Thursday, November 30, 2006

Nuggets vs. Timberwolves Preview

(Boulder-CO) Alright, alright so I know the last time that I did a preview it came back to bite me, BIG TIME. This preview, however, is going to stray from the statistical analysis that I put so much faith into, damn you statistical analysis, and take a look at some other areas that the Nuggets will need to be focused on to win at Minnesota. I’m talking about the attributes of resiliency, heart, and cohesiveness which are going to be tested this Friday night.

After a disappointing loss, like the one to Memphis, it is important to evaluate how a team reacts. Good teams can deal with a disappointing showing and bounce back the next game in their previous form. Poor teams will allow such a funk to linger with them, so it is important for the Nuggets to forget what happened and display some resiliency against the T-Wolves. It reminds me of and old saying that states the strongest reed is the one that bends, meaning that while the Nuggets were wretched on Tuesday night. It was, perhaps, a necessary reality check for this team to build on while reverting back to a more favorable style of play.

The next emotion that the Nuggets need to find a way to revisit is passion. I felt that during the Memphis loss the Nuggets were playing without the same level of heart and passion that they were embracing during their five game tear. For whatever reason the hustle wasn’t there, the camaraderie was low, and the defense consequently suffered. Maybe it was the off-night on offense, but nevertheless, that is no excuse for the aforementioned. The Nuggets need to play for each other first, and then the personal achievements will accompany the team’s overall success, but not vice a versa. There is no question in my mind that Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith could combine for 60 points every night if the Nuggets had that goal in the forefront of their agenda, but it will be the true leaders that bring back the passion to this team and instill the winning mentality regardless of opponent.

And the final component that will dictate the outcome in the match-up with KG and the Timberwolves will be team cohesiveness. When I look at the box score from the loss on Tuesday, it would appear as if the Nuggets only put in about three quarters worth of collective effort. The numbers are all scary low, and I think that can be attributed to a lack of cohesiveness. It is no secret that this team is at its best when they are running the floor and setting each other up for easy scores. When the fast break is successful it makes everyone feel involved and good about themselves. The man that clears the board and makes a good outlet pass feels just as good as the set-up man all the way down the line to the finisher. Then it makes it that much easier to hustle back down the court to play defense and hopefully get it all started again. And then not only do you have the scoreboard man in need of a 20 second timeout, but you have teammates giving high-fives, smiles, and that much more desire to help each other out on defensive rotations. If the Nuggets can get each other involved and reestablish this kind of cohesiveness their outcome will be favorable.

With an overview including a divisional match-up, the bad blood between these teams that stems from back when Sam Cassell was a T-Wolf, and the short road trip. The Nuggets have their work cut out for them regardless of what the Timberwolves record would indicate. It is too close to call as far as a win or a loss can be determined, but it will be important to note if any of the aforementioned topics are achieved successfully for the Denver Nuggets. There is a long way to go before this season really proves to be an improvement, but the Nuggets will really show their character tomorrow night in Minnesota.

Tying Mutombo

(Boulder-CO) Since Carmelo being named WCPW for the fourth time tied him with the great Mutombo on the All-Time number of times a Denver Nugget has received such honor. I thought it would be fitting to post a youtube clip of Dikembe. He was a major part of Nuggets during the 90's and he is an incredible humanitarian too. He has always been one of my favorite players, despite not having the high profile stats. Don't make me wave that finger!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Just Plain Sickening

(Boulder-CO) Memphis breaks a seventeen game winless streak at Pepsi Center. The Nuggets five game winning streak is over. Memphis is no longer winless on the road and I am at a loss for words. I know my prediction was bold, but I also knew that the Nuggets were capable of this kind of breakdown. Memphis beats Denver tonight 108-96 in what was by far the least inspired game the Nuggets have played this season. Send the hate mail, I’m ready for it.

The Memphis Grizzlies did exactly what I didn’t think they could do and outscored, out rebounded, shot better than, and out passed the Nuggets. The Grizzlies made a killing in the paint by breaking down the Nuggets for 62 points while attempting 92 total field goals. When Coach Karl was asked about the Nuggets loss he said, “We were standing, watching, and playing bullshit NBA basketball.” A direct quote from Altitude Sports and Entertainment’s live broadcast of George Karl’s press conference which pretty much sums up my feelings perfectly.

Defensively the Nuggets were like a soggy paper bag. Easily ripped wide open by dribble penetration and unable to keep any sort of defensive formation. Players chasing their man, buying head fakes, and very little boxing out left the Nuggets without any chance to start the fast break. I don’t know how to say it any differently other than this one was just bad. Forget any analysis because the Nuggets played as if they just didn’t want to win.

Carmelo Anthony scored 37 points on 17-30 shooting with nine rebounds and seven assists. Marcus Camby was the only other Nugget player worth mentioning with a double-double performance of 14 points, ten rebounds, and three blocked shots.

Finger pointing would be redundant. If you want to point one, point one at me for jinxing yet another game just when I thought I was starting to really figure this team out. The Nuggets need forget that this one ever happened and get ready for Timberwolves on Friday night.

All Signs Point to a Spanking

(Boulder-CO) As I have been looking for keys to tonight’s match-up with the Memphis Grizzlies, I have to say that it does not look good for the bear. After looking at team statistics only, I have found that the Nuggets are most likely going to dominate in a variety of the game’s most important facets.

The first team stat that jumps out at me is average points scored per game. The Nuggets are number one in the league at a mark of 110.5, while the Grizzlies are fourth worst at 92.6. That’s 17 points that the Grizzlies will either have to find a way to score over their average to hang with the Nuggets. Or if you are of the glass half empty frame of mind, the Nuggets will have to have a poor night offensively for the Grizzlies to have a chance. I am choosing to look at only average points scored, not because the Nuggets don’t give up their fair share (which they do), but rather because in almost every game that the Nuggets have played this year they have been the team that has dictated the tempo of the game to their liking.

Next on the docket is field goal percentage. The Nuggets are eighth in the league hitting 46.5% of their shots. This percentage is looking strong because the Nuggets get out and run for easy buckets and have Carmelo shooting a high percentage and making up a huge portion of their scoring. Unfortunately for the Grizzlies however, because they are currently last in the league in this category only shooting 41.7%. If they are going to find a way to hang with Denver tonight they better start putting the ball in the hole with more efficiency. Otherwise, Denver’s ability to put points up on the board quickly is going to put the Grizzlies in a whole world of trouble.

When it comes to finding the open man for an easy deuce, the Nuggets are the second best team in the NBA with an average of 24.75 assists a night. While I wish the Nuggets weren’t allowing the other team an average total of 23 assists of their own, I am not too worried about the Grizzlies hitting this kind of passing mark. My reasoning is simple. Memphis only averages a shade over 16 assists a night, not to mention are allowing the third most assists to the opposing team in the league. It doesn’t take a genius to deduce that the Nuggets should out assist the Grizzlies tonight without much trouble. Furthermore, assists by definition lead to points, and I don’t think that I need to tell you what the Nuggets are capable of when it comes to scoring points (140 anyone?).

And last, but certainly most importantly and unfortunately, is the Grizzlies are without their main man Pau Gasol. He has been gone since injuring his foot in the FIBA Championships and his absence has been crushing to this team. Without Gasol, Memphis lacks a true answer when the questions start getting crucial. Their leading scorer is Chucky Atkins, who is putting up a meager 14.9 points a game, and they do not have anyone averaging more than six rebounds. Expect the Nuggets to dominate the glass, the pass, and turn both into a hyper-paced, score-a-thon. I just don’t see any other way, despite a complete breakdown on the Nuggets behalf, that the outcome shouldn’t be victory tonight at the Pepsi Center. Hopefully my pregame analysis is correct. Otherwise… I might need help getting this size 10.5 out of my mouth!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Four Times Already?

(Boulder-CO) Well Nuggets fans it has happened again. No we haven’t lost another power forward, tasteless I know, but seriously… Carmelo has once again been named Western Conference Player of the Week for the fourth time in his young career. He is being named such honor for the week of November 20th through the 26th that included a stretch where he scored 29 points against Chicago in a win, 33 in a road victory against the Warriors, 30 in a winning home re-match with Golden State, and 33 against the Clippers last night in yet another victory.

‘Melo is still leading the NBA in scoring at a frantic rate of 31.1 points a game and is also third in the league in steals. Anthony is the only player to be both in the top five in scoring and steals league-wide.

The previous three occasions in which Carmelo was named WCPW happened when he was named twice back in his 2004 rookie season and once during last year’s campaign.

He has scored 30 points or more in nine of the Nuggets 12 games thus far and has been the leader of the Nuggets as they have won eight of their last nine games, including a current five game winning streak.

Congratulations, Carmelo. There is no doubt that you are simply amazing!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Exorcising the Demons

(Boulder-CO) If there was ever a game to completely dominate a team that you owed some revenge on, this was the game. The Clippers came into the Pepsi Center tonight and were pushed around by the Nuggets 103-88. Granted they didn’t have Sam Cassell (smirking) for the entire game due to a tweaked ankle and Chris Kaman due to injury, but this win felt good regardless. The Clippers literally stole the season opener from the Nuggets, not to mention what happened last year in the playoffs, and it was time for them to pay the piper.

I am going to break down the highs from each quarter because the Nuggets were just that good!

The first quarter was sparked by Reggie Evans’s great hustle and gianormous boost off the bench. The Nuggets also established that they were going to shoot a high percentage and dominate the boards. I felt that as soon as the ball was put in play that the Nuggets were sending a message to the Clippers that history meant nothing and they were in big trouble tonight. By running the Clip-show into the ground, the Nuggets found themselves up 28-17 at the quarter’s conclusion.

In the second, the Clippers did show signs of life as the Nuggets inserted their reserves, but Denver’s bench held off LA and gave the Nuggets a 52-49 lead going into half. I felt that at this point the Nuggets had taken the Clippers best punch and it was time to deliver a knock-out punch of their own. The strength of the Nuggets was obviously way too much for the Clippers to handle and it was only a matter of time before the dominant team flexed its muscle.

And that muscle Nuggets fans was flexed right off the bat in the second half. Any good basketball coach knows that ball games are won and lost in the first few minutes of the second half and the Nuggets took the opportunity to put the Clippers to sleep early and without much resistance. They launched out of the gates with a quick five points to extend their lead to eight and never even checked the rearview mirror.

The highlight reel was ready to roll and who better to start it off than J.R. Smith? The steal of this past off-season decided that he was going to show his boosties not once, but twice and put a couple of Clipper defenders in compromising positions. The first was off a missed jump shot when J.R. went top shelf and slammed home the offensive rebound, with two hands like his momma told him, on the helpless Clipper rebounding core. The guy simply got up higher than anyone on the court and had to make the Clippers pay. His next facial was on James Singleton out on the fast break. It was almost sad to watch because Singleton really did want to make a play, but Nuggets fans knew he was in for an embarrassing moment. J.R. put on the high-risers again and threw it down on poor James as the Pepsi Center erupted!

The jam put the Nuggets up 69-56 with just over six minutes left, and when Carmelo’s deadly jab step was implemented the Clippers were found on the short end of an 87-70 beating at the end of the third quarter. Typically, I would still be worried that the Nuggets were capable of collapse and this game would be tight down the stretch, but tonight was a different story.

In the fourth quarter, Nuggets fans finally got to see this team close it out and throw out the trash. The highlight reel continued with Andre Miller putting Shaun Livingston in the spin cycle and Carmelo continuing to dominate offensively. Even though they only scored 16 points in the quarter, Denver only gave up 18 and closed it out with a final score of 103-88. Good night folks, the fat lady is really belting one out!

The Denver Nuggets as a team were phenomenal, but there was some stars of tonight’s game. Carmelo continues his tear of 30 point games and finished tonight with 33 points, six assists, five rebounds, and four steals. Plain and simply stated; There may not be a hotter player in the league as of right now. J.R. Smith continues to be the answer to all of the Nuggets Nation’s prayers at two guard and had 23 points, two steals, and two assists on 7-15 shooting. Andre Miller also added a double-double with 14 points and ten assists. And last but not least, were the performances of Joe Smith recording his season’s best outing thus far with 15 points to go with Reggie Evans’s 14 rebounds off the bench.

As a team the Nuggets shot 51% from the field and 82% from the free-throw line. They collectively had 27 assists and nine blocks in their winning efforts that look to continue against the struggling Memphis Grizzlies Tuesday night. The game is at home and should be a feather in the Nuggets cap before they go north to tangle with the Timberwolves on Friday night. Denver has now won eight of their last nine games and are one of the hottest teams in the league. The Grizzlies better be ready or it’s going to be another major-league blow out victory for the Nuggets. I’m ready, are you?

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Send Anthony to Vegas

(Boulder-CO) There is little doubt in my mind that Carmelo was snubbed last year for the NBA All-Star game, so we all have to make sure that he makes this year's affairs in Sin City. You can vote for 'Melo, and the rest of your favorite Nuggets, by clicking on this link: Do your part, Nuggets fans!

Since He is Leading the League

(Boulder-CO) Carmelo Anthony is still leading the league in scoring and I just thought it was worth putting up another clip of his highlights. My personal favorite thing that Carmelo is doing quite regularly is when he slams it and pops his legs open on the poor guy that he stuffs it on. As they would say in a pick-up game, "Ya betta rotate quicker, or the guy is going to be throwing it down in your face all day!"

This Little Piggy

(Boulder-CO) This next story was just too bizarre for me NOT to post something about it. In the Rocky Mountain News on Friday, Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press reported an interesting anecdote about Eddie Najera, and his peculiar way of putting on his socks. We have all seen the socks pulled up so high that they give David Stern nightmares just thinking about players wearing tights, but Eddie’s style is a little bit different.

In a quote taken from Mahoney’s article, “The Nuggets forward doesn’t pull his ankle-high socks all the way over his foot, instead leaving extra material hanging over his toes, then folding that over the top of his foot to make a double layer of protection under his shoelaces.”

Eddie then is quoted saying, “I don’t get blisters, that’s why I’ve got the prettiest toes in the league.” What!?!? The last thing I would want to be known for league-wide is having the prettiest feet! Not because taking care of your feet is not a noble quality, but you would have to wonder about a fellow NBA player that would pay you that compliment…

He even admits to the occasional pedicure to pamper his feet. Najera’s not the only one using this sock routine: He learned it from teammate Andre Miller, a longtime sock folder himself, reports Mahoney.

Bizarre to say the least is all the commentary I will add. Socks, shoes, pedicures, ahhhh I don’t care as long as Eduardo “Energy” Najera keeps giving this team a rock-solid starting power forward. I mean, you gotta love that hustle!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Interview with Dennis Velasco

(Boulder-CO) A little while back I had the opportunity to talk Nuggets basketball with Dennis Velasco. My interview is finally up on his site and is viewable by clicking here. I would like to thank Dennis for having me participate on his site and wish him the best of luck with the new venture.

Leaving No Doubt

(Boulder-CO) Pin your ears back, Nuggets fans. Tonight’s game was reminiscent of the 1980’s as the Nuggets blew out the Warriors 140-129. And that’s no typo, One-Hundred Forty points is how many the Nuggets put up! It is the highest total that any team in the NBA has posted so far this season. Denver left no question tonight that they have the Warriors’ number after back-to-back victories have left Golden State wounded, confused, and defeated.

I still can’t believe the Nuggets put up a cold-blooded 140, but I will digress and just deliver the stats. J.R. Smith led the Nuggets in scoring with 31 points and four assists. He lit it up in the second half for 24 points after a slow start shooting. He was tickling the twine with dunks, dominating post play, treys and proved to be uncheckable for any G-State defenders.

Carmelo Anthony could also be filed under “uncheckable”. ‘Melo scored 30 points, dimed seven teammates, notched three steals, and snared a rebound in only 31 minutes of action. Carmelo is just so smooth and his maturation is evident in all aspects of his game. The other Nuggets are reaping the benefits of Carmelo’s ability to find open teammates when he is double-teamed and his knack for stealing passes is quickly becoming a staple of the Nuggets ignition on the fast break.

Eduardo Najera, Earl Boykins, Marcus Camby, and Yakhouba Diawara all scored in double figures as ten Nuggets scored in the contest. The Nuggets collectively shot 55% from the field, 80% from the free throw line, and a decent 34% from downtown. Denver dropped 42 assists and capitalized for 37 points off of the 26 turnovers that Don Nelson’s boys coughed up.

One other area of note was Reggie Evans suffering a concussion as resulf of a meeting with the elbow of Adris Biedrins in the second quarter. The wild ‘bow was not on purpose and Reggie did try to return before taking the rest of the second half off. His status will be monitored by team doctors in the next few days.

Denver has now won seven of their last eight games and seems to be getting progressively better each time they play. The team now has four games in the next seven days, starting with the Los Angeles Clippers at home on Sunday. Tip is set for 8 pm, and I don’t know about anyone else out there, but I feel the Nuggets owe the Clips big time.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Turkey Dinner and a Winner

(Boulder-CO) With the game continuing until the waning hours of the night, I apologize for not delivering the recap until this morning. The good news is that the Nuggets beat the Warriors 115-112. This victory was the fifth in six games for the Nuggets and has the overall record now standing at 6-4. The Nuggets are staying true to The Nugg Doctor’s formula for fifty wins and have the opportunity to double-up the Warriors tomorrow night in Pepsi Center.

The Nuggets starters all scored in double figures and were predictably paced by Carmelo Anthony. The league's leading scorer finished with 33 points, nine rebounds, four assists, and three steals on 12 of 18 shooting. I felt that Carmelo wasn’t getting a whole lot of calls and that some of his buckets should have also included a free throw in the traditional sense of the three-point play. However, Carmelo did take care of business from the charity strip concluding this game a proficient 9-10.

The double-double club was reached by Marcus Camby and Andre Miller. Camby cleared 16 rebounds to fit nicely with his 14 points, while Miller gave the Nuggets 17 points and ten assists in 40 minutes of action. Reggie Evans just missed the double-double club with nine points and 14 boards and continues to be a spark off the bench for this team. I love what he brings. Right off the bat, Reggie was tipping rebounds to himself and giving this team toughness in the paint. He is an undisputed component to the winning ways of this franchise and is doing so in a workman-like fashion. Even though Eduardo Najera is the starter, Reggie is just as important to this team coming off the bench.

The Nuggets main area that they need to sharpen their blade for is the fourth quarter's closing credits. The Warriors would have been softly lullabied to sleep if the Nuggets would have been able to add a couple of buckets down the stretch. They reached 115 with just a little bit over two minutes remaining in the game and with a couple mistakes made this contest much closer than it needed to be. The Warriors missed three, three pointers in the final 30 seconds that would of tied the game as a result of a steal off an inbounds and a charge by Carmelo Anthony. If the Nuggets just run good offense, and safely inbound the ball, there would be no reason for anxiety down the stretch. These were mental mistakes and should be easy to overcome in the future.

You have to be happy with the way this team is playing right now when all things are considered. Sure they could eliminate some of the turnovers, and close out games a little bit stronger, but they are playing with cohesiveness and fluidity that is producing wins. Which is immensely important right now because the Utah Jazz are an incredible 11-1. Expect Utah to drop some games, hopefully, and for the Nuggets to close the gap between the teams, but for now the Nuggets can not afford to worry about what Utah is doing. The Nuggets just need to keep doing their half of the bargain with a couple of peeks here and there at the Jazz. As hot as they are right now… There is only one way for Utah to go and that is south. The Nuggets just need to be positioned to take advantage of such a slip when it occurs.

Denver gets a much needed day of rest, relaxation, and some succulent bird before having the Warriors visit the Pepsi Center on Friday at 7 pm. A new ten game stretch is upon us and as long as the Nuggets keep building on what they have laid as a foundation they will continue to be successful.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone that reads The Nugg Doctor. Be safe, enjoy family and friends, and most importantly be thankful.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Eat Your Heart Out Chi-Town

(Boulder-CO) Mmmmunchhhh, mmmmunchhhhh, mmmmunchhhh, can you hear that Nuggets fans? It’s the sound of Bulls fans eating their hearts out! The Bulls traded J.R. Smith to the Nuggets for Howard Eisley, whom they later waived, and two second round picks in next year’s draft. So what does Smith do? He just burns the team that burnt him for a career-high 36 points on 5-11 from the three-point line! Not to mention that four of those career-high 36 came on nasty crams at the cost of Chicago defenders.

I think that Matt over at Blog-a-Bull might be rethinking his post, click here, from earlier today…

Nevertheless, the Nuggets were victorious tonight, and sent the Bulls packing with their fifth straight loss, to the tune of 113-109. The Nuggets can be thankful for the 14-point run they put on the Bulls to end the third quarter that led to tonight’s win. Otherwise, who knows how this one could have turned out…?

Carmelo Anthony played another rock-solid game tonight, but didn’t break Alex English’s record and for now will have to share the record for most consecutive games scoring 30 or more points at six with the 1980’s top scorer. ‘Melo did have a shot to break it, but with about twenty seconds remaining he missed two consecutive free throws and found himself with 29 points when the buzzer went off. Ahh rats, but something tells me that when things are all said and done for Carmelo Anthony in Denver that this record, along with a lot of others, will bare his name. Anthony also gave the Nuggets four assists and four rebounds despite fighting foul trouble throughout most of the game.

Denver finished this game with more rebounds (51), assists (25), and steals (9) than the Bulls and finally looked as if they believed in themselves down the stretch. Much of the aforementioned third quarter run can be attributed to the heart, and hustle, of Reggie Evans. The box score only indicates that Evans finished with eight points and eight rebounds, but the Nuggets bench energy was conducted through Reggie all night long. He brought great energy to this team by tipping loose balls to teammates and by keeping rebounds alive with sometimes two or three tips to himself. The guy is a specialist. It is just that simple. He gives the Nuggets much needed toughness and swagger in the form of rebounding and intimidation around the basket in the place of the injured Kenyon Martin. Nuggets management looks genius right now for signing him late this summer.

However, in the end it was all about J.R. Smith. He was simply amazing tonight! He hit a three point buzzer beater to end the half and you could just tell it was his night. The two monster sized yokes he had both came on the fast break. The first came from the left side and J.R. went up stairs to the penthouse suite before nearly landing on Kirk Hinrich. The second came off of an Andre Miller pass that posterized a couple of Chicago Bulls about midway in the fourth quarter! This was the point I heard that chewing sound…

Next up for the Nuggets is a double-take with the Golden State Warriors. This Warriors team is improved and with Don Nelson’s help should give the Nuggets some stiff competition. Tomorrow night’s game at G-State tips off at 8:30 pm. Friday’s game is at the regular tip-time of 7 pm right back here in the Mile High City. Remember the formula, Nuggets fans. Six wins out of every ten leaves the Nuggets with a damn good shot at winning fifty games this year. Right now they are 5-4. Now it’s time to take care of business out in California.


(Boulder-CO) I just couldn't resist plugging this post by Henry Abbott. Over at, Henry has posted a youtube clip that is simply phenomenal featuring the great Pistol Pete Maravich. Accompanying the clip is a fantastic post filled with anecdotal highs and lows from Maravich's life. So before the Nuggets tip off tonight, get yourself over to and peep the game of one of the NBA's legends, Dr's orders!
Sorry for not posting the exact article link... To view the amazing clip, click here:

Monday, November 20, 2006

Kenyon is Exception-able

(Boulder-CO) Everybody in the free world, which cares about basketball, knows that Kenyon Martin is done for the season after his second microfracture surgery took place last week. Now what is developing is if the Nuggets are going to be able to get his injury covered by the NBA’s injury exception rule. If he is covered by the rule for players that suffer season-ending injuries the Nuggets will have 5.2 million dollar bait for a potential free agent or player that has been waived by another team.

Ben Maller reports on his rumors and notes page, “The Nuggets anticipate being granted the exception due to Kenyon Martin being out for the season, although there is no guarantee they would use it. It would be valid until late December, and the Nuggets could use it to sign or claim a player off waivers, but not for a trade.”

However, Kenyon Martin is acting exceptionably generous and appears to be in the holiday spirit. In this weekend’s paper, Chris Tomasson of the Rocky Mountain News reported all kinds of praise for the injured Kenyon Martin.

“He's got a heart of gold," Belinda Haley, pastor of Denver's Mt. Carmel Community Baptist Church, said of Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin. Tomasson said, “Martin checked out (From Vail after surgery) early so he could be at the church Friday to distribute 100 Thanksgiving meals to disadvantaged families for a third straight year.”

And if Martin has anything he is asking Santa for this Christmas, it is a healthy and speedy recovery. “I expect to play next year,” Martin said. “If it's not in November, whenever it is, I'm going to be back. I made it through one. I'm going to make it through another.” The Nuggets power forward would appear to have the right attitude and so does the doctor that performed the operation.

Dr. Steadman released a statement in which he said microfracture surgery was performed and it's, “anticipated that (Martin) will return to full activity at the start of the 2007 season.”

But on a more business related note now that we are all feeling warm and fuzzy, the Nuggets are very active in trying to get that injury exception. In another quote pulled from the Rocky Mountain News, “A source said the Nuggets plan to apply for the $5.2 million exception. NBA spokesman Tim Frank said there is no deadline to apply, but, if granted, the exception would expire 45 days from Martin's surgery date. Insurance is expected to pay $4.5 million of Martin's $11.82 million salary.” And hopefully, provides the Nuggets with a little bit of leeway if they decide to make any moves before the trade deadline in February.

The Nuggets stand at an even 4-4 on the year and have the Chicago Bulls coming to town tomorrow night to be corralled by the Nuggets.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Puttin' up Numbers

(Boulder-CO) As of right now, Carmelo Anthony is leading the league in scoring. 'Melo is putting up 31.0 points a night to fit nicely with his averages of 4.8 rebounds, 1.75 steals, and 3.5 assists. Stay on a roll, Carmelo because you are the man!

Check the New Hotness!

(Boulder-CO) Nugg Doctor received a desperately needed redesign and who better than the mastermind behind the one and only to provide the hotness. Natalie is a magician with the code and came through bigtime for The Nugg Doctor. I don't know how I will ever repay her, but for now she has my never ending gratitude and the undisputed crown of Queen of the NBA Blogosphere!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Nuggets Beat Raptors: The Podcast

(Boulder-CO) The 360: The Pitch Podcast with Ryan McNeill is up quicker than I thought and can be listened to by clicking this link: So what if J.R. likes to dance and Cosmo Kramer plays for Toronto? It's a long one, but you will not want to miss it!

