Thanks to the falling into the pitfall of trusting modern technology I completely missed this first quarter of the Nuggets/Cavs game last night. As it turned out, that was the only competitive portion of the contest. The Nuggets outscored the Cavs in every single quarter and ended up winning a laugher at the Mistake by the Lake.
Melo continued his hot shooting as he has now hit 40-61 shots over his previous three games. 66% is pretty good for a half let alone three full games.
Iverson also continued to shoot well going 9-18, but his impact came through his ability to get into the lane at will against Cleveland’s guards. Thanks to his ability to knife through Cleveland’s D AI had another double digit assist game with 13. He has now posted five double digit assist games in the Nuggets last six games.
Once again the main thing I wanted to see was if the Nuggets would come out strong on defense and play focused throughout the game. I may have missed the first quarter, but jut by looking at the results, I have to believe they approached this game correctly from a mental standpoint.
However, the Cavs were bad enough that they did not provide much of a test.
Next come the reenergized Heat on Tuesday and the Magic on Wednesday. The Nuggets have done well against the Heat and not so well against the Magic. They definitely need to get the Miami game and the Magic game should be winnable as well. Orlando has basically been a .500 team since the end of November.
Other Observations From Game 50:
- The only reason I wanted to write this post was to talk about something that was revealed last night about the Cavs scoreboard. I do not know if they mentioned this on the ESPN broadcast, but the Altitude guys told how the Cavs asked their fans what they wanted to see on the scoreboard. As many scoreboards and displays as there are in arenas, there are still stats and figures that we do not get to see. I do not remember ever seeing player’s shots made and attempted on display or interesting stats like current scoring runs or something of that ilk. The Cavs fans could have asked for something unique. What they asked for was "The Diff." What is "The Diff?" It is the point differential between the two teams. Heaven forbid that the people of Cleveland have to do a little math while they are at the game. Of course, last night when the Nuggets were up 113-76 I bet most Clevelanders needed something to run that calculation for them. Not that there were many folks still at the arena when the Nuggets stretched their lead up to...37 points. Yes northern Ohioans, 113 minus 76 equals 37.
- One of the common questions that people ask about the Nuggets is how Melo and AI are fitting together. Obviously, they are both putting up tremendous scoring numbers, but do they really work that well together or do they just take turns scoring? It seems to me that AI is better off when Melo is hitting his shots than Melo is when AI is filling it up. When Melo has it going he must be double teamed which is easily done as he typically gets the ball on the wing or in the post within 15 or 16 feet from the hoop. He has become very adept as passing out of the double and that sets his teammates up for easier shots. AI on the other hand is more difficult to double because he usually has the ball further from the basket. When he is scoring he is either hitting his jumpers or getting to the rim (or both). AI is a walking mismatch, which is a tremendous advantage for him, but does not provide as much of an advantage for his teammates.
- J.R. Smith shot 6-11 from three point range, but 0-3 from inside the arc. J.R. is now 13-19 from downtown against Cleveland in the two game series this season. Maybe Boston or Detroit should try to get him if he is going to shoot like that against the Cavs.
- How offensively inept were the Cavaliers? LeBron shot 11-23, good for 48%. The rest of the team was 21-70 which amounts to exactly 30%. The only Cav in double figures other than LeBron was Larry Hughes who scored 14 points on 15 shots.
- I spent most of the second and third quarters wondering how much the Cavs could chisel down the Nuggets lead. I figured they would get it down to ten or perhaps eight at some point. The Cavs never drew closer than 15 in the second half.
Once again as I missed the only competitive portion of the game, I just do not have that much to add, but those of you who are tired of reading 2.000 words about a Nuggets game will probably hope for more technical malfunctions in the future.