The Denver Nuggets’ Sunday-night loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves left observers wondering whether the Nuggets take it easy against the weak teams and whether Denver has the mettle to hang with the NBA’s big dogs. Last night’s 135-107 shellacking of the Golden State Warriors at the Pepsi Center doesn’t go a long way in settling my concerns, but it does feel good.
Carmelo Anthony shined again, putting up 25 points and remaining the only player in the NBA to score at least 20 points in every game, notes The Associated Press. Chauncey Billups added 22 for Denver, along with Nene’s 18 and Chris “Birdman” Andersen’s 14.
The problem is that the Nuggets can’t win over the long term if they try to outscore opponents every night and not play any meaningful defense. The Denver Post disagrees, saying the Nuggets were finally able to clamp down on a team defensively after putting up a big lead in the first half, pointing out that Andersen had five blocked shots.
Denver Stiffs loves the way the Nuggets played but points out that the up-and-down games—big leads in the first half that dwindle in the second—will only feed the fire of doubters. We all enjoy a Nuggets win, but a more consistent defensive team is the only way we’ll have a chance to see them in the NBA Finals next year.