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The audacity of (needing) "hope"...

"Someone’s going to spoil someone’s party and you’re hoping it’s someone else and not you."

So said Denver Nuggets head coach George Karl before tonight's disastrous home loss to the playing-for-absolutely-nothing-while-resting-three-key-starters Sacramento Kings. I guess he/we should have "hoped" a little harder. Although you'd think with starters Ron Artest, Beno Udrih and Brad Miller being unavailable for the Kings and having a five-day layoff in their own hometown, the Nuggets wouldn't have to count on "hope" to pull off a home win against the lowly Kings and thus further secure a postseason berth. We're in the middle of a @#$%& playoff race, not the Barack Obama campaign for chrissakes!!

Before getting into the obvious ramifications of this loss, I must confess that I was unable to watch the game (explained below...thank you for ruining my night "NBA League Pass"). But from what I could deduce based on the AP recap, the boxscore, the highlights, and the previous 76 Nuggets games I've watched this season, the Nuggets gave their standard defensive effort (meaning spotting their opponent approximately 60 first half points), got an outstanding effort from Carmelo Anthony in the fourth quarter (he had 21 in the, and didn't run a game-ending play to get Melo the last shot, even though he had the hottest of hot hands and J.R. Smith (who took the shot) was having one of his worst shooting nights of the season.

But, at this point, does it really matter why the Nuggets lost? The bottom line is that the Nuggets blew a home game to a grossly inferior opponent at the worst possible time. When predicting a 51-win season and a playoff berth, the assumption was that the Nuggets would win this game. But if we can't count on the Nuggets to beat the Kings at home, how can we count on them to beat the Sonics and Clippers this week (a game which I'll be attending), and make the playoffs? Just when the Nuggets had built up a (tiny) cushion over the Warriors for that final playoff seed, they now find themselves a mere one game better in conference record.

The only thing I'm hoping for is that Larry Brown starts house hunting in Denver.

A public service announcement to readers who subscribe to "NBA League Pass": If you're an "NBA League Pass" subscriber and assume (as I did) that you can watch any NBA game on your laptop while traveling - as the NBA has advertised - don't be so sure. I'm out of town this weekend and was counting on watching tonight's Nuggets game online. I logged into NBA League Pass with my username and password, and was then asked for my cable provider and account number. I actually had my cable account number with me, but the league pass website said for my particular provider, I must fax the NBA offices five business days ahead of time to get my online account set up.

In hindsight, it's probably a good thing that I didn't watch tonight's game online. It would've been a shame to break my new laptop during a fit of rage!