First on the docket of the honorably mentionable is the job that Yakhouba Diawara did on Agent Zero. The Yak received his first starting nod of the season and did not disappoint in his performance. He, with help of his teammates, held Arenas to 23 points on 10-30 from the field with no free-throw attempts. Arenas fell two short of what I felt was the magic number that the Nuggets needed to limit him to for success. Yakhouba played 40 minutes in tonight’s affairs.
The MVP of tonight’s win was Marcus Camby. The Nuggets veteran big man had an impressive stat line indeed. Camby came through with straight-up nasty numbers that included 25 points, 17 rebounds, seven blocks, and five assists! Andre Miller was also a live-wire tonight with 27 points, nine rebounds, five assists of his own, and two steals in what was a prime example of a veteran guard doing what it takes to get a win.
Off the bench, the majority of the scoring assistance came from the “Mightiest Micro” Earl Boykins. Earl finished with 29 points, going 14-15 from the free-throw line, and cleared an amazing seven rebounds while dishing six dimes. This was the Earl Boykins that can just annoy the opposition to tears while being deadly as a dart frog. Oh, boy. Oh, Boykins!
But the real story tonight is the collective effort by every single player that entered the game for the Nuggets. Denver put the Wizards in a hole by coming out firing on all cylinders and opening up a 36-16 advantage after the first quarter. What was nice was the way that they didn’t let up in the first half and were cruising 65-43 at the intermission.
After the Wizards came back in the third quarter, I knew that they were either going to make this nearly impossible for the Nuggets to win or that the Nuggets would respond and put their lead back near double digits in the final four minutes of the fourth quarter. Luckily for the Nuggets Nation the more favorable outcome become reality and the Nuggets gave the Wizards the L. It was a gutsy win all the way around and was the best case scenario considering all the distractions and short handedness of the situation. Denver now improves to 14-9 with their next four games in the friendly confines of the Pepsi Center. Next up is the Phoenix Suns who have won an incredible 14 games straight.
And now for all of you who have endured till the finale of this game recap a short, true, story about hanging out with Antawn Jamison. Way back in the late 90’s I was an attendee of the famous University of North Carolina Basketball camp for those still in high school. It so happened that ‘Tawn was one of the players at the time that was in charge of watching us frisky fellas staying in the University’s dorms, and on the particular night that this story occurs, was in charge of selling us pizzas in the hours after camp and before lights out. Well, one of the perks of being in charge of the dorms that night must have been all-you-can-eat pizza because in the time that it took a friend of mine and I to eat one medium pizza. Jamison made short work of one by himself and a dozen of wings in a matter of about ten minutes. It was one of the most impressive eating displays I have ever seen and something that I will not soon forget. I have the UNC warm-up shooting shirt signed by Jamison and a hilarious picture of your’s truly, with braces, shaking the hand of the one and only Dean Smith to prove it. Good night and good win.