The Nuggets beat the Clippers earlier this season so just the idea that they beat them again is not the story, the story is how they beat them. For most of the night, the Clippers got the Nuggets to play a half-court game and George Karl’s bunch responded to the challenge.
The critics say that the Nuggets can’t win in the playoffs because the game slows down, and the fast break is taken away. They also say that the Nuggets can’t win in April and May because they do not have a superstar. It remains to be seen how far the Nuggets can go in the playoffs, but if Thursday night is any indication, they are going to be a very dangerous team.
The Nuggets were marvelous in their half-court offense in the third quarter, and used flawless execution to put the game away during a 12-0 run. Those types of runs are normal for the Nuggets these days, but this one was different, they used pick and rolls. They buried outside jump shots and they got open looks just because of their passing. It was the exact type of offense that the critics around the NBA have repeatedly said the Nuggets are incapable of running, they ran it to perfection versus the Clippers.
The experts are right in one respect; the Nuggets do not have a superstar although Ty Lawson is on the verge. What the Nuggets do have in addition to Lawson are nine guys that can beat you at anytime. Danilo Gallinari, who has been struggling before Thursday, was fantastic versus the Clippers. There’s no go to guy, that’s true, but the Nuggets have many players who can step up at anytime.
Can the Nuggets win a championship with their high paced offense and no star? That remains to be seen, but no one is going to want to play this team in the playoffs. Everyone knew they could win a track meet, but on Thursday night they proved that they can win a half-court game versus a good team.
It’s time for everyone to wake up on the Nuggets, they have won seven straight and that streak could go on for awhile. If you still think the Nuggets are not one of the elite teams in the league, go talk to the Clippers or Oklahoma City Thunder. They would tell you different as they have both been beaten in the last week by that team that the experts say can’t play with the big boys.
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