Monday, February 12, 2007

Now We’re Cookin’

(Boulder-CO) There was so much good going on tonight that I honestly don’t even know where to start. I guess a nice place to begin would be with Marcus Camby making his return after a brief stint on the IR with a groin pull and flu-like symptoms. But before I go any further, the Nuggets won big, 123-111, over the Warriors and are currently on a three-game winning streak. Now to let the praising commence.

Carmelo Anthony is playing the best basketball I have seen him play in the last four years. He has scored more points in earlier stretches, but never, ever, has his decision making, passing, or rebounding been better than it is right now. Tonight he finished with 28 points, eight rebounds, five assists, and a block. ‘Melo surely could have scored more, but found himself on the bench during the majority of the fourth quarter due to the Nuggets enjoying a sizable lead. I would also like to note his total assists are misleading because many of his passes led to teammates getting fouled on point-blank lay-ups. In all honesty, he was probably good for about eight or nine dimes.

In tonight’s game we also saw just how hot J.R. Smith can get. J.R. finished tonight’s game with 28 points and four rebounds, but hit the Warriors with a flurry of three-pointers late in third quarter and to begin the fourth that solidified the game for the Nuggets. In a span of 2:55, J.R. Smith spontaneously combusted for 15 points that included three straight long range bombs! The guy is just instant offense, and as long as it is going through the net, you just have to love what he brings to this team.

On the team note it has to be mentioned that the Nuggets all passed the ball phenomenally. Steve Blake led the way with 13 assists, but the rest of the Nuggets were all flipping the rock to each other like a hot potato. Marcus “Gumby” Camby dished seven assists including a behind the back pass that led to a huge slam by Nene, Linas and DerMarr both had three dimes, and Nene and Najera both chipped in a couple too. As a team the Nuggets out-passed the Warriors 37-29 and no Warrior had double figures in assists. What you have to enjoy about the Nuggets sharing the ball so well is that it gets everyone involved early and it becomes contagious throughout the rest of the game.

In the rebounding department the Nuggets got all they needed out of Reggie Evans. The Joker snagged a team-high eleven boards coming off the bench in 20 minutes of action. As a team the Nuggets dominated the offensive glass 22-9 and finished the game with a twelve board advantage over the Warriors, 46-36. Just like sharing the ball, hitting the glass became addictive for the Nuggets which is always instrumental in starting the Nuggets fast break.

My final individual spotlight belongs to Nene. Big Brazil continues to look like the second coming of Gus Johnson and ended tonight’s game with a stat line of 24 points, six rebounds, and two assists. He was an efficient 10-14 from the field that included this season’s best facial yet! Off a beautifully executed pick and roll between he and J.R. Smith, Nene fielded a bounce pass that split Warrior defenders and finished the play by taking a piece of Andris Biedrins's manhood. Nene had a lot of aggressive dunks tonight, but none were nastier than when he put Biedrins underneath his massive shoulders before tomahawking the leather though the iron! Aside from that play, Nene showed all kinds of variations of a lethal spin move on the baseline and shot a respectable 4-7 from the free-throw line. Having him play at a level anticipated has got to be a relief for Nuggets management after such a devastating injury put a lot of question marks around his career and his huge contract signing this summer. Give credit where credit is due though, because after some frustration early in the season Nene has diligently worked through the excess weight, and the lingering swelling in that knee, and is really shaping into a solidifying piece in the Denver front court.

Up next for the Nuggets is one more game with the Timberwolves before one (’Melo) or two (Iverson) of them bolt for the All-Star Game in Sin City. Minnesota always plays the Nuggets tough, regardless of what their team record says about them, and the Nuggets really need to keep this momentum rolling before the five day rest. Starting the stretch run of the season may not seem different whether or not the Nuggets are winners of four straight, but believe me it matters. The Nuggets will be thinking about what happens against Minnesota during the break and it is far more advantageous to not be dwelling on a game that slipped away.


Stumbleweed said...

"J.R. Smith for one, two, three!! Tees for threes DiGiorno!!!"

That was my night. Swag was off the charts -- dude has watermelon balls. He makes George's blood pressure go up, but you can't deny his explosiveness.

Such a good surprise to see Marcus back -- that big dunk and the behind the back pass got me jumping out of my seat. JR's putback should be on SportsCenter tonight.

I love it when they play this well. I just hope that we can keep it rolling after the break when AI comes back.

btalk said...

Nice game recap doctor. You hit all spots like you were competing in the journalistic version of the three point competition at the All Star game! Last night's game made me think of my late father-in-law, who knew absolutely nothing about sports. While watching a game with him one time, after a great play, he turned to me and said, "If they can do that once, why can't they do that every time?" He may have been on to something...

Nugg Doctor said...

Thanks, btalk.

and as always,

Thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor

Nugg Doctor said...

I love Tees for Threes, DiGiorno!

Thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor