It was during the second half of this game, I thought to myself “Denver is starting to click” and it may have been the fact it was the Golden State Warriors, but after the bi-polar season Denver it has, it’s certainly a start. Denver would garner their third consecutive win 102-91 over the Warriors.
Denver’s first half was sloppy and couldn’t string together a smooth offense, which is something that seems to be synonymous with Denver most of the time, but the second half they came out refreshed, hard, and hungry to earn a win for the Pepsi Center crowd.
Denver had more offensive rebounds, 11-8, less turnovers, 11-14, more paint points, 58-34, and more fast-break points, 19-7 and not to mention Ty Lawson has returned to us in the second half.
The NBA Mistress Game Ball goes to none other than Andre Iguodala’s spectacular 29 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocked shots and ZERO turnovers. This was a game in which I dubbed the game where Iguodala woke up and earned his spot as an official Denver Nugget. He was MONUMENTAL, and with the play he exhibited, validated the hype and exuberance of Nuggets’ fans over the summer. In the past two games, his three-pointers have been hitting, his defense has been on point, and that inbound pass off of David Lee’s but was just….satisfying.
Not to mention, when critics wondered if Iguodala and Gallinari could coexist, they have proven that the past two games. It may be an extreme small sample size, but the two are playing at a high level and when that happens, anything is possible. Although, last night’s game he wasn’t effective from downtown, but he did what he does best and that is drive to basket and receive free throw attempts. Similar to Iguodala, Gallinari is a solid defender; it’s just critics overlook his defenses and his passing skill when looking at his shooting percentage.
Welcome back, kinda, Ty Lawson. He showed flashes– lots of flashes– of his former self during the last half and ended up with 18 points on 7-for-13 shooting, 2 rebounds, and 9 assists. Most importantly, he showed his aggressive streak when Denver was in the midst of a run and when Lawson is on, he’s ONNNNN. Andre Miller may not have been an impact player of the game, but he does make impact plays like the full court double alley-oop involving himself, Corey Brewer, and JaVale McGee.
JaVale McGee was world’s more impactful this game than the previous one; he blocked and altered multiple shot as well as,showing his raw emotions during pivotal plays. I read into emotions — during games — as a barometer of how that player is executing and reading off other’s plays. One other player mention is Kenneth Faried, who per usual, led the Nuggets in rebounds. I may have to make a plea to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary to introduce a word into their carousel of words that’s exclusive to Manimal: energy, passion, heart, grit, and relentlessness.
These past three wins have been indicative of a team that is improving offensively and cohering at the same time. Fans are witnessing, Iguodala feeling comfortable in the offense, Gallinari playing at a high level, and the return of Ty Lawson.
At the same time, Denver’s defense has been improving and they actually have a defensive rating of 104.9 (20th in the league) and I believe somewhere between 10th-15th place in defense would be a probably defensive rank.
Sunday the Nuggets take on the New Orleans Hornets, so hopefully fans will see more of this brand of Denver basketball.