Nuggets prevail over the Dallas Mavericks 104 – 96. Good times were had by all.

Daaaaaaaance the night away! Dance, dance, dance the night away…


The night started off with the curious (in my mind) decision by Rick Carlisle to sit Jason Kidd as well as continue to rest Tyson Chandler. This is curious only because the Mavs started out so poorly. Dirk only had six shots. Throughout the game I kept wondering why Carlisle would sit Kidd in an ostensibly important game. I dismissed the thought as ridiculous midway through the third quarter when the Nuggets nearly gave away a 16 point lead with bad possessions and sloppy defense.

Still…it makes you wonder.

As for the game itself, the Nuggets controlled pretty much from the start of the first quarter on. They dictated pace, energy, style of play and could basically get any shot they wanted through the first three and a half quarters. There are a few players I'd like to highlight for this recap.

J.R. Smith – J.R. made a curious comment after the game about being frustrated over his playing time against the Oklahoma City Thunder. A shot across the bow to George Karl perhaps? Regardless, J.R. played exceptionally well. So well in fact he was undoubtedly the game’s MVP, finishing with 23 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists. Including a spurt where had seven straight points to break a 94 all tie with three minutes to go. J.R. played well and within himself, if that’s how he plays when he’s frustrated then count me as bein all for it.

Kenyon Martin – Kmart is the man. Seriously. Everyone knows that I think he's invaluable to this Nuggets team. Not only did Kmart chip in 18 points and 6 rebounds he ALSO coordinated the defense very well in the fourth quarter and he played the entire first quarter into the second. We haven't seen Kmart do that in over a year. Now – I admit it was a little scary when he was rubbing his knees, but he came back in and played very well coming down the stretch. This team needs Kenyon's intensity, and I wish that there were some other players on this team who would be that intense and in your face. Kmart can "regulate" with the best of them and he's a true G-Funk playa yall!

Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari – Both Gallo and Ill-Will played very well. Chandler broke out of a recent shooting slump with 16 points and along with Gallinari played adequate defense on Dirk Nowitzki. There's only so much you can do against Dirk so there's not much to say there. Gallo continued to play within the team. Gallinari and Arron Afflalo seem to be the ultimate team players. People who will do the little things in order to make the big things happen. Gallo finished with 10 points but did what he needed to do to help the team. Both Ill-Will and Gallo had great "team" games.

Meanwhile, both Nene and Al Harrington had what I would call so-so games. Yes, Nene finished with 15 rebounds and Big Al had 10 points but both players reverted to bad habits. Nene was getting pushed around and never really seemed to step up his game the whole night. Big Al was forced to play center in George Karl's midget lineup (more on this later) at the start of the fourth quarter but still was a sieve on defense and clanked a number of shots. Yes, he did have some big threes but I really believe his defense left something to be desired.

Overall, the Nuggets can claim victory because either they were better prepared than the Mavs and just out executed them, OR the Mavs didn't care about the game as much as the Nuggets. Who knows? I think the Nuggets would have won anyway because they match up well with the Mavs but there's that sneaking feeling in the back of my mind that something was amiss in this game.

Nuggets of Wisdom

Somewhere at the beginning of the fourth quarter, for the second straight game, George Karl inserted a lineup that wasn’t just small-ball – it was midget ball, with Al Harrington being forced into playing center. Aside from being a patently ridiculous lineup it … well … for some reason it worked tonight. However, what was ok against a short handed Mavs team clearly won’t work against a team a full strength (Thunder). I thought that lineup was the point where the Nuggets lost the game against the Thunder. They never regained traction because they were being outrebounded at the point of attack by Serge Ibaka and they couldn’t stop anyone. It just didn’t work.

Rather than imploring George Karl to stop this, I will say that you win and lose by what lineup you put on the court. Sometimes even fans can tell when something doesn't work. We had a good win tonight, but I hope that in the future we won't be seeing a lineup featuring Raymond Felton, Big Al, Ill-Will, J.R. and Ty any where the lineup on the court can lose us a game.

Good win Nuggets fans. You can dance the night away tonight and get ready for a much anticipated rematch with the OKC Thunder on Friday night. Can't wait.

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