"Complaining is a pretty common pastime, especially in the social media world. You’ll encounter scant criticism of Altitude, however. The network does such a fine job that even snarky lurkers have little bad to say about it. That’s surprising considering the flogging that Root Sports Rocky Mountain, the network that carries the Rockies games seems to take."
The Oklahoma City Thunder are likely to represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals. They lead the Northwest division by six games over the Denver Nuggets who, at 24-16 have wowed their fans with an impressive six game win streak, clawing past the Portland Trailblazers to settle into second place, behind the Thunder. Denver probably won’t close the gap. The fate of the Nuggets, if all goes as planned, is probably to finish the season positioned just as they are today.
If the Nuggets were to make a run at first place it would take beating the Thunder in their head-to-head match ups. Two of those occur in the coming week – tonight in Oklahoma and on Sunday night in Colorful Colorado.
Most fans of the Blue and Yellow would be pleased if the Nuggets were to split those games, between which a tilt with the woeful Washington Wizards is scheduled. With the Nugs having earned an overtime victory last night, the game tonight is one of many dreaded “back to back” road games Denver faces.
As all NBA fans know, no team wins every game. Certain ones seem to be predetermined losses.
Thanks to their recent success, the Nuggets have earned a hall pass. Nobody would be upset if they were beaten tonight. Everything is lined up perfectly for them to play flat, uninspired basketball as they’ve been known at times to do. They’ll be excused if they do. George Karl will point out in post-game the obvious challenges that they faced and be able to easily explain away their first loss in seven games.
It’s all the more reason why they should win. The Denver Nuggets have a golden opportunity tonight to shock Oklahoma City and send their fans spinning. This is one of those predetermined losses. We’re all expecting it. What a perfect chance to prove us wrong. Imagine the headlines tomorrow. More importantly, imagine the buzz at Pepsi Center on Sunday night. It will be the game of the year. Denver would be in position to narrow their deficit in the division from six games to four in only a matter of days and, in the process, become the talk of the NBA.
Yes, they have a hall pass. They’ve earned it. But wouldn’t it be great if they didn’t use it.
"Sadly, the great promise this circumstance should have offered Nuggets fans is going unfulfilled. Our expectation was that the demise of mighty LA would leave a void that would be filled by our team. Instead, the Nuggets have failed to rise beyond their usual middling status."
(photo AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post)
JJ Barea is only 6'1", but the Minnesota Timberwolves' reserve point guard did not come up short against Denver on Thursday night. He posted 17 clutch points. Rather, it was the home town Nuggets that left their fans wondering how a lesser division team could come into Pepsi Center and deliver a blow to the Blue and Yellow..
For weeks fans have been hearing that January would be Denver's month. After a navigating the NBA's toughest schedule for two months, the Nuggets would get cooking at home and start climbing in the Western Conference rankings. 2013 began with a nice win over the Clippers, winners of 17 straight games coming in, and the hopes of the fans began to swell. Then the Timberwolves came to town and the air escaped from the balloon again.
Thus is the fate of a Nuggets fan. The only thing that can be counted on is that the Nuggets will eventually let you down.
They will have many more impressive wins over the course of this season. They'll have a lot of head-slapping losses, too. We will get up. We will get down. We will get slapped around by our own expectations from this team. In the end, they will be eliminated in the first round, or if we are lucky, the second round of the playoffs...again.
The Lakers era in the Western Conference is waning. But, instead of the Nuggets claiming their rightful place atop the conference - the one that they have been in line for for nearly a decade under George Karl, the likes of the Oklahoma City Thunder and the L.A. Clippers (of all teams) have staked their claim to the throne. Those teams have emerged seemingly out of nowhere over the past few seasons while the Nuggets, a perpetual contender, have failed to take the next step.
Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.
Every pre-season they are considered to be a contender. They are always a popular choice to be a team that rises. But they've been in constant flux and never bad enough to hit the lottery in the draft. The Nuggets are trapped in NBA purgatory and there's little chance of that changing so long as they continue to finish amongst the top eight teams in the conference. They're always just good enough that they can't be counted on.
"The pressure is on the Nuggets now to begin racking up victories and climbing in the Western Conference standings"
"If" only they didn't have to travel so much.
"If" they made more free throws.
"If"just a couple of their 22 three-pointers dropped.
"If" they played better defense.
"If" Ty were playing more aggressively.
"If" JaVale's game matured.
"If" the Nuggets stopped making excuses and decided that they were not going to accept mediocrity, how much better might they be? We may never know. With George Karl the "Ifs" just keep on coming.
His excuses after losses are becoming harder and harder to swallow. There might not be a coach in the NBA as supportive of lackluster effort than he is. Karl's approach is to always leave his team an out. He may be a legendary coach, and Denver's best option right now, but this terrible case of the "Ifs" that he's suffering from is catching - and his team - our team - is infected.
Last night the Nuggets took horrible shooting to a historic new extreme, scoring only one basket from outside the immediate vicinity of the basket. Shot after shot after shot doinked off the rims and sailed into the waiting hands of Blazers defenders.
Somehow the Nuggets stayed in the game, which should be a concern to Portland's coaches, but with 66 points worth of wasted effort from beyond the arc, Denver fell short. The Nuggets remain over .500 despite having played an arduous schedule. They can hold their heads high heading into January when everybody expects things to turn around. If, however, a softer schedule and more nights sleeping in their own beds, is not enough to improve their winning pace - if the "Ifs" continue - it will be time to begin a coaching search.
Karl is an apologist. He must demand more. And Nuggets fans must demand more from him before their expectations conform to his.
Just like everyone else, Nuggets fans needed a diversion last night. Their team didn’t let them down.
"The best team in basketball is winning with George Karl’s trash. For New York, it’s about JR’s upside. He has been New York’s undisputed closer over the past several games, draining sick last-second baskets. The Knicks are 14-4 and Smith is one of their best players. It turns out that he’s a fit."
The Denver Broncos have squirreled away their second AFC West Championship in a row with four games yet to play in the in the 2012 regular season. They're winning almost predictably. It's everything we can ask for, so why are we bored?
(via Sports Grid)
They don't call him "Manimal" for nothin'. Second-year Denver Nugget, Kenneth Faried is a beast on the boards and one the NBA's most exciting shot blockers. His specialty? Tracking shooters down from behind and coming out of nowhere to reject their junk.
He is as fun to watch as any player we have seen around these parts EVER. As many things as the Nuggets have done poorly lately, drafting this guy was certainly not one of them. Hopefully he won't get shipped out like so many other fan favorites.
The Manimal isn't only attracting attention locally. He has been creative a buzz all around the league for his undeniable hustle.
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I never really liked sports until I had a religious conversion when the Broncos lost to the 49ers in that one Super Bowl. Now I'm obsessed with all aspects of the Denver pro sports world. Oh yeah, I hate college football. It's crap. Talk to me on twitter @johnreidydenver