The Denver Nuggets were toyed with like a brand new tennis ball being launched for the family Labrador in the back yard. Every time that the ball would be launched into the backyard, the Clippers would bring it back with just a little bit more drool on it. Eventually, the Nuggets fell behind by ten and never had what it took to get the lead down to single digits again. In the closing quarter of the game, the lead ballooned to more than twenty points and the Nuggets were left out in the yard, drool soaked, felt torn, and punctured just waiting for the lawn mower to inflict the final blow. That blow is coming, the tennis ball that is this franchise is going to be shredded by the lawn mower that is this off-season, and who is going to be returning next year is the question Nuggets fans are beginning to think about.
Why the pessimism? Because, 153 times out of 160 that a team has fallen behind 3-1 in a series, that team has gone on to lose. Need another grim statistic that is killing the Nuggets? Carmelo Anthony has performed a David Copperfield-esque disappearing act in the fourth quarter. The Nuggets superstar is a mere 3-17 in all the shots he has taken during the fourth quarter of this series. Carmelo fouled out of this game after scoring 17 points on 5 of 17 shooting, turning the ball over four times, and grabbing eight boards.
My only question about this game had to do with personnel coming off the bench. Why did Reggie Evans and Rueben Patterson only play 19 minutes collectively? Eduardo Najera and Francisco Elson weren’t playing that great. What made George Karl give these guys 40 minutes of combined playing time in a game where he should have been looking for a spark from literally anyone?
Ahhhhhh, it doesn’t matter at this point anyway. The noose is around Denver’s neck and the only thing left to do is kick the box out from under our feet. With all the distraction revolving around the Kenyon Martin fiasco, the he said she said going on in the local press, and rumors circulating about Kiki’s days in Denver being numbered. I’m surprised that the Nuggets even squeaked out one.
The Denver Nuggets are yet to score over a hundred points in this series, yet to run the Clippers ragged with the fast break, and now yet another second round appearance is going elude Denver since the unforgettable scene where Dikembe Mutombo lay on the court clutching the ball in elation from the game seven victory over the Karl led Supersonics back in 1994. When the Nuggets eventually meet their demise, we fans will begin to reminisce about Carmelo’s game winners, the most grotesque face-pummeling dunk he had on Theo Ratliff, and all the good times we had along the way. Wipe a tear from my eye, I know it’s getting sappy on The Nugg Doctor, but this season’s campaign is all but over.