Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Must Win For Denver?

The Nuggets, fresh of their 168-point performance against the hapless Sonics, are heading to the Motor City to play the Pistons.

Normally, this would be viewed as a difficult road game and another chance to trot out the "what if" scenarios involving Joe Dumars, Carmelo Anthony, and the 2003 NBA Draft.

But this year, the game is taking on added significance due to the fact that Denver is outside of the playoff picture. This, despite boasting one of the most dangerous lineups in the NBA and a sterling 40-26 record. But such is life in the current NBA, where David Stern cares only about overseas expansion and nothing about fairness (Exhibit A: the Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw suspensions in last year's playoffs, Exhibit B: the Seattle Supersonics, Exhibit C: the playoff format).

I will be watching this game very closely to see how the Nuggets respond. Because even more than the result, I want to see how they approach the contest. This is the type of game that the Nuggets from the first half of the season would probably have laid down for - knowing how tough it would be to win in Detroit, they might have just mailed it in and conserved their energy. But they can't do that now. Will they show and prove? Will they maintain their composure. Will they play with the confidence that they can win?

If they do all those things - win or lose - I think it bodes very well for their chances to catch the Warriors and reach the playoffs. If they don't, I think they are done.

They HAVE to bring it tonight.

1 comment:

Brandon said...

Well, that didn't happen.