2011 NBA Playoffs, Game 2 Recap: Game. Set. Match???

The Oklahoma City Thunder is better than the Denver Nuggets. After four games against the Thunder, and four straight losses, this is the overwhelming sentiment I have gathered.

Other things we have learned thus far:

(A) Ty Lawson cannot guard Russell Westbrook for the life of him, neither can Felton; Arron Afflalo’s absence is killing us.

(B) Having a “superstar,” or even a few All-Stars for that matter, is imperative to playoff success.

(C) Scott Brooks is thoroughly out-coaching George Karl at this juncture.

(D) Shortening the once deep lineup has not had positive results.

(E) In no way does Kevin Durant even remotely resemble Reggie Miller, not even in the slightest form possible. (I hope all you Thunder fans enjoyed that one.)

Obviously there are many other key developments that have risen to our attention since we’ve begun playing the Thunder all the way back to the final two games in the regular season, but these are the most glaring from what I can tell.

In my game notes from the first quarter I wrote, “OKC — great team, but not that much better than us.” Sadly, as the game progressed, they did prove to be that much better than us, for once again, the fourth time in a row. No matter how close the Nuggets came (which really wasn’t that close at all), the Thunder had no problem calling a timeout, regaining composure, and coming back out on a small run of it’s own. It was the story of the entire night: Nuggets go on a mini run, Thunder counter with a bigger one. At no point in time did anybody on the Thunder feel intimidated, rattled, threatened or even worried. They played the entire game with the silent confidence and resolve of a true title contender, and treated the Nuggets as most championship squads do their first round opponents.

When the game first began Westbrook and Durant hit back-to-back threes, which was a microcosm of the series thus far. They established themselves from the very beginning of the game, and made it clear that if we planned on beating them it would take one hell of an effort. Early on K-Mart submitted his “edge” to Ibaka when he foolishly shoved him right to the floor right in front of the referee, earning himself a technical foul and a spot on the bench for most of the time remaining in the half. It was really at that point when the Thunder blew the game open by forcing turnovers, knocking down shots and hauling in nearly every rebound up for grabs. Instead of retaliating with an equal amount of energy, the Nuggets took cover in a nearby bunker, covered their heads and recited the Hail Mary until the quarter was over. Even when timeouts were called to try and stop the bleeding, the Thunder met the Nuggets on the others side with an even more well-executed game plan than the team that needed the timeout in the first place. No matter what the Nuggets tried, the Thunder had an answer and a counter-punch waiting.

In the second quarter, storylines that floated to the surface were: the Thunder bench (specifically James Harden), the Nuggets’ overall wimpy attitude towards the game and the Nuggets’ apparent fear of Kevin Durant. After we initially got buried, the Thunder crowd — which has been a thorn in our side all series — almost appeared to get bored, and with that so did the Thunder. The Nuggets went on it’s largest run of the game, pulling to within 14 of a complacent Thunder bench before Durant entered the contest and immediately changed the culture on the court. I swear, watching in real life it was as if the Nuggets went from gaining confidence, to completely having their perception of the universe shattered. When our run occurred, guys were actually moving, playing descent defense and knocking down shots, but the minute Durant made a bucket everything came to a screeching halt and the Thunder once again built it’s lead back up with ease.

One way to know your team is playing like complete crap is by watching the game — the other is by listening to the half-time analyst’s tone of voice. If it’s disdainful, frustrated and fractious your team is likely losing the game by a very large margin. Charles and Kenny were scolding the Nuggets performance, just as anybody who took time out of their schedule to watch the game would be. When the fourth quarter got underway, TNT actually missed the first minute-and-a-half on purpose to give the viewers a chance to catch up on the Memphis-San Antonio game seen on NBA TV.

