The first quarter was fantastic with the Nuggets outscoring the defending NBA champs, 27-22, by result of playing good defense and getting high percentage shots on the offensive end. Even at half, with the score 56-50, I liked what the Nuggets were doing because they had shot 57.1% from the field, had limited the Spurs to only five offensive rebounds, had recorded six steals, and managed six blocked shots. The only area for concern at this point was the Nuggets low total of assists (13) of which nobody had more than two of individually.
Even after surrendering 34 points to the Spurs in the second quarter, I still liked the overall feel of the half. But, what I didn’t see foreshadowed in that second quarter was the collapse that was about to ensue.
34 points is way too many baskets to allow a great team like San Antonio to plaster you with, and when you come out on their home floor in the third quarter and allow them to bombard you with another 36 you have officially mailed it in. Evidently, noting that San Antonio is quite possibly the best three-point shooting team in the league wasn’t on George Karl’s points of halftime emphasis because the Spurs came out in the third and hit five long range bombs on the Nuggets, and at one point, seemed to be alternating lay-ups with threes. And per usual… There was not a single timeout called by George Karl and his bench full of silent wise men as the Nuggets not only played terrible defense, but also went completely stagnant on the offense only scoring 18 points in the quarter.
It was then at this point that I too mailed this game in!
And as for all my pivotal points outlined in this game’s preview… The Nuggets went a disappointing 0-5. San Antonio completely dominated the game’s tempo after the first period, the Spurs completed the game with a 48% shooting percentage on 84 attempts in comparison to Denver’s 47% on only 76 attempts, AI did not double-double in dimes and scoring despite having 30 points by the game’s conclusion, the Nuggets did not get to my prescribed 25-30 assists, and my pivotal point of eleven San Antonio offensive rebounds was eclipsed by one as the Nuggets lost, 102-91.
The rest of the box score is pretty gruesome, but its main problem if you’re a Nuggets fan is how the Spurs bench outscored the Nuggets bench, 35-16. J.R. Smith was the Nuggets high-scorer off the bench with seven, and is now 1-18 from downtown in the month of December.
At least Denver has a chance to forget about this game tonight as they host the Trailblazers at Pepsi Center.