NUGGETS CLINCH A SPOT IN THE PLAYOFFS!
Spurred on by a fervid and feverish third quarter, the Nuggets put away the Phoenix Suns and roll to victory. Ty Lawson led the way and was by leaps and bounds the best player today.
Nuggets win 118-107
Your Denver Nuggets led by two points at halftime 60-58. It had all the hallmarks of being a close, down-to-the-wire game. A heart-stopper so to speak. Yet, the Nuggets began the third with a 9-2 run and never looked back, outscoring the Suns 33-22 in the third and led by 21 points at one time. It was, truth be told, the exact opposite of what we've come to expect from the Nuggets this season coming out of halftime. It was nice to see the Nuggets take this game seriously and garner a two game winning streak in Phoenix in the process.
Ty Lawson was just fantastic. He was consistently aggressive all game and looked for his shot. When Ty has that mentality the offensive production of the Nuggets get's sent in to overdrive. Ty was poetry in motion today, and as someone who has been critical at times of his play this season it was great to see him prove me wrong. The essence of Ty's game within the context of George Karl's offense is for him to look for his shot first, then distribute second. Everything else springs from his offensive aggression. It followed suit today as he finished with 29 points (on 10-16 shooting) and 10 assists. Can't say enough about his production today. Well done Ty.
The much maligned (at least on Denver Stiffs) Danilo Gallinari played better in this game than he did the previous three. While his shot is still off (most likely due to his hurt wrist) he contributed an all around good game. It seems when Gallo is doing even marginally better the offense has much better spacing and more gaps for Ty to penetrate through. Gallo finished with 13 points and 4 assists. It wasn't a great game by any means, but when Gallo plays well the offense is just all around better. Hopefully this means he is rounding in to shape in time for the playoffs.
Kenneth Faried was truly the Manimal today. Does 18 points and 13 rebounds do anything for ya? I'm tasking all Denver Stiffs fans to take to twitter (if you have twitter) or email you local representative to push for Manimal to be Rookie of the Year. He seems to be getting better and better as the season has progressed, his only "fault" being he didn't start for the first twenty-something games of the year. While he still has some drawbacks he must work on, it must be said that his impact on the Nuggets is immense. Time to get our Manimal recognized for ROY!
I'm not going to inject any sour with the sweet tonight. The Nuggets did a good job and clinched a spot in the playoffs, no reason to be mopey at all. Even though Andre Miller and Al Harrington had rough games, they each contributed in their own way. Heck, JaVale McGee gave the team solid minutes in his stint on the floor and contributed 11 points in 19 minutes. Arron Afflalo chipped in 19 points and played solid defense on the ageless wonder Steve Nash. I think we get sucked up into the moment when it's negative at times (like the last game) and we should learn to enjoy the good moments a bit more. This was a great all around game for the team, and quite frankly I see nothing wrong with enjoying it.
As a side note: I want the Nuggets to play the Clippers. Badly. After the last game I came away with the feeling that the Clips aren't that great. If that doesn't rev you up, try this article from ESPN on for size. Whatever happens to Blake Griffin, it can be argued that he's brought it on himself. Now that the Nuggets are in the playoffs, it's time for them to GUN for the 6th spot. While the Clippers may not get there, I want them to. It just seems right to face them again.
Great win folks. Enjoy it tonight. The Nuggets work is not done, as they face the Orlando Magic tomorrow night ... time for the Nuggets to put the pedal to the metal and get that 6th spot. So go Bulls right?