Raptors Fall to Nuggets

(Boulder-CO) Nugg Doctor was in the Pepsi Center as the Nuggets were victorious over the Raptors 117-109. Real quick notes from tonight's game included Carmelo Anthony scoring 34 points, which also means he has scored 30 or more points in his sixth straight game. This is worth mention because such feat ties the Denver Nuggets All-Time 30+ point, consecutive game record set by Alex English back in the eighties. The other golden contribution of the game came from Reggie Evans who logged the only double-double for the Nuggets by scoring ten points and snagging twelve boards. There will be much more on tonight's game, including a full game recap and a 360:The Pitch radio show with Ryan McNeill, dropping tomorrow morning. Until then Nuggets Nation the prescription is sleep.

Friday, November 17, 2006

New Carmelo M3 Commercial

(Boulder-CO) The latest edition of the Jordan Brand, Carmelo Anthony basketball shoe is getting ready to launch and it has a great commercial hyping its release. Check it out and leave a comment if you like or dislike the ad. I personally think that it is on point.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Compassion for Kenyon

(Boulder-CO) I’ve been very opinionated when it has come to the turbulent events with Kenyon Martin while a player on the Denver Nuggets. I have also been very reserve on commenting on his latest injury situation because so much was not known about the condition and estimated time it will take for him to return to action. But now that the facts are being separated from the fiction I am not only feeling compassion for Kenyon Martin. I am also a bit concerned about the future of his career. How a player could be getting taped up for action one minute. And then be told that he is not going to play for the entire season later within the week must not only be frightening news for an athlete to have to face, but must also be immensely frustrating for an athlete that has just overcome similar injury. That’s right folks, if you haven’t figured it out yet, Kenyon Martin has another serious knee injury and it might be time for another microfracture surgery.

Quoting Mark Kiszla from the Denver Post, “Other than admitting his operation revealed more significant damage than expected, the team was extremely tight-lipped about his condition. The Nuggets refused to confirm or deny that Martin required the same painful microfracture surgery on his right knee that he endured on his left knee 18 months ago and forced him to play in a career-low 56 games last season.” Rex Chapman then added, “This is not something we anticipated. For the organization, it's a tough blow.”

Aside what I think is best for the Nuggets; it would be a tragedy if Kenyon Martin was not able to resume normal play in the NBA. He may have been a character that was attracted to controversy, but I don’t think anyone, including myself, is not hoping for the best for Kenyon. He was one of the most exciting talents this league has seen in the new millennium and he will surely be missed for however long the duration of his rehabilitation takes.

Kiszla also writes, “It could take Martin a year to return, if he can return at all. While it's a perfectly safe and increasingly common medical procedure, microfracture surgery can pose one of the more daunting challenges for any pro athlete.” Just ask Amare Stoudemire who spent the entire 2005-06 season rehabilitating after his microfracture procedure and still isn’t the same player athletically that he formerly was.

Amare does have one thing in his favor, and that is his youth. He is turning 24 tomorrow, while Kenyon is turning 29 in just over a month. Not to mention Kenyon’s prior knee issues are going to play a role in a pending comeback that will most likely take until he turns 30.

There are a lot of questions right now for Kenyon Martin and the Denver Nuggets to answer in the near future. Right now however, I would like to extend the warmest wishes to Kenyon and his family in hopes of a speedy and full recovery. Sometimes the NBA and stories that accompany it are bigger than wins and losses and this is one of those times.

Jay-Z and TNT: The Mike Jordan of Rap

(Boulder-CO) The Nugg Doctor is teaming up with TNT and Jay-Z to promote Jigga's new series of exclusive spots promoting the 2006-07 NBA season on TNT. Here is a sneak peak of a few of the spots that are ahead for this season. Thanks goes out to Darryl with M80 and TNT for teaming up! Heads-up, because both videos will play at the same time. Pause one and then restart it when your finished with the other. Enjoy!

Because both videos played at the same time, I have decided to just post the links to the clips. This way those who are inclined to check them out can, and those who do not will not have to hear the mumbled voice of two Jay-Z's speaking at the same time.

Clip one:

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Nuggets Unravel and Lose

(Boulder-CO) I am going to have to break this game down step-by-step because it seemed as if two different Nuggets teams found a way to lose tonight 108-99 to the Magic. I went in to this game with optimism that the 13 game losing streak to the Magic in Orlando was going to cease, but instead I will have to taste the acidity that this game left in my mouth until Saturday night’s game.

The Nuggets were so badly outmatched by the Orlando Magic’s bench that it was embarrassing. The four Nuggets reserves, and I am leaving the Yak out of this because he only played 58 seconds, could only muster 18 points. Only Earl Boykins and Reggie Evans were capable of scoring, and it was the bench players that lost this one for the Nuggets. Please, if you will, allow me to demonstrate my point. In the second quarter, Carmelo Anthony and Andre Miller took a breather with the Nuggets up 33-26 with 9:20 remaining. After sitting ‘Melo and Miller for a mere four minutes and five seconds, the seven point lead had evaporated and the Nuggets were clinging to a one point lead like a bawling infant to a parent leaving for work. At this point the critical nature of the problem was not as serious as it would become and the Nuggets finished the half with a one point lead. My point is that this type of breakdown happens all the time. Whether it is a lack of confidence by the Nuggets reserves, or a lack of leadership, it just needs to stop.

After the break the Nuggets seemingly put things back together, launched out of the gate, and extended the lead to 60-50 with a quick nine points to start the half. From there it all went to pieces. The Magic went on an 18-4 run and never really looked back. Keyon Dooling scored 15 points in the quarter and made the Nuggets look dumbfounded as he kept drilling treys in defender’s faces. The rest of the third quarter, and fourth for that matter, was simpatico and the Nuggets allowed 29 points in both quarters of the second half.

I’m perplexed as to why this team is so Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but they just seem to implode sometimes without warning. It is as if they completely lose focus and then have to find a way to claw back into things when they should be composed enough to play solid basketball. This “composure” that I’m referring to was lost not only in the third quarter, but once again when the Nuggets found themselves in a position to potentially win down the stretch.

With the score 101-97, the Nuggets gained possession and began to fast break. J.R. Smith went for the bucket, didn’t receive the pass clean, and found himself in a scrum underneath the Magic goal. He and Trevor Ariza deadlocked around the rock and J.R. Smith, with the jump ball forthcoming, decides that he is going to throw a fit and get T’ed up. Grant Hill drained the freebie, and the jump ball ensued. To the Nuggets Nation’s disbelief, J.R. just stood there! I don’t know if he wasn’t ready for the tip, which would be a ridiculous error, or if he consciously decided to not jump at all for some reason. Needless to say, Coach Karl gave him a big slice of pine and had a look of disgust on his face to finish the game.

The brightest Nugget continues to be Carmelo Anthony. The Nuggets captain didn’t have the most fluid game, but still managed to be the game’s high scorer with 34 points. He also added four rebounds, two assists, and two steals to the final box score. Marcus Camby also played well and recorded another double-double with 13 points, twelve rebounds, two assists, four steals, and two blocks.

The Magic reserves outscored the Nuggets reserves 57-18 and were the difference, along with the disintegration of composure, in this game. Tonight I will try to avoid the nightmares that are inherently going to follow this loss. The Nuggets are their own worst enemy right now and the sooner they eliminate the potential for Mr. Hyde to resurface the better. As I quiver in my slumber tonight, hopefully the Nuggets are interviewing priests to exorcise their demons.

Injury Update

(Boulder-CO) The Denver Post is reporting today that Kenyon Martin will be undergoing arthroscopic surgery at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Vail, Colorado sometime today. Nuggets officials are speculating that it will be at least five or six weeks before they can start thinking about Kenyon’s return. The surgery is to remove loose bodies from the power forwards ailing knee.

Another update for Nuggets fans is concerning guard Julius Hodge. Hodge is still recovering from gun shot wounds and complications from that injury suffered during last season’s campaign. On November 9th, Julius endured a skin graph for an infection in his foot and is not expected to return to physical activity until at least the 22nd of November. If Earl Boykins continues to struggle it sure would be nice to have a point-forward on the team. A speedy and complete recovery for Hodge is all that the Nuggets nation can hope for.
UPDATE on the UPDATE: The Nuggets play-by-play annoucer, Chris Marlowe, informed the Nuggets Nation that Kenyon Martin's surgery revealed a situation worse than expected and Martin will miss the entire season. What is with this team losing players for the season every year in the first five games? Is this some kind of joke or is it a curse?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Three Straight for Persevering Nuggets

(Boulder-CO) Now that the Nuggets have beaten the Heat tonight 112-105, I think that some of the doubters should be silencing. The Nuggets showed perseverance by bouncing back after a second quarter breakdown saw their once 15 point, first quarter lead disappear and turn into a four point deficit at halftime. The Nugget bench left things to be desired, but the starters were magnificent in tonight’s victory.

