Saturday, November 10, 2007

Second. Greatest. Comeback. Ever.

(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

(Boulder-CO) If the Denver Nuggets keep putting me through these kinds of games on this road trip I’m going to need a prescription of Prozac for the lows and Valium for the highs. Which makes it pretty convenient seeing how I’m the Nugg Doctor don’t you think? Seriously though, the Nuggets put together the second largest halftime deficit comeback in their franchise history (18 points) and found a way to win, 113-106, against a Pacer team that has to be dumbfounded right about now.

Things started out terrible for the Nuggets who came out sluggish and as if they were perhaps going to just mail this one in. Denver gave up 46 points and a new Pacer franchise record for points scored in a quarter in the first twelve minutes. They once again weren’t paying any attention to detail on the defensive end, and as a result were dominated in points in the paint 38-20. To make matters worse, for the third straight half of basketball Denver failed to record a single blocked shot. Talk about being soft around the goal. For a team that stressed defense all training camp, and for the reigning Defensive Player of the Year to allow themselves to look like they did was just flat-out embarrassing. The Pacers were shooting 56% from the field, their bench outscored the Nuggets bench 27-13, and at one point in the second quarter Indiana was ahead by 25 points.

Further illustrating just how miserable the first half was for Denver was how they once again had more turnovers (13) than assists (10). At this point, I was thinking here comes another thrashing reminiscent of the massacre at Boston on Wednesday night as the Nuggets hung their heads and went into the locker room.

But yet, the Nuggets were not quite ready to give up. No, they must have had enough of the embarrassment. Enough of the cowardly defense. Enough of the excuses. Enough of being pushed around.

And then… It happened.

Carmelo refused to quit on an offensive rebound and the put back to get himself started. Yakhouba drained two three-pointers from the wing and hit a 17-footer from the keyhole. Marcus Camby ended the misery without a blocked shot, and believe it or not, J.R. Smith dropped his derriere and played some hard-nose D. Denver put a 10-0 run on the Pacers to start the second half, won the quarter 26-14, and the message was sent. This game isn’t over and a pushover the Denver Nuggets are not!

By the end of the third, the Nuggets had dropped the once 18-point Pacer lead to a manageable six and the entire Conseco Field House was stunned. Something had changed in the Nuggets. A change that hopefully will resonate and become a mantra for the rest of the year.

Do you know what the change was?

The Nuggets were no longer going to allow themselves to be embarrassed.

Now the Nuggets, with their new found swagger and attitude, continued to bring the onslaught onto the Pacers in the fourth quarter. Denver held Indiana to just 18 points in the money period and found away to score twelve unanswered points down the stretch to take a 97-101 game with 3:28 to play and finish it the victor, 113-106.

Carmelo Anthony paced the Nuggets with a double-double which included the game-high 32 points, ten rebounds, five assists, a steal, and a block. Linas Kleiza brought that fire off the bench with 21 points and seven rebounds. Plus, Marcus Camby and Allen Iverson double-doubled with ten points, ten rebounds, five blocks, and four steals, and 27 points, ten assists, five rebounds, and three steals, respectively.

The Mile High Crew now stands at 4-3 in the early goings of the season. They showed us a lot of things during this first excursion outside the friendly confines of the Rocky Mountains. A lot of bad and a lot of good, but hopefully for all of us… The Nuggets are no longer going to stand for embarrassment. And by no longer standing for that, I think a lot of good things are on the way.

Great win tonight, boys! I’ll be seeing you, and King James, on Monday night.

Go Nuggets!


johnnyquest said...

Hey Doctor, i have a few questions for you. Von Wafer showed he can be a very good player and was a leader in points per game during summer league, also Steven Hunter is a capable back up who can run with the Nuggets. Why dont you think they are playing? Also, if we dont want Von then im sure other teams could use a guy like him, could we use him for a quality trade?

ThaAnswer said...

I tell ya, after watching the first half I was cursing the TV thinking I'd left this bad basketball in Philly! Our Nuggets did not disappoint and it took the entire team to piece this comeback together. We cannot discount the first half though, because that showcased how truly awful we can be at defense; even against a sub par team.
I sure wish we could see some more emotion from George Karl off the bench. Waiting till halftime to rip them a new a-hole might be too late against other teams.
Also Kenyon Martin. I know he's been out awhile, but does he feel the need to shoot everytime he touches the ball? And since when did he defense change to just swiping at the ball?
Our young guys really stepped up tonight and combined with our two superstars to do the impossible. Now I'm just waiting for the point where we beat these lesser teams as easily as we should.

ThaAnswer said...

Johnny, to throw my two cents in. I was asking myself the same question as I watched the game last night. Steven Hunter was a quality backup in Philly, and started a lot due to Dalemberts injuries. Considering our lack of depth down low, I think you have to get Hunter out there. He can run and jump with the best and is killer on the boards. Blocks his share of shots and would help where we need it most, defense.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'm right there with you guys on that one -- not using a young, athletic legit 7-footer on basically ANY team is kind of remarkable. As much as I love Eddie, he simply can't hang with a big PF/C when we run those small lineups. Steven is the kind of guy (like Nene) who just clogs up the paint simply by being there and he's a perfect replacement for Camby when he's getting a rest because they have a similar skill set (though Marcus is better offensively).

I dunno, but I hope he gets some burn before Nene gets back. We need him to fill a void and I think it would be good to get him going a bit this year -- he made a beautiful Kobe-style reverse for a 3-point play in one of the games, but oother than that, he just hasn't had enough time to play. And how about JR's defense?? He took that huge charge and was really giving effort out there. He's been a servicible backup at PG also -- he's made some NICE assists, even if they do come with a few turnovers. HEh, give the guy a break, he's not a PG, but he's been handling his business out there. To hell with the haters.

Nugg Doctor said...

Sorry to be so slow getting back to you, Johnny, but to answer you questions I think that Von and Hunter haven't played yet because Karl is trying to shuffle, shake, and evaluate the more seasoned guys on the roster this early in the season.


It is a bit of a surprise to me with all the pg's injured that Von hasn't gotten off the bench more. Plus, it is totally confusing to me as to why Hunter hasn't come in during games that we have been killed on boards by bigger frontlines. Stumble hit on this, and I think Thaanswer did too, but I think that Eddie is too small sometimes to board with a bigger, more athletic opponent whereas Steven Hunter would probably be our better bet.

As for what George Karl is thinking? Your guess is as good as mine!

Thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor

Nugg Doctor said...


I definately have been outspoken about J.R.'s screw-ups, but I did mention that his defense was a big spark for the Nuggs in that comeback.

Just proves to me once again that defense is synonymous with desire and if J.R. ever decided to play it full-time with the same desire he showed on Saturday that he could become a big time star in this league.

Thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor

breatnyS said...

Good defense by the Denver Nuggets drama boys, if only we could patch up the difference, this will be a Denver good season. They are running, switching in defense, rebounding see those efforts. We don't have yet the Nuggets team down.

I which I could see some Nuggets games live. I was looking for tickets all the good seats on ticketmaster were taken I had to check broker. And man you don’t want to do that especially for the Denver Nuggets. Thanks god there sites like Ticketwood which work as comparators here is the site
Nuggets Tickets

I like slam dunks that take me to the hoop my favorite play is the ally-hoop,
I like the pic n roll,i like the given goal its basketball yo, yo lets go!
Go Nuggets Go!!!