The thing bothers me the most about this loss is how many times the Nuggets had the opportunity to put the Knicks down by sizable amounts, but instead fell into lackadaisical stretches of both offense and defense as if the game was already won. Once in the second quarter the Nuggets were up by 15 points, 50-35, but let the intensity and emotion change hands in the form of a 66-60 finish to the first half.
That collapse, plus a couple more in the third period were the real reason why the Nuggets lost this game. Oh, and the fact that the Knicks scored 70+ points in the paint and more than 20 of them came from second chance opportunities leading me to believe that Kenyon Martin's toughness was missed more than some of us might have imagined before we had to watch this killer instinct lacking debacle.
To further illustrate my point, the box score shows similar shooting percentages in all categories across the board, but the one area you can’t put a numerical value on was how much hungrier the Knicks were than the Nuggets in the fourth quarter.
And after winning every 12-minute battle up to this point, the Nuggets came out lifeless in the fourth and the Knicks punked the Mile High Crew, 37-20, for the win.
The Nuggets are now 2-2 and play the vastly improved Celtics tomorrow night. I have goodies planned for tomorrow too, so keep that page refreshed.