Andre Miller played one of the best games I have ever seen him play in a Nuggets uniform. He showed a jump shot that I didn’t know existed, and was sweet dishing the ball too. Miller finished the game with a stat line of 29 points, ten assists, eight rebounds, and three steals. Amazingly, Andre hit two three-pointers in the game too. Last season Miller only connected on six treys all year long, so tonight’s display was a treat indeed. And what is there to say about Carmelo Anthony? The young superstar is just phenomenal and once again led the Nuggets in scoring by registering for his fourth 30-point game in a row. The Nuggets clubhouse record is six games in a row scoring 30 points or more and was set by Alex English back in the eighties. Carmelo’s final numbers were 33 points, six boards, four assists, and three steals.

Defensively the Nuggets were anchored by, guess who, Marcus Camby. The Nugget big man just keeps aging and getting better like a choice filet. Camby recorded yet another double-double by scoring 15 points, snaring 11 boards, and returning four weak Miami Heat shot attempts back to sender.

As a team, the Nuggets were tough in the key. Denver outscored the Shaq-less Miami Heat in the paint 54-36 and connected on 26-29 free-throw opportunities for a blistering 89.7%. And if there was one single play that was a sign to me that the Nuggets were going to win the game it came when Earl Boykins swatted Dwayne Wade. D-Wade was working to get an open shot from the left side of the top of the key when he got rejected going up as Earl was coming down. When Earl “The Mightiest Micro” Boykins wrecks your best player’s jumper, you know it’s going to be your night.
Tonight was just that…The Nuggets night! Finishing this four game road trip will be a stop in Orlando to clash with the Magic tomorrow at 5 pm. With this win the Nuggets are now 3-3 on the season and are riding a three-game win streak. Completing the tail end of a back-to-back on the road will be a big test for the Nuggets, but I think that the outlook is extremely positive for this team right now.
The Nuggets need to handle business and come back to the Pepsi Center where there should be a new attitude surrounding this team in the Mile High City. Character was exposed on this road trip Nuggets fans, and as an individual close me always says, “Struggle doesn’t build character, it reveals it”. Starting off this season 0-3 and hitting the east coast for a road trip might have been the best thing for this team. Being on the road has made the Nuggets rely on each other and really show what this team is made of. This is the team that I thought was in the makings. Unbeknownst to me was that they were planning on being fashionably late.

WHAP! Slapped in the Face

(Boulder-CO) Once again the Nuggets are getting shown no respect with the latest edition of Marc Stein’s power rankings. He ranks the Nuggets at 22nd in the league, and to my dismay thinks that the Portland Trailblazers and Seattle Supersonics are stronger teams than the Nuggets. My email is provided in the profile people, and if you want to make wagers on who will still finish with a better record between these three teams let me know. Otherwise, I laugh until my stomach hurts.

Tonight the Nuggets square off with the defending champion Miami Heat. The Heat are coming off a fourth quarter collapse, and loss, against the Rockets and have shown signs of struggle to be consistent so far this year. Not that the Nuggets are just dominating either, but Carmelo is averaging 29.4 points per game and Denver has four other players, and two posting 9.5 ppg, averaging in double digits.

The aspect of tonight’s game that I think plays the most pivotal role is scoring, (rocket science, I know). The Nuggets come into tonight’s game third best in the NBA in points scored per game at 105.4. The Miami Heat on the other hand are dead last only scoring 88.3 a night. If the Nuggets can push the tempo, tire out Shaq and the rest of the aging Heat, they should find themselves in great shape to win their third straight.

Time to earn some respect, Nuggets. Kenyon is gone, which if last season is any indication is a good thing, and everyone is counting you out. Go out and get one tonight boys!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Don't Step in That! The 37th NBA Carnival

(Boulder-CO) Despite not having a submission by your's truly, the 37th NBA Carnival is now posted at It is chalked full of great NBA perspective from around the blogosphere and I highly suggest you take a minute to check it out. A big Nugg Doctor shout-out goes out to Brian over at for hosting this stop for the never ending traveling circus we like to call the NBA!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

J.R. Smith is "That Guy"

(Boulder-CO) J.R. Smith has really been a nice surprise this year for the Nuggets. Here is a clip of some of his early career highlights. Enjoy!

The Nuggets Step Up

(Boulder-CO) The Denver Nuggets only played nine deep tonight, but had enough heart to be victorious over the Bobcats 108-101. This win showed maturity beyond five games deep in the season and proved that the Nuggets have bounced back from starting the season 0-3. I think the overall feeling of the game can be summed up by saying the Nuggets stepped up big time!

Carmelo Anthony continues to lead this team with his scoring by burning the Bobcats for 36 points to compliment his two rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Captain ’Melo was assisted by J.R. Smith and Andre Miller each scoring 17 points. Miller also recorded a double-double by finding eleven assists. While J.R. was 4 for 10 from the three- point arch. Another big contributor, and double-double man, was Marcus Camby. The Nugget big man gave the team 12 points and eleven rebounds in 26 minutes of playing time.

The only player who is really struggling right now for the Nuggets is Earl Boykins. After a dismal shooting display on Friday night against the Sixers, Boykins put on an encore show tonight by going 1-9 from the field. It isn’t that Earl is a bad shooter, but as of right now he is trying to force things that just are not there and making things hard for himself. Right now I think he should try to contribute in other ways and allow the flow of the game to return back to him. He is still a valuable asset to this team, but right now needs to find a new identity with this ball club.

Beating the Bobcats in convincing fashion was a relief. The Nuggets are now 2-3 on the season and tonight dominated from the opening-tip to the final buzzer. The character of this team is also starting to shape up, and I am liking what I see. J.R. is starting to score with consistency and is showing improvement on the defensive end. In addition, Reggie Evans is showing that he is a true specialist on the glass. Carmelo, well… He is just amazing! And Marcus Camby is once again proving to be a dominant force in the paint. Hopefully, Kenyon Martin’s unfortunate bout with the injury bug will be the only serious case this season and the Nuggets can continue to be successful.

Remember the formula Nuggets fans; 6-4 in every ten game stretch will leave the Nuggets extremely close to a 50 win season. Until then, keep chuggin Nuggets!

Friday, November 10, 2006


(Boulder-CO) After being the last team in the NBA without a win the Denver Nuggets finally put a W on their resume. The strange coincidence of being able to win without K-Mart, Carmelo scoring a game-high 31 points, and Marcus Camby recording another double-double all contributed to tonight’s 108-101 victory over the 76ers. Reggie Evans was a solid contributor and I hate to say it, but this game felt very similar to the way the Nuggets were playing mid-season last year. And thankfully, despite a late fourth quarter run by the Sixers, the Nuggets finally closed out a game.

Tonight’s game was a coming out party of sorts for a couple of familiar faces on the Denver Nuggets. Reggie Evans must have sighed a sigh of major relief when Karl finally pointed in his direction. The Nuggets power forward gave a solid contribution off the bench with seven points and seven rebounds. DerMarr Johnson also saw his first action of the season. After spending a couple games on the inactive list, DerMarr lifted the Nuggets with two three-pointers and steal in addition to doing yet another quality job defending the league’s most potent scorer, Allen Iverson.

From the backcourt Denver saw both good and bad things out of their guards. Andre Miller and J.R. Smith are starting to gel, but it is the “mighty-micro” Earl Boykins that may need to rethink his role on this team. Andre looked great scoring 18 points and creating eight assists and J.R. Smith was 3 of 6 from downtown finishing with 16 points total. Earl Boykins on the other hand was less than stellar and most of his problem is self-induced. Boykins is a little bit too quick with the trigger in situations where good scoring opportunities need a chance to develop. Tonight he was 2 for 10 and many of the misses were off forced fast breaks where he pulled up with no one there to rebound and found himself not able to find the bottom of the net. If Earl would just wait for his teammates, look for secondary options trailing the break, and then wait for the ball to come back him the Nuggets would be much better off.

Overall this game felt very mechanical. Melo scored ten of the last 14 points to ice the win for the Nuggets and when George Karl was asked about the role he played, Coach had this to offer, “That's what he does. He gets a lot of money to do it”.

No longer being the only winless team in the league is a good feeling. The Nuggets will now face the Charlotte Bobcats on Sunday in their second stop on this east coast road trip. They will then have one day of rest before back-to-back games with the Heat and the Magic. Having the giant monkey off their back is a start.

No One is Safe

(Boulder-CO) We all have heard the stories about Nuggets players talking smack to each other in practice. We have all heard the stories of Coach Karl letting his two cents rip too. And we have certainly not forgotten about the mutiny that occurred last season, but with the article I just read in the Denver Post by Mark Kiszla. It would appear that this entire city is joining in on the fun of putting everyone on blast. People, we are only three games into the season, and I have a formula that should calm everyone the (expletive removed for the kids) down.

The mathematics is simple Nuggets fans. If you breakdown the season into eight, ten-game stretches with the goal being to win fifty games in the season. A team must only win, on average, six of their ten games to end up with 48 victories. That leaves a franchise with the remaining two games of the 82 game season to round out the W column to an even 50! One game over .500 in every ten game stretch is all that it takes. So if you put away the suicidal rational for a second, despite being 0-3, the Nuggets are just fine.

Onward now to my reasoning behind the title of this post. The aforementioned article in the Denver Post essentially puts everyone, but Doug Moe, (bless his heart), on blast. Andre Miller is laced up as the, “Wrong man to run an up-tempo offense for Karl”. Maybe it was his extra chub that has the Denver Post writer feeling this way, but to me it is the same old problem that Andre has always had that is his major hang-up. He can’t shoot the ball plain and simple. Both J.R. Smith and Yakhouba Diawara were not safe either. The article says, and I quote, “Between the offense of J.R. Smith and the defense of rookie Yakhouba Diawara, the Nuggets have one dangerous shooting guard. Unfortunately, league rules strictly prohibit substitutions on the fly, every time the basketball crosses center court.” Ouch, but I can’t say that I disagree.

Next on the chopping block for Kiszla was Kenyon Martin. Kiszla writes, “It's all over for forward Kenyon Martin except the crumbling. He worked hard to get his act together. But his body is falling apart. What happens to a bulky NBA player when the knees go bad? Anybody recall how painful the final days in Denver of Calvin Natt and LaPhonso Ellis were to watch?” Geez, if this is the case why don’t we just throw him out in the street and throw our loose change at his feet! I mean, Kiszla must assume the guy is paralyzed or something to say something along those lines.

Thought the guillotine session was over? Listen to my chuckle when I say that it is far from through! Now it’s time for Earl Boykins to wear the black bag over his head on his way to the noose stand. Kiszla writes this about the mighty micro, “If fan-favorite Earl Boykins is not already on the block, the number on his cell phone will soon be changed to 303-TRADE ME. He is a 5-foot-5 shooting guard, which is a bad strategy unless your team plays in a middle school. The little man has a huge heart, but he has worn out his welcome”. Why don’t you just tell us what is really on your mind, huh?

If you thought the weak and the hobbled were safe, think again! Kiszla even has some thoughts about where Nene’s progress is, and I’m not talking about his recovery. Kiszla is brutal when he writes, “From head to toe, Nene appears to be a new man. The beard. The jumper. Looks cool. But the dude has gone all GQ on us. He has forgotten how to get down-and-dirty on defense and seems content to play a pretty game”. Damn and I thought that Nene was looking pretty productive in his limited minutes. How about anyone else?

And if all this wasn’t enough the man holding the sword, I mean pen, has even got some bones to pick with Carmelo. He writes, “Despite all the points forward Carmelo Anthony scored in the names of patriotism and maturity as a member of Team USA during the summer, he has thrown away two victories for the Nuggets already this season, by stupidly getting tossed against the Los Angeles Clippers and by chucking brain-dead shots against Minnesota. Melo stood up like a man and took the blame on both counts. So you've got to love Anthony, but you better expect a bumpy ride when the captain leading the way is 22 years old.” I almost forgot that the other four guy’s on the floor didn’t play any role in giving up fourth quarter leads. And as for Carmelo’s ability as a team leader, Kiszla must have forgotten about the National Championship he led the Syracuse Orangemen to back a few years ago…

The point is Nuggets fans; do not get pulled into this rhetoric of despair. The Nuggets do have some problems, no doubt about that, but if you forget the doomsday scenarios for a moment. And keep in mind the complex math I explained in the beginning of this post. You will realize that the Nuggets are going to be alright. Do you need another kind stroke to help you sleep well at night? Well, here it is. The Nuggets are historically a better without Kenyon Martin when wins and losses are concerned. Maybe his injury has a silver lining for this team and good times are just around the bend. The Nuggets will have an opportunity tonight to have history repeat itself when they face off with the 76ers at 5 pm. Go Nuggets!

Thursday, November 9, 2006

Wanna Get Nuts? Alright, Let’s Get Nuts!

(Boulder-CO) As if the power forward position wasn’t murky enough in the Mile High City, Kenyon Martin has knee problems again. And once again there is heavy speculation on a plethora of so-called truths surrounding the story. The wide spectrum of reports range in speculation that K-Mart might need to have loose cartilage removed or that he may have torn his medial meniscus in his right knee. There is so much that is not known right now about the strange injury that there might even be more to this story than initially meets the eye.

Nuggets fans need to know that the team is going to be without Martin until basically the turn of the New Year. That means that he is going to miss the better part of 30 games in total and when, or should I say if, he comes back in a Nuggets uniform he will once again need to be inserted into an already crowded front line. A front line that doesn’t make much sense to me right now with Reggie Evans not having taken off his warm-ups in any of the first three games.

Now it’s time to really get nuts! Are you ready? There has also been a bunch of rumors swirling around the possibility of K-Mart being shipped back east to either the Knicks or back with Nets to reunite with Jason Kidd. Isiah Thomas also seemed to be suspiciously disappointed when informed that Kenyon was injured and would not play last night. Zeke made this statement, “Oh, no. If he's down, I'll miss him.” He elaborated by saying, “He's one of the great guys in this league and he's one of the true competitors in this league. He's definitely one of my favorite players that I like to watch. I don't like coaching against him because when he was with the Nets, I never could beat him.”

Then we have the consistent banter of local sports personalities still referring to Kenyon Martin as a ticking time bomb of such. Furthermore, said personalities are wondering if things were ever really patched up with George Karl after the two tangled in last season’s playoffs. Could the two have been just playing nice considering they both had to share the same sandbox for the time being? Only time will tell, and at this point it would seem like the Nuggets are now once again playing the waiting game with Kenyon Martin.

All this plus Isiah was rumored to have been trying to corral Kenyon’s services for the Knicks as early as this season. I’m thinking I smell something fishy going on. I’m not sure what it is, but something is not right with this situation and when you consider how the power forward was told about the situation going on with his knee. The story just gets that much more intriguing.
The report is that Kenyon was all but spatted up and ready to bang against the Knicks before being told that he was going to be a scratch. If the knee was that bad, and history is any indication, Kenyon would have let someone know that he was hurting. Particularly, if the pain was so great that he wasn’t able to perform. Even more so after he drove baseline late in the fourth quarter of the Timberwolves game before throwing down a gianormous two handed jam. It just isn’t all adding up for me some how… And I’m going to be very interested as to how this all pans out.

Only One Way to Go From Here

(Boulder-CO) I’m not going to do what everyone thinks I’m going to do and FREAK OUT, man! The Nuggets have now lost all three of their first games this season and extend their regular season losing streak to seven in a row dating back to last season. Once again the Nuggets blew a fourth quarter lead after outscoring the Knicks in all quarters building up to the one that matters and Isiah Thomas and company narrowly escape Denver with a victory tonight 109-107. That is the good news in Nuggets country, (startling I know), but are you ready for some bad news?

The loss is good news only due to the fact that this is only one game and the Nuggets have 79 more remaining. The bad news is that it is uncertain at this point how many games Kenyon Martin will miss after hearing the news minutes before game time that he will need surgery to repair loose cartilage in what was his “good” right knee. More on this to come, but now let’s take a look at this game.

Carmelo Anthony was the game’s high scorer with an impressive stat line indeed. Anthony scored 37 points, handed out eight assists, cleared six boards, notched three steals, and swatted a shot in his 40 minutes of work. The four other Nuggets starters all scored in double figures, but there was not much help from the bench as the substitutes combined for a meager 19 points collectively.

The Knicks were fortunate enough to have Jamal Crawford ignite into a ball of flame in the fourth quarter which enabled them to pull out this win. Crawford scored 20 of his team-high 35 points in the fourth quarter. Jamal’s fourth quarter twenty accounted for 55% of the Knicks scoring in the money quarter, and none were more detrimental to the Nuggets than the three-pointer he hit off the steal from Eduardo Najera with the game tied and three seconds remaining that ended up icing the game for the New York.

The box score indicates that the Nuggets were out rebounded, out shot, and out matched in the blocks department, but the real worries should be rooted in how this team is failing to close the deal in the fourth quarter. I’m not sure there is too much to understand other than teams are doing a good job of hanging around with the Nuggets and then putting in the extra effort to pry victories away from Karl and company. In fact, every loss so far this year I have felt that the Nuggets were the superior team, but each time the opposition finds a way to win by the narrowest of margins.

I’m frustrated to say the least, but there is no clear finger to point at anyone, or anything, in particular. With any luck the Nuggets will figure out why this trend of late game collapse keeps occurring instead of the nail being driven into the coffin. But until they unlock that mystery, it is going to be trying task for George Karl to keep this team’s outlook optimistic. Especially with the next four games all being part of an east coast road trip that includes the Heat, Magic, Bobcats, and 76ers in a six day span. Hold on tight Nuggets faithful because it might be a bumpy ride before things get any smoother.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Reasons to Worry About the Jazz

(Boulder-CO) As of this very minute the Utah Jazz are ranked third in Marc Stein’s power rankings viewable at I have known since the end of last season that the Jazz were going to be improved, but is there really reason to start fretting that the divisional championship might not be won by the Nuggets again? The answer to that is yes, and I am going to give you my top five reasons why the Jazz pose a major threat.

