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Break out those New Orleans Hornets scouting reports!...

It only took 79 games into an 82-game season, but we as fans finally got what we've desperately wanted (and begged for and demanded and so on) out of George Karl and the Nuggets: a big road win. Even though I contend it should have never come to this, let's give Coach Karl credit where credit is due and applaud this victory.

One of the many things I loved about watching this game - beyond simply getting a Nuggets victory out of it - was that both teams, recognizing the magnitude of the contest, brought the same high level of intensity and effort. So with effort and intensity being a wash (a rarity in a Nuggets game this season), the Nuggets were able to capitalize on the simple fact that they're a more talented team while exposing the Warriors myriad of flaws.

Not wanting to miss a single minute of this game, I got to my dinner location at halftime and watched the second half from the bar with a bunch of fellow NBA fans (including Masha Kirilenko, Andrei's wife - and by the way, yes, her "rule" for Andrei is true, and no, it doesn't apply to her - or at least, not to her with me most unfortunately). Once it became obvious to everyone there that I was a Nuggets fan (I guess me yelling: "GEEZ KARL, YA THINK WE SHOULD BE GIVING J.R. MORE MINUTES?!!!!" about 50 times tipped them off) I can't tell you how many times one of my new found bar mates said something to me like: "I don't get the Nuggets. Look how talented you are. Look at your bench. Look at Carmelo and AI. How the @#$%& are you guys the 8th seed?" Alright, we get it! But while the Nuggets move on to the playoffs, the Warriors are going the way of the 1993-94 Nuggets - darlings of the NBA for pulling off a monumental playoff upset and yet are never to be heard from again. I'm sorry to bring up those memories, but you know it's probably true.

A couple quick observations on the game...

-I'm convinced that Allen Iverson's three-point percentage goes up when he has to make a big three late in the fourth quarter. I don't know if anyone has access to a real stat on this, but it seems to me like he's been making big three's for the Nuggets all season.

-Even though he didn't get to the free throw line once (which better not become a habit), Carmelo Anthony's defensive effort last night might have been his best as a Nugget. I mean, two blocks and five steals. Carmelo?!

-Eduardo Najera shoots 50% from behind the arc when he's newly coiffed.

-J.R. Smith is unguardable when he commits to slashing to the hole. Just ask the Spurs and now Warriors, too. Maybe that guy should get a few more minutes. He's pretty good.

-George Karl doesn't like getting coaching tips from TNT's Craig Sager. You had to love Sager's interview with Karl after the first quarter (when the Nuggets were down by 15) and Sager questioning Karl about the Nuggets suspect defensive strategy. Sager then took it a step further by suggesting a specific change in strategy, and Karl looked completely incensed that someone would ask him such a question. Karl was so befuddled by the question, he didn't even get a chance to ridicule Sager's outfit, something that's become a staple during these in-game coach interviews.

Coach Karl and the Nuggets aren't out of the woods yet. But maybe Masha Kirilenko warmed to me enough that she'll ask Andrei and his Jazz to go easy on us on Saturday night. One can hope.

On a side note: If you get a chance, be sure to read The Denver Post's Mark Kiszla's editorial about Iverson's performance.