Rapid Reaction: Golden State Warriors 116, Denver Nuggets 112

Welp, that just happened. The 2013-14 Denver Nuggets season has officially come to a (somewhat brutal) end. The Nuggets fought hard the whole game but just didn’t bring the right type of mindset from the start to win. Throw in Jordan Crawford scoring a career high 40-something points (no box scores are working for this game) and that’s pretty much the recipe for a terrible way to end the season!

Because no box scores are available, the Rapid Reaction generator is not working; therefore, we’re just gonna have to do this thing old-fashioned style…

  • First and foremost — WHEN IS THE NBA GOING TO STOP THIS RIDICULOUS 10:30 p.m. EST GAME TIP OFF CRAP!!! I mean, how ridiculous is it that, if I live on the east coast, just to watch my favorite team play basketball I have to stay up till 1:30 a.m.?!?! It just doesn’t make any sense for anybody involved — none. People on the west coast do not need games to start at 7:30 p.m. I hate to break it to the NBA, but, believe it or not, fans actually have real lives and jobs they have to attend to at early-morning hours. Not everybody sleeps in till 10 a.m. and goes to work whenever they get around to it in the afternoon!!!
  • Anyways…
  • As you read above, Jordan Crawford scored something like 42 points this game. It was just flat out stupid. The Nuggets couldn’t do anything to stop him… and that’s when it hit me: This team has hardly any good defensive players, especially athletic wings who can move their feet, fight around screens and hang with other shifty NBA wingmen. During the offseason it’s vital the Nuggets address this issue. Gettng Chandler healthy and Gallo back will certainly help, but it won’t fill the gap left by Iguodala and even Arron Afflalo before that. Perhaps they solve this issue in free agency; perhaps they do so through the draft; but if the Nuggets want to be serious about contending out West, they need somebody who can hang with the Westbrooks, Lillards, Pauls, Kobes, and for cryin’ out loud, the Jordan freakin’ Crawfords of the world!!!
  • Speaking of defense, the Nuggets really need to get their crap together on this side of the ball this offseason. Shaw cannot continue to think he’s Phil Jackson, eschewing defense until his team desperately needs it. Shaw does not have Kobe or Shaq or Pau Gasol. He does not have all-time great players. What Shaw has is a team that needs to play as a unit in order to win, and the best way to do that is through defense. Of course, having two-way players who can actually play defense at a high level certainly helps, but Shaw’s the conductor here. He’s the one who composes the score. He’s the one that has to get everybody on the same page. When the entire band starts playing out of tune — as has been the case with the Nuggets this season — it’s up to him to correct it.
  • Evan Fournier may have finished with a decent stat line, but he had a truly awful game. Every other time he touched the ball he was either turning it over or hoisting up an ill-advised 3-pointer, often with all sorts of time left on the shot clock. Fournier had lots of playing time this year to prove he could be Denver’s shooting guard of the future, and though I hate staying it, I don’t think he even came close to solidifying his position as an NBA level starter in the near future. Maybe Fournier puts in buku work this summer and comes into training camp ready to do damage next year, but as of now I have a hard time seeing him cracking the rotation in 2014-15, especially if Denver lands someone like Gary Harris in the draft.
  • Timofey Mozgov had a great year. He improved more than I ever could have imagined. But he still has lapses in his game that show his inexperience at the NBA level… like this game, when he got posterized, then missed a dunk and airballed a 3-pointer all within about 15 minutes of each other.
  • Aaron Brooks got ejected for mouthing off to the ref. I don’t know what this means and I’m not going to try and pretend like I do. But it was kinda weird and it’d be sad if that was the last thing he did in a Nuggets uniform.
  • Anthony Randolph started the season on the floor, so it’s only right he ended it on the the floor as well. It was sort of the perfect conclusion to an incredibly imperfect season. We finally came full circle, and that circle revolved around Anthony Randolph doing things. Jesus.
  • Lastly, hats off to Jim Gillen, the Nuggets longtime head trainer who’s retiring to spend more time with his family after 23 years with the team. Gillen hasn’t missed a single practice or game in that entire span and has certainly had to deal with a glut of stinky, oversized feet and personalities that would make most of us cringe. Thanks for taking care of our favorite athletes for over two decades Jim, and good luck in the next chapter of your life!
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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.

