Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Nuggets Bully Bulls

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
(Boulder-CO) At 8-3, the Nuggets are out to their best start since 1988 and probably have a lot of people wondering just how good they are. And while I have a feeling about this team that I am currently just keeping to myself, maybe the Bulls have their own idea of just how good the Nuggets are after getting waxed from first whistle to final buzzer, 112-91.

For starters, we now know that the Nuggets defense is vastly improved from last season. Denver once again denied their opposition a 20+ scorer and before the Bulls were able to salvage some dignity in the fourth quarter the Nuggets had equaled or outscored their opponents in the last 17 straight quarters. Denver also held its fourth team in a row, tonight albeit just barely, to 40% or below from the field by keeping Chicago to exactly 40% shooting. Plus, the Nuggets once again out blocked their opponents, 7-5, thanks primarily to Marcus Camby’s five rejections, but it is the way the Nuggets are playing D as a team that really has me excited. Guys like J.R. Smith are really focused on playing team defense; meaning that when another Nugget gets beat they are stepping up for each other and making teams beat them as a cohesive unit rather than all that one-on-one stuff that lacked overall teammate support from previous years.

We also now know that the Nuggets are much better at sharing the ball compared to years past. Denver passed for 26 assists tonight with nearly everybody getting into the sharing spirit. Maybe it’s the holidays, but anytime a team like the Nuggets continues to have the passing game going the way Denver currently does it indicates that they are getting out on the break, making the extra pass, and are playing for each other instead of just with each other. Need more proof? The Nuggets are currently third in the NBA at a clip of 24.9 dimes per game and have the league’s most potent offense.

But what I like more than anything else is how all of Denver’s stars are still shining bright without a single Nugget hogging up the spotlight. Marcus Camby continues to do his dirty work and finished tonight with the gaudy stat line of 20 rebounds, twelve points, five blocks, five assists, and a steal while not even playing in the fourth quarter. Carmelo continues his fantastic all-around play and finished with a game-high 26 points, four assists, and two rebounds. This included putting Andres Nocioni in the spin cycle on the left side block and slamming it in his grill before unlacing his signature shoes and resting the entire fourth period. And Allen Iverson added 22 “quiet” points, six assists, and three steals before he too rested for the majority of the final period; thus translating into a very well-rested starting crew that has to travel tonight to play the Clippers tomorrow on the tail end of back-to-back games.
Then throw in the fact that the Nuggets starters STILL outscored the Bulls starters, 78-38, in essentially three quarters of play and you can see why Denver is now on a six-game winning streak.

So, what are your feelings? Have these last six games been 24 Karat Au worth taking to the bank or could we just be witnessing an extended stretch of Pyrite? Be sure to leave your insights in the comments section.

Go Nuggets!

6 comments:

nuggsfan15 said...

We're getting to see what this team can do. I'll keep my excitement to a minimum until we get to this team up against someone like the Suns, Spurs, or Mavs.

Richard said...

I don't see many games from here in Milan, Italy (anyone know a web-based way I could?) but these Nuggets feel Different with a capital D that also stands for Defense and Depth. If they had lost last night, the story would have been Melo's cruddy shooting. But going 6 for 20 doesn't sink the squad nowadays, since he also plays defense and can depend on quality reserves to keep up the scoring.
A solid win in LA tonight would be a very positive indicator.
Ciao from smoggy Milano. Go Nuggs!

Geerten said...

Hey Doc, I too am very excited about the Nuggets' game on both ends of the floor, but face it: if they wanna roll with Dallas, SanAn and Phx, those last six were just games in which the squad did what it was supposed to do. I tend to get a little over-excited once in a while, but any Western Conference powerhouse would and should have won those games. Since the Nuggets wanna go and get 60, they just did what they had to do

Have I told you how much I enjoy seeing Kenyon firing on all cylinders? Oh wait, he ain't at 100% yet. But his abuse of the rim was downright spectacular!

Oh and one last question: what does the PA say when one of the guys fires home a three: it's something like: "J-R-Smith, for 1-2-threeeeeee for free for Joe DiMaggio..."
What exactly does he say and where does that come from?

1!

Nugg Doctor said...

Richard,

The only way that I know of for you to get Nuggets games is to buy, say maybe a loved one in the states who also loves the Nuggets, NBA league pass so you can watch all the games via the internet. It's about 160 bucks, but there is still 71 games you could watch making each game less than the cost of a beer at the local watering hole.

Just a possibility.

Ciao and thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor

Nugg Doctor said...

geerten,

The PA announcer is saying, " 1, 2, 3, Tees for Threes Digiorno! You know... like the frozen pizzas? It's a promotional thing, but the T-shirts are pretty sweet. They have a big Nuggets logo on the front and a Digiorno pizza logo on the back. Perfect for hoopin' in at the local gym.

Thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor

Stumbleweed said...

Heh, they're starting to spoil us with all these blowout wins. I think going to Houston on the 2nd game of a back-to-back will give us a better clue. The one powerhouse we've played wiped the floor with us, so I'm not getting too optimistic yet.

These last few games have been like Bizarro Nuggets. JR is our best perimeter defender and Najera is shooting nearly 44% from 3-point range. Somebody wake me up please.