Sunday, October 14, 2007

Right Spread-Wrong Team

(AP Photo/Gary Malerba)
(Boulder-CO) It was disappointing to watch the Nuggets not execute like I mentioned in my preview because this one was there for the taking. Like I predicted, the game was extremely tight down the stretch, but due to poor decision making, lack of execution, and too many fouls led to the Nuggets losing tonight by three, 109-106.

Both teams played well in spurts and equaled each other’s output in the first three quarters. In the first, Denver came out lethargic and only managed to score 20 points as the Pistons put 29 on them in return. George Karl started an unorthodox line-up of Yakhouba Diawara, Linas Kleiza, Marcus Camby, and Stacey Augmon with point guard Chucky Atkins seeing his first preseason action and the Nuggets looked out of sync. On the other hand, the Pistons started their usual five of Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton, Antonio McDyess, Tayshaun Prince, and Rasheed Wallace and had no trouble getting into a rhythm early. However, Denver did managed to put together a better second quarter, matching the Piston’s 34 points in the period, and in doing so kept things reasonable going into the second half.

In the third, Denver managed to make up the nine points they fell behind by in the first quarter by outscoring the Pistons, 25-16, largely in part to a tremendous turnaround on the defensive end. Marcus Camby’s impact on the boards,(he had ten huge rebounds alone in the quarter), started it all and the rest of the Nuggets really turned the heat up on the Pistons to tie things at 79 going into the final quarter of play.

The final minutes in the fourth were where the game was decided and it was a lack of execution and poor decisions that resulted in the Nuggets taking the L. For instance, with 90 seconds remaining and the Pistons leading, 103-102, J.R. Smith had a lay-up swatted by Jason Maxiel, an offensive foul resulting in a turnover, and a loose ball frustration foul all in the matter of about 30 seconds. Now J.R. isn’t solely to blame for the Nuggets loss, but this terrible stretch was the straw that broke the camel’s back and it allowed the Pistons to take control of the game because it gave them two free-throws, (which they made good on), and put the Nuggets in an immediate foul situation. And credit has to be given to the Pistons for stepping up to the line and knocking down their final four free-throws to ice the game in the final 20 seconds.

Offensive leaders for the Nuggets were Anthony Roberson with 22 points, Bobby Jones with 17 points, and Von Wafer with 16 points, respectively. Both Roberson and Jones also each passed out four assists and Marcus Camby grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds. It should also be noted that J.R. Smith, while finishing with 13 points, missed all four of his three-point attempts and in doing so has missed the last 23 threes he has attempted carrying over to last season’s playoffs.

The DNP list for the Nuggets was long with Carmelo, Kenyon, Eduardo, Nene, and AI all not entering the game. Denver is now 2-1 in preseason play and faces the Bucks in Milwaukee on Tuesday night.

Go Nuggets!


Bobby Jones 2.0 said...

Do you think Bobby Jones can be a contributor for this team? I'm a big time UW basketball fan, and watched him play for 4 years here in Seattle. You won't find a harder worker and he's very used to playing fast paced basketball. Do you think that JR Smith may lose some time to him? Does JR have PT to lose at this point?

Nugg Doctor said...

Hey 2.0,

I'm not sure that Bobby Jones is going to make the final 12 active spots, but I do think that the Nuggets will keep him in their final 15. Remember, three players are allowed "inactive" status which can be activated just hours before tip-off in the case that there is a sickness or injury.

As for your inquiry about J.R. having PT to lose at this point, yes he does, but I think there are a couple of guys in front of Bobby Jones that he could lose it to first.

Thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor

webmaster said...

Well, JR now missed 23 straight three point attempts...Oh, didnt we get him to become a better shooting team? Yea!

Nugg Doctor said...

For cryin' out loud! Is that how many bricks have been thrown from the line already? I thought it was only 19 since he was 0-4 last night, but either way things are not looking all that great for J.R.

Thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor

Dennis Köhler said...

Nah, he missed 19 straight after that Clippers Game. After missing four again now he's at 23 straight misses. I didnt notice that 19 first, just read it in the Rocky Mountain News.

It was my post with the "webmaster" nickname. I was logged in with the wrong username.

Nugg Doctor said...

Right on, dennis!

I appreciate the update and will make the changes in the article.

Thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor