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The basket is wide open...come on in!...

When the Cleveland Cavaliers - a team that was collectively shooting 47% from the field before tonight's contest - puts up a 57.3% shooting effort, it can only mean one thing: too many easy baskets.

Ben Wallace had 11 points for chrissakes!

I felt like I was watching two completely different Nuggets teams tonight. The first half Nuggets and the second half Nuggets. The first half Nuggets played within themselves, spread the floor well and controlled the tempo of the game. The second half Nuggets played erratic and sloppy, took bad shots, missed layups and made no effort on defense whatsoever.

This was the Nuggets' first real test with Chauncey Billups at point guard. And while Billups played great, the rest of the team failed the test.

A couple random observations...

...why is it that Assistant Coach Tim Grgrich always yells at the refs more than George Karl does?

...Anderson "Sideshow Bob" Varejo is the worst soccer flopper I've ever seen and I can't believe he conned Joey Crawford into calling a second technical on Kenyon Martin.

...had he not been restrained by Karl, I think K-Mart would have killed - literally, killed - Crawford.

...and even though K-Mart was totally in the wrong for how he behaved after Crawford wrongfully blew the whistle on him, why wasn't Karl all over Crawford in defense of his player? The game was lost anyway and the least Karl could've done was come to his team captain's defense and gotten ejected with him.

...and did anyone besides me notice the three cougars in the stands right behind Karl?

Off to Boston where the Celtics have had two days rest. How's that for a second exam on the road?