In the third quarter all I kept thinking was, “The Nuggets have got to get the mindset that this is just another regular season game.” There is no doubt in my mind that even with the sea of blue and the Thunder playing as good as they were, the game tonight would have been totally different if it were held during the regular season. The Nuggets have freaked themselves out since the Playoffs started, and haven’t been able to relax or play their style of basketball as a result. Winning on the road the last half of the season was customary, now we just seem determined to “hang in there” for as long as possible. Another microcosm of the series came when Gallinari had a two-on-one breakaway with Felton running parallel beside him, and instead of passing, chose to take it all the way to the rim himself where he air-balled a lay up. Immediately following the rebound the Thunder had a two-on-one of it’s own, this time with Durant passing it off to his teammate who made an easy five-foot jump shot. It was the story of the game — the Thunder doing everything right, the Nuggets doing everything wrong. Eventually things got so predictable that the announcers for TNT randomly brought up The Kings Speech and went in-depth about how it would be a great movie for Kenyon Martin to see since, you know, he’s got that whole stuttering problem much like King George VI. I think more than anything I just loved the announcer’s enthusiasm as he proclaimed, “I would say, it’s one of the best I’ve seen in the last decade!” during the middle of a playoff game.

Storyline of the fourth: What does it say about our team’s performance when Al Harrington, who’s largely considered to be one of the weakest links in the rotation, is the best player on the floor for the Nuggets… in a playoff game!!! What was interesting was how we were able to pull withing 10 points of the Thunder’s lead at about the 8:32 mark. At this point, I fully admit, there was a nebulous-like thought deep in the back of my mind that we might just pull this one out to the complete and utter shock of every human being on the planet — buuuuut — I should have known better, as the Thunder once again called a timeout, got grilled by Scott Brooks and effortlessly extended it’s lead right back up to 19 in no time. Game. Set. Match???

Closing Thought:

The underlying message I got from the Thunder tonight was, “We’re on a mission, and if you get in our way, we’re gonna stop you out.” It’s evident at this point in time, that they’ve playing with a clear goal in mind throughout the series, and that’s one thing the Nuggets are lacking more than anything in my estimation. What are we playing for? Is it to make it past the first round? Is it to win a few games in the first round? How far do these guys really want to go? With the Thunder, you never have to ask yourself any of those questions. They have a crystal clear image in mind and that’s to win a championship. In a way, part of me wants to believe that because the Nuggets don’t have a true superstar, or even an All-Star for that matter, they don’t have confidence in themselves to reach the finals. In the regular season, none of this was relevant because we didn’t have to think about it, but now that it’s staring us straight in the face asking, “What do you really want?,” I think we simply don’t have an answer because we really do not know. Of course our guys would like to win a championship, but do they really believe they can? The only reason I say this is because the lack of confidence we displayed tonight is like nothing I’ve seen since the infamous trade for though-who-shall-not-be-named. For the last few months we’ve seen a team that, no matter what dire circumstance were placed in front of them, always came out the other side fighting for dear life and strengthened because of it (not to mention with a “w” in the win column). Whenever Adversity reared it’s ugly head, the Nuggets spat in its face, pulled together and played as a team. But that team, the team that had just as good of a record the final few months as anybody in the league, is nowhere to be found right now. It’s gone. I was looking for the smallest glimpses of it all night, and all I ever got was one-on-one basketball with a lack of passion for defense. At some point in time, every team has to establish an identity, and I thought the Nuggets had one… up until a few hours ago. Now, all I’m worried about is making this series interesting enough so that we don’t flair out of the playoffs in embarrassing fashion like we’ve done nearly every year since George Karl has been here. Maybe all we need is a little home-cookin’, I don’t know, but as of right now I’m skeptical.

Linkage:

Daily Thunder — Make sure you check this one out if you’re interested in the opponents take. This is a great blog, with excellent writing and a strong community.

Box-Score — Only guys with a positive +/- on the entire team: Kosta Koufos and Gary Forbes. Maybe these guys should get some more run? Forbes might be able to guard Westbrook better than anybody and Koufos has proven he can play. I wouldn’t mind seeing Mozgov out there either if he’s healthy, especially seeing how badly we got out-rebounded tonight (54-31).

My Twitter page — Here you’ll find my thoughts on the game as I am presented them by my brain, links to great reads daily, all Nuggets breaking news and of course a copious amount of epic tweets. But the only way to get all this wonderful information all the time is by following me!

Benjamin Hochman, Oklahoma City blows out Nuggets, 106-89, in Game 2 of NBA PlayoffsRecap by the Denver Post’s award-winning journalist, filled with quotes from Gallinari, Harrington and the always colorful George Karl who states, “the floodgates opened,” when JR went in.

(UPDATE: According to Chris Dempsey and Benjamin Hochman, Arron Afflalo will play in Game 3. Great news for Nuggets fans across the globe!)

The following two tabs change content below.

Kalen Deremo

Kalen was born in Durango, CO, in 1988 and graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2013 with a degree in journalism. He's now an itinerant hoping to travel as much as possible before eventually succumbing to the "real world." Aside from writing Kalen likes movies, music, spicy food and the great outdoors. Edward Abbey is his current idol.
  • Michael Turner

    I was again frustrated wit the lineup Karl continues to go to down the Stretch.JR SMITH. He can win a game for you and hasn’t been given the chance. Hes sitting on the bench wasting away and its just so frustrating as a nuggets and Jr Fan. I’ve seen him win so many games and go off so many times and even play well with his pick n roll in this series but it seems like Karl has a vendetta against him of he has one chance to get in the game and do good, if he doesn’t, then he rides the pine for the rest of the game. I feel like he was missed in the last minutes of game 1 as a go to guy and Karl is handicapping this team unfortunately by his decisions.

  • Aussie Nugs Fan

    Seriously, was JR injured? I couldn’t believe he didnt get on in the second half. Karl would really rather have Wilson Chandler who has not played well in a month and is cold as ice shooting threes ahead of JR?

    I know harrington made some shots but he was once again abused in the paint.

    People can say whatever they want about how the thunder have two of the best closers and denver doesnt have a go-to-guy, but we got outrebounded by 23 boards!!

    I mean if that is anywhere near close to even we probably win. I feel sick.

  • Tom

    Fans sure like to overreact. Other than the first quarter, the game was played even.

    Denver played very poorly, but ultimately, OKC is supposed to win at home. Denver has been a mediocre team all year on the road, so this is not much of a surprise. But Denver has also been nearly the best team at home, and if they win the next two games, then suddenly it’s a best of 3. If Denver loses the next game, then I think it’s fair to say that OKC is simply a much better team, but these first two games have not convinced me (especially since Denver probably should have won game 1).

    Kalen, what will you say when Denver wins the next two games?

    • Kalen

      I’ll still maintain that the Thunder is the better team. The only way we can prove we’re better, is by winning the series. Until that happens, I stand by my statements.

      (Just to let you know, I do think we have a great chance of winning both the games at home. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit.)

  • ThunderFan

    The game was pretty much even, the Thunder got off to a really good start, if anything the last two quarters were pretty much even. They actually outscored OKC in the 4th quarter but as I always say, the series doesn’t really begin until someone wins on the road.

    As a ThunderFan, I would say that winning Game 3 is actually what they should be looking forward to and just mentally erasing both games at home from their minds all together. The Nuggets were in the right set of mind in Game 1, so were the Hornets and so were the Grizzlies, maintaining that is instrumental to a victory.

    • ThunderFan

      I meant 2nd quarter not 4th*

  • Aaron

    Hey objectivity!! Haha. Great piece. I enjoyed the not Reggie Miller remark, its hard to be a good blogger when you are bitter about a loss and start insulting the other team for no reason. This match up is a shame in my opinion, had the Thunder been able to snag that 3 seed I think the Nuggets are able to beat Dallas and have an entertaining series with the Spurs, but the Thunder are a terrible matchup (Karl said so himself). In my opinion Denver has a solid baseline, but needs a good free agent pickup or someone like Nene or Gallo to take the next step and become a star and push this team to the next level. IMO, you don’t need a superstar, but you need some all-star players to win in the postseason.

  • LT

    JR was having a horrible game again.
    He lost it early in the game when Serge clearly fouled him but he got no call. From then on, it was mistake after mistake for JR. Sure he can light it up, but sometimes, guys like JR can only do this at home. Hopefully he’ll have a better performance at home on Saturday.

    Also, I don’t understand what Karl is thinking with the small lineup. I am so tired of Felton being in there with Lawson for long stretches. I don’t mind them in there together, but it has to be for shorter amount of time. Felton should be playing about 24-28 minutes and lawson playing 30-35 minutes. So that means they can overlap being on the court together for about 3 minutes per half, but that’s it. OKC is just as fast as us, but longer when we have the two PG in there. Karl needs to make adjustments and not be so stubborn with his lineups.

