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2005 Playoff race

March 21st, 2005 by aswitzer

Just a month ago, Nuggets fans believing in playoff dreams for this season were few and far between. What a difference a new coach and a 16 year best – 8 game winning streak can make though. Now you can’t go anywhere in sports land without hearing phrases like “surging Denver Nuggets”… “Blazers go down to the red-hot Nuggets”… “Mad Karl leads the Nuggets to yet another victory”. This is music to Nuggets fans’ ears, for sure.

And the accolades are flowing like a waterfall… Melo is named MVP after leading the Sophmores to victory in the All-Star game”… “Karl is named Western Conference Coach of the Month for February”… “Camby wins NBA Western Conference player of the week on March 7th”.

Life is pretty sweet as a Nuggets fan these days.

It’s a three horse race for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Sure, we are currently only 3 or so games behind 7th place Grizzlies, but lets focus on just making the playoffs first.

Would you have predicted at the beginning of the season that we would be battling with the T-Wolves and Lakers to make the playoffs?

Lakers, sure… maybe. When Kobe forced out Shaq so he could be “The Man” many experts predicted that the Lakers could struggle to make the playoffs. Still, I think we all thought they would lock up one of the lower seeds.

Fighting with our first round, top-seed in the Western Confernce from a year ago, now that’s another story. The T-Wolves were a formidable opponent last year, with the Nuggets pulling out one home win during a quick 4-1 playoff series. For the first time in Minnesota’s team history – they went deep into the playoffs before being ousted by the Finals bound Lakers. Maintaining the same roster seemed to put them in place for another great season. However, injuries, issues in the media, and lack of consistent effort by nearly everyone but KG have led them to their current position.

Can’t feel too bad about those T-Wolves though… not that any Nuggets fan would after the birth of a fiesty rivalry with them during last year’s playoffs… a rivalry that has continued into this season. No, the main reason we don’t feel at all bad is that the Nuggets could point to the same three things for a nearly lost season – injuries, issues in the media and inconsistent effort all led to a rough 17-25 start.

The Nuggets could have easily dialed it in as a lost season. I think it was two things that saved it though. One is obvious. The third coach of the season – George Karl. With a 17-5 record and counting, Karl deserves most of the credit. However, although the Nuggets found new motivation and direction thru Karl, I think the other factor was the taste of the playoffs last year. Kiki’s timing in finally acquiring the long sought coach was excellent because it was early enough for a comeback, and late enough that the Nuggets knew it was then or never for recovering the season.

Key remaining games:

March 24 LA Lakers
April 5 @ Memphis
April 8 @ Minnesota
April 15 Memphis
April 16 @ Houston

Circle those dates Nuggets fans, and enjoy the ride to the playoffs!

2 Responses to “2005 Playoff race”

  1. Wavatar aswitzer Says:

    Well, we’ve won our first key game!

    I’ve added Houston on April 16th as another key game now that 6th is at least a remote possibility. That’s a tough back-to-back though with Memphis the night before.

  2. Wavatar Cola Says:

    I am a Dever Nugget fan or should I say a Carmelo Anothony fan and I rode with you until the end, and I did enjoy the ride! The playoff for you is over but not your career because you did your thing. Good Luck in life!

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