Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Ouch! Nuggets Ripped in San Antonio

(Boulder-CO) I don’t know about anyone else, but that was so incredibly painful to watch that I literally cringed a couple of times as the Nuggets were dominated by the Spurs, 95-80. If that wasn’t the absolute worst showing by the Nuggets this season, I don’t want to see anymore. Seriously, ten points in the third quarter after only scoring 17 in the second? Something has got to give with this team in the form of some consistency and I thought it was on the defensive end, but now, it’s not only on defense, but on offense too!

Looking for a silver lining? Don’t waste your time. The Nuggets had no double-doubles and were led in scoring by Carmelo Anthony’s 15 points on 6-15 shooting. Only ‘Melo, Nene, and DerMarr Johnson reached double figures in scoring and J.R. Smith only played eight minutes due to injuring his left knee in the second quarter. As a team the Nuggets turned the ball over 20 times resulting in 17 San Antonio points. The Spurs on the other hand were careful handling their possessions and only turned the ball over an efficient nine times.

After three quarters of NBA basketball the Nuggets found themselves with a measly 48 points. Was it too much partying in Vegas? Is this team disintegrating? Was this just a bad night? You tell me because I am at a loss looking for ways to decipher just how things went so terribly wrong tonight. The box scores are fairly even, so it just doesn’t make any sense to me as to how the Nuggets were down by 31 points going into the fourth quarter.

And you know what the worst part about it all is? There is no replay for me to watch to gain the advantage of a second look at this game! Now the Nuggets are right back at .500 (26-26) and one would have to think that their psychological state is shaky at best. I didn’t want to say this, as I am eternally optimistic, but if the Nuggets do not straighten this tangle out they are in serious danger of missing the playoffs. Of the 30 games remaining, 16 are on the road and 17 of them are against teams bound for the playoffs. Plain and simply stated: It is not going to get any easier as the games get increasingly more critical down the homestretch. And if Denver is going to have anything to build on for next season, they had better devise a plan to save this one.

5 comments:

aeneas said...

This was one of the very few games I was able to watch because I'm located on the other side of the world. The Nuggets in my opinion had a very good start with quite enjoyable offensive execution and even though they could not use their advantage of being a fast team and run fastbreaks they had a very well structured and organized setplay which led them to a 13-4 (or something like that) lead. Then San Antonio tightened up the defense and the nuggets really let them take their space and showed extremely bad shot selection and, what really made me kinda upset, let the spurs outrun them by just standing around and watching the ball after every shot. Most of the comfortable lead the nuggets had built fell to this lazyness and after they had lost their advantage scorewise the game turned into a really bad and uninspired performance which was extremely confusing to watch. Since it was only the second game with Melo and Allen playing together I was able to watch was extremely disappointed yet I was somehow impressed by the quickness Allen showed with the ball and will go to the court right now to improve my crossover :-)
Actually his drive-fake-under-the-basket really sucked because the other players did not adjust to dishes from the inside which is the reason for a lot of pass interception by the spurs. I mention this because I really think that the nuggets play a extremely slow adjusting offense which lacks flexibility and smartness. I agree with you that they will have serious problems to reach the playoff if they don't really improve their offensive flexibility, defensive rotation and motivation.

Besides that I'd like to thank you once again for the great work you do on this blog and hope you keep it up.

Aeneas

Nugg Doctor said...

Aeneas,

If you keep coming to read my work, I'll keep working. Tell a friend too!

Thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor

Stumbleweed said...

Gah, those turnovers were horrible. So many turnovers... I'm going to be seeing that smug bastard Tony Parker in my nightmares until we can get a win against the Spurs. Just a rough game to watch, even though we started off great. I'm worried about JR too -- we really can't afford to lose his shooting for more than a few games (though Dermarr shot surprisingly well).

I have tickets to the Jazz game (my girlfriend rules), so hopefully they don't ruin my birthday game. The Nuggets really have to get their heads back -- the focus totally wasn't there last night. Another slow night for Marcus too... he hasn't gotten a double-double since January 26th.

This next stretch will show us what kind of a team this is. I share your concern about the playoffs at this point because the Wolves, Hornets, and Clippers are all right there with us. I'm mostly worried about the Hornets with Paul back, because they're definitely capable of going on a good run and beating some tough teams. Add Houston and the Lakers into the mix for the 5-8 seeds, and it's too crowded for us to play this badly and still sneak in.

I got my priority playoff ticket offer in the mail last week and decided not to get any. After seeing the rest of the schedule and the way they've been playing lately, I'll definitely wait until next year. I'm not giving up on this season (because you never know what can happen, and I'm a diehard anyway), but I really think we need the off-season to get our defense straight as well as develop team chemistry -- not only between Melo and AI, but between the pair of them and the rest of the team. Getting K-Mart back and having a more experienced (and healthier/stronger) Nene will make our interior game a lot better.

We have our work cut out for us against the Jazz. We need to win the rebounding battle and get some bench production to have a chance.

btalk said...

I think last night's embarassment was a case of missing "ations". The Nuggs lacked dedication, determination and most of all, inspiration. The only "ation" left now is desperation!!

Nugg Doctor said...

Stumbleweed,

I too am going to the game on Friday night. Care to meet The Nugg Doctor for beer at halftime?

Thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor