Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Nuggets End the Magic Show

(Boulder-CO) There were no smoke and mirrors, hidden compartments, or trick photography in tonight’s Nuggets victory over the Magic, 111-101. The Nuggets finally found a sense of team chemistry on offense and defense and had six players score in double-digits. The win for Denver means finally back to .500 on the season with record of, 28-28, and more importantly a much needed boost in team morale.

The Nuggets were led tonight by Allen Iverson’s game-high 34 points, seven assists, five steals, and four rebounds in a team-high 46 minutes of play. Carmelo Anthony added 25 points and six rebounds, Eduardo Najera kicked in 17 points and five rebounds, and Linas Kleiza finished with 15 points and three rebounds including three three-pointers.

The most impressive aspect of the game for me was the Nuggets taking care of the basketball and finishing with only 13 turnovers that directly resulted in a meager ten points for the Magic. On the other end of the floor the Nuggets were fantastic at causing the Magic to turn it over. Orlando was anything but magical in their erratic play, and finished tonight with 25 turnovers leading to just as many points for the Nuggets. Kudos to Denver for finally being able to enforce its will on another team.

My final note about this game is that it finished with a sense of accomplishment that far exceeded its actual value. A win is a win, and I’ll gladly take one regardless of its grace, but when the Nuggets won tonight it was almost like a major pressure release occurred. They finally played as a team on offense and on defense. Carmelo and Iverson still combined for their sixty or so points, and a couple of guys are starting to emerge as reliable contributors. I like what I am starting to see materialize, but am still not sure if the Nuggets can get too confident banking on the few things that are starting to click. There is much work to be done, but at least now it seams like the Nuggets are working on it together.

Tomorrow the Nuggets travel before taking on Houston on Friday night. The last two times the Rockets and Nuggets have played they have split. Most recently being the Nuggets overtime victory back on January 20th.

I don’t recall a time that .500 ever felt so good! Go Nuggets!

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