1. The three-headed monster: The Jazz have a three pronged attack in Mehmet Okur, Andrei Kirilenko, and Carlos Boozer. AK-47 is starting off slow, but only a fool would think that his 9.3 points per game average is not going to rise along with his 7.8 rebounds, 2.25 blocks, and one steal worth of nightly stat line. Carlos Boozer is also giving opposing teams fits. Boozer is leading the team in scoring at a mark of 20.5 points a game and has been a force on the boards snatching 14 rebounds a night. And to no surprise to me, mainly because I picked him as the division’s most underrated player, are the numbers that Okur is posting nightly. Mehmet is right on course to average 20 and 10 this season and his current stat line is reading 18.5 points and 9.5 rebounds a game.

2. Deron Williams: The Utah Jazz have to be excited about the production of the second year point guard. Deron is no joke and has a 3.0 assist to turnover ratio. If the young guard can keep this type of play consistent he is going to fuel the Jazz all season long. Williams is no slouch putting the ball in the cup either. He is averaging 13 points a night thus far.

3. Points scored vs. points allowed: The Jazz are averaging 106 points a game, while only giving up 96 to the opposition. It doesn’t take a genius, or a doctor for that matter, to understand what this means. They have an undefeated record, (4-0), and that means they have won each of their four games up to this point by an average of ten points.

4. Depth: The Jazz currently have five players scoring in double figures and that number could jump to seven real quick. Carlos Boozer, Mehmet Okur, Deron Williams, Derek Fisher, and Matt Harpring round out the top five, but AK-47 and Gordon Giricek are both lurking with averages of 9.3 and 8.7 points per game respectively.

5. Jerry Sloan: The old fashioned Sloan is no rookie and brings 22 years of coaching experience to the table. His career win/loss record is an astounding 988-688 and he has 158 games worth of postseason experience to boot! Sloan is a no-nonsense kind of guy and is known for developing team chemistry with the best of em.

The Nuggets better get their act straight in a hurry because it is not looking like Utah is going to drop off anytime soon. I’m not jumping ship, and never will might I add, but I’ve got a feeling that a late season battle for the division championship is in the works and these early games could play a pivotal role.

Nuggets vs. Knicks Preview

(Boulder-CO) Tonight the Nuggets (0-2) host the New York Knicks (1-3) at the Pepsi Center. lists the Nuggets as a ten-point favorite, but if what I have seen so far is any indication, this game might be much closer than that. The Nuggets are still lacking the killer instinct that plagued them last season. They have consistently outplayed their opponents this year thus far, but always seem to get bitten by the fourth quarter bug. Last game for instance saw the Nuggets outscore the T-Wolves in every quarter but the fourth and consequently take the L in a game where I thought they looked like the superior team from the tip. Needless to say, it was a hard loss for me to take.

Tonight I’m looking for the Nuggets to break out of this mini-funk. Despite playing a New York Knicks team that is in the process of organizational transformation, I just feel that the Nuggets are ready to get off the schnied with the win. The Knicks will most likely be without Steve Francis and their other high-profile guard Stephon Marbury is struggling right now (maybe it’s the shoes?).

Interesting notes on this game will be how 5’9” Nate Robinson, the 2006 Slam Dunk Champion, will match up with the Nuggets 5’5”, “mighty-micro”, Earl Boykins. Earl doesn’t get a whole lot of chances to be matched-up with a fellow his size, so it should be fun to watch. As would a Nuggets victory, so I am taking myself off the shelf as far as predicting games is concerned, and am taking the Nuggets by seven points over the Knicks.

Be sure to check The Nugg Doctor after the game for a complete game recap with statistical breakdown, analysis, and highlights of tonight’s game. C’mon Nuggets, you’re playing the Knicks for crying out loud!

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Nuggets Talking Garbage

(Boulder-CO) Sometimes players talking garbage to each other can bring the most competitive spirit out and lead to great things. Michael Jordan was known for calling out his teammates and making them play better than even they thought they could. Other times players talking garbage to each other can lead to dissention, contempt, and even fisticuffs between teammates. It is a blade that cuts both ways and the Nuggets are reportedly going at it like two knife fighting gypsies.

Today Ben Maller is reporting on his rumors and notes page that George Karl had to listen to incessant trash talk at yesterday’s practice. So much that he needed to step on the floor and leave the Nuggets players with a message regarding the verbal exchanges. Maller quoted George Karl as saying, “You can be a hell of a (expletive) team or floundering in mediocrity of the NBA, let's play the right way.”

Hopefully the Nuggets were spitting fire at each other in an attempt to bring the best out in one another. There is a big difference between demeaning a teammate for their weaknesses and pushing them to be better by exposing them. As for who was talking the garbage to whom, and what was being said, that is probably going to be kept real hush hush. But be rest assured on this Nuggets fans, I can almost guarantee that if the Nuggets were this fired up three days before hosting the Knicks that they will be ready to put the whooping on New York when they get after it on Wednesday night.

And on a semi-related side note… Maybe the Nuggets are talking trash to each other because they have only played two games thus far. Other NBA teams are closing in on their fourth and even fifth game of the season while the Nuggets are probably getting tired of only practicing against each other. I hope that no one’s feelings got hurt in the fracas and this type of intensity gets transformed into cohesiveness when turned on an NBA foe.

Monday, November 6, 2006

Earl Boykins is Magic!

(Boulder-CO) Sometimes players come along that just leave memorable moments behind that seemingly last forever. As if being 5'5" wasn't enough to make you remember Earl Boykins and his tremendous skills, I leave you this video. Remember to close your mouth afterwards.

Rekindle the Flame: Kenyon Martin

(Boulder-CO) Despite eruptions on teammates, coaches, fans, and media last season Kenyon Martin has been showing promise that he could be the power forward that sticks around for the Nuggets. His knee is rested and healthy this season and he has been displaying a new attitude thus far (granted it has only been two games). I'm feeling the new vibe and this clip of Martin's highlights from when he was of NBA All-Star caliber with the Nets should have you feeling it too!

So What Now, Stern?

(Boulder-CO) Petitions, NBA star power, veteran referees, and big-time columnist, (do I count?), have all voiced their distaste for the new rule regarding quick-triggered technical fouls. Historically, NBA Commissioner David Stern has been a rock when it comes to his position once a decision is made, but if there has ever been a case where he might want to reconsider his stance this would be that time. The amount of outcry on the new policy concerning technical fouls has been substantial from a range of influential people. Now the MOST influential are leaking their thoughts. That’s right fans; even some veteran referees oppose the new policy. The only problem is that NBA referees, like other corporate entities, abide by a seniority system and younger refs are afraid to challenge all mighty Stern for fear of losing their jobs.

In a quote pulled from Marc Spears’s article in the Denver Post over the weekend, Spears states, “Word is some refs aren't too fond of the new rule, either. Confident veteran refs will continue to call games the way they see fit. But with several refs having been fired in recent years, the young and middle-of-the-road refs are likely intimidated by big brother (i.e. Stern and NBA VP Stu Jackson). Expect the refs to give technicals easily and toss more stars.”

Taking these thoughts into consideration, and David Stern’s notoriously stubborn ways, I know that the policy is not going to be abandoned outright. However, what I could see happening is veteran officials disregarding Stern’s new rules and reassuring their crew that everything is going to be fine without them T-ing everybody up like suspensions at an elementary school food fight. When the likes of a Dick Bavetta, who by the way is my favorite referee of all time and owns the title of most games officiated, decides that the game is going to be called one way. That is the way the game is going to be called. Period.

Stern would have no choice, except for refereeing games himself, in this scenario. He is not God of basketball. He can tell people what can and can’t be worn on the sidelines, change the game ball for profits, and dish out fines on the regular. These are the powers that NBA Commissioner David Stern possesses. Contrarily to these seemingly omnipotent influences, Stern does not have the power to tell the likes of Dick Bavetta, and other senior officials, how to do their jobs. Some of these refs have been in the league longer than Stern himself, and if that kind of NBA historical hindsight doesn’t count for anything in Stern’s eyes than maybe he should just fire everybody and only hire drones that conform to his every desire!

But that’s the beauty of all of this, because Stern can’t just fire everybody. The NBA isn’t a dictatorship, and as we can now see with the now public opinion of some NBA referees. Stern’s power is not omnipotent. Technically speaking, (you knew I had to throw that in there), Stern will not get to have his cake and eat it too in this situation. He is the boss, but there is a limit on who he can boss around. And in this case, the men in charge of the game night-in and night-out are just that; Still in charge!

