Recap: Nuggets 127, Cavs 99 (Or, of fast breaks and slow, painful suffering)

January 15th, 2011 by John Krolik

Overview: The Denver Nuggets scored 80 points in the first half of a 127-99 destruction of the helpless Cleveland Cavaliers. A hip flexor strain caused Mo Williams to leave the game after only five minutes of play.

Whoever said “that’s why they play the games” was not talking about this game bullets:

I mean, it is what it is. When a team on an epic road losing streak and missing almost half its players comes to play a great home team on a back-to-back, this is what happens. Throw in the altitude factor and the pace of the game, and it really wasn’t fair. I’d like to have seen the Cavs at least pretend they had a chance, but alas.

The Nuggets were getting anything they wanted in the half-court, but the game really got ugly when they started to run. This is what a running team looks like, everybody — the Nuggets looked to run every time they secured the ball, got it to their guards, and filled the lane with cutter after cutter if the man with the ball’s angle was cut off. It was beautiful, it was terrifying, it was brutal. The Nuggets really didn’t even need Carmelo to whip the Cavs’ collective asses tonight — it was Nene filling the lanes, Lawson pushing the break, and the three-point shooters keeping the floor spaced that destroyed the Cavs on Saturday.

Contrasting what the Nuggets did with Jamario Moon firing jumpers, Manny Harris and Alonzo Gee trying to work of the dribble, and Mo and Antawn forcing jumpers, and Hickson doing what he does was a depressing exercise — in retrospect, it’s unbelievable that anyone thought a team with this little talent was ever going to successfully beat anybody by outscoring them, ever. Next season, defense needs to be the first, second, and third point of emphasis in roster-building, practice, and training camp. As for this season, I don’t know what happens. I honestly can’t imagine how this team wins another game without something truly ridiculous happening. Maybe things will get better when the team gets a bit healthier, but this is truly miserable to watch right now. Until later.