Friday, December 21, 2007

Double OT with an Unlikely Hero

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(Boulder-CO) The NBA’s marketing campaign this season is, “Where amazing happens”, and in last night’s double-overtime win over the Houston Rockets Anthony Carter and the rest of the Nuggets did not come up short. Denver emerged the victor, 112-111, on the tremendous efforts by Carmelo Anthony, Allen Iverson, Anthony Carter, and believe it or not, Chucky Atkins!

In the first half, Carmelo Anthony was struggling. ‘Melo was just 2-17 shooting in the first half and was way too reliant on the jumper. However, thankfully for the Nuggets Allen Iverson was on his game and scored 18 of the Nuggets first 26 points and dished two assists to keep Denver in the game.

Enter Chucky Atkins for the first time this regular season.

Chucky entered the game with the score, 23-16, with just over a minute to play in the first quarter and instantly sparked the Nuggs. There was no big ovation. There was no montage on the jumbotron. In fact, I didn’t even notice that he came into the game until someone’s shot went up that didn’t look like any of the more familiar Nuggets shot it. Atkins missed his first attempt of the season, but it didn’t take Chucky long to get it going in the second quarter. With nine minutes remaining until half, Atkins (who made a lay-up earlier in the quarter) hit two back-to-back three pointers off of AI dimes to give the Nuggets a, 32-27, lead of which the Nuggets would battle hard with to finish the half up by two, 44-42.
Enter Carmelo Anthony.

After starting the game shooting the ball horrendously, ‘Melo regained his touch and hit all eight of his shots in the period scoring 16 of the Nuggets 29 points. The Nuggets improved their advantage to, 73-69, at the end of the third, but the Rockets weren’t done fighting. In the fourth, the Rockets clamped down on defense and scored in bunches off of seven lay-ups to tie the game at 94 after scoring the regulation’s last seven points while holding the Nuggets scoreless in the last two minutes.
Re-enter Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony.

‘Melo and AI weren’t done scoring yet and split all eight of the Nuggets first overtime period’s points. Houston had more of a rounded effort with Shane Battier hitting a three, Luther Head popping a jumper, Bonzi Wells making yet another lay-up, and Rafer Alston tying it all up again by making only one of two attempts from the free-throw line with under a minute to play in OT.

Enter double OT.

The Nuggets, perhaps taking a cue from the Houston Rockets in the first OT, banded together as a team to score ten points off of Carmelo Anthony hitting the front end of two free-throws, another Chucky Atkins three-pointer, seven-foot jumper, and an assist to Marcus Camby for a ten-foot floater, and no bucket was bigger coming out of the game's final timout than the game-winning, up-and-under 15-foot jumper that the unsung hero, Anthony Carter, hit to win the game with no time on the clock!

Nuggets win! I repeat, NUGGETS WIN!

Carmelo Anthony led the Nuggets in scoring with a huge stat line reading 37 points, a career-high 16 rebounds off of 12 gianormous offensive boards, three steals, two blocks, and two assists. Allen Iverson was right alongside ‘Melo with his 36 points, nine assists (only one turnover in 57 minutes), five rebounds, and two steals. The unsung hero, Anthony Carter, finished with six points, eight assists, and four rebounds and Chucky “come lately” Atkins was the only other Nuggets player to score in double figures with 13 points.

There was a Marcus Camby sighting too! The chairman of the boards finished with a team-high 18 rebounds, six blocks, and the aforementioned deuce in the second overtime period.

One sour side note about this otherwise fantastic game is Kenyon Martin left the floor in the third quarter with a leg injury and did not return. His status is questionable for tonight’s game against the Trailblazers. However, K-Mart did have an impact when he did play scoring eight points, grabbing ten rebounds, and blocking three shots.

Denver now plays again tonight in Portland against a Trailblazer team that is due for a loss after winning their last nine games.

Go Nuggets!


Dennis Köhler said...

I followed the whole game and when it ended, it was 8:15 am here. Lucky to have holidays now.

It was a great game but we should have won it in regular time when we was up by 7 with 1:50 remaining on the clock. Nuggets always give up easy wins.

Hope we can beat Portland tonight. But they will be tired of course. AI 57 minutes and then a back-to-back. I can see JR touching the floor this game.


Nugg Doctor said...

That's what I'm talking about, Dennis! Dedication. Glad to know I wasn't the only one sticking with this game until the wee hours.

Thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor

larry b said...

Long time reader first time commenter. Love what you got going here. Where was JR? Is he firmly back in Karl's doghouse? Or is Atkins's return pretty much going to take him out of the rotation? You'd think the guy could get some minutes in a double OT game.

Nugg Doctor said...

Great to have another voice on the page, larry. And yes, J.R. is officially back in the doghouse and this time his leash is even tighter because the Nuggets have other options to turn to this year in compared to last.

With Chucky hitting three, three-point bombs last night it may seem like J.R. Smith's minutes/days could be numbered, but I think it's just a little bit too early to jump to any difinitve conclusions.

Thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor

nuggsfan15 said...

Hey Doc, you catch Barkleys reaction on the post-game show when they mentioned this was the first time this season that both Melo and AI scored 30+?

He made this sound like he was trying to cough up a hairball. What the hell is his problem?

I know he's basically paid to make smart ass comments like he does, and he doesnt like AI or Melo, but seriously. Be a professional and give props where props are due.

Stumbleweed said...

Dammit I hate George Karl so much lately. Chucky can come into the game and 'chuck' ill-advised threes early in the clock, but if JR did that, he'd be riding the pine before he knew what hit him. He comes off the bench and scores almost immediately every time they put him in, but apparently that's not good enough. He played strong defense against Portland and sparked a few turnovers -- but he didn't play in the 2nd half.

Just bullshit. Drives me crazy. He's the 2nd most exciting player to watch on this team (AI always holds that title wherever he goes) and we don't even get to see him play anymore. What happened to the "Scramble Squad" that was playing so well early in the year? Oh right, George doesn't recognize solid lineups and likes to keep the team in a constant state of flux and uncertainty!

I'd almost rather see J.R. get traded than to contue racking up DNPs and getting the evil eye from stupid George all game. He's the biggest cheerleader, the most energetic guy on the floor most nights, and is more capable than anyone of totally igniting the Pepsi Center crowd... but all that doesn't matter because George has a hard-on for him and he'll never get decent minutes. Kleiza has a nice long leash -- he can throw up threes (which he makes at a lower % than J.R.) and blow defensive plays all night, and he'll still get his 20-25 minutes.

Just trade him for chrissakes, get him to a team that will give him some minutes and treat him fairly instead of placing him in perma-scapegoat status. So annoying, especially since he was really hustling and playing well early in the year -- the effort's there, he just doesn't get a chance anymore.