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Blazers at Nuggets: The time to change is NOW (7pm MST)

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No more excuses. If the Denver Nuggets are to make anything out of this season, then the time to change things for the better starts today. It's make or break time and it begins with the Portland Trail Blazers at the Pepsi Center.

Note: Marcus Camby rolled his ankle in last nights game against Utah. He may not play in tonight's game. Thanks to runningdonut for the tip.

It's put up or shut up time for the Nuggets. Various reports have Melo coming back for tonights game after attending the funeral of his sister in Baltimore. Who knows how mentally prepared to even PLAY basketball Melo is? Does it matter? We complain about the Melo situation and it's affect on the Nuggets, but when push comes to shove life is what matters, and I hope Melo understands that all Nuggets fans support him in his time of grief.

With that being said it's time for the Nuggets to put up or shut up. No more excuses.

The Portland Trail Blazers come to town with a 16-15 record (miraculously beating the Utah Jazz in Utah last night after losing to Golden State on Christmas) and a list of injuries the size of the Qwest building. Cursed, Bewitched, bad luck; these are all terms that have been used to describe the Blazers the past two seasons. Poor Greg Oden has gone down a second time with a season ending knee injury. At various times Joel Przybilla, Marcus Camby, Brandon Roy and Oden have all been injured this season. Much like the Nuggets they have yet to play a game this season with their entire projected starting lineup.

That being said, they are still a talented group. If it wasn't for Brandon Roy's ticking time bomb knees he would be easily one of the five best players in the Western Conference. Rudy "I want to go back to Spain" Fernandez is a spark plug off the bench, like the Spanish version of J.R. Smith. Andre Miller is a very competent point guard who throws the best alley oop of any guard in the NBA. LaMarcus Aldridge is a good power forward who has the potential of being a great one if he had the correct motivation (remind you of someone?). Couple that with a good, hard nosed coach like Nate McMillan and you have a team that SHOULD have been better than they are. Damn injuries. Brandon Roy may or may not play in tonight's game.

With all that being said, recent reports indicate the Blazers may be entering fire sale mode very soon and Miller's name has been bandied about in the Carmelo Anthony/New Jersey Nets rumors. I can't help but draw a very, very sad parallel to the Nuggets. While the Nuggets wounds are both injuries and self inflicted, both teams are facing the long dark abyss of rebuilding. I can sympathize.

Nuggets of Wisdom

To be perfectly blunt, I'm tired of the damn excuses. Just win the game. That's it. No more leads dwindling in the second and fourth quarters. No more half assed play from our team. I'm sick and tired of it. The problem, as I see it is the Nuggets are wasting tons of talent with dime store heads. They get a lead, they lose it. They pounce on a team ... they have no killer instinct and they let them back in it. No more. I'm sick of it. If the Nuggets can't win tonights game against an average Portland team on the second night of a back-to-back AT HOME then there are some serious problems with this squad that can only be solved with a runningdonut/GoldenNugget special. Break up the whole team, fire the coach and keep only Ty Lawson and Nene. I'm sick of the insipid excuses. The last game against Philadelphia was pathetic.

Now is time for the Nuggets to prove they aren't a weak minded team that's just waiting for Carmelo to be traded. Time for Nene of two weeks ago to return. Chauncey Billups needs to keep playing the way he is. Lawson needs to keep playing the way he has. Hopefully Melo will provide some spark. Kenyon looks refreshed and with more spring, hopefully he gets more minutes. Chris Andersen needs to remember he's the ENERGY guy, not the stumble around lost guy. J.R. needs to shake off the last game of poor shooting and come back with a fire in this game.

Looks like Al Harrington may sit this one out. Time for Shelden Williams to step up and be the Shelden Williams of the first couple weeks.

It's time for the Nuggets to show us what kind of team they are. No excuses.

Side Note: My good buddy Nate informed me that the Nuggets have not lost four in a row since 2007. Let's keep that streak going.

Oppositions Take: Blazersedge