The Nuggets jumped out to a quick lead and held it tight throughout the majority of the game. By halftime the Nuggets were up by seven before going up by ten during the third quarter. What was really a welcome surprise was how the Nuggets continued to outplay the Jazz, even if by the smallest of margins, in each quarter. Denver did not lose a quarter in the scoring column and with the big efforts by Denver’s biggest names the Nuggets were able to stave off the Jazz’s best attempt to crawl back into within striking distance.
Carmelo Anthony led the way offensively for the Nuggets despite not getting a single damn call all night. ’Melo scored 32 points, snared six rebounds, and dished two dimes, but what was most frustrating was if the referees would have blown the whistle he could have had forty easily! Anthony did shoot twelve free-throws, and was perfect from the line might I add, but numerous times he scored the deuce and was not rewarded for taking the Jazz abuse.
Defensively, the Nuggets are soaring high on the wingspan of Marcus Camby. The Captain fell just shy of a triple double, (13 points, 13 rebounds, and seven blocked shots), but his value as of late goes far deeper than what the box score can illustrate. He serves as a safety net that the perimeter defense can bank on when playing the passing lanes and being aggressive trying to thieve balls from lazy dribblers. He alters twice as many shots as he blocks and when he locks down the boards limiting the opposition to one shot the Nuggets are proving to be very hard to beat.
Another key to the Nuggets' success has proven to be their 11-1 record when Iverson double-doubles. Tonight, the Answer finished with 22 points, 12 assists, and five rebounds including two three pointers and a dunk. The story goes Carmelo and the boys have been giving AI some grief for not dunking as regularly anymore prompting the history of the NBA’s third highest scoring average to start looking to bang it home when the opportunity presents itself.
And the play of Nene continues to be a major bright spot. Big Brazil served up a couple of facials tonight, (one to Carlos Boozer that was plain filth), and finished with 19 points and eight rebounds. He brings a tough swagger to this team that is also invaluable in the same sense as Marcus Camby’s defensive presence.
I’m also happy to report that I am back to 3-3 in my final predictions making me and all the time I put into watching, scrutinizing, analyzing, and agonizing over the Nuggets just as reliable as flipping a coin! Seriously though, if they win, I’m happy to be wrong. It’s the other way around that has a way at eating at me.
Up next is a day of rest before back-to-back games on the road with the Hornets and Grizzlies. I have both games down for Nuggets victories, so it is time we go our separate ways. Until then don‘t worry, I’ll figure out something to write about.