Sunday, April 6, 2008
Disappointing Defense Results in Loss
(Boulder-CO) The shorthanded Denver Nuggets played horrendous defense last night against the Kings and as a result lost a very winnable game, 118-115.
Denver was up in the first half by as many as a dozen points, but two key factors contributed to this loss. First off, the absence of Kenyon Martin hurt the Nuggets in both the toughness category, and more importantly, on defense. Example one is Mikki Moore scoring 23 points and grabbing ten boards. With Kenyon in the line-up, that never happens. Same goes for Spencer Hawes grabbing nine boards and Sheldon Williams scoring eight points and adding another five rebounds.
The second reason why the Nuggets lost this game was too many stupid fouls. Allow me to anoint Kevin Martin as the most annoying player in the league today (slide over, Manu). The coy look on his face as he takes his unorthodox shooting mechanics to the free-throw line (where to his credit he was a perfect 13-13) after any of his academy award winning flops was enough to make me want to puke. He knows he's a flopper of unparalleled lack of integrity, but still continues to play like a soccer player; accentuating every last breeze that passes him by as if it was a cat-5 hurricane. And just as much of the blame for Kevin Martin playing like a puss needs to be placed on the Nuggets for providing such an actor a stage to perform on. STAY ON YOUR FEET! The guy wants to jump into you while flailing like a wounded goose. How many times are you going to fall for his crap?
I digress, but his game hurts. Not only does it spoil tremendous performances on the Nuggets' side, but it puts another L in the Denver win/loss record. And in a playoff race as tight as this season's is, any loss - even a loss to the Kings - could potentially leave Denver out.
Carmelo Anthony recorded his eighth 40+ point performance by scoring a game-high 47 points and grabbing eleven rebounds. LK went off with a plethora of aggressive drives to the rack and making good on 13-15 free-throws to finish with 28 points while starting for the suspended Kenyon Martin. Marcus Camby recorded the unusual double-double of 14 rebounds and eleven assists, but AI was MIA with only 13 points in 43 minutes of burn.
With the loss, the Nuggets are now tied with the Warriors record wise for the eighth seed, but do own the tie-breaker so far with one more game against Golden State forthcoming. Now the pressure is really on! No excuses, Denver...