Their schedule’s been front-loaded this season, there’s no doubt about that. But it’s time for the Denver Nuggets to stop using that as an excuse for not playing to their potential.
Your Denver Nuggets are hovering around .500. It kind of seems like they always are, doesn’t it? They’re not good. They’re not bad. They’re just kind of mediocre. Win one, lose one.
Well, that’s not good enough. In fact in Los Angeles, where the Lakers have performed only slightly less well, it’s considered a disaster. For some reason Nuggets fans have become conditioned to accept it – especially in a season where the team has stressed its tough schedule. Too many road games, too many back-to-backs. The Nuggets, and to a lesser degree the media, have cited these disadvantages as a reason that the team will not begin to emerge as a contender until later in the season. And, if they happen to enter the post-season with their typical low seeding, blame the NBA.
George Karl is that he seems to accept the idea of his team losing. Granted, no coach in the NBA expects to win every game, but their players do not need to share that expectation. Karl consistently communicates the idea that inconsistency is acceptable. It’s not. Perhaps that has been his greatest weakness over his tenure here. He has never demanded the most from his players night in and night out.
The Nuggets head into Minnesota tonight to take on the Timberwolves, another .500 club, in the second road game in a back-to-back. If history is any indication they’ll lose. That’s been the pattern they have followed – not just this season – but in past years as well. It’s what we have come to expect. Worse, it’s what they have come to expect.
George Karl will offer all the predictable comments after the game, too. He will re-emphasize their helplessness and remake the same old tired excuses.
Nuggets fans have stood by their team through season after average season under Karl. It’s time for them to demand more. The Nuggets can start by taking care of business tonight in Minnesota, beating another weak team on the way to elevating above .500. With a win the Nuggets would be 12-11 with their most difficult slate of games behind them.
For the remainder of December the Nuggets will have roughly half their games at home, facing such tough teams as the Spurs, the Lakers and the Clippers. But, in January things will get considerably less difficult. They play at Pepsi Center twelve times in the first month of 2013. If they can get hot now they’ll be in great shape entering February.
That starts by refusing to accept a loss tonight. It starts with George Karl demanding more from his players.
Enough with the excuses. It’s time for the Nuggets to win back to back.