Wednesday, December 5, 2007

That Effort is Notgoodienov

(Boulder-CO) This game really wasn’t about individual offense. You’ll see all the late night highlight reels talk about this game like it was, but trust me… it wasn’t. Despite Allen Iverson pouring his highest point total as a Nugget (51), Denver is a loser tonight, 111-107, because the Los Angeles bench played better both on offense and defense when the game's conclusion was in the balance.

If you would have had to guess which team had not played since Sunday smart money says that most people would have assumed the Lakers were the better rested team because they out hustled the Nuggets for the majority of tonight’s game. However, the Lakers were actually on the tail end of back-to-back games having won in Minnesota last night, but still managed to have seven more assists, four more steals, four more blocks, and shot a better percentage from the field than the Nuggets.

Sure, AI may have won the individual battle with 51 points, eight assists, two rebounds, and a steal in comparison to Kobe’s 25 points, eight rebounds, five assists, two steals, and a block. But, it was the Lakers team defense that found a way to hold him to a mere two points in the fourth quarter along with only allowing the Nuggets to score 19 collectively to win the war. Furthermore, it was the Laker bench and supporting cast where the rest of tonight’s slack was made up. The Lakers had two other twenty-point scorers in Derek Fisher (20) and Vladimir Radmanovic (21) compared to the Nuggets only having Carmelo Anthony (26) reach the twenty-point mark. Plus, the Laker reserves outscored the Nuggets reserves, 35-20.

And the Nuggets were not without their chance to win this game, but when Allen Iverson couldn’t do it all himself in the final minutes and turned to his fellow Nuggets for help nobody was home. With only three minutes to play, the Nuggets were leading, 102-99, before allowing the Lakers to go on a 12-5 run as if they just didn’t have enough gas in the tank to close the game out. Kobe Bryant scored the next six points for the Lakers after a Radmanovic free-throw tied the game. Carmelo then proceeded to have two lay-ups thoroughly erased by Andrew Bynum and missed a three-point attempt. Leaving the Nuggets no choice but to foul the NBA’s second leading free-throw shooter, Derek Fisher, and have to endure the agony that is having to watch him ice the game from charity stripe.

My only other mentionable note about this game was Marcus Camby recording his sixth twenty-plus rebounding effort of the season with an even 20 boards tonight. But, the harsh reality still reamains that he didn’t give the Nuggets much of anything else by not scoring a single point and only blocking one shot in 40 minutes of action.

Now the 11-8 Nuggets have to travel to Dallas to play the 12-7 Mavericks tomorrow night on the backside of back-to-back games. A position the Nuggets have not fared well in so far this year with a record of 2-3 in the second game. Needless to say, I don’t have a good feeling about tomorrow night.

Go Nuggets!


Harris said...

Can you tell me why Anthony Carter was benched the entire 4th? Didnt Coach Karl realize that he helped spark AI's explosion by feeding him on the move? GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

ThaAnswer said...

I gotta say this game was tough to take. Considering my best friend is a Lakers fan, this is now two in a row I get thrown in my face. The lack of effort by pretty much everyone besides AI (and he lagged some on D, but when you're scoring 51 so be it) was embarrassing, yet increasingly common.
At some point you would hope this team realizes defensive effort translates to easy offensive and wins. Just when you think they're getting a clue, we lose a few in a row that we should have won. You can't believe the Lakers are a better team than the Nuggets but they simply played harder. Radmanovic is about as worthless as it gets yet he drops 21, almost all from the exact same spot on the court; and wide open.
I love watching those classic AI games but when the rest of the team can't carry the load for just one quarter, it's extremely frustrating. If they can't figure this thing out it's gonna be a repeat of last years playoffs.
I'm worried about tonight's game since these are the kind we tend to get blown out in. So much negativity...but go Nuggets!!

Manny said...

Well Doc I think you need to check the rest of the Nuggets because it seems like the smallest guy on the court is the only one with HEART.

Seriously, nobody is as frustrated as I am (from a fan point of view) but if these guys really loved the game like AI they would have wanted to kill them this last game, just like AI did, but obviously he can't do it alone. Point being, how much are these guys being paid to do what they love again?? Damn I (old, short overweight) could have probably scored more than some of these guys to help the cause!! (exaggeration but you get my point?)

Frustrated Fan.