    • Michael

      He got 6 minutes. He may have made one mistake and George Karl unfairly blames him for the “floodgates opening”. Um, no George the were open all game and your two small guard lineup is not working.

      • nugs4life

        Get rid of KMart, get rid of JR. Now.

        Those two guys, who are supposed to be at the core of the team, are waaaay too streaky, whiney, and idiotic. Sure, they can be exciting when they go off, but watching them show no composure or basketball sense in big games year after year is so old. They argue every call, EVERY CALL, against them, leading to more calls against the nuggets. They psyche themselves out. Hugely talented athletes with the mindsets of little children who never learned mental toughness or to shutup and play the game.

  • Sam

    Kalen, i JUST found this blog today while surfing ESPN.com. Great analysis. You clearly know WTF you’re talking about.

    As a Nuggets fan, i was terrified to face the OKC Thunder before the playoffs started. Even Karl said he’d rather face the Mavs than OKC. They are just as athletic as us, have STARS and play as a team. It’s really a shame we’re playing OKC because we’re good enough to beat both Portland and Dallas.

    Kalen, you are absolutely right. George Karl is getting out-coached by Scott Brooks. Our defensive rotations were pathetic last night. Thunder were passing the ball with ease and hitting jump-shots after jump-shots.

    Last night the Nuggets looked like they met 45 minutes before the game. Our team has so much depth that we’re not playing together right now. Everyone is trying to show-case their skills by playing 1 on 1. Wilson Chandler 0-6 taking selfish jumpers, Gallinari, a 90% FT shooter in NYK 0-2 from FT’s, 2-4 FT’s in game 1. Our shooters HAVE to shoot better if we want to win this series.

    I won’t be surprised if the Thunder win next game. We are 0-4 vs them in our last 4. This is really not the right match-up for us.

  • Sam

    Also, it really made me shake my head how Karl benched JR Smith and Birdman last night.

    This is the god damn playoffs. No time for player-coach beefs. JR Smith was -17 last night despite playing just 7 mins. lol that’s just sad. JR is at his best when he spots up and shoots. JR shouldn’t play 1 on 1 and take off-balanced 3’s.

  • ParkHillNative

    I don’t think it’s overreacting to say the Nuggets are doomed at this point. In fact, I think it’s delusional to cling to optimism at this point and think the Nuggets still have a chance to make this series competitive.

    What I’m hoping for at this point is that the Thunder will let down at least a little bit for one of these next two games, so the Nuggets can win at least one game in this series, and not have to watch the Thunder celebrating on the Pepsi Center floor.

    The Nuggets are badly, badly outmatched in this series. They’ve demonstrated over the last month that they cannot beat this team. Win one of the home games for the sake of pride, and then it’s time for Masai to start figuring out what to do with all of these contracts in the off-season.

  • Luke

    I just needed to say that George Karl is a jackass of a coach and doesn’t know what he has in JR Smith. Smith should DEMAND a trade ASAP to get away from this dog shit coaching staff so he stops wasting his golden basketball years. He got like 8 minutes tonight and he is BY FAR the nicest offensive player the nuggets have. Gallinari is worthless in the playoffs, K Mart look like he just straight gave up, Chandler was like 0 of 7, Nene is terrific at the free throw line, and George Karl will consistently sub all their wack asses in the game, but not JR Smith because he might have a little “attitude and off the court issues”. My opinion- I would have an attitude problem too if I was the best player on my team comin off the bench and gettin the shaft by a horrible coaching staff.

    JR- GET OUT OF HERE! They will never let you fulfill your true potential.

    • Kalen

      Gotta say I agree with you entirely there Luke. That has always been my biggest problem with Karl — the way he treats JR. He was already dogging him before the series even started saying he was going to cut down on his minutes even though he’s our 6th man, best scorer on the team and had been playing the best basketball of his career lately. Then, after last night’s loss, he goes and blames JR, even though he played seven minutes which isn’t even enough time to mess the game up. Karl should be showing confidence in JR, not begrudging him.

      JR is in the last year of his contract and I don’t see him sticking around to be honest. There are teams out there that would love to pay him to be the starter, and he’ll likely take that opportunity without looking back. It’s too bad because JR is one of the most talented players I’ve seen pass through the Nuggets organization in a while, and Karl never understood how to harness his abilities the proper way.

    • Douglas L.

      I’m sorry, but both of you are mistaken. JR Smith has been one of the worst players this series, at some times reaching the point of pathetic. He has not passed the ball. He keeps trying to go 1-on-1, dribble, and then shoot a fadeaway jumper, but he has yet to actually make any of those jumpers. He whines about not getting calls. He should be getting more calls, but whining doesn’t help. He always takes off the next couple plays after not getting his foul. He refuses to defend or play team ball on the offensive end until Karl takes him out. He has been entirely ineffective. OKC has stuck a defender right on JR whenever he enters the game and never gives him the space he needs to shoot 3s. The +/- tells you everything you need to know.

      I have one example that illustrates everything JR has been about this series. 6:00 left in 4th quarter of game 1. JR gets the ball and refuses to pass, takes a horrible 17ft shot, and misses. Next possession JR gets the ball and again refuses to pass. He attempts to dribble around Harden. Harden makes contact with JR but gets a hand on the ball. JR can’t believe he didn’t get a foul. He looks at the refs and throws up his hands. No call, OKC heads down court. JR grabs at Westbrook and tries to foul him. (This, of course, just after a timeout where Karl begged his team not to foul) The refs don’t call a foul and OKC takes it to Denver’s end. Where is JR? He decided he would sit at the free-throw line on the other end of the court and pout. Luckily, Felton is able to steal the ball from Westbrook and pass ahead to JR who is still refusing to join his team on the defensive end.

      After I saw that play I would have been fine with Karl sitting JR for the rest of this series. Absolutely inexcusable.

      • nugs4life

        JR is god awful. His peaks of greatness never compensate for his much more frequent mediocrity. I agree, get him out of here. He’s a less talented Gilbert Arenas, he’s never going to win anything. He’s out there to get his dunk and ridiculous three pointers, take his pay check, and hit the after party. He’s definitely an entertainer, not a winner though.

  • Andrew

    I agree we are overmatched. But I also see a complete lack of effort. All of this makes me just that more adament that Karl should have/should do something somewhat drastic to shake up the dynamics going on…and I don’t mean benching JR and Bird for the entire second half.

    Message to Karl – Small ball is not working and you are getting DESTROYED on the boards. Start Koufos (since Moz is still hurt), Nene, KMart, Ty Law and someone who can give 6 fouls on Westbrook…JR? Forbes? That’s 12 fouls we have to give on the guy right there. Wear him down, body him and go right at him. We’re making it easy on Westbrook. Letting him move freely without the ball, get wide open looks. That goes for their other guys, who looked at times like they were shooting in an empty gym. Quit sagging, stay on your guy.

    It’s laughable that people are saying we miss Melo. You know who we miss? As many of us predicted, it is C Bill. C Bill would have posted up Westbrook and had a field day banging him into hamburger. When they switch and guard with that other guy, C Bill would have lit him up.

  • Sam

    JR’s gone after this season. The GM who brought him to Denver is no longer here and JR and Karl don’t get along at all.

    Our top priority should be keeping Nene and Afflalo this off-season. I really don’t care if Wilson Chandler stays or not. He didn’t wanna be here in the first place.

    • LT

      that’s right. JR is gone. Some team will overpay and give him something like 5 years 40 million.

      Maybe he will one day live up to his potential, but it wont be in denver

  • Warner

    Ugggggly game last night. I think this game truly begins and ends with Karl. Maybe sprinkle in a little “Old-school” jr smith… But honestly, this team was so unbelievably unprepared for tonight’s game it was embarrassing. Karl kept repeating that he didn’t think we needed to change our strategy in game 2 because Westbrook and Durant were making difficult shots and the reffs stole the game, etc. Wow, was he wrong(Again). The game was over after the 1st. Few other things I noticed… Chandler and Gallinari looked like they’d rather be anywhere on Planet Earth besides that arena. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that Karl hasn’t established an identity for these 2 yet. They both receive inconsistent minutes and have little confidence right now. I agree we definitely need to play Koufos/Mozgov immediately because we’re getting destroyed on the boards. Rebounding simply isn’t one of Nene’s strengths. Neither is free throw shooting apparently. I hate making knee jerk reactions to one game but this one was troubling. Hope we instill some much needed confidence at home.

