Denver continues down what is looking more and more like the road to ruin as they visit the Nets tonight in New Jersey. Here is why it is time to panic.
Golden State has 15 games left. Let’s say that Golden State finishes the season 8-7, which would be much worse than you would expect given what they have accomplished to this point. Their record would be 50-32. For the Nuggets to get to 50-32, they would have to finish the season 10-4 just to catch the Warriors. With eight road games left, does this look like a team that could win 10 of 14?
If they are waiting to go on a late season run to reach the playoffs, the time has come to trigger said run.
Getting back to the task at hand, the Nets remain every bit as inconsistent as they were with Jason Kidd in town. They are playing decent ball at home as they bring a 6-2 record into tonight’s imbroglio at the unfortunately named IZOD Center since the Kidd trade. The two losses came against Orlando and San Antonio while they have defeated Utah and Cleveland. They are in a playoff battle of their own, albeit a rather sad one, and they will be looking to keep the Nuggets winless on this road trip.
At this point in the season I am not going to repeat yet again what we all know the Nuggets need to do to win this game, but I will say if Denver dose not show a significant improvement on defense in both effort and execution, they will undoubtedly lose and be well on their way to ending this five game road trip without a win effectively removing themselves from the playoff conversation. I would like to apologize to anyone who actually understands the English language for that excessively long sentence.
From a matchup standpoint Denver is in trouble even if they do play hard on defense. Devin Harris is an incredibly quick point guard and he seems to have fit in pretty well with his new teammates. Most likely AI is going to have to guard him because putting AI on Vince Carter would be asking for a 45 point game. Look for Harris to spend most of the night in the paint.
Melo will be on Richard Jefferson (how is Jefferson only averaging 4.2 boards a game?) who will get as many open looks as he wants tonight as Melo continues to lose interest in playing D as soon as the shot clock drops below 20, or maybe it is 22 I am not sure.
Camby, who is in danger of getting a scathing post written about him with an ETA of Monday, and Kenyon have to match the energy of young bangers Josh Boone and Shawn Williams.
Denver has yet to prove that they care enough to be in the playoffs as they have been out worked by a wide margin in both games of this road trip. If they cannot answer the bell for this game, then I will write something highly unflattering about them later tonight.