Everybody wants some! I want some too! Everybody wants some! How about you?!
Nuggets faced the Toronto Raptors tonight...
...it wasn't much of a game.
First Half Summary
You can summarize the Nuggets first half by simply saying they overcame some sloppy play at the beginning of the game to quickly establish a solid lead in the first quarter, and then blow out the Raptors in the second quarter. The first half also included a 21-9 run by the Nuggets to end the first quarter. Ty Lawson scoring 17 points in the first half (all in the first quarter). J.R. Smith playing SMASHING point guard (6 first half assists) in place of Raymond Felton, and Wilson Chandler playing two guard in place of Arron Afflalo.
As for the big men. Nene and Kenyon Martin didn't play much in the first half because the lead was expanded so much. Danilo Gallinari played solid defense and had some very awkward drives to the basket which he converted or drew fouls. Chris Andersen looked the best he has in two games ... big time Birdman blocks on a couple players. Al Harrington came in and seemingly came out of his horrendous shooting slump with 11 points (his most since February 14th, thanks to Chris Dempsey for that bit of information).
Overall, you can't complain about much anything in this first half. The Nuggets lead by 28 after one half of play. Its very clear the Raptors are extremely tired. Even Andrea Bargnani isn't playing well. Something needs to be done about these absurd back to backs even though they benefit the Nuggets. This game is so uncompetitive it's scary.
Second Half Summary
When the lead grew to 40 I started staring at my fingernails and yawning with greater frequency than I did the first half. In fact, I was fantasizing about what the next Van Halen album would sound like. Maybe they still have a classic sound left in them like Van Halen 1 or 1984. Or maybe the next album will sound like that piece of crap Van Hagar album OU812. How do I know when it's love? Who cares?? Sammy Hagar turned Van Halen into the worst kind of adult contemporary rock this side of Matchbox 20.
Anyway. Rather than boring everyone with a meaningless long summary I will just say this. Both Timofey Mozgov and Kosta Koufos played the majority of the 4th quarter. That tells you all you need to know. Almost every starter scored in double figures. Here's the final stat line for the Nuggets key players:
Gallo - 9pts 7rebs
Lawson- 23pts 8ast
Kmart- 11pts 5rebs 4ast
J.R. Swish- 13pts 10rebs 8ast
Nene- 18pts 7rebs
Big Al- 15pts 6rebs 6ast
Birdman- 3 pts 5 blocks
Worth mentioning also was Ill-Will adding 13 points and Gary Forbes adding 14 points. As my friend Nate Timmons would say "BOOM!". This game was over in the second quarter.
Nuggets win 123-90
Nuggets of Wisdom
Not much to glean from this game. As I mentioned before the Raptors were clearly a very tired team after surprising the Oklahoma City Thunder last night. I will take it though. Nuggets finished with 31 team assists and 10 blocks. Impressive considering they are still without Raymond Felton and Arron Afflalo. This either speaks to how good the Nuggets are or how bad, and tired, the Raptors played. I'd say it's a little of both.
One concerning thing to me was Danilo Gallinari only took 4 shots the whole game. He is too explosive to not shoot the ball more. It's nit picking but I hope that he sees more touches as we go down the stretch. I liked that George Karl listened to my recap and started both Gallo and Ill-Will. Woo hoo! At any rate, the Nuggets have "closed" within 4 games of the Thunder for first place in the Northwest Division and extended their lead over the Portland Trail Blazers to 1 1/2 games.