The Night the Nuggets Got Their Defense Back

December 2009
The Denver Nuggets are finding ways to dominate their opponents this year, and last night it was the Miami Heat's turn to feel the wrath. The Heat never play well in Denver, and last night was no exception, as they got slapped down 114-96 on national television. The Nuggets decided to finally play tough defense and held Miami to just 42.7 percent shooting, a statistic Nuggets guard Chauncey Billups tells The Denver Post comes from the team taking pride in defending its home floor. It helps that Chris "Birdman" Andersen returned to the ball-hawking ways that earned him a hefty pay increase over the summer, blocking three shots, netting nine points, and grabbing 10 rebounds in just 28 minutes of play. Even J.R. Smith, known for his crazy circus shots more than anything else, put in a fantastic effort on the defensive end and held superstar Dwyane Wade to just 2-10 shooting from the field. Wade, the reigning NBA scoring leader, still racked up a game-high 25 points. NBA.com points out that the Nuggets own the Heat whenever the game is played in Denver. In fact, the Nuggets rarely lose to the Heat anywhere. The teams split four games from 2003-05, but the Nuggets took the next six until Miami won a game at home last month. The Nuggets made up for the loss last night, with Denver coach George Karl saying the Nuggets wanted to make the Heat feel like the Nuggets did after the loss in Miami. Carmelo Anthony was able to preserve his remarkable streak of scoring at least 20 points in every game this season, finishing with 22.