(FortCollins-CO) More embarrassed I could not be. The Denver Nuggets lost tonight to the Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming-less Rockets in a game that was so strongly in hand for the majority of the contest. It took an 18 to two run down the final five minute stretch for the Nuggets to get booed off the court after losing 86-83 to a team that had previously lost seven of its last eight games. The Nuggets have now lost three straight to rub some more salt in already gaping wounds.
Denver was winning the game convincingly at halftime 51-35 largely in part to a great overall defensive energy and crisp ball movement. The defensive effort was leading to a lot of up-tempo basketball and the Nuggets were running the floor and capitalizing. With what seemed to be a positive energy in a game that all starters played significant minutes. It would have appeared the Nuggets were after a victory. So far so good right? Wrong! This was merely the crescendo to a pitifully tragic collapse of a basketball game that would be only fitting for the Nuggets to perform.
The second half effort was grotesquely different than the first. The Nuggets only scored 32 points in the final 24 minutes, and with about five minutes in the game were STILL ahead by thirteen. DerMarr Johnson made good on two free throws and they would be the last the Nuggets scored in retaliation to an 18-point onslaught brought on by the Rockets. What’s even more pitiful was the fact that the Nuggets were STILL leading the game with twenty seconds left by one point before back-up point guard Howard Eisley got stripped of the rock and gave up a lay-up on the press break!
Now with only about 15 seconds remaining the Nuggets have been sitting Carmelo Anthony the entirety of the fourth quarter and you need a game winning shot. Are you going to put ‘Melo in to pull the trigger? Nah, in a game that the Nuggets played all their big guns in what would have resembled an attempt to win, Karl decided to go with a pick and roll with a dish to Marcus Camby in the corner from 18 feet.
Needless to say at this point, the ball caromed off the side of the iron and the Rockets rebounded. A quick foul and two free throws later and you have one of the most embarrassing losses I have had to watch first hand in a long time. No need to report who scored what and grabbed which rebounds. The Nuggets lost. I repeat, more embarrassed I could not be…