Remember those? Seemed like a relic of a time gone by, where it was one of the staples of George Karl's offense with Corey Brewer, Andre Iguodala, and other Nuggets players getting out ahead of the break. There were times that Denver Nuggets players this season were benched by their previous coach, Brian Shaw and his assistant Lester Conner for leaking out. It seemed like the days of the fast break were gone.
No more. These are your mothers Nuggets. These Nuggets have the ability to both play defense AND run. Proving that it can be done. The Nuggets got a balanced effort, and after gaining control of the game in the first quarter they ran the Minnesota Timberwolves out of the Target Center 100-84...
This is going to upset people who are wanting to continue losing for a better draft pick. This presents a a bit of a quandary and that is perfectly understandable. Nuggets keep winning, chances for high pick diminish. Nuggets play better and in a style they want ... they are likely to rack up some wins (not a tremendous amount though). Truth be told, even if the Nuggets kept Brian Shaw, they would have won some games.
Rather than focusing on the bad, lets talk about the good. The Nuggets won going away despite Ty Lawson scoring 0 points for the entire game. You read that right. Ty continues his frustrating play since the All Star break and it's becoming infuriating to watch. However, the Nuggets positives was an offense that was spread, and played to the strengths of the players on the floor. Which was key. Nuggets spaced the floor and gave their shooters and more importantly Kenneth Faried room to work.
Manimal finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds. Amazing. This was coming off a game where he had 14 points and 14 rebounds. Additionally we saw Danilo Gallinari finish with 16 points 4 rebounds and 3 assists continuing his stellar play since the All-Star break and really demonstrating that he is the leader of this team. Jameer Nelson dominated the second half and made mince meat out of Zach Lavine and Ricky Rubio. He had 12 points and 9 assists.
Will Barton continued his excellent play since being traded to Denver with 17 points. Wilson Chandler played some excellent, hustling defense and ended with a total of 9 points 7 rebounds.
One thing that is clear, Nuggets are having fun and sharing the ball. They swarmed the paint and got rebounds despite being undersized. Outrebounding the Timberwolves 51-43. Amazing.
Nuggets of Wisdom
I'm just enjoying the positive vibes around the team. It's hard for me to describe how utterly negative things had become at Pepsi Center. It was becoming a black hole of despair that players were enveloped by. No one wanted to be there, and I'd wager that would apply to the coach as well.
Who knows what will come of the rest of the season. There's no guarantee they will keep up the winning ways, but it is CLEAR that the players LOVE Melvin Hunt, and quite frankly what's not to love? He is relentlessly positive and one of the best human beings I've ever had the pleasure to meet. I'm happy that he is seeing some initial success.
We shall see if it continues. I'm not placing bets on anything, I'm just happy that it's not the spiraling vortex of ill feeling and negativity. That needed to change. The future is what the future is. Lets let these guys enjoy some wins for the time being and let that future take care of itself.
Have some Kashmir