(FortCollins-CO) Let me first apologize for the tardiness of my review regarding the embarrassing loss to the Dallas Mavericks. At least there isn’t too much positive that I can reflect on from that forgetful loss. Denver could only manage to score 79 points while the Mavericks trounced them by 24. Moving on now to the game last night.
The Nuggets would have seemed to have righted the ship by almost replicating the previous game’s total by scoring a season high 77 points in the first half. They were beating the Clippers by 22 at this point and it would have appeared that Nugget fans could have breathed a sigh of relief. Make it a quick inhale and an even quicker exhale because the Nuggets were going to go into cardiac arrest in the second half.
Coming out flat and playing uninspired basketball in combination with no defensive identity is a recipe for disaster. I am almost starting to believe the jeers from Nugget haters that the Nuggets are only going to the playoffs because we play in the weakest division in the league. What is going on Denver? How can you first only post 79 points in 48 minutes in the previous game? Then lash out on an opponent for 77 in the first half and then lose? Talk about a bi-polar disorder, sheesh!
Carmelo Anthony is continuing to play effectively. He scored 24 points against the Clippers. Marcus Camby added 19 and Andre Miller handed out 15 assists. The surprise contributor of the night was DerMarr Johnson. DJ scored 22 points, went three of five from the downtown, and only played 20 minutes. The main issue here is the second half collapse. The majority of all these impressive numbers were logged in the first 24 minutes.
In the last 24, the Nuggets only scored 16 points in both of the final quarters. That’s 32 points in 24 minutes or for all the math gurus out there, a point every 45 seconds. There was nothing that George Karl could say to his players. If they don’t want to compete, all the diagramed plays, substitutions, and motivational speeches mean nothing. The Clippers came back from grave and hijacked the W from the Nuggets.
Carmelo Anthony lost his cool down the stretch. He was ejected after being fouled and punching the ball ten rows deep. Consequentially, with the game on the line, Sam Cassell hit the technical foul and then the Clippers got to pick Reggie Evans off the bench to shoot Carmelo’s free throws. Reggie missed both and put the Nuggets in a tough spot to come back from. Down by one with 13 seconds remaining, with no Carmelo Anthony, the Nuggets looked confused and settled for Andre Miller in the post. Miller couldn’t get his shot and passed to Kenyon Martin for a 17 footer. The ball caromed off the iron and the Nuggets were doomed to the cheers of the home crowd Clipper supporters.
The only diagnosis I have for the Nuggets is that they need to start playing ALL four quarters of ALL the games they play. This on again, off again routine is going to lead to a first round bounce without a doubt. I am totally exacerbated right now with this team. They show signs of greatness one game, or should I say one half, and then totally collapse like they are a lottery team. Never have I seen a team with a schizophrenic tendency like this one.