It has been a long time since the Nuggets team gave me a birthday win; of course I've never made a big deal about it, but I'm going to be a little selfish now ... like LeBron James. The last time Denver won on March 19th was in 1986 during the 1985-86 season in Denver against the Detroit Pistons 114-98. I had just turned 4 years-old and was probably still fascinated with crayons and white walls and not aware of Fat Lever and Alex English. Well, today I'm 29 years-old, but you still shouldn't give me a pack of Crayolas and let me near a blank wall.
The particulars ...
Denver: 41-28 (14-21 on the road)
Streak: Lost 1 and 7-3 in last 10 games.
Miami: 47-22 (25-10 at home)
Streak: Won 1 and 4-6 in last 10.
Denver: Raymond Felton (left ankle injury). Ben Hochman Tweeted after the game that Felton's ankle injury just a sprain and X-Rays were negative. Not sure he'll be playing though.
Miami: Udonis Haslem (left foot injury), Zydrunas Ilgauskas (right foot infection) and Dexter Pittman (right knee injury) are all out.
Season Series: Denver leads 1-0. Won in Denver on Jan. 13th 130-102.
Opposition's Take: Peninsula is Mightier
Before use our mat to jump to any conclusions ... the Nuggets are not 1-23 since 1986 on March 19th. In fact, the Nuggets have only played eight times on March 19th since I was born in 1982. Denver's record on my birthday is a less than impressive 2-6, but they did win the day I was born against the Chicago Bulls (130-120) in Denver and against the Pistons as I mentioned above in 1986.
But since 1986, the Nuggets are 0-6 and I'd love to have a reason to celebrate later on tonight. And what better way to celebrate a birthday win than against the Miami Heat? I've always loved the number nine growing up and this is the ninth game the Nuggets will have played on the 19th since '82 ... so I hope they can get a win.
Let's go all Jeff Morton and break this game down with some birthday/celebration tunes! Each song title will be linked to a YouTube video, if there is one, so give them a quick listen if you are not familiar.
Birthday Song - The Beatles
You say it's your birthday? Well, it's my birthday too! If the Nuggets players don't want to dedicate this game to me, then perhaps they can say "Yippie-ki-yay, (shut your mouth)," to the Heat from Bruce Willis - who shares my birthday with me. And if Mr. Willis isn't good enough, then perhaps the Nuggets can have a Fatal Attraction with winning and stomp the Heat for Glenn Close - also a March 19th kid.
Shots - LMFAO Featuring Lil' JonAgainst the Suns, the Nuggets were 7-20 (35%) from three-point land. Against the Pistons, the Nuggets were 18-37 (48.6%) from downtown. Against the Hornets, the Nuggets were 17-29 (58.6%) from beyond-the-arc. Against the Hawks, the Nuggets were 7-14 (50%) from deep. And against the Magic the Nuggets were 6-23 (26.1%) from distance. Point is, Denver likes to jack it up and when they get rolling, they can steam roll teams with their precise shooting, but when they are missing their target, like they were against the Magic, they must figure out different ways to win. The Heat wont have a clue who is going to get hot and they will have a hard time closing out on all the Nuggets shooters. That list of long-bombers includes: Ty Lawson, Arron Afflalo, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Al Harrington and J.R. Smith ... sometimes the shooting gets so contagious that Kenyon Martin will step out and launch one. On the season K-Mart is 2-9 (22%) from the outside. If he takes one against Miami, it should mean the Nuggets are way out in front as his shots are celebratory ones.
Born This Way - Lady Gaga
Some people think that NBA players are born with all the talent and all the natural gifts they possess. LeBron James has a tattoo on his back that proclaims him, "CHOSEN-1" like he was born to ball. The truth, as most of us know, is that the work put in at the gym is the reason these guys are so good. Watching NCAA tournament games on Thursday afternoon, my friend Zach noted that the college game is a beautiful one played with a lot of emotion. But he also noted that the NBA game is one that is so well played and the players are such marksmen that you don't realize just how great they are playing the game. I was shooting threes the past couple days at the gym at the Lifetime Fitness in Parker-Aurora and they have an NBA three-point line. It's been awhile since I've let some rip from that line and ... it's a long way out there. The Nuggets are playing this game with such poetry that us fans have taken notice. Denver is playing basketball the way it is supposed to be played and it has been great to watch. The contrasting styles of the Heat and the Nuggets will be on display tonight.
Party Hard - Andrew W.K.The Nuggets played last night in Orlando against the Magic and lost a close one (horrible flow to that game and awful officiating). The Heat played last night in Atlanta against the Hawks and I'd like to thank the Hawks for rolling over like dogs for the Heat. Miami won 106-85 against Atlanta who should change their name to No-Heart ... that team is gutless. Both teams are going to be a little noodle-legged, but the team that can overcome the travel and find the will and energy to fight through this game is going to come out victorious. Thus far, we haven't really seen this Nuggets team play a bad game on the second of a back-to-back. They fought through the second of a back-to-back in Portland and lost a tough one to the Blazers in overtime 107-106. They gritted out a big win in Utah on the second of a back-to-back against the Jazz 103-101. What will they do tonight?
It's My Party - Lesley GoreYes, it's my party and I will cry if I want to. I could take the easy way out and make a joke about the Miami Heat players and their tear ducts, but I wont. I am just hoping that the tears I will shed will be tears of joy as the Nuggets look to finish this road trip with a huge win against James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade.