The Denver Nuggets gave basketball fans something to be thankful for on the last day of the Thanksgiving weekend. Too bad it wasn’t their own fans.
The Nuggets dropped a stunner to the Minnesota Timberwolves last night at the Pepsi Center, falling 106-100 to a team that hadn’t won its previous 15 games. Ryan Gomes of the Timberwolves exploded for 27 points to help lead his team to victory, while Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony put in 32 points of his own (via The Associated Press).
Watching the game from inside the Pepsi Center, I couldn’t help but think the Nuggets overlooked a vastly inferior squad. Denver opened on fire, hanging 40 points on the Timberwolves in the first quarter, with Melo putting up 19. It looked like it would be another blowout, but then the Nuggets went to sleep. The Denver Stiffs agrees, writing that the Nuggets have “a nasty habit of waltzing through games against lesser competition,” adding that the defeat was unacceptable, a point most astute basketball fans won’t quibble with.
A look at the league standings at NBA.com shows the loss puts the Nuggets at the four-seed in the Western Conference, two wins behind the Phoenix Suns. Now, it’s much too early to worry about the Nuggets falling short, but a loss this bad in late November could portend a team that will struggle to compete at the highest level. Dave Krieger of The Denver Post takes a somewhat more optimistic view, writing that the loss could serve as a slap in the face and force the Nuggets to work on their defense.