For the Nuggets to win tonight they are going to have to refocus on defense. After watching the Clipper debacle, it has never been more clear to me that when the Nuggets take care of business on the defensive end they are nearly impossible to beat. Why you might ask? Well, with the league's leading rebounder and guys like Kenyon and Eduardo the Nuggets can get out and fast break on good defensive stands and from there the offense begins. Off of fast break opportunities lay-ups and dunks are the results and the confidence level of this team rises exponentially. Guys get a chance to run and excite the crowd (even if it’s the other team’s fans), the assists get doled out, and the other team usually gets discombobulated when trying play at the Nuggets break-neck speed.
With all that being said, I don’t think there is a single Nugget that this ideal applies to more than Carmelo Anthony. ‘Melo arguably had his worst game of the season against the Clippers and it was directly attributed to all the one-pass jump shots he hoisted. Carmelo is a confidence scorer. He needs to see the ball going through the net a few times before he can really get into a rhythm. Most of the time he can do this with his jump shot, but in games like the one in Los Angeles on Wednesday the ball didn’t want to fall early and it disrupted Anthony’s game. Tonight, I would like to see him get down on the low block to get himself started with some power moves to the basket. Once he establishes that aspect of his game and gets himself off the schnied, then that will open up his mid-range game that we all know can be lethal. Plus, Carmelo has been showing us that he may just be the most creative passer on the team. If the Nuggets can get the fast break started early with ‘Melo flipping some dimes to his teammates the entire morale of this team will benefit.
I don’t think that the state of things after the ugly loss to the Clip-show are bad enough for me to start predicting any losses, and I’m especially not going to start thinking pessimistic with tonight’s game against the Timberwolves at home. My prediction is Denver by six.