The Denver Nuggets must have had fun toying with the Knicks today. Even though the point total ended up in the area where the New York Knicks have the best shot at winning and New York put together a couple of pretty impressive runs, I never felt like the Nuggets were in trouble.
If the early start time caused any problems for the Nuggets they were of the mental instead of physical.
I thought physically they handled the early start time pretty well. On the other hand, mentally they were not all there. Defensively Denver was very confused and players were frequently caught out of position. There were several instances where some players would switch while others would not resulting in two defenders on one player and other situations where one or two guys rotated, but no one else would resulting in one or two players not guarding anyone. The Knicks took 13 threes in the first quarter because their three point shooters were open at least 13 times.
Denver locked down on defense for most of the second quarter and most of the fourth and that ended up being good enough.
The truly good news from today’s game was that we saw a much different Carmelo Anthony than the one that last took the floor in Phoenix. Melo did a great job working for good shots, getting to the rim and looking for cutters. More importantly Melo made shots from everywhere he took them. He was very good driving and finishing. He made a hoard of midrange jumpers and drained his only three attempt. He pulled down nine rebounds and only turned the ball over once.
All in all, the Nuggets dodged a bullet. The Knicks were embarrassed at home in their last game and played put forth a strong performance. The Nuggets now face what would appear to be their toughest test of the road trip facing a much improved Atlanta Hawks team.
Other Observations from Game 31:
- For the second or third time this season Dahntay Jones made a mark on the offensive end of the floor. He did a great job attacking the basket and finishing in traffic. He even managed to toss in a couple of tough left handed flip shots.
- Chris Andersen did not play because George Karl chose to play Renaldo Balkman instead. While I do not see how playing Balkman and Birdman is a mutually exclusive proposition. However, with the Knicks being primarily a perimeter team I think Andersen might have been a defensive liability.
- One of the reasons I preferred Nene to Marcus Camby was that Nene was more willing to defend on the perimeter. Well, Nene’s perimeter D was pretty shoddy against the Knicks. He went out to 18 feet willingly, but when it came to defending the three point line he did not get out far enough on players like Tim Thomas and Al Harrington to take away the three. Between the two of them Nene allowed several open looks from downtown.
- I have had it up to here with Anthony Carter. He continues to make terrible decisions with the basketball and for the first time since he joined the Denver Nuggets I was actually a little upset that Chucky Atkins did not play. He seemed to finally be getting into a rhythm against the 76ers after playing in his third straight game.
- Oh and congratulations to me for winning my fantasy football league today thanks to a three touchdown performance by LaDainian Tomlinson. Of course it sucked that he did it against the Broncos, but they were destined to lose tonight’s game.
Razzle Dazzle Game Stats
Pace Factor – 95.9
Defensive Efficiency – 114.7
Offensive Efficiency – 122.0