Archive for the ‘Nuggets’ Category

Throwdown with Carmelo Anthony

July 22, 2008

Just in time for Team USA’s ramp-up to Beijing, I got around to digging this up out of my photo archives. It’s from a qualifying tournament for FIBA Americas held in Las Vegas in the fall of 2008.

You also gotta see the guy he’s dunking on for Argentina, on the left, with The Moustache. Easily my favorite player for the Argentines, he was straight out of Prefontaine. If you can’t see it on this version, click through to Flickr for higher-res.

Advertisements

Graphical Analysis

April 20, 2008

Hmm… the Nuggets miiight want to adjust their line-up.

And, just a guess, judging from Gasol’s shot chart, but they might also want to shore up their interior defense:

This Seems Familiar

April 20, 2008

One day in and the playoffs are already as good as advertised. Something surprising is how quickly the matchups have settled into familiar patterns. That probably should’ve been expected with so many rematches from last season. But with all the trades and movement this year, I guess we all expected more upheaval.

Instead…

  • The Wiz talk big, then get overpowered by Lebron.
  • Really obvious questions: Why in God’s name would you provoke Lebron? He’s a human bulldozer and you decide to get physical with him?
  • The Suns look positively snake-bit against the Spurs, losing a game they were in position to win.
  • Q: Why not let Steve Nash win the game for you? He hit a huge clutch fade-away three in the second OT, but why didn’t D’Antoni run plays for him at the end of regulation or the first OT? As a Spurs fan, fine by me. Also: When is Amare going to learn to take what the defense gives him? He could’ve sealed the win in the first OT by knocking down a wide open 10-footer, but instead he went flying at the hoop, picked up an offensive foul, and fouled out. Whaaa?
  • Shaq plays terribly on offense, then tries to blame “the floppers.”
  • Q: For a guy who’s relied on the kindness of referees all career, he sure complains a lot, huh?
  • The Mavs face a quicker, less experienced team in the first round, then look completely¬† shell-shocked when the other team gets rolling. Dirk plays like a beast but gets zero help.
  • Q: How many more times will Howard, Terry, and Stackhouse disappear in the post-season? They combined to shoot 9-32. That’s Kenyon-Martin-in-a-big-game-esque.
  • Houston’s not getting out of the first round.
  • Q: This isn’t totally his fault, but when is McGrady going to learn that 20 points on 21 shots isn’t going to cut it.?
  • Denver is also on their way to flaming out again, because they apparently refuse to stop Gasol from dunking. Seriously, he sucks in the post! Just guard him!
  • Q: How many games before they start taking cheap shots and smirking like punks while getting their asses handed to them?

The one thing I didn’t expect: the Sixers are a lot better than I thought. They won’t beat Detroit, but they might give them trouble.

Win or Go Home

April 10, 2008

Tonight’s Warriors-Nuggets game should be a track meet for the ages. The final playoff spot in the most competitive regular-season race in memory (maybe of all time) effectively comes down to tonight.

These teams rank one-two in both possessions and points per game. The Dubs are just a fraction more efficient offensively; the Nugs are markedly more efficient defensively, but plagued by inconsistency. The game’s in Oakland, thankfully, but a 5 p.m. local start could hamper crowd energy early on. Basically, it’s going to be a feather-weight brawl.

Here’s what I’ll be looking for, though, having watched a ton of Warriors games recently: turnovers. The Warriors lead the league in creating turn-overs. Part of that owes to pace, but right now the Warriors force 16 TO’s a game and only give it back 12 times. It’s probably the main thing that keeps their defensive rating mediocre, as opposed to atrocious.

Luckily for the Warriors, the schedule has been a bit kinder this week, and the defensive energy should be up. Their late-March swoon coincided with a brutal schedule that had them play four — four! — back-to-backs in less than three weeks. After beating the Kings two nights ago, Baron told Comcast’s goofy sideline dude that even just a day off between games recharges the body tremendously. It’s a key for a team that rides its starters for nearly 40 minutes a night, every night.

With two teams going tonight who can flat out score, whichever one can shave off just a little of firepower will be sitting on an advantage.

Holy Crap, Kevin Durant

April 6, 2008

I’ve been talking a lot about Kevin Durant lately, and good God, did he put on a show tonight. Look at this shot he hits to send the game to double-OT. That’s from Arenas-range. In particular, check out his reaction…

… that’s right, he just walks toward the other end of the court smiling. It was like watching him at Texas all over again, right down to the irrational exuberance.

In 51 minutes over two overtimes, Durant lit up the Nuggets for 37, 8, and 9, while adding 2 threes and 3 steals — and gave the Warriors new hope for the playoffs. Now if they win out, including beating Denver in Oakland this Thursday, I’m going to some playoff games at Oracle. Thank you, KD.

Here’s a clip with much better resolution if you want to see it again.