The Nuggets are playing their best basketball right now. Allen Iverson is starting to understand what this team needs and is delivering the assists and leadership that has been missing for quite some time. Carmelo is starting to make changes on defense and is still filling up the stat sheet. Including an obvious attention to hitting the glass with more gusto. J.R. Smith is finding his niche, Linas Kleiza is shaping up into a rock-solid contributor, Eduardo Najera is sweeping up the intangibles, and the rest of the crew are all starting to figure out ways to catapult this team from being lost in the shuffle to having people starting to rethink landing a playoff match-up with the Nuggets.
The Nets are also playing some good basketball. The have had the return of Richard Jefferson lift their spirits and Vince Carter is still worth the price of admission in any NBA city. The Nets are currently in the seventh seed, identical to the Nuggets, but the main difference in these two teams is how they get it done.
When you look at statistical leaders for the Nets, you have to be amazed that Jason Kidd is the team’s leading assists man, rebounder, and thief. I mean, assists and steals are to be expected, but if you’re a fan of the Nets you have to be worried about your point guard leading the team in rebounds, no? Many NBA aficionados would tell you that rebounding and defense are what separates the contenders from the pretenders and I have to agree with their sentiments. Against the Nuggets, I have to predict that the Nets get murdered on the boards and take the L. New Jersey doesn’t have the fire power offensively, match-ups on defense, or the swagger that the Nuggets bring to the table as of right now.
It’s just that crystal clear to me when I take the players, statistics, and momentum into account when analyzing tonight’s game.
Keep on streaking, Denver. Tonight the Nets get cut down. Go Nuggets!