Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Heat Report: Nuggets Still Lukewarm

(Boulder-CO) Tonight’s 99-94 loss to the Timberwolves doesn’t sit very well me for a couple of reasons. First, I do not understand the reasoning behind not having J.R. Smith in the game with fourteen seconds remaining and the Nuggets down by three. ‘Melo’s two before Randy Foye’s two made free-throws gave more than ample opportunity for George Karl to sub him in, but for some reason he was not subbed for until only nine seconds remained with the Nuggets down by four and then five on two more KG freebies. Second is how Denver turned the ball over 17 times, many occasions on the fast break, which led to 19 T-Wolf points.

Do you remember what I mentioned in the game preview? Kevin Garnett dominated the offensive glass on his way to a game-high 17 rebounds including seven off the Nuggets goal. The Big Ticket also kicked in 19 points, three assists, two steals, and a block. Marcus Camby, on the other hand, had a bad night finishing with twelve points and an uncharacteristically low three rebounds.

It can also be said that the Nuggets didn’t finish out any of the four quarters of basketball played in this game. In the last two minutes of the first the Nuggets were outscored 6-3. With two minutes before half the Nuggets were out did 6-2. In the third they lost the final two 6-2, and once again in the fourth Denver had the dagger plunged deep 10-4. That’s 28-11 in the final eight minutes by quarter and is why, plus the other questionable decision making and the dominant showing by Garnett, the Nuggets lost this game.

The highlight reel belongs to Carmelo, Nene, and Steve Blake. ‘Melo finished with 28 points, five boards, and five assists. Nene ended with 18 points, four steals, and two rebounds. And Blake distributed a career-high 18 assists with four points and five rebounds.

Up next for the Nuggets is a five-day lay-off to try and work out the kinks and develop some chemistry before traveling to San Antonio on Wednesday for a real examination of where this team is at. Hopefully AI will be ready to go by then. In the meantime I will be covering the Dunk Contest, All-Star Game, and of course, the Dick Bavetta/Charles Barkley footrace over the weekend. And if you’re good, I might just have something else for you in the mean time…

4 comments:

ThaAnswer said...

Well I had a bad feeling about this game. Maybe I didn't have a reason for it, except for the fact I'm used to disappointment. I'm an AI guy, I was a Philly fan, so I'm new to Denver this year. While I may follow AI where ever he goes, I'm glad to be a new Denver fan. Don't hold it against me. There were periods tonight when the Nuggets stopped playing their game and took way too many jumpers. We're best with penetration, offensive rebounding, cutting to the basket...didn't see that so much. The energy didn't seem to be there. As many shots as Minnesota got off, I can't believe we had a change to win at the end. Check the total field goals attempted and be glad we hung around. Love the blog, keep it up.

Nugg Doctor said...

I agree with your assessment of the love for the jumper the Nuggets showed tonight. Too many times they "settled" for it. Thanks for the kind words about the craft and good to have you aboard.

Thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor

Jason said...

Well, you called it Nugg Doctor...

You have to keep KG off the offensive boards, and that is the single reason we lost this game.

I actually thought Denver played a very good game - good defense, great passing, and good energy.

But they failed to do two things that cost them the game - Rebound and take care of the ball.

It seems Denver continues to fail to do the little things, and until they do that, they will struggle.

I did think that maybe Karl should have played Reggie Evans more (Mr. REbound himself) since they were having a problem on the boards. Camby just wasn't getting it done and got severely outplayed.

At least they are playing more as a team, right??

Nugg Doctor said...

Jason,

You can look at some of the positives from this loss and say that, yes, the Nuggets did play well as a team (Look at the assists). Unfortunatley, the other edge of the blade is that rebounding is a team effort and that is where the Nuggets were badly outplayed...

I for one am the forever optimistic kind of writer because I feel that dwelling on negatives just brings more negativity.

Need an example? Go check out some of the Celtics blogs out there. May Red rest in peice though, the C's did finally snap their 18-game losing streak last night against the Bucks.

Thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor