Finding the "D" in Denver…
What in the world is going on with the Denver Nuggets?
This team is an absolute abomination right now.
They don’t play any defense.
They don’t run any offense.
And to be honest, they don’t seem to be putting forth any effort either.
The Nuggets best player, try as he might, coughed up 9 turnovers.
They just are not going to win basketball games like that.
The inclination of many has been to blame the Nuggets woes on the fact that Coach George Karl is not there to lead his team. However, I think it’s bigger than that. Don’t get me wrong. I understand that taking a coach away from a team can have an ill effect on a basketball squad, but that’s not what is going on with the Denver Nuggets. After all, this team did win Game 1, and they looked alright doing it. So you explain to me what happened between Game 1 and Game 2 that made the Nuggets the subject of three-straight butt whippings?
It really comes down to two things. The first reason being that Chauncey Billups just does not have a chance against Deron Williams—or at least that’s what it looks like. Going into this series, I made the mistake of saying that Billups could actually knock Williams off his game with some of his veteran savvy. But that’s not happening. Instead, Williams is taking the Billups to proverbial woodshed, and on the flip side of the ball, Billups has been a virtual non-factor since the Nuggets won Game 1. Barring something magical, that aspect of this series will not be changed.
The second, and most influential, reason for the Nuggets sudden fall from grace is a pure lack of defense. Denver is scoring. Sure, they are leaning way too much on the back of Carmelo Anthony, and J.R. Smith’s struggles are not helping, but the Nuggets have scored 93 points or more in every game of the series, and only went below 100 points in Game 3. The Nuggets cannot get stops. They can’t get stops in the half court game. They cannot get stops in the full-court game. They can’t get stops during timeouts.
If I were a Denver Nuggets fan, I’d be just about ready to get rid of my eyeballs if I had to watch another Utah cutter run unimpeded to the rim. If I had to witness Billups or Melo get ran off another screen, I would pull out all of my hair. And if Carlos Boozer comes through the lane and dunks on my team one more time, I would seriously have to stick my wallet in my mouth to prevent myself from grinding all of my teeth into dust.
Sorry, Nuggets fans, but you all have it rough. You saw your team reach its greatest heights last season, and in 2010, you’re witnessing one of its greatest falls. From season-long #2 seed to possibly a 5-game first round exit, the Nuggets have regressed like a statistical plotting of Charles Barkley’s weight and the number of curse words said on television over the years.
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