Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Nuggets Riding a Rocky Mountain High

(AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)

(Boulder-CO) Tonight’s victory is all about accomplishments both in the moment and over a career. By beating the hated Utah Jazz tonight, 115-106, the Nuggets have guaranteed themselves a birth in the post-season and a winning record, set a franchise record for road wins with 20, push their winning streak to a season’s best, and current NBA best, seven straight games, and wrench down the sixth spot just another twist leaving the Lakers now two games in the rearview mirror. Also in the rearview mirror is the symbolic step of Adrian Dantley’s familiar number “4” hanging from the rafters of the Energy Solutions Center on what should be a night that serves as a catalyst in AD’s ride to Springfield, Massachusetts.

The Nuggets jumped out to a quick lead and held it tight throughout the majority of the game. By halftime the Nuggets were up by seven before going up by ten during the third quarter. What was really a welcome surprise was how the Nuggets continued to outplay the Jazz, even if by the smallest of margins, in each quarter. Denver did not lose a quarter in the scoring column and with the big efforts by Denver’s biggest names the Nuggets were able to stave off the Jazz’s best attempt to crawl back into within striking distance.

Carmelo Anthony led the way offensively for the Nuggets despite not getting a single damn call all night. ’Melo scored 32 points, snared six rebounds, and dished two dimes, but what was most frustrating was if the referees would have blown the whistle he could have had forty easily! Anthony did shoot twelve free-throws, and was perfect from the line might I add, but numerous times he scored the deuce and was not rewarded for taking the Jazz abuse.

Defensively, the Nuggets are soaring high on the wingspan of Marcus Camby. The Captain fell just shy of a triple double, (13 points, 13 rebounds, and seven blocked shots), but his value as of late goes far deeper than what the box score can illustrate. He serves as a safety net that the perimeter defense can bank on when playing the passing lanes and being aggressive trying to thieve balls from lazy dribblers. He alters twice as many shots as he blocks and when he locks down the boards limiting the opposition to one shot the Nuggets are proving to be very hard to beat.

Another key to the Nuggets' success has proven to be their 11-1 record when Iverson double-doubles. Tonight, the Answer finished with 22 points, 12 assists, and five rebounds including two three pointers and a dunk. The story goes Carmelo and the boys have been giving AI some grief for not dunking as regularly anymore prompting the history of the NBA’s third highest scoring average to start looking to bang it home when the opportunity presents itself.

And the play of Nene continues to be a major bright spot. Big Brazil served up a couple of facials tonight, (one to Carlos Boozer that was plain filth), and finished with 19 points and eight rebounds. He brings a tough swagger to this team that is also invaluable in the same sense as Marcus Camby’s defensive presence.

I’m also happy to report that I am back to 3-3 in my final predictions making me and all the time I put into watching, scrutinizing, analyzing, and agonizing over the Nuggets just as reliable as flipping a coin! Seriously though, if they win, I’m happy to be wrong. It’s the other way around that has a way at eating at me.

Up next is a day of rest before back-to-back games on the road with the Hornets and Grizzlies. I have both games down for Nuggets victories, so it is time we go our separate ways. Until then don‘t worry, I’ll figure out something to write about.

Go Nuggets!

5 comments:

Geerten said...

Wow! NuggDoc, I am so proud of this team! I can't tell you how lightened up I am!

Marcus Camby is having his best season...AGAIN! Do you think he'll get the DPOY-award? Kleiza developing into a supersub! Melo and AI continuing to grow as a deadly duo, NenĂª proving to be worth every penny of his new contract (and proving to be a NASTY facial dunker as well). I should tell you that last year, one of my favourite Non-Nugget players was JR Smith, so him coming to Denver was like a dream come true for me. He's done a solid job this season and I think that if he can find some consistency, he's gonna be unstoppable! He's improved his overall skills and his defence and I think there's nothing in the game of basketball he isn't capable of doing.

Remember you said "winning the division waived goodbye to the Nuggets somewhere around week six, but do you think that they can even match that (last year's 44-38) record?". I was with you on that one. It took wins against the Jazz and the Mavs, but that milestone doesn't seem too far away right now... Do you think the Nuggets can finish the season on an 11-0 streak?

Imagine K-Mart getting back to the rotation next year... The team will be so goddamn full of talent that the NBA might need to introduce a "Seventh Man Of The Year"-Award!!!

Go Nuggets! Let's go for GOLD!

P.S. Do you think the NW-Division Title is cursed? Denver lost all of its games after winning it last year, Utah seems to have the same problem this season...

ThaAnswer said...

OK. Everyone who said before that the Nuggets may be better with Andre Miller instead of AI, apologies must now be in order. Never underestimate the power of the greatest little man ever to play the game. Nugg Doctor, you should be first in line for this one! Go Nuggets!

btalk said...

Another goood win. It was nice to see Karl give The Yak a little time...he will be needed come play offs.
Also, I thought Dantley's acceptance speech was sad. Way too long...just accept the award, be gracious, and get off. If it were the academy awards they would have started the music 2 minutes into his diatribe which included ridiculous references to those whose jerseys are already hanging and to everyone but the ball boys who contributed so much to his career. I like A.D. as much as the next guy, but I ended up embarassed for him. He looked like he was going to make up for years of being dissed and ended up looking like a fossil suffering from dementia!

Nugg Doctor said...

Hi guys, thanks for the great comments.

Thaanswer,

Ok, ok, I will apologize for the comments I made about Andre Miller and AI. He is without a doubt one of the best players in the NBA's colorful history and I am real happy he is wearing a Nuggets jersey.

Geerten,

I would love to see the Nuggets win eleven straight going into the playoffs. I have them winning all the rest of the games except for San Antonio, but I would gladly be wrong for a win in SA. Especially if we end up playing the Spurs in the first round. As for the curese... I don't buy it. Teams that clinch these types of things usually slack off until playoffs and as a result do themselves more harm than good (as we all saw last season).

Btalk,

I think AD might have not been prepared for the evening's events. He went on way too long and at one point I just wanted the second half to start! And did you see the elbow of the Jazz owner? Damn thing looked like a softball was lodged in there and was so wierd looking that I had to look away. I'm squeemish, what can I say!

Thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor

nuggsfan15 said...

Haha. I was wondering if anyone else was freaked out by the owners elbow... damn thing just looked weird! And as for A.D. You could tell he didnt really have anything prepared beforehand and he just made it up as he went. And it got worse as he went... woulda thought he would have just read a prepared statement.

I was with you nugg doctor, I just wanted him to shut up and get the second half stated :D