Post-game wisdom from a stupid Stiff:
This may not be the year to watch your Denver Nuggets from your place of work. A scant few minutes into tonight's game against the Utah Jazz, the Nuggets found themselves down 17-3. Still sitting at my desk, with the game on my screen, I may have said FUDGE loud enough to have some company drop by. Not the best impression for my co-workers. Fudging Nuggets.
It didn't get better through a the bulk of the evening, as aside from a few sparse moments of inspired play, Denver went down meekly to the 20-38 Utah Jazz (who have been playing decent ball of late, but STILL). The fight, air, and heart of this Nuggets squad have disappeared, and unless they can find some or all of those elements again, it will be a long 24 games over the next 47 days.
After their early 14-point deficit, Denver kept the rest of the first quarter respectable, and still went into the second frame down by 11. Another five point difference in the second quarter made it 16 at the half, and the Nuggets almost put up a fight at the beginning of the third quarter before disappearing again and adding another 11 to that deficit - which made it a 27-point game going into the 4th. From there, both teams decided to coast, and Denver could still only make up five points to finish out the game with a 104-82 loss.
To the positive, newcomer Will Barton had his second solid game in a row, possibly because he's not been in town long enough to have the spirit drained from his body. Barton put up 22 points to be one of three Nuggets on the plus side of the plus/minus category tonight.
Also to the positive... well... honestly there wasn't a ton. Danilo Gallinari and Kenneth Faried both got to double-digit scoring, with 13 and 12 respectively, and those were the only double-digit totals of the evening, aside from minutes totals for the team. Ty Lawson had eight points and six assists in his 32 minutes, and the team shooting percentages for the night were 33% from the floor, 25% from beyond the arc, and 62% from the free-throw line. A forgettable night. Or maybe a night I'd just rather forget.
Sunday night, New Orleans comes to town, and Denver had better bring a better game to the floor if they hope to not make it 10 home games lost in a row. TEN! Denver last lost 10 in a row at home in the 1997-98 season. They actually lost 11 in a row that year, and this year's team is perilously close to that unless they can steal one from the Pelicans or Bucks in the next few days.
Did you see anything worth talking about tonight, Nuggets Nation? Are we going to make it through this last couple dozen?