Latest posts by Kalen Deremo (see all)

  • Nugman

    Why didn’t Shaw put Moz in the last few possessions to shoot the 3? We all know that’s a great play. It’s a real threat and probably would’ve won the game for the Nugs because the Warriors would’ve been so worried about the Moz 3 and left others open.

    Another great moral victory for the Nugs. They almost beat a playoff team at home that was sitting their starters. What more can you ask for? Shaw gets an A because the team is playing hard for him and that’s all you can ask for with all the injuries.

    • mike gomez

      you get an a+ for your one sided comments. you never disappoint with your basketball inside, especialy for the nuggets

      • Heisenberg

        I think he wouldn’t post that if people would admit that it’s stupid for Mozzy to be shooting those. Some people on here argue that it’s a good play.

        • mike gomez

          i dont konw about people saying its good play but i doubt shaw is going to have him shoot threes next season. he just wants to see what the team is capable of and letting them do thing they wont normally do

          • Heisenberg

            He still shouldn’t be shooting them with the game on the line, it seems Shaw was coaching to win.

            • mike gomez

              i agree, but doesn’t hurt to experience after this unlucky season we had.

              • Nugman

                Why not experiment with some good solid defense or maybe some good solid offensive plays that you might use in the future?

              • mike gomez

                well he did but it kind of hurt when you dont have your main offensive players, but this team your flashes what they could do the last couple of games. im looking to next season to see what a healthy roster is capable of

              • Nugman

                Didn’t the Nuggets lose their best offensive player right before the playoffs last year? That team showed for an entire season what they could do.

              • Bryan

                I asked myself those same questions after every Nuggets first round flame out.

                Hopefully, you won’t have to endure a decade of asking yourself those questions with no answers.

              • gimpcom187

                flameout implies they underperformed. Until the GSW series they had never lost a series they were favored to win (by having a better regular season record). So really the question you SHOULD have been asking yourself is whether you were being unrealistic about your expectations.

                Luckily for you this year and next you won’t have to worry about playoff loses. You’re the type of fan I talk about when I say this fanbase doesn’t DESERVE to have a winner for a few years so they can understand the difference between a team that is meeting expectations and growing versus one that is not. Even after this horrible year many of you clearly can’t admit you were wrong (unless your theory was tear down the team to rebuild in the hopes of obtaining a true star, in which case it was appropriate to let Karl go). Maybe another 2-3 years of this will let you understand what it’s like to have a truly disappointing team.

              • Bryan

                First of all, I’ve been a Nuggets fan since I attended my first Nuggets game in 1989 after my parents shipped me off to Colorado to live with my aunt and uncle while they dealt with their divorce. So as someone as been a fan of the Nuggets for that long, I’ve seen much darker days than this season.

                People that survived Bernie Bickerstaff era of incompetence aren’t pained by this season.

                I’ll also point out that the Nuggets were the fourth seed and lost to the fifth seed Jazz (though Karl didn’t coach in that series).

                And the Nuggets certainly under performed when they the AI and Melo Nuggets were swept by the Lakers. That team didn’t even put up a fight. The Nuggets being an underdog in a series is an EXCUSE. The GS series proved that an underdog team can beat the favored team when they are well coached, make smart plays, and play hard. GK teams didn’t do that.

                The difference between you and I is that you have a participation ribbon mentality. You’re happy with just making it to the playoffs. That’s a loser mentality. Every season there is only one team that has a winning season and that is the team that wins the championship.

                As long as fans embrace the loser mentality and make excuses for failings and why they’ll never win a championship, the Nuggets won’t win a championship. Everyone in the organization and the fan must demand excellence.

                And that’s why Karl had to go, he’s not a championship caliber coach. He panics and makes dumb decisions in the playoffs. See e.g. trying to go smaller than GS (and riding with Kofous against Bogut for far too long), and having Anthony Carter inbound a pass in crunch time.

                If Shaw doesn’t prove to be a championship caliber coach, he’ll need to go as well.

                I encourage you to abandon your lose mentality and embrace a winning mentality in which you DEMAND EXCELLENCE from the Nuggets and understand that every season that doesn’t end in a championship is a failure.