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Resources for Nuggets Fans

(Boulder-CO) The voice of the Denver Nuggets has started his own blog affiliated with Chris Marlowe will be periodically posting his thoughts on the team while providing a great resource for Nuggets fans to take advantage of. I highly suggest you take a minute and read Chris's insight thus far. To read Marlowe's blog click this link:

Nuggets Drop Two in a Row

(Boulder-CO) The Denver Nuggets have now lost both of their first two games of the season late in the fourth quarter. Tonight’s home loss comes by way of the Timberwolves 112-109. Denver outscored Minnesota in each quarter but the one that matters and is still winless thus far in the 2006-07 season. The effort was there and I think that a breakthrough is coming, but somehow the Nuggets were outfoxed down the stretch once again.

The Nuggets received the bulk of their scoring from a quiet performance by Carmelo Anthony and a dynamic show by Earl Boykins. Both men scored a game high 28 points, but neither man could provide the Nuggets with a bucket in the final two minutes of the game. Andre Miller and Kenyon Martin both recorded double-doubles with Miller’s coming by way of 18 points and 12 assists and Martin’s by means of ten points and ten rebounds. Miller showed resilience by bouncing back from a horrendous 0-11 shooting night against the Clippers, and connected on 8 for 15 from the field while limiting his turnovers to three in tonight’s game.

The most critical stretch of the game where the Nuggets couldn’t find a way to score occurred in the fourth quarter after Andre Miller’s 15 foot jumper made the game 98-92 with nine minutes remaining. The Nuggets then went on a cold streak that lasted more than three minutes, and allowed the Timberwolves to claw back in the game. Denver continued to sputter for the last five minutes of the game, and three Carmelo Anthony three-point attempts in the last 15 seconds all ricocheted off the rim sealing the Nuggets demise.

In this next few days before the Nuggets play again, George Karl has some evaluating and maybe some shuffling to do at the two spot. J.R. Smith played only thirteen minutes and was issued a technical foul before spending the majority of the second half on the bench. J.R. has not shown much desire to play serious defense and his shooting has been lukewarm in two games. His alter-ego Yakhouba Diawara, while defensively solid, was unable to give the Nuggets much on the offensive end finishing with four points in 21 minutes of action.

If there was ever a time when DerMarr Johnson should be salivating at the opportunity to show Coach Karl the desire to play this would be that time. Coach Karl was reluctant to play Linas Kleiza at shooting guard, or much at all tonight, and the iron may be red hot for Johnson to strike. If he can prove to be a healthy combination of both Smith and Diawara, DerMarr may find himself activated sooner than he might have thought.

In the mean time it is back to work for the Nuggets. Denver will try to get the first win of the season when they host the New York Knicks next week on Wednesday night. There is no need to get hysterical because this team is just a few tweaks away from being really good. It is just a matter of how long these adjustments take that could be cause for concern.

Friday, November 3, 2006

DerMarr is a Bit Disgruntle

(Boulder-CO) Coach George Karl had to make a decision on who would be on the inactive list when the season started. Jamal Samspon, Julius Hodge, and DerMarr Johnson were the unfortunate trio that happened to be on that list. When asked about the Coach’s decision, DerMarr Johnson told the Rocky Mountain News that, “I’m mad as (deleted) about it.” He also added that he understands that Karl had “tough” decision to make.

I think this, (starting the season as an inactive player), is going to turn out to be a positive influence on DerMarr and should light a fire underneath his backside to prove to Karl that he is a full-time member of this team. DerMarr should also keep in mind that this list is very temporary and Karl’s decision could be also influenced by DerMarr being a very late resign this preseason. He may feel that DerMarr’s chemistry with the team is not as developed as some of the other guards and that he just needs more time to adjust to the new offense and recently acquired players.

Keep that chin up DerMarr, it is a long season and I’m sure that with hard work and some developed cohesiveness you are going to see a lot of playing time this year with the Nuggets.

United We Stand

(Boulder-CO) A fellow top-notch blogger friend of mine, Natalie over at, has put together a petition that at least puts those of us who feel this new technical foul policy is a bit too hardcore in a position to express how we feel. Whether or not it will make it to the Commish's desk is yet to be seen, but I recommend that you check it out by clicking on this link: If you feel that this new rule change is potentially going to take away from some of the passion and character of the game, get on board and let your feelings be known. I for one am very interested to see how this will all play out...

Thursday, November 2, 2006

‘Melo Made Example of in Loss

(Boulder-CO) The Denver Nuggets suffered an opening night loss tonight 96-95 to the Los Angeles Clippers. The officiating played an overbearing role down the stretch, and in my opinion, aided the Clippers at critical junctures of the game. I know, I know… sounds like sour grapes, but hear me out on this one. I think the NBA needs to establish more clear cut rules for this new hair-pinch trigger technical foul policy because tonight it was not clear to me why one technical was called and not another.

Carmelo Anthony was ejected in the third quarter after frustration led him to remove his head band and toss it in front of the bench after being substituted for. The referee took this as disrespect and gave Carmelo his second technical foul of the game. At this point in the game I can understand why Carmelo was tossed. He had been jawing with the referees quite often during the game and had already been issued his first technical shortly beforehand. He gave the official the opportunity to make an example of him and he did. Now on to why I’m griping at nausea.

Late in the fourth quarter the Nuggets found themselves down by one point with about twenty seconds remaining. J.R. Smith and Yakhouba Diawara apply full-court defensive pressure and Sam Cassell coughs up the ball during a spin at about half court. J.R. snatches the loose ball and glides down the lane and puts the Nuggets back up by one with the jam. The Clippers then call timeout and Cassell pleads his case with the ref for a good thirty seconds before having to be wrangled back to the Clipper bench by teammates.

So my question is why wasn’t Cassell issued a technical foul? Under the freshly instated crackdown on complaining and showing up the officials I would have thought that this was grounds for T-time. However, Cassell got corralled and the game went on with the Nuggets eventually losing. Whether or not these events would have dictated a change in the end result for the Nuggets is debatable, but it was blatant to me that the rule was not enforced straight across the board. It’s a shame I know, but hey, that’s life and it should serve as a learning experience for Carmelo. The lesson is simple; do not give the referee an opportunity to determine your own fate.

Now on to the game and some statistical analysis. The aspect of the game in which I think played the most detrimental role in this loss was the Nuggets inability to heat up from three. As a team the Nuggets shot a dismal 4 of 23 from long range and finished with a 38% field goal rate for the game. Bright spots for the Nuggets were the play of Marcus Camby and Nene. Marcus gave the Nuggets 16 points, 18 rebounds, four blocks, four assists, and a steal in a full night worth of action. Nene also looked good in his fifteen minutes of playing time. He gave the Nuggets ten points and seven rebounds in quick contribution.

Fortunately the Nuggets get to erase game one from their memory by hosting the Timberwolves tomorrow night at Pepsi Center. Hopefully they can eliminate some of the unnecessary mistakes of tonight’s game and be victorious on their home floor. Tip-off is set for 7 pm, so keep yourself posted up big at The Nugg Doctor.

Opening Night Preview: Nuggs vs Clippers

(Boulder-CO) The Denver Nuggets will tip-off the season tonight in a rematch of their last preseason game against the Clippers. After watching what happened in that last meeting, I am going to be extremely disappointed if the Nuggets are not victorious tonight. I will be looking for Carmelo Anthony to set the pace early, but it will be the likes of Earl Boykins and J.R. Smith who I think will be the determining factors in tonight's game. The Nuggets front court will also play an instrumental role in limiting the amount of quality looks at the goal by both Chris Kaman and Elton Brand. The season is finally about to start, but lets take a look at how the last season ended before we start anticipating what could be in this year's campaign.
This off season has been a roller coaster for Denver, but I think that the moves they made are going to pay off big time this season. I'll make it quick for all the Nuggets out there, and if I may quote Seinfeld, "It will be like a band-aid, RIGHT OFF!"

The Nuggets essentially played poorly enough to eek out one victory in the series against the Clippers. Reggie Evans gave Chris Kaman a lil' how's your father, Kenyon exploded and left teammates and coaches running like Krakatoans before being suspended indefinitely, and Carmelo saw as many double teams as Jordan in his prime. The Nuggets were overwhelmed, poorly matched, battered from injuries from the regular season, and made a quick exit from the playoffs.

Fast forward now to the last game of the preseason. Denver sits Carmelo Anthony, Nene, and Marcus Camby in a dominating victory against the Clippers. Here is my memo to the Clippers: Denver has new weapons this year in J.R. Smith, Yakhouba Diawara, and Joe Smith. The Nuggets also have the return of Nene from injury and a new attitude, at least for now, being displayed by Kenyon Martin. All of these reasons, plus the continued maturation and down right deadliness of Carmelo Anthony are why I think that the Nuggets will be victorious on opening night. Denver will win by at least five, and if they don't, lets just hope that Reggie Evans whispers sweet nothings into Chris Kaman's ear!