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.