              • gimpcom187

                Yeah. Your point about losing to the jazz supports my point not yours. Billups said specifically after the series that it was hard to lose your coach like that and still meet expectations.

                AI was OUT of the league 2 years after he left the nuggets. He was a horrible defender and at that time a mediocre efficiency high volume scorer and was never a particularly good creator (he had assists because the ball was always in his hands rather than creating good shots). That team was not a strong team in terms of talent compared to the other teams in West. the 2008-09 season should make that clear to you. It’s pretty obvious now that Melo has never been a top 10 player in the league. He’s a 10-20 guy and has only been that good in his prime since aroun 2008 or so. So a first seed team (with Phil Jackson as coach that lost in six games in the Finals) crushing an 8th seed team is a surprise.

                Koufus played 15 or less minutes in 4 of the six games and the two he played 20 or more they won game 1 and lost game 6 by a few pts and had a shot to tie it with 40 seconds left.

                The difference between you and I is that I understand basketball. The nuggets are my b team as I moved to Denver about 10 years ago. I grew up rooting for the Spurs because of David Robinson and spent my sports formative years in DC. I KNOW what a loser franchise looks like as the bullets/wizards have been that for the past 25 years. I KNOW what a good organization looks like as the spurs are probably the best organization in all of American professional sports. If you didn’t understand Karl was a very good coach that is on you. Talent, effort and coaching are the keys to winning championships and necessities in the West to even win a round. The nuggets have had the talent worthy of a top 5 team in the league for 3 years since I have been in Denver 2008-09, 10 and 2011. They made the WCF and put up a good fight despite no legitimate wing to pair with melo in 2009. Karl was out 2010 and 2011 Melo forced the move. TALENT is the most important thing.

                You see this as a LOSER mentality versus a winner mentality. The truth is it is a realistic building a winner mentality versus an impulsive, reactionary unrealistic mentality. Teams don’t magically win. Talent is the MOST important piece of that and truthfully the nuggets don’t have the top end talent to do it. With iguodala and Gallo and Faried Healthy they were still an All-star type player in the post from being able to realistically challenge a healthy spurs, OKC, Miami type team. (Pau gasol is the type I would say would have been the minimum talent, though he would have been imperfect with his age). They had and have zero bigs that play at or near all-star level while teams that make WCF all do(OKC-Ibaka, Spurs-Duncan, Memphis-Gasol and Randolph, Clippers-griffin, Lakers had 3, Dallas Dirk)

                What’s your thought on Faried? What kind of contract should they offer him?

              • Bryan

                I agree that talent and coaching are important. The fact is they didn’t have the coach. They had the talent in that 08-09 season. However, in game 1 when the Nuggets had the Lakers on the ropes, Karl decided to have his 6’2 back up pg inbound (who had a penchant for throwing the ball into the first row when inbounding from under the basket) against the 6’11 Lamar Odom. Unsurprisingly, Carter turned the ball over and the game was lost. The Nuggets were amped out of their minds to start the series and clearly ran out of steam by game six. Had Karl not made that idiotic decision and the Nuggets won game 1 I really believe they would have won the series.

                Karl is not a championship caliber coach. As someone who has watched Pop coach, you ought to recognize the stark contrast between the two. There is a reason he was the first 1 seed to lose to an 8 seed, you know.

                It wasn’t just AI who sucked against the Lakers the team had no fight whatsoever and completely rolled over. It was pathetic.

                Kofous was garbage in the playoffs last year and made Bynum look like Shaq on steroids (he literally set Lakers franchise records in game 1). Yet, Karl stubbornly stuck with him and when he sucked again—he went to Wilson Chandler before inserting Mozgov. When Mozgov got the start the Nuggets played their best game. Even George Karl recently said that he regretted not playing Mozgov more.

                Championship coaches are able to push the right buttons at the right times, and make the right decisions at critical moments. Karl has shown an inability to do these things throughout his career.

                And what I find interesting about your analysis and defense of Karl is that you don’t agree with Karl about what the team needed last year. Karl who favored a wide open offense that didn’t really have set plays didn’t have much use for a post player and believes that the Nuggets were just a shooter away. Not a post player.

                So if Karl stayed they would not have added a post player, they would have added a Randy Foye type player. So is your analysis of what the Nuggets need wrong or have your perhaps overvalued Karl’s coaching acumen?

                I was very impressed with the post game Faried developed and the confidence he played with at the beginning of the season. He wasn’t (and has never been) a good defender which is a concern for me. As is the fact that he seemed to be checked out early in the season. Not to mention George Karl saying in an interview yesterday that he would only give Faried a C+ for effort in practice. I’d be pleased if they were able to resign him for somewhere in the 7-9 range. I’d be worried about repeating a Javale type mistake if they went more than that.

              • Heisenberg

                The Nuggets weren’t beating the Lakers, they had nobody that could stop Kobe (JR’s defense against him was a joke). Denver really gave the Lakers all they could handle.

                This whole notion that if you don’t win the title it’s a failure is pretty dumb though. I don’t think Philadelphia, Boston, Utah, or the Lakers (once Kobe went out) entered the season expecting to win a title.

              • gimpcom187

                Nice try but that’s a classic argument trick. I said BIG man not post player. There are very few true post offensive players. A significant percentage of the best BIG men in the game provide more value on defense than offense or at least equal (Duncan, Gasol, Hibbert, Chandler, Bogut, Noah, etc etc etc.) They are complimentary players on offense (usually with either good midrange, great passing or great finishing) Karl was willing to play melo in the high post and let him do his thing as long as he got near the rim a majority of the time. So really you are wrong on both fronts. Karl was running around with 3 moderately talented bigs none of whom has ever been worthy of being anything beyond a low end starter or nice backup.

                As was said they had no one who could even start to cover Kobe and the Lakers bigs were significantly better as well. You seem to remember ONE play (where ariza in fact fouled) but forget that the REAL difference was no one on roster who could guard Kobe even half decently and Melo shot poorly in 2 of the last 5 games and was HORRIFIC shooting in the other 3. He got to the line like crazy which was about getting to the rim which is what Karl preached constantly to melo. He just couldn’t hit shots that were legit and he had issues with the Lakers Length (the underestimated most valuable part of the Lakers run was that their Bigs defense was an amazing combo and complimented eachother). You must not have watched game 6 because the lakers came in and crushed them. You don’t lose a series deciding game by double digits if you are close to a team in talent.

                There are like 4 championship coaches playing currently (Pop, carlisle, rivers, and spoelstra). You know the common thread: Multiple All-stars one of whom is a top 5 big in the league (Bosh is borderline but Lebron plays the 4 in the playoffs a lot) Karl is one of the few other who has been to the Finals as coach. He took two other franchises to the Conference finals without a top 10 NBA player on either team. Karl is not on the level Pop, Jackson, or Larry Brown. That’s obvious. But he is probably on that back end of that next tier.

                I’d like to see a quote of him saying he thought they could use a wing above an all-star big. I can’t imagine any coach who has 3 below average starting bigs (faried is slightly above average but with serious flaws) soaking up most of their minutes. He might have said they needed another shooter which is true Chandler shot the best on the whole team but most players were below 38% and he was more sample size because he missed half the season.

                We agree on Faried (I’d go more 5-7) He’s a great backup, but needs the ABSOLUTE perfect match at center to work as a starter (Marc Gasol, Noah, that’s about it)

              • Nugman

                If you think Shaw has shown even a glimpse of being a championship coach you obviously know nothing about basketball.

              • LBJ

                So every Nuggets’ NBA season has been a failure? Wow.

        • Nugman

          You got it!

      • Nugman

        You get an F for your completely blind love for Shaw. Anyone who knows anything about basketball understands that his rookie season as HC was questionable at best. He repeatedly made strange moves and showed little ability to lead or manage an NBA team.

  • heykyleinsf

    in case anyone’s interested.. the inverted lottery standings
    1. Milwaukee
    2. Philadelphia
    3. Orlando
    4. Boston
    4. Utah
    6. LAL
    7. Sacramento
    8. Detroit
    9. Cleveland
    10. New Orleans
    11. DENVER
    12. New York
    13. Minnesota
    14. Phoenix

  • Heisenberg

    This team is going nowhere without a significant improvement in talent. Should have tanked MONTHS ago. Next year they’ll win 45-50 AT BEST and be out in the first round. Hopefully the lotto balls bounce Denver’s way, but it’s unlikely.

