Sunday, March 11, 2007

Kleiza-Kleiza-Kleiza!!!

(Boulder-CO) I like this win for a number of different reasons. In the box score you have to love the fact that the Nuggets had three players score 20+ points. Besides that, Marcus Camby grabbed at least ten rebounds and the Nuggets beat up the Kings on the boards as team, 49-36. And most of all you have to love the team chemistry. Numerous times the Nuggets made the extra pass and the overwhelming, overall effect was tremendous on both offense and defense. Along with all that good stuff, the Nuggets found a way to overcome an early ten-point deficit to eventually blow out the Sacramento Kings, 113-101.

With as little as 4:30 remaining in the fourth quarter the Nuggets’ lead was as large as twenty points thanks to a trio of great performances. Linas Kleiza was the third musketeer to Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony. LK recorded a career-high 24 points and eight rebounds including 4-7 from long distance. Allen Iverson equaled Kleiza’s point total and added seven assists, six rebounds and four steals. And with the addition of Carmelo’s team-high 29 points and six boards the Nuggets simply had firepower than the Kings.

The Nuggets can also say that the winless streak is over in Arco Arena. As I included in my preview, the Nuggets were 0-20 at Sacramento dating back to 1997, and can now finally get the monkey off their back. Ding-dong the witch is dead. Hallelujah and Amen.

The most important aspect of this win is that it keeps the Kings from locking up the tie-breaker over the Nuggets in the event that the two teams finish with identical records at the conclusion of the regular season. The fourth and decisive game will be played at Pepsi Center on April 4th, where the Nuggets will need to win to assume control over the tie-breaker as the two teams are now dead even in point differential in this season‘s match-ups. This win also holds the Clippers at bay in the eighth playoff position, while the Hornets, T-Wolves, and Kings will have to remain outsiders looking in.

Up next for the Nuggets is a three-game home stand that starts Tuesday against the Portland Trailblazers and includes the Lakers, (currently seeded sixth), on Thursday, and Suns on Saturday. The Nuggets have only one more loss than the Lakers, who will be playing the Mavericks later this evening, and still could conceivably snatch the sixth seed with some consecutive wins to close out the season. Just remember, Nuggets Nation, it’s been a wild ride all year long and anything could still happen. Go Nuggets!

4 comments:

JM said...

Just when you think the Nuggets are down and out, they surprise everyone with a nationally televised destruction of the Sacramento Kings! I didn't even bother watching the game live because with the way they had been playing, I figured there was no need to see if they would end their 20 game, 10 year losing streak in Sacramento. I figured I knew the end result.

Here's what I think helped.

1. They never lost their cool when AI got three quick fouls.

2. They distributed the ball. AI and Blake were effective in this area especially. 25 assists is a good number.

3. They got out and ran the ball like they used to when Earl and Andre were running the show.

4. Linas Kleiza was awesome. People give the guy a hard time because of his lack of notoriety, but Karl likes guys that play hard and are smart with the ball, regardless of how flashy or talented they are. Kleiza is just that, and he is clearly showing us why he was indeed a first round draft pick two years ago. 43 is playing with a lot of confidence right now.

5. They played 4 solid quarters of basketball. This is the type of game we saw from them 2 years ago when they put on that great run to finish out '05 and get into the playoffs.

If they come out and play with that kind of intensity and passion from here on out, they could get to the 6th seed in the playoffs and be very deadly come the end of April.

Jason said...

Great, great win! I really appreciated the effort Denver put together on both ends of the floor, and the final score doesn't really show the amount of defensive effort Denver put in. Really, the 101 points the Kings scored is a false assessment of truly how Denver played Defense. There pressure was up, they will quick handed and quick on rotations and didn't give up the easy baskets like they usually do! If it wasn't for Bibby going off for 34, we would have won this game by even a wider margin!

So it was encouraging to see the team play together as just that, a team!! Passing, rotating, defending, and coming together finally. Hopefully they can now start doing this on a consistent basis!

Great win, and as always, great coverage by the Nugg Doctor!

Tymes Rhymes said...

I didn't even know this game was on, I turned it to ABC and missed the entire 1st quarter. But this was a great win, finally someone else (Kleiza) gave us 20. I heard his name pronounced 3 different ways, (Lye-nus,Lee-nus, and Leh-nus) I pronouce it Leh-nus.

nanananana said...

A W in the mix. Nice going. Can a double be within reach? We now know what Linas from Peanuts last name is, well depends on how you pronounce it. Nice win, do it again! GO NUGGETS!! Thanks Doc..