  • http://www.herbalremediesworld.com/index.html SG

    Too many fans are going off the edge here.

    Yeah we come home down 2 but why is it so surprising that we lost 2 in OKC? OKC is favored in both games.

    But if OKC takes 1 out of 2 in Denver then what Kalen says is true.

    Thats “if,” a big if.

    If we take 2, we’re back in it.

    Granted, we have to hold serve here or we are dead.

    Then we have to win 1, and only 1 game in OKC. Doesnt matter if its game 1, 5 or 7.

    So calm down fans and cheer your lungs out on Saturday so we get the same edge in Denver the Thunder had in OKC.

  • Kieran

    The reason Koufos and Forbes had positive plus/minus is because they played two minutes of garbage time. That’s what stats people would call a small and meaningless sample. And, “Koufos has proven he can play.” To whom? Dude has averaged 3 and 2 for his career, is on his 3rd NBA team in his second season, and has a PER of 12. If you really think he’s going to turn the balance of this series, well, then, I just don’t know what to tell ya.

  • j mac

    deja vu all over again. nuggets and the playoffs don’t seem to go well together. except for that first year with chauncey’s leadership.

    what happened to “our depth is our strength?” of course we aren’t going to match up well trying to out shoot two great scorers. execute a different game plan. did we get any rebounds or assists all game? didn’t seem like it. these losses are on karl.

    as disgustingly bad as we played we were down 10 in the fourth with what 6 or 8 minutes? okc is a great team, but not the 1990 bulls. who cares if they are as fast as us, that is our strength. why are we afraid to play to it?

  • captizzle fo shizzle

    It is a shame that Karl has been so hard on J.R. in the playoffs. This is a trend that has been seen throughout the last few years, and it seems to be shaking up some of the team chemistry. In past years, Smith has undoubtedly been a streaky player, but in the 2010-2011 season, he has become more of a consistent team player, with higher field goal and three point percentages compared to the 2009-2010 season. While Karl’s attitude of “if a player doesn’t perform, we take them out of the game” can be a good idea, Smith is a player that occasionally needs to hit a few before getting hot, and sometimes that means letting him miss a few first. When Smith is on his game, he can drain three pointers all day long and provide that oft-needed spark to get the team back in the game. Making him sit the rest of a game after the whole team (emphasis on whole team) did not perform well, is not the answer, and will surely create unneeded frustration. Karl’s philosophy would sound better if the rest of the team was playing better, but frankly, many of the Nuggets have not been playing great basketball thus far in the playoffs. Danilo Gallinari has been averaging 50% from the line, Wilson Chandler has been shooting an ugly 25% from the field, Kenyon Martin 33% from the field, Raymond Felton 25% from beyond the arc, and yet all of those guys are averaging right around 30 minutes per game. J.R. is averaging 12 minutes. Give the guy a real chance. He might just be that spark the Nuggets so desperately need going into the remaining games in this series.
    In a side note, having Felton guard Durant is a disaster waiting to happen. Why would you want your six-foot-one point guard guarding the six-foot-nine NBA leading scorer? Maybe Karl has an answer for that too, or maybe that “coach of the year” thing is getting to his head. The key to the Nugget’s success right now is all in attitude. They have the potential, they have the talent, they just need to channel a positive mental attitude into winning, even when the going gets tough. That mental attitude needs to come from the leaders in the team, and it starts with George Karl. If Karl cannot get over his frustration, then neither will his team, and another missed first round opportunity will fade into yesterday.

  • Luke

    You are sorry Douglas L. Just like every one of the Nuggets besides JR Smith.

  • Tom

    If that goal-tending call is made at the end of game one, you all would be praising the Nuggets for the 1-1 split right now. I mean, Denver killed OKC 1Q of game one, got killed in 1Q of game two, and played pretty much even the rest of the quarters. That means that Denver has really only played 1 bad quarter so far, on the road against a team that many people think is championship caliber.

    Perspective, people, perspective.

    • ParkHillNative

      The reason quarters 2, 3, & 4 of game 2 were even was because the Thunder had built such a big lead in the 1st quarter, and spent the rest of the game simply maintaining their lead.

      • Tom

        It’s easy to make a claim like that, but at the end of the day, those quarters were still played even. The truth is that the Nuggets played a lot better after the first 1.25 quarters, and OKC didn’t play quite as well.

  • Tom

    Regarding JR, he has monster games against weak opponents, but against good defenses, he’s terrible. We don’t have a ton of guard depth with Afflalo hobbled, so he should still see some minutes, but I have no problem with Karl benching him for the night last game. When he signs with a different team over the summer, I’ll wish him all the best, but I won’t miss him.

  • NAHMEANSON

    karl killed your chances before the series even started by saying he was basically scared to play okc..after the trade the nuggets were the underdog kings ready to show the world that they were not a team to be messed with..and if you slept on them you were going to get blown out..the entire mystique was killed with his comments..and the comments that really hurt was after game 1..you guys had a us against the world mentality..and a couple of bad calls didn’t go the nuggets way..but instead of focusing on the nuggets mistakes because you still should have won..as george karl does he plays the woeisme victim card(larry brown did the same..best friends..same ilk..TYPICAL..)..meanwhile you could blame missed free throws before the refs..so instead of being focused and holding your own team accountable for game 1 they entered game 2 looking to be victimized..you can’t have guys who play off of raw emotion like a J.R. Smith..kenyon martin..bird mad..and even Nene to a lesser extent thinking that there being picked on and or feeling like there not getting equal treatment..because that resulted in them lashing out at refs(complaining/crying)..instead of getting back on defense(there staple) there arguing with the refs or giving them evil glares instead of focusing on there game plan..the offense looks broken..less team work and ball movement(there staple) but a lot of jumpers..no plays for anybody just have ILL WILL standing in the corner..the cohesion is gone..would help to get Afflalo back and some home cooking but karl has showed some ineptitude in the playoffs by not being able to get a ball inbounded to get to the NBA Finals..geesh..not a good playoff coach..(don’t worry nuggs if your misery needs company then just watch dantoni implode in the final minutes of the 4th quarter especially against 1 of the best team with 1 of the best Head Coaches in the league..you know when a “Head Coach” is needed most..geesh..)

  • Fuji

    I remember the last time we played a more talented Sonics/Thunder team in the playoffs and went down 0-2…. What happened again????

    Have faith Nuggets faithful.

  • Nordmoose

    What do you think if Paige’s DenverPost piece today?
    I can’t say that I often or regularly align with Woody but, today, looking for this game 3 tonight – Ditto Paige.

    I like the Nuggets chances here. Game 4 worries me a bit but we’ll see how it goes tonight.

    Go Nuggets!!

  • Nordmoose

    Post Script: And if you’re going to the Can tonight, be a bit extra loud and rowdy for the Nuggets fans in Alaska, eh?
    Much appreciated.

  • jjjjjjjjrrrrrrrrrrr

    JR should have been the man with the fatass contract – the second melo walkout the building – but nooo!! karl gets a 3 yr extension , if carl has a problem with JR , then he needs to go — give jr the minutes he easily lights it up for 40 a game 15 ass 10 reb – in just 30 min , but he has the stamina to play a whole game — easy , this guy is the best barr none — give him faith and support and he is the next MJ- just wasting time in denver with this stupid head coach — then to top it off , karl sits freebird and watches his team get out rebounded by 20 plus – karl is the biggest cry baby on the team , alway depressd even when his team plays perfect , he always has something negative to say , im sick of his sick ass , die already fricken pig – and i don’t like any of the NY players either, galo a 6 man if that , i might keep though, the russian is too dumb and clumsy to walk and talk , chandler is just a girl trapped in a man’s body , felton couldn’t hold lawson’s jockstrap but wants 7 mill a yr- GTFO —-but karl has more faith in all those scrubs ,while JR rides pine , unbelievable and unforgivable , the only thing im cheering for tonight is throat cancer

    • Nordmoose

      The next MJ? Michael Jackson cuz you can’t be referring to Michael Jordan.
      I mean, JR is one hell of a player, when he’s happy and when he’s on…no doubt. But that athleticism just doesn’t cut it by itself…..otherwise, give Tebow a few rings and a HOF ceremony now, eh?
      JR hasn’t proved himself. Forget anything about whatever coach he has at any given point,…the player still has to play his game. Unfortunately, JR has not made the best and the most of his time on the court. I bloody well hope he does, I consider myself a fan of the man/player. However, he has and does pull some crap….that’s not Karl’s issue, that’s JRs.

      But “the next MJ”? Please.

      Go Nuggets!

    • Nordmoose

      Dude. And I have to call you out on the cancer comment. Lame, jjjjjjjjrrrrrrrrrrr, I have to go on record to say. Lame.

      Go Nuggets!

      • http://deleted jjjjjjjjrrrrrrrrrr

        ya that was a bit over the top– but as far as JR, he has never had a chance , straight from high school to the big leagues , of course their going to be learning curve – look at kobe – but kobe got the playing time to develop – jr allways had to play in the shadow of melo iverson billups ect , with extremely limited playing time – knowing damn well he is the best on the team – so just to prove himself, he goes balls to the wall -and does silly shiit — but take that pressure off , give him guaranteed playing time like melo, durant , westbrook , wade , lebron, and he easily puts up superstar stats — HELL he almost won the game tonight with a minute left off the bench , imagine if he was warmed up — and didn’t have to worry about rushing shots to beat the clock on coach karl stupid subsitutions every 2 minutes — karl routine with smith is 3min end of 1 qrt 3min beginning of 2nd qrt same with 3rd and 4th – he knows he has to absolutely light it up in those 12 minutes to stay in the game – and its been that way for like 6 or 7 yrs now – and its BS and its not fair ,, jr has proven himself a starter in this league and this city karl been screwing up his career and really screwed him hard after the melo trade – starting these NY scrubs

  • http://deleted jjjjjjjjrrrrrrrrrrr

    starting line up tonight should be nene , birdman , affilo, jr , lawson — and kolov , martin , galo , candler, felton – to keep the NY denver player chemistry a bit separated , without early foul trouble should resolve the rebounding problem – the felton lawson small ball BS isn’t going to fly against the thunder , the two late regular season games against the thunder gave that poker hand away – their prepared for the run and gun — double durant with affilo and bird occasionally – and JR will shutdown westbrook , felton and lawson are too small — key to victory ? GIVE JR 40 PLUS MINUTES , dumbassss karl

  • nick

    This HAS to be on Karl: I have never seen a good team look this bad in a big home 4th quarter…….terrible lineups, terrible looking half-court offense.

    And I think nahmeanson gets it right at #21: this team look like a bunch of whipped dogs–hard to understand such a complete attitude turnaround otherwise….

  • jjjjjjjjrrrrrrrrrr

    agreed coach karl strikes again , he is confused or on cancer drugs witch are heavy duty pain killers – affilo hasn’t played in 2 weeks comes out fired up , karl benches him at his peak – and he goes ice cold the rest of the game , but still plays 39 mins,, galo missed a few in the 1st and is bench the rest of the game i think he played 5 mins,, ??- meanwhile karl watches chandler play 42 mins and put up a big 3 points 1 ast and 2 rebounds , felton big 6 points in 40 mins 2 ast – JR ( 15 points 12 minutes) just said the hell with this dumbshiit it’s BOMBsAWAY time – i think he took like 8 straight shots missed them all , but i don’t blame him ,he knows he is leaving denver might as well go out swinging ,, he only payed like 3 mins,, prior to the brick fest beginning the 4th and he was going right back to the pine in another 3 minutes , so why not ? – al harrinton did the same damn thing , as soon as he got in the game started popping silly 3s — point being , how can a player get into kind rythem or groove knowing they will be immediately bench for a missed shot and not knowing who the hell your teamates are at any given time with all the silly subsitutions – it just breeds lack of confidence and shittty chemistry , dickhead karl is on a ego trip and picked the wrong time of the year to pull this crap , players don’t need that in the back of their minds — ur right comment # 21 said it the best – the nuggets were ready to roll but then karl wanted to play hitler , instead of coming up with a game plan and practicing some goddamn free throws