Almost three weeks removed since Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups were traded to the New York Knicks, it seems like a large group of the press (and an Owner) seem to like what's going on here in Denver.
Going the keep the editorializing to a minimum today. Great win for the Nuggets last night, breaking the "curse" of Phoenix that has lasted since 2004. In what was a total team effort the Nuggets played lockdown defense, forced Steve Nash into ridiculous turnovers and the entire starting five (as Andy said) produced big time.
It seems the National Media (outside of the TV side of ESPN and TNT which DROPPED the Nuggets game last night because of lack of "star" power) has latched on to this underdog team. Last week I asked Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld why the Nuggets weren't getting more run in the National press, and he said if the team makes a deep playoff run the entire country will be cheering for us. That is probably the wisest thing the teenager has ever said. It is true that the Nuggets are being embraced as the antidote for the big market, superstar filled, headline grabbing teams that people are being turned off by now.
I'm willing to take that and run with it. GOOOOOOOOOOOO NUGGETS!! Great win last night.
On with the links!
Defiant in Denver - Lee Jenkins, SI.com
A great article in Sports Illustrated about George Karl and the remaining Nuggets. This is one of those "us against the world articles with a fantastic message from Karl about the proclamations that the Nuggets were "finished" without a superstar. Great stuff.
NBA at 2: Most Underrated Coach? - Bill Ingram, Hoopsworld.com
Bill Ingram from Hoopsworld talks about Karl and how he's an underrated, even ALL-TIME coach even though he has no title. Interesting.
Woody's Mailbag: Nuggets-Lakers could be Denver's best bet - Woody Paige, Denver Post
Woody Paige talks about the Nuggets chances for the playoffs, as well as all those pesky "leaks" that came out while the whole Melodrama was going on.
Karl exuberant about continuing to coach the Nuggets - Benjamin Hochman, Denver Post
Another Karl article. He's happy to be continuing to coach the Denver Nuggets. Good for him.
Nuggets end losing streak in Phoenix, beat Suns 116-97 - Chris Dempsey, Denver Post
More recap from Chris Dempsey for Denver's BIG win in Phoenix over the Suns. BIG WIN
Mark Cuban: Nuggets better minus Melo - Tim MacMahon, ESPN.com
Andy's boy Mark Cuban pays a great compliment to the Nuggets before the Mavericks played the Knicks last night. Says the Nuggets are better now.
Emperor Riley lords over everything in Miami - Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo Sports
Now that Adrian Wojnarowski doesn't have to constantly write about Carmelo Anthony, he turns his editorial knife to his favorite whipping boy's the Miami Heat.
Kobe Bryant hits court for shooting session after Lakers loss to Heat - Dave McMenamin, ESPN.com
In a truly surreal scene after the Lakers lost to the Heat, Kobe Bryant took an hour long shooting session/workout on the Heat's floor. Strange cat, that Black Mamba.
How Deron Williams could have become a Knick - Sam Amick, NBA Confidential
In an interesting side note to the Melodrama, we find out that the Jazz were just waiting to call the "loser" of the Melo sweepstakes to swoop in and make an offer to trade Deron Williams. A fascinating post script.
One last note. Please keep the people of Japan in your thoughts, as well as the people of the south Pacific. The earthquake that hit Japan is a tragedy beyond comprehension. I hate starting the morning with such sad news, but please keep these poor people in mind. Such a horrific tragedy puts everything into perspective.