I apologize for the tardiness of this recap, but I found myself at an unavoidable commitment tonight that had me tied up until now. The good news is that I got to watch the most thrilling Nuggets game of the young 2012-13 season among 50-plus Nuggets fans at a crowded downtown Denver bar. Given that I typically watch games at home alone on the couch, it was fun to be on the pulse (so to speak) of everyday Denverites who clearly love this team. To put it mildly, the bar was boisterous as the Nuggets marched to victory through two grueling overtimes (amazing considering it was their fourth game in five nights, and they played late into the evening on Friday).
With four straight victories under their belt - and a fourth win in five days - dare I suggest that these Nuggets are on to something even greater?
But just as I cautioned about us (the fans) not getting too far ahead of ourselves after the Nuggets' disappointing 0-3 start, let's not get too excited about their climb to 4-3 after seven games. That said, we can at least savor this one for a few days.
Watching the game, you couldn't help but be thrilled for Nuggets' small forward Danilo Gallinari. The young, 6'10" Italian was shooting like Nikoloz Tskitishvili through the first five-and-a-half games of the season (Gallo missed the opener due to his shaky ankle) and it was great to see him deliver a pair of clutch shots to wrap up regulation plus the first overtime-closing dunk and five points in the second overtime's final 36 seconds. I know my colleague Jeff Morton - an ardent Gallo supporter - is smiling widely right now.
Beyond Gallo, there are kudos to go all around for the Nuggets' double overtime victory in Oakland. "The Manimal" Kenneth Faried pulled down 17 rebounds - 9 offensive! - to go along with 18 points and 3 blocks, and he made David Lee and Carl Landry earn their 17 combined rebounds. New Nugget Andre Iguodala almost pulled off a triple double (he was 2 assists shy) while playing stingy defense against both Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry. And Andre Miller - showing once again why Nuggets head coach George Karl will always overplay him - was a rock of consistency for both overtimes.
Overcoming a tough schedule and being 4-3, I think it's safe to say that the Nuggets are back to being the Nuggets we thought they could be.
Non-Stiffs of the Game
-Danilo Gallinari and Kenneth Faried: It's hard to exclude Iguodala here, but Gallo was the one who brought the victory to Denver with his clutch shooting down the stretch. We have to give Gallo credit - given how poorly he had been shooting - for even being willing to take those shots, nevermind make them, too. And "The Manimal" set the rebounding tone for Denver from the outset, guiding the Nuggets to a 65-54 rebounding advantage.
Stiff of the Game
-Richard Jefferson: Usually when I call out a guy before a game for being a Stiff, they smoke the Nuggets. Not so with Jefferson who lived up to his billing and connected on just 1 of his 6 field goal attempts off the bench.
The naysayers might write off these four straight wins by pointing out that the Nuggets haven't beaten anyone of substance. But I think defeating the Rockets on the road as the second of a back-to-back combined with taking down young, feisty Jazz and Warriors squads back-to-back just a day later is pretty impressive.
|Final - 11.10.2012||1||2||3||4||OT 1||OT 2||Total|
|Golden State Warriors||13||26||20||27||8||7||101|