Monday, March 31, 2008

The NBA Notices The Nugg Doctor, Again

(Boulder-CO) I've been quoted once before by John Schuhmann of the NBA and just recently NBA feature writer Ben Couch also decided something posted on The Nugg Doctor was worthy of a reference. Thanks for the shout, Ben.

Go Nuggets!

Today's Date in NBA History

(Boulder-CO) Today's date is March 31st, and on this day:
'82- The NBA and the Players Association reached a four-year agreement that included a revenue-sharing plan, the first of its kind in team sports. Players received 53 percent of revenues starting the 1984-85 seasons in return for minimum and maximum payrolls.

'92- Phoenix Coach Cotton Fitzsimmons guided the Suns to a 128-111 home win over Portland, becoming the sixth coach in NBA history to chalk up 800 career wins.

'96- After defeating the visiting Phoenix Suns 97-83, the San Antonio Spurs become the 11th NBA team to go unbeaten over a month, with a 16-0 mark in March. The Spurs tied the 1971-72 Lakers (who were 16-0 in December of 1971) for the winningest month ever by an NBA team.

'00- The NBA announced The NBA Legends Tour, which featured a star-studded team of former NBA players that traveled to China for a series of games against the Sydney Olympics-bound Chinese Men’s National Basketball team. Three international exhibition games were staged August 11, 14 and 17 in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai, respectively, against the Chinese Men’s National Basketball team.
Enjoy your day!

'Melo is the Player of the Week

(Boulder-CO) The Charlotte Bobcats’ Jason Richardson and the Denver Nuggets’ Carmelo Anthony today were named the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, March 24, through Sunday, March 30.

Anthony led the Nuggets to a 3-0 week, averaging 26.7 points on .588 shooting, 8.7 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 2.7 steals. Anthony tallied 57 points, 17 rebounds and 14 assists in Denver’s final two games of the week in wins in a playoff positioning battle against Dallas and Golden State. The result of those wins put Denver in sole possession of a playoff spot for the first time since Feb. 22.
Here are the game-by-game perfomances for the week Carmelo is being honored for:
March 24 @ Memphis: Posted 23 points, nine rebounds, five assists and three steals in a 120-106 win over the Grizzlies.

March 27 vs. Dallas: Poured in 32 points and added 10 rebounds, eight assists and two steals in a 118-105 win over the Mavericks.

March 29 vs. Golden State: Tallied 25 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three steals in a 119-112 win over the Warriors.
Congratulations, Carmelo. Keep up the good work!
Go Nuggets!

Nuggets vs. Suns: Game 74 Preview

(Boulder-CO) From here on out the Denver Nuggets have their fate in their own hands. With nine games remaining, the Nuggets have to win enough games to ensure their own piece of the post-season. That's basically all it boils down to and the pressure on the Nuggets is either going to produce a diamond or the crumbling will ensue. Tonight, it's the first of two back-to-back looks at the Phoenix Suns. These two teams have split in their previous two meetings this year, with the Nuggets at Phoenix tonight and Suns coming to Denver tomorrow.
Nine more wars to win.
Go Nuggets!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Today's Date in NBA History

(Boulder-CO) Today's date is March 30th, and on this day:

'76- Paul Silas of the Boston Celtics joined Bill Russell and Bill Bridges as the third player in NBA history to collect 10,000 rebounds before scoring 10,000 points.

'79- Robert Parish of Golden State became the first Warrior in 10 years (since Nate Thurmond) to get at least 30 points and 30 rebounds in a game. Parish scored 30 points and hauled down 32 boards as the host Warriors defeated New York, 114-98.

'80- San Antonio’s George Gervin becomes the fifth player to win at least three consecutive scoring titles, joining George Mikan, Neil Johnston, Wilt Chamberlain and Bob McAdoo. Michael Jordan would later join that select circle.

'86- The Boston Celtics tied an NBA record by beating New Jersey 122-117 for Boston’s 27th consecutive homecourt victory, matching the single-season mark set by the Minneapolis Lakers in 1950. The Celtics eventually extended their record streak to 38 games, over two seasons, before losing to Washington in Hartford on Dec. 2, 1986.

'95- Chicago beat Boston 100-82 to win the first of an NBA record 44 consecutive home games (over two seasons) before losing to Charlotte 98-97 on April 8, 1996.

'00- The United Nations Drug Control Program (UNDCP) and the NBA teamed up to produce an anti-drug public service announcement featuring Sacramento Kings center Vlade Divac. The NBA Store hosted a special press conference featuring Divac on two-way video to announce his participation as the United Nations Drug Control Program Goodwill Ambassador for Sports Against Drugs.

'00- launched, a special online section customized for basketball fans in the United Kingdom. features information relevant to UK fans, including television listings for NBA games and shows on ITV and TNT, local event information, features and statistics. Fans are also be able to participate in interactive activities such as special player chats and mailboxes.

'00- The NBA/National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) Prohibited Substances Committee adds Androstenedione (Andro), along with eight additional substances, to the list of steroids banned by the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Agreement. The Committee, jointly appointed by the NBA and NBPA, includes three experts in the field of illegal and performance enhancing drugs. The steroids added by the Committee to the list of Prohibited Substances are as follows: Androstenedione, Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), Fluoxymesterone, Methyltestosterone, Nandrolone, Oxandrolone, Oxymetholone, Stanozolol and Testosterone.

'01- The Philadelphia 76ers retired the uniform number 34 in honor of Charles Barkley, who played eight seasons for the Sixers from 1984 to 1992. Barkley became the seventh player in 76ers’ history to have his number retired.

'01- John Stockton of the Utah Jazz played in the 1,330th game of his NBA career, a 95-88 win over Cleveland, and moved into third place all-time in NBA games played. Stockton trailed only Robert Parish (1,611 games) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1,560).

Enjoy your day!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Denver is Playoff Bound for Now

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(Boulder-CO) It took a season-high offensive performance from Kenyon Martin, and a well balanced attack by the rest of the Nuggets, to defeat the Warriors, 119-112. Five Nuggets recorded double figures in scoring and grabbed at least seven rebounds while the Denver bench outscored the Warrior bench, 39-18, to reclaim the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoff landscape.

In the first half, the Nuggets' passing was superlative. Denver dished out 22 assists on 26 made baskets including a slew of fastbreak points. The Nuggets were taking advantage of Golden State's poor transition defense thanks to Kenyon Martin and Marcus Camby each grabbing seven first half rebounds. Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson led the march of dimes with five assists each translating into a four-point lead at half, 65-61. About the only thing negative that I would add to an otherwise great first half was the Nuggets' inability to close out the second quarter. Denver was outscored 8-3 in the final two minutes allowing the Warriors to trim the Nuggets' lead down to four after it was eleven on numerous instances throughout the second quarter.
After intermission things got a little bit uncertain towards the end of the third quarter as the Warriors were still hanging around and down by only two entering the fourth. Golden State even led with just over three minutes remaining to play, 86-83, in the third before Denver once again found a way to close out the quarter with a 5-0 run to regain the lead with twelve crucial minutes to play.
That's when the Denver reserves stepped up their game. Eduardo Najera, J.R. Smith, and Linas Kleiza combined to score the first 20 Nugget points in the fourth quarter's first 6:10 as the Nuggets mugged a playoff position from the weary Warriors. Eduardo Najera's back-to-back three's capped off the 20-10 jump start the Nuggets used to down Golden State and the over 19,000 Nuggets fans in the Pepsi Center carried Denver to a, 119-112, victory!
Kenyon Martin's eleven rebounds fit nicely with his season-high 30 points to lead all scorers. Carmelo added 25 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and three steals, and J.R. Smith poured in 20 points, seven assists, and five rebounds to lead all bench players in scoring. As a team, Denver out passed the Warriors 36-24 in the assist column, out shot the 'Dubs 46-42% from the field, out blocked G-State 8-5, and out thieved Nellie and Co. 9-2. I'm out of nickname for the Warriors, and just as fittingly, the Warriors are now on the outside of the playoff picture looking in.
This game was huge, there's no doubt about that, but the rest of the remaining regular season games are all going to have a certain mounting pressure for the Nuggets to sustain their winning ways right into the playoffs. There is still ten more games for the Nuggets to persevere through, but now Denver has no one to blame but themselves if there is a slip and they miss the postseason. Which, in all honesty, is fine by me because this team seems to play better with their backs against the wall. It's some kind of motivation for them. Plus, the Warriors play the Mavericks next and that is only good news for the Nuggets as one of the two teams battling for a playoff birth has got to take the loss. And if it's the Mavericks... The Nuggets may very well be sitting as high as seventh in the playoff seeding after Monday night's docket of games.
But for now, the Mile High City is buzzing with NBA playoff atmosphere. The postseason lock Phoenix Suns are coming to town on Monday to try and knock the Nuggets off their current five-game winning streak. Try as they may, and try they will, but I don't see the Nuggets getting punked by the Suns like they did earlier this season.
Ten more games, I mean uh... Wars! Yea, that's more like it, ten more wars!
Go Nuggets!

Nuggets vs. Warriors: Game 73 Preview

(Boulder-CO) It’s actually quite simple, the winner of this game temporarily owns the eighth spot in the Western Conference playoff picture. The Golden State Warriors currently hold a half game advantage over the Nuggets with one less loss, but both teams have 44 wins and somebody is leaving with 45 and the eighth seed tonight!

The Nuggets have won four straight and seven of nine, outscoring their opponents by 15.0 points during that stretch. The Warriors have only been able to alternate wins in their last night games, including their last win over Portland on Friday after struggling early with the Trailblazers.

Momentum advantage: Nuggets

Load up the truck, Nuggets Nation. All ten final games of the regular season are going to be gianormous, but tonight’s home game against the Warriors is the only one that matters! The Nuggets have split the first two meetings between these two teams and after tonight have one more trip up to Oakland to face these guys before all is said and done. Time to send a message tonight, gentlemen. And that message is the Denver Nuggets are playoff bound!

Go Nuggets!

Today's Date in NBA History

(Boulder-CO) Today's date is March 29th, and on this day:
'52- Minneapolis center George Mikan scored a then NBA Playoff record 47 points against the Rochester Royals in Game 1 of the Western Division Finals, but the Lakers were defeated, 88-78.

'60- Boston Celtics standout Bill Russell hauled down an NBA Finals record 40 rebounds as the Celtics lost to St. Louis 113-103. On April 18, 1962, Russell matched his 40-rebound effort in a Game 7 overtime win against the Los Angeles Lakers that gave Boston the 1962 NBA championship.

'62- Elgin Baylor (45) and Jerry West (41) of the Lakers became the first teammates to both score 40 or more points in a Playoff game as the Lakers lost to Detroit 118-117 in a Western Division Finals game.

'90- Houston’s Hakeem Olajuwon became just the third NBA player (along with Nate Thurmond and Alvin Robertson) to record a quadruple-double, with 18 points, 16 rebounds, 10 assists and 11 blocks in the Rockets’ 120-94 win over Milwaukee. Four years later, David Robinson became the fourth NBA player to record a quadruple-double.

'96- Utah beat Vancouver 105-91, increasing the Grizzlies’ record losing streak to 20. Vancouver would extend its losing streak to an NBA record 23 games. The 23-game losing streak would be tied by the Denver Nuggets during the 1997-98 season.

'98- Indiana scored an NBA record-low 55 points (since the introduction of the 24-second shot clock) in a 74-55 loss to San Antonio. On April 10, 1999, the Chicago Bulls scored 49 points against Miami to set a new record low.
Enjoy your day!

Hangin' with the Big Boys

(Boulder-CO) I was up in the Pepsi Center's Lexus Club having a drink before the Nuggets were going to whoop up on the Mavericks and I had the opportunity to speak a few words with both Scott Hastings and Bill Hanzlik. Scott seemed to be familiar with The Nugg Doctor. Bill not so much. Either way they both know about it now!

Fear the 'stache of Bill Hanzlik!

Obviously, Scott is 6'10" and appears to be on stilts, while I'm only 5'9".

Go Nuggets!

Friday, March 28, 2008

It’s Good to be a Nuggets Fan!

(Boulder-CO) Here’s a new word for us all to learn:

Nuggetish: [núgg-et-ish] adj - Pertaining to the Denver Nuggets (one of the most exciting teams in the NBA) and the manner in which they wait to put the strangle hold on their opponents until the second half.

I’m not even going to go into all the reasons why I think the Nuggets played such a poor first half against the Mavericks because the only thing that matters is how the Nuggets continue to destroy their opposition in winning efforts down the stretch of this regular season. My overall reason for such a position is the lack of significance it has to how talented this team is and how far they will potentially go if, and when, they make the playoffs.

Now, after last night’s game, I’ve come to this conclusion: For some reason, the Nuggets are just a team that can give up 70 points in the first 24 minutes of a game, as they did against the Mavericks, and come out after a 20-minute intermission and hold that exact same team to 35 points to win by 13. Face it, it’s just the way this team is.

Is it their lack of ability to make adjustments on the fly? Maybe, but there’s not a lot of solid points of argument there that hold water. Is it their lack of interest in playing a team at full intensity for a full 48 minutes when they know that only 15-20 minutes of their best effort will get the job done nine times out of ten? Probably, but that thinking has its pitfalls too. Or could it be, the Nuggets are so talented individually that they often times get bored with the monotony of playing teams that, on paper, should have little chance of matching their fire-power, both offensively and defensively, and thus find themselves in situations where they either play at a level almost inconceivable or just let the game slip away. You make the call, Nuggets Nation, but as long as the end result is W’s you won’t hear too much disagreement out of me!

In the first half, the Nuggets were burned badly by Jason Kidd. I’m not sure why Anthony Carter, a fine defender, seems to have such problems defending Kidd. But, it was obvious that as long as J-Kidd was matched-up with AC, that the Nuggets were going to be at the will of the Dallas Mavericks. And as a result of Kidd getting his way on AC early, the Nuggets were handled easily in the first half, 70-60.

In the second half, J.R. was called upon by George Karl to try his hand at disrupting Kidd’s impact on the game and disrupt he did. It was obvious that the size, athleticism, and youth of J.R. Smith bothered Kidd. I don‘t have the play-by-play, but J.R.’s defensive impact is one of the main reasons why the Nugget machine steamrolled the Mavericks by 23 points overall in the second half on their way to a, 118-105, victory.

Oh, and allow me to emphasize how athletic “The Prodigy” is:

The other offensive highlights were numerous and the majority of them came from the Dynamic Duo. Carmelo Anthony recorded 32 points, ten rebounds, and eight assists just barely missing a triple-double. Allen Iverson added 31 points, five assists, and three rebounds while the rest of the Nuggets all contributed solid efforts (all eight who scored, scored at least seven points) with the feel good story being the return of Nene. "Big Brazil" made his triumphant return since losing the vast majority of the regular season to his winning effort against a testicular tumor that was removed early in 2008. Nene may have only played one scoreless minute, but the feeling in the Pepsi Center when he entered the game was if he had just recorded a triple-double.
This big win keeps the Nuggets a half game behind the Warriors in the eighth seed and reels the Mavericks within a full game. And if everything goes right on Saturday against Golden State, Denver will once again be playoff bound with nine games remaining.
"Warriors... Come out and plaaaay!"

Go Nuggets!

Today's Date in NBA History

(Boulder-CO) Today's date is March 28th, and on this day:
'44- Rick Barry was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

'73- Wilt Chamberlain’s then NBA record streak of 1,045 games without disqualification ended with his retirement. In a career spanning 14 seasons, Chamberlain did not foul out of a single game. Moses Malone, who fouled out of only five games in his NBA career, later had a string of 1,212 games without fouling out.

'82- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar became the 15th man in NBA history to play in 1,000 regular season games, as the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the host Kansas City Kings 109-96.

'87- Dallas Coach Dick Motta became the third coach in NBA history to reach 800 victories as his Mavericks defeated the Washington Bullets 114-107 at Capital Centre.

'90- Chicago’s Michael Jordan scored a regular season career-high 69 points, during the Bulls’ 117-113 road win at Cleveland. Only four players in NBA history had scored more points in a single game up to that point: Wilt Chamberlain, David Thompson, Elgin Baylor and David Robinson. Kobe Bryant joined this elite list with a second best 81 points against the Toronto Raptors in 2006.

'95- Boston’s Dominique Wilkins scored 19 points in a 126-115 win at Miami, moving past Jerry West and into eighth place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list with 25,207 points.
Enjoy your day!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Nuggets vs. Mavericks: Game 72 Preview

(Boulder-CO) The Denver Nuggets need to be opportunistic tonight against the Mavericks. First off, there is playoff positioning at stake. The Dirk-less Mavericks are currently two games ahead of the Nuggets and occupy the seventh spot in the Western Conference playoff picture. Tonight, the opportunity to cut that lead down to a single game is on the table. Secondly, the potential for Nene to make his triumphant return after beating the odds of playing again this season presents an opportunity for the Nuggets to seize this emotional moment and ride it to victory. And lastly, the Nuggets have won three straight games. Denver has a chance to move right into the playoff landscape by extending that steak tonight, and on Saturday, against the two teams that stand in their way. Furthermore, if Dallas and Denver end up tied at the end of the season, a win tonight would give the Nuggets the tie-breaker due to the season’s series being tied at one game apiece.

With all that fresh in your minds, this game is the last game before the Nuggets enter the final ten-game stretch. The team is currently 43-28, and I know that I have previously said that 53 games would lock a playoff birth, but after examining the recent individual team developments and the overall picture of the two teams that are within striking distance, the Nuggets might be able to make it with one less win.

The way I see it is Denver has eleven games remaining (including tonight’s) and six are at home where the Nuggets have been very tough to beat. Now, the first two games of the looming four-game Western Conference road trip are against the Sonics (of whom we abused with 168 points in the last meeting) and the Clippers (of whom can’t seem to get out of their own way, and have lost their last nine games). Sprinkle in a grand finale against the hapless Memphis Grizzlies at home to close things out and you can understand my new found optimism.

Now, both Dallas and the Warriors have tougher ten-game stretches to endure before the regular season concludes and the Warriors have to play the nearly full-strength Nuggets two more times in that said span! And if you don’t believe that the Nuggets can top Golden State twice then what kind of fan are you?

Lace ‘em up tight tonight, fellas. The next two and a half weeks are going to be a ride to remember and the fate of your season is back in your hands. Let’s get this win.

Go Nuggets!

Today's Date in NBA History

(Boulder-CO) Today's date is March 27th, and on this day:
'94- Magic Johnson returned to the Los Angeles Lakers as head coach and led them to a 110-101 victory over Milwaukee. Johnson coached the Lakers for the last 16 games of the 1993-94 season, posting a 5-11 record.

'94- Moses Malone of Philadelphia moved past Elvin Hayes into third place on the NBA’s all-time games played list, with 1,304, during the 76ers’ 124-122 OT loss against Boston at Hartford.

'98- An NBA record 62,046 fans witnessed Chicago's 89-74 win over Atlanta in the Georgia Dome.

'98- Karl Malone tied Moses Malone (27,409) for fourth place on the all-time scoring list.
March 27, 1998 Orlando's Chuck Daly recorded his 600th career NBA victory with a 100-75 win over Houston.
'99- Utah’s Karl Malone and John Stockton are both held under 10 points in a game against the Los Angeles Clippers. This marks the first time since November 21, 1987 that both Malone and Stockton did not reach double figures in scoring in the same game.

'01- Alonzo Mourning of the Miami Heat returned to action after missing the first 69 games of the season after being diagnosed with the kidney ailment focal glomerulosclerosis. Mourning recorded nine points and seven rebounds in 18 minutes of playing time.
Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Nene Could be Back... Thursday!

(Boulder-CO) Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post published this article this afternoon concerning Nene's comeback. Unbelievably, Nene participated in a full practice today, and could be seeing a few minutes tomorrow night against the Mavericks. It's a game we really need to win to jockey for playoff position and the emotion that Nene returning would bring to the Pepsi is inconceivable!


Being diagnosis with a malignant testicular tumor in the genesis of your first year back from a devastating injury the year before, going through a round of chemotherapy, and returning all in the same year!

Can you say, "Comeback Player of the Year?"

We need you, Big Brazil.

Go Nuggets!

Today's Date in NBA History

(Boulder-CO) Today's date is March 26th, and on this day:
'72- The Los Angeles Lakers beat Seattle 124-98 to finish the season at 69-13 (.841), at the time the best record in NBA history. More than 24 years later, the Chicago Bulls posted a 72-10 season (.878) in the 1995-96 season to break the record.

'74- Rick Barry of the Golden State Warriors scored 64 points in a 143-120 victory over Portland at home. At the time only Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor had ever scored more points in an NBA game.

'93- A group of 22 investors purchased the San Antonio Spurs from Red McCombs for $75 million.

'94- After notching a pair of steals during Utah’s 98-83 setback at Houston, John Stockton became just the second player in NBA history (along with Maurice Cheeks) to collect 2,000 career steals.

'96- Phoenix’s A.C. Green plays in his 800th consecutive NBA game--the third-longest streak in NBA history--scoring seven points and grabbing nine rebounds during the Suns’ 102-98 win over visiting Sacramento.

'96- Seattle’s Gary Payton become the ninth player in NBA history to record 2,000 career steals. Payton reached the mark in a triumph over the Jazz.
Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cakes are a Priority

(Boulder-CO) We all love cake. Whether it's the eggs and sugar variety or the kind that folds, I think we all have fond memories of either making or eating cake. Which is all the more reason why I think 'Melo's son's first birthday cake, and the story behind it, is worthy of a post all of it's own. Click the link, it's funny...

Kamla Shows J.R. Love

(Boulder-CO) Rick Kamla of NBA TV gives J.R. Smith some serious props in this highlight clip from last night's win over Memphis. Kamla calls Smith, "One of the most explosive players in the league."

Go Nuggets!

J.R. Smith is Officially on FI-YAH

(Boulder-CO) First off, if you haven’t checked out Stumbleweed’s link concerning just how hot J.R. Smith has been in the last few weeks I highly suggest you do. With that being said, the Nuggets came out in the first half of last night’s game exactly how I didn’t want them to. Denver lost the first half, 57-51, by playing like the fat, alcoholic, barbiturate abusing Elvis Presley before the swivel returned back to their hips by way of a, 69-49, second half to defeat the Grizzlies for the third time this season, 120-106.

I didn’t like anything about the first half. So, because Denver has weathered the storm of this five-game Eastern Conference road trip by concluding 3-2 we just aren’t going to talk about it. Imagine all of my typical rants, but dismiss them because Denver is now only half a game behind the Golden State Warriors (thanks, Kobe!) for the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference and only a game and a half behind the Mavericks, who unfortunately, are now without Dirk Nowitzki for what looks like the remainder of the regular season.

The Nuggets in the second half were a completely different story. I especially liked the defensive turn around the Nuggets displayed, but in the end J.R. Smith stole the show.

Allen Iverson scored his 26 points and ‘Melo chipped in 23, but J.R. Smith’s 25 points in the fourth quarter and 27 points overall were spectacular. “The Prodigy” was even hitting three’s from a couple of steps behind the arch, without conscious, finishing with seven bombs in the quarter!

Marcus Camby’s defensive effort was just as instrumental in this win as J.R. Smith’s take over. Camby anchored the D with seven blocks and 14 of his 15 rebounds coming on the defensive end. Kenyon Martin’s play also remains solid. K-Mart finished last night’s game with a double-double of 14 points and ten rebounds off an efficient 7-8 from the field while also swatting two shots.

Denver is right back into the thick of this playoff chase and nothing, and I do mean NOTHING, would make me happier than to look like the fool if the Nuggets can slide into the eighth, or even (gasp) the seventh seed! Denver’s best opportunity to do so is in the next five days as their next game is against the Dirk-less Mavericks at home on Thursday night (I’ll be at the game if anyone wants to grab a beer at halftime). Then the Nuggets will potentially have a chance to move right into that seventh spot when the Golden State Warriors come to town in the first of two remaining match-ups.

Go Nuggets!

Today's (and Yesterday's) Date in NBA History

(Boulder-CO) Today's date is March 25th, and on this day (and Yesterday's date):
March 24, 1969 Baltimore’s Wes Unseld became only the second rookie ever--Wilt Chamberlain was the other in 1960--to be named the season’s MVP. Unseld, also named NBA Rookie of the Year, led the Bullets into the playoffs, averaging 13.8 ppg and 18.2 rpg.

March 24, 1969 Elvin Hayes of San Diego became the first rookie since Wilt Chamberlain in 1959-60 to lead the league in scoring, with 2,327 points for a 28.4 average.

March 24, 1970 Jerry West of the Los Angeles Lakers won his first and only scoring title, accumulating 2,309 points in 74 games for a 31.2 ppg average.

March 24, 1973 Kansas City-Omaha’s Nate “Tiny” Archibald became the only player in NBA history to lead the league in scoring (34.0 ppg) and assists (11.4 apg) in the same season.

March 24, 1979 Lloyd Neal’s jersey #36 becomes the first uniform retired by the Portland Trail Blazers.

March 24, 1981 New York Knicks great Dave DeBusschere’s uniform #22 was retired in ceremonies at Madison Square Garden.

March 24, 1996 Toronto’s Damon Stoudamire sets an NBA rookie record for three-pointers made in a season with 126 (breaking Dennis Scott’s record of 125), after sinking six shots from behind the arc against Chicago during the Raptors’ 109-108 victory in front of 36,131 fans at SkyDome. Stoudamire finished the season with 133.

March 24, 1999 The Seattle SuperSonics retired the number 10 jersey of Nate McMillan in ceremonies at KeyArena.

March 24, 2001 Karl Malone of the Utah Jazz swished a free throw with 10:48 remaining in the third quarter of Utah’s 119-93 win over the Washington Wizards at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City. The free throw enabled Karl Malone to pass Moses Malone and become the NBA’s all-time leader in free throws made with 8,532.

March 24, 2002 The 2002 NBDL Playoffs began when the North Charleston Lowgators hosted the Mobile Revelers at the North Charleston Coliseum. Mobile won the first NBDL Playoff game, 78-75.

March 25, 1973 The Philadelphia 76ers posted the worst mark in NBA history at 9-73 with Roy Rubin (4-47) and Kevin Loughery (5-26) splitting the coaching chores.

March 25, 1975 Golden State collected a then NBA record 25 steals in a 139-122 win over the Los Angeles Lakers at the Oakland Coliseum. The Warriors would tie their own record in a game against San Antonio February 15, 1989. Both Warriors teams were supplanted in the record book when Seattle garnered 27 steals against Toronto on January 15, 1997.

March 25, 1978 After defeating Buffalo 112-106 at home, the Phoenix Suns set an NBA record for steals in a season with 1,059.
Enjoy your day!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Nuggets vs. Grizzlies: Game 71 Preview

(Boulder-CO) Today I have teamed up with Joshua AKA Spartacus of 3 Shades of Blue to preview tonight's Nuggets vs. Grizzlies game. This is where we ask the critical questions, so if you don't have the stomach for the cold hard truth than I suggest you exit stage left now. Are you still here? Good! Below are the three questions I asked Joshua and his answers, and the three questions he asked me. But, as always, you will have to use the link above to find my answers on by far and away the best Grizzlies site in the business!

ND: If the Grizzlies are going to beat the Nuggets tonight how, who, and what needs to come alive for Memphis?

JC: If the Grizzlies are going to beat the Nuggets, the players that will need to step up are Darko Milicic and Juan Carlos Navarro. The production that Mike Miller, Rudy Gay and Hakim Warrick give Memphis is fairly consistent, so the two imports are the wild cards on both offense and defense. The way that the Grizzlies beat Denver late last season was the fact that Tarence Kinsey frustrated Allen Iverson so much that it took him completely off his game. Navarro will need to do that, as well as making AI work hard on the defensive end by making shots. Darko will need to get a double-double with a handful of blocks to help negate the Nuggets frontcourt. Oh, they will also need a small miracle -- LOL.

ND: Honestly, explain to me how the deal with the Lakers for Pau Gasol helped you guys? I've looked at it about a million times, from every angle, and still can't find rhyme nor rhythm in it.

JC: I wish I could give an answer to this that would make sense to an "outsider", but there isn't one. Perhaps 4-5 years from now this trade will look good (like the Baron Davis and Vince Carter trades), but for the immediate future it isn't going to pay any noticeable dividends. In reality, the simple fact was that Memphis fans had turned on Pau Gasol and weren't going to attend games as long as he was suiting up in Beale Street Blue. A large portion of the fault for this should be placed on Jerry West, who continually tried to build around the player he wanted Gasol to be, rather than the player that he was. This made people think that he was truly a franchise player capable of carrying a team, when he has always been a solid second option for a good playoff team. This trade was about money, not basketball.

ND: I may be one of the most critical voices of the Nuggets, but all things considered you guys have it tough. How do you stay objective and try to stay positive during a season(s) like Memphis is (has been) having?

JC: Unlike many fans, I am an analytical realist. I don't get wrapped up in pipe dreams. I look at the cold, hard facts and make predictions and judgments based upon that. That's why I only predicted a small improvement from last year compared to most people and came out and said that this team would only win 18 games for the year after the Gasol trade. So it is easy to stay objective when you have that mindset. I leave the drastic mood swings to my co-bloggers MemphisX, Zack and ChipC3. LOLStaying positive is a whole other ball of wax. I look at the moves this team can make (and should, IMO), and then see if they gel with what the owner, GM and coach have said about the direction of this team. Unfortunately, those two aren't as synchronized as I would like. But that is the life of almost any fan, I think. The offseason is almost here and that is where hope springs eternal for the fans of the cellar dwellers. After all, Boston and New Orleans weren't in the playoffs last year and now they lead their respective conferences. If that doesn't give you a smidgen of belief that anything is possible, I don't know what can.

Here are the trio of inquiries that Joshua asked me:

JC: The Nuggets currently have a former MVP (Allen Iverson), a world class All-Star (Carmelo Anthony) and the reigning Defensive Player of the Year (Marcus Camby) on the roster. How is it possible that they are outside the playoffs right now with that level of talent?

JC: Whose team is it -- Melo's or AI's?

ND: Who is the one guy on this Nuggets team that you hope and pray is gone for next year? (Feel free to include a certain coach if you like.)

Be sure to head over to 3 Shades of Blue to get my answers.
Go Nuggets!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Next Stop: Graceland!

(Boulder-CO) The Denver Nuggets defeated the Toronto Raptors, 109-100, to pull even on this road trip at 2-2 through four games with the decisive fifth game in Memphis tomorrow. And on an even brighter side of things, the Nuggets are now only one game back of Golden State for the final playoff spot and may, once again, hold their own fate in their own hands.

The Nuggets were a two-headed monster against the Raptors. Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson combined for 69 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists. AI took the lion’s share of the points (36) and assists (6) while Carmelo took the majority of the boards (7). The two also played a combined 79 minutes of which the Nuggets needed every one of.

Denver didn’t play its best first half. The first quarter left them down to the Raptors who were getting far too many easy scoring opportunities and as a result scalded the Nuggets for 54 points while holding Denver to 46 in the first 24 minutes. Credit Denver for making the appropriate changes on defense and being able to button things down in the second quarter by only allowing 19 points, but after giving up 35 in the first their effort reeked of not being ready to play.

Chalk the sluggish start up to a heavy Easter brunch because Denver managed to sustain that kind of defensive effort in the third quarter as they pulled the game within two, 73-71, entering the money period. And that’s when the Nuggets, while still playing with the throttle half choked, may have made the choice to start taking things back into their own hands. Denver exterminated the Raptors like a meteor shower of epic proportions with a 38-point quarter to win the game by nine as if they had held the lead since the opening tip.

There’s a million different ways you can try and decipher how the Nuggets won, but the one that I can most clearly point to is how Denver secured the defensive end, and then rode the efforts of the Dynamic Duo. The Nugget gave up way too many points to start this game, and after making the necessary adjustments exposed the Raptors for the shooting team they are. And as we all know, teams that rely on shooting the ball well on a nightly basis are teams that can be knocked off their stride with a certain ease compared to a team that relies on, say defense, which is much harder to rattle.

I want to mention another Nugget who was also instrumental in this win. Kenyon Martin’s lean stat line deserves mention because his impact was far greater than ten points and six rebounds. K-Mart didn’t exactly have the biggest night offensively, but his defensive effort on Chris Bosh, especially in crunch time, was huge. Kenyon held Bosh to only four points, all off free-throws, in the fourth quarter and came up with a crucial block and quite possibly the game-sealing steal with just over a minute and a half remaining in the game.

So, let’s recap how the situation stands as of the evening of Easter. Amazingly, the Nuggets are now only a game behind Golden State and may be back in the driver’s seat with two head-to-head match-ups with the Warriors still on the schedule. Now, they still have to conduct business from here on out, starting with Memphis tomorrow night, but things are all of a sudden looking a lot better, albeit a smidgen, for NBA playoff hopes in the Mile High City.

Here’s to hoping we don’t come out like a fat, alcoholic, barbiturate abusing Elvis Presley in Graceland tomorrow night! (with no disrespect intended to the King personally)

Go Nuggets!

Nuggets vs. Raptors: Game 70 Preview

(Boulder-CO) I've teamed up with Connor Wolfe again of for a couple of questions about today's game. Here are a few of the burning questions Wolfe had for me, and I'm blaming the Easter holiday for not having time to throw any back at Connor. So, here is our conversation in it's entirety. Enjoy the afternoon game and go Nuggets!
CW: Denver is facing the prospect of winning 50 games and missing the playoffs. How frustrating is this idea to Nuggets fans? Would you be a fan of the idea of the top 16 teams making the playoffs regardless of conference?
ND: It's more frustrating to watch this team consistently play down to their competition instead of just dominating like they have shown they can. And no, I do not want to see the playoff format changed. I think the Nuggets are crying foul because they need to resort to the already long laundry list of excuses they have for potentially not making the grade this year. When in fact, if you look, they had their chance to beat the Milwaukee's and the Chicago's of the East to make the cut in their own conference and missed their opportunities.
CW: Carmelo Anthony is quietly putting up some of the best numbers in the NBA yet he's not marketed by the League or corporation. Are the mistakes he's made in the past still hurting his marketability?
ND: Maybe, but his counterpart AI is also having an impact on this as well. AI is playing some of his best basketball in an already shoe-in Hall of Fame career and that is overshadowing 'Melo a little bit. Meanwhile, 'Melo has been nothing but solid gold for the Nuggets and is still the face of this franchise in the Mile High City.
CW: There was talk around the trade deadline that Denver could have obtained Ron Artest but the team wouldn't pull the trigger due to a reluctance on moving Linas Kleiza. Why does the franchise value this role player so much?
ND: At the time, Linas was playing tremendous hoop. Since then, he has had to battle through a couple of twisted ankles and the increased stability of J.R. Smith's play. At the time I was 100% against the trade for Artest, but given the fact that the window to win with AI is going to be narrower than any chance of winning anything big with LK. Now I think myself, and the Nuggets, might have been flawed in our thinking to keep LK for the future when without AI it won't matter how great LK develops down the road.
CW: While J.R. Smith is full of potential he hasn't been able to become the star many envisioned when he was drafted. What's his future with Denver look like?
ND: Hopefully he will stay in Denver. The first 41 games in retrospective and the last half of the season have shown a tremendous growth in J.R. He has abandoned the heat-check three for the most part and has realized that he can go to the rack at almost anytime on almost anybody. With more ball handling work, and more continued patience, I think the Nuggets may be looking at a guy that can give an aging Chucky Atkins a run for his money at the starting point guard spot next season. I've been hard on J.R. in the past, but he has really won me over in the last 30 games.
CW: The last time these two teams met Denver had a convincing victory. *Sigh* What does Toronto need to do to slow down Denver?
ND: Try playing some D!
Go Nuggets!

Today's (and Yesterday's) Date in NBA History

(Boulder-CO) Today is the 23rd of March and yesterday was the 22nd. Here is what happened in the last two days of NBA history:
March 22, 1960 The Philadelphia Warriors defeated the Celtics in Boston 128-107 in Game 5 of the Eastern Division Finals, a game which featured an NBA Playoff record 169 rebounds by both teams.

March 22, 1991 Phoenix guard Kevin Johnson was honored by President George Bush as the 411th “Daily Point of Light” in recognition of Johnson’s work in helping the youth of his hometown of Sacramento, CA.

March 22, 1994 Philadelphia’s Moses Malone moved past Elvin Hayes into third place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list with 27,314 points, after hitting a third-quarter foul shot in the 76ers’ 125-91 loss at Charlotte.

March 22, 1995 During Atlanta’s 98-84 home loss to Miami, Hawks Coach Lenny Wilkens participated in his 2,737th career NBA game as a player or coach (both regular season and playoff games), passing Don Nelson as the all-time leader in game appearances. Wilkens concluded the 1994-95 season with 2,756 career NBA games as a player or coach.

