First off is some not-so-good news for the Nuggets. Allen Iverson is reportedly still feeling the effects of a sickness that has been lingering with him since the All-Star weekend. He is in San Antonio right now and did practice with the team yesterday, but it is not certain whether or not he will play in tonight’s game. That being said (and it always seems like there is SOMETHING to say) here is what you need to know about San Antonio.
When you’re talking about the Spurs, you are talking about All-Stars Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and no slouch in Manu Ginobili. Remember, Manu is one of the few players in basketball history that can say he won a NBA championship in the same year as winning am Olympic gold medal for his native country not being the US of A. Point being, love him or hate him, Manu is one heck of a ball player. The aforementioned trio are the only Spurs averaging double digits in scoring and have been giving opposing defenses fits all season long. Tony Parker is still shooting an insane percentage for a point guard, and Tim Duncan is once again well on his way to averaging a double-double in points and rebounds. Sprinkle in the often questionable defensive practices of one Bruce Bowen and I think I have illustrated quite clearly why the Spurs have been a title contender for the last several years.
But this is the Denver Nuggets…One of the most enigmatic teams in the whole NBA!
They are historically a team that gets fired up to play the best teams in the league while always seeming to struggle with teams that should be confidence building wins and this season has been no different. Denver has beaten the defending NBA Champion Miami Heat twice, and the Raptors, Bulls, Pacers, Wizards, and Cavaliers each once to round out the majority of the East’s playoff bound teams and they just stuck it to the Rockets in overtime a couple of weeks ago. Contrarily to those quality wins, the Nuggets have also incurred bad losses to the Knicks, Bobcats, Trailblazers, and Bucks just to name a few (mind boggling, I know).
And hopefully in this sense history will be repetitive for Denver. With the Spurs being of the caliber they are the Nuggets do not want to let the All-Star hangover and loss to Minnesota get them off on a bad foot in the final 31 games. As important as I felt the Minnesota game was to the momentum the Nuggets were building with that cute three-game winning streak before losing to the T-Wolves was, this game returning to the NBA grind is even more pertinent to how the Nuggets finish the regular season. Potentially, this type of quality win could set the tone for a nice regular season finish. On the other hand however, a poor showing could be just as damaging as a win could be uplifting. So let’s go, Nuggets. Get this party started in San Antonio and start showing us what we have all been expecting now for awhile!