Thursday, March 8, 2007

Nuggets vs. Pistons Preview

(Boulder-CO) Every game from here on out is critical if the Denver Nuggets are going to advance to the playoffs this season. However, at 29-30 overall, the unfortunate reality for the Nuggets is 13 of their final 18 games are on the road, and even more than that, a majority of them are against playoff-caliber ball clubs. So, aside from the bleak long-term outlook, the short-term good news is four out of the next five games are at home starting with the Detroit Pistons.

The Pistons are a team that have been living right since bringing Chris Webber home to the Motor City. Detroit’s one and only C-Dub has coagulated this team, resurrected his fading career, and put the Pistons in the thick of the wide-open Eastern Conference. Since C-Webb came to the Pistons, ’Troit has won 16 out of their last 23 games since starting 21-15 overall. But luckily for the Nuggets… Detroit has lost three out of their last four games and has been slipping as of recent.

Keys to a Nuggets victory are easily identifiable, but their execution is going to be anything but. Detroit is a team that plays defense. The Pistons are the fourth stingiest teams in the league only giving up 92.7 points a game which could spell trouble for the Nuggets who are winless without scoring at least a hundred points. So, unless Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson get some help in the scoring column, along with a little bit of friggin’ defense, the Nuggets will really be in an uphill battle with one of the East‘s elite.

And to be perfectly honest with you, without the century mark the Nuggets will probably not win this game. Much more than in most, this game will be decisively won by which teams’ strongest attribute plays center stage. If up-tempo offense prevails, so will the Nuggets. Anything else and Denver native Chauncey Billups will most likely have a very nice homecoming.

While it’s not time to completely abandon this season and start thinking about next year, it will be a tough task to keep a positive outlook if the Nuggets fall two games below .500 with 22 games still to play. Of the remaining 23 games on the schedule, 14 of them are against playoff bound clubs including this game against Detroit, (and another match-up with the Pistons on March 26th), three games with the sixth seeded and bruised Lakers, two with the Suns, and single games with the streaking Mavs and hard-nosed Jazz before the season finale in San Antonio. Does that schedule seem tough? How about the five-game east coast road trip that not only includes two back-to-backs with only a day of rest in between, but also showcases three of the top five teams in the conference.

Know thy enemy, Nuggets fans. Be sure to check out http://www.need4sheed.com/ and http://www.detroitbadboys.com/ for anything and everything related to basketball in the Motor City.

In my eyes, the only way to go is to make sure all of OUR pistons are firing at max capacity against Detroit. Put up or shut up time, Denver. Go Nuggets, mute rock city!

1 comment:

The District Celtic said...

man, good luck playing those pistons. that's almost as hard as the celtics big matchup against the sonics...