March 22, 2000 The Phoenix Suns Jason Kidd is lost for the remainder of the regular season after breaking his ankle in a 114-93 triumph over Sacramento at America West Arena. The following day the Suns announced that Kevin Johnson was coming out of retirement to help his former team in its time of need. Johnson, 34, whose career average of 9.2 apg ranks fourth in NBA history, had not played since the 1997-98 season.

March 23, 1955 Moses Malone is born in Petersburg, Virginia.

March 23, 1979 The Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Nets replayed the final 17:50 of their contest that was originally played on November 8, 1978. Harvey Catchings and Ralph Simpson played for the 76ers and Eric Money and Al Skinner played for the Nets when the game began, but were traded to the opposing teams by the time the game was resumed. It's the only time in the history of professional sports that any player played for both teams in the same game.

March 23, 1992 Atlanta rookie Stacey Augmon scored 32 points to lead the Hawks to a 126-125 overtime win over Golden State at the Omni, and his layup at 7:41 of the second quarter accounted for the 6,000,000th point in NBA history.

March 23, 1994 Isiah Thomas of Detroit became the fourth guard in NBA history to collect 9,000 career assists, after dishing off for six during the Pistons’ 111-107 home win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

March 23, 1999 Dick Enroth, the voice of the Minneapolis Lakers, died of cancer at the age of 80. Dubbed the “fastest-talking sportscaster in the Twin Cities,” Enroth captured the success of George Mikan’s Lakers who won NBA championships in 1950, 1952, 1953 and 1954.

March 23, 1999 The Miami Heat, in an 84-81 loss at the Utah Jazz, connect on at least one three-pointer for the 400th consecutive game.

March 23, 2001 The Toronto Raptors recorded an NBA-record 23 blocked shots in a 112-86 win over the Atlanta Hawks, surpassing the 22 blocks achieved by New Jersey against Denver on December 12, 1991. Raptors’ forward Keon Clark had a team-high 12 blocked shots.
Enjoy your day, and Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Finding a Way to Win

(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

(Boulder-CO) This may not have been the most pleasing game to watch, but I do have to give the Nuggets their due for finding a way to beat the Nets, in the IZOD Center, despite not playing their best game. Carmelo disappeared after the first quarter, but it didn't matter as both Linas Kleiza and J.R. Smith were electric off the bench in helping the Nuggets cut down the Nets, 125-114.

This game started out beautifully if you are a Nuggets fan. Denver came out firing on offense and stingy on defense with a 9-2 run. Carmelo scored 13 first quarter points, handed out a pair of dimes, and snatch a pair of rebounds while serving as the leader of a 33-25 charge in the first 12 minutes.

In the second, Carmelo handed off the offensive leader role to Linas Kleiza. LK hurt the Nets for 13 points off of three, three-pointers and a couple of driving buckets as the Nuggets once again out dueled the Nets, 34-30, in the second quarter. Carmelo assumed the role of facilitator by deferring to his teammates while attracting double teams and J.R. Smith was a direct beneficiary of this. J.R. scored six points, including a nasty dunk on Josh Boone for the deuce and the abuse of which he capped off by knocking down the free-throw.

By all accounts this was a solid first half by the Nuggets. They had shot 60% from the field while holding the Nets to only 48%, and had done a good job of taking the ball out of Vince Carter's hands. Love him or hate him, Vinsanity is the only player on the Nets that the Nuggets needed to hold in check and they did so. Kudos.

Unfortunately, the Nuggets forgot to flip the intensity switch back on after halftime because the Nets came right out of intermission and erased the ten-point lead the Nuggets had built before the quarters end. And it's not just the five Nuggets' that were in the game faults. Maybe George Karl didn't now where the scoreboard was in the IZOD Center, but Karl failed to call a time-out as the Nets went on a 14-4 run which actually gave the New Jersey a two-point advantage with 90 seconds remaining in the third period. EARTH TO GEORGE: You're coaching a basketball ball game! Could you at least pretend to know what you're doing in these types of situations? A timeout should have been called. A substitution should have been made to try and cool off Vince Carter as VC was scoring basket after basket, and you should have told the team to stop shooting contested jumpers with substantial amounts of time on the 24-second clock.

Too many times this season the five Nuggets on the floor have been hung out to dry as the five opposing players gain the upper hand because they have a sixth man in a suit out-performing theirs. This was a clear example of one of those times and I really do have to place the onus of blame on George Karl for the third period. Sure, Vince Carter may have continued an offensive barrage regardless, but without at least altering the game plan to try and slow him down. Karl metaphorically stood watch while the bleeding continued and as a result put this team's back against the wall in the fourth quarter.

Thankfully, the Nuggets flipped on that switch and went on an 11-0 run to open up the money quarter by riding J.R., Linas, and AI to victory. J.R. added another four points in the fourth to finish with 12 points in 17 minutes of playing time. Linas chipped in another seven in the fourth to bring his total off the bench to 23 points. AI kicked in another nine of his team-high 26 points and brought his assist total up to nine as the Nuggets out lasted the Nets, 125-114.

I guess there's only one question that I still have. Where'd you go 'Melo? After torching the Nets for 13 first quarter points in the first ten minutes, Carmelo didn't score for the next 34 minutes of the game before adding another four points in the final minutes to finish with 17.

Go Nuggets!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Todays Date in NBA History

(Boulder-CO) Today's date is March 21st, and on this day:
'53- Bob Cousy scored 50 points (25 of which were in overtime play) as the Celtics outlasted Syracuse 111-105 in four overtimes to eliminate the Nationals in the Eastern Division Semifinals. Cousy’s 30 free throws made was an NBA playoff record.

'99- Utah’s Karl Malone reaches 40,771 career minutes played and passes Bill Russell (40,726) for ninth place on the NBA’s all-time charts.
Enjoy your day!

Nuggets vs. Nets: Game 69 Preview

(Boulder-CO) Well, it's all boiling down to this now isn't it? Tonight is the first night in a long stretch of must-win games for the beloved Denver Nuggets. To complicate things further, the Nets are a team that is in the exact same position as the Nuggets. Currently out of the playoffs, New Jersey is surely going to give their best effort tonight, and stacking the cards against the Nuggets is how poorly they have been playing on the road.
The Nuggets have now lost five consecutive road contests. They are allowing an average of 118.6 points to their opponents in those last five defeats and have lost eight of their last nine games away from the Mile High City. Furthermore, the Nets have won three straight and nine of their last 12 at the IZOD Center.
You may choose to see things differently, but I think the importance of this game may be bigger than any other game up to this point. Denver can still salvage a winning record on this five-game road-trip if they can find a way to win tonight and continue their winning ways until they get back to Pepsi Center. However, another loss tonight, of which we already have three more than Golden State, will be a crippling blow. There is only 14 games left, including tonight's, and to start making up any more than three or four games down the stretch is going to be a tall task with each loss incurred from here on out becoming exponentially worse for the Nuggets' chances of sliding in the back door of this year's playoffs.
The fire of this season is starting to smolder. Somebody throw some gas on it and quick!
Go Nuggets!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Knowing the NBA

(Boulder-CO) assembles us, and we take the guessing game out of knowing the NBA game. Don't you want to know the NBA game? Good, I always knew you did!

Today's Date in NBA History

(Boulder-CO) Today's date is March 20th, and on this day:
'68- Dave Bing ("google" Historical Glimpses: Dave Bing) of the Detroit Pistons finished the season with a league leading 27.1 ppg average, becoming the first guard in 20 years to lead the NBA in scoring.

'68- Wilt Chamberlain of Philadelphia became the first center in NBA history to lead the league in assists with a total of 702 for an average of 8.6 apg. Chamberlain called leading the league in assists one of the top achievements of his career.

'76- John Havlicek of the Boston Celtics became the first NBA player to score more than 1,000 points per season for 14 consecutive years.

'84- Indiana’s Butch Carter set an NBA record by scoring 14 points in an overtime period as the Pacers beat Boston 123-121.

'90- The Los Angeles Lakers retired Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s jersey #33 in honor of the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.

'97- The Denver Nuggets (16) and Seattle SuperSonics (13) combine to make 29 three-point field goals, a record for two teams in one game. Seattle posted a 123-97 victory.

'98- Karl Malone moved past Elvin Hayes (27,313) for fifth place on the NBA's all-time scoring list.
Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

More Bitter Than Sweet

(AP Photo/H. Rumph, Jr.)
(Boulder-CO) This game encompassed everything that is great and terrible all at the same time concerning the Denver Nuggets. The superstar story line was there with Allen Iverson’s first return to Philadelphia since he was traded from the Sixers to the Nuggets in the middle of last season. The murky playoff picture for both teams was still in the back of all our minds too. Andre Miller facing his old mates was another subplot of this game, but the only thread that really matters when all the riff raff cleared was who won the game. A story line that for the Nuggets sadly reads: Philadelphia 115 Denver 113.

Philadelphia, as they should have, poured its heart to AI before the game started. I was a little bit worried about his reception, and quite frankly wanted the crowd to boo the Answer so he would internalize that feeling and give his old employer a night to remember him by, but the feelings were warm by both parties.

In the first half, the Nuggets illustrated just how unfocused, undisciplined, and discombobulated they are as a team. Denver allowed the Sixers to score 65 points on 63% shooting while getting abused on the boards, 25-12. Philadelphia was running their offense with little to no resistance from the Nuggets. The Sixers ran off of defensive rebounds and were able to beat the Nuggets in transition for a plethora of fast break points. George Karl did little coaching, the Nuggets did little passing (only 13 assists), and the uninspired play was honestly really tough to watch. For a team with its playoff future hanging in the balance and currently in dire straits the Denver Nuggets as an organization conducted themselves as if this was a pre-All-Star Game match-up.

On the other hand, Philadelphia was fighting tooth and nail in every winnable circumstance and showed they just wanted this game a lot more than Denver did through the game’s first 24 minutes. And as a result, the Sixers were up by seven, 65-58, at halftime. The first half highlighted just how inconsistent the Nuggets are on defense, how selfish Denver is on offense, and how this team plays with no sense of urgency as they often find themselves down by double digits to teams that, on paper, should be getting blown out.

In the third quarter, the Nuggets decided to play the game. This is when the Denver Nuggets can sometimes look spectacular. They came out of halftime like a lightening bolt with a 10-0 run to regain the lead by a modest three points. Denver started passing the ball on offense, hitting the boards on defense, and actually playing like they are a team on the brink of missing the playoffs. More of the breaks started to go Denver’s way, but there is something that still upsets me about this kind of quarter. It was the only quarter that the Nuggets managed to outscore the 76ers in, and once again, my aggravation stems from how Denver just expects to turn on its intensity like it’s a switch, but almost always isn’t able to sustain any kind of intensity after bringing themselves back into the thick of things. Denver managed to outscore Philly 35-27 in the quarter, but failed to transfer over the same kind of effort into the fourth quarter as Philly edged the Nuggets by three, and more importantly, two points for the win.

Sure, the officiating was terrible. Samuel Dalembert definitely goaltended a Carmelo Anthony finger roll that clearly ricocheted off the glass before he touched it and would have tied the game at 115, but the Nuggets I saw dominate the third quarter shouldn’t have even been in that kind of position in the first place. Denver only played one good quarter in this game and has no one but themselves to blame for yet another W that slipped away. And in this case, another gut-wrenching game that could very well haunt them in the looming off-season.

If you want the individual accomplishments from this game you can check the box score yourself because I’m tired of reporting all the big numbers in the stat sheet while the Nuggets’ win total stays the same. Denver will now be lucky to win its remaining three games on this road trip to finish 3-2, but don’t be surprised if the Nuggets stumble again as they have another back-to-back set that includes the now fully- Bosh - loaded Raptors and a Memphis team that has got to be getting tired of being bullied.

I’m starting to look more and more like a genius for saying this team will falter down the stretch and miss the playoffs. Now don’t get me wrong, I would have loved to look like the fool, but at this point things are not looking promising for the on-again, off-too often Nuggets.

Nugges vs. Sixers: Game 68 Preview

(Boulder-CO) Tonight should be a special night for Allen Iverson. It marks his first return to Philly since being traded last year. It is also a special night for Nuggets' fans who still hold a torch for Andre Miller. Miller is what I like to call a real pro's pro, and I will surely be glad to see Andre play again.
My hope is that the historically brutal Philadelphia fans realize what Allen Iverson meant to the franchise while he was a part of the Sixers and give him a warm welcome.

With all that sentimental crap being said, Denver needs this win. A loss in Philly tonight would be a disaster in the grand scheme of the playoff picture.

Below is a great clip of some of Allen Iverson's best moves and quotes from his time in Philly.

Go Nuggets!

Today's Date in NBA History

(Boulder-CO) Today's date is March 19th, and on this day:
'50- The Rochester Royals closed out the 1949-50 season with their 15th consecutive win, 97-66 over the Baltimore Bullets, setting an NBA record for the most consecutive games won at the end of a season. The record has endured for more than 50 years.

'56- The Minneapolis Lakers beat the St. Louis Hawks 133-75 in Game 2 of the Western Division Finals, the largest margin of victory (58 points) in NBA Playoff history.

'67- Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia 76ers made all 16 of his field goal attempts against Baltimore. It followed by less than one month Chamberlain’s NBA record 18-for-18 performance against Baltimore on February 24.

'67- The Chicago Bulls defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 122-109 for their 33rd win of the season, the most ever by an NBA expansion team. Chicago Coach Johnny “Red” Kerr was later named NBA Coach of the Year in recognition of the Bulls’ achievement.

'69- NBA Commissioner Walter Kennedy flipped a coin, Phoenix called ‘heads’ and it turned up ‘tails’. Thus, Milwaukee chose first in the NBA Draft, selecting Lew Alcindor (now Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) while Phoenix picked Neal Walk.

'72- The Los Angeles Lakers defeated Golden State in what was then the most lopsided victory in NBA history, 162-99, at the Forum. That 63-point margin lasted as a record for nearly 19 years, until Cleveland beat Miami by 68 points, 148-80, on December 17, 1991.

'91- New York guard Maurice Cheeks handed out six assists in the Knicks’ 97-79 win over Charlotte to become only the fifth guard in NBA history to reach the 7,000 assist mark for his career, joining Magic Johnson, Oscar Robertson, Lenny Wilkens and Isiah Thomas.

'94- Dale Ellis of San Antonio connected on a pair of three-point field goals during the Spurs’ 107-100 win over visiting Sacramento, becoming the first player in NBA history to reach 1,000 career three-pointers made.

'95- Michael Jordan came out of his 17-month retirement and played in his first NBA game for Chicago since Game 6 of the 1993 Finals against Phoenix. In front of a charged up crowd at Indiana’s Market Square Arena, Jordan scored 19 points in 43 minutes but the host Pacers downed the Bulls in overtime 103-96. The game was televised on NBC and drew a 10.9 national rating and an estimated 35 million viewers, making it the most watched regular season game in NBA history.

'96- Orlando’s Dennis Scott set a single-season record for three-pointers made when he sank his 218th, breaking John Starks’ record. He finished the season hitting a record 267 three-point field goals.

'97- Utah’s John Stockton has one steal in the Jazz’ 113-100 win over the Celtics, becoming the first player in NBA history to record 2,5000 career steals.

'98- Indiana's Mark Jackson moved past Maurice Cheeks (7,392) for fifth place on the all-time assist list in a 95-91 win at Washington.

'02- Karl Malone of the Utah Jazz became the third player in NBA history to log 50,000 career minutes, passing Elvin Hayes (50,000), and behind only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (57,446).
Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Nuggs Try a Comeback, but Get Blown Out

(Boulder-CO) The Denver Nuggets must have thought the Seattle Supersonics were on the docket. Instead, the Detroit Pistons revealed just how feeble a team both the Sonics and Nuggets really are because if Denver can put 168 points on the board against the Sonics one night and then allow the Pistons a new record first half total 73 points and lose, 136-120, you can rest assured knowing there is still disparity in the NBA. The Nuggets did show signs of life after being down by 22 at half, but their comeback would fall short due to the combination of questionable player rotations and a lack of sustainable defense.

The first half was absolutely atrocious. If you were a Nuggets fan wearing a Nuggets’ jersey while taking in the game at the Palace in Auburn Hills you probably left with your garb inside out. Denver seemingly came to play in the first quarter as they held a 12-6 advantage right out of the gate, but the quarter ended with the Nuggets on the wrong side of a, 34-25, beating at the first period‘s conclusion. And only adjectives like stagnant, lazy, lackadaisical, uninspired, and gutless do a good job summing up the second. The Pistons mopped the Nuggets up and down the floor in all phases of the game for twelve straight minutes leaving me, for the first time in a long time, speechless during halftime.

I just couldn’t believe the effort the Nuggets put forth. Do they realize that their playoff hopes are on the line? Seriously, the first half numbers were enough to make me puke!

Carmelo and AI combined for eight points. Yup, eight. Detroit shot 58% from the field as a result of wide open lanes that turned into uncontested lay-ups, wide open three’s, and more assists (23) than the Nuggets had made baskets (20). Denver, pitifully, only grabbed twelve rebounds in a putrid spectacle of a rebounding effort to be down by 22, 73-51, at intermission.

The first thing I said when I broke my silence was that I was turning the game off if the Nuggets didn’t come out in the first five minutes with some fire. And I don’t know what was said in the locker room, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to scrap their pre-game speech for the one given at intermission.

The Nuggets came out in the third with fire in their eyes. Denver showed renewed signs of commitment to the defensive end, took the ball to the hole for some foul shots, and managed to take back half of the Pistons’ 22-point lead in the third quarter. Carmelo and AI snapped out of their four-point funky first halves. AI scored nine and ‘Melo scored another 16, but Denver collectively was unable to get involved and flatlined in the fourth to lose by 16, 136-120.

But, after that kind of first half you just don’t give yourself a legitimate chance to comeback. Even if you play an unbelievable quarter of basketball.

Denver allowed the Pistons the most made field goals, most points, and one of their easiest victories of the season and I think I have two solid insights to how they did it (or if you prefer, how the Nuggets did it for them). First off, with the momentum swinging on two different occasions George Karl made, in my judgment, bad personnel changes. On both occasions the substitution was Eduardo Najera for Kenyon Martin and on both occasions such a move left the Nuggets soft on the glass and vulnerable in the middle. The first occurrence was with the Nuggets barely hanging in the game in the first half. I’ve already illustrated how bad the Nuggets were out-rebounded and the loss of Kenyon’s presence in the middle was a death sentence. The Pistons controlled everything physically and by halftime the damage was already too severe. With the Nuggets mounting a big comeback in the third and closing the gap to ten points, Karl once again made that substitution and the Nuggets saw their momentum slip away. The Pistons extended their lead back into the high-teens and kept the Nuggets at bay.

The second, and more fundamentally sound, reason why the Nuggets were embarrassed by the Pistons tonight was because their defense was embarrassing. Flat-out… The Nuggets just didn’t get it done on the defensive end. They tried to match Detroit basket for basket and when the ball didn’t fall they just got left in the dust. Simple as that.

A short memory is key as the Nuggets have to lace it up tomorrow night against a Sixers team that has a lot to play for. And no, I’m not talking about beating the Answer in his return to Philly. The Sixers are in the midst of fighting for playoff position and are not going to go easily into the night.

The possibility for the Nuggets to go 4-1 on this excursion is still there, but their going to have to muster up a better effort than they showed tonight.

Go Nuggets!

Nuggets vs. Pistons: Game 67 Preview

(Boulder-CO) Well, this is where the Nuggets' season is going to be made or missed. Tonight we travel to Detroit to face one of the beasts in the East in the Pistons. This five-game Eastern Conference road trip that could ultimately hold the fate of the Nuggets' postseason dreams includes two back-to-back sets and a gimmie against Memphis. First things first, and that's the Pistons. A team that the Nuggets haven't beat in a dog's age in Detroit, and tonight's bill is a steep one.

As always, you can go see the queen of the NBA Blogosphere, Natalie at Need4Sheed, but for today's preview I have teamed up with Matt over at Detroit Bad Boys for a light-hearted three question Q&A. Here are my questions for Matt and his answers, but for the answers to Matt's questions from me you guys know the deal. Head over to his site and watch out for 'Sheed heaving any 60-footers to force overtime!

ND: Kenyon Martin and Jason Maxiel were both Bearcats at UC. Who gets the top bunk? Who wins in an arm wrestling match?

MW: Considering Martin would have his leg in a cast at any point in time,I'm guessing he'd want the bottom bunk. And I'm taking Maxiell is the arm wrestling contest -- eating babies builds strong muscles.

ND: Are you even the slightest bit worried that the Nuggets might score 200 points against the Pistons given their recent offensive onslaught?

MW: 1983 is safe -- if Kiki Vandeweghe and Kelly Tripucka couldn't do it, no one can.

ND: Who in the East poses the biggest threat against the Pistons making it back to the Finals this year?

MW: Just to annoy the entire state of Massachusetts, I'm going to give the arrogant answer and say ... Detroit. The difference between the Pistons being "on" and "off" in any given game is amazing/horrifying. (But yeah, those guys in green are kind of good, too.)

Great stuff, Matt. Anytime there is a Kelly Tripucka reference it makes my day! (Fear the mullet!)

Here are Matt's questions for me:

MW: How much does it suck being in the West where the Nuggets might win50 games and not make the playoffs? Is it time to change the playoffs?

MW: The last time the Nuggets won a regular-season game in Detroit, Joe Dumars was still playing and Jalen Rose was a rookie. What makes you think the Nuggets can win tonight?

MW: Seriously, where can I get one of those Leprechaun flutes?

Head over to Detroit Bad Boys for my answers!

Go Nuggets!

Today's Date in NBA History

(Boulder-CO) Today's date is March 18th, and on this day:
'88- The Golden State Warriors retired Rick Barry’s uniform #24, joining the numbers of only three other former Warriors: Al Attles, Tom Meschery, and Nate Thurmond.

'91- The Philadelphia 76ers retired Wilt Chamberlain’s # 13 jersey, only the fifth jersey ever retired by the Sixers, along with those of Billy Cunningham, Hal Greer, Bobby Jones and Julius Erving. Chamberlain ultimately had his jersey retired by the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors, becoming the first NBA player to have his number retired by three teams.

'96- Chicago’s Michael Jordan scores 38 points and becomes the 10th NBA player to reach 24,000 career points, as the visiting Bulls defeat Philadelphia 98-94.

'98- Clyde Drexler announced that he will retire following the conclusion of the 1997-98 season after agreeing to become the men's head basketball coach at the University of Houston.

'01- Reggie Miller of the Indiana Pacers became the first NBA player to convert 2,000 three-point field goals when he sank a trey in the third quarter of Indiana’s 101-95 victory over the Sacramento Kings. The three-point field goal was introduced into the NBA for the 1979-80 season.

'01- Jerry Sloan of the Utah Jazz coached his 1,000th game as head coach of the Jazz, becoming only the sixth coach in NBA history to coach 1,000 games with the same team. Sloan joined Hall of Famers Red Auerbach and Red Holzman as well as Gene Shue, John MacLeod and Al Attles.
Enjoy your day!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patty's Day!

(Boulder-CO) Seriously, folks...


Highlights from 168 Points

(Boulder-CO) Here's the latest Nuggets video clips from all those youtubers. With 168 points there was a lot of great highlights. Enjoy!

Here's the posterizing dunk J.R. Smith put on Mouhamed Sene to close out the game. What was either man thinking?

More highlights...

Go Nuggets!

...Where Crazy Happens!

(Boulder-CO) In case you missed one of the craziest plays of the Denver Nuggets' season against the Raptors a couple games back...

Go Nuggets!

Today's Date in NBA History

(Boulder-CO) Today's date is March 17th, and on this day:
'63- During a tearful farewell at Boston Garden on Bob Cousy Day, as the retiring 34-year-old Celtics star tried to compose himself, a throaty fan in the upper balcony relieved an awkward silence by hollering the instantly famous, “We love ya, Cooz!”.

'74- The Celtics downed the Capital Bullets 129-103 at Boston Garden, collecting an NBA record 61 defensive rebounds during the contest.

'84- Houston retired the #23 jersey worn by Calvin Murphy, only the second Rocket player (after Rudy Tomjanovich) to be so honored.

'85- Dan Issel of Denver scored 27 points in a 124-119 loss to San Antonio to move past Elvin Hayes into fourth place at the time on pro basketball’s all-time scoring list behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and Julius Erving.

'91- New York forward Kiki Vandeweghe scored 17 points in the Knicks’ 102-101 loss to Milwaukee at the Bradley Center, moving him past the 15,000-point mark for his career.

'99- Atlanta head coach Lenny Wilkens coaches in his 2,051st NBA game to surpass Bill Fitch’s 2,050 games coached to become the NBA’s all-time leader in games coached.
Enjoy your day!

Hokey Smokes! Seattle was Torched!

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
(Boulder-CO) Disclaimer: All of the totals in the following recap from last night’s game are real. No, I’m not smoking drugs, the Nuggets really did score all 168 of those points, and yes, the Sonics are that bad.

Hosting the Sonics, the Denver Nuggets put on an epic display of offensive fire power as they pasted the Seattle with a, 168-116, loss for the ages. This game was purely for sport as the Nuggets jumped out of the gate with a 48-point first quarter and never looked back. Just like the Sonics will probably do once the team relocates to Oklahoma City. (Sorry, the joke was there, may all the true Sonics fans out there feel my deepest sentiments.)

Honestly though, this game was a lot of fun. At times I felt the Nuggets should have dropped down to four on five, but the Sonics showed a lot of professionalism by not resorting to force as the Nuggets, arguably in a display uncouth, kept bombing, dunking, and fast breaking away.

With all that being said, let’s feast!

-The Nuggets’ 168 points is a new franchise record for non-overtime games. The previous team record for regulation points was 163 against San Antonio on Jan. 11, 1984.The Nuggets' franchise record for points came in a, 186-184, triple-overtime loss to Detroit on Dec. 13, 1983 and is the highest game total in NBA history.

-The 52-point win margin is also a new franchise record.

-The Nuggets set an NBA record with 49 fast-break points, breaking the previous mark of 48 set by Toronto on Jan. 12, 2003.

-The Nuggets broke this season’s record they previously had just set against the Toronto Raptors the night before for points scored in a half by scoring 84 points in the first half against the Sonics.

-The Nuggets tied a franchise record of 16 made three-point attempts.

-Marcus Camby recorded his second triple-double of the season with 13 points, 15 rebounds, 10 assists, four blocks, and a steal in only 27 minutes.

-Eight Nuggets scored in double figures.

-Allen Iverson took an elbow to the head that caused swelling reminiscent of Scottie Pippen’s knot from Alonzo Mourning.

The double-figure crime scene reads a little bit like this:

The starting five were led in scoring by Carmelo Anthony. ‘Melo scored a game-high 26 points in 26 minutes. Allen Iverson added 24 points and six assists, Kenyon Martin scored 23 points, swatted a couple of shots, and grabbed eight rebounds, and Marcus Camby coasted his way to a triple-double of 13 points, 15 boards, and ten assists to fit nicely with his four blocked shots and a steal.

Off the bench, the Nuggets cashed in on another foursome scoring in double-figures. J.R. Smith and Chucky Atkins each scored 19 points on a combined 9-18 from downtown. Linas Kleiza added another 17 points, five rebounds, and four assists and Yakhouba Diawara scored 11 points in 13 minutes of solid burn with the game way, way out of hand. I haven’t seen a beating this bad since someone put a banana in my pants and turned a monkey loose! J.R. Smith even capped things off with a demoralizing cherry on top of Mouhamed Sene by means of posterization with under a minute remaining. Seriously, what either man was thinking is beyond me. One the one hand, J.R. Smith has no place taking off and slamming home yet another field goal, and on the other, Sene has no place trying to block that dunk. There’s just nothing to be gained by either player!

The Nuggets, combined, handed out 44 assists, blocked ten shots, recorded 12 steals, and snatched an unbelievable 51 rebounds (Wilt Chamberlain once grabbed 55, by himself!). Denver only committed 19 personal fouls and turned the ball over a respectable 14 times while shooting 60.4% from the field (61-101), 51.6% from downtown (16-31), and a superlative 30-35 from the charity stripe.

Now, two final thoughts from this game are as follows: First, the Nuggets need to keep this feeling alive in the locker room with an, “us against the world” mentality on this upcoming five-game Eastern Conference road trip. Their playoff future may depend on it. Secondly, while it is very important to remember what it felt like to play this well as a collective unit, the Nuggets need to forget about this game. The Sonics are God-awful and other than a historical anomaly this game was nothing more than an exhibition of what can happen when a team as lousy as the Sonics plays a team with seemingly unlimited talent like the Nuggets.

Great win, pack your bags, we’re going back east!

Go Nuggets!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Today's Date in NBA History

(Boulder-CO) Today's date is March 16th, and on this day:
'88- Utah center Mark Eaton blocked six shots, including the 2,000th of his career, in the Jazz 120-105 victory over Dallas.

'91- New Jersey Coach Bill Fitch earned his 800th career victory, as the Nets beat Washington 110-86 at the Meadowlands. Fitch became only the fourth coach (along with Red Auerbach, Jack Ramsay and Dick Motta) in NBA history at the time to win that many games.

'00- The Los Angeles Lakers’ 19-game winning streak ends with a 109-102 loss to Washington. The streak ranked third at the time in NBA history.
Enjoy your day!

Nuggets vs. Sonics: Game 66 preview

(Boulder-CO) The Denver Nuggets wrap up this three-game home stand by hosting, arguably, the worst team in the NBA in the Seattle Supersonics. Seattle is an embarrassing 16-50 this year and the fans in the city of Seattle are in major jeopardy of losing their franchise.

With all that being said I can’t play a small enough violin for the Sonics, but this is a huge game for the Nuggets, and a game in which they must win. The next five games are all on the road, starting with a back-to-back set in Motown against the Pistons before Denver visit’s the currently playoff bound 76ers. Then it’s off to New Jersey to face the eighth seeded Nets who are trying to fend off the scrappy Atlanta Hawks, a rematch with the Raptors who are not going to have forgotten how bad they were embarrassed last game, and another bunny against the Memphis Grizzlies to finish five games in seven nights.

I’m even partial to the thought that if the Nuggets are going to make their move on the Warriors, or Jazz for that matter, the time to do it is on this road trip. The Nuggets have struggled all season long on the road compiling a 12-19 record thus far, but Denver’s playoff future is going to be decided away from home as 10 of the final 16 games for the Nuggets are away from the friendly confines of the Pepsi Center.

The Nuggets have currently played 65 games, the same amount as the Warriors, and have lost two more games leaving them two games back with two head-to-head match-ups remaining to be played (one at home and one on the road). As far as the slim chances of winning the division are concerned, the Jazz have played 68 games so far and have only two fewer losses than the Nuggets. Meaning, if there was ever a time to root against the Jazz (which you should already be doing all the time anyways) this is that time! Denver still could potentially ruin the Jazz’s attempt to win the Northwest Division in back-to-back years.

But I guess the main reason why I provide this flicker of hope is that the Nuggets could, and I use the word “could” optimistically, still hold their own fate. I know that there is still a handful of loses sprinkled on that schedule somewhere, but I’m trying to look over things like Allen Iverson’s fractured finger of which he has said, “Is throbbing like a heartbeat”, or Nene’s potential return and Chucky Atkins’ chemistry development within the team’s overall chemistry to keep a positive outlook. I know what I’ve said in recent interviews and previews and I still think that a sour, near miss of the playoffs is just as possible because the Nuggets are inconsistent. But, I wouldn’t be fan if I didn’t think Denver was capable of winning the next 17 games straight to secure a mid-level playoff birth, now would I?

It all starts with a scolding of the Sonics.

Go Nuggets!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Today's Date in NBA History

(Boulder-CO) Today's date is March 15th, and on this day:
'91- Moses Malone of Atlanta picked up his 15,000th career rebound in the NBA during the Hawks’ 127-117 win over Dallas at Reunion Arena.

'92- Cleveland Coach Lenny Wilkens became only the fifth coach in NBA history (joining Red Auerbach, Jack Ramsay, Dick Motta and Bill Fitch) to record 800 career victories after the Cavs defeated Denver 100-91 at Richfield Coliseum.
Enjoy your day!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Raptors Ripped by Nuggets

(Boulder-CO) Wouldn’t you just know that after I ripped the Nuggets for playing a pitiful fourth quarter against the Grizzlies they would answer back with their best first half of the season? Denver ripped the Raptors in the first 24 minutes, 79-57, in their highest offensive output in a half this season and from there it was pretty much over. Toronto was without Chris Bosh and Jorge Garbajosa, but with the way the Nuggets played tonight it probably wouldn’t have mattered. The Nuggets won each quarter, including jumping straight out of the gate with a dominating 44-23 first period en route to a, 137-105, laugher.

In the first half, the Nuggets shot a fiery 61.4% from the field, 37% from downtown, and 20-23 from the free-throw line. Marcus Camby nailed a long range bomb, Anthony Carter added a pair from deep, J.R. drilled one, and Chucky Atkins hit another as the Nuggets were firing on all cylinders. Denver also handed out 19 assists on their 27 made field goals led by Carmelo Anthony’s five first half dimes. And interestingly enough, Chucky Atkins grabbed five rebounds in his first twelve minutes of action. Who would have guessed?

As for Denver’s dynamic duo… Let’s just say they returned to their old tricks after sub-par showings on Wednesday night.

Allen Iverson responded after having a dreadful 2-12 showing against the Grizzles to finish the first half of the game the overall leading scorer with 18 points off a perfect 7-7 from the field and 4-4 from the charity stripe. ’Melo added 14 points, the aforementioned five assists, a block, and a rebound.

Denver, finally, continued their dominance in the second half by scoring 29 points in each remaining quarter while holding Toronto to just 47 points. The starters all exited after the third quarter and when Yakhouba Diawara entered the game Sam Mitchell might as well have waived a white flag.

But, white flag or not, Chucky Atkins and J.R. Smith didn’t get the memo to stop bombing away from long range. Atkins let fly of eight treys in all making five for a total of 17 points in 24 minutes. This kind of performance by Chucky should raise his confidence level tremendously and could do wonders for his progression. He had that extra bounce in his step that he has been missing since first aggravating that groin back in preseason. J.R. Smith was also bombing away, but didn’t have one of his best shooting nights. Smith connected on just two of his six long range attempts, but played another great game overall. J.R. continues to take the ball to the rim with ferocity and added three rebounds and three assists.

I’ll provide more of the gaudy box score, but first I want to point out two reasons why the Nuggets won their fourth game by more than 30+ points this year. First, Denver played good defense and started their break off a majority of the Raptor’s misses. The Nugget outscored Toronto 33-9 in fast break points, and at certain points in this game the Raptor’s defense resembled an And 1 exhibition. The other point of emphasis that I want to stress is how the Nuggets took care of the ball and caused Toronto to turn it over. Entering tonight’s game the Raptors had the second lowest nightly turnover average while the Nuggets came in forcing the second most turnovers. The Raptors average a mere eleven turnovers a game, but tonight were forced into 16 turnovers resulting in 23 Nugget points. The flip side of this assertion is how the Nuggets, one of the worst in the league when it comes to turning it over, limited their miscues to ten turnovers resulting in only ten Toronto points. Anytime the Nuggets can win the points off of turnover battle by double figures they are going to be tough to beat. Combine that with a supercharged fast break and you have the makings for a 32-point blowout.

Now back to that box score.

Six Nuggets scored in double figures led by Allen Iverson’s 28 points. The Answer was a perfect 10-10 from the free-throw line and is showing no ill-affects of a fractured ring finger on his shooting hand. Carmelo finished with 22 and Marcus Camby recorded a double-double of 17 points, ten rebounds, six assists, and two steals. Anthony Carter added another dozen points with Chucky Atkins (17) and J.R. Smith (12) providing 29 big points off the bench. In fact, everyone who suited up for the Nuggets scored as the bench combined for 53 points.

Tonight’s win gives the Nuggets a half game back in their chase of the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors are now only a game and a half ahead of the Nuggets in the eighth and final playoff spot after losing last night to the Suns. Plus, the Nuggets and Warriors still have a pair of match-ups remaining including a critical game 79 of 82 in the regular season. Up next for the Nuggets is their last home game in the this three-game stand against the Seattle Supersonics before embarking on a five-game Eastern Conference road trip that is going to be pivotal to the Nuggets playoff chances.

Great win, Denver. Bottle up whatever it was that led to tonight’s victory and hit pay dirt against the struggling Sonics.

Go Nuggets!