In the first, Memphis opened up with a 14-2 run that literally had me almost wanting the Nuggets to lose. Denver came out so lackadaisical it was alarming. Here they are currently out of the playoffs and allowing Memphis to do whatever they wanted, in their own house to boot! The defensive end was like a game of musical chairs with everyone scrambling after the ball. The offensive end looked a little like the geriatric pick-up games I’ve had to play in recently because my regular run fell apart. And, the Nuggets looked like garbage, overall. Somehow, probably because the Grizzlies are just that bad, the Nuggets did find a way to win the first quarter 23-22. Furthermore, it may well have been the first quarter of the first game because that’s the way Denver looked.
Thankfully, situational context kicked in for the Nuggets somewhere in the last few minutes of the first quarter and they were able to shut the Grizzlies down in the second. Memphis was limited to 14 points as the Nuggets once again dropped 23 on the truly hapless Grizzlies. And unfortunately for the Grizzlies, the pounding was just beginning. After halftime, the Nuggets really kicked things into high-gear, both offensively and defensively, by out scoring Memphis 38-22 in the third quarter. Everything was nice-nice except for the horrendous games Denver’s All-Star tandem were producing.
With the starters out for most the fourth, the Nuggets really did something that bothered me. Furthermore, it was something that had nothing to do with the final box score of the dynamic duo as they had bad games to begin with. Any guesses as to what has me riled up?
If you guessed losing the fourth quarter in a complete travishamockery of a showing than you’re a winner!
The Nuggets looked, once again, like basketball was a foreign game and the Grizzlies managed to win the quarter 28-24. Did it matter in the grand scheme of the game. No, the Nuggets got the win. But, what irritates the bejesus out of me is how the Nuggets play as if they can just turn up their intensity like it’s a switch. Sure, against the lowly Grizzlies they got away with it, but against anyone else in the league the Nuggets probably would have not been able to do what they did last night.
But, like I said… at this point a win is a win.
Carmelo Anthony recorded his 17th double-double of the year despite scoring only 14 points while grabbing 13 boards. ‘Melo has played poorly lately, and I just don’t know why. Allen Iverson was also having an off-night. The Answer left me asking a lot of questions on a mere 2-12 shooting for eight points and eight assists.
Kenyon Martin on the other hand played by far his best game since the All-Star break. K-Mart scored 23 points off of 9-11 from the field, including a smorgasbord of rim-rattling dunks! Martin also grabbed seven boards and handed out three assists in 28 minutes of heady burn. There was also a “Lithuanian Liquidator” sighting. After playing tentatively on the twisted right ankle in his last three games, Linas Kleiza returned to familiar form against the Grizzlies and scored 19 points off the bench in 26 minutes. Linas also grabbed six rebounds.
One last note about this game: Somebody please tell Mike Conley that Marcus Camby is a shot blocker. The undersized Conley just didn’t believe the hype about the Captain as he threw up tender, pillow-soft finger rolls at Camby that were pretty much abused time and time again. Marcus finished the game with six blocks, eight points, and ten rebounds.