The Nuggets were looking good early with the game tied at the end of the first quarter, but then came out and fell apart in the second period. The Utah Jazz went on to score 37 points in the quarter and didn’t look back as the Nuggets continued to fall behind throughout the rest of the game. I am expecting a call from my Jazz-obsessed friends, who all happen to be brothers, on speaker phone sometime in the early morning tomorrow.
Even though the end result was quite disappointing for the Nuggets as a team. J.R. Smith and Yakhouba Diawara both made steps in the right direction for this organization. J.R. Smith showed that he is capable of putting up big numbers on the offensive end and more importantly it was how he did it. Smith finished the night as the game’s high scorer with 26 points, which included going 8-13 from long range. This type of contribution is exactly what the Nuggets, and Carmelo Anthony in particular, need as a second option scoring threat on the other end of the pass out of the double team.
In addition to J.R. Smith, the type of deep threat that Yakhouba is displaying is exactly what the Nuggets were missing last season. Yakhouba Diawara was also offensively effective in tonight‘s contest. The Yak scored 17 points, including a 3-5 shooting night from downtown, in his 24 minutes of action.
What this game boiled down to in the end was the Jazz had seven players score in double digits and had too much off the bench for the Nuggets to handle. Now I have to wait until January 6th, 2007, before the Nuggets get a chance at redemption against their, I mean my, most hated of all NBA foe.