Monthly Archives: January 2012

Plenty of Reasons To Like the Nuggets

This season’s Denver Nuggets are quite a bit different from the team we saw on opening night of last season. They’re fun to watch, they’re not completely self-absorbed and they’re actually pretty good.

It’s refreshing to watch a team without a superstar. It doesn’t hurt that I don’t have to watch mediocre players who think they’re superstars regardless of their productivity.

Andre Miller, Ty Lawson, Nene (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Something's not right here, these dudes don't even have that many tattoos. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The Carmelos, Kenyons and JRs have been replaced by quiet, unassuming guys like Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, Rudy Fernandez, Corey Brewer and Andre Miller.

I don’t want to make these guys out as saints, but the Nuggets look like the most unselfish, least ego-driven team in the NBA. They don’t mind playing defense, they’re incredibly deep (important in this highly condensed season), and they run the floor in a fan friendly style of play.

In short, ESPN would struggle to make a promo like this if the Nuggets were involved.

The best part of all of this? They have a chance to do some big things in the Western Conference. The Nuggets (12-5) have already beaten the Mavericks (11-7), Jazz (10-5), Lakers (10-8), Heat (12-5) and 76ers (12-5). They went 4-0 on an East Coast road trip swing in which they played four games in five nights and if they win in Sacramento tonight can complete a 5-0 road trip.

That should turn some heads throughout the league.

Al Harrington has come out of nowhere to be perhaps the team MVP this year. Ty Lawson and Miller have been compatible on the floor together, especially late in games. Danilo Gallinari is having his best season. The Fernandez and Brewer trade didn’t generate much buzz across the country, but both have proved to be productive.

The Nuggets are trying to win a championship in an unconventional manner, and if nothing else, it should be very interesting to watch.

The NBA is probably rigged to favor superstars and large markets, but if it’s not, a healthy Nugs team could be David Stern’s and ESPN’s worst nightmare come playoff time because they are very capable of making a deep run.

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The Most Hideous Thing I’ve Ever Seen

There’s a lot to hate about the NBA.

For starters, watch this little promo I saw during the holiday season:

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That may be the most hideous 78 seconds of my life. Just horrible, horrible stuff.

Let’s recap:  We have Justin Bieber singing (or pretending to sing while computers make noises for him) a traditional Christmas song while blending fast-paced action shots of NBA players dancing around in pregame warmups, complaining to the refs, high-fiving one another, wiping sweat off of their cheeks, doing that hip-bump thing that is required of all athletes, smiling at cameras and beating their chests. If you think life can’t get any better, hold on to your freaking hat. The video then transitions into some sort of God-Awful rap remix of the Little Drummer Boy.

Reread that last sentence.

Anyway the video goes on like this and even mixes in exciting shots of referees signaling both a block and a charge call; one ref even one falls over! What’s not to love?

Obviously, this is Where Amazing Happens. Who could watch that and not think, I Love This Game.

I’m sure that is exactly what James Naismith had in mind when he nailed up those peach baskets in Kansas.

 

NFL Divisional Round Playoff Predictions

Since I haven’t written a blog in a couple fortnights, here’s a quick post with my picks for the weekend:

Saints over 49ers

Saints over 49ers. AP Photo

I’m taking offense over defense here. There’s been a lot of talk about the Saints being a different team playing outside and on the road. I can buy into that a little bit, but I also think the Saints are just really, really good. The Niners’ have the best rushing defense in the league, but Drew Brees and the Saints don’t really run the ball. I’ll take the Saints by a field goal or two.

 

Packers over Giants

Packers over Giants. Photo couresty Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Giants are a very trendy little upset pick here. The media are drawing all sorts of similarities between this years’ team and the team that went through Lambeau to win the Super Bowl in 2007. That’s kind of a dumb train of thought; we’re talking about two completely different teams in two completely different years. The 15-1 Packers are somehow flying under the radar going into this game, which works out very well for them. Discount Double Check accounts for about four touchdowns and The Pack wins fairly easily.

 

Ravens over Texans.  Photo Courtesy, Steve Mitchell, US Presswire

Ravens over Texans. Photo Courtesy Steve Mitchell, US Presswire

The Ravens are 8-0 at home this season. Houston has the second-strongest (Broncos) running game with Arian Foster and Ben Tate accounting for over 2,100 yards rushing, but the Ravens are the league’s second-best (49ers) team at stopping the run. That match-up will decide this game. I think the Ravens’ D will have some fun with T.J. Yates even though he’s played well since taking over. I’ll take the Ravens by a touchdown in a pretty low-scoring game.

 

Broncos over Patriots.

Broncos over Patriots. Photo Courtesy John Lebya, Denver Post

Screw it.

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