Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I Should Have Known

(Boulder-CO) Let me first say that the local paper doesn’t know squat about who is going to do what for the other team. I go ahead and try to use the mainstream, do not consult my insider source mainly because I do not want to bother him all time, and what does it result in? Tony Parker plays, quite well might I add (26 points and seven assists), and other than making a clichĂ© joke about an obviously beautiful celebrity I end up looking like a complete ass. Thanks a lot Rocky Mountain News… your “questionable” call on Tony Parker turned out to be as questionable as, well, I’ll just leave that alone.
This isn’t the first time I’ve been wrong and it will most likely not be the last either. I can live with that, but I just thought that after TP sat the fourth quarter in the Spurs’ previous game that there might be some legitimacy to the report. Boy was I wrong! Lets just say that I’ll be contacting my inside source in the future.

The Nuggets take the L tonight 92-83 and put forth a very Nugget-esque second half that concluded with a whopping 34 points scored in the last 24 minutes. Denver was winning by one at halftime, but completely collapsed in the second half. Same old story as it always seems. Denver either comes out ready to play four quarters and usually wins or leaves you just knowing that a breakdown is about to happen and it’s not a matter of if, but rather a matter of when.

Allen Iverson had a big game with 33 points and six assists, but didn’t get much support from his fellow starters, which didn’t include J.R. Smith. Smith concluded the night with twelve points, four boards, two assists, and two steals in 33 minutes of action. He was welcomed back with a big ovation, but showed some signs of rust by finishing 5-14 overall and 0-fer from long range in four attempts. Honestly, it was probably to be expected after the extended period of time away from live game action. However, the next four games without Carmelo will be the real tale of the tape on how J.R. reacts to the extra scoring burden.

The rest of the starting five combined for 32 points behind 18 from Earl Boykins and there just isn’t much more to report on the offensive end.

This was a game that the Nuggets really could have won in my assessment. They surprisingly cashed in on a better percentage from long range than the Spurs, shot a better percentage from the free-throw line, and were comparable in the overall field goal numbers too. The real difference ended up being the 17 turnovers that translated into 19 points for the Spurs, who only coughed up the coveted leather eleven times while limiting their damage to ten points off said miscues.

The overall polish of a perennial championship contender out shined a team that is reeling from suspensions and struggling to find roles for their new personnel. Do I think that a future match-up might have a different outcome with the league’s leading scorer suited up for the good guys? You bet your sweet rump padding on it, but tonight it was just not the case. Denver will catch these guys, at full strength, two more times this season and I am very anxious to see what happens in those two games. Not because said two future match-ups are locks for victory by any means, but when you play a team like the Spurs it is a great measuring stick for where your team stands in the grand scheme of things. And as of right now… The Nuggets are currently third in their division because tonight’s loss drops them down into the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference Playoff picture behind the identical win/loss record of the seventh seed holding Minnesota Timberwolves. The time is getting crucial and the return of Carmelo can not come quick enough. The Nuggets need to find a way to survive the next four games. How, I do not know, but the critical nature of the situation is clearly evident in Denver.


aeneas said...

uhm thanks for the great coverage on this site :-) recently I prefer hitting the nugg doctor bookmark prior to the bookmark cause if there's something new the nugg doctor will have blogged it :) Just wanted to thank you for all the time you spend on this. keep up the good work :)


Nugg Doctor said...

aeneas, and all the other Nugg Doctor faithful out there,

It is seriously the type of comments that you just dropped that keep me going on this site. The number of readers continues to explode exponentially, but it is the outcry of praise for my skills as a writer, passion for basketball, and dedication to this site that truly keep me going.

2007 is going to be a huge year for me as an aspiring sports personality and there is going to be numerous different ways for fans of the Nuggets and of this site to participate and support what I am doing. Stay tuned and above all, keep reading. As long as you, the readers, keep coming back. I will keep up the feverous pace that I work on this site.

Every time you hit this site I notice and show my thanks to you with new posts, new jokes, and new insight to the team that we all love.

Thanks a million for reading,

The Nugg Doctor

Stumbleweed said...

Yeah, the Spurs really turned up the defense in the second half. When AI kept taking those really difficult shots, I knew we were in trouble. Surprisingly (or not, since it's AI), he managed to make most of those terrible shots (as did Earl). But you can't win games taking shots like that, as your luck eventually runs out. The Spurs (specifically Bonner, who played nice off the bench) made some key steals and stops as the 4th winded down and kept us from getting any momentum to try and mount a comeback.

I mean, we were only down by 5 (or 3 at one point) with less than 5 minutes to go and we absolutely couldn't get a decent shot. If JR had shot a little better from deep, we might've pulled this one off... but I think his confidence withered a bit and he lost his outside aggressiveness due to the misses early. And realistically, he played as well as you can expect after missing all those games, coming back to a new (old) ball, new teammates, and missing his buddy Melo, who is a huge drain on the defense... But damn, it was nice to see him smash down that alley-oop -- the whole place exploded when that happened.

The Rockets are playing well, but I think we match up a little better with them than we do against the Spurs (particularly with Yao out). Hopefully we can put a lid on T-Mac's hot streak and get a more JR-like performance from JR in the next game. It was a bummer to see them lose to the team that I hate most, but I know that we have as good a chance as any team to make a late-season run and really show these elite teams (and the league) what we can do at full strength.