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The streak's alive! Nuggets remain winless in exceptionally important road games...

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While every game during the long NBA season is in theory equally important, there are certain games that are actually more important than others (as I alluded to in yesterday's post about "road revenge" games). These are games where pride and reputation are on the line. These are games where - if won - can propel a team on to a lengthy win streak, or a burst of unbridled confidence going into the postseason.

Last night's game against the Philadelphia 76ers was one of these games. In fact, Coach Karl even admitted so yesterday when he said "I know as a coach, those games are always a little more important."

And yet, the Nuggets haven't won one of these games all season - NOT ONE - culminating with a heartbreaking loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, inarguably the Nuggets biggest non-conference road game of the season. Stealing a line from the Passover Seder: "Why was this game more important than all other games?" I'll tell you why.

Allen Iverson - the Nuggets best player and leader - was literally run out of Philadelphia last year. Due to internal fighting between Iverson and the Sixers organization in December 2006, the Sixers banished Iverson from participating with the team and openly shopped him around the league. Regardless of who was at fault in that situation, the Nuggets should have served up an ass-whipping over the Sixers on behalf of their friend and teammate who was facing his old team in Philadelphia for the first time ever.

Instead, the Nuggets ceded the better, more emotional, hard fought effort to their opponent (and gave up 60+ points at halftime to boot), just as they've done in all the big road games they've played this season...

-November 6th, at New York: in their first match up since the Madison Square Garden Melee, the Nuggets blow a 10-point lead and lose to the bottom-feeding Knicks, the worst-coached team in the league.

-January 22nd, at Los Angeles Lakers: the Nuggets wasted an NBA season high 51-point effort from Iverson in Denver several weeks earlier in a loss to the Lakers, and couldn't exact any revenge whatsoever in their final meeting of the season.

-March 2nd, at Houston: with an opportunity to end the Rockets 14-game win streak and climb up in the Western Conference standings, the Nuggets don't even show up.

-March 8th, at Utah: after losing in OT at home to the Jazz in their previous meeting, the Nuggets give up 77 points at halftime and lose by 27.

-March 18th, at Detroit: as detailed yesterday, the Nuggets couldn't avenge a bizarre and almost undeserved loss to the Pistons from the previous season.

-March 19th, at Philadelphia: the dagger through the heart as the Nuggets didn't saddle up on behalf of their best player, going up against his former team for the first time.

You're not going to win all these games, but a well-coached, playoff-caliber team sure as hell shouldn't lose them all, either.