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Better late than never...

Nuggets/Mavericks Game 2 Recap...

(Photo courtesy of Denver Stiffs reader Mordecai Senior)

Seven games into this winning playoff games thing that us Nuggets fans still haven't quite gotten used to, I find myself asking the same question over and over again as these games progress...

"Is this it? Is this where it starts?"

The "it" I'm referring to, of course, is the Nuggets nightly run that usually comes midway through the third quarter of these home playoff games. But tonight, it came a bit later than usual.

Better late than never.

Entering the fourth quarter tonight, the Nuggets were only up three and the Mavericks were admirably holding their own considering Josh Howard had been lost for the night. A few minutes later, the Nuggets were up 17 thanks to an unrelenting 16-2 run. Neither the Mavericks nor the Pepsi Center crowd knew what hit them.

"Ah," I thought about five minutes into the game's final stanza and was finally able to relax a bit. "This is it."

These Nuggets can be that good that fast. In fact, they currently possess the biggest margin of victory in NBA history through seven playoff games (padded, of course, by beating the Hornets by a record-tying 58 points). And after tonight's victory, the Nuggets are an astounding 51-3 this season - including playoffs - when leading entering the fourth quarter.

The only downside (besides Carmelo Anthony chucking eight three-pointers and only making one...ok, I had to say it) is that the Nuggets have to wait until Saturday to rev up this smooth-running machine again. This ridiculous three full days break can only favor the Mavericks, who were clearly winded in the fourth quarter and desperately need Howard to get his ankles back in shape. Game 3 - which should be played on Thursday, or Friday at the very latest, can't get here soon enough.

But don't worry, fellow Stiffs, I'll do my best to keep the blog active as we count down the days to Saturday.

Congratulations to George Karl and the Nuggets players on another fine, well earned victory.

Nuggets/Mavericks Game 2 Preview...

(Photo courtesy of Denver Stiffs reader Mordecai)

Entering tonight's critical Game 2 at Pepsi Center, the Dallas Mavericks star center has already conceded that his Mavericks can't compete with the Nuggets physically.

"I don't think we can play as physical as them. We don't have the personality for it," so said Dirk Nowitzki after Monday's dismantling of his Mavericks by our Nuggets.

Um...even if that's true (which it is), do you really want your star player saying it publicly? Have the Nuggets already won the mental edge of this series? To be determined after tonight, I suppose.

Since the Nuggets don't usually last this long into the postseason, I'm not used to watching every playoff game while thinking "how would the Nuggets matchup against these guys?" But after watching both the Magic and the Rockets kick around the Celtics and the Lakers, respectively, last night, it's become clearer and clearer that this mean/physical version of the Nuggets can contend with anyone. Remember when we started redefining what "Nuggets Basketball" meant after Game 1 of the Hornets series? Another beat down tonight, and the redefinition might be complete.

But we're still only one game into this new venture (read: winning meaningful playoff games in the second round) for the Nuggets and their fans, and there's no reason to count the Mavericks out yet. As pointed out in the Game 1 recap for the Nuggets, this Mavericks team is still loaded with NBA Finals and postseason experience, and they've been through worse things than losing a Game 1 on the road that they were supposed to lose anyway.

That being said, Denver Stiffs is looking for the Nuggets to keep their home court dominance alive tonight in front of another loud, sellout crowd.