A clearly gassed Denver Nuggets team came to Newark and played well for one half.
If only they did that the whole game. Nuggets go down 115-99.
Weird game. Very weird.
I'm not sure what to say about this game. For the entire first half the Nuggets looked lethargic and unenthusiastic. Like they wanted to be anywhere else but New Jersey (I don't blame them) and Carmelo Anthony carried them. There's only so much Carmelo can do. Melo was hitting a good percentage in the first half while the rest of the team was bricking jumpers and complaining about foul calls.
After allowing the likes of Brook Lopez and Travis Outlaw to go wild on them in the first half, the Nuggets made an extremely valiant comeback in the third quarter and early fourth quarter. However, after shots stopped falling the Nuggets collapsed and you could tell they kinda gave up. Not impressive, and there is no excuse.
Chauncey Billups had an off game after pouring in 27 points last night and until late in the third quarter he had only two points, but increased his scoring to 19 points by the end of the game. Carmelo poured in 37 points 9 rebounds and quite frankly at times seemed like he was the only one playing. Nene added 16 points, but at times seemed completely disinterested in guarding Brook Lopez who finished with 27 points. Denver Stiffs readers' favorite Derrick Favors added 6 points and 6 rebounds.
Overall you can't say anything but the game was disappointing. I was worried that this team would be lethargic and disinterested. What was extra frustrating was you saw some urgency in the third quarter and early fourth quarter. Enough to draw the Nuggets within four points with seven minutes to go. Then, J.R. Smith missed a three pointer. After that the Nuggets only scored 7 points and were outscored by 13 going on to lose 115-99.
Ty Lawson had one of his "lost" games. His drives were not convincing and his speed was quite low. Granted, one can blame the Nuggets recent spate of games on the road as a tired team. Yet, as all of you know, there's no excuses. It's hard to watch a team that looks tired. And they played that way tonight. Chris Andersen sat on a second night of a back to back ... he's now on the same restriction that Kenyon Martin is on (who incidentally played 32 mins tonight). The Nuggets seriously needed some energy tonight.
Nuggets of Wisdom
3-2 road trip. Not too bad. Time for the Nuggets to get back home and double their efforts against two division opponents as Portland and Utah come to town. We all know the Nuggets can and probably will win those games. It's just who these Nuggets are. As much as we want to pile on and say the Nuggets suck we have to understand that the Nuggets have not won a road trip all year and quite frankly I'll take it. I think it's best that we not be prisoners of the moment and move on to the next very winnable games against division opponents.
Just wish they didn't look so tired. That was disappointing.
P.S.: I had a great time at Jakes Food and Spirits with Andrew Feinstein, Renaud Notaro and Denver Stiffs commenter tknuckle. The weather kind of killed the turnout tonight, but I assure you we WILL have another get together soon. Another Stiffs Night Out. It tempered an otherwise greatly dismaying game.