still wears Superstars. Those were the shoes I was wearing in middle school, to school, as casual footwear. I love Afflalo, but I just can’t figure this one out.

- The defensive pressure tonight completely suffocated the Bobcats offense, which shot 37 percent from the field and 25 percent from downtown.

- Gerald Henderson’s hard-foul on Afflalo was cheap, just like the one he had against Tyler Hansbrough a few years back. I’m glad AAA took offense to that.

- Classic moment in the third-quarter. It’s a jump ball and Birdman falls for the pump-fake… from the referee!!!

- Towards the end of the game when JR was getting hot Marlowe states, “Gotta be careful, play team ball.” Where the hell was that when Melo was here? I witnessed eight years of that crap, and not one word! Ugh.

- Even the reserves played fantastic tonight. It was so good to see Koufos and MOZ gets some time. Both made the best of their minutes with MOZ proving he deserves more in the future.

Nugget of the Night: JR Smith. — Jr. – as Marlowe likes to call him – scored his 6,000th career point this evening. I’m a strong JR supporter and tonight proved why. When this mans hot, nothing can extinguish his fire. I sat back in awe as he effortlessly dropped on three-pointer after another into the hoop with not the slightest contact of rim. He’s really stepped his game up on both ends of the floor this year and is playing some of the better defense of anybody on the Nuggets. His offense on the other hand, though not as potent as we’ve seen in the past, comes much more in the flow of the game, and rarely do we see the patented “Bad JR” jump-shot that Karl despised. JR really is maturing right before our eyes and should be a key part of the Nuggets future going forward.

  • jmac

    i’ve never seen the nuggets play a better game, but, maybe it just feels that way after this loong ass year. 34 assists, 49 rebounds, nuggets what?!

  • Evan

    how about 7 guys in double figures and everyone scoring? we got ourselves a TEAM!!!

  • JS

    i know the nuggs have made the playoffs for the last 7 years and that is attributed to Melo. Just out of curiosity, what was the nuggets record in 2003 before Karl showed up? I remember they went on a tear right after the allstar break? Looks like Karl was the key despite Melo not because of Melo.

    Go Nuggets!!!!

    • Kalen

      Good point D-Town. I know when Karl arrived they went 32-8 after that. He seems to be a coach that thrives when the chips are down and embraces players who play the right way, which is exactly the situation we have right now. I knew we were going to play better when Melo left, but even this is surprising me. I can’t wait for tomorrow already!

      • Jordan

        Nuggets were 43-39 with Bdzelik in Melo’s first year then started the next year 17-25 before finishing 32-8 under Karl. I don’t think you can give more credit to Karl then ‘Melo. We ere outplayed and outcoached in the ’05 and ’07 playoffs, and the mention of the ’06 playoffs still gets me dizzy. But I think it is important to look at the ’08 and ’06 playoffs because they were obviously our worse performances. That is when we weren’t a team and a lot of egos were taking precedence over the needs of the team. To think that JR and K-MArt were two of the malcontents in those series is funny, because they are still on the team, this team that has been playing so well together over the past five games. Obviously someone was setting an example of rebellion against Karl and now that no longer seems to be the case, because we are undoubtedly playing well within George’s style right now.

    • http://roundballminingcompany.com Dane

      32-8

  • D-town

    I love watching this new team, they seem to be having so much fun. It is is fun for the fans, and I did not expect the Nuggets to adjust so quickly, Smith seems like he needed Melo out of the way. Lawson is busting out, Chandler has found his grove. From what I can tell the starting 5 lost some talent at SF and at the point but the Bench got so much better that it has not mattered at all.

  • Kit

    I have been Nuggets fan since the Alex English, Calvin Natt, and yes Bill Hanzlick Days. The big trade back then brought the better part of the Trailblazers to Denver for Kiki V. That trade completely changed the teams personality as well. Hopefully we get similar or even better results this time.

  • Warner

    Great game from the nuggets. Whenever you have 34 assists on 45 field goals, you’re going to win. D’town I want to disagree that we’re short on talent at SF because Chandler and Gallinari have played very well. Especially Chandler he’s blended in seamlessly and his defense has been superb. I also want to say that I’m pleased with JR but I’m not about to hop on that wagon yet. He’s burned us Nuggets fan too many times in the past to fall for that one so quickly. Anyway, I don’t believe I’ve seen this team play so fluidly. Nene and Martin are truly engaged in the action and appear to have been revitalized by the new young talent. Nuggets future is very bright. I say so confidently because of how this team is defending right now. I watch a lot of basketball besides the Nuggets and it’s some of the best defense I’ve seen all year. Great going

    • D-town

      oh I am not saying that we lack talent at SF both new players at the position are very talented, but I dont think either is as good as Melo, thats all. It is no knock on Chandler and Gallo, but right now Melo is the better player. But hey ill give up Melo for a team this deep any day.

  • Charlie

    These numbers are just dumb…. Nuggets score 120 on 69.9% True Shooting without making a lot of threes (only 8/21)

    Pace 96.5 – That’s the power of actual defense
    Offensive efficiency 124.4 pretty ridiculous
    Defensive efficiency 82.9! Wow

  • Todd

    Like I have stated previously, I am new to following the Nuggets as I am a Kings fan waiting to be a Nuggets fan. This team is scary balanced. probably the most talent breadth of any team in the league for all 5 positions.

  • John

    One reason everyone is playing team ball is because Karl has a strangle hold on playing time. As he said in one of the interviews just after the trade, he is in complete control, and if someone isn’t playing hard, they are going to sit.

    That is one reason this was such a blow out. On most teams, the guys on the end of the bench know they are not getting time later. So they just go out and play for themselves. On this team, everyone is playing hard because they know if they don’t someone just behind them is going to, and take their time on the court (or in the case of the 11th and 12th guy, get a chance to earn their time on the court).

  • http://twitter.com/chantech chantech

    Small sample size but here are some #s:

    Nuggets offense:

    118.8
    94.7
    101.9
    107.5
    124.4
    AVG=109.46
    Before Trade avg=109.4

    Nuggets defense:
    96.8
    102.9
    79.8
    105.9
    82.9
    AVG=93.66
    Before Trade Avg=106.5

    Our efficiency differential is a ridiculous 15.8. Miami leads the league with an 8.8 differential. SAS is second with 8.3 This new team, if we can maintain this kind of play, places us in the league’s elite. We’re seriously very, very good.

    Additionally, DSMok at APBR had a great blog post where he compared the average production of the players we gave up compared to the production of players we got. Applying typical age curves, the average production of the players we got from NY is only going to get better and by next year surpass the production of the players we gave up (based on players falling off a cliff at 34, Melo already having peaked, and our young players on the better end of the age curve).

  • D-town

    I also have to say that I think the Nuggets really can keep this up, it is a lot easier to win day after day when your starters are not playing 40+ minutes (i.e. The Miami Heat). You can call me overly optimistic, but I think that will really benefit us in a playoff series. When you can play 10 rotation guys when other teams can only play 8 you will wear them down.

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