Friday, February 2, 2007

This was at Least a Start

(Boulder-CO) I am happy to report that the Nuggets four-game losing streak is finally over! Our boys were victorious tonight in an overtime game against the Trailblazers 114-107. Allen Iverson did not play due to his twisted ankle, but the Nuggets got help from great performances from a couple of role players and persevered.

The Nuggets were led to victory by Carmelo’s 13 fourth quarter points and two free-throws in overtime to ice the game. He finished with 33 points, four rebounds, and four assists including 10-14 from the charity stripe. ‘Melo played 46 minutes for the Nuggets and just would not be denied. He was aided by Steve Blake recording a career-high 14 assists, 19 points, three rebounds, and two steals. Blake finished with such an impressive stat line and was uber-safe with the basketball only turning it over twice in his game-high 50 minutes of action. It doesn’t matter what your name is or how long you have been in the league when you play 50 minutes of point guard and only turn the ball over twice. That is a big-time performance on any level of basketball and Blake's Nugget teammates were the beneficiaries.

The majority of the rest of the Nuggets scoring came from J.R. Smith and Nene. J.R. was more aggressive attacking the basket and his athletic ability catapulted him to 17 points and two steals while finishing an economic 7-11 in 28 minutes off the bench. Nene was simply amazing! I have not seen this type of bounce in “Big Brazil’s” step since before his injury. He was dunking all over the Trailblazers and finishing off drives as if he had not missed a beat yet alone the entire last season. Performances like Nene’s 20 points, six rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal will surely solidify the Nuggets at power forward and provide much needed stability on the front line for Marcus and Carmelo. That is, if, these kind of performances can continue to be produced by Nene...

What was most important about tonight’s victory was how the Nuggets took the Trailblazers’ best shots and still found a way to win. The defense looked a lot more cohesive and the Nuggets played with some trust in each other’s offensive capabilities for once. As a result the Nuggets also shot 53% from the field and their 32 fast break points in comparison to Portland’s zero proved to be the difference.

As of right now with a 23-21 record the Nuggets still have a lot of ground to make up if they are going to erase Utah’s 5 ½ game lead in the Northwest Division, but as the kinks get worked out I still think that anything is possible for this team. Tomorrow night Denver is on the road at Sacramento before making up the snow-out game with Phoenix on the fifth. All in all tonight was a good win for a team that needed one in the worst kind of way. With AI hopefully back tomorrow night the Nuggets will have to adjust their chemistry once again, but I can think of about 20 teams right now that would love to have that kind of problem to worry about. Good win and goodnight.

9 comments:

Tymes Rhymes said...

Call me crazy Nugg Dr. but I don't like when Carmelo shoots from mid-range to long-range because he hasn't been making them like last year. I thought he was just going to force them up for the whole game but at least we won. I still don't know why we are letting Kleiza and Camby shoot. Sure they both have made long-range shots and sure Camby is a little better at it but Kleiza and Camby can't do it consistently so why are we letting them shoot? And Yakhouba he can't shoot consistenly either so why are we letting him shoot?

JM said...

The biggest difference with the win tonight was the stepping up of the role players on this team.

Nene played like the player he was before his injury a couple of years ago. His ability to score on the inside clearly opened up Carmelo and others for the perimeter game.

Steve Blake was aggressive on offense and collapsed the defense of Portland numerous times.

As a whole, it was nice to see them out on the fast break a little as well. I think Portland is a vastly underrated team, and I think they caught Denver off-guard. The overtime period was a prime example of how Denver needs to play for the rest of the year, which is play good solid defense which allows rebounds, blocks and steals to set up the fast break. That's how they won tonight.
Thanks for the blog Nugg Dr!

Nugg Doctor said...

Tymes,

The only thing that I can really say is that I agree with you...to an extent. Camby is a decent shooter, but only from the top of the key and the corner and most centers in this league are not capable of stepping that far out on him. However, if he doesn't make his first couple of attempts and establish that rhythm. I would much rather him take it strong to the rim or dish and relocate.

As for the Yak, he did make a clutch three pointer last night, but I would have to agree with your analysis. He has a long way to go before he can really be relied upon to make open looks and he would also be well advised to take it to the rim more often than not.

Kleiza on the other hand should just not shoot until his perimeter game develops more. He is must more adept to slashing and his athletic ability is definately better utilized when he heads to the rim with reckless abandon. He is a strong finisher and pretty exciting sometimes when he takes it strong.

Thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor

Nugg Doctor said...

My pleasure, JM. As many of my readers know, if you keep coming and keep making that statcounter spin. I'm going to keep on writing and moving up the blog ranking charts.

Hope to see ya on the regular!

The Nugg Doctor

Tymes Rhymes said...

I see your point Nugg Dr.

it just seems like we have been relying too much on jumpshots these past couple of games.

Nugg Doctor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
btalk said...

I agree with tymes, in that, I have been noticing how the rest of the Nuggets stand when Melo has the ball. I understand not wanting to get in his way if he drives to the basket, but if you watch, when he takes an outside shot and misses, the Nuggs rarely get an offensive rebound off his miss because they are all standing around the perimeter with their man between them and the basket!! He should not stop shooting, but more cutting to the basket will open everything up and cause the defense to move...It's so easy from my couch!!!!

Nugg Doctor said...

Likewise, Tymes.

In those four really bad losses they suffered the Nuggets were in love with the jumper and some low shooting percentages hurt us. I would gladly take a drive to the hole over a jumper anyday because the "outs" so to speak as they say in poker are far better. A player can dish, be in better position to rebound, or get fouled and head to the line when the rack is persued.

Thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor

nanananana said...

it's about time! I know it wasn't pretty and all that, but a W is a W and can we keep it on a roll now? Gonna be tough but it can be done, let's make it a beauty next time, keep the momentum going, play like a team, and well get a few more W's. Some of those fancy shots that Melo wants to slam, can be a bit painful, be sure not to hit the rim on such slams! Nice Doc, keep up the great work and count me in for a couple T-shirts! Can't wait to be sporting one!