I'm not going to BEGIN to explain this. After two infuriating losses to teams that the normally should beat, the Nuggets turn in their best performance since the San Antonio game (March 4th) and beat the Chicago Bulls 108-91 at the United Center.
We will draw lots for the zaniest explanation.
Permit me an anecdote.
My morning started off with me waking up and finding a $20 bill laying next to my bed. I get a lot of work done today as I finally attend to back-paperwork. I set about a plan to fix my car (hopefully this gets resolved soon) and late in the day I am informed of some leads on some people who are interested in some paintings. All in all a great day. As I made my dinner shortly before the Nuggets game (baked chicken, wild rice, mixed vegetables) I thought to myself, "the only thing that will make this better is if the Nuggets miraculously win tonight, and I get asked on a date."
Miraculously, the Nuggets won tonight. Defeating the Chicago Bulls at their own game. Ty Lawson (27 points and 9 rebounds) was aggressive. Andre Miller (12 points 10 assists 3 steals) was playing within the flow of the offense and dishing dimes like he was a cashier at a grocery store. JaVale McGee (10 points 8 rebounds 2 blocks) was McGee-ing all over the place (blocked shots and throwing shots DOWN at the basket). Wilson Chandler (7 points 7 rebounds) didn't do much on offense, but was great on defense and rebounding in traffic. Arron Afflalo seems to get better and better when he's not throwing elbows. Al Harrington (17 points) played easily his best game in awhile and didn't seem worn out.
All in all, nothing to complain about. Not a single Bull "went off". Joakim Noah (2 points and 5 rebounds) was neutralized very early by foul trouble and JaVale's long arms. Luol Deng seemed lost all night and barely contributed to the Bulls offense. Kyle Korver channeled his time with Utah and had a good night, as well as Carlos Boozer (when he was on the court) and Boozer contributed mightily to the Bulls early 8-0 run that got people thinking "here we go again". Yet, the Nuggets came back, and quite frankly, the Bulls looked a bit stunned and off kilter once the Nuggets fought back from their early deficit.
Derrick Rose didn't play. Yet, this is still a good win. The Bulls were winning without Rose, and it's not like they suddenly forget how to play defense without him in there ... although tonight it certainly looked like it was the case. The Nuggets won tonight by outdoing the Bulls in what they do best. Defending. Forcing 15 turnovers while only committing 9 themselves. Not a bad days work at all folks.
All this being said. A WIN like this is slightly frustrating. I mean, where was this effort the previous two games? If the Nuggets played like this all the time, well, think of the possibilities. When Danilo Gallinari comes back, the rotations will settle down and the Nuggets can get back to just ballin'. That's all I'm saying.
Nuggets of Wisdom
This Denver team is clearly a team in flux. They haven't fully figured things out, and they still have Gallo out. What happened tonight should be a nice essay to the team about how to play consistently. Play good defense and when you drive to the lane, kick it out CLEANLY so someone can then score. I'm looking at YOU Ty Lawson. No more of this pussyfooting around. Get the ball, go to the basket, FINISH or DISH. That is what you should do. Nuggets fans are getting to the point where even they can't continually make excuses for you. Play this way ALL THE TIME.
As for the rest of the team, it's pretty clear that Miller can run the half court offense just fine when he isn't being overused by George Karl. Now that it seems that 'Dre is in a better rotation, we are seeing what he was at the beginning of the year. Not the turnover machine he became by playing too many minutes. Also Harrington seems to be getting back his groove while he's not being ridden like a circus elephant. A little late to that realization by GK, but we will forgive for tonight.
You can't mock a good win like this, but for the love of god you have to play this way all the time. The massive egg laying of the previous two games is unforgivable. Take these good vibes to Toronto and take care of business against the Raptors. Then, we can start talking playoffs, again.
Keep it up Nuggets. We may just have a chance.
Oh ... and there's still a chance to get that date. Hopefully. Maybe ... probably not.
Twitter: @jmorton78 https://twitter.com/#!/jmorton78