On December 18th, 2012 the Denver Nuggets were playing the San Antonio Spurs in Denver. At the time the Nuggets were 12-11, but were on their way to winning their 13th of the season. That home game was just number eight, and the Nuggets were in a stretch where they played 22 of their first 32 on the road.
All that aside, the Nuggets were in a tight one against the Spurs, but the crowd was lifeless and dull. People sitting on their hands despite several high flying alley oops and exciting plays. As Danilo Gallinari nailed two clutch three point shots to seal the victory for the Nuggets at the end, Gallo was seen BEGGING the crowd to participate. Be enthusiastic. Participate in any way. Highlights below:
It seemed strange that a team that was on the verge of winning 57 games would have such dull, lifeless crowds. The fans are there, but it sounded at times like a morgue. When Pepsi Center is ROCKIN' like that time when Chauncey hit 8 three's versus the New Orleans Hornets in the 2009 1st Round
It's one of those things that's exceedingly frustrating. Even when the Nuggets have been great at home (unlike the last 2 seasons) the home crowds, particularly during the regular season, have been (for lack of better word) dead. While one cannot expect the Nuggets fans, especially a rebuilding team, to come out in large numbers (last game couldn't have drawn over 7,000 in attendance) when the Nuggets are needing enthusiasm and a pick up from the crowd ... it's just not there. People sit on their hands and look at their cell phones.
Truth be told, the listless crowds are a factor in the Nuggets recent struggles at home.
It's hard to say "Go spend money on a product that may not be good". Particularly when things are expensive. My complaint is about the people who go, and seem to not cheer. There are many good fans who reached out to me after seeing my complaints on twitter and in the comment section here to tell me of their own experiences at Pepsi Center. Each experience was vastly different from the other.
There are many reasons why things are the way they are in Denver and I'm sure there are arenas in other NBA cities that have similar complaints.
In the grand scheme of things, there is a circular argument going on. Will the Nuggets improved play increase fan participation at Pepsi Center, or will increased fan participation help spur the Nuggets on to more victories? I don't know. The Nuggets can only control themselves, and quite frankly the last two seasons haven't given people much to cheer about ... but at the same time maybe there was some close games the Nuggets had where an enthusiastic crowd would have helped.
All in all, it would be nice to hear some noise at some home games. Emmanuel Mudiay should be giving people some hope for the future and maybe, just maybe we have that glimmer.
All we know is the Nuggets NEED their home court advantage back. It starts today.