Tag:J.R. Smith
Posted on: December 17, 2009 1:55 pm
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Nuggets Blast Off the Rockets

The Nuggets improved to 19-7 after defeating the Rockets 111-101 Wednesday night. Carmelo Anthony scored 38 and posted his fifth straight game with 30+ points. Chauncey Billups had some impressive three pointers and left the game with a hurt groin after scoring 15. J.R. Smith had his most dominating performance of the last five games, scoring 21 and had the sweetest crossover on Shane Battier I've seen since Allen Iverson embarrassed Michael Jordan in the late '90s.

Aaron Brooks continued to improve and scored 23 points including 3 for 6 from three point range. Trevor Ariza scored 18 but looks like a guy who would thrive off of Tracy McGrady's continued presence on the court. McGrady did not score but played 7 minutes. This game was not as close as the score would indicate. Luis Scola was more or less a none factor as Nene shut him down.

Chris Andersen and Kenyon Martin had a dominating stance in the paint and seemed to have a couple of coordinated plays. One play involved a Birdman rebound and slam dunk. The other play looked like sycronized shot blocking. Andersen went up for a block on Carl Landry who pump faked, went up for a dunk and was rejected from behind by K-Mart. Nasty.

The Nuggets play the New Orleans Hornets on Friday and Billups is questionable as a precautionary MRI exam showed a groin strain. The Hornets beat a rising Detroit Pistons. David West had 32 points and 12 rebounds. West and Chris Paul should give the Nuggets a good challenge especially if Billups doesn't play.
Posted on: December 15, 2009 4:15 pm
 

Nuggets Win. Carmelo Wins.

In a post game interview Chris Andersen shrugged off the rivalry between to great players Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant as the Nuggets beat the Thunder last night 102-93. Carmelo scored 31 points, 5 rebounds, and Durant scored 32 points with 10 rebounds for the double-double. Birdman said, "But we won. Melo wins."

The game was pretty one sided in favor of the Nuggets. Aaron Afflalo did a lot of undocumented work on defense guarding Durant even though the stats only show his measely 3 points. The rest of the Denver bench all chipped in big much to the enjoyment of Scott Hastings and Chris Marlowe who were pleased to reach 100 points and 4 tacos for a buck.

Kenyon Martin had 11 rebounds, Nene scored 13 points and 9 rebounds, Birdman had a double-double, and J.R. Smith scored 19. Chauncey Billups had a good game too but it was obvious that the Nuggets felt comfortable dominating the Thunder.

Oklahoma City did keep it close enough to spur Coach George Karl's starters back into the last 2 minutes of the game. Nick Collison did a good job of drawing fouls and scored 14 points. Russell Westbrook provided an allusion of competition scoring 14 points, and James Harden had some good dunks, but it was plain to see that the Thunder need some reenforcements for Kevin Durant. I was surprised that Shaun Livingston didn't play more.  Nenad Krstic was way off last night and Jeff Green seemed clumsy.

Some people believe that Kevin Durant is worthy of MVP consideration, but it was apparent that just about any Joe Shmoe could have put up good numbers with as sloppy as the OKC Thunder did last night. With the Knicks planning on swallowing up all the good free agents next year, it might be difficult to build without going through the NBA draft.
Posted on: December 9, 2009 1:48 am
 

The Nuggets Starters Are Sluggets-Lose to Bobcats

I don't know what sort of grey gloomy cloud has descended on the Nuggets starters but they could barely make a lay-up tonight in an impressive win for the Charlotte Bobcats, 107-95.

Carmelo Anthony's 34 points and 7 rebounds are deceiving because his game looks sloppy. Melo was 12 for 22 and only had one drive in the paint for a dunk that is noteworthy. The Nuggets have been banking on jump shots for two games now and were lucky that Eddie Jordan bailed Denver out of Monday's game in Philadelphia. The 76ers starters had a dominating momentum throughout the 1st half.

Chauncey Billups had 14 and J.R. Smith had 16 points, but this game was terrible. All but three of the Nuggets' players +/- ratings were in the negative Tuesday night. Our point guards were being swallowed up by double-teams and traps which seems to have spread across the league in popularity lately. Congratulations to a superior coaching job by Larry Brown.

This game was all about the Charlotte Bobcats. I don't think the Nuggets played down to their competition, the Bobcats played up to Denvers' elitist indifference. It was frustrating to watch the 18 turnovers Denver provided for Charlotte to easily convert to points.

Gerald Wallace had a HUGE game with 25 points and 16 rebounds for the double-double. Stephen Jackson also had 25 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. It really didn't seem like a commitment to guard these two excellent players by Denver's defense who mostly resorted to fouling.

It is a given that when Kenyon Martin doesn't play the Nuggets suffer on defense, but Joey Graham clearly was out of his element even playing against his own brother Stephen Graham.

Nazr Mohammed looked great tonight with 14 points and 5 rebounds. Nazr seemed to be the better option than fellow center Tyson Chandler who had 1 point and 2 rebounds and only played nearly 14 minutes.

The Nuggets are going to rebound from this BAD loss just like they did after losing to the Timberwolves, but this easily could have been Denver's 17th win, instead the Nuggets are 16-6. Bummer for a severe lack of effort. I don't like to hear excuses about the "emotional" nature of Monday's game against Philly being a reason for indifference.
Posted on: December 4, 2009 1:33 pm
 

Does 18 points on the Heat Elevate the Nuggets?

As I prepared to watch the Denver Nuggets take on the Miami Heat at home, I looked at the facts and decided that it would be a tough game. There couldn't have been a starker contrast to what actually played out?

Aaron Afflalo and J.R. Smith did an outstanding job guarding Dwayne Wade and the rest of the Nuggets helped by double-teaming and trapping. I haven't seen such effective tactics used outside of high school basketball.

The Miami Herald said that the trap has been effective in lowering Wade's shooting percentage, which it has from 57% to 53%. Wade has earned a points per game average of roughly 26, and the Nugs held him to 25.

The only other Heat player in double digits was Michael Beasley with 27.

Furthermore, the Nuggets have established an effective switch on the low post. Kenyon Martin switching to cover forwards, and Carmelo Anthony switching to cover guards.

I expected a lot more out of Quentin Richardson who was in charge of shutting down Carmelo. A couple days earlier Richardson had forced Brandon Roy into 9 of 25 shooting while scoring 20 and grabbing 9 rebounds against the Trail Blazers. Richardson had 3 points last night? Huh?

Why do good wins often lead to stiffling losses? The Nuggets won over the Heat 114-96? Hmm? Does that elevate the Nuggets status? I don't think so.

I think the Nuggets have learned a lot from last season and have grown leaps and bounds (Ty Lawson dunking on 7 footers), but Denver lost to the Timber Wolves last Tuesday. Until bad teams are taken seriously, I personally can't believe that Denver is fully committed to winning a championship.

Chauncey Billups needs to take a look at Dirk Nowitzki during the 2008 NBA playoffs against the Nuggets. Dirk was the only hope for last year's Mavericks and he was renting out entire gymnasiums to work on his jump shot between games?!!

Billups' shot has been bad and it showed that it needed practice last night going 2 for 8 from the field. Come on big shot.

Afflalo, on the other hand, went 10 for 12 from the field and made all his three 3-point attempts. There's a guy who's trying to prove something. Chris Andersen had 10 rebounds, 9 points, showing everyone that the Warriors game wasn't a fluke.

All in all, the Denver team had six players in double digits and K. Mart's jump hook is making him look 5 years younger.

So, the Nuggets are on the cusp, but Denver fans have seen a lot of very good teams under Coach George Karl. This might be the best team Denver has had in ten years.

No resting on laurels, the Nuggets must continue to win every night. The Heat are an example of what the Nuggets do NOT want to be: A very good team playing very mediocre.

Go Nuggets.

Posted on: November 25, 2009 12:21 am
 

The Nuggets get through the Nets.

The Denver Nuggets beat the New Jersey Nets tonight 101-87. The Nets have not won a game yet this season so where's Allen Iverson? Isn't anybody wondering what a duo of "Skip To My Lou" Rafer Alston and Iverson might do together? Chris Douglas-Roberts had everyone asking how he has averaged 27.3 over the previous three games? Not tonight, and now that opponents are game planning against him he shouldn't score more than tonight's 4 points. So, there's room for a point guard! Enter A.I. Look across the river and forget about the New York Knicks.

The Nugs looked great tonight despite their goofy opponents. For example, Nene scored 17 points but was defended by corny corn rowed Josh Boone and rookie Brook Lopez. Nene has been dunking with more power than ever but his ambidextrous hook shot is getting scary.

J.R. Smith looks excited every time he touches the basketball and dropped 13 points without relying heavily on his three point shot having only attempted two.

Carmelo Anthony is excellent and proves to be climbing into new echelons every night. As the point per game leader in the NBA you'd expect to see him driving the lane or making full court triple team lay-ups against teams where he doesn't have to utilize his jump shot. He scored 27 points.

As for Aaron Afflalo, George Karl obviously has acquired a major improvement to Dahtay Jones. Wow, Afflalo scored 15 points and has been averaging a little over eight ppg. His defense has been solid and his three pointer has been as reliable as Linus Kleiza's ever was.

To recap, this Nets team is terrible but put on a clinic tough enough to highlight the Nuggets strengths.

Props to Chris "Birdman" Andersen and Joey Graham and Kenyon Martin for good games without major mentionable stats.

Go Nuggets.
 
 
 
 
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