Pickaxe Pulse for April 18, 2013

Taking the pulse of the Nuggets at the end of the season

The Nuggets went undefeated in the last week of the season to clinch the third seed in the Western Conference.  Kenneth Faried sprained his ankle early in Sunday’s game against Portland and sat out the rest of the week; he is listed as day-to-day entering the playoffs.  In a closer than expected game against the Trailblazers, Evan Fournier capped his career high 24 point night with two late three pointers to seal the 118-109 win.  The next night in Milwuakee, Ty Lawson hit a go-ahead jumper with nine seconds left and the defense held on for a 112-111 victory.  The Nuggets jumped out to a big lead early against the Suns in the season finale on Wednesday, giving the end of the bench a chance to show their stuff.  All twelve healthy Nuggets players made at least one basket and grabbed at least one rebound in the 118-98 win.  Andre Iguodala averaged 20 points, 6.7 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, and 2.3 blocks for the week.

Record this week: 3-0 (2-0 home, 1-0 road)

Overall record and standings: 57-25, third seed in the West.

Upcoming: the Nuggets have home court advantage in a first round playoff series against Golden State.  Game 1 is on Saturday.

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Tom Darrow

Fourth generation Denver native, stay-at-home dad with a masters degree in applied mathematics, and all-around geek with a passion for Nuggets basketball.

Latest posts by Tom Darrow (see all)

  • Cory

    I really love the Bleacher Report app. It keeps me up-to-date with what’s going on in the NBA, especially the Nuggets. But who really thinks we will be robbed of a 1st Round series victory? I don’t know the guy’s name who wrote the article but he highlighted our injuries, and how we are limping into the playoffs. Why not the fact the we are winning without Gallo and Faried, Iguodala is stepping his game up into superstar mode and Ty is getting back to his normal post all-star break self. He also brought out that the Warriors have to elite shooters and if Curry stays as hot as he is(which i doubt cause we have bodies to throw at him) they can steal a series away from us. I just find it distasteful that we still in some parts of baskeball are being disrespected as a 57 win team and being snubbed a 2nd round visit with the Spurs.#unbelievable

    • Evan S

      Its bleacher report? Nothing respectable comes from that site. The writers are just everyday fans like you and me, you could probably write for them if you put in the effort. The guy probably hasn’t watched a Nuggets game all year.

      • amlowlife

        Yeah, the Bleacher Report is generally a site packed full of “homer” writers. Most of the time it’s just some fan’s opinion. Can’t believe CNN ditched S.I. for Bleacher as their sports section.

        Note: Did hear a guy who was a guest on the local ESPN radio station who sounded very knowledgeable on the NBA. Was quite surprised to find out he was a “senior writer” on Bleacher. Guess they do have one or two writers who actually know what they are talking about. Unfortunately, I haven’t read any their stuff, yet, and I’ve read far too much Bleacher.

  • Will

    Nuggets in 5 over GS. Nuggets over spurs in 7. Thunder over nuggets in 7 is my call.

    • http://msn.com joe

      NOT without Harding.

      • mike

        Harden? and Yes without Harden OKC will take the nugs down if they get that far.

  • Robert

    I like the fact that we are not getting our Dues, it gives the Nuggets more to play off in showing up the World as we have had to do all season. The Manimal is going to come out and tear down the boards, Magee will continue his terror and block anything that comes near him (even if it is goaltending), Chandler is stepping up in the wake of Gallo’s injury showing he deserves to start and then there’s Ty showing speed still kills and he can’t be stopped. Brewer needed last night to get some confidence back and I think he did. I am worried about Miller’s defense or lack there of, Golden State loves the 3 ball and Miller loves to watch people shot the 3… could get scary but in the end i see the Nuggets winning in 5 games… Go Nuggets

    • http://msn.com joe

      I think Faried has a stage 1 sprain (1,2,3 three is the worst). No torn ligaments. Based on the name of the ligament, it is the least amount of injury called a sprain.

  • lwc

    Could be 7 games. If GS is hot/shooting wise, could be an upset !

  • clive

    I’m not a huge Faried fan in general, but I do think that if he’s fully healthy he can have a MONSTER series against the warriors based on match-ups.

    • Trip

      Faried has had some of his better games against Golden State, so i am hoping that that he can come back and be the spark of energy that gets contagious…anybody else notice how CBrew has been a little slow lately?

  • googergieger

    Hey look we finished the season as the best scoring team in the league again.

    • Cory

      I saw that was delightfully surprised.

    • mike

      they ended the season as the team with the highest points per game yes. The nugs had the 5th best Offensive rating. Given their atrocious 3 pt shooting (5th worst in the league) and even more horrible FT shooting (3rd worst) it is VERY impressive they were able to get to that point.

  • Darren

    Unless Klay Thompson goes berserk, the first series should end in 5. Give Kenneth a chance to heal up completely, and get ready for the team that makes it out of the Lakers/Spurs matchup. I know it’s easy to say the Spurs will win, but at the very least, it would be nice to see the Lakers stretch it to 6 or 7. If they can do that, Denver can steal one on the road in those first two games, and win it in 6. I’d love to see a Western Conference final between Denver and OKC, so let’s plan on it. Go Nuggets!

  • Grant

    Nuggets will beat the Warriors.

    Nuggets can beat the Spurs (will depend on injuries)

    Nuggets could beat the OKC Thunder if they win the close games.

    Nuggets couldn’t beat the Heat.

    Best case scenario NBA finals. Worst case scenario lose in 2nd round. Likely scenario, lose in WCF.

    • Ban Johnson

      sounds about right.

      But this season has been weird. Who knows what will happen? Who knows how Fournier will play? Or Wilson Chandler? Or McGee? Or Faried? Etc…

      Nuggets are less predictable than almost any other team.

  • mysteried

    Hey is anyone going to be watching playoff games in the East Bay? I live on the Berkeley/Oakland border (GSW turf :P) and I’d love to find another Nuggs fan around here who’s down to watch games. None of my other friends are really into the NBA at all and I don’t have cable.

    I could stream choppy video to my little laptop or I could watch games over $6 beers in packed bars, but I’d rather chill on a couch and watch games with another cool fan or two, you know? If you might be down, give me a shout. I’m happy to bring some beer or some home-cooked food.

    Pumped for the playoffs!

  • googergieger

    We’re also finally top ten in defense! Defensive efficiency that is.

  • Bobby

    This is the first team I have seen that I think can win it all. I just hope, they feel it too. We are better than the Golden State and the Spurs. I don’t if Golden State can hit the 3s, because every miss will a dunk on the other end. Once they miss 3 in a row our lead should be around 10.

    The Spurs will be tougher match-up but in then end our team will be too much. I don’t fear the thunder without Harden. I only worry about Durant and Westbrook getting 50 fts every game.

    And while the Heat are good, they have been playing soft competition for a while now. Kind of remind of the Broncos in the NFL.

    Both Heat and Thunder don’t want to run with us and they like to run. They have to change to face us. We make out free throws and we will win the title.

  • Ckwizard

    Nuggets should win this series in 5 games, 4 games is possible if the Nuggets keep focused and don’t get big heads. If it goes to 6 or 7 it says the Nuggets still have to grow a lot mentally to find success in the Later rounds of the playoffs. Perimiter defense and controlling the Boards are the Keys against this team because secondhand third chances are the only way the Warriors should be able to keep up with the Nuggs.

  • dynamo.joe

    The strength of the Warriors (outside of Curry) is their bigs. Our Bigs (assuming a healthy Faried) are better. Klay Thompson is pretty horrible at everything except the 3 ball.

    We have a switching D, but if you imagined AI9 starting out on Curry and Chandler on Thompson that basically leaves it up to Harrison Barnes to beat us. Can Harrison Barnes be that guy? Maybe, in 3 or 4 years he can be that guy.

    I really don’t see any scenario where this goes past 5, barring additional injuries.

    • CJP32

      I would assume Iggy starts on Klay, and Ty on Curry, leaving Evan on Barnes. Chandler defending Lee. But I can see GK switching defenders throughout the entire series, throwing different combinations at Curry/Klay.

      CBrew becomes important now because our bench is weaker with Chandler starting. Even if Faried is good to go, he’s not 100%, which means Chandler plays extended minutes.

      CBrew can guard Curry, Klay, Barnes, Jack – so I would think that Evan may get 20-25 minutes to start with, but as the series goes on, CBrew will get more minutes (on the road) where the refs will be harsher on fouls (especially for rookies).

  • googergieger

    I can’t believe Golden State fans actually think they can beat us. I mean to them they have the better talent. I mean look their three point shooting gives them a shot to beat anyone. But in a seven game series? As long as we make an effort to take away the three ball(please Andre Miller!) the series shouldn’t be that tough. If both teams play up to their potential, Denver should win it. Everyone on the team just needs to be mature and focused about it. Not let up or go in over confident. Basically do what they did in that Phoenix game. Take care of business. Or that OKC game. They went in knowing they were going to win and played like it. Just take care of business and dominate.

    • CJP32

      We gotta contain Jarrett Jack to – most of Curry’s threes were assisted by Jack. Plus the dude can score in a hurry and get hot also. Defensively, GK has many options to throw at GS – Iggy, Ty, CBrew, Evan, Chandler, Faried, McGee, Randolph.

  • heykyleinsf

    I can’t believe even our own fans.

    What the complete EF.

    I’m over all the press hating on us..
    a little disappointed that even after
    the season we had.. still a unanimous
    vote of a first round exit
    (of every single prediction I’ve read)
    didn’t acknowledge our best season
    ever in the NBA..
    The 3rd seed in a far superior western
    conference..
    Tied the Spurs and took the rest of the field
    of the Western conference playoff teams this season…
    and the NBA’s BEST home record..
    And all we get for respect is a first round exit.

    A little disappointed.. but also a little used to it.

    BUT THE FANS???

    COME ON YOU GUYS.

    WHAT THE COMPLETE EF.

    All that we went through this year..
    the streak..
    \the ridiculous schedule
    the injuries
    the come from behind wins
    the discoveries and emergences
    of McGee, Fournier, Faried and
    the evolving of Igoudala in to
    the leader and inspiration he
    has become..

    You still don’t believe.

    WT complete F.

  • Ogi

    We gotta win the first series of PO without any question. Same for the second and same for the third. After that the fourth looks good as well!!!! Go NUGGETS NATIONS!