The Nuggets starters all scored in double figures and were predictably paced by Carmelo Anthony. The league's leading scorer finished with 33 points, nine rebounds, four assists, and three steals on 12 of 18 shooting. I felt that Carmelo wasn’t getting a whole lot of calls and that some of his buckets should have also included a free throw in the traditional sense of the three-point play. However, Carmelo did take care of business from the charity strip concluding this game a proficient 9-10.
The double-double club was reached by Marcus Camby and Andre Miller. Camby cleared 16 rebounds to fit nicely with his 14 points, while Miller gave the Nuggets 17 points and ten assists in 40 minutes of action. Reggie Evans just missed the double-double club with nine points and 14 boards and continues to be a spark off the bench for this team. I love what he brings. Right off the bat, Reggie was tipping rebounds to himself and giving this team toughness in the paint. He is an undisputed component to the winning ways of this franchise and is doing so in a workman-like fashion. Even though Eduardo Najera is the starter, Reggie is just as important to this team coming off the bench.
The Nuggets main area that they need to sharpen their blade for is the fourth quarter's closing credits. The Warriors would have been softly lullabied to sleep if the Nuggets would have been able to add a couple of buckets down the stretch. They reached 115 with just a little bit over two minutes remaining in the game and with a couple mistakes made this contest much closer than it needed to be. The Warriors missed three, three pointers in the final 30 seconds that would of tied the game as a result of a steal off an inbounds and a charge by Carmelo Anthony. If the Nuggets just run good offense, and safely inbound the ball, there would be no reason for anxiety down the stretch. These were mental mistakes and should be easy to overcome in the future.
You have to be happy with the way this team is playing right now when all things are considered. Sure they could eliminate some of the turnovers, and close out games a little bit stronger, but they are playing with cohesiveness and fluidity that is producing wins. Which is immensely important right now because the Utah Jazz are an incredible 11-1. Expect Utah to drop some games, hopefully, and for the Nuggets to close the gap between the teams, but for now the Nuggets can not afford to worry about what Utah is doing. The Nuggets just need to keep doing their half of the bargain with a couple of peeks here and there at the Jazz. As hot as they are right now… There is only one way for Utah to go and that is south. The Nuggets just need to be positioned to take advantage of such a slip when it occurs.
Denver gets a much needed day of rest, relaxation, and some succulent bird before having the Warriors visit the Pepsi Center on Friday at 7 pm. A new ten game stretch is upon us and as long as the Nuggets keep building on what they have laid as a foundation they will continue to be successful.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone that reads The Nugg Doctor. Be safe, enjoy family and friends, and most importantly be thankful.