Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Nuggets vs. Trailblazers Preview

(Boulder-CO) Tonight’s game marks a point in the Nuggets season that I think we will all be able to look back on and see where this team is really headed. The last three games have been a total disappointment stemming back from the emotional loss to the Utah Jazz. The Anthony/Iverson honeymoon is over and the Nuggets are really searching for some type of continuity on the defensive end. While the offensive end is still clicking just fine, who better than the third lowest scoring team in the league in the Portland Trailblazers to re-establish some resemblance of defense against? Even better is the chance to execute said defensive turnaround in back-to-back games against the same team as the Nuggets will see the Blazers again at Pepsi Center on Friday night.

In these two teams’ last match-up a couple of weeks back the Nuggets won by 16 points without Carmelo Anthony. Allen Iverson had one of his best games (32 points and nine assists) and received a lot of help from Steve Blake’s 25 points. Defensively, the Nuggets did a marvelous job of keeping all the Portland starters out of double-digits in scoring and stymied Zach Randolph for a 1-12 night in which he finished with only four points.

But oh what a difference a couple of weeks make! In the Nuggets’ last three games they are surrendering an average of 111 points per game and have played by far the worst defense they have played all season long. Opposing teams are just gorging themselves on lay-ups and uncontested jumpers and the Nuggets fast break is suffering severely as a result of their poor defense.

So here is the remedy for all that ails the Denver Nuggets. It seems so simple, but in all actuality, the problem that is killing the Nuggets is a direct cause and effect situation. Because the Nuggets are allowing such a high opposing field goal percentage, 49%, 46%, and 51% in their last three losses, they are not getting the same amount of defensive rebounds and consequentially are not getting out in transition for fast break opportunities. The antidote for the Nuggets is to play solid defense, (elementary I know, but hold on for a second), with no gambling, and to secure the defensive rebound first and foremost. It wouldn’t bother me one bit if the Nuggets didn’t record a single steal tonight if they can nab better than their average 44 rebounds. Plain and simply stated, they need to stop taking chances that put their defense in a scramble which usually leads to easy buckets.

The recipe is simple: Stay home, box out, grab a rebound, and get out and run. Everyone’s involvement is eminent if the Nuggets can get their fast break going, and that same involvement will in return become infectious on the defensive end. The defensive hand will wash the offensive hand and hopefully both hands will wash the Nuggets’ face clean of all the grime that the last three games worth of defensive abominations have left the Nuggets wearing. It shouldn’t be that complicated and I think that if the Nuggets can get back to basics on the defensive end everything will be ok against the Trailblazers. Not only tonight, but on Friday night, and for the rest of the season. Be sure to head over to http://www.truehoop.com/ for Henry Abbott’s phenomenal input on tonight’s game, (he is a huge Portland Trailblazer fan) and all that is NBA basketball. Go Nuggets!

10 comments:

btalk said...

Well said doctor. It's sad when the state of professional basketball and in particular, our Nuggs,is such that the most fundamental aspect of defense...stay between your man and the basket...is a lost art! Likd homeruns in baseball, steals happen. They come when the pitcher, or passer, makes a mistake. Ball pressure will lead to more steals (passing mistakes) than trying to guess and jump into the passing lane. The Nuggs can fix this defensive slump immediately...if they choose to.

Stumbleweed said...

Well, AI's not playing tonight due to his ankle problem, so we'll see how that goes. He played so well last game -- hopefully he just needed a little break and he'll be back for tomorrow's game at home.

I'm guessing this will move JR into the starting lineup (along with Blake) -- I'm interested to see how that's going to work again with Melo back. I'm not sure who they're going to start at PF, but I'll bet that it's Reggie, even though that hasn't been working very well the last few games...

I'm not going to curse this game with a confident prediction like I did the last two. So let's just see how it goes, eh?

The Jersey FLiP said...

im getting ready for an Allen Iverson vs carmelo anthony bout

JM said...

I think this team was slapped in the face after the Bobcats stuck it to them. I think they will come out with more energy and commitment to the defensive side of things.

Whenever they have been successful with winning games and dominating opponents, their defense is what opens up their offense. Rebounds, blocks, and steals, set up the fast break, and allows for easy buckets.

btalk said...

Hey Nugg doc, just thought I would let you know I just spent some time reading and looking at other Nugget blogs you have as links, specifically, Nuggetshoops.com and NuggetsNoise.blogspot.com. Wow, your site is by far the most comprehensive and informative. These other two sites are what I expected from all blogs. Very bland, very full of old news gleaned from other press sources, and generally sophomoric efforts. These sites are what I would do if I were to start a site. I would write when I got around to it and parrot what everyone else says. Way to go, I hope you are not offended that I just blasted some of your links, but hey...I speak the truth. Keep doin' what you're doin. Hope you post this as I would be interested in other reader's opinions.

Nugg Doctor said...

Thank you very much, btalk. As I will expand on further on The Nugg Doctor's birthday tomorrow, this site is a way for me to use my college experience, basketball obsession and background, and will hopefully fulfill my love for writing and dreams of becoming a full-time columnist somewhere where the money is a little bit heavier. I have been blessed with a strong readership of Nuggets fans and many opportunities to contribute my knowledge and skills other places.

I have said this before, and will say it again, "As long as the appreciation for what I do is there, and the readership continues to grow. I will continue to bring the my best efforts to the table for all those who choose to partake."

It wouldn't happen without readers like you and I appreciate your praise as well as everyone else's.

Thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor

Stumbleweed said...

Let's just say that I wouldn't be here clogging up your comment section every day if I didn't agree with what btalk said. Definitely the best Nug-centric blog out there. I'm still fiddling with the idea of getting one of my own up-and-running, but I'll leave it to the professional for now.

My normal blog round in the mornings is (in order) The Nugg Dr., FreeDarko, TrueHoop, AOL FanHouse, LowPost.net. It helps that I'm a Nuggets fan, but your blog is definitely quality. The quick updates before and after games are definitely appreciated. I know from experience that it's hard to keep up on blog posts, so I just wanted to tell you that I appreciate the efforts.

I'm waiting for my FreeDarko shirts in the mail. And I'm waiting for my Nugg Doctor shirt to be created -- I'll rock it with pride. Keep it up.

Nugg Doctor said...

Aww guys, you are making me feel all sappy! Tomorrow is the one year birthday for The Nugg Doctor and I have a special post in the works for all of you. T-Shirts are on the way, I promise, and as soon as you can cop one I'll let you know!

Thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor

The Jersey FLiP said...

happy birthday doc...

Nugg Doctor said...

Whatever your name is... Thanks! Be on the lookout for a birthday post sometime tomorrow.

Thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor