Enver Nuggets

04.06.08 10 years ago 48 Comments
IMAGE DESCRIPTIONHe needed to score 51 (photo. Mannion)

Would it surprise you to learn that the Nuggets lost a must-win game at home to an inferior (and injury-plagued) team with nothing to play for? Maybe. Would it surprise you to learn Denver lost that game because they couldn’t guard anyone? Of course not. Even with Carmelo dropping 47 points on the Kings, the porous Nuggets defense gave away one of those games you’re supposed to win when you’re trying to lock up a playoff spot. Without the suspended Kenyon Martin around, guys like Mikki Moore (23 pts) were getting buckets; one telling moment came when Moore caught a pass on a fast break, and as he went in for the layup, ‘Melo tried to stop him by reaching out flat-footed to grab the ball and ended up just lightly pushing Mikki, not doing anything to affect the shot … Allen Iverson post-game: “There’s no reason for this team to come in here and beat us on our own floor, as good as we were playing on this floor. They were playing without their two best players. No reason for it. It’s unacceptable.” Two best players? Iverson was talking about Ron Artest and Brad Miller sitting out with injuries, but it was Kevin Martin out there dropping 36 on the Nuggets. We have to wonder if Young K-Mart will take that as an insult … Pro ball aside, Saturday was all about the Final Four. Memphis proved to be too strong in the backcourt for UCLA, as the Bruins guards couldn’t stop Derrick Rose (25 pts, 9 rebs) or Chris Douglas-Roberts (28 pts). The Tigers dominated the glass and seemed to be getting 2-3 opportunities on every possession down the stretch, while UCLA couldn’t hit an outside jumper to save their life … In the other national semifinal, Kansas looked like they were gonna destroy North Carolina for most of the first half, taking it right to a team that looked overwhelmed and unprepared. UNC fought back in the second half behind some ballsy shots by Wayne Ellington (18 pts) and tough interior buckets by Tyler Hansbrough (17 pts, 9 rebs), cutting the lead to four at one point, but KU got their act together and pulled away down the stretch. Brandon Rush scored 25 in the win … Both Kevin Love (12 pts, 9 rebs) and Hansbrough hurt their pro stock yesterday. Love’s lack of athleticism became very apparent against guys like Joey Dorsey (15 rebs, 0 pts) and Shawn Taggart, and Hansbrough was often getting bullied against the Jayhawks’ rotation of bigs. On the first three possessions of the game, Psycho T got scored on easily twice and turned the ball over once. Other times when UNC was trying to come back he forced shots that led to turnovers or had no chance … But no pro prospect had a worse day than Darren Collison. His 2-point, 5-turnover, 1-for-9 foul-out was enough to probably send him back to UCLA for another year … On the flip side, we’re totally convinced that Kansas frosh Cole Aldrich (8 pts, 7 rebs) will be a BEAST on the college scene next year … Will every NBA GM who watches Boston, Utah, Detroit and Houston during the playoffs please pay special attention to guys like Leon Powe, Paul Millsap, Jason Maxiell and Carl Landry? And remember what you saw when it comes time to draft and you’ve got someone like Joey Dorsey still on the board … Not taking anything away from Memphis, but Kansas looked so solid and well-coached yesterday that we’d imagine they’ll be the favorites going into Monday’s championship game … The Cavs have to be freaking out right now. LeBron‘s back spasms made him a non-factor in the fourth quarter against Chicago the other night, and yesterday the back spasms were an issue in the loss to Orlando. ‘Bron had a few plays where he got above the rim or blew past everyone like usual, but for the most part just wasn’t as explosive as he typically is, and was getting treatment whenever he wasn’t on the court. LeBron went 6-for-22 from the floor and had 17 points, while the Magic went on a big fourth-quarter run that put the game away. And this was without much offensive contribution from Dwight Howard, who only had 4 points with his 12 rebounds … Is any Eastern Conference playoff team worried about the Raptors anymore? Toronto has gone 4-11 in its last 15, losing its third game in a row last night when they went into national enemy Vince Carter‘s house and took 32 points from a hobbled VC, who’s playing on a bad ankle. Chris Bosh (18 pts, 10 rebs, 6 asts) and Rasho (22 pts, 14 rebs, 3 blks) dominated Jersey’s front line of Josh Boone, Nenad Krstic, Stromile Swift and Sean Williams, but Vince — who also had 7 boards, 5 dimes and 2 steals — took over in the fourth quarter of a close game. It seems every team’s two-guard has been giving Anthony Parker the business lately, and yesterday was no different. One play in the fourth saw Vince drive on Parker, spin past him in the lane and drop in a lefty finger roll over Rasho … Giving KG, Pierce and Ray the night off, Doc Rivers rolled out a starting five of Rajon Rondo, Tony Allen, James Posey, Leon Powe and Kendrick Perkins against the Bobcats, and those guys still managed a blowout win. NBA TV’s Alaa Abdelnaby said the Celtics shouldn’t rest all three of the Big Three at the same time, instead resting one or two at a time. He cited last year’s Mavs, who rested their main guys going into the Golden State series. There really is no definite way to go about it, though. Some teams are better served getting some rest before the playoffs, while others need to maintain their rhythm. If Doc didn’t rest Garnett, Pierce and Ray, and Boston ended up losing earlier than expected, everyone would blame him for wearing his guys out unnecessarily … We caught Jeff Van Gundy being interviewed on ESPN Radio by Patrick McEnroe (John’s brother and actually not a bad interviewer). Asked what the chances are that he’ll be a head coach somewhere next year, Van Gundy adamantly said “Zero” with no hesitation. He insisted the timing just isn’t right for him; that he wants to coach again, just not right now. McEnroe then asked JVG that if Donnie Walsh were to call, would he pick up the phone? Van Gundy said the Knicks were an exception. He treats them differently than the other 29 teams … We’re out like the Big Three …

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