Prospecting: Digging for gold in the 2011 NBA Draft

With the Denver Nuggets already out of the playoffs and the NBA Draft a little over a month away, speculation on how the Nuggets will approach the draft and who it will take with the 22nd pick is firmly underway. Equipped with an enticing asset in Raymond Felton as well as the less attractive Al Harrington — both of whom are overshadowed at their respective positions by other teammates, thus making them somewhat trade-able — the Nuggets have the option to make a variety of moves if prompted. (more…)

Dirty Laundry: Denver Nuggets offseason priority list

With the Playoffs firmly underway and free agency right around the corner, it’s time to take a look at the most, and least, important tasks the Denver Nuggets must undertake in order to remain competitive in the Western Conference. (more…)

Nuggets win Game Four, Still Alive

After five straight losses in April alone the Denver Nuggets finally managed to win a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.  In a nutshell it was desperation and pride pushing Denver to overcome their struggles long enough to avoid an embarrassing first round sweep. Down three games to one it was certainly not a series-changing win but nevertheless it was a statement that this team has worked too hard to end their season at home on such a sour note.

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2011 NBA Playoffs – Game Three: Fin

It was the finest defensive performance in a series that has been defined by Oklahoma City’s domination on that end of the floor. For a few brief moments it was also a glimpse at the depth and balance that made Denver the NBA’s top scoring team in the regular season. Nevertheless as we’ve seen five times in a row it simply was not enough.

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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. (more…)

Nuggets Found Wanting in Game 1

In the Denver Nuggets’ attempt to turn conventional wisdom on its head, score one for conventional wisdom.  After posting exceptional offensive efficiency numbers early in the game, weathering a furious charge in the second and third quarters, and batting tooth and nail in the fourth Denver found themselves leading the Thunder 101-100 with three minutes left.  They would not make another basket the rest of the night.

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2011 NBA Playoffs – Nuggets lose Game One 107-103

Box Score | Highlights

The Oklahoma City Thunder strike first and seize the series momentum in a hard fought battle on their home floor. As is the case with any tough loss there is no shortage of frustration over a game that at times Denver seemed to control. While both teams struggled to get into a comfortable flow tonight’s game was an exciting reminder that this is playoff basketball at it’s finest. It may not have been pretty, but after tonight any doubts about the intense physical nature of the series can be put to rest.

Unfortunately many of the concerns we had before the series came to fruition. Free-throw shooting and injury woes continue to be the fatal flaws this team cannot overcome without improvement. Overall my initial reaction is there is still so much that is equally encouraging. Unfortunately winning is all that matters and the Thunder greatly improve their chances of moving on having gained a head start. The onus is now on Denver to adjust with an already thin margin of error that just got a whole lot thinner.

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Encore to a Basketball Renaissance

With the first round of the 2011 NBA playoffs already underway and the Nuggets opening series against the Thunder not far behind, it’s time to look back, forward and all around at the season that has been and the playoff season that might be. (more…)

An Overly Verbose Denver Nuggets/Oklahoma City Thunder Playoff Preview

The Denver Nuggets and Oklahoma City Thunder are both teams who benefited significantly from midseason trades.  Each squad tore through the league over the final few weeks of the season and as a result we have had plenty of evidence for what these teams can do.  To make things even more interesting we have two games worth of film to study, with both teams hosting the other late in the season.

The question is how germane were the results of those two games to the playoff series we are about to experience? Denver played both games against the Thunder without their third big, Chris “Birdman” Andersen and starting shooting guard Arron Afflalo.  Obviously Denver is a better team with those two than without them.  Health is certainly going to be a very important theme in this series and we will address those concerns a bit further down the page.

Despite the Nuggets missing some significant pieces I believe both games gave us some fairly significant insights into what to expect from the upcoming best of seven conflagration.

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2010-11 Game 77: Oklahoma City Thunder 101, Denver Nuggets 94

If basketball were a semester of college drinking, this game would be classified as The Hangover. After coming off one of the best wins of the season against the Lakers on Sunday — just like a wild night of partying — the concerns of the after-effects were the last thing on our minds. But tonight, we were sobered up and pushed back into the realm of reality as the Oklahoma City Thunder and Kevin Durant reminded us that, as Prince would say, “Parties weren’t meant to last.” (more…)

2010-11 Game 76: Denver Nuggets 95, L.A. Lakers 90 (Double Take)

Box Score | Highlights

After Kenyon Martin put back a missed free-throw by Nene to clinch the Nuggets 95-90 victory of the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, emotion spilled out of the gritty power forward in the form of expletives aimed at the silicone-infused celebrities strung along the court-side seats at Staples Center. For Nuggets fans, this was a moment when we vicariously said what we’ve wanted to for a really long time, and thanks to Kenyon Martin, we got that opportunity without having to deal with the repercussions.

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2010-11 Game 75: Denver Nuggets 99, Sacramento Kings 90

In Arron Afflalo’s first game since coming back from re-aggravating his hamstring injury, the Denver Nuggets withstood a scrappy effort from the soon-to-be Anaheim Kings to once again win by a comfortable margin.   (more…)

2010-11 Game 74: Denver Nuggets 104, Sacramento Kings 90

What started out as a potential “trap game” full of sloppy ball-handling, atrocious shooting and nonexistent defense ended up being just another solid win for the Denver Nuggets Wednesday night. Though Sacramento came into the contest on a four-game winning streak, and appeared determined to make it five, the Nuggets simply turned it on like only the very best do when crunch time hits. (more…)

2010-11 Game 73: Denver Nuggets 114 Washington Wizards 94

Box Score | Highlights

Still fresh off an ownership change and complete organizational overhaul, the Wizards are fielding a roster that could easily pass in the D League. Other than John Wall I had absolutely no idea what I was looking at tonight. This is a time of the season where you can begin to see a tangible difference between teams that are playing for something and those that are not. Despite some understandable skepticism surrounding their postseason chances, the Nuggets are firmly in contention and playing the best basketball Denver has seen in years. Behind the 12-4 post trade record we’ve also seen a sense of pride and purpose in old and new Nuggets alike. Add that to the fact Washington has only one road victory in 35 tries this year and it’s hard to imagine this as anything other than a routine Nuggets win.

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2010-11 Game 72: Denver Nuggets 115 San Antonio Spurs 112

Box Score | Highlights

When you think of the Spurs, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Nuggets fans might be tempted to say flopping or a number of other four-letter words first, but when you really examine it beyond that I think of defense and championship team basketball. One of the untold stories of the year is the transformation of the San Antonio Spurs that’s seen them jump out to the league’s best record by far. They are now doing it with unselfish and efficient execution on offense first. Sound familiar? Tonight’s game in Denver actually featured the two best offensive teams in basketball. I know the Spurs were without Tim Duncan, but with the post-trade Nuggets undergoing their own transformation we may no longer be seeing San Antonio as the familiar team-oriented kryptonite to Denver’s attack. Nuggets fans have never been close to having a team in the Spurs’ championship mold and tonight’s game was another exciting reminder that big changes are coming and already here.

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