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Avoiding a second-half fade

January 20th, 2004 by aswitzer

It’s been an exciting first half to the 2003-2004 NBA season for Nuggets fans. Let’s review some of the many positives before we cautiously discuss the second half and some recent history.

  • Carmelo has lived up to and in some ways surpassed the hype surrounding him when the Nuggets took him at pick #3. He has been picked as the Western Conference rookie of the month for both November and December – the first time a Nugget has ever received this honor in consecutive months. He leads the Nuggets in scoring at 18.4 points a game.
  • Andre Miller is quietly making a case for himself as a reserve All-Star guard. He started the season slow, but has been a huge contributor ever since. In the past 7 games he has averaged 18.6 points, 7.6 assists and is shooting 55.1 percent. He’s currently 9th in the NBA in assists per game, he’s scoring and running the offense.
  • Earl Boykins is doing exactly what Kiki hoped when he signed him as the Nuggets back-up point guard – playing tough in the 4th quarter and providing offense for Denver’s second unit.
  • At times this season the Nuggets have been near the top of the league statistically as a team in rebounds and scoring. Remember when they had the worst scoring in the league last year? This year, they are 6th best with 96.8 a game. They also currently lead the league in blocks at 7.3 a game.
  • While we have a great home record at 16-7, we’re also learning how to win on the road. The 8-11 road record could be improved, but its a huge improvement over last year when we won a total of 4 all season.
  • ESPN’s power rankings have been a safe place for Nuggets fans to check in this year. In recent years, you could find plenty of humiliating material there. This year we’ve been hovering in or near the top 10.

Now for the recent history lesson.

As recently as the 2000-2001 season, the Nuggets were 24-16 after 40 games. That team went on to finish 40-42 and missed the playoffs. Only Ryan Bowen remains on the team from that squad. The similarity between this team and that team is the ability to lose to bad teams – such as getting swept by the Hawks this year. The good news is that this team has been incredibly resilient – avoiding 3 losses in a row already 6 times. As far as I know – no other team in the league has avoided three losses in a row. Back in 2000-2001 – multiple losing streaks of 3 games or longer in February and March killed the season. The Nuggets continued resilience will be a key to their playoff chances this year.

Staying relatively healthy (should get Jon Barry back in early February, and are you listening Marcus?), and continuing do the things that got us here – running, playing good help defense, and playing with energy in every game will be keys to continued success in the second half of the season.

From Adam Thompson of the Denver Post, here are 5 key victories so far that have led to the suprising success:

Oct. 29 – Denver 80, San Antonio 72 – Opening night showed these weren’t the same old Nuggets.

Nov. 1 – Denver 109, Sacramento 88 – Blowing out the Kings looks even better in retrospect.

Dec. 16 – Denver 116, New Orleans 94 – Textbook case of how the Nuggets can outplay strong teams.

Dec. 26 – Denver 95, Houston 94 – Came back from 16 points down against division rival.

Jan. 2 – Denver 106, Portland 96 – Key road win halts two-game skid.

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3 Responses to “Avoiding a second-half fade”

  1. Wavatar tyler Says:

    I think the nuggets need to keep their big guys in like camby and Nene and try to get Carmelo the ball in good spots

  2. Wavatar Denise Says:

    YOU DON’T HAVE TO THINK NOTHING CUZ ANTHONY IS THE BEST………………….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Wavatar vantavia Says:

    Carmelo anthony is so fine……
    much love baby-boy

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