Friday, November 9, 2007

Nuggets vs. Wizards: Game 6 Preview

(Boulder-CO) The old cliché says to pull yourself up by your bootstraps. Or in our case, the laces of the Nuggets sneakers. I’m not too sure what to expect tonight out of a battered, weary, and short-handed Nuggets crew because part of me thinks that we could potentially be in for another drumming while the rational side of my thinking says that Wednesday night’s game was nothing but a single-game breakdown. Either way, the Wizards are one of only a handful of teams in the league that are still winless in the early goings of the 2007-08 season, thus making them just as dangerous as a team that is undefeated.

The list of bullets that you need to know about for tonight’s game is short but sweet. For starters, tonight’s game is on the national stage of ESPN. Expect a lot of trash talking about the Nuggets destined to struggle until they get all their pieces to the puzzle healthy. I’m not sure that Denver will ever get this entire team healthy by season’s end, so just be prepared for the always comical, sometimes insightful commentary of the ESPN crew as they bag on the Nuggets from opening tip to final buzzer.

The second bullet on my list of things to keep an eye on is George Karl. I’m not ready to start making any fuss about Karl needing to vacate the position… yet, but if the game is close and AI keeps taking the ball from inbounds down to just a few seconds remaining on the shot clock before throwing up some desperate shot attempt without passing the friggin’ ball a single time we have problems. REAL problems. He did just that about six or seven times against the Celtics and nothing, I mean nothing, makes the other four guys on the floor want to play less than watching a guy hog the ball without conscience. Granted, the Celtic game was a complete abomination and not much can be said about it in a positive light, but the Nuggets had a day of practice, a chance to review some film, and the time to make some immediate changes. So, if a like scenario starts to unfold and Karl doesn’t intervene it might be a little bit clearer where the Nuggets real deficiency lies and I’m not talking about our point guard situation.

The third bullet, or should I say player, to watch tonight is Agent Zero. It’s no secret that the Nuggets are probably the weakest defensively against a high-scoring guard being as we have a tiny backcourt that is more damaged than O.J. Simpson’s reputation, so be sure to keep tabs on Mr. Hibachi. Maybe the Nuggets will sic Bobby Jones or the Yak on him early in an attempt to knock him out of his typical rhythm, but if he gets hot look out! Arenas might have missed the game winning shot last night against the Nets, but a guy like Gilbert has a short memory and a shooting hand that can get hot quicker than a gas fire.

My last bullet point of emphasis tonight is for the Nuggets to get up and down the floor with their fastbreak. For a team like Denver to not even score a single point of transition offense in the first half of any ballgame, never mind it was the Celtics, is just inexcusable. Now is the time for the Nuggets to drop their rear ends on defense, force a tough shot, board the miss, and get out and run. Honestly, sometimes I wonder if Denver has any clue as to how a fastbreak starts because the Nuggets often times play defense like the sisters of the poor and then want to wonder why the game’s tempo was dictated by their opponent. Well, newsflash Denver! When you play crappy D, the other team scores on lay-ups and dunks and it gets real tough to take the ball 90-some-odd feet and beat anybody down the floor. Point being, turn up the defensive heat and get out and run!

Other than all that, be sure to head over to for all your Wizards needs and be sure to tell Prada that I sent you. Oh, and make fun of Brendan Haywood in whatever way, shape, or form you can!

Go Nuggets!

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