    Pretty sad that college basketball in Colorado is more exciting than the Nugs. At least the Avs are good…

    • gimpcom187

      DU lax is where its at. And dont forget that pacers hawks series. Epic.

      • Heisenberg

        CU hoops will be damn good if Dinwiddie comes back. CSU’s squad should be a lot better too.

        DU lax (and hockey) is pretty good too, though. 5th in the country….

  • LBJ

    The season long nightmare is over – and the Nugs ended up barely missing my preseason prediction of 35 wins.

    Thanks Joshy – for “improving” the product. I’m sure you an Timmy have another great offseason planned. Perhaps signing a few more journeyman? Or unloading Ty or Faried? Or botching our draft?

  • Richard Pesicka

    Yea, I said it before and I’ll say it again, The Nuggets can score a lot of points, but they give up more points and lose games. No defense. On a good night, the cheerleaders could beat them. Thank God this season is over. It was definitely brutal. Buy out mcgoofs contract. He doesn’t play anyway. Save that space for someone who can play defense. Then trade that good defensive player to Orlando. Oh, we already did something like that.

  • Erlingur Grétar Einarsson

    My fantasy offseason:
    Nugs go up to #10 in the draft. Pick Nik Stauskas.

    They trade with Minnesota, who have run into a wall with their Rubio-Love experiment and decide to get something plus expirings for Love while they can.
    We trade McGee and Arthur (expiring) to Minnesota and Nate Robinson and Wilson Chandler to Orlando. Orlando trades Maxiell (expiring) to Minnesota and we get Kevin Love and Orlando’s 2016 first-round pick.

    We trade JJ Hickson, Randy Foye and Anthony Randolph’s expiring contract for Tim Hardaway Jr and Andrea Bargnani’s expiring contract.

    We resign Aaron Brooks but let Jan Vesely go.

    Sign Richard Jefferson for the veteran minimum.

    Gallo gets healthy. We get Joffrey Lauvergne from Europe. This will be the team starting the 2014-15 season:
    Timofey Mozgov
    Kevin Love
    Danilo Gallinari
    Tim Hardaway Jr
    Ty Lawson
    Kenneth Faried (6th man of the year 2015)
    Nik Stauskas
    Aaron Brooks
    Evan Fournier
    Quincy Miller
    Joffrey Lauvergne
    Andrea Bargnani
    Richard Jefferson
    Plus whatever Orlando would have to throw in to make the draft pick trade work.

    Bargs’ expiring allows us to resign Faried for more money in the summer of 2015.

    This will never happen, but, you know, it’s fun to dream.

    • LBJ

      We might be able to accomplish step 1. The rest is absurd. Especially considering our front office is at the bottom of the heap in the NBA.

      Kevin Love will never be in Denver – we don’t have anything to pay him, he wants to win (not go to a worse team) and they are going to get a lot more than McGoof for him.

      Why in the hell do we want another stiff like Jefferson? He was done 4 years ago.

      Finally, even in the Knicks’ stupid days they wouldn’t have made that trade. Phil is running the show now, so we are more likely to get fleeced in dealing with them.

      • gimpcom187

        sounds about right. Stauskus you don’t have to move up for likely. It was his dream scenario though. I would have dreamed bigger if I were you, but whatever. Erlingur do you mind putting up a realistic scenario?

        • Erlingur Grétar Einarsson

          Like I said, it’s a good-case scenario. Won’t happen, but would be fun to see happen. Would get us a star who needs a defensive 5 next to him.

          Well, pipe dream scenarios would involve a top 3 pick, and that would change everything, but the way the lottery is weighted, the chances are slim-to-none, about as realistic as trading Wilson Chandler for Anthony Davis.

          And Jefferson would be a 15-minute player at most, a veteran presence available for the minimum this summer.
          It’s all just conjecture anyway, for fun and little more. Come up with your scenarios, guys. :)

          • gimpcom187

            Im not sure I think this fanbase deserves a best case scenario. Honestly I think they DESERVE about 3-5 years of non-relevance until they can be realistic about the team, about the coach and about how to build a team.

            But best case scenario is getting a top 3 pick and ending up with embiid who turns out to be healthy and a defensive juggernaut.

            DREAM DREAM: If they get 11th pick: Lebron comes for the Midlevel. Love forces his way to Nuggies for that pick and faried. Pau Gasol comes in sign and trade for fournier and picks (and expiring) Keep mozgov as a backup and will likely get 20 games to start for Pau. Potentially trade Ty for a PG who fits with Lebron better (Defense and shooting, with some penetration skills. a healthy version of Holiday being a best case realistic trade)

            • Erlingur Grétar Einarsson

              Get the “SIGN LEBRON” billboards up! It worked for Peyton!

  • Chris Nicholas

    Since we are dreaming. The nuggets should work a sign and trade for the big three in Miami. I’m sure they would all love to give up sunny Florida for snowflakes.

    • heykyleinsf

      I got news for you.

      Florida is the most jacked up crazy (in a real bad way) state in the union.
      Florida is a joke. I have friends there.. they hate it.
      For all the positive the weather may have..
      (it’s over rated to.. I’ll take blizzards over 100% humidity any day)

      Hate on Colorado.. I think it’s silly.. but to each their own..
      but Florida.. is no place for any relatively sane person.

      • Heisenberg

        Florida has no income tax, though. That would certainly be a factor for a professional athlete.

        • heykyleinsf

          you could not pay me to live in that S^%THOLE.

          Not everything in life boils down to $$$.

          • Heisenberg

            Never said it did. But it certainly is a factor that should be considered.

  • Nugman

    Kalen, I have been hard on your opinions about Shaw a couple times this season, but I appreciate your candor in pointing out his Zen Master attitude. Many of his decisions this season have border on arrogant, yet he doesn’t have the experience or success as head coach to act so superior. As you point out, he refused all season to make the players play as a team on defense. He tried to use defensive tactics that require superior athletes and he refused to change his tactics when it was evident that what is was trying wasn’t working. This alone probably cost us 10 games and a legit shot at the playoffs.

    Shaw also refused to star Moz for nearly 60 games despite the fact it was clear to everyone on the planet that the JJ and Faried lineup was pretty much a disaster. He again basically displayed an arrogance in this situation that was unhealthy for team. It’s almost like his ego had to prove his way worked no matter how bad it hurt the team to stick with the JJ and Faried lineup. This cost us several games. And all Nuggets fans should be concerned when the HC puts his ego ahead of what’s best for the team and winning. Once Moz began starting he, the team and JJ all played better.

    Shaw further showed his arrogance when he designed the last second 3 for Moz. It was almost like he was trying to prove how smart he was, yet it was a very stupid play. His arrogance even became more evident when ran plays for Moz in other games. It’s like he has to prove that he’s a genius and all the great basketball theory of the past doesn’t apply to him.

    In many games this season, Shaws game ending lineups defied logic. Often he had Nate, Brooks and Ty in the game when we were trying to defend a last second 3. Logic says put size in the game to contest 3s, but Shaw wants to prove that the accepted theory is wrong and he smarter. Several times he also had the wrong personnel in the game when we needed a late 3. JJ shot a last shot 3 and Moz shot at least two. These guys should be on the bench in these situations.

    I am a huge Nuggets fan and hope Shaw improves in these areas and sets his ego aside so the Nuggets can succeed next season and beyond. But if he continues to play Zen Master, I hope the front office can make the hard decision and move on to a head coach that puts the team ahead of his own ego.

  • Dan Sivertson

    Thank God this season is over. Bring on the Avalanche! 10 years in a row for the Nuggets? No more! All of you guys that wanted a lottery pick — I hope you enjoy the draft because you won’t be seeing the Nuggets in the playoffs any time soon.

  • Aaron Durkin

    saw this video and thought of Nuggets fans trying to say James Harden is a allstar or a top 5 SG

    some great highlights of him on the defensive end. I am sure he is going to lead the rockets deep in the playoffs NOT

    • Heisenberg

      Harden might be a terrible defender but he’s probably the best offensive SG after Kobe. Honestly after Kobe and Wade (though his knees are fading fast) Harden is probably the 3rd best SG in the league. And the two before him have serious health questions. Hell, he isn’t much worse defensively than Foye, Lawson, Nate, or any of Denver’s guards for that matter.

      The Houston v. Portland series should be damn good, though. I